Many banks have several varieties of checking account products with a few differences between them. The monthly fees, minimums, and other subtle but important distinctions between these accounts can be frustrating for the average consumer, which is why mobile banking has become a popular alternative to traditional banks.
Fintechs and neobanks offer a simple bank account product that meets the needs of people who don’t need a physical bank. GO2 Bank is one such company that offers a straightforward online checking account without hidden fees.
Offering the features and benefits that are appealing to a modern lifestyle, GO2 Bank could be the right option for you. If you are tired of the confusion that is often tied to traditional financial institutions, GO2 Bank might be worth a look.
In this GO2 Bank review, we’ll discuss everything that this bank offers, the pros and the cons, so you can make an informed choice. Ready? Let’s get started!
What is GO2 Bank?
GO2 Bank is a division of Green Dot Bank and services as part of their digital banking initiatives. It has the full backing of Green Dot Corporation, so customers receive up to $250,000 of FDIC insurance on their money.
The mobile banking service was launched in January 2021, making it one of their newer financial products. Green Dot Corporation has another brand called GOBank, which should not be confused with this offering.
Green Dot Bank
The backer of GO2 Bank, Green Dot Bank, was founded in 1999 and headquartered in Pasadena, California. Over the past 21 years, Green Dot Corp has served over 33 million consumers. They also have many banking partnerships to indirectly serve even more customers.
As a financial technology company and registered bank holding company, Green Dot is focused on making modern banking and money movement accessible to everyone.
Their proprietary technology allows for faster and more efficient electronic payments and money management. Their line of consumer and business products includes debit, prepaid, checking, credit, payroll cards. Green Dot also offers money processing services, tax refunds, cash deposits, and disbursements.
Who Should Use GO2 Bank?
Opening an account with GO2 Bank doesn’t necessarily make sense for everyone. The bank account is targeted primarily at people who are unbanked. So, if you’re looking for something that offers things like business bank accounts, you may want to check out an alternative such as Mercury Bank.
GO2 Bank aims to make their offerings a possible cheaper alternative for those who are currently unbanked to do their banking. But there are others who could benefit from a GO2 Bank account too.
Banked individuals can also open an account too.
Since it’s a mobile bank, you have to be the type of person that is comfortable with doing their banking online. You must also not mind not having a physical branch location.
The main features that may appeal to a person include no monthly fees with eligible deposits, receiving your money during a pay period a little faster, a 1% interest-bearing savings, overdraft portion with opt-in to qualifying direct deposits, and up to 7% cashback on eGift card purchases.
If these things appeal to you, consider using GO2 Bank.
What does GO2 Bank offer?
The main target of GO2 Bank is the underbanked, those who don’t have a checking or savings account. The bank account is intended to be an alternative to expensive check cashing options.
To apply for a GO2 Bank, you don’t have to have a credit score or undergo a credit check.
GO2 Bank offers a primary bank account that has a monthly fee of $5. This monthly fee is waived if you have at least one direct deposit into the bank account each month.
Although it is a low monthly fee, when you look at other mobile bank account competitors, they tend not to charge a fee.
You get a chip-enabled debit card that can be used to make everyday purchases. Their ATM network includes well over 15,000 AllPoint locations.
Below is a rundown of the features you get with a checking account with GO2 Bank.
Customers of GO2 Bank can get up to $200 in overdraft protection when they need multiple direct deposits within 35 days. There is no charge for this as long as the customer is able to cover their overdraft in 24 hours of it happening.
If they aren’t able to cover the overdraft in 24 hours, there is a fee of $15.
The bank account has three levels of overdraft protection. Depending on your direct deposit activity, the level of coverage you receive will vary:
- Basic – For a single direct deposit of any amount, you receive $10 of coverage
- Premium 100 – For at least two direct deposits of $200 or more within a 35 day period, you get $100 of coverage
- Premium 200 – For least two direct deposits of $400 or more within a 35 day period, you get $200 of coverage
Early Direct Deposit
If you direct deposit your paycheck with GO2 Bank, you can access your money up to two days early. That can make help make your pay period come a little bit faster.
Government benefits are available up to four days too.
The company is able to do this because of its partnership with Plaid that is connected to several different payroll services.
Add and Transfer Funds
You can cash a check using the GO2 Bank mobile banking app. There is a fee if you wish to cash the check immediately.
Your bank account will get funded, and you can use the money with the GO2 Bank debit card. This fee is waived if you get your funds in 10 days to allow for the check to be approved.
Deposit Cash at Stores
You can also make cash deposits at retail stores nationwide. O2 Bank has partnered with almost 90,000 stores, including Walmart, Walgreens, Dollar General, and CVS Pharmacy.
To add money, all you have to do is bring your cash to a participating retailer, along with your debit card. You give your money to the cashier and swipe your debit card. The money should then appear in your bank account within a few minutes.
Transfer from another Bank
Even if you use another financial institution, you can transfer money from there to your GO2 Bank account. There’s no fee to transfer money from a linked bank account.
Transfer from another Debit Card
Another way you can add funds to your bank account is by funding it through a linked debit card that you have on file.
You can use your mobile bank account with GO2 Bank to pay all your bills using its online bill pay feature. It even allows you to send a check to use as payment.
Your GO2 Bank debit card can be added to mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Cash Back with EGift Card Merchants
When you use your mobile banking app to purchase eGift Cards, you can earn up to 7% cashback. There are almost 100 Egift card merchants available to purchase from.
Amazon eGfit Cards will earn you 3% cashback.
High-Interest Earning Potential
When you save up to $5,000 in your bank account, you will earn 1% interest. That is well above the national savings rate.
The GO2 Bank savings account pays out interest on a quarterly basis.
Secured Credit Card
You can also get a secured credit card in addition to GO2 Bank’s debit card and checking account products. For those who have a limited or damaged credit history, a secured credit card is a great way to start the building (or rebuilding) process.
The credit limit on your secured credit card is equal to how much money you deposit on your card. For example, if you deposit $250, your credit limit will be $250.
You must have a credit line of at least $100 to start a secured credit card. There’s no annual fee, and cardholders receive VangageScore(R) credit monitoring (powered by the credit bureau, Equifax).
Each of your payments is reported to all three of the credit bureaus to help improve or build your credit score.
If you close your credit card in the future, any money that’s left there will be returned to you.
GO2 Bank Products
Below is what you should know about GO2 Bank’s checking and savings account products.
GO2 Bank Account (Checking)
- APY: None
- Minimum balance for APY: Not an interest-bearing account
- Minimum deposit to open: No minimum amount required
- Montly maintenance fees: $5 monthly fee, waived with eligible direct deposits
- ATM Access: Over 19,000 Free ATM locations within Allpoint network; $3 fee plus any additional fee that’s charged by ATM owner or bank at out-of-network ATMs; up to $500 withdrawal limit per day
- Transactions per month: No limit on debit card transactions
- Member FDIC insured: Yes
- Debit card: Chip-enabled debit card
GO2 Bank Vault Savings Account
- APY: 1% Annual Percentage Yield
- Minimum blanace for APY: No minimum balance, however you only earn interest on up to $5,000
- Minimum deposit to open: No minimum amount required
- Monthly maintenance fees: No monthly fees
- ATM access: You can’t access your Vault accounts directly through ATMs; funds can be access through your GO2 Bank linked checking account
- Transactions per month: Unlimited transfers between your checking account and vaults
- Member FDIC insured: Yes
Is GO2 Bank Safe?
When it comes to your money, you want to be sure that it will be safe. O2 Bank monitors all its accounts on a continuous basis.
If they detect fraudulent activity, they will you a text message. You can also lock your card using your banking app instantly if there’s unusual activity.
GO2 Bank follows all the safety and security protocols out there for online banks.
You also have the protection of FDIC insurance on your bank deposits for up to $250,000 per account. The chip-enabled debit card ensures that you can safely use your card.
How much does GO2 Bank Cost?
Below are the fees that may apply if you make certain actions on GO2 Bank:
- Monthly Fee – $5, unless you have eligible direct deposits within the previous monthly statement period
- Out of network ATM withdrawal – $3 per transaction
- Out of network ATM balance inquire – $0.50 per inquiry
- Transfer from a linked debit card – 1.50%
- Check cashing – 1 % to 5%, depending on check type if you wish to have arrival in minutes ($5 minimum fee per check)[; Arrival in 10 days is no charge
- Cash deposits – $4.95 retail service fee
- Teller cash withdrawals – $3 per transaction
- Foreign transaction fee – 3% of the total transaction amount
- Expedited delivery of replacement debit or secured credit card – $24.95
- Overdraft protection fee – $15, can be avoided with a $0 account balance within 24 hours
How to Open a GO2 Bank Account
You can open a GO2 Bank account by visiting their website and clicking on the “Open an Account” on the top right side of the page.
You will need to provide information, including your full name, address, date of birth, phone number, and Social Security, to complete the application.
For identity verification, you’ll need to upload your driver’s license or another form of ID.
After being approved for a GO2 Banking account, your debit card should be received in 7-10 days.
GO2 Bank Competitors
GO2 Bank’s primary competitors are other digital-only banks. Below is a little bit more of some of the bigger competitors out there.
Chime Bank has partnerships with two banks to offer their checking and savings accounts. That’s how they’re able to offer FDIC insurance on their accounts.
There are no monthly, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements with Chime. You can round up the purchases that you make to the next dollar to save the remainder.
If you have cash, it is difficult to deposit, however, since they don’t have retail partners like GO2 Bank.
Like GO2 Bank, your pay period can get there earlier, up to 2 days, with direct deposit. If you wish to make mobile check deposits, you must be signed up for direct deposits.
Online transfers through Chime are limited to $200 a day.
Their ATM network includes over 60,000 fee-free ATMs.
Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union is a digital-only credit union. Generally, credit unions have a restrictive field of membership that not everyone may qualify for.
Alliant Credit Union is able to overcome membership restrictions if you join by paying $5 to become a member of Foster Care to Success (FC2S). This organization provides education grants and scholarships to teens in foster care that are found all throughout the U.S.
Once you’re set up, Alliant will cover this $5 membership fee by depositing that amount in your account.
Credit Unions tend to offer lower fees and better rates on savings than banks. Alliant Credit Union offers competitive banking products, including:
- High Rate Checking
- Teen Checking
- High-Rate Saving
- Supplemental Savings
- Kid’s Savings accounts
- Certificates of Deposit
In addition to these depository accounts, Alliant offers credit cards, home loans, personal loans, vehicle loans, trust accounts, custodial accounts, and more.
They have other 80,000 free locations available on their ATM network. Their mobile banking app also has helpful features like a planning tool that allows you to create and monitor budgets and set up financial goals.
Ally Bank is another online bank that offers much more than just checking and saving products. You can also open a money market, certificate of deposit, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, and investment products.
They have other 43,000 ATM locations via Allpoint to provide fee-free ATM access to their customers. You can also get reimbursed up to $10 monthly when you use a non-Allpoint ATM.
A checking account with Ally Bank does not have a maintenance fee or minimum balance requirements. They offer lower overdraft fees than what you typically see in the industry, limited to once a day.
Their customer service is available via phone 24/7.
Ally Bank also offers free checks and remote check deposits. You can’t deposit cash into any accounts, though.
GO2 Bank Pros ad Cons
Pro: No Hidden Fees
The financial institution that keeps its hidden fees to a minimum will undoubtedly have a better customer experience. Having no hidden fees doesn’t mean that there are no fees, though.
GO2 Bank is very transparent of its charges, such as overdraft fees. Plus, you can avoid paying overdraft fees and monthly fees by meeting their requirements.
Pro: Early Paycheck with Direct Deposits
When you set up an eligible direct deposit, you can get your paycheck up to two days early. Government benefits direct deposit can be up to four days early.
These early direct deposit benefits can be useful to get access to your funds faster.
Pro: Cash Back Perks
When you open an account with GO2 Bank, you’re also eligible to earn cash back when you purchase eGift cards from over 100 merchants.
Amazon, Hulu, and Domino’s are among the popular merchants who participate in this program. These eGift card purchases can earn up to you up to 7% instant cashback for each purchase made on their mobile app.
When you complete an eligible purchase transaction, you get an immediate payment to your GO2 Bank account of the cashback.
Pro: Building Credit
When you meet GO2 Bank’s eligible direct deposit requirements, you can also qualify for their Secured credit card product. This credit card allows you to begin the process of building or rebuilding your credit.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have good credit to open an account because there is no credit check. Your positive payment history is reported in your credit report at all three major credit bureaus.
The no annual fee card also comes with the ability to check your VantageScore. Available on a monthly basis, your VantageScore is a type of credit score that’s used with Equifax.
Pro: High Yield Savings
The traditional savings account offered by a traditional bank doesn’t offer much opportunity to earn interest. When you open a GO2 Bank primary deposit account, you also get access to a high-yield savings account.
Made up of five interest-bearing accounts that are called Vaults, you can freely move your money around between them and your primary deposit account. These Vaults can be set aside to accomplish different financial goals.
The interest rate on the savings account is currently at a 1% annual percentage yield. A ross your five Vaults, you can have a total of $5,000 average daily balance to earn this rate. This rate is significantly higher than traditional savings account at current averages.
Pro: Ability to Create Savings Goals
Being able to create up to five different savings goals using the Vault feature is a great way to visualize your goals.
Con: Overdraft protection is not that Great
The overdraft protection of up to $200 is a great benefit if you qualify for it. To get the highest tier of overdraft protection, you have to make two eligible direct deposit transfers within 35 days.
For those that don’t have enough money coming in direct deposit transfers, the available overdraft protection isn’t nearly as valuable. This is really too bad because it’s one of the features that GO2 Bank touts quite a bit.
There is a $15 overdraft fee each time you don’t get your account negative within 24 hours.
Con: Mobile Check Deposit could be Improved
Using the GO2 Bank mobile app, you can remotely cash your checks. However, it takes a long time before you can access your money.
If you can wait 10 days, you can get access to your money for free. This is a whole lot longer than it takes on a traditional checking account to clear a check.
Major banks will typically take one to two business days for a check to clear as a comparison.
You almost have to pay the fee to get access to your funds immediately because it is probably a hassle to wait longer than that.
Con: No Physical Locations
As an online bank, you won’t have access to any physical branch locations with GO2 Bank. T eir ATM network is available through their partnerships.
There are well over 19,000 free ATM locations that you can visit. But if you make out of network withdrawals, for instance, you’ll be paying extra charges.
If you don’t wish to completely manage your account online, want a base ATM network, or want to open an account for more traditional financial products, GO2 Bank might not be your answer.
Con: Limited Earning Potential on High Yield Savings
While the 1% annual percentage yield you can earn with a savings account with GO2 Bank is substantially more than other banks, it’s limited.
You can only earn that 1% across the first $5,000 that you have on in your Vaults. That means that the most you can earn in the savings account is $50 a year.
That means you may have to open an account else for any funds that you have other than this cap.
GO2 Bank Review Ratings
GO2 Bank Fees – 3/5
There is a monthly fee of $5 that can be waived for one eligible direct deposit transfer from the previous monthly statement period. This fee is low and easy to avoid with direct deposit transfers.
A traditional bank will typically charge a higher monthly fee than $5. B t comparatively, when you look at other online-only banks, there’s no monthly fee in place.
You must have direct deposits totaling $400 within a 35 day period to get their best overdraft protection. Otherwise, you’ll pay an overdraft fee of $5 each time.
To deposit a check to your account, you must wait a full ten days to get access to your money. The only other option is to receive online access within minutes for a fee that’s between 1% and 5%.
It’s $3 to make out of network withdrawals, a 1.5% fee for debit card transfers, and cash deposits to their retailer partners cost $4.95.
There are some improvements that GO2 Bank could make in terms of the type of fees they charge, respectfully.
GO2 Bank Mobile Experience – 4/5
As an all-digital bank, GO2 Bank has made efforts to ensure that its banking app is easy to use. On both the Apple and Android app stores, they have over a four-star rating.
The seamless and smooth online and mobile experience ensures that customers can access their account anytime, as long there’s an internet connection.
GO2 Bank Customer Service – 4/5
GO2 Bank has a Help Center that helps answer their top questions, has quick help guides, and FAQs. This is the fastest option to receive support.
You can reach a customer service agent by phone seven days a week, from 5am to 9pm PT. Their customer service number is 855-459-1334.
Customer service reps can also be reached via live chat that GO2 Bank has available for customers who are logged into their website. The chat icon is located on the bottom right of your screen.
If you wish to mail GO2 Bank, you can by sending snail mail to the following address: GO2bank, P.O. Box 5100, Pasadena, CA 9117
Bottomline: Is GO2 Bank Worth Using?
GO2 Bank hasn’t been in the market that long, and there are some great features like the potential cashback earnings, savings rate, early paycheck, and high overdraft protection.
Some of these benefits have some restrictions tied to them, which we would like to see changed in the future.
Overall, GO2 Bank is a solid choice for those who are interested in mobile banking, are unbanked, or don’t need a traditional bank to manage their finances.