Is GoBank a prepaid debit card or bank account?

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s.jessica
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Is GoBank a prepaid debit card or bank account?

Postby s.jessica » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:49 am

I may have done something stupid, on someone's suggestion I applied for an account with GoBank. At first I thought it was an online bank account but I didn't do enough research first, now it seems to me it might be more of a prepaid debit card. (1) It's owned by Green Dot, the prepaid people. (2) You don't get paper checks (3) It loads with Green Dot reload cards, I just can't see myself paying $4.95 to deposit cash in my bank account.

A couple things I have a problem with are (1) They let you decide what you want to pay for a monthly fee, you can set it anywhere from $0 to $9. So if I set it to $0, am I no better than the a hole that walks out of the restaurant without leaving the waiter a tip? If I only give them $1 am I a cheap ______? Let's now take US Bank for example, their prepaid card is $4/mo. without direct deposit and $0 with. Direct deposit is an additional service so would it be safe to assume it's okay to give GoBank $0 with direct deposit? GoBank claims to be more of a bank than a prepaid card so if I can find a bank account with no monthly fee, is it okay to give GoBank $0?

I really wanted Ally Bank, but this is a small town and USPS doesn't deliver mail to my physical address so I need a PO Box to get my mail. I was able to open the account but Ally closed it on me 2 weeks later and won't reopen it. I did find a solution to the problem, but it was too late. They said I could use any ATM which I liked so I went to the most convenient one and went to draw out my money but I was having problems and only got $20 out so I tried again and got another $20. This thing charged $4 each time and in they end, Ally sent me a check for $40 to reimburse ATM fees. I wasn't trying to stick them with ATM fees, I just wanted my money before they closed my account and I had to wait weeks to get a check from them.

So then is GoBank a bank account or prepaid card? Should I keep it or dump it? I had to send them $50 to open the account and wish I wouldn't have, now I have to wait until they send my debit card to get my $50 back.


samhradh
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Postby samhradh » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:31 am

Lots of questions here so I'm not sure exactly what you're looking to learn.

Regarding whether GoBank is a bank account or a pre-paid debit card: It is an online bank account that earns no interest. It is FDIC insured.

The question of whether to "tip" them for their service is something you'll have to answer for yourself. If you find the service useful and can spare the cash, pay what you feel is right. If it were me, I wouldn't give them a dime, as many banks provide these "benefits" for free so it's not like GoBank would be doing me a solid.

Deciding to keep the account or not is also up to you. Do you do not have a local bank that has accounts with online access and billpay? Why are you chasing e-banks? And why are you opening an account that earns no interest? Answer these questions and you'll probably have enough information to decide whether to keep the GoBank account or not.
Citi Forward ($10.1K), AmEx Blue Cash Everyday ($30K), Chase Freedom ($12.4K), Discover it ($5.5K), Barclaycard Arrival ($12.5K), L.L. Bean Visa ($5K). FICO 806 (TU), 812 (EQ), 806 (EX).

whit
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Postby whit » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:52 pm

if it says debit it's debit, it won't be a debit prepaid.

lots of companies including Amex and Chase does both debit and prepaid

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otter
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Postby otter » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:58 pm

samhradh wrote:The question of whether to "tip" them for their service is something you'll have to answer for yourself. If you find the service useful and can spare the cash, pay what you feel is right. If it were me, I wouldn't give them a dime, as many banks provide these "benefits" for free so it's not like GoBank would be doing me a solid.


I wouldn't give them a cent either... they're not giving you any interest, yet they are turning around and loaning it to someone else (at exorbitant rates, no doubt) or investing it. So you are making them money without giving them anything. Don't feel bad as if you are stiffing the local server at the corner diner. If, as you say, GoBank is owned by Green Dot, they're not hurting for cash- they're a multimillion dollar company.

Advice to original poster: research, research, research before you chose what bank to open an account at. That advice is valid whether it is a brick-n-mortar local bank, credit unions, and ebanks. Find the best deal and read all their terms. Decide how important it is to you whether or not you need a local bank. I myself do most of my banking with Schwab, but also have some money at a local bank as well, but that might not work for you. We all have different banking needs.
In my Wallet:
  • Amex PRG NPSL[3-14, bd 91]
  • Sallie Mae MC $8000[1-14]
  • Chase Freedom $4700[1-14]
  • Discover It $2750[8-13]
  • BoA UCF Alumni Cash Rewards $5000 [3-15]
Sometimes in my Wallet:
  • GM BuyPower WEMC $5000[9-14]
  • Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex $7000[4-14]
  • Barclaycard Arrival WEMC $7000[3-14]
  • BoA Better Balance $3000[2-15]
In my sockdrawer: Amex BCE $1000[10-13, bd 91], OCCU Duck $10000 [11-13], The Sportsman's Guide Visa $8000[8-14], Chase Slate $4000 [9-14]Delta Gold Amex $2000 [2-15 bd 91], Diners Club MC $20000 [10-14] Commerce Bank Visa $2000 [3-15] Citi Double Cash $1000 [3-15]
Total CL: $90450

s.jessica
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Postby s.jessica » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:25 am

After having my nose in the stupid computer for days on end I finally discovered GoBank claims to be a real bank account but the debit card is coded as prepaid, WTF???? This would certainly be a major step up for someone who uses prepaid but won't replace bank accounts for most people. What really blows is they make you fund the account with at least $50 before they will open the account and send you a debit card, then they have your money until you receive your debit card and activate it. No clue as to how much longer it will take to get my card. Wow, information isn't always right in front of you, you have to spend all your free time for days and days with your nose in the computer, you seach and search then you discover what an idiot you really are.

My supervisor said this account won't work to switch over my direct deposit because they require a voided check from the new account, he said I can't just write the numbers down, that won't go. My work pays via direct deposit only, they don't like to issue paper checks and if they have to issue more than several paper checks, they will require the employee to sign up for their payroll card. They advise if you have a payroll card that you go to an ATM on payday and take out all the cash on the card. What they said was since I supplied an old account, deposits would continue to me made to that account until such time as I bring in a voided check from my new account. If for some reason my current account is closed, I will be issued a payroll card. My supervisor said if I want a new bank account it need to be a REAL checking account at a REAL bank, not a prepaid card pretending to be a checking account. They have found prepaid cards to be unreliable, funds can be rejected because the address my employer has on file and the address they have for me are slightly different. This is an employer that gets upset when employees run to a check cashing place instead of depositing at a bank so now they require everyone to have direct deposit.

What's more I've opened several checking accounts none of which will hold your opening deposit until you get your debit card, I've usually had permanent checks and a debit card within a week or so and I was able to deposit and withdraw money before I got me debit card, here they've had my $50 opening balance for 2 weeks, still no debit card and they won't give me back my $50. Then what ticks me off, they have a mobile app for android, but while my phone is android, it's too old or something and the app won't work on my phone. If I want to use the mobile banking app, I have to get a new phone.

I guess I should just learn my lesson, my parents won't keep their nose out of my stuff and keep trying to take everything over because they don't think I did it right and I keep trying to work against them but I just can't win. I had to use their address for a time because I had to stay at their place when I was without a job, big mistake because then you are back living with your parents, period. About 6 months ago I found a job again but in a different town. My bank account still had my parent's address and my mom wouldn't let me change it because she wanted to get my statements and see them. I signed up to go paperless, so my mom went into the bank and complained. She got the statements stated again and now my online access is blocked.

I realize I don't know what I'm doing, my parents have always done everything for me in the past and just won't quit, they said if I'm not happy with my current bank account they will find something else for me, but then they came back and said they looked at several banks and what I currently have is better than what they can find. They are just so afraid I'm going to make a mistake they won't let me do anything for myself and anything I do is never good enough so they have to step in and fix it. I'm determined to find something they can't step in and change, but I've never had to do it before so I guess it will be lots of opening and closing accounts until I get it right.

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:58 am

Some idiot posted a "news" article saying how this was the big wave of the future that was going to replace conventional banking. I read more info about it, and as Otter said a way to give them interest free loans essentially and gives you less flexibility than a debit card linked to your accounts in a conventional bank. For the vast majority of people this is NOT a good thing. I suspect the budding reporter probably owned some stock in the company and was looking to pump and dump. Hey if the CEO can lie and do it, he might as well too, but it's nothing to get excited about. I'd take a big pass on it.

s.jessica
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Postby s.jessica » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Were can I report these thieves to? First they need a $50 opening deposit to open your account and send you a debit card, like an idiot, I did that. Unlike a real bank, I have to wait for a debit card to activate the account so I can get my $50 back. It's now been 14 days and no debit card. This seems to be some scam where they will open an account for anyone charge $9 for a custom debit card, slam the door in your face and keep your $9. I found some comments if you don't order the custom card, you get low priority and it can take up to a month to get your card.

I was told on another forum, since I chose the free debit card and to give GoBank $0 for a monthly fee, I'm not profitable for them and risk being shut down at the drop of a hat. I had a chat with someone who did order the $9 custom card but chose to give GoBank a $0 monthly fee. They purchased several reload cards for points on their credit card and GoBank shut them down for excessive reloads and barred them from ever using another Green Dot product for life. When that happens they hold your money for 10 business days, then they send you a check.

I also had no idea this happened, you really have to search, but as was explained to me by my local banker, when you engage in subprime services like check cashing and prepaid cards, you become classified as "underbanked". I guess that's really really bad, but I'm not sure how. 10 days with my nose in the computer doing search after search and I'm still looking.

I ended up having to tell my parents because I couldn't account for the $50 that was missing from my bank account. They are giving me 5 days to get the account closed. After that, they step in and do it for me. Make that 4 days, mail just came and no debit card. I just received a response from my email to them, it seems funds for the initial deposit can take up to 10 business days to clear, then allow another 10 days to receive the debit card. Sounds like my best option now is just to forfeit the $50.

whit
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Postby whit » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:15 pm

bank accounts shouldn't be this hard

I think for those who have a difficult time there usually a bigger matter then just the matter of having an account

for you it seems like you need to come to an understanding with your parents or find a way to end them controlling your finances eg bank account

best of luck to you



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