BankMobile Vibe review + fees June 2019 | finder.com

BankMobile Vibe review

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BankMobile Vibe
  • Passport recognition program
  • Built-in money management tools
  • Over 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs

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A seamless way to receive refunds and financial aid from your school.

Bank Mobile works as a middleman between you and your school. It processes and disburses funds to students on behalf of their colleges — and offers a checking account to speed up the process. Vibe is an optional account that rewards students with fee-free ATM access, cashback rewards and incentives to save — but it doesn’t earn interest.

Monthly fee$2.99 per month
To waive the feeHave qualifying deposits totaling $300 or more per statement cycle
ATMsOver 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$3
Overdraft fee$0
Deposit methodsCash by teller
Mobile/remote check deposit
Wire transfer
Direct deposit
Cash
Check
Transfer
  • Cash by teller
  • Check by teller
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash by ATM
  • Check by ATM
  • Wire transfer
  • Mobile/remote check deposit
  • Direct deposit

What are the benefits of a checking account with Bank Mobile?

    Like most checking accounts, BankMobile Vibe comes with a debit card and is connected to an app that makes it easier to manage your money. It also has these unique benefits:

  • Uninterrupted refund delivery. If you receive financial aid or other money from your school, the bank promises you’ll get it on time — every time.
  • Fee-free ATMs around the world. Bank Mobile is part of the AllPoint network, which has ATMs across the US and overseas.
  • Incentive to save. Through the Passport Recognition Program, students can receive deals and discounts and win cash prizes for smart money management.
  • Supports wire transfers. This is unusual for an online bank. Transfers received before 6 p.m. ET are processed the same business day.
  • Cash back promotions. The bank regularly offers 1% cashback rewards for shopping at participating grocery stores and gas stations. For details, go to the website.
  • Check-writing privileges. You can order a pack of three starter checks from Bank Mobile. If you want to order a full checkbook, they’ll direct you to a third-party provider.
  • Budgeting tools. The Bank Mobile app features Money Meter and Snapshot to help you to monitor your spending habits.

What should I look out for?

These drawbacks may sway your decision:

  • The account doesn’t earn interest. If you want to earn interest on your growing balance, look into the BankMobile Vibe Up account.
  • Monthly service fees. It costs $2.99 a month to maintain your account — but Bank Mobile will waive the fee each billing cycle where you have qualifying deposits of $300 or more.
  • No live chat function. Bank Mobile offers no online customer service in real time, which is unusual for an online bank. Bank Mobile does have a Facebook page, and Messenger states that replies typically come in within minutes.
  • Cash deposit fee. You may be charged up to $4.95 when you load cash onto your card at participating retailers.
  • Expensive outgoing wires. Incoming domestic and international wires are free, but you’ll pay $25 when you send a wire.
  • Lack of overdraft protection. Bank Mobile won’t block transactions that will put your account in the red.

Bank Mobile’s ATM network and fees

You can dip your debit card into 55,000 AllPoint ATMs around the world for free. In the US, the ATMs are located in major retailers, such as Target, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Walgreens and Safeway. To find one near you, search by zip code on the AllPoint website.

If you withdraw cash from an out-of-network ATM, you’ll have to pay a fee of $3. The ATM provider may charge additional fees. If you’re just checking your balance, you won’t be charged a fee by Bank Mobile.

The maximum daily ATM withdrawal limit is $500.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
2.00% on balances of $10,000+ or deposit $1+ each calendar month into any Aspiration cash management or investment account
Free to use anywhere worldwide
$0
Get a $100 bonus when you fund a new account with direct deposit. A spend and save combo account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC. The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offering of Aspiration Financial, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Aspiration is not a chartered bank.
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches nationwide
$12/month
(can be waived)
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches.
16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches
$15/month
(can be waived)
If you’re new to Chase, get $200 when you open this account and complete qualifying activities. It boasts convenient features to help small and growing businesses reach their goals.
1.25% on balances of $0+ with $1,000+ in direct deposits, 10 $3+ debit card transactions and 5 additional account transactions per month
Any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
You’ll get fee-free access to over 56,000 ATMs around the world
$0
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
Any ATM nationwide
$0
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I open a Bank Mobile account?

To qualify for this account, you must be a student receiving financial aid at one of Bank Mobile’s partner universities or colleges.

You’ll get a refund selection kit from your school, and from there you can opt to receive your refunds through the BankMobile Vibe account. The kit will walk you through the steps for opening the account and creating a username and password.

Required information

The application will ask for the following information:

  • Personal and contact details
  • School and student ID
  • Social Security number
You’ll also need to provide identifying documents, such as:

  • Your student ID
  • A valid government issued-ID
  • Proof of your physical address

How do I deposit and withdraw my money?

  • Direct deposit. Enroll in direct deposit to send a portion of your paycheck or government benefits straight to your checking account.
  • Wire transfers. Transfer and receive funds from a checking or savings account at another bank.
  • Internal transfers. Move money between Bank Mobile accounts online or on the app.
  • Cash deposits. Reload your card at participating Green Dot retailers — like Walmart — or purchase a money order and mail it to:
    Bank Mobile
    P.O. Box 445
    Phoenixville, PA 19460
  • Checks. Upload mobile checks directly on the app, or mail paper checks to the address above.
  • Cash back with merchant transactions. Some merchants offer cash back at the register for PIN-based debit card purchases. Bank Mobile supports this, and doesn’t charge a fee.
  • ATM withdrawals. Access any ATM in the AllPoint network for free. There’s a $3 fee for using out-of-network ATMs.
  • Teller withdrawals. Go to a Customers Bank branch to withdraw cash. You may be subject to a fee.
  • Western Union Direct to Bank transfer. Use Western Union’s service to receive funds in your Bank Mobile account.

Bottom line

Designed specifically for students, Bank Mobile’s checking account is a seamless way to receive school refunds. It offers cashback rewards and access to fee-free ATMs around the world.

But if you make regular cash deposits, or want to earn interest as your balance grows, compare other checking account options.

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