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BankMobile Vibe Up review

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

finder.com’s rating: 4.5 / 5.0

★★★★★

BankMobile Vibe Up Checking account comes with money management tools, rewards and a 0.5% APY on balances up to $15,000.99— but you must spend at least $300 a month to qualify for that rate and there’s currently a waitlist.

$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
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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.

Eligibility

To open a VibeUp account, you must meet these requirements:

  • A U.S. citizen or resident
  • At least 18 years old

Required information

You’ll also need to provide:

  • Personal and contact details
  • A valid Social Security number
  • Identifying documents, such as a valid government-issued ID and proof of your physical address

You’ll be able to upload these documents online, or you can mail hard copies to:

BankMobile
Customer Identification Program (CIP)
105 Munson Street
New Haven, CT 06511

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.
  • 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, and you can receive one incoming wire for free each calendar month.
  • Savings tools. Use the Money Meter and Snapshot features on the app to monitor your spending and set savings goals.
  • Waived NSF fee. You can receive a courtesy refund on one overdraft/non-sufficient funds fee incurred each calendar month.

BankMobile’s ATM network and fees

BankMobile offers 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.

If you withdraw cash from an out-of-network ATM, you’ll need to pay a $3 fee. The ATM operator may also 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

Compare BankMobile’s Vibe Up account with other popular checking accounts by comparing minimum opening deposit, ATMs and overdraft fees.

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Up to 1.00%
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Citibank® Account Package
Citibank® Account Package
0.50%
$0
No access to ATMs
$2.50
Earn a $300 bonus after opening new eligible checking and savings accounts and completing required activities.
HSBC Premier Checking
Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
HSBC Premier Checking
0.01%
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a 3% cash bonus in the first six months (up to $600) or $450 welcome bonus when you open your account with qualifying activities. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by June 30, 2021, 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.
Chime Spending account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Spending account
N/A
$0
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Get rid of fees with this financial app offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Essential Checking
N/A
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
OnJuno
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
OnJuno
Up to 2.15%
$0
more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide
$0
OnJuno embraces an open banking system for everyone, regardless of their age, location, or income.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit and withdraw my money?

There are many different ways to deposit and withdraw funds from your Vibe Up account.

Deposit

  • Direct deposit. If you enroll in direct deposit, a portion of your paycheck or government benefits will go straight to your Vibe Up account.
  • Incoming ACH transfers. Transfer funds to your Vibe Up account from an external bank.
  • Incoming wire transfers. Your first incoming wire each month is free, but you’ll pay an unspecified amount for any additional incoming wires.
  • Internal transfers. Move money into your Vibe Up account from other BankMobile accounts.
  • Cash deposits. Top up your card with up to $500 in cash at participating Green Dot retailers (including Walmart).
  • Money orders. Mail money orders to BankMobile, PO Box 445, Phoenixville, PA 19460
  • Checks. Deposit mobile checks via the app, or mail paper checks to the above address.
  • Western Union Direct to Bank transfer. Send money to your BankMobile account using Western Union’s service.

Withdraw

  • ATM withdrawals. Dip your card into any AllPoint ATM for free, or pay $3 to withdraw cash from out-of-network ATMs.
  • Cash back with merchant transactions. You can get cash back from PIN-based debit card purchases at many retailers.
  • Teller withdrawals. Head to your local Customers Bank branch to withdraw cash.
  • Outgoing ACH transfers. Transfer funds out of your Vibe Up account to an external bank.
  • Outgoing wire transfers. Outgoing wire transfers are $25 each.
  • Internal transfers. Move money from your Vibe Up account to anotherBankMobile account.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

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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