Mobile-first users and Walmart shoppers benefit the most from this checking account.
Go Bank is a virtual bank that offers simple banking solutions, such as this checking account. Often called the “Walmart account,” it provides cashback rewards at participating stores and access to a string of savings tools. It’s best for those who bank online and use direct deposit — otherwise the fees can add up.
|Monthly fee||$8.95 per month|
|To waive the fee||Sign up for direct deposit and have a monthly payroll or government benefits deposit totaling at least $500|
|ATMs||42,000 ATMs nationwide|
|ATM transaction fee||$0|
|Out-of-network ATM fee||$3|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%|
|Deposit methods||Mobile/remote check deposit|
What are the benefits of a checking account with GoBank?
The checking account is connected to an award-winning app, which allows you to monitor your balance, find nearby ATMs, pay bills, deposit checks and send funds to other GoBank accounts.
Its other benefits include:
- Cashback bonuses. At participating retailers, you’ll get cash back for purchases using your GoBank debit card.
- Wide ATM network.. Use your Mastercard debit card at 42,000 ATMs nationwide for free.
- No credit check. The bank doesn’t run credit checks or use ChexSystems, making it a good choice for those with less-than-perfect credit.
- ASAP Direct Deposit. Sign up for GoBank‘s direct deposit service, and you may receive your paycheck two days early — and your government benefits four days early.
- Saving tools. With the Money Vault feature, you can stash away your savings and move the money back into your checking account if and when you’re ready to make a big purchase. The Fortune Teller tool helps you to avoid overspending by alerting you if a purchase is out of your budget.
- Check-writing privileges. The account comes with check-writing capabilities — but a pack of 12 checks will set you back $5.95.
- Overdraft protection. GoBank blocks any transactions that would cause your account to go into the red. This means no costly overdraft fees.
What should I look out for?
While the Go Bank checking account has its perks, there’s also the fine print:
- No interest. With this checking account, you won’t earn interest on your balance — a feature you can find with some of its competitors.
- Cash deposit fees. You may pay up to $4.95 to deposit cash at certain retailers. Also, cash deposits aren’t available in Vermont.
- Hefty ATM fees. You’ll be charged $3 every time you use an out-of-network ATM, plus any additional fees charged by the ATM company.
- Monthly maintenance fee. There’s a monthly service fee of $8.95, but Go Bank will waive it each month that your direct deposits add up to $500 or more.
- Foreign transaction fees. Jetting off? Every purchase you make internationally with your Go Bank debit card is subject to 3% fee.
- No live chat function. Go Bank offers no live chat option, which is unusual for an online-only bank.
- Downsides of opening an account in-store. If you open an account at a retail store — like Walmart — there’s a $2.95 fee and a minimum opening deposit of $20. You can skirt these by opening the account online.
GoBank‘s ATM network and feesGoBank offers fee-free withdrawals at 42,000 ATMs in retailers across the country. To find one close to you, use the map on the app or website.
You can withdraw up to $500 from ATMs each day.
If you dip your debit card into an out-of-network ATM, GoBank will charge a fee of $3. The ATM operator may charge additional fees.
All foreign transactions are subject to a 3% fee, so if you withdraw cash from an international ATM, factor in that cost.
Compare with other checking accounts
How do I open a GoBank account?
There are two ways to open an account: in-store and online.
You can purchase a “starter kit” at participating Walmart stores. It costs $2.95, and you’ll need to make an initial deposit of $20 to activate the account. The starter kit includes a temporary debit card, which you can start using immediately.
It’s quicker and cheaper to open an account online. Follow these steps:
- Head to the GoBank website.
- On the homepage, click Open an account.
- Enter the requested personal and contact information, including your full name and Social Security number.
- Provide any other requested identifying information and submit your application.
Once your application is approved, you can expect the debit card to arrive in the mail within seven business days.
To sign up for a checking account, you must be:
- At least 18 years old
- A US citizen or resident with a permanent home address
- Able to pay the $20 minimum opening deposit if you’re opening an account in-store
The application will ask for the following information:
- Personal and contact details
- Mailing address
- Social Security number
- A valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
How do I deposit and withdraw my money?
You can move money around in the following ways:
- Direct Deposit. Deposit a portion of your paycheck or government-issued benefits into your checking account. To enroll, log in to your account and navigate to Deposits. Or, text GetDD to 37267 and GoBank will send you a message with your routing and account numbers.
- Checks. Write paper or digital checks, and upload mobile checks you receive to the app. You can’t fund your account with a mobile deposit, so keep that in mind if you want to open an account in-store.
- Cash deposits. You can submit a cash deposit at 100,000 participating retailers across the US, including 7-Eleven, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart stores. This service costs up to $4.95, depending on the store.
- Electronic transfers. Transfer funds from an external bank account to your GoBank checking account via ACH transfer.
- ATM withdrawals. It’s free to use ATMs in GoBank‘s network. Otherwise, you’ll be charged a fee of $3 per transaction.
Bottom lineGoBank‘s checking account has plenty of pros, such as the ability to fast-track direct deposits and budget with the help of its savvy app.
But the fees can quickly stack up if you’re traveling, making cash deposits or channeling less than $500 into your account per month via direct deposit. If you do those things frequently, it’s worth comparing other checking accounts.