Green Dot Gold Prepaid MasterCard Review

March 21, 2010 1 Comment »

The Green Dot Prepaid MasterCard is ideal for those looking for the convenience of a credit card and the financial security of a debit card. It’s a highly obtainable card that nearly anyone can take advantage of.

Like most prepaid credit card offers on the market, the Green Dot card is also known for it’s simplicity. It has no overdraft fees or minimum balance requirements* (see fee details below), plus there is no credit check at the time of application and you do not need a bank account to qualify.

Green Dot offers free ATM withdrawals throughout the country. With thousands of participating ATMs, there is no charge for cash withdrawals. Outside the network, the fee is $2.50 per withdrawal plus any fees charged by the ATM owner. You can reload the card at a store or by direct deposit of a paycheck or government check.

Funding your prepaid credit card with direct deposit:

With all direct deposits, you don’t have to worry about cashing or depositing checks, the funds are added to your Green Dot card automatically. With this card you also have the option to deposit part or all of your government (Social Security, IRS, Medicare, Unemployment, Disability, Welfare, Military, etc.) or payroll check.

Green Dot Gold Prepaid Features:

- Access over 18,000 MoneyPass® ATMs

- Get a $4.95 credit on your first MoneyPak cash load (see site for restrictions)

- No Monthly fee for any month with at least 30 purchases

- No Transaction fees on US purchases

- No Overdraft fees

- No Minimum balance required

Downside of the Green Dot Prepaid Card:

Our biggest qualm with this offer is that it does practically nothing to get one’s credit back on track. The card itself is obviously geared towards those with shaky credit scores (like most prepaid offers are) however, this one doesn’t really provide a solution to the problem. We’d personally rather take a secured credit card offer that reports to the three major credit bureau’s so we could at least start building a solid credit history, but this offer doesn’t make that possible.

That being said, we do realize that prepaid cards in general serve a need, and the Green Dot card is still recognized as one of the top prepaid options on the market – check out the Mango Prepaid Card to see another currently hot offer.

The other gripe we have with the card are its fees. Granted they are minimal and easy to avoid, but we still don’t like the idea of having to pay money to access one’s own money, which is what you may encounter with this offer.

Green Dot Gold Prepaid Fees:

Watch out for the $4.95 activation fee. We know it’s not a substantial sum, but it is still worth the effort to try and get it waived. We’ve found that one phone call to a representative will enable this to happen. Sometimes they even offer the card with $0 activation fee when you sign up online, but this varies from month to month.

The other fee is the $5.95 monthly maintenance fee that is imposed when you don’t deposit at least $1,000 into the account monthly. If you’re planning on using this as your primary cash account, then just set up a direct deposit from your employer, government agency, or whomever. As long as it’s at least $1k per month you should be good to go.

You may also get this fee waived if you make 30 purchases with the card per month. This is a little steep considering that is roughly one purchase per day, but keep in mind any purchase will suffice (even something as little as a $0.50 pack of gum!).

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  • Steven

    I’ve had this card for two years and have only seen fees show up twice and I dont have $1k dropped into the account each month. I might make the 30 purchases but I’ve never really kept track. Basically everytime I see a $5 or $6 fee show up, I just call them and they take it off. They are pretty forgiving on the fee front so long as you’re proactive.