Green Dot Prepaid Card review
Early direct deposit is a strong draw, but fees may outweigh it.
- Get this card if you want to take advantage of direct deposit and mobile account access.
- Choose another card if you make a lot of cash deposits or ATM withdrawals.
Monthly maintenance fee
Rhys Subitch is the loans editor at Finder, guiding Americans toward smart borrowing decisions. With over half a decade of experience researching, editing and writing for a Fortune 500 company, university and several independent publications, Rhys brings readers the most up-to-date and curated info in the lending sphere. They make frequent appearances on Finder's YouTube channel to talk through loan topics that range from the very basics to the latest government assistance programs. Before specializing in lending, Rhys was a personal finance writer for Finder’s credit cards, insurance, banking and mortgage verticals. They hold a BA in sociology and a certificate in editing from the University of Washington, Seattle.
If you’re looking for a straightforward prepaid card that supports early direct deposits, the Green Dot Prepaid Card is an ideal choice. It has a waivable monthly fee and the option to receive extra benefits as a VIP member. But you can’t apply for this card online. The only way you can find it is in-store at a participating retailer.
As with most prepaid cards, you’ll want to be cautious of the various account-related fees. They can add up quickly if you’re not aware of how to avoid them.
How much does Green Dot Prepaid Card cost?
The Green Dot Prepaid Card has a $10,000 maximum balance limit, a $3,000 daily spending limit and a $400 daily ATM withdrawal limit — all of which are onpar with other prepaid cards. Its website states the following fees, but more charges may apply based on how you use the card.
|Cash deposit with a retail partner||$5.95|
|ATM balance inquiry||$0.50|
|Pack of 12 paper checks||$5.95|
|Card replacement, regular delivery||$5|
|Card replacement, expedited delivery||$15|
If you want a prepaid debit card with minimal to no fees, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when choosing a prepaid debit card.
How do I open a Green Dot Prepaid Card account?
The Green Dot Prepaid Card is only available at retail-partner locations, so you won’t be able to order it online. To find the location closest to you, follow these steps:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- From the Green Dot website, click Other products, then Prepaid card.
- Scroll down to the Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card and click Learn More.
- Select Find Location.
- Enter your location or enable location finder.
- To register your Green Dot Prepaid Card you must be:
- At least 18 years old.
- Have a Social Security number.
Have the following ready before you register your card online:
- Full name, residential address and mobile phone number
- Date of birth and Social Security number
- Possibly a state or federal ID, such as a driver’s license or passport
What you’ll like about the Green Dot prepaid card
Green Dot offers prepaid Visa and Mastercard options that you can manage easily on the go. You’ll have access to its mobile app where you can transfer money and deposit checks, in addition to the following features:
- Avoidable monthly fee. Green Dot waives the monthly fee when you load at least $1,000 on your card the previous month.
- Early direct deposit. You could receive your paycheck up to two days early when you sign up for direct deposit with this card.
- No overdraft fees. You’re protected from overdraft fees, but you’re still responsible for any negative balances you incur. The monthly maintenance fee applies even if you’re at or under a zero balance.
- No credit check. Green Dot won’t run a credit check, so you can rest assured that your score won’t take a hit when you register your card.
- Checks available. You can order checks for a fee.
- VIP benefits. For an additional fee, you can join Green Dot’s VIP program and receive additional benefits — including ATM-fee waivers, priority customer service and expedited card replacement.
What to watch out for
While the Green Dot prepaid card has some enticing benefits, it’s less than perfect. Make sure you consider these drawbacks:
- Not available for purchase online. You’ll have to go to a local retailer to purchase the card.
- Monthly maintenance fee. Every month you don’t make $1,000 in deposits, your account is subject to a $7.95 maintenance fee.
- Regular fees can eat into your hard-earned cash. Withdrawals by ATM or teller, cash deposits and checking your balance at an ATM will all cost you.
- Withdrawal limits. You’re limited to $500 daily in withdrawals.
- Not travel-friendly. Each international purchase comes with a foreign transaction fee equal to 3% of the transaction.
Compare with other prepaid cards
You can load your Green Dot prepaid card in several ways, including:
- Moneypak. Use Moneypak to load between $20 and $500 for a flat $5.95 fee.
- Direct deposit. Sign up for direct deposit to your prepaid card for free.
- Check. Deposit checks using the mobile app. Fees may apply.
- Cash. Deposit cash at a retail partner for a fee.
- Bank transfer. Transfer money directly from your bank for free.
I got the Green Dot prepaid card. Now what?
Get the most out of your Green Dot Prepaid Card by taking advantage of all its features.
- Register the card online. Go to the Green Dot website and register your card and access additional features, including access to the mobile app.
- Meet the monthly fee waiver minimum. Deposit at least $1,000 each month to avoid paying the monthly service fee.
- Sign up for direct deposit. If you plan on using direct deposit, you can get your account information quickly from the Green Dot website once you create your online account.
- Contact customer service. Any account-related questions can be addressed by calling the number on the back of your card or 866-795-7597. You can also send Green Dot a message over Twitter @greendotcards.