Advertised as the “ultimate mobile bank account,” GO2bank offers several features and benefits you won’t find with traditional banks.
Most notably, a GO2bank mobile banking account allows you to build your credit with a secured credit card, receive direct deposits up to two days early, (four days for government benefits), and qualify for overdraft protection up to $200. The account has no minimum balance requirements, either. You can open an account with no credit check or ChexSystems.
For individuals looking to build their credit, who may not have a long credit history or any credit cards, GO2bank links with Experian Boost. Experian Boost offers an alternate credit model that can help people with no credit history to raise their FICO score.
What is GO2bank?
GO2bank is the mobile banking division of Green Dot Bank, a financial technology company and bank holding company “focused on making modern banking and money movement accessible to all,” according to the GO2bank website. Headquartered in Pasadena, California, Green Dot Bank has a 22-year history and has served 33 million customers and counting.
Green Dot Bank launched GO2bank as a low-cost option for the unbanked and underbanked in the U.S. With a low, $5 monthly fee, that is easily waived with an eligible direct deposit in the previous monthly statement period, GO2bank makes it easy to save money, earn interest, pay bills, cash checks, and more.
Funds in GO2bank are FDIC insured up to the maximum limit of $250,000 per account holder and are not held by a third party. This is important today, as many people are concerned about holding their money in a bank that could collapse. FDIC insurance protects your hard-earned money at traditional and online banks.
Let’s learn more about exactly how this Green Dot Bank’s GO2bank product works in our comprehensive GO2bank review.
An online only bank, GO2bank offers all the features you’d expect from a traditional bank account, like a debit card linked bank account, direct deposit, and a mobile app.
It also offers features such as an overdraft protection program, cash back on eGift cards, and more.
Cash Back And Interest Earnings
Before you open your GO2bank account, you may be wondering about cash back and interest. It’s not always easy to find high interest rates in banks with no monthly fee and no minimum deposit requirements.
Mobile banking solutions often offer higher interest rates than traditional banks, and that’s what we’ve found with our GO2bank review. You can earn 4.50% interest, paid quarterly, on balances up to $5,000 with your GO2bank savings account, as long as your account is in good standing.
Your GO2bank checking account can earn up to 7% instant cash back on eGift card purchases when you buy through the mobile banking app. GO2bank offers eGift cards from more than 100 popular merchants.
Refer a Friend
It’s worth mentioning that you can also earn $50 free, up to $1,500 per year, when you refer a friend to GO2bank. Your friend will also earn a $50 bonus when they open their account and set up an eligible direct deposit. That makes opening a GO2bank account an easy sell and a smart choice for you and your friends seeking a mobile banking solution.
Key Features of GO2bank – Checking Account Features
GO2bank has many of the features you’d expect in an online bank, along with a few perks that you don’t see in every bank. Let’s explore them, one by one, so you’ll know what to expect for your money – and even how to waive that pesky $5 monthly fee.
Mobile Banking with Overdraft Protection
Not all banks offer overdraft protection. GO2bank will cover your purchases, debit card transactions, and online bill payments up to $200, even if it causes a negative balance in your account.
Be aware that using overdraft protection could lead to fees of up to $15 per transaction for every purchase that brings your account negative. You’ll have 24 hours from the authorization of the first overdraft transaction to bring your account balance back to $0 to avoid the overdraft fee.
You will need to opt in to have your overdrafts paid, however, so you don’t have to worry about getting caught unaware by overdraft protection fees.
Earning Cash Back on Select Transactions
GO2bank also offers an opportunity to earn cash back on select transactions. Namely, you’ll earn 7% cash back when you use your chip enabled debit card to purchase eGift cards through the mobile app.
Note that eGift card merchants subject to change, but may include as many as 100 popular retailers and e-commerce sites.
Early Paycheck Access
More banks today offer early direct deposit as soon as two days faster than your ACH credit would normally hit your account. GO2bank offers this service for free.
Plus, many of the features advertised by GO2bank are only available with direct deposit, including overdraft protection up to $200, waived monthly fees, and the chance to apply for a GO2bank Secured Visa Credit Card without a credit check.
$50,000 Tax Refund Sweepstakes
If you opt to set up direct deposit of your tax refund into your GO2bank checking account, you will be entered to win $500. GO2bank will choose 100 lucky winners who set up a direct deposit of their tax refund by either March 31, 2023, or April 30, 2023. The funds must be deposited into your account by April 7, 2023, or May 8, 2023, respectively, to qualify for the drawing and cash prize.
GO2bank has already drawn 50 of the 100 winners who entered in January and February. Twenty-five additional $100 winners will be selected on April 12, 2003, and 25 more will be chosen on May 11, 2023.
Plus, when you sign up for direct deposit of your federal tax refund, you could receive your money up to five days early. You should be aware that if you set up your GO2bank account at a tax professional’s office, early direct deposit will not apply. Also, make sure your name and Social Security number on file with GO2bank match the information on your IRS account to prevent delays or fraud restrictions.
Government Benefits Direct Deposit
In addition to receiving your paycheck and tax refunds direct deposit funds early, you can also receive your government benefits direct deposits up to four days early. That means you can receive Social Security direct deposits or SSDI direct deposits up to four days earlier than usual, making it easier to stay ahead on bills and manage your money.
Bill Pay Capabilities
Most bank accounts today offer bill pay capabilities, and GO2bank is no different in that regard. The ability to pay bills through your bank is one of the advantages of having a bank account that millions of unbanked Americans can’t enjoy.
You can pay bills using your debit card or directly from your checking account by entering your routing number, account number, and other necessary information with the merchant or vendor.
Experian Credit Care Advantage
If you use your GO2bank checking account, you’ll also have the opportunity to boost your FICO score on your Experian credit report through Experian Boost.
First, set up a free Experian account through the GO2bank dashboard by clicking Experian Credit Care Advantage. When you pay your bills through your online account, your FICO Score 8 could receive a boost. Customers saw an increase of an average of 19 points.
Experian Boost evaluates your account for a history of on-time payments to:
- video streaming services
- mobile and landline phone companies
- internet service
- trash collection and more.
Experian uses these on-time payments as an additional factor to re-calculate your FICO score. If you have no credit history or a history of late credit card payments, Experian Boost can help improve your score with no risk to you. Late bill payments won’t reduce your score, but on-time payments could help to increase it.
GO2bank offers state-of-the-art fraud protection that rivals larger banks like Chase. First, you’ll receive a chip enabled debit card that offers more secure transactions at the point-of-sale.
You can use the mobile app to easily lock your debt card to prevent debit card purchases if you’ve temporarily misplaced your card. That way, you don’t have to pay a card replacement fee if you find your card again. Simply unlock the card by using the app and you’re back in business.
GO2bank will send you fraud alerts if there seems to be unusual activity on your card, such as out-of-state debit card purchases or unusually large transactions.
GO2bank Savings Account
GO2bank offers a linked savings account that pays a 4.50% APY, which the bank says is 10 times the current national average. The account is included with your $5 monthly fee, which, of course, can be waived when you receive eligible direct deposits monthly.
Earning Interest on Eligible Savings Balances
You can earn interest on up to $5,000 of your balance, with interest paid quarterly. This is 10 times higher than the national average, and also higher than most online accounts we explored.
Compare earnings with GO2bank vs. traditional savings account
Traditional savings accounts currently pay 0.45% APY or less, which is the national average, according to GO2bank. An online savings account, however, tends to pay more. Let’s look at some popular bank accounts to compare GO2bank with traditional savings accounts as well as other online accounts.
- Chase Total Savings: 0.01% APY on all balances
- SoFi account online: 4.50% APY on all savings balances (with eligible direct deposit)
- Capital One 360 Performance Savings: 4.30% APY
- UFB Direct Preferred Savings (backed by Axos Bank): 5.06% APY on up to $10,000
- Ally Bank High Yield Savings: 4.25% APY
As you can see, few online banks pay higher yields than GO2bank checking account. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a traditional bank with higher interest rates. However, most bank pay interest monthly, rather than quarterly like GO2bank.
If you plan to hold more than $5,000 in savings, you might consider SoFi to earn 4% on your entire balance.
But considering that GO2bank is designed with the underbanked in mind and individuals just starting to build a solid financial future, you may open an account at another bank before you accrue $5,000 in your GO2bank savings account, anyway.
GO2bank Secured Credit Card
In addition to its checking account and savings account, GO2bank offers a secured credit card through Green Dot. You can qualify with no credit check, but a security deposit will be required to open the account. You can start with a credit limit as small as $100 and begin to build your credit.
To open your account, you’ll need to receive eligible direct deposits of at least $100 in the past 30 days. Then, apply for the card online or within the mobile app. Once you activate the card, transfer at least $100 from your GO2bank checking to your credit card as your security deposit.
Be aware that, although the card has no annual fee, it does have a 22.99% APR for purchases and 26.99% for cash advances, plus a transaction fee of $10 or 5% of the cash advance, whichever is greater. There is also a 3% foreign transaction fee if you opt to use your credit card overseas. If you make a late payment, expect a $39 fee.
Benefits and Perks
The GO2bank Secured credit card has no annual fee, requires no credit check, and allows you to make purchases in stores and online. As you build your credit, you may qualify for lower interest credit cards and even rewards cards that carry more perks and benefits.
Once you begin making purchases with your card and on-time payments, you can start building your credit and increasing your FICO score. Try to keep your credit utilization below 50% of your credit limit. GO2bank reports your on-time payments and your credit utilization to all three credit bureaus.
In addition to a monthly service fee of $5, which is easily waived with a qualifying direct deposit in the previous monthly statement period, you might pay other monthly fees for certain services as a GO2bank customer. Fees are clearly disclosed on the website and include:
- Cash deposit fee: up to $4.95 retail service fee
- Transfer money from a linked debit card: 3% of the transfer, with a minimum of $2
- Out-of-network withdrawals: $3 transaction fee
There are no fees for when you make a network ATM withdrawal or deposit cash at an in-network ATM.
GO2bank Pros and Cons
GO2bank offers many benefits for individuals looking for a primary deposit account with low monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and overdraft protection. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of an account.
- Earn 4.50% APY quarterly on balances up to $5,000
- Easily waive monthly maintenance fees with a qualifying direct deposit
- Earn cash back on eGift card purchases
- Overdraft fees may apply
- Cash deposits may incur fees
- Monthly maintenance fees apply without direct deposit
How does GO2bank compare?
Let’s see how GO2bank compares to another popular bank, CIT Bank.
CIT Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank, has no monthly service fee, and a linked savings with 4.85% APY. However, you’ll need a $100 opening deposit to take advantage of a CIT Bank Savings Connect Account.
How to open a GO2bank account
You can open a GO2bank account easily online with no minimum deposit. If you prefer to open your account at a retail store, you’ll pay a $2.95 transaction fee. A $20 to $500 minimum opening deposit will be required.
Making Deposits to Your GO2bank Account
You can make cash deposits to your online account at retail stores, but you’ll pay a $4.95 fee. You can deposit a paper check using the app. This service is free if you can wait for 10 days to receive the funds. Otherwise, you can pay 1% to 5% to receive the money in minutes.
How to Withdraw Money from a GO2bank account
Withdraw money at any ATM or transfer funds to a linked bank account for free.
Read what people are asking about GO2bank.
Is my money safe?
Your money is protected up to $250,000 per account holder at GO2bank. You can review your deposit account agreement for your information.
Is GO2bank an FDIC insured bank?
Yes, GO2bank is an FDIC insured bank.
Is GO2bank a credit card?
GO2bank offers a savings account, a checking account, and a secured credit card.