Green Dot Prepaid Visa Review

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa card is one of the most recognizable prepaid cards. It can be used inexpensively if you qualify to waive the monthly fee, and it has a solid mobile app. But, the card has ATM fees and lacks stand-out features.

Green Dot Prepaid Visa®

9

Features

8.5/10

Fees

9.0/10

Card Limits

9.5/10

Pros

  • Bill pay allows you to send paper checks
  • Waivable monthly fee
  • Free mobile check deposit

Cons

  • ATM Fees
  • Must load at least $1,000 to avoid the monthly fee

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card is a popular card as it is widely available at retailers including 7-Eleven, CVS/Pharmacy, Dollar Tree, Walmart and more. The card offers an opportunity to waive the monthly fee and doesn’t charge for purchase transactions. However, the card has a relatively high monthly fee if you don’t qualify to waive it, and it does not offer a free ATM network.

If you regularly load enough to waive the monthly fee, Green Dot is a solid choice. If you don’t, you might check other options on our best prepaid debit cards list.

Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card Overview

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card is available on the Visa network and is widely accepted anywhere Visa or debit cards are accepted. It offers cash reloads at thousands of locations across numerous retailers but does charge a fee of up to $4.95 per transaction for the service.

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card charges a high monthly fee relative to other prepaid cards of $7.95. However, users can waive the fee by loading $1,000 or more onto the card each month.

You can load your Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card for free via direct deposit or bank transfer. The card also offers free mobile check deposit with processing within 5 days. For instant check deposits, users need to seek out a Cash and Load location, such as Walmart, where they can cash a check and instantly add it to their account for a fee of $3.95.

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card has a free mobile app and website where users can check their balance and transaction history. Users can also send money to friends and family with no fee, but transfers have to be accepted in a Green Dot card or existing PayPal account.

You can get cash from your Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card at any ATM, but ATM withdrawals come with a fee of $2.50.

Features

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card has many features available across prepaid cards, such as direct deposit, but few unique features. The card does not offer cash back rewards, an interest-bearing savings accounts, or other benefits. A summary of its features is below.

Fraud Protection: The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card offers the fraud protections of the Visa network. This means that unless Visa and Green Dot determine you have been grossly negligent, or are lying about the charges being fraudulent, you can’t lose money for fraudulent charges. Report a lost or stolen card to Green Dot immediately.

Bill pay: While many prepaid cards allow for bill pay, many charge a fee to mail a check. The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card has free bill pay for online pay and paper checks.

PayPal CASHUsing a custom barcode from your PayPal account, you can transfer funds between your Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card and PayPal account at participating CVS/Pharmacy locations. Funds are typically accessible within 10 minutes. This has a $3.95 fee per transaction.

Text Alerts: Users can register their mobile number with Green Dot to receive balance and transaction updates via text. Note: Last4 is the last 4 digits of your credit card number

If you want to get…Text this command to 43411
Your account balanceBAL Last4
Your recent transactionsHIST Last4

Limits

You can have up to a $10,000 balance on the Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card – higher than most prepaid cards. The maximum daily spending limit for the card is $3,000, in line with most prepaid cards. The ATM limit is $400 a day, again in line with most prepaid cards.

The daily cash load is limited to $2,999. But it is also worth noting that cash reloads, in general, can be restricted if your total card balance is over $2,999.

Fees

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card doesn’t have an activation fee if you buy online. If you buy it in a retail store, the store may charge a purchase fee up to $1.95.

This card charges a $7.95 monthly fee, higher than many prepaid cards. You can waive the fee by loading at least $1,000 a month onto the card. But if your income or use of the card is below that level, it is a hefty fee.

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card doesn’t charge for direct deposit, mobile check deposit, or bill pay. But it does charge a $2.50 ATM fee, a $0.50 fee to check your balance at an ATM, and cash reload fees at all locations up to $4.95.

The monthly fee is charged for two months even if your card has a $0 or negative balance. If you have drawn down your card and no longer wish to use it, remember to call and cancel as soon as possible.

If you wish to cancel your card, there is no fee to get the balance of your account sent by check.

How to Load Money on the Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card

There are several ways to load the Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card.

Direct Deposit: Paychecks and government benefits checks can be loaded on the card via direct deposit without a fee.

Mobile Check Deposit: Users can deposit checks via the card’s mobile app for no charge. Funds are deposited to your account within five days.

Cash and Load Checks: For instant access to funds, users can cash checks and load the money onto their Green Dot Prepaid Visa card at participating Walmart stores and Financial Service Centers. Users can load $20 to $1,000 using this method for a reload cost of $3.74.

Online Bank Transfer: If you have a traditional bank account, you can transfer money to your Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card for no fee. However, your bank may charge a fee for this service.

Cash Reload: You can reload the Green Dot card at thousands of locations including 7-Eleven, ACE Cash Express, CVS/Pharmacy, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Kmart, Kroger, Rite Aid, Safeway, Walgreens, and Walmart. Cash reload fees are up to $4.95 per transaction.

MoneyPak Reload: You can purchase Green Dot MoneyPak card at many retailers. The card costs $3.00 to $5.95 depending on the location. The MoneyPak has a unique code to load the value of the MoneyPak onto your card through the MoneyPak website. Of course, you can use the MoneyPak to load your own card, but you can also provide the MoneyPak to someone else to use since it’s not associated with a specific prepaid card until you transfer the funds online.

PayPal CASH: The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card can’t be connected directly to PayPal. But it does allow you to transfer cash between your prepaid card and your PayPal account at participating CVS/Pharmacy locations for a fee of $3.95. From your PayPal account under “Add Money” you can print a custom barcode for your Green Dot card. Bring this to the CVS/Pharmacy register to make transfers from your PayPal account to and from your Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card.

Using the Card

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card works like a credit or debit card. It can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted including in-person at stores, gas stations, movie theaters, and other retailers. You can also use the card online at retailers like eBay and Amazon.

Getting Cash

There are two ways to get cash from the Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card:

ATMs: You can use the card like a bank debit card to withdraw money from any ATM that accepts Visa cards. The Green Dot fee is $2.50 per transaction, plus the fee charged by the ATM owner. Green Dot charges a $0.50 fee for balance inquiries at ATMs.

Cash Back at Retailers: Many retailers allow you to get cash back when making purchases using your PIN number. Purchase transactions, including PIN transactions, are free with the Green Dot Prepaid Visa, so this option provides some avenue to get cash for free when you need it.

Getting the Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card

Getting a Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card is easy. There is no credit check, no ChexSystems inquiry, and no income requirements. As with all prepaid debit cards, you do need a valid social security number to verify your identity.

The Green Dot Prepaid Visa card can be ordered online for free or purchased at certain retailers such as 7-Eleven, CVS/Pharmacy, and Walmart. However, note that buying at a retailer often includes an activation fee up to $1.95.

You can order this card online for free by completing a short application here.

Summary

For prepaid card users looking to get a card as quickly as possible, the Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card is a convenient choice. The card is available at many major retailers.

For those that can meet the $1,000 monthly load threshold to waive the monthly fee, the Green Dot Prepaid Visa may be a good choice. However, if you can’t qualify to waive the relatively high monthly fee, there are likely better cards out there.

Best For: Prepaid card users with at least $1,000 regular direct deposit; those looking for online bill pay.
Not So Good For: Prepaid card users that load less than $1,000 a month and those that make frequent trips to the ATM.

Features

Direct Deposit
Bill Pay
Mobile App
Text Alerts

Limits

Card Limit:
$10,000
Daily Spending Limit:
$3,000
Daily ATM Limit:
$400
Daily Cash Load:
$2,999

Fees

Activation Fee:
$0.00
Monthly Fee:
$7.95
ATM Fee (in network):
$2.50
ATM Fee (out of network):
$2.50
Signature Purchase Fee:
$0.00
PIN Purchase Fee:
$0.00
Direct Deposit Fee:
$0.00
Cash Reload Fee:
$0.00