Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card review

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Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card

Rewards rate

N/A

Annual fee

$0 (Monthly Fee Applies)

Intro offer

N/A

Regular APR

0% (Fixed)

Recommended Credit Score

See Terms 

Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card overview

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card offers the convenience of a debit card, although it comes at a hefty price with fees. But even with the fees, there are several advantages to the Green Dot card that make it worth a second look among prepaid cards. The card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted in the U.S., and other benefits such as direct deposit and a convenient mobile app add to the appeal of this prepaid card.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: N/A
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Annual fee: $7.95 monthly fee
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: N/A

Current sign-up bonus

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa doesn’t currently offer a sign-up bonus or welcome offer.

Benefits

For those interested in a prepaid card, the Green Dot has quite a few benefits, such as ease of use and an upfront fee structure.

Easy to use

One of the best benefits of the Green Dot card is how simple it is to set up. After you get the card at a retailer near you, you can register your card online.

Getting the money off the card is also a simple process. You can use any ATM or teller (although there is a fee involved). To spend your money, use the Green Dot card for purchases anywhere Visa cards are accepted in the U.S.

Direct deposit

The ASAP Direct Deposit™ feature lets you upload a quick picture of your check through the mobile app. Whether it’s your paycheck, tax return or other types of check, you’ll have access to your money immediately upon depositing — and deposits are free, too.

Mobile app

The mobile app allows you to check your Green Dot card balance, review your transactions and go over account details. You can set up alerts from the mobile app to receive texts or emails regarding transactions. This is a good choice for someone who wants to stay on track of their spending.

Easy to reload

You can reload your money easily through a mobile deposit, ACH bank transfer or at locations all across the U.S. Choose from places such as 7-Eleven, CVS or Kroger to quickly reload your money.

Easily accessible customer service

Another benefit is easily accessible customer service. If you have questions, you can call the customer service number or ask a question through a social media page.

The bank associated with the card is the Green Dot Bank, and it’s FDIC insured.

Automatic upgrade

If you buy a new Green Dot card and register it online, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account Visa Debit Card that offers cash back, interest on savings, free in-network ATMs, free reloads in the app and more.

Rates and fees

There are quite a few fees associated with this prepaid card.

  • $1.95 card purchase.
  • $7.95 monthly usage fee (you can avoid this fee if you load at least $1,000 monthly).
  • $5.95 cash reload fee.
  • $3.00 fee per ATM withdrawal.
  • $3.00 teller cash withdrawal fee.
  • $0.50 ATM balance inquiry fee.
  • 3% international transaction fee.

As the Green Dot card is a prepaid card, you can’t overdraft it, which means you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees or bounced check fees. If you do need to write checks against the Green Dot card, you can order a set of 12 for a $5.95 fee. There are also card replacement fees ($5 to $15) if you’ve lost your card and need to replace it.

How the Green Dot Prepaid Visa compares to other prepaid cards

If you’re looking for a prepaid card that has a similar fee structure to the Green Dot card but offers cash back rewards, check out the Blue Netspend Visa Prepaid card or the Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard. Both cards allow you access to a free mobile app, free mobile deposits and live customer service. To take advantage of the cash back rewards program, you have to opt-in, but it gives you a chance to earn on your purchases.

Remember, however, that the Green Dot card is essentially a “starter card” that you can upgrade to the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account Visa Debit Card that also offers cash back and interest on savings.

Best cards to pair the Green Dot Prepaid Visa with

While prepaid cards can be convenient, they don’t report to credit bureaus, so your card usage won’t affect your credit scores. If you want to build your credit, you could add a secured credit card to your portfolio.

This type of credit card is secured by a deposit that becomes the collateral for the card. Since such credit cards generally have lower credit score requirements, they can be a great way to rebuild your credit and would pair well with a prepaid card like the Green Dot.

Two great secured cards worth looking into are the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card or the Discover it® Secured. Both charge no annual fees.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Green Dot Prepaid Visa worth it?

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa can be a good choice for those with bad credit or no credit. Additionally, it’s a smart option for those who need to keep their spending under control as it doesn’t allow overdrafts. It could also be a smart choice for teenagers who are beginning to learn how to handle money.

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa would not be a good choice for cardholders who need to use ATM withdrawals on a regular basis or travel outside the U.S. frequently. The various fees for ATM usage, foreign transactions and reloading can add up quickly.