GoBank Review: Is It a Good Option?

Banking
Updated: 8th Jul 2021
Written by Kim Pinnelli
Share this article
What is Crypto Banking? Is it the Future of Finance?
Venmo Debit Card Review: Pros, Cons, and Fees
Banking
July 8, 2021
Written by Kim Pinnelli

Disclaimer: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation (at no cost to you) when you click on links to those products. Read our Disclaimer Policy for more information.

GoBank offers a simple checking account that’s easy to open and offers limited features. It comes at a cost if you don’t meet the minimum monthly waiver requirement, and it may not include the features you’re used to with a checking account.

Read our GoBank review to see if it’s right for you.

What Is GoBank?

GoBank is a very simple online checking account.

It doesn’t have many perks, but it’s great for those looking for a simple place to put their money and be able to access it with checks or ATM withdrawals.

GoBank is 100% online, but if you want to deposit cash, you can do so at GreenDot locations or certain ATMs.

GoBank is FDIC insured, so your money is protected should the bank fail or cannot fulfill your withdrawal request. GoBank offers the most important features you look for in a checking account in a simple manner.

What Does GoBank Offer?

GoBank makes banking easy. You can deposit cash nationwide, pay bills online, move money electronically easily, or write a check.

You can also put money in the ‘vault,’ which is like a savings account, but if you need the funds, you can quickly transfer them back to your spend account.

>> Compare Options: Best Online Banks

GoBank Features and Benefits

Get Paid Early

If you set up Direct Deposit to your GoBank account, you can receive your funds up to 2 days early, and if you receive any government checks, you’ll receive the funds 4 days early.

Mobile Check Deposit

Easily deposit checks from anywhere using the GoBank mobile app. Simply take a picture of the check within the app and follow the directions.

You can deposit checks any time of day or night – no more worrying about banker’s hours.

Pay Bills on the Go

Pay your bills online or on the app, anywhere you have an internet connection. Forget to pay a bill, and you’re already out?

No problem, just open the app on your phone and send the payment. You can set up one-time payments or recurring payments.

If you need a paper check sent, GoBank will do that for you for free.

Massive Free ATM Network

GoBank has an ATM network of over 40,000 ATMs around the country. If you don’t have an ATM near you, GoBank partners with 100,000 retailers around the country, including Walgreens, 7-Eleven, and CVS.

You’ll pay a fee to deposit your funds, but it’s another option if you can’t find a free ATM.

Monthly Fee Waiver

If you sign up for Direct Deposit and have at least $500 a month deposited from your employer or the government, you can waive the monthly $8.95 fee.

GoBank Checking Account

The GoBank Checking account works just like any other checking account. You can access your funds electronically or write paper checks.

There are no overdraft fees – if you don’t have enough money to cover the purchase, the transaction will be denied.

GoBank provides access to 40,000+ ATMs, but you can use an out-of-network ATM for a $3 surcharge plus any fees the ATM operator charges.

You don’t need to meet a minimum balance, but there are maximums. Your account can’t have over $50,000 in it, and you can’t deposit more than $2,500 a day.

GoBank Customer Service

Customer service is a bit tough with GoBank. They encourage you to check their FAQs first, and if you still have a question, you can send a letter or call the number located in your dashboard, as the numbers vary based on the type of debit card you have. GoBank also has an online chat feature.

How to Sign-Up for GoBank

To open an account at GoBank, you must be at least 18-years old. It’s easiest to open an account online.

If you must open it in person, it will cost you $2.95 for a kit, and you must deposit at least $20. If you open the account online, there’s no fee.

You can open an account on the GreenDot website or app. Click on ‘Open Account’ and enter your information, including your:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number

If you purchased a GoBank starter kit, you’ll also enter the 16-digit card number and 3-digit CVV to register your debit card.

GoBank Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Inexpensive checking account if you use in-network ATMs and have at least $500 in direct deposit
  • It’s easy to deposit checks using your mobile phone
  • You can receive access to Direct Deposit funds two days early
  • You can electronically transfer funds to yourself, friends, or family
  • You can pay bills online from your GoBank account

Cons:

  • You’ll pay $4.95 to deposit funds in person at a participating retailer
  • No overdraft protection, so your transaction will be declined if you don’t have funds
  • There are no physical bank branches
  • $8.95 service fee if you don’t have $500 in direct deposit monthly

How Does GoBank Compare to Other Online Banks?

#1. GoBank vs. Chime Bank

Chime Bank offers a checking and savings account combo, but you must open a Chime checking account to have a savings account.

Chime also operates 100% online, but unlike GoBank, they offer overdraft service. Some see this as a benefit, but it allows you to overdraft up to $200, which isn’t a good habit.

Chime Bank doesn’t offer paper checks, and they aren’t an actual bank. Chime is a financial partner with two banks that offer FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts.

Chime doesn’t charge any fees, and they offer a roundup service, allowing you to round up purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically transfer the spare change to your savings account.

>> Learn More: Chime Bank Review

#2. Varo Bank vs. GoBank

Varo Bank offers both a checking and savings account, and their savings account offers one of the highest APYs in the country if you meet the requirements, which include receiving up to $1,000 in direct deposits and carrying a balance of $5,000.

Like Chime, Varo allows overdrafts, but only up to $50, which still isn’t a good habit since it encourages you to spend what you don’t have.

Varo doesn’t have any minimum balance requirements or charge monthly fees. Like GoBank, Varo doesn’t have any physical branches, and to deposit cash, you must use a participating retailer and pay the fee. Varo also offers early access to direct deposit funds.

>> Learn More: Varo Bank Review

#3. GoBank vs. Aspiration

Aspiration offers a ‘cash management account,’ which is a cross between a checking and savings account.

They call it a Spend & Save account, and it doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement or charge monthly fees.

‘Basic’ Aspiration customers don’t earn interest on their balance, but if you subscribe to Aspiration Plus ($15/month), you’ll earn 1% APY on balances up to $10,000.

Aspiration uses the AllPoint ATM network, which has 55,000+ ATMs throughout the country, and they offer paper checks if you prefer to write checks versus send money electronically.

>> Learn More: Aspiration Bank Review

#4. Ally Bank vs. GoBank

Ally Bank is also 100% online and offers lower fees and higher savings for its customers. Ally offers an interest checking account and savings account.

The APY on the savings account is much higher than the national average, but Ally doesn’t accept cash deposits which can be a downside for many people.

Ally doesn’t charge an overdraft fee, but overdrafts aren’t guaranteed either – it’s on a case-by-case basis.

Ally doesn’t require a minimum balance or charge monthly maintenance fees. They have a vast ATM network of 43,000+ ATMs, but like GoBank, they don’t have any physical branches.

>> Learn More: Ally Bank Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Is GoBank a Legitimate Bank?

GoBank is a part of the Green Dot Bank network and is legitimate. They are FDIC insured, which means your money is just as safe there as it is at any local bank you can visit in person.

Is Chime Better than GoBank?

Chime offers a savings account, which, if you prefer your checking and savings accounts together, can make Chime better than GoBank. Other than the savings account, though, the features are similar, except GoBank charges a hefty monthly fee if you don’t have you have at least $500 in direct deposit monthly.

Does GoBank Charge Monthly Fees?

GoBank does charge a monthly fee IF you don’t have $500 a month deposited via direct deposit. The fee is $8.95, which is high for a bank account, so we don’t recommend using it if you can’t set up a direct deposit to waive the fee.

Does GoBank Only Offer a Checking Account?

GoBank has a ‘savings account,’ but they call it the vault. It’s not a literal savings account as it doesn’t earn interest, but it is separate from your ‘spend’ account, so you can let your funds accumulate without spending them. You can also easily transfer the funds back to your spend account if you need them.

What Is a GoBank Card Used For?

The GoBank card is a debit card (either Visa or Mastercard) that you can use, like using any credit card at your local retailers or paying for items/bills online. The money comes directly out of your checking account, though, so know your account balance before using the card.

Bottom Line: GoBank Review

GoBank is a simple checking account. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles bigger banks offer and you will have at least $500 sent via direct deposit each month, it can be a convenient way to have a simple checking account.

Everything is online with GoBank, but you can go to a local GreenDot location if you need in-person service, but it will cost at least $4.95.

It’s best for those who can’t open a standard checking account but need a way to store their money and pay bills.

Keep Searching:

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli
Kim is a personal finance expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been freelance writing for 13 years for a number of large publications. Kim thoroughly enjoys helping people take charge of their personal finances.