Posted by Chuck on July 30, 2019
Checking Accounts

Published on July 30th, 2019 | by Chuck

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Green Dot 3% Unlimited Cashback On Purchases + 3% APY Savings Account On Up To $10,000 + $50 Bonus

[Update: added details on the $50 bonus.]

So this is interesting. Green Dot released a product duo which is actually worth a review.

Green Dot 3% Unlimited | FAQ

  • Green Dot unveiled a new bank account and debit card product called the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. This account earns 3% cashback at year’s end on purchases made throughout the year online or in-app. There’s no limit to the amount of cashback you can earn. Store purchases don’t earn any cashback. Gift cards and airline tickets are excluded from earning cashback.
  • They are also offering a savings account with a 3% APY interest rate on up to $10,000. The Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account is available only in conjunction with the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account.
  • There’s also a $50 signup bonus for the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. The $50 bonus will only be available for use after 12 months. (I saw it before, I think it pops up at the top of the screen, but I can’t see it anymore, maybe it needs a fresh IP address.)

There is a monthly fee of $7.95 which is waived if you spend $1,000 the previous month.

The major catch to the 3% cashback offer is that the cashback is only credited at year’s end. I personally wouldn’t trust GreenDot with deciding whether I deserve my cashback at year’s end, I’d prefer to make do with a different everyday card for 2-2.5%. Also, since the GreenDot product is a debit/banking product, it’s less convenient and a bit less secure.

The catch with doing this for the purpose of the savings account alone is the $7.95 monthly fee. If you’re doing the 3% cashback banking option, and you’ll be spending $1,000 per month anyway, then the 3% savings account is a nice little bonus there. The top competing rate currently on a no-qualifications account is 2.57%.



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yrral
yrral

Would this work with plasiq? Their site only says prepaid visa cards aren’t accepted from green dot.

https://help.plastiq.com/hc/en-us/articles/360005215254-Visa-Personal-Card-Changes

86
86

Seriously doubt it. It’s still issued by Green Dot bank, no?

Gareth
Gareth

I’d rather just use the BOA Premium Rewards for 2.625%. Better protection.

Denis
Denis

with BofA you can also have 5.25% for online purchases with $2500 quarterly cap

Hunt
Hunt

Which card is that?

Denis
Denis

cash rewards with 1.75x multiplyer

MisterBill
MisterBill

And selecting Online Shopping as the 3% (5.25%) category.

Jeff
Jeff

I have been really debating about BOA’s premium rewards. In order to get 2.625%, you need to put $100k in an account with very low APY. Comparing to an online saving account offering 2% APY, you need to spend ~$3000 every month before you see additional benefit. So I do not see much benefit from this program. Please correct me if I am wrong.

midas89
midas89

Jeff, I think you’re right. Perhaps better to put the $100K in a 2.5% savings account (or even a CD paying more), and then just stick with a 2% cash back Visa or Mastercard.

Mr G
Mr G

Bank of America has 13 month CDs paying over 2% if you ask in branch. I’ve had most of my money in Discover and Capital One for the past year but will be moving it back in September and opening a CD in order to keep the Platinum Honors status active. I don’t mind getting a slightly lower interest rate so long as I can keep earning the highest rates on the Premium Rewards card.

MisterBill
MisterBill

You can also check the Merrill Edge site for Brokered CD’s, they have them at around 2%.

Kid Lightning
Kid Lightning

For BoA tiers you can have the 100K invested with Merrill and it will still count, doesn’t need to be in a savings account.

Kid Lightning
Kid Lightning

I believe for BoA’s tiers they are based on total $ amount you have with them, it can be money in investment accounts and it will still count towards the 100K.

pedro stee
pedro stee

put it in a merrill edge mm at around 2.07%

Steve

The $100k includes assets in the Merrill Edge brokerage account (which also gives you free trades, and an opening bonus), so if you have stocks in another brokerage account, you can transfer them.

Vanson
Vanson

Merrill accounts count, so you can invest the $100K while unlocking the preferred rewards bonuses.

Jeff

Mathias
Mathias

You can just move your brokerage account or IRA to Merrill Edge and it will count for your balance. I just put my stock there and leave my cash with the HYSAs somewhere else.

Denis
Denis

You have to keep $100K for about 3-3.5 months
If you store them on BofA saving account, your gonna lose about $600-800 of interest compared to the best available option. But if you get a targeted saving account offer ($500 for bringing 100K) it mostly compensates your interest loss.

MisterBill
MisterBill

As others have said, putting in a savings account at BofA is not a good idea. better to put it in a Merrill Edge account. Either transfer existing stock/mutual funds there (and get a bonus for doing so) or put it in a MM account there. You can also buy brokered CD’s that are paying around 2%.

Matt
Matt

You can just move it into merrill lynch which I think qualifies (BOFA + Merrill). So you could take 100k of Vanguard ETF investments and just move them to be through the brokerage at Merrill and I believe it would count.

Peter
Peter

I recently migrated my old employer 401K to Merril to qualify. Alternatively you could open an investment account. You can invest in vanguard ETFs (or whatever else you want) with no fees.

esha w
esha w

As peter pointed out, rolling over your old employer’s 401k/roth IRA is really the most efficient and stable way to get BOA’s premium rewards…it will sit there until your retirement age (10-40 yrs) and you can endlessly reap 5.6% cash back on more than half of your transactions while your 401k grows at a safe rate.

Not many people can afford to just have non-retirement 100k sitting in brokerage endlessly or put 100k in BOfA’s o interest savings account

Tom E Turner

once a +$100K platinum honors client BofA lets ur bal go below $100K but you still retain the 100 free trades/mo + >%5 cashback for around a year.

Denis
Denis

you keep your status until the end of your membership year + 2 months of grace period
so if you don’t requalify it could be 14 months or just 3 months – timing is the key

Snorlax
Snorlax

No, you don’t put it in a low APY account, you put it in a Merrill Edge account and buy ETFs.

Kevin N
Kevin N

Does paying through Apple Pay consider in-app purchases? If we have to spend $1k/month then keeping track of the online and in store expenses is little bit much.

Mimi
Mimi

From reading the article I understand only online and in-app purchases qualify so definitely in-store purchases don’t count. Since online GC purchases at GCM, Simon and GCC cannot be masked, purchases from those sites are out. Maybe Staples VGC purchases can go through but with high purchase fees with just 3% unlimited CB, it really depends on the individual if it’s worth it to them.

Roy
Roy

As I understand in the terms paying with Apple Pay or Google Pay would count as in-app purchase. I’ll definitely test that theory once I get my card.

sa13doc
sa13doc

do you see 50$ signup bonus for this?

David
David

I do

Tony
Tony

Just signed up 50 cash back in account already

alex Liang
alex Liang

Does platiq count?

David
David

says in the terms that billpay won’t get CB. Even if it does code for CB, I wouldn’t trust green dot. they have a year to yank your cb still

Tim
Tim

I would assume that by “billpay” they mean when you send a check or e-transfer directly from the bank account. At least that’s what most banks imply billpay to mean. I assume plastiq is just a charge like any other.

But yes, there is some risk there.

MSer
MSer

Wow, a GD product that isnt a total ripoff? Avoid GD like the plague – a really scummy company that preys on the under-banked

dean
dean

Agreed… But Serve and Bluebird seem to target the same customer base, and we found a goldmine there. What I’d like to know is can you load this account with a debit card.

Mimi
Mimi

This is from their FAQs:

Make cash deposits to your account at any major retailer where Green Dot Bank products are featured.

At participating retailers, use the app to deposit cash into your account without a fee.
If you don’t use the app to deposit cash, you can also swipe your debit card at many retailers where Green Dot Bank products are featured. In this case, the retailer will charge a service fee for cash deposits.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account has no overdraft fees or penalty fees of any kind, ever. Plus, we make your money from direct deposit available fast. Get your pay up to 2 days before payday and your federal benefits up to 4 days before benefits day. Timing depends on deposit verification from your employer or benefits provider, and may vary from pay period to pay period. But be sure that when we get it, you’ll get it.xxxx

I can tell right now, only cash deposits WITH A FEE will be accepted in-store with fees varying per merchant. The main work-around will be a DD although spending the $1K as qualified expense may be challenging to some just to waive the monthly maintenance fees.

btw, this says “At participating retailers, use the app to deposit cash into your account without a fee.”

how does one interpret this? will funds from another bank be deposited to the GD acct? so one can use their external bank DC to deposit $ to GD account, but why is it necessary to go to a participating retailer when one can do that by simple ACH transfer? It’ll be interesting if one can swipe VGC debits w/o paying a fee just like S/BB.

David
David

nope, DD or ACH

86
86

They are indeed a scummy company that preys on the under-banked. I have nothing good to say about them. Don’t say you weren’t warned if you do business with them.

Mimi
Mimi

>> I personally wouldn’t trust GreenDot with deciding whether I deserve my cashback at year’s end>>

This is a major factor for me as well; with my past experience(s) dealing with GreenDot Bank, great when it’s working but once you have an issue, you have to deal with out of the country call center that base their solutions on a script/manual. You’re SOL if issue you have is not in their FAQs/script/manual that it’s useless to get a supervisor who is clueless as well.

Understandably, the CSRs cannot fully understand issues and unless one files a CFPB complaint will case be escalated to GD Bank in San Francisco and that’s the time you get a call from someone who has authority and knowledge to deal with whatever issues you have using their product.

86
86

Their customer service is a bad as it gets, even when they understand your issues. I once had one of their CSRs lie to me about their monthly fee being required. I’ve also had my account charged the monthly fee when I hadn’t used the card for much of the year and had zero funds on it.

Hari
Hari

Does Rent payment count? My Apartment takes in $3.95/transaction and I pay $1300/month as rent. Should be easy $35+ each month profit if this works and also meet the minimum $1K/month to waive the fees.

Mark

Depends what it codes as, which is a huge question around this offer anyway.

It also might not be an option for you, but my apartment payment service takes a set fee per transaction too. I can pay with credit card, therefore I pre-pay for another month following so that I can maximise the rewards.

Hari
Hari

Yes I will get to know in couple days as I’ve paid using my Discover debt card. Unfortunately the website only accepts Debt card and there is no POS at my leasing office. Wish it had. Lucky you!

Mimi
Mimi

in their FAQs, it says BillPayment is not qualified for the CB so best to find out if paying rent via B/P will get paid CB you’re expecting.

Looks to me they have covered most, if not all bases, for account abuse as to what are qualified spend. Since this is a checking acct tied to a debit card which has lesser protection when account is compromised, I will not sign up for this type of account although it looks enticing on paper.

Hari
Hari

My Apartment have their own payment website and would not count as Bill Pay. Though, I have to check what it codes as.

Shailesh
Shailesh

Hi Hari

Please share here if you were able to use this card to pay rent (I’m looking to do the same via the landlord’s website) and if it qualified for the 3% cash back? Interested for that sole reason.

David
David

You can only earn a Cash Back bonus when you make online and in-app purchases through the use of your Green Dot debit card account. While nearly all online and in-app purchases qualify to earn rewards, there are some exclusions. The following purchases/transactions shall not be considered qualifying purchases for purposes of earning Cash Back: • airline purchases, 40 • quasi-cash transactions (i.e. purchase of items that convert to or substitute for cash, such as digital wallets, person-to-person transactions, casino chips or transactions at online gaming sites, travelers checks, lottery tickets, etc.), • the use of your Debit Card to purchase gift cards or for funding another card or account, • bill payments, either using your Debit Card or using our online bill pay service, • transferring funds from your Debit Card or bank account to another bank account or credit card account, and • transactions conducted at http://www.greendot.com or our mobile application (such as online bill payments or person-to-person transfers). How Cash Back Bonuses are Awarded. We award cash back bonuses based on the information we receive from the merchant transaction codes we receive from the merchant’s processing system when you make a purchase. These codes tell us whether that purchase happened at a store or some other physical place, or whether that purchase happened online or through an app. We pay the cash back bonus if our systems see that the purchase was online or in-app. Only the merchant (not Green Dot) can determine how to code their processing system. Occasionally, you may have made an in-app or online purchase, but the merchant transaction code indicates you made an in-store purchase. This may occur because the merchant considers your purchase to be an in-store purchase, such as an item purchased online but picked up in-store. Green Dot will only be able to credit the Cash Back bonus based on how the merchant decides to code your purchase. As a general guideline, we will apply the Cash Back bonus to your Cash Back bonus balance promptly after your qualifying purchase transaction is authorized, but could take up to thirty (30) days, depending on the merchant’s rules for when they charge your card. How Returns, Reversals, Cancellations or Disputes Impact Cash Back. Returns, reversals, cancellations or disputes involving a qualifying purchase, or a purchase that is authorized but does not post to your account, will result in your Cash Back… Read more »

David
David

Sorry for the long post. I think you can only see this when logging into your account:

https://secure.greendot.com/greendot/account/cardholder-agreement

Steve

It’s also at the bottom of their homepage as “Unlimited Deposit Account Agreement”.

Probably Green Dot will ban everyone before they pay any cash back.

Matthew
Matthew

From their site: “… there could be times when a transaction is coded incorrectly by the merchant and cash back is not applied. When this happens, Green Dot will not be able to apply the 3% cash back bonus for that transaction. Additionally, we are not able to provide a cash back bonus on airline tickets or on products and services that are redeemable for cash, like gift cards, online funding of accounts, credit card cash advances, P2P funding, prepaid cards, money orders, traveler’s checks and similar products or merchants that primarily sell cash services.“
They know people are gaming 😀

Mark

Wasn’t able to confirm my information during the application process, which I couldn’t get past at all. Total shit.

midas89
midas89

Mark, I am surprised you’d even consider this account at all. Any bank that would make people wait an entire year to get their cash back earned on a Visa Debit Card doesn’t deserve our money, in my opinion.

Mark

I want to use it mainly for rent, and to be honest whilst getting the cashback later is a pain it still isn’t a massive drawback

Shailesh
Shailesh

Hi Mark,

Please do share your experience once you are able to use this card for rent and whether it qualified for 3% cash back or not. Interested for the same reason 🙂

Thank You.

Ryan
Ryan

don’t put your conclusion so quick
eg: costco visa card, sam MC pay out beginning of every year
CU such as rbfcu also pay out at the end of year I believe

Jared
Jared

Does anyone know if this includes Venmo?

Mimi
Mimi

If GD says this falls under P2P funding, it won’t qualify for CB.

H
H

Just online? Most people will be better off with a combination of cashback cards.

Sam
Sam

haha “There is a monthly fee of $7.95 which is waived if you spend $1,000 the previous month.” Other than Rent (and the excluded airfare) it’s difficult to spend that in a given month unless you’re just blowing money at Restaurants

Munchy
Munchy

Maybe it’s just me, but something about that card design makes me feel uneasy. Kinda like how Green Dot does.

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