Are you looking for a mobile bank that provides competitive rates, instant cashback, and generous overdraft protection, and is specifically focused on providing unbanked individuals a cheaper option? If your answer is a yes, then, this GO2Bank review is for you.
According to the FDIC Survey of Household Use of Banking and Financial Services, which was conducted in June 2019, while nearly 95% percent or approximately 124 million households in the United States are banked (the highest number and percentage of households since the survey was first conducted in 2009), there are 5.4% or approximately 7.1 million American households that are unbanked.
When we say unbanked, this refers to people who do not have access to either a checking or a savings account. It may sound surprising given that America is considered a first-world country, but, that is part of our reality.
These people are unbanked for various reasons. In fact, a 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), revealed that some of the reasons why there are unbanked households in the country include not having enough money to keep in a bank account, others simply do not trust banks, while some find banks are in an inconvenient location.
While it can be challenging to find a solution for the first two reasons, the latter one is pretty much easy to deal with given that these days, mobile banks exist.
As you know, unlike traditional banks, mobile banks operate entirely online, which means account holders can access their accounts anytime, anywhere.
This precisely is also the very reason why GO2bank exists. The mobile bank wants to help unbanked households or individuals by providing an affordable alternative that comes with several attractive banking features similar to what traditional banks offer.
In the next few sections, we are going to look into why you should consider banking with GO2bank. Specifically, this GO2bank review will focus on providing you essential information on the following aspects:
- What is GO2bank?
- Who is GO2bank best for?
- What are the products offered by GO2bank?
- How to do banking with GO2bank?
- Is GO2bank safe?
- What to like about GO2bank?
- What not to like about GO2bank?
Now, let’s start with the review —
WHAT IS GO2BANK?
Let’s begin this review by looking into what GO2bank is all about. We always say this, as a customer or a potential depositor, it is important that we do our part. To ensure that we are entrusting our hard-earned money with the right financial institution, we have to research them.
That is why to help you out, we are providing some important information about GO2bank. This will help you gauge the trustworthiness and credibility of the mobile bank.
Now, let’s move on to the real deal —
GO2bank is a digital banking initiative, a division of Green Dot Bank, which was founded in 1999 and is currently headquartered in Pasadena, California.
GO2bank was only launched in January 2021, which makes it one of the (if not the) newest mobile banking platforms in the country.
As mentioned earlier, GO2bank wanted to help unbanked families or individuals with their ordeal by providing them a cheaper alternative. It is actually the mobile bank’s core mission.
In a press release, Dan Henry, CEO of Green Dot said that “GO2bank is built to be the go-to destination for seamless, affordable, useful banking – combining the security, stability, and experience of an FDIC-insured bank with the innovation and agility of a leading fintech.”
GO2bank is FDIC-insured, which means your money is protected up to $250,000 in case of a bank failure.
Know more about the GO2bank and what it has to offer in this video by Slava-Money:
WHO IS GO2BANK BEST FOR?
So, in the previous section, we gave you a few of the most important things you need to know about GO2bank.
This time, we are going to talk about who GO2bank is best for.
As mentioned earlier, GO2bank was created to be a cheaper alternative for those who are unbanked. It is for the unbanked. But, it doesn’t mean banked individuals cannot access it. They definitely can as well. It’s just that the mobile bank focuses more on providing unbanked banking needs.
Now, generally speaking, GO2bank is most appealing to individuals or depositors who want to enjoy mobile banking and does not mind not having a physical branch location.
It is also ideal for those who want to enjoy no monthly fees but with eligible direct deposit, very generous overdraft protection with opt-in and qualifying direct deposit, as well as 1% annual percentage yield on savings, and up to 7% initial cashback on eGift Card purchases in-app.
Technically, GO2bank is easy to use and was designed to help simplify banking, help people to save time and money, as well as improve their financial wellbeing.
So, yeah, if you want to experience all these and more, GO2bank is best for you.
WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY GO2BANK?
In this part of our GO2bank review, we are going to talk about the products offered by this mobile bank.
GO2bank is a mobile bank that has the full backing of its mother company, Green Dot Bank.
GO2bank, as mentioned, provides unbanked individuals a more affordable alternative to the more expensive check cashing options.
Surely, GO2bank is not free, however, it is absolutely less expensive than most of the non-bank alternatives out there.
Unlike other online accounts out there, GO2bank does not run credit checks or use ChexSystems, which makes it suitable for those with less-than-perfect credit.
The GO2bank account receives direct deposited paychecks up to two days early. Furthermore, government benefits are accounted for up to four days early.
Additionally, GO2bank account holders will get to enjoy the following features:
- Overdraft Protection
- Secured Credit Card
- Cashback and Interest Earnings
- Waivable Monthly Fee
- Cash Deposits
If you noticed, we kept mentioning GO2bank providing generous overdraft protection.
Well, that is because GO2bank account holders can take advantage of up to $200 in overdraft protection. However, this is only possible if customers make at least two direct deposits within a span of 35 days.
Customers are given 24 hours to cover their overdrafts for free. Otherwise, a fee of $15 will be charged.
GO2bank comes with three levels of overdraft protection, which depends on the customer’s direct deposit activity. These levels are:
- Basic – Provides a $10 coverage for a single direct deposit.
- Premium 100 – Provides a $100 coverage for a minimum of two direct deposits of $200+ within a 35-day period.
- Premium 200 – Provides a $200 coverage for a minimum of two direct deposits of $400+ within a 35-day period.
Secured Credit Card
In addition to its debit card, GO2bank’s secured credit card is also available. Getting a secured credit card is ideal for those who have limited or damaged credit. It’s a great way to start their credit-building process.
Basically, a secured credit card works by simply depositing money on it. For example, you deposited $500, your credit limit will then be $500 as well. Should in the long run opt to close the account and there are still funds left on the card, the money will be returned to you.
The nice thing about it is that GO2bank reports cardholder payments to each of the three credit bureaus, which is why it is really ideal for credit-building.
GO2bank secured credit card’s credit lines start at $100. By the way, if you opt to get a secured credit card, it is important to note that it comes with free credit monitoring through VantageScore®, which is powered by Equifax®.
The credit card is free of annual fees, and you can set your own limits to as low as $100. This helps avoid overspending, which is a very common dilemma among credit card account holders.
Cashback and Interest Earnings
GO2bank has so much in store for you. In fact, it also comes with cashback rewards and interest earnings.
By purchasing eGift Cards from about 100 popular merchants in the GO2bank mobile app, you get to earn up to 7% cashback, which is very competitive. Meanwhile, customers can earn 3% cashback on Amazon eGift Cards.
And the good things do not end there. For savings of up to $5,000, customers can earn 1% interest, which is higher as compared to the national savings rate.
Waivable Monthly Fee
As mentioned earlier, although GO2bank is not for free, it is definitely cheaper than most of what’s already available.
GO2bank charges a $5 monthly fee. But, this fee can actually be waived when customers have at least $500 in monthly direct deposits.
Contrary to most mobile bank accounts, GO2bank allows you to deposit cash at more than 90,000 Green Dot locations all across the country.
HOW TO DO BANKING WITH GO2BANK?
In the previous section, we discussed what GO2bank offers. This time, in this part of our GO2bank review, we are going to provide you with the steps on how to start banking with GO2bank.
Unlike GoBank, which is also an online bank by Green Dot Bank, GO2bank is only accessible entirely online. This means that while opening a GoBank account at participating Walmart stores is possible, with GO2bank, there is no other way to open an account but online.
So, to open a GO2bank account, all you have to do is visit and follow the steps to apply. On the website, click the “Open an Account” button.
Once you are on the account application page, you will be asked to provide your personal and contact information such as your full name, mobile number, address, and your Social Security number. Makes sure to have a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport on hand as well.
Provide all the other requested identifying information, and then submit your account application.
Once your application is approved, you can now start banking online. Also, expect the debit card that comes with it to arrive in the mails within seven business days.
By the way, to qualify for a GO2bank account, you must be at least 18 years old, and a citizen of the United States or a resident with a permanent home address.
Deposits and Withdrawals
As mentioned earlier, your GO2bank account accepts cash deposits, which is very uncommon to most mobile bank accounts. GO2bank allows you, though, to deposit cash to your account at more than 90,000 Green Dot locations nationwide.
Apart from cash deposits, customers may also opt to do direct deposit, mobile check deposit, as well as fund the account through electronic transfers.
Meanwhile, you can withdraw cash anytime for free at all ATMs in the GO2bank network. Otherwise, you will be charged a $3 fee per transaction.
If you are wondering if GO2bank comes with certain fees, well, the answer to that is a yes.
While can be avoided, the following list of fees may apply:
- $5 Monthly Fees (This can be waived if at least $500 direct deposit is made monthly).
- $3 per transaction for out-of-network ATM withdrawal
- $0.50 per inquiry for out-of-network ATM balance inquiry
- $3 per transaction for teller cash withdrawal
- 3% of total transaction amount for foreign transactions
- $24.94 for expedited delivery of replacement debit or secured credit card
- $15 overdraft fee (This can be avoided by returning the account to a $0 balance within 24 hours.)
IS GO2BANK SAFE?
Safety and security are every customer’s top concerns when choosing a bank.
With GO2bank, safety and security are one of its main priorities as well. In fact, GO2bank monitors all accounts 24/7. The bank sends a text message if it detects fraudulent activity. Through the mobile, app, you can instantly lock your card in case an unusual activity is detected.
GO2bank ensures that it follows also safety and security protocols for online banks.
Additionally, GO2bank deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per account. Also, as with its debit card, it is an EMV chip-enabled card, which means it is safe and secured.
WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT GO2BANK?
This GO2bank review will not be complete without a summary of the things to like about this mobile bank.
With that said, here are some of the key things we like about GO2bank:
- Generous Overdraft Protection – One of the major features of GO2bank is its overdraft protection. Each account may enjoy up to $200 overdraft protections, which honestly is very hard to find among other accounts of similar type.
- Direct Deposits for Up to 2 Days Early – With GO2bank, customers can expect to have up to two days early access to their funds. Meanwhile, government benefits are made available up to four days early. If you are wondering how the bank is able to do that, well, this was made possible through GO2bank’s partnership with Plaid, which connects directly with most payroll services.
- No Annual Fee Secured Credit Card – For GO2bank’s secured credit card, customers can enjoy a lifetime of fee-free annual charges, which, again, is not very common among accounts of a similar type.
- Cashback Rewards – Customers can earn up to 7% of cashback rewards from eGift Cards purchased in about 100 merchants in the Go2bank mobile app. Meanwhile, a 3% cashback is provided on Amazon eGift Cards.
- Competitive Interest for Savings Account – GO2bank offers an optional savings account, which allows you to earn a 1% annual percentage yield for savings of up to $5,000. Compared to what other banks offer, and with the national savings rate, this is definitely higher.
- Accessibility – GO2bank is a mobile bank, which means it is only accessible through the website or through the mobile app. This also means that account holders may access their account anytime, anywhere as long as there is an internet connection, of course.
- FDIC-Insured – GO2bank was created by Green Dot Bank, which is an FDIC member. With that, it is not surprising that all GO2bank accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000 per depositor in case of a bank failure.
WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT GO2BANK?
Of course, to make sure everything is covered, we are also giving you a list of some of the things that we do not like about GO2bank, which includes the following:
- No Physical Branches – As mentioned, GO2bank is a mobile bank, which is why it does not come with a physical branch location. This can be a concern to those who are used to traditional banking.
- Monthly Fee – GO2bank charges a $5 monthly fee. However, it can be waived only if at least a $500 direct deposit is made monthly.
- The requirement to Qualify for Highest Overdraft Protection – GO2bank is known to have very generous overdraft protection, however, it is only possible if you make at least two direct deposits within a span of 35 days.
- Other Fees and Charges – GO2bank comes with several fees and charges. Apart from the monthly fee, the mobile bank also charges out-of-network withdrawal and balance inquiry, teller cash withdrawal, foreign transactions, as well as an overdraft fee if the account does not reach a $0 balance within 24 hours.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON GO2BANK REVIEW
GO2bank is a mobile bank that is very new to the market. Although new, it comes with a great promise by providing customers amazing mobile bank features including high overdraft protection.
Also, we like the fact that the mobile bank is focused on the unbanked. In fact, the very reason the bank exists is that to help unbanked people to have a cheaper alternative to what is already available out there.
Given all that’s been said, if you are among the unbanked, does this make you look forward to being banked soon?