GoBank is a unique banking experience because it is an online-only bank that offers customers a single checking account option. No savings, money market or other accounts are offered. Due to their limited options, GoBank may not be the best place for people who want more from their banking service. However, it does work for people who want a simple banking experience because it still offers the basics from writing checks, a debit card, making digital transactions, and ATM access.
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Who Is GoBank Best For?
Because they are an online-only bank, GoBank offers features and benefits that will appeal to some customers but not others. Here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of using GoBank.
- Simple, user-friendly platforms
- No overdraft fees
- Helpful financial tools such as Money Vault, Fortune Teller and budgeting
- No credit check
- All deposits insured by the FDIC
- $8.95 monthly fee if you don’t make monthly direct deposits of at least $500
- $3 out-of-network ATM fee
- Fees of up to $4.95 to deposit cash at various locations
- Can cost $2.95 to open the account
- Non-interest bearing
- No physical branches
- Limited banking services
Who Might Want To Choose GoBank?
GoBank is the perfect platform for customers with past financial missteps. This is because they don’t use a credit check or ChexSystems to approve accounts, so customers with bad or not ideal credit can still qualify for a standard checking account.
Additionally, customers who don’t need a traditional bank branch but prefer an easy-to-use, virtual banking experience may consider GoBank as an option. GoBank’s user-friendly mobile app and financial education tools might appeal to customers seeking a more modern banking relationship.
Who Might Want To Skip GoBank?
Unfortunately, GoBank doesn’t offer as high of interest rates as many of its online competitors do. Also, their services are limited to basic checking and ATM/debit card transactions. The account offered also carries high fees for certain transactions. Those in need of more comprehensive banking services, high annual percentage yields or a fee-free experience might want to look elsewhere.
Types of Accounts Available
GoBank offers a single account, coupled with a mobile app and an ATM/debit card. Here’s a quick look:
The GoBank account is a streamlined checking account mainly designed to be used with its mobile app. Features include a debit/ATM card for point-of-sale purchases and cash withdrawals. If you elect to receive direct deposits — which is recommended as a way to avoid the $8.95 monthly fee — you can get access to your funds up to two days before your regular payment date.
Aggregate purchases using your GoBank debit card are limited to $5,000 per calendar day. ATM withdrawals are limited to $500 per day. Additional limits may be imposed at GoBank’s discretion.
If you’re looking to deposit cash into your account, you’ll have to visit one of GoBank’s 100,000 participating retailers. This can include large chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger. However, you will have to pay up to $4.95 for the service.
Your GoBank account even comes with budgeting and financial education tools that can be helpful in teaching you how to be more financially wise. One feature that makes GoBank’s app stand out is their Fortune Teller which is a financial tool designed to keep you from spending beyond your budget.
Here’s a breakdown of the GoBank account’s pros and cons:
- Standard checking account features like check writing, bill pay and ATM/debit card
- Mobile check deposit
- Receive paycheck up to two days early
- Fortune Teller mobile app feature
- $8.95 monthly fee without direct deposit
- No interest
- Fee of up to $4.95 for cash deposits
How To Bank With GoBank
To open a GoBank account, you either head online or via the mobile app. All you’ll need is your name, date of birth, mobile phone number, email address, street address and Social Security number. In rare cases, you may even need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or other form of identification.
Another option for opening an account is by purchasing a starter kit at a participating retailer and depositing at least $20. This isn’t the best possible option, as you’ll have to pay up to $2.95 to buy the kit and you’ll only be granted “limited-use” account privileges.
Until GoBank can successfully verify your identity, you can’t add any more money to your account. However, you can still use your starter debit card to make purchases or cash withdrawals.
Mobile and Online Banking
As mentioned above, GoBank is designed specifically for a mobile and online banking experience. As a bank with no branches, you’ll have to conduct nearly all of your transactions via the online and mobile platforms.
One of the interesting features offered by the GoBank mobile app is the “Slide for Balance” tool, which lets you look at your balance without having to log in. You can also use the mobile app to deposit checks remotely. Keep in mind that the Fortune Teller feature is available only on the mobile app as well.
Here are some of the features you can look forward to if you decide to go with GoBank:
- Budgeting tools
- Money Vault
- Account alerts
- Bill pay
- Send & receive money
GoBank has no overdraft or bounced check fees, which appeals to all kinds of customers. However, this feature could be an issue if you have a past of managing your checking account.
Keep in mind that GoBank does have other fees that customers should be aware of. For example, GoBank charges an $8.95 monthly account fee unless you make a direct deposit of at least $500. Signing up for an account through the site or through the mobile app is free, but if you sign up through the starter kit offered at retailers, it can cost $2.95.
In-network ATM transactions are free, but GoBank charges $3 if you use an out-of-network machine. Purchases from foreign websites and merchants with your debit card trigger a 3% foreign exchange fee. If you want to deposit cash into your GoBank account, you’ll have to visit a participating retailer and pay a fee of up to $4.95. If you need to order checks, you’ll be charged $5.95 for a 12-pack.
Availability of Funds
Mobile deposits could arrive in your account as quickly as one business day, but some checks may take up to five business days, according to GoBank’s website. Cash deposits are typically available immediately at banks. GoBank sets a maximum limit of $2,500 in cash deposits in one day and $3,000 every 30 days.
GoBank is a great option for customers who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to their mobile banking. It’s also great if you have a below average or not ideal credit that makes you ineligible for a traditional checking account.
The GoBank account still allows you to write checks, use a debit card, withdraw cash at ATMs, make online and mobile transactions, and take advantage of financial budgeting tools. For more posts like this, check out our list of bank guides and bank account promotions!