GoBank Review


Written by John Csiszar | Published on 9/20/2019

GoBank is a bank brand of Green Dot Bank, an FDIC-member bank that issues the GoBank debit cards and also operates under the name Bonneville Bank. While GoBank does provide basic banking services that all customers need, in many ways, it’s a bank of last resort.

GoBank doesn’t run a credit check or use ChexSystems when customers apply for new accounts, meaning those with a spotty financial history may be able to open an account here — and for this type of customer, the bank may be a good option. However, for most customers, GoBank simply can’t compete in the online banking space. GoBank accounts have fees that may be hard for some to avoid, and none of its accounts pay any interest. This one-two punch makes the bank a second-tier option if you have a clean financial history.

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GoBank account features

GoBank provides a wide range of basic banking services that can prove valuable if you can maneuver your way around the bank’s fees. In addition to its checking account, which offers standard features such as bill pay and ATM access, GoBank has a separate savings account known as the Money Vault. This savings account is merely a placeholder account to segregate funds, however, as it doesn’t pay any interest, just like the checking account.

Some of the bank’s features, such as its Budget and Fortune Teller tools, are only available on the app.

GoBank checking account features

Direct deposit. Direct deposit provides access to your funds up to two days before payday or up to four days before your government benefits are paid. Any month you receive a direct deposit of at least $500, your $8.95 monthly fee is waived.

Cash deposits. You can deposit up to $2,500 per day, or $3,000 every 30 days, at more than 100,000 participating retailers nationwide. Fees at stores such as 7-Eleven, CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid can be up to $4.95. Cash deposits made at Walmart are free of charge.

APY. None.

Debit card access. GoBank accounts come with a free debit card and fee-free access to in-network ATMs nationwide. Out-of-network ATMs incur a $3 surcharge. ATM withdrawals are limited to $500 per day.

Spending rewards and limits. Card purchases are limited to $5,000 per calendar day; ATM withdrawals are limited to $500 in a single day.

Overdraft fees. None.

Paper checks. You can get personalized checks in two weeks for a $5.95 fee.

Free features. The bank offers budgeting assistance and a “Fortune Teller” tool to help prevent customers from overspending.

FDIC insurance. Yes, up to $250,000.

GoBank budgeting features

GoBank offers a budgeting feature that is mostly customer-driven. The interactive tool asks you to input your expected expenses across a variety of categories, such as rent, cable, car insurance and so on. At the end of the month, you can compare your budget estimates with your actual spending. You can set up alerts through the tool to notify you of upcoming expenses or income. The whimsical “Fortune Teller” feature makes projections based on the income and expense figures in your budget.

GoBank has an online checkbook feature that allows you to pay bills for free online. You can even have the bank send out a free paper check, if necessary. Money transfers to other GoBank customers are free and instantaneous. For other recipients, you can send between $20 and $500 in cash via MoneyPak for a flat $5.95 fee.

GoBank fees and fine print

In the era of free online bank accounts, GoBank’s $8.95 monthly fee is high. However, this fee can be avoided with a monthly $500 direct deposit. The lack of overdraft fees is likely important to the target audience for this card, and the fee-free ATM network is welcome, although out-of-network fees are not reimbursed. Additionally, if you sign up by purchasing a GoBank package at a retail store, you’ll pay a $2.95 fee, though you can also sign up for free online.

GoBank Fees
GoBank package fee* $2.95 or less
Monthly membership fee $8.95. Waived in any monthly statement cycle in which your account receives payroll or government direct deposits totaling at least $500.
Cash deposit fee $0 at Walmart. Other retailers may charge a fee up to $4.95.
In-network ATM $0
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal** $3
Teller cash withdrawal fee $3
Foreign transaction fee*** 3% of total transaction amount
Paper check fee $5.95 for pack of 12 checks
Replacement card fee (for lost, stolen or damaged card) $5

* This fee is not applicable if you sign up online without a GoBank package.

** The non-network ATM operator may also levy its own fee, and you may be charged a fee for a balance inquiry even if you do not complete a fund transfer.

*** This fee is in addition to any other fees that may apply to your transaction.

Using the GoBank mobile app

GoBank feels like it’s designed for a mobile experience, as the app allows customers to manage all aspects of their banking experience. The home page has an innovative “Slide for Balance” key where customers can check their balance without having to log in.

Once past the log-in screen, you can use the app to check your account transactions, send money to other GoBank customers and search for ATMs.

If you’re looking to deposit money into your account, the GoBank app allows you to set up direct deposit or make a mobile check deposit. Mobile deposits are limited to $500 per personal check. The daily limit is $1,000 per day for personal checks. The per-check and daily limits for government and commercial checks are $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.

The Budgeting and Fortune Teller feature at GoBank can only be accessed via the app. You can use it to set a budget, using your actual income and expenses, and to set spending and saving goals. Once you’ve set up your budget, you can engage the Fortune Teller tool, which will “tell your future” and let you know whether or not you can afford a certain purchase. Obviously, this isn’t a real-life prediction tool, but it does give you advice as to whether you’re overspending or not based on the budgeting goals you have entered yourself.

The app is also the only place where you can move money into and out of the Money Vault, which is a place to stash money at no charge.

Overall, the app provides good functionality and offers all of the basic account services you might expect.

Opening an GoBank account

You can open a GoBank account either online or by purchasing a GoBank starter kit at a merchant and completing the process online. You can also open an account after downloading the Android or iOS app.You’ll need to provide identifying information such as your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number. You may also need to provide supplemental information such as your driver’s license.

If you purchase a GoBank starter kit at a retail store, you must make your initial deposit of between $20 and $500 when you buy the package. If you open your account online, you can fund it with a direct deposit or a cash deposit at a Walmart store or another participating retailer.

Overall review of GoBank

GoBank is a good option for customers that can’t pass a ChexSystems review that is required by many banks. The account has no overdraft fees, and with an appropriate direct deposit, there are no monthly maintenance fees. A vast, fee-free ATM network makes access to cash easy, and the mobile app comes with features like mobile check deposit and budgeting tools. All in all, the GoBank account does a good job providing basic banking services, especially for an underserved population.

In a competitive financial services world, however, GoBank doesn’t match up with the best available accounts for most customers. Many online banks have no monthly fees and pay a high APY on their savings, in addition to providing the free bill pay, money transfer and fee-free ATMs that GoBank does. Some banks even reimburse out-of-network ATM fees and offer commission-free stock trading.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of competitor accounts with lower fees that pay higher interest rates. However, for customers that may have difficulty passing a credit check or a ChexSystems review, GoBank can be a solid choice.

Previous Comments
Stephanie Smith
  |     |   Comment #1
I have had a gobank card now since 2017. My personalized card stopped working at Point of Sales and ATM so I ordered a new one on November 13th 2019. My paycheck direct deposits to this account. When I ordered a new one account features like send money or the ability to send Western Union for disabled. They're advertised this is a checking account but it's actually just a glorified debit card because ACH transfers are not allowed and the feature that they still advertise under the terms and conditions or you can send to PayPal is no longer available as of November 13th well, imagine that. I've had four paychecks direct deposited now I have sent them 25 emails and called numerous times. The day before Thanksgiving I called crying and beg them to please help me figure out a way to get some money from my account and one of their customer service supervisors offered to have my card sent expedited delivery. I did not want to do this since it is already been 2 weeks, but the Friday after Thanksgiving I called back because my card still hadn't came. I was then informed by a supervisor from customer service that my card has been cancelled but not ordered. Today is Thursday December 5th my personalized card has still not came. I have absolutely no cash, I also have children, and we have no food, no gas to even make it to work to earn more money, and go bank is not offering me any solutions. Do not bank with them. This is the worst experience I have ever had and the fact that no one there is able to offer me a remedy or even another number to call to ask for help is absolutely ridiculous. I feel like my money is being held hostage when I know that a bank has the capability of sending the money to me some way somehow.
  |     |   Comment #2
I've had an account with GoBank since 2016. I have a positive balance of $1752.42 in which I cannot gain access to. On 7/24/21, I found out that my account was closed after I got declined for a food purchase through Uber Eats. I logged on to my account which stated “Your account has been closed. You can view your past transactions at GoBank.com” and showed an available balance of $63.54 which I had “stashed” away in the vault (an in-app savings). This came without any notice or warning. I called customer service that same day and explained my situation because I knew I had way more funds than the account was showing. At that time, I did not know my exact balance, but I knew it was more than $1500.00 dollars. They kept telling me that all they saw was the $63.54. I was adamant in the fact that it should be more, so they transferred me to another agent. I explained my situation again but still got nowhere on the amount. All she did was go through my transactions and randomly picked out ones to ask if I authorized those purchases, in which all the one she chose were legitimate purchases. After getting nowhere the agent said that all she knows is that there was fraudulent activity on my account and to find out more details I would have to send a picture of my ID to [email protected] along with an assigned case number that they gave me. I sent the email that same day and waited for them to respond as instructed. In the meantime, I screenshot all the transactions from my current statement period and downloaded every statement I received for this entire year. I did all the calculations for all deposits and debited transactions and saw that my available balance should have been $1688.88 plus the $63.54 that was in the vault totaling $1752.42. I called again on 07/26/2021 to inform them of the amount that should be in the account. I went through the same questioning as before and after getting transferred multiple times they told me that my case number had been closed because they could not read my ID because the picture was too blurry. At this time, I’m thinking no one responded or sent an email stating that I needed to send another picture (plus the picture I sent was legible), they just automatically closed the case number. So, I expressed this thought to the customer service rep., and he apologized. He said that before he could help me, they must verify my identification. He assigned another case number and told me to send the picture of my ID again along with a “selfie” holding the ID next to my face. So once again I sent an email as instructed with my ID (front & back) and a “selfie” and waited two more days. I continued to check my account online as I waited and on 07/29/2021 my account showed the correct balance of $1752.42 which made me hopeful that they corrected the problem. But I still did not receive a response. I called and explained my situation again and gave them my case number. They told me that the new case number that was given to me was not linked to my blocked account issue. He tried to give me another case number to start the process again, but by this time my faith in their process had been lost. I told him that this is the new number that they gave me on Monday, and I wanted someone to investigate it further, so he transferred me to a woman. After explaining to her my situation, once again, she was able to see that both cases were indeed assigned to me but told me my account was deeply locked. I am very upset by this point and wanted to know exactly why my account had been closed. All she could tell me was that it was a fraudulent ACH transaction but did not tell me which transaction it was. I told her that I went through all the transactions that were posted prior to my account being closed and there were none that were fraudulent. After going back and forth with her, her response to me was that I if I wanted my money, I needed to have the last deposit in my account disputed by the sender and for them to request it to be returned. I told her that last deposit was made by me through my Cash app of $2462.50 which was given to me to pay household bills from my husband because I’m the one who makes the payments which are all linked to my GoBank account. Plus, there is no longer $2462.50 in my account to return because I had already paid some monthly bills with it. I also told her that majority of the money is for my rent. She stated there is nothing that she could do for me. I told her that I would get legal help and disconnected the call.
On 08/02/2021, I filed a complaint on Better Business Bureau website against GoBank (Green Dot Corp) and today, 08/10/2021, I received a call from Green Dot in response from the BBB complaint. But they are giving me the run around once again. The gentleman I was speaking to had a strong accent and I was not able understand his name or most of what he was saying. But what I did understand was that he said that I need the sender of my last deposit needs to request the money to be refunded. I once again told him that I sent the money into my account from my Cash App. He then put me on hold came back on the line and stated I needed to send a written request, requesting my funds to P.O. Box 5100, Pasadena, California, 91117. He did not tell me who to address it to only that I should get an update by mail on the investigation in 2 or 3 weeks. He was being very vague when I tried to get more specifics, he just kept saying the exact thing over and over as if he was reading from a script. I have concluded that they are stringing me along in hopes that I will give up. This is wrong. This company is threatening my living situation in which I could be homeless because this money is not replaceable. They are stealing my money and are leaving me with the stress and worry on how to pay my bills for the next month without a good explanation of why. I feel violated, hopeless, and lost due to this company’s practices. I have been a customer of theirs since 2016 and this is how they treat their loyal customers. I’m not their only victim, there are countless reviews online of people in my same situation. This should be illegal, and I need help.

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