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BankMobile Vibe Up review

Last updated:  

Earn interest on your growing balance with this checking account — but it's currently waitlisted.

finder.com’s rating: 4.5 / 5.0

★★★★★

Many college students will be familiar with BankMobile as the go-to account for receiving financial aid. The bank is soon launching a checking account that’s open to anyone — whether they’re students or not.

$0 per month

Fee

Up to 0.50%

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY0.50% on balances of $0 to $15,000.99
0.01% on balances of $15,001+
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$0
ATMs55,000 ATMs around the world — including over 40,000 in the US
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$3

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by


Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

The BankMobile Vibe Up checking account sets itself apart for its student rewards program and 0.5% APY on balances up to $15,000.99. But anything more than that earns a low interest rate of 0.01%, and cash deposits are inconvenient.

How do I join the waitlist?

If you’re interested in learning more about the account when it launches, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. On the homepage, type in your cell phone number. Click Join Waitlist.
  3. A box will pop up confirming you’re in the system.

What are the benefits of the Vibe Up checking account?

The BankMobile Vibe Up account is linked to an app and comes with a debit card that can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard. It also has these unique benefits:

  • High interest rate. You’ll earn a 0.5% APY on balances up to $15,000.99. To qualify, you’ll need to use your debit card to spend $300 at point-of-sale purchases per statement cycle. The interest is compounded and credited to your account monthly.
  • No credit check. The bank doesn’t run a credit check, so it’s accessible to those with a credit score working against them.
  • Fee-free ATM network. BankMobile is part of the AllPoint network, which has 55,000 ATMs around the world — including over 40,000 in the US.
  • Rewards program. The Passport Recognition Program rewards students for academic achievements as well as smart financial behavior with deals, discounts and Instant Win games. Also, the bank occasionally runs competitions to pay off student loan debt.
  • Supports wire transfers. BankMobile is one of a handful of online-only banks that allows you to wire and receive funds from outside banks.
  • Excellent app ratings. Both the Apple and Android app have a rating of 4.4 stars, and thousands of positive customer reviews.
  • Savings tools. Use the Money Meter and Snapshot features on the app to monitor your spending and set savings goals.

BankMobile’s ATM network and fees

BankMobile offers fee-free access to 55,000 AllPoint ATMs worldwide. In the US, the ATMs are located in retailers like Costco, CVS, Kroger, Kmart Walgreens, Target and Safeway. To find one close to you, enter your ZIP code on the AllPoint website.

There’s no charge if you check your balance at an out-of-network ATM. But if you withdraw cash, you’ll need to pay a $3 fee. The ATM operator may charge additional fees.

The maximum daily ATM withdrawal limit is $500.

What should I look out for?

At the time of writing, the checking account has a waitlist. Consider these drawbacks before joining the waitlist:

  • Low interest rate on balances over $15,000.99. You’ll earn 0.01% on the part of your balance that exceeds $15,000.99. So, for example, if you have $20,000 in your account, you’ll get 0.01% for the last $5,000.
  • Ineligible purchases. The high APY comes with a few caveats, such as spending $300 or more per statement cycle — but ATM transactions and point-of-sale refunds are excluded.
  • Some fees. While the bank charges no monthly maintenance or ATM fees, you’ll pay $25 to send wires, $15 to replace your card and up to $4.95 each time you deposit cash instore.
  • No live chat function. Though it’s an online-only bank, BankMobile offers no live chat option.
  • Inconvenient cash deposits. If you want to add cash to your card, you’ll need to head to a participating GreenDot retailer or mail a money order to BankMobile.
  • Lack of overdraft protection. The bank won’t block checks, ACH transfers and card transactions that will overdraw your account.
  • Spending limits. You can spend up to $2,500 per day between swipe-and-sign purchases and cash withdrawals. For PIN-based debit card transactions, like instore purchases and ATM withdrawals, the daily spending limit is $500.

The account is currently waitlisted. If you want your money to start working for you now, compare checking accounts.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Chime Spending account
N/A
$0
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Get rid of fees with this mobile-first bank offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
HSBC Premier Checking
0.01%
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a 3% cash bonus, up to $600 (max. $100 per month) during first six months after account opening. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by September 30, 2020, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
BBVA Online Checking
N/A
$25
No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
$3
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
N/A
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
1.25%
$50
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Up to 1.00%
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit and withdraw my money?

  • Direct deposit. If you enroll in direct deposit, a portion of your paycheck or government benefits will go straight to your Vibe Up account.
  • Wire transfers. Send and receive funds from an account at an external bank. Incoming wires are free, but you’ll pay $25 for each outgoing wire.
  • Internal transfers. Move money between BankMobile accounts online or on the app.
  • Cash deposits. Top up your card with up to $500 cash at participating Green Dot retailers (like Walmart), or mail a money order to:
    BankMobile
    PO Box 445
    Phoenixville, PA 19460
  • Checks. Deposit mobile checks on the app, or send paper checks to the PO Box above.
  • Cash back with merchant transactions. At some stores, you can get cash back for PIN-based debit card purchases.
  • ATM withdrawals. Dip your card into any AllPoint ATM for free, or pay $3 to withdraw cash from out-of-network ATMs.
  • Teller withdrawals. Head to your local Customers Bank branch to withdraw cash.
  • Western Union Direct to Bank transfer. Send money to your BankMobile account using Western Union’s service.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

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★★★★★ — Good

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We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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