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AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card Review


Written by Brynne Conroy | Published on 6/18/2019

It’s no secret that prepaid debit cards tend to charge more than a few fees. And some cards carry more fees than others. Unfortunately, the AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa debit card charges relatively high fees for to use almost any feature of the card.

Two positives on fees: there is no activation fee, and direct deposits are free. However, there is an unavoidable and relatively high $9.95 monthly maintenance fee, an unavoidable $3.00 ATM fee per withdrawal, and even fees for outgoing ACH payments.

AccountNow offers 5% cashback rewards. However, a very low annual rewards cap of $100 makes this rewards program little more than just a way to offset your maintenance fees. Read on, and we’ll take a deeper dive into other seemingly great features — like a $15 direct deposit bonus — that may not be so great after a closer look.

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AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa prepaid debit card features

The AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa Prepaid debit card allows those without a bank account to get access to services like cash checking, direct deposit and the ability to make purchases with a card rather than carrying around cash.

If you are over 18 and have a physical address and a valid Social Security number, you should be able to open an account as there is no credit check and your name will not be run through ChexSystems.

You’ll see the most advantage from your card if you set up direct deposit. Perhaps one of the biggest perks is that by establishing direct deposit you can get payroll checks up to two days early and government benefit checks up to four days early. AccountNow processes direct deposits onto your account as soon as they receive notice from the payment provider, eliminating the lag commonly comes with direct deposits.

There is a $15 bonus for setting up direct deposit, although the conditions for getting the bonus are somewhat complicated. Here’s how it works: Within six months of being approved for the card you must set up direct deposit and have at least deposited $500 per month for two consecutive months. Within 30 days of meeting these qualifications, you must call 877-553-3767 to request your bonus, which will be paid to your card within 15 days.

The AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa prepaid debit card also offers 5% cash back. There are a couple of caveats: You can only earn up to $100 in a 12-month period, and you must have paid your monthly maintenance fee for all 12 of those months in order to qualify. You may be able to earn up to $100 cashback, but you’ll have to spend nearly $120 in monthly fees in your pursuit of the reward.

AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa fees and fine print

While it’s nice that the AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa prepaid card does not have an activation fee and has no minimum balance requirements, it does have other high fees at every other turn. First and foremost: The $9.95 monthly maintenance fee which cannot be waived.

If you want to schedule outgoing payments, to pay bills or other purposes, there is a $2.50 ACH debit payment fee per payment. You can avoid this fee by using the online bill pay features on the AccountNow web portal rather than initiating the payment with the bill issuer. Unfortunately, these online bill pay features are not available on the app, only the website.

If you need to make a bill payment right away, you have the option of paying a $9.95 expedited online bill pay fee, which should get your payment taken care of within 1-4 days; this is a large window, especially when you consider the fee of nearly ten dollars.

This is not a good card to take with you overseas, and replacing the card could be an expensive proposition. Foreign transaction and ATM fees are high. It costs $10 to replace a lost card within 7-10 days, and $35 to replace a lost card “generally” within three business days.

AccountNow Fees
Monthly fee $9.95
Activation fee None
Direct deposit fee None
Reload fee $5.95
ACH debit payment fee $2.50
Expedited online bill pay fee $9.95
Check deposit fee 0%-5%
ATM withdrawal fee $3.00
ATM balance inquiry fee $1.50
International ATM withdrawal fee $4.95
International transaction fee 3%
Card replacement fee $10-$35

Using the AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa mobile app

AccountNow’s mobile app provides the basics, but not much more. You’ll be able to use your device to check your balance, view recent transactions and update your profile and user preferences.

If you want to add money to your card via mobile check deposit, you’ll be redirected to the Ingo Money App, which will allow you to take a picture of your check, upload it and deposit the money onto your AccountNow prepaid card.

If you’re willing to wait 10 days until after you cash the check to access the money, you can use this service for free. However, if you need your cash immediately you will have to pay a fee for the service. Typically, this fee is 2% to 5% of the total check amount, though if you cash at least six checks within 90 days fees go down to 1% to 4%. There is a $5 minimum fee on all mobile deposits, regardless of the actual calculated percentage.

Opening a AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa account

In order to open an AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa prepaid debit card, you will need to provide basic information including your name, phone number, email address, social security number and address. Your address must be a physical address and not a PO Box. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

If you have a negative history with banking, your name may be in ChexSystems. This is not a concern with AccountNow’s prepaid card as ChexSystems is not used to qualify you for a card. Your credit will not be checked when you apply, either.

While signing up online or via phone is simple enough, the process of obtaining your card will not happen quickly. It will arrive within five to seven days of completing your application. As we discussed above, there is no application fee. You won’t be charged a monthly service fee until you load your card for the first time.

Overall review of AccountNow Green Dot Cash Back Visa prepaid debit card

AccountNow is not one of our top picks for prepaid debit cards. The fees are too high and prolific, the app leaves a lot to be desired and must in fact be supplemented by a third-party service to perform basic functionalities like mobile check deposit. The $15 bonus requires you to jump through a lot of hoops for a relatively small reward.

Even if you cannot get a traditional bank account, you do have other options. There are plenty of prepaid cards out there that will not screen you out simply because you’re in ChexSystems or have a negative credit history. Shop around to find one with lower fees.

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