Ben Todd | Apr 16, 2017 | 3
Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review
While conducting our Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review, we discovered that Green Dot both created the prepaid debit card industry, and are now the biggest prepaid debit card provider in the US. Having a Green Dot prepaid debit card offers you a little more control over your money, your account comes with a mobile app, and they are handy for people who cannot get a regular bank account. Sadly, Green Dot is so big that they are able to charge a monthly fee for their prepaid cards, and many other companies have followed in their footsteps. In many other countries, you do not have to pay a fee for a prepaid debit card.
Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review – Perks And Downsides
[+] There is no credit checks involved
[+] Just about anybody can get a Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card
[+] They do not add fees onto your account for using Bill Pay
[+] There are no transaction fees on US purchases
[-] Your Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card cannot be used abroad
[-] You cannot pay bills online with your card
[-] The T&Cs state that you cannot give the card as a gift
[-] Any foreign transactions come with an automatic 3% charge
[-] You cannot order a card online or apply online
Why Can’t You Use Your Card Abroad?
You have to remember that your Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card isn’t a bankcard. The account they give you isn’t a bank account. You may be able to use your bankcard abroad, and you may almost certainly use a credit card abroad, but your Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card is restricted to use in the USA.
You Cannot Pay Online Bills With Your Temporary Card
Our Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review found that the company has gone a little over the top when following anti-laundering laws. To make compliance a little easier, they do not allow you to pay bills online with your temporary card. If you wish to pay bills with your Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card, you have to go online and register your card, you also need to give all your details and have them verified. The company will not allow you to pay bills online anonymously through the use of their card.
Why Can’t I Give A Prepaid Card As A Gift?
Some people give prepaid cards as gifts. For example, a parent may give a prepaid card to their student child and reload it with money every month. The lack of income into a bank account makes it more difficult for the student to get a loan or credit. We even wrote an article about giving prepaid cards as gifts.
Your card has limited functionally before it is registered. When it is registered, you can reload your card without having to spend all the money first, and you can pay bills online with your card. Registration is a big user requirement, and you receive a fresh batch of terms and conditions when you register that say you shouldn’t give your Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card as a gift because it is not allowed. It is against Green Dot’s prepaid card account rules.
Another good reason not to give it as a gift if because it comes with a monthly fee that the recipient will be stuck with.
Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review – Biggest Selling Point
The biggest selling point we discovered during our Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review was that anybody can buy and use one of these cards. If you want a free prepaid card, such as the ones you get with Google, PayPal, Bluebird and so forth, then they will not make it difficult. Yet, they will have you jump through one or two hoops to be sure you are not a deviant or money launderer. However, Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card allows anybody to buy a card.
They also allow anybody to register in order to open up all the services the account has to offer. As you will read in the conclusion, I am not a fan of Green Dot prepaid cards, but if your credit rating is terrible and you cannot get a bank account or a free prepaid card elsewhere, then Green Dot may help you. They should be the last company you try, but they will be the last company you try because they will say yes. If there is one good thing to say about them, it is that they will not turn you down when all others have.
Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review – Fees And Charges
$1.95 is how much the card costs to buy
$0.00 reload your card by direct deposit
$7.95 per month if your card is inactive for 90 days
$2.50 for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
$5.00 to replace your card
$4.95 to reload your prepaid card
$7.95 monthly fee
The monthly fee may be waived if you load $1000 into your account every month, but reloading costs $4.95, so you are not saving very much. As with all prepaid cards, a Green Dot prepaid card will not help you build your credit history or credit rating.
Whom Should Take Note Of This Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review?
While researching our Green Dot Prepaid debit card review, we found out that they charge you to buy a prepaid card, you cannot apply for one online, and when you have your account, you also have to pay a monthly fee. What a rip off. Get yourself a free one with no monthly fees. If you cannot get a bank account and you cannot get a free prepaid card, then Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card is the company for you. While writing our Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review, we found that there is no other reason why you should sign up for Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card unless you have been rejected by all the cheaper or free prepaid card companies.
Conclusion – Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review
We have reviewed other prepaid cards that are powered by Green Dot, such as the Walmart prepaid card. Frankly, the Walmart prepaid card was piss poor and this one is not much better. The only thing it offers that other Green Dot cards do not is that you are not charged for purchases. If you use another card that is powered by Green Dot (such as the Walmart card), then you are also expected to pay fees when you buy things. You do not have to pay fees for buying things with this prepaid card.
If you are able to get a bank account and/or a free prepaid card, then do so with another company. If everybody else has turned you down, then we should give Green Dot credit because they will help you out and will let you have an account and prepaid card. Green Dot may not be perfect, but they help give people a second chance (so long as they pay their fees).
Conclusion – Addendum
I am getting a little ticked off with prepaid cards that are powered by Green Dot, and I am saddened to see that you still receive a bum deal if you go directly to Green Dot. Many prepaid debit cards beat the snot out of what Green Dot has to offer.
We recently reviewed the BlueBird prepaid debit card and they blow Green Dot out of the water. KAIKU Visa Prepaid is a fine choice if you are sick of transaction fees. Even American Express Serve is produced by a company that pisses me off, but their prepaid card is almost as amazing as the PayPal and Bluebird one. Google Wallet and PayPal offer great prepaid cards too if you can get them in your state.
It shows a severe lack of journalistic integrity to promote other prepaid debit cards while conducting a review, but people shouldn’t be paying for something they can get free or dramatically cheaper. Green Dot should drop their monthly maintenance fees and give their cards away for free. There are plenty of other ways that a prepaid card company makes money. Green Dot are being greedy when they charge their additional fees.
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Until Green Dot removes their fees, you should go for Google Wallet, PayPal, Bluebird, Kaiku, American Express Serve, AccountNow Prepaid Visa® Card, Western Union, NetSpend MasterCard or NetSpend Visa. Quit letting Green Dot charge you for stuff you can get free.