- Green Dot Unlimited Card Review
- What Made Me Change My Mind
- Green Dot Unlimited Sign up Process
- Green Dot Unlimited Pros & Cons
- Final Thought
Green Dot is a giant prepaid card provider and innovator. From having one of the most popular prepaid cards on the market, to creating services such as Reload @ the Register and MoneyPak , it's pretty hard not to have heard of the company. Green Dot corporation is also known for acquiring other prepaid card companies as well, such as Account Now & AchieveCard, Ready Debit and Rush Card. On the other hand, Green Dot has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to cardholders experience and handling customer complaints.
As of recent Green Dot has been aggressively pushing it's Green Dot Unlimited card (especially during the 2020 pandemic). There have been a surge of users using mobile banking services since the Covid-19 outbreak and popularity of Chime and other challenger banks emerging, it's understandable why Green Dot is aggressively pushing the Green Dot Unlimited card. Below we dig deep into the card and give our honest and complete review.
Green Dot Unlimited Debit Card
My previous experience using Green Dot reloadable card was so-so. Green Dot's reloadable card is fee heavy and I've had several issues with their delayed 2-step authentication, moving money from my savings account into my balance and transactions being declined for no reason. Ontop of my personal experience with Green Dot's reloadable card, it appears many other cardholders were dissatisfied as well. For these reasons I did not immediately jump to give the debit card a try, but eventually I gave in.
What is Green Dot Unlimited Card?
Green Dot Unlimited card is a debit card created by Green Dot Corporation that offers a rich 2% cashback rewards and a 2% APY savings account. Green Dot Unlimited is a member of the FDIC and Green Dot's newest debit card and mobile bank account. There is a $0 minimum deposit required to open a Green Dot Unlimited account and there is no overdraft fees.
Green Dot Unlimited sign up process in the beginning, very simple and straightforward. However, when it came to creating a user account I hit a roadblock with the password. The username and password has to pass a set of criteria. I attempted to created a complex password with numbers, letters and characters but it wouldn't pass Green Dot's test. So I had to choose a password containing just letters and numbers and less complex, making it more vulnerable to being hacked than the previous password I wanted to create. I find this to be an issue because these types of passwords are often hacked.
- ASAP Direct Deposit - This is nothing more than the ability to direct deposit money into your card and get your paycheck faster which is a standard feature in this day and age. A company that doesn't offer this is at a grave disadvantage.
- 2% APY on Savings - The 2% APY interest on the users saving account is definitely a pro. It's an interest rate that is higher than most banks but comparable to that of Chime which offers 1% APY. This 2% APY only covers the $10,000 however. Here's the problem I have with this, back in 2019 when this Unlimited card officially launched, Green Dot was offering a 3% APY and now it's 2% a year later. Who knows, another year it may go down to 1%. In fact Green Dot stated clearly "Interest is paid on each anniversary. 2% APY as of 6/2/20, may change anytime." It's a very bait and switch method in my opinion and brings back some of the negative feelings I have with the company.
- Monthly Fee - Green Dot Unlimited charges a $7.95 monthly fee. Cardholders can get the near $8 fee waived if they spend $1,000. Initially this was the biggest drawback and made me decided not to sign up. However, I sat and thought about it. I currently use my Green Dot reloadable card to pay $1,200 rent, so this wouldn't be an issue for me. I'm likely to get this monthly fee waived. It is important to point out that if you are paying bills using your checking account as a ACH transfer payment, this will not be counted towards you spending $1,000. I would strongly suggest paying for bills and other items like you would with normal transactions without ACH transfer.
- 2% CashBack - Any percentage amount of cash back is a pro because not all prepaid or debit cards offer it. I will have to mention again though, back in 2019 when Green Dot Unlimited launched they were offering 3% cashback now it's 2%. We can't be sure that this number won't change in the future. So although it's still a pro, we have to watch out for the bait and switch.
Where to Get a Green Dot Unlimited Card?
You can sign up for a Green Dot Unlimited Card at the Green Dot official website or simply click the "APPLY NOW!" button at the top of this page which will redirect you to the Green Dot website. Once you are on the website click on "OPEN AN ACCOUNT" button. Fill out the registration form and wait for your Green Dot Unlimited debit card to arrive in the mail between 5-7 business days. Once you receive your card don't forget to activate it. We show you how to activate your card below.
How to Activate Green Dot Unlimited Card?
To activate your Green Dot Unlimited card visit Green Dot official website. On the homepage you should see the text "Already have a card?". Below the text you should see a link to either Register or Activate now. Click on the Activate now link. You will be redirected to a secured form on the Green Dot website that looks like this:
Enter your 16 digit Green Dot Unlimited card number, the expiration date and the 3 digit CVC number located on the back of your card.
Green Dot Unlimited Fees
Green Dot Unlimited fees are pretty similar to the Green Dot Reloadable card. The fee that scares most people from this card is the $7.95 monthly fee that can be waived if you spend $1,000 or more. In our Final Thoughts we share why this fee structure is really not an issue if you really think about it. Green Dot Unlimited also charges $3.00 ATM withdrawal fee for ATM outside of the network ontop of whatever fees the ATM company charges.
Green Dot website states that deposits are free with the Green Dot app but its really for ACH bank transfer, Direct Deposits and Card-to-Card transfer. If you want to reload your card at the register there's a $4.95 fee and if you choose to reload your card with a MoneyPak there is a $5.95 fee. These additional fees are required every time you reload your card.
Is Green Dot Unlimited a Prepaid Card?
Green Dot Unlimited card is not a prepaid card, it's a debit card. However, it's similar to the Green Dot Reloadable Card (a prepaid card) with similar fees and even the login and your account dashboard is exactly the same. Both uses Green Dot Bank which has no physical locations or branches.
What Bank Does Green Dot Unlimited Use?
Green Dot Unlimited card is issued by Green Dot Bank which also operates as GoBank and Bonneville Bank. Green Dot Bank has no physical locations or branches it is strictly a digital/mobile bank (photo above is of Green dot headquarters no a branch location). Green Dot Bank is also a Member of the FDIC.
Can You Overdraft Green Dot Unlimited Card?
No, cardholders cannot overdraft on the Green Dot unlimited card and neither are there overdraft fees. There have been situations that occurred where a cardholder made a purchase and did not have have the full amount to buy the item but the transaction still went through. In situations like these the amount you owe will show up as a negative in your balance and it's usually just a few dollars. For most users who attempt to purchase an item that they cannot fully pay for the transaction will be declined.
How to Cancel/Close Green Dot Unlimited Card?
To cancel/close your Green Dot Unlimited Card spend all of the funds in your balance. You can choose not to spend the funds in your balance and have your balanced mailed to you in the form of a check. There is a series of buttons you have to click that will ultimately lead you to a green screen that shows you how to cancel your card. To save you some time we've taken a screen shot of Green Dot's solution to close your Green Dot card. In short, spend your remaining balance and stop using the card will close your account.
You should make your new Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank your primary bank account if you want the full benefits of this card. If you are using the card to pay for bills such as rent, car insurance, gas, phone bill, groceries etc and your total spending is over $1,000 you can get the $7.95 monthly fee waived.
This is totally possible for most young adults and people older because the bills we pay are typically over $1,000 per month. The 2% APY savings account does make this card one of the richest debit card of its kind, however, it is concerning that the percentage has dropped from 5% APY to 3% and now to 2%. The APY has been steadily declining and we believe it may go down to ultimately 1%.