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GoBank Review

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by Lauren Perez Updated
GoBank

GoBank is a great option for someone who just needs a simple checking account. This account doesn’t earn interest or come with any extra perks, but you can write checks with it and easily access it online and on mobile. Plus, if you want to deposit cash, you can visit your nearest Walmart or free ATM. 

GoBank stands out for its handy tools that make banking and saving easier. These tools help you set concrete budgets, pay bills and spend your money within your means.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Checking Account
  • Includes budgeting and savings tools
  • MasterCard debit card included

GoBank Interest Rate Comparison

Earn over 8 times the national average with a CIT Savings Account. Get 2.15% APY on balances of at least $25,000 OR monthly deposits of $100 or more with an initial $100 minimum deposit.

GoBank Overview

In 2014, Walmart began offering more than just produce and discounted school supplies with its foray into the banking industry. In partnership with Green Dot Bank, Walmart began offering the GoBank Checking Account. You can open this account online, on mobile or by visiting a Walmart and purchasing a starter kit for $2.95 and funding the account with at least $20. You can also head to Walmart to make cash deposits at any time.

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GoBank Account Features

When you open an account, you’ll face a monthly membership fee of $8.95. You can get this fee waived by setting up direct deposits that meet a minimum of $500 each statement cycle. However, you’ll never face fees for overdrafts, nonsufficient funds or any other penalties. 

You can access your checking account online, on mobile and at a network of over 40,000 ATMs. You can even deposit cash at your local Walmart. The account also includes ASAP Direct Deposit™, mobile check deposit, bill-pay capabilities, budgeting tools and savings tools.

GoBank Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • $20 (+ $2.95 starter kit fee) when opened at a Walmart store
  • $0 when opened online/on mobile
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and participating Walmart locations.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $8.95 monthly membership fee, waivable with payroll or government direct deposits totaling at least $500 per statement cycle

The GoBank Checking Account is as simple as checking accounts come. It doesn’t earn interest or offer special discounts. Rather, it simply helps you stash, save and spend your money. You can pay bills, set up direct deposit, use your MasterCard debit card and more. You do have check-writing abilities, although a pack of 12 checks costs $5.95, so you may decide to stick to using your debit card and electronic transfers. You’ll also have access to the Money Vault feature, which helps you stash away some money for savings purposes. Your money won’t earn interest, however. 

The account charges a monthly membership fee of $8.95. You can have this fee waived by setting up direct deposits that total at least $500 each statement cycle. You won’t face any fees for using any in-network ATMs, depositing cash at a Walmart, overdrafts, nonsufficient funds or penalty fees. You will face fees, however, for opening an account with a starter kit at a Walmart, depositing cash at other participating retailers, using any out-of-network ATMs and bank tellers and for foreign transactions

Where Can I Find GoBank?

This image details the GoBank mobile interface.

You can find GoBank online, on mobile, at Walmart or at over 40,000 ATMs. You can download the mobile app through Apple AppStore and Google Play. Without any physical branches, you can deposit cash at your local Walmart (unless you’re in Vermont). The mobile app can help you find the nearest free ATM. 

What Can You Do Online With GoBank?

You can do just about anything you need to do with your GoBank Checking Account online or on mobile. This includes sending and receiving money, checking your transactions, paying bills and more. 

Plus, using the mobile app offers a couple extra features. For one, you can easily deposit checks while on the go. You’ll also have access to GoBank’s Fortune Teller feature. This tool helps you avoid overspending by assessing your balance, budget and purchase amounts. If you need to find a free ATM nearby, the app has a tool for that, too.

How Do I Access My Money?

You can access your money online, on mobile or at over 40,000 free ATMs. Online, you can simply log in with your email and account password. The same goes for logging in on mobile, whether through the app or on your phone’s internet browser. 

You can access your money at an ATM with your GoBank MasterCard debit card. You can also use your debit card to deposit cash at a Walmart, except for Vermont Walmarts. Just present your card at the register and tell the cashier you would like to deposit cash into your GoBank Checking Account. 

The GoBank Checking Account does not provide paper statements. If you’d like a paper version of your statement, you can access your statements online and on mobile and print them from there.

How Can I Save More Money With a GoBank Account?

Although the GoBank Checking Account does not earn interest, you can save money by using a few of GoBank’s tools. For starters, GoBank allows you to build a budget based on your monthly expenses and income. You can set alerts and reminders to stay on top of your money and spend it responsibly. 

Spending responsibly is also made easier with the Fortune Teller feature, which helps you with purchase decisions to stay on budget. When you want to make a purchase, Fortune Teller will check that price against your balance and your budget. That way, you can see whether you can actually afford that purchase. 

Finally, you’ll have a tool called Money Vault where you can set aside funds for safekeeping. Your money won’t earn interest like with a bona fide savings account. However, it helps keep you from spending all of your money, especially if you’re saving toward a specific purchase or goal. Then when you’re ready to spend that money on your goal, you can easily transfer the funds back into your checking account.

What’s the Process for Opening an Account With GoBank?

This image details GoBank's account application page.

You must be 18 years or older to open a GoBank account. You also cannot open the GoBank Checking Account as a joint account. If you’d like to open an account in-person, you can head to your local Walmart and purchase a GoBank starter kit. You’ll have to pay $2.95 for the kit and open the account with at least $20. 

You can also head over to the GoBank website or the mobile app to open an account. You can do this from any page online by clicking the blue “Open Account” button in the top right corner. If you’ve already purchased a starter kit, you’d enter the 16-digit card number and 3-digit CVV to register your new account. If not, you’ll leave those spaces blank and begin by entering your name, birthdate, email address and phone number, as shown here. You will also have to provide your Social Security number and other personal information.

What’s the Catch? 

GoBank is an interesting banking situation. Founded by Walmart, GoBank is a brand of Green Dot Bank. There are no branches and you can only make cash deposits at a Walmart. This means you can mostly access your account online or on mobile. 

You’ll only find one checking account option here, so you’ll want to look elsewhere for a bank with a larger account suite. Plus, you won’t find any accounts that earn interest. 

Bottom Line

Perhaps you never thought you would be able to bank with Walmart, but in fact you can. You can’t open a variety of accounts like you would be able to at most other banks. However, you can open a simple and easily accessible checking account. The account also includes tools to help you manage your money through budgeting, spending tracking and more. Anyone over 18 can open this account. You don’t even need to deposit a minimum amount when you open online or through the mobile app. 

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Best Places to Save

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where people have the opportunity to save money. Zoom between states and the national map to see the best places to save.

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Rank County Median Household Income Cost of Living Purchasing Power Estimated Tax Rate

Methodology Where you live can have a big impact on how easy it is to save money based on several regional factors. Our study aims to find the most suitable places for people to save based on median household income, average living expenses and income tax burden.

First, we calculated the average cost of living in each county for a household with two adults (one working). We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living.

To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for a family making $50,000 annual income in each location. Next, we created an effective tax rate index for each county, which reflects the counties with the lowest ratio of income taxes to the assumed $50,000 annual income.

Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall best places to save score. We used a three-fourths weighting for purchasing power and a one-fourth weighting for tax rates. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect places that are better to save.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study