GoBank Review: Checking
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- Banking experience
- Overdraft fees
Overall institution rating
GoBank is the first mobile checking account created by the fintech firm and bank Green Dot in 2013. Compared with GO2bank, the firm’s option established in 2021, GoBank is stingier on perks, such as not earning interest, and has a higher monthly fee. Like GO2bank, GoBank has services including early direct deposit and the ability to deposit cash at retailers, among others. Direct deposits are required to waive the monthly fee, and there are no branches.
You can only open a GoBank account by finding a debit card at a big-brand retail store such as Walgreens or Walmart and registering it online. Green Dot no longer provides a way to open a GoBank account through its website.
Best for: Customers who’ve had trouble getting a checking account at other banks or need a cash-friendly online account to manage their money.
- Doesn't generally allow overdrafts, and no overdraft fees.
- Doesn’t use ChexSystems or check credit history to determine account eligibility.
- Large free ATM network.
- Direct deposits up to two days early.
- Monthly fee if you don’t fulfill a direct deposit requirement.
- No interest earned on any account.
- Fees for checks and cash deposits.
4.0/5 NerdWallet rating
Big ATM network and early direct deposits. GoBank has a wide ATM network with access to 50,000 fee-free ATMs. You can get your paycheck up to two days earlier than your normal payday and government benefits as many as four days earlier.
No ChexSystems or credit score check. If you’ve been denied a bank account because of a less-than-perfect ChexSystems report or credit report, GoBank might be a good option.
Costs can add up. The $8.95 monthly fee is avoidable by having direct deposits that total at least $500 each month, but otherwise you’d pay about $107 a year. GoBank charges $3 for out-of-network ATM withdrawals and about $6 for a dozen paper checks. In contrast, various other online banks have checking accounts with no monthly fees and far cheaper, or even free, checkbooks.
Check service for all customers has fees (or processing delays). Any customer can use a third-party app called Ingo Money App, and it takes 10 days to process checks for free or there’s a fee to process funds within minutes. Customers with direct deposits also have access to a free mobile check deposit service on the GoBank app, in which processing takes one to five days.
No interest earned. Though it's not quite a savings account, GoBank's Money Vault account can separate savings from spending. It doesn't earn interest, which is a big downside.
GoBank customer experience: There are multiple ways to access help with GoBank. Reach customer service by phone between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Pacific time seven days a week. Other channels include online chat, Twitter and snail mail. GoBank’s mobile app earns good user ratings on iOS and Android platforms.
» See how GoBank compares with other second-chance checking options
General information about neobanks:
How they work: Neobanks can be solid options for consumers who prefer online-only banking. Funds deposited in these accounts are usually federally insured through partner banks, which will also typically receive customers’ money if a neobank closes, so customer funds are safe. In rare cases, including GoBank’s, the neobank is officially a bank.
Common pros: Neobank accounts often have low monthly fees and earn strong rates.
Common cons: They may lack traditional banking features, including in-person customer service and access to personal or cashier’s checks (often required for large purchases, such as buying a home) or wire transfers. (Learn more about neobanks.) Consider these details before opening an account.
No overdrafts. Generally, GoBank doesn’t allow you to spend more than you have in your account. Your card will simply be declined and you won’t get charged overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees.
Sometimes being able to dip into the negative is helpful in emergencies, and some account providers, including Green Dot’s GO2bank, provide a means to cover overdrafts. Because overdrafts aren’t possible, GoBank gets dinged here.
NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.