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Green Dot Unlimited review

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Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card
3.2
★★★★★
Finder score
Fee
$7.95 per month
APY
2.00%
Minimum deposit to open
$0

Our verdict

A checking account featuring unlimited 2% cash back, 2% APY on savings and free cash deposits.

Green Dot Unlimited is a mesh between a prepaid card and a digital bank account. It’s best for anyone who does a lot of online shopping and wants to earn unlimited 2% cash back on purchases.

It comes with a separate savings account that earns 2% APY on balances up to $10,000. Meaning you can earn up to $200 a year in interest. And similar to prepaid cards, you won’t pay any fees for overdrafts or bounced checks.

But if you review the fine print, there are a few red flags. First, you can only redeem your cash back and savings account interest once a year on your account anniversary. This is unusual as most banks deposit these rewards into your account each month.

Second, your savings account doesn’t earn any interest on balances over $10,000. If you keep more than $10,000 in savings, you may earn more in a regular high-yield savings account.

Pros

  • High-yield savings account
  • Free cash deposits
  • Quick direct deposits
  • No overdraft fees
  • Avoidable monthly fee
  • Unlimited cashback rewards

Cons

  • Annual rewards
  • Difficult to waive monthly fee
  • Identity verification
  • No wire transfers

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How do I open a Green Dot Unlimited account?

Request your Green Dot Unlimited account at one of these participating retailers. Or, apply online in two simple steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From Green Dot’s website, click Open An Account.
  3. Enter your personal information, review the deposit agreement and click Open My Account.

Your debit card should arrive in the mail within seven to 10 business days of completing your application.

Eligibility

Open a Green Dot Unlimited account when you meet these requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US resident
  • Social Security number

Required information

Green Dot will verify your identity using the following information:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Phone number
  • Government-issued photo ID

What are the benefits of a Green Dot Unlimited account?

The Green Dot Unlimited bank account has standard features like bill pay, FDIC insurance and a debit card. But it also has these standout features:

  • High-yield savings account. Earn 2% APY on balances up to $10,000. But you won’t get any interest on balances over this limit.
  • Free cash deposits. Most digital banks don’t accept cash deposits. But with Green Dot, you can deposit cash for free at more than 90,000 retail locations nationwide.
  • Quick direct deposits. Get your paycheck up to two days earlier and government benefits up to four days earlier than you would with a regular bank account.
  • No overdraft fees. Green Dot doesn’t charge any fees for overdrafts or bounced checks, giving you one less thing to worry about if your account is short on cash.
  • Avoidable monthly fee. Green Dot waives the $7.95 monthly fee when you spend at least $1,000 in the previous month.
  • Unlimited cashback rewards. Most debit cards limit your cash back once you’ve spent up to a specific amount. But Green Dot Unlimited doesn’t put a limit on how much 2% cash back you earn on qualifying online and mobile purchases.

What purchases qualify for 2% cash back?

Most purchases made online or on mobile qualify for 2% cash back. Here’s a list of everything that doesn’t qualify:

  • Airline purchases
  • Gift card or prepaid card purchases
  • Quasi-cash transactions, including peer-to-peer transfers, cashier checks, money orders, lottery tickets, casino chips or purchases made on online gaming sites
  • Bill payments using your debit card or Green Dot’s Bill Pay service
  • Transfers from your debit card or bank account
  • Transactions made on Green Dot’s website

You’ll get a notification in your Green Dot mobile app each time you make a qualifying purchase.

What should I look out for?

The Green Dot Unlimited account seems like a clear winner on the surface, but there are a few details to consider:

  • Annual rewards. Cashback rewards and savings account interest is only redeemable once a year on your account anniversary. Other digital bank accounts release earnings once a month.
  • Difficult to waive monthly fee. The following transactions don’t count toward the $1,000 minimum needed to waive the monthly fee: cash withdrawals, bill payments, check or ACH payments, gift card and prepaid card purchases.
  • Identity verification. If you buy an Unlimited Cash Back bank account package at a retail store and Green Dot can’t verify your identity, you won’t be eligible for 2% cash back, bill pay or other perks.
  • No wire transfers. You can’t send or receive wire transfers with your Green Dot Unlimited account.

If you’re looking for an account that doesn’t have many restrictions, compare your options to find an online bank account with simpler fees.

Green Dot’s ATM network and fees

Green Dot is part of the MoneyPass network, which gives you free access to over 33,000 ATMs across the country. You can search for a free ATM near you using the Green Dot mobile app. If you use an ATM outside of this network, you’ll pay a $3 fee.

Compare Green Dot Unlimited to other checking accounts

Use the table to compare Green Dot Unlimited’s fees and features to other top-rated digital accounts.

Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card logo

Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card

★★★★★

Finder rating 3.2 / 5


Fee

$7.95 per month
(can be waived)


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

2.00% on balances of $0 to $10,000


Minimum deposit to open

$0

SoFi Checking and Savings logo

SoFi Checking and Savings

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.5 / 5

Go to site


Fee

$0


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

4.60% on balances of $0+
0.50% on balances of $0+
1.20% on balances of $0+


Minimum deposit to open

$0

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus logo

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.3 / 5

Go to site


Fee

$0


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

N/A


Minimum deposit to open

$0

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

Green Dot Unlimited doesn’t accept wire transfers, but there are still several ways to access funds:

Deposits

  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Cash deposit at 90,000+ Green Dot retail locations
  • Tax refund
  • Transfer from PayPal
  • Transfer from another bank

Withdrawals

  • ATM
  • Cash back at a retailer
  • Check written out to yourself
  • Transfer to PayPal
  • Transfer to another bank

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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