Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card Review
The Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card is one of the few prepaid cards that offer cash back. Are the cash back rewards worth the fees? Maybe.
Overview of the Green Dot Cash Back Visa
It’s become commonplace in the credit card arena for cards to offer cash back rewards. It was unheard of with prepaid cards. But in 2016, Green Dot added its cash back version of its already popular Green Dot Prepaid Card.
The Green Dot Cash Back Visa offers a massive 5% cash back on purchases, but there’s a catch. The cash back reward is limited to $100 per year. Still, while the cash back rewards won’t put a bonanza of cash in your pocket, it can be a good offset to prepaid card fees.
The features and limits of the cash back version of the Green Dot Prepaid Card are the same as the regular Green Dot card. So are most of the fees. But the monthly fee of the cash back version is higher. So, in considering the Green Dot Cash Back Visa, it’s worth a comparison of the fees of the two cards factoring in the cash back reward.
A Little Cash Back Math
The Green Dot Cash Back Visa charges a monthly fee of $9.95. The Green Dot Prepaid Visa charges a monthly fee of $7.95. The $2.00 per month difference is offset pretty quickly with the cash back bonus though. During the course of the year, if you use the cash back version for $480 in purchases, the cash back reward is $24–the difference in the fees between the cards.
However, one of the best features of the Green Dot Prepaid Visa is that the entire monthly fee can be waived if you load $1,000 or more during the prior month. So, if you plan to load that much, through direct deposit or otherwise, the Green Dot Prepaid Visa won’t cost anything in monthly fees.
The cash back card doesn’t provide a way to waive the monthly fee. You’re paying $9.95 per month no matter what. That means you’ll always pay $119.40 per year in monthly fees. Even if you max out the cash back benefit of $100, you’ve stilled paid a net amount of $19.40.
Green Dot Cash Back vs. Green Dot
So, is there a place in your wallet for the Green Dot Cash Back Visa? Well, if you’ve decided on a Green Dot card but won’t load enough each month to consistently waive the fee, then maybe. You really need to consider how much you’ll use the card for purchases each month. If you’ll spend more than $40 per month, then the Cash Back version will actually be cheaper over the course of the year.
But one of the reasons we like the Green Dot card in the first place is the opportunity to waive the monthly fee. It makes the card pretty competitive for those that can qualify to waive the monthly fee. If you’re one of those, the plain old Green Dot Visa is your better choice.
Best For: Green Dot users that can’t qualify to waive the monthly fee for the non-cash back Green Dot Card
Not So Good For: Those that will load $1,000 or more per month to their card. The regular Green Dot Prepaid Visa is a better choice.