GoBank Review

GoBank

Overall Rating

8

Bottom Line

If you have been having issues getting a bank account, GoBank might very well be just the solution for you. While it’s not perfect, nothing ever really is, it can be a great way to get started and access banking services without many frills.

Pros

  • No minimum balance
  • Member FDIC
  • No credit check

Cons

  • Monthly fee
  • No Savings account
  • No credit card

GoBank is a financial institution, not unlike credit unions and banks. It’s a brand of an established bank, offering a very targeted product.

GoBank is mainly for those customers who, for some reason, can’t get banking services at high street banks.

In this article, we’ll look at everything there is to know about GoBank, including features, fees, and how to get started.

We’ll also answer some FAQs that regularly come up when discussing GoBank.

In This Article

What is GoBank?

GoBank is a brand name of Green Dot Corporation – a fintech (financial technology) company and a registered bank holding company in its own right.

Greet Dot is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) using ticker GDOT.

They are based in Pasadena, California and, besides GoBank, they also operate GO2bank and Bonneville Bank.

Back in 2014, Walmart announced a partnership with Green Dot. Through this partnership, it will start offering its customers’ bank accounts using the GoBank brand.

Green Dot is an FDIC-insured bank, with insurance also extended to GoBank customers.

As such, your deposits are insured up to $250,000 per category, in line with other FDIC-insured banks.

GoBank offers just one service – a checking account called GoBank. This account comes with several features and fees, which we will be discussing throughout this article.

GoBank Checking Account

When it comes to financial products, GoBank has just one – their GoBank checking account.

Technically speaking, it’s not even a product since the entire model of GoBank is BaaS – Banking as a Service.

Even so, the account comes with both a bank account number and a routing number making it as real an account as it can ever be.

As you might expect, this being an online bank, there are mobile banking apps for both Google Android and Apple iOS, which you can safely download from Google Play or App Store, respectively.

GoBank Features

GoBank comes with quite a few pretty handy features, some of which you will not find anywhere else.

These features are what makes GoBank what it is, and as such, whether you’ll find GoBank useful or not will largely depend on how important these features are to you.

Debit card

GoBank checking accounts come with a debit card which you can use to withdraw cash and make purchases.

Green Dot Bank issues both Visa and MasterCard cards.

Mobile App

GoBank is an entirely online bank with primary access to the online checking account being through the app.

The award-winning banking app comes with several handy features that include:

  • Account balance in real-time
  • Transaction history
  • ATM locator
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Money transfer to other GoBank customers

The app is available for both Apple iOS devices as well as Android. iPhone users can download the app from the App Store, where it has a 4.2-out-of-5 rating.

Android users can download the app from Google Play, where it has a 4.1 out of 5.

Online Checkbook

The online checkbook feature works like a regular checkbook, but it’s completely online.

Here, you don’t have to hassle with actual paper checks, but GoBank will send one on your behalf should this be necessary – for free.

Mobile Check Deposit

With a GoBank account, you can deposit checks through your phone. However, you will need to download and install a secondary app as you cannot do this through the GoBank app.

The app is called Ingo Money, and the service is provided courtesy of Ingo money Inc and First Century Bank.

ASAP Direct Deposit

This feature allows account holders to receive direct deposits up to 2 days earlier when it comes to payday and up to 4 days earlier if you’re receiving government benefits.

The actual timings may vary depending on the time the payment was processed and a couple of other things that are generally out of your control.

To make sure you receive the money as early as possible, you will need to make sure that your name and SSN (Social Security Number) match on your GoBank account.

Budgeting

You can use GoBank’s app to set up a budget, inputting your income as well as your expenses.

By using this feature, you can better understand your financial situation and make adjustments if and when necessary to stay on top of your bills and payments.

Fortune Teller

If you’ve been having trouble staying within budget, this is one feature that you’re going to love.

Exclusive to the GoBank app, it tells you if a purchase you want to make is within your budget by looking at a few different factors, including the purchase cost, account balance, and the budget.

Vault

If you find yourself draining your bank account regularly, Vault might be a good feature for you.

Using the money vault, you can set money aside from your main account without losing access to it.

This useful feature, which many other apps have (albeit called by different names), can help you save for big purchases or upcoming payments.

With money set aside, you can make sure you don’t end up in a situation where you don’t have enough money to cover upcoming expenses.

MoneyPak

MoneyPak is an easy way to add cash to your account. You can purchase MoneyPak worth between $20 and $500 to load to your card.

Each card costs $5.95 over and above the reload amount, essentially making it a transaction fee.

This charge makes the fee for a MoneyPak refill $1.00 more than straight-up cash deposits, which cost $4.95 a-pop.

Overdraft Protection

GoBank accounts do not typically go in overdraft, so you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees.

If you’re banking with GoBank’s sister bank, Go2bank, you may be allowed to overdraft your account.

However, this is at their discretion. In such cases, a fee of $15 will apply.

Fees

GoBank’s fee structure is pretty straightforward to understand, which in the world of complicated bank fees makes it something of a breath of fresh air.

If you sign up through the GoBank app, there are no account fees whatsoever, and it’s entirely free.

You can also sign up by purchasing a starter kit, which you can find at participating stores.

Here you can expect the kit to set you back a maximum of $2.95, and you will also need to make an initial deposit of at least $20.

The maximum initial deposit is $500.

The monthly maintenance fee is $8.95, but if you make qualifying deposits worth at least $500, you can waive it pretty easily.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to make these deposits every month to avoid the charge for that month.

Direct Deposits are free, and if you enroll in ASAP Direct Deposit, you can even receive your money earlier.

Cash deposits, however, will set you back up to $4.95 each time. You can do this at the cash register of participating outlets, with the whole list available online through their website.

Withdrawing money from an ATM is free as long as you use an in-network ATM.

Out-of-network ATMs carry double ATM fees – one from GoBank, set at $3, and one from the ATM operator, which can vary from one ATM to the next.

There are no reimbursements or rebates, and as such, using ATMs that are not in GoBank’s network is not recommended.

A pack of 12 checks costs $5.95, while purchases from overseas merchants and websites carry a 3% fee. Card replacements for cards that you did not purchase at Walmart after the 20th of June 2018 cost $5.00.

Getting Started

Getting started with GoBank is easy. There are essentially three ways to go about it. You can either:

  1. Sign-up directly from the gobank.com website
  2. Purchase a starter kit at a participating retailer
  3. Download the gobank app on your smartphone

To open an account, you’ll need to supply a few bits and bobs of information, including your name, address, and SSN (Social Security Number).

If the bank fails to verify your information, it may downgrade your account to a limited-use one.

This limited-use account allows you to withdraw and spend the money you have in the account, but you will not add more funds.

You’ll also be able to use the app to view your balance, but all other features will not be available.

Promotions

GoBank does not have any bank promotions at the moment.

However, this does not mean that they never do, so it’s always worth checking out their website if you’re thinking of opening a new account with them.

Here, you might want to consider Go2Bank instead, which offers cash backs of up to 7% on eligible purchases.

GO2Bank is also offering a secured credit card that can help you rebuild your credit.

Security

With GoBank being an FDIC-insured bank, it is a very safe option to bank with for customers.

They have to abide by several regulations and checks to make sure that everything is above board.

GoBank is also accredited by the BBB (Better Business Bureau), adding yet another layer of safety.

You will also find links to their policies on the bank’s website, including Technology Privacy Statement, Ad Choices, State Licensing Notices, and others.

Customer Service

If you’re looking for help or assistance, GoBank offers a few different ways to get the support that you need.

Your first port of call should be the online FAQs, as these guarantee the quickest answers to the most burning questions customers have.

Questions and answers are categorized, so you don’t spend too much time rummaging around. If you do not find your question and answer there, there are a few other ways you can go about it.

Another easy way to get support is to use the online chat system to chat with one of their support representatives like you would speak with friends and family.

You can also give them a call, or if you prefer, send a physical letter. Both address and phone number are available through the bank’s website.

There are specific forms for fraud and transaction disputes, so use these when necessary to avoid delays.

With such matters generally being time-sensitive, it’s essential to use the appropriate form to make sure you reach the right people as soon as possible.

Pros & Cons

Just like everything else, GoBank has its pros and cons.

Do keep in mind that pros and cons can be very subjective. What someone might consider a pro, someone else might not, so we’ve listed them, but you’ll be the one to decide.

To make sure you make the best decision for yourself, first take the time to understand what you need from a bank account and what you hope to get.

This exercise can help you understand if GoBank is the right choice for you. If it isn’t, don’t worry, we will also cover some alternatives later in this article.

Pros:

  • No minimum balance – The account does not have a minimum balance requirement to maintain
  • Member FDIC – GoBank accounts are fully insured by the FDIC up to $250,000
  • No credit check – GoBank does not run credit checks on its customers and does not use ChexSystems either

Cons:

  • Monthly fee – Accounts have a monthly fee of $8.95 that you can waive by making a minimum of $500 in direct deposits every month
  • No Savings account – GoBank does not offer a savings account, so you cannot earn an APY interest rate on the money you save
  • No credit card – GoBank does not offer credit card

Alternatives to GoBank

While GoBank’s proposition is unique, it is not the only bank that offers such products.

Many banks have realized that many customers may face issues when trying to get a bank account and have started to offer specialized products.

One bank worth mentioning here is Chime.

They offer both savings and checking accounts with no monthly fee, with the savings account, in particular, earning an APY (Annual Percentage Yield) of 0.50%.

If your credit score has taken a hit, you might also be interested in their Credit Builder account, which has been designed from the ground up to help people rebuild their credit scores.

Credit Builder has no security deposit requirement and no annual fees. On-time payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus, helping you rebuild your credit.

You might also want to consider second-chance bank accounts, which many financial institutions across the country offer.

The accounts typically are watered-down versions of regular accounts with fewer features and, more importantly, no credit checks.

More importantly, however, they can be your gateway to regular bank accounts, with many banks offering the possibility to upgrade to a regular account after a few months.

FAQs

Is GoBank a legitimate bank?

Yes, GoBank is a brand of GreenDot Bank – an FDIC-insured bank that has been operating since 1999.

They are only traded on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) under the ticker GDOT.

Where can I withdraw money from GoBank?

You can withdraw money from GoBank’s ATM network, where it is free of charge.

Using an out-of-network ATM will cost you $3, excluding any charges from the ATM operator.

Best to always use GoBank’s ATM network to save money on fees and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

What is the GoBank direct deposit limit?

GoBank limits account balances to $50,000. That means you won’t be able to keep more money than this amount at any time in your account. Worth bearing in mind if you’re planning on keeping large sums of money in there.

Can I transfer money from GoBank to green dot?

While GoBank accounts do not let you make an ACH or wire transfer, you can issue a check to yourself and deposit it to your Greet Dot account.

Who is GoBank Best for?

If you have been having issues getting a bank account, GoBank might very well be just the solution for you.

While it’s not perfect (nothing ever really is), it can be a great way to get started and access banking services without many frills.

On the positive side, the account has useful features such as budgeting and Fortune Teller, which can help you manage your money better when used properly.

Ultimately, pretty much everyone struggles with budgeting, and these tools can help you improve your money management skills and help you move towards a brighter financial future.

One thing to be mindful of is GoBank fees. While GoBank does not charge an exuberant amount of fees, they can still add up if you’re not careful.