Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card

The Green Dot® 5% Cash Back Visa® Debit Card is arguably the most widely used prepaid card today. You’ve likely seen the Green Dot card for sale at pharmacies, grocery stores, and even Walmart. The Green Dot® 5% Cash Back Visa® Debit Card is offered by Green Dot, a publicly traded company (NYSE:GDOT), and it sells about 1.5 million new prepaid cards every quarter. So it’s big. But is its prepaid card good?

To evaluate any prepaid debit card, there are two key factors to consider: (1) Features, and (2) fees. These aren’t the only factors. Customer service can be important if you tend to call your card company a lot. But features and fees are what set most cards apart, for better or worse.

Green Dot Features

Green Dot’s features are unique in several ways. First and foremost, it pays 5% cash back up to a $100 reward each year, which is unheard of in the prepaid card space. Green Dot also offers a free mobile app that allows you to track your spending. You can also write checks from your account to pay bills, a feature many prepaid cards don’t offer.

Green Dot Cash Back Prepaid CardLearn More

You can use the card anywhere that accepts Visa debit. The card can be used to make purchases online and to pay bills that accept debit cards (e.g., cell phone bill). You can also load the card with direct deposit. With direct deposit you get access to your paycheck faster and don’t have to pay check cashing fees (a reality for many unbanked). You can also use direct deposit for government benefits checks or tax refunds.

Green Dot Fees

The fees associated with Green Dot prepaid credit cards depend in part on how the card is used. For example, the cost to get the card at a store is $1.95, but there is no fee if you get the card online. There is a $9.95 monthly fee for the card. If you take advantage of the cash back rewards, however, most of this comes back to you over the course of  a year..



Green Dot also offers what it calls a MoneyPak. A MoneyPak gives you the ability to load cash onto a Green Dot card (or any prepaid card for that matter). There is a lot of confusion over how MoneyPak works, so here are the details:

  1. You buy a MoneyPak card at a retailer. The cost of the card typically is $4.95 + the amount of money you want to load onto a prepaid card. So if you wanted to put $50 on a prepaid card, the MoneyPak would cost $54.95.
  2. The MoneyPak has a unique code on the back. With this code, you can then go to and use the unique code to add the money you placed on the MoneyPak to your prepaid card.

As you can tell, there is a cost to add cash to your card. If you think you’ll be adding a lot of cash to your card, you may want to consider the Walmart MoneyCard(SM) MasterCard® Prepaid Card. It is actually a branded Green Dot card with one big advantage–you can load cash on the card at any Walmart store.

Green Dot Complaints

The Green Dot card has been the subject of numerous consumer complaints. If you search for complaints, you’ll find dozens of websites with people complaining about every company or product on earth. I generally ignore these sites. But one site I don’t ignore is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). While the BBB isn’t perfect in its ratings, it’s probably as good as you’ll find. While Green Dot has an ‘A+’ rating with the BBB, it also has a lot of complaints.

Here’s what the BBB has to say about these complaints:

Complainants allege difficulty activating cards, or that reload amounts are not credited to their card as agreed. Some customers complain they are initially unable to activate their cards due to invalid activation numbers, or other complications. Other customers complain they experience problems or delays with having re-load amounts credited to their cards, complaining of excessive delays, or that amounts are lost or miss-posted. In some cases, complainants report the company asks for proof of the re-load amount paid, before the amount can be credited or refunded, causing financial hardships for the cardholder. In some cases, complainants report they are unable to speak with anyone who is capable of resolving a problem, or that the company fails to return calls. The company responds to most complaints by offering apologies for delays, activating cards, or posting re-load amounts. In some cases, the company offered additional credits or refund amounts to compensate customers for inconveniences, delays or problems.

With those complaints, one has to wonder how Green Dot has an ‘A+’ rating. Here’s the BBB explanation of the factors that have raised the rating:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business

I’ve actually used the Green Dot card and had no problems. But it’s always important to consider the good and the bad before picking a card.

Final Thoughts

The Green Dot® 5% Cash Back Visa® Debit Card is one of the best prepaid credit cards available to consumers today in terms of cost and features. To sign-up or get more details, visit the secure application page for the Green Dot® 5% Cash Back Visa® Debit Card.

Topics: Credit Cards
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28 Responses to “Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card”

  1. Do not get this card. The customer service rep are horrible. I paid for gas an amount of $7 and this company is holding a $125 for $7 worth of gas. I talked to 3 people who are supposedly “supervisors” who said they cant do anything because it is frys who is holding it. I called frys and go figure it’s not frys it is this stupid card. There is only “supervisors” who answer and cant help with nothing and no one above them to speak to. I would never suggest this card to anyone unless you are like my worst enemy.

  2. John Mcdaniel

    I got a green dot card and put 50.00 on it, the gray strip instead of scratching off melted and the numberspeeled offbeen trying to reach customer service and that’s impossible, so be weary if you need help you can hang it up, you may be like me and just lose your money!!!

  3. Wow this company is soooo corrupt! So they have one card that isn’t ripping a lot of people off! What about Consumer Affairs Reports? Hundreds of them! Google Green Dot fraud and there are too many websites to count and hundreds of vomplaints! ABC News did a story about Green Dot Walmart Gift Card fraud. Ty You want to push this company? Makes me suspicious of you.

  4. I bought a green dot Walmart Visa gift card and loaded it was $300. I don’t like to have cards that I can use all the time because it’s too easy to spend the money so I buy a gift card occasionally so I can buy things on eBay and I use it to buy supplements because I’m really sick and I need them. I bought it on September 22nd and I took the card out of my purse on the 25th, Friday night and went to buy things on ebay and I was declined. PayPal initially took the card and everything was fine and it showed I had $300 then all the sudden the money was just gone and they didn’t understand it. I spent the whole night on websites on the phone trying to figure out what was going on finally since there’s no way of talking to an actual person with Green Dot I tried clicking on the lost or stolen card and I was told I couldn’t speak with anyone because there was no money on this card. All the sudden I felt really sick I was like what are they talking about there’s no money on the card I had just opened the pacjage and taking the card out. Come to find out I’m only one of so many that this has happened to. ABC News did a report about this happening to a woman with $1,000 and the poor woman it was the same thing as what happened to me and they said Walmart doesn’t wants to just sweep this under the carpet. Then when I brought it up to friends I found out that it happened to another friend of mine with gift cards she bought for her nephews over $500 and she never got the money back she said she tried with the Green Dot customer service and she tried they wanted her to mail a letter her and she has a business to run and finally she had done everything and she just gave up. The card has a code on it and that is supposed to match the code on the outside of the package it didn’t. It took 3 days to show that the money on the card went to a Walmart in Hemet California. That’s over a hundred miles away from me and they said that there were purchases made at that Walmart on the morning of the 23rd. How did this happen? Well Walmart employees told me that another woman had the same problem 2 days before me and that they had to remove all the cards in the store two months prior because of fraud. I was told somebody comes into the store and grabs a bunch of cards and scans bar codes etc. through the packages. I’m not sure how it works from that point. But the big thing was my card didn’t match the package code.Walmart said they’re not responsible I have to go to Green Dot. Now Green Dot tells me they think that I spent the money and have it. I used the card and hadn’t even opened or registered yet I’n fact I registered it on the 25th and I’m going to drive 100 miles to a Walmart? I would have had to have drove all night the night I purchased it to get there on time and the amount of money it would have cost in gas would have been almost as much as the gift card was worth! Why would I do that and why wouldn’t I just pick one close by it doesn’t make any sense and they know it! This is happened to so many people Green Dots customer service person that I finally got to talk to after Walmart give me a phone number was screaming at me and said “why do you buy gift cards, just stop buying them. That was his answer for his own companies cards? I can’t afford just to lose $300 and it’s so obvious I wasn’t involved since the card number didn’t match the card in the package. I know this Walmart got all the money because somebody went and obviously bought stuff at that Walmart they won’t let me see anything. So supposedly I made all these purchases let me see any documentation and they’ve blocked the card so that I can’t see anything yet supposedly I made the purchase of show shouldn’t I be able to see them? They won’t do it. Now I’ve submitted my documents to Green Dot after calling again and asking to see the purchases I supposedly made. This customer service person ask me if I have the receipt from Walmart which I did she ask me to read off a number off the receipt and to read a number off of the card I did she said those numbers didn’t match right and she wanted me to submit pictures of everything so I did. I was supposed to hear back within 24 hours and I’ve heard nothing. Walmart district manager was isupposed to call me never did. It’s a big scam just type in “Walmart Visa giftcards problems” on Google and see what you get.

  5. Jimmy John Jangle

    When I got my Greendot card maybe a year ago, I immediately upgraded to their “VIP Member” option (I can’t remember how much that cost, it was like $10 or something). But first – Greendot is an honest operation, anything they told me happened and on schedule. No mysterious missing money or anything like that – and I’ve used it a lot over the past year, But anyway, with the “VIP” upgrade I don’t get charged any fees and it’s true: I can get through to their customer service much faster than the average person can.

    However, there are 2 things that I don’t like. First, if an online merchant rips you off, Greendot will not back you up (like a regular bank would), If you complain about them not backing you up, they simply tell you to read the terms & conditions. And yes, it;’s right there. So no ‘transaction dispute protection’ with Greendot. Second, their customer service can use a slight improvement. You get connected to a call center in India, and those people simply read off of some script they are given. Example: person says ‘look at the terms & conditions, there is typically a 2 day delay on this type of deposit’. You ask, ‘Why is there a 2 day delay? That doesn’t make sense.’ They will respond with: ‘I am sorry for your inconvenience. There is typically a 2 day delay with this type of deposit.’ (Basically like talking to a robot. They will not veer at all from the script.). Ok, occasionally I’ve reached agents who were more human-like, e.g., Hmmm…I’m sorry, let me see what I can do for you,’ but that’s been the exception rather than the rule.

    But those are the only two things I see that could use an improvement. Regardless, Greendot is a very honest banking operation and can be trusted. Just be sure to read the terms & conditions thoroughly.

  6. My kids father sends me greendot Moneypaks Today I reloaded My Card Went to Use It And Declined call Up Gdot And they Tell Me My Acct Closed And I talk To two Ppl they Tell Me cvs Took My Reload Something About Phone Fraud?! Wtf? so Instead Of Getting my Kids Groceries i sit… no Money

  7. how long does it take to get a refund back on my greendot visa prepaid card? I went to get gas, didn’t know how much it would take to fill it up so I told the clerk to just do 50$.. well it took 38 of that..they say they couldn’t give the cash would be refunded onto my card…it isn’t yet.

  8. Christine Fryman

    I purchased what I thought was a money pak, but turned out the clerk sold me a gold visa debit card for $100.00 When I realized it I went back and they said sorry no refunds. I had to pay another $100,00 for the right card. I’m mad as hell and want my money back.

    • Rob Berger

      Christine, I’m sure that’s totally frustrating. I would think, however, that you can still use the gold visa debit card so that you don’t lose your money.

  9. Kevin K.

    My wife and I recently started using the WalMart Green Dot Mastercard.

    As of now if you buy the Preferred card ($6) you have no monthly fee ($3) if you get direct deposit or you load $500 of more in a month.
    There is no overdraft fee’s, which is a great thing if your money is as tight as ours. Our bank charges $37 for each overdraft.
    They also offer the online vault if you buy the preferred card. This is like a savings acct just without interest.
    So far everything has been great.
    Good Luck all.

  10. jessica

    i bought this stupid green dot card to pay my bills and it wont let me pay my boost mobile bill i have tried 4 times and it still wont let me pay it keeps saying contact your financial banking institution and i tried to call customer service but of course the dumb company is closed

  11. ej brothers

    My account was closed and they stated it was for suspicious transactions. I explained a friend was sending me money for a car but customer service said there was nothing i could do and could not get a card again. I have asked for a complete audit as a result of what is going on either internally or externally within the Greendot organization.

    Green Dot Corp could care less about its cardholders. Do you really want to trust your money with a company who routes its customer service calls to the Philippines? What if a block is placed on your account, can you afford to wait 10 business days while they review your verification docs? Or what if you don’t recognize a charge on your account, do you want to deal with a company which makes excuses not to reimburse you. If you say yes, then Green Dot is for you!

    Avoid Green Dots cards.This includes the Walmart Money Card and anything associated with Green Dot. With us they have no business!

  13. Wesley Greenfield

    I purchased a money pak to load my paypal acct because i had a hold on mybank acct someone stole checks out my truck.the money pack wouldnt verify.called MP and they said call PayPal.Was on the phone an hour making sure everything was ok with address etc.Tried the MP again same thing.I had my mother try on hers and same thing.The money was there but could not transfer.Called Mp back and the said the same thing only this time they told me to get the Green Dot Master card or Visa and I would for sure be able to take care of my phone payment,ebay and a couple small bills,So thats what i did.Know i have this GD Mastercard that doesnt work.I tried to use it at McDonalds to get my kids something to eat.Declined,so i went home checked the balence and all the info.Pc said alls good.Tried to add to my P-P acct,Declined.WTF so called GD master card consumer hotline.They checked info and money was there and as before nothing is wrong,but they said there system said the 3 digit security code was wrong was why it was declined,so i gave them the code and it was the correct code.They said i must have entered it wrong.I laughed.They said try and make a transaction i did same thing.They more or less told me o-well.I asked for supervisor,managers and she just kept saying thats all we can do our systems says everything is correct on there end.That was 4 days ago and im sitting with no money and phone is shut off now and i have a unpaid case open on ebay.My phone is boost with shrinkage and you pay your bill on time for 6 months and the bill shrinks 5.00 every six months.Needless to say i didnt get it paid on time and i was on my last payment so that costed me 60.00 a year and my phone is disconnected.I also dont understand why one of the biggest companys dont have 24 hour customer service…O i know because they cant help your situation.

  14. Ive purchased the green dot card. And when the automatic computer sets me up with my information, i clearly say my name loud and clear. The computer then skipped questions. Then i was told i could only use the card once, and i cant put any more money on it. How lame is that? That happened to me twice and i purchaseed the card twice. Customer care couldnt help me, just told me to purchase another card. Why? So the same thing can happen to me again. absolutely ridiculous!

  15. Lori Anderson

    The part about not charging for ATMs in-network is totally false. I was charged $7.50 for ATM withdrawals at the US Bank in Franklin KY listed on their sites. When I called to request a refund I was notified that although US Bank would not charge me, Greendot still did and if I read the terms and conditions I would see that this was part of the agreement. The agreement however, states that they will charge no ATM fees for in-network withdrawals. I am still out $7.50 and after over 2 hours on the phone have been told basically to shove off by the supervisor that was suppose to help me with this matter. I have filed a complaint with the BBB but do not expect this to change anything with Greendot. $7.50 is such a small amount but how many other people have they ripped off this way. There should be a law against this. I have printed the user agreement and it states clearly on the paper there will be no fees for using a network ATM. They lie though…

  16. Weston Terry

    Rob is right, it isn’t a scam. I would encourage that you read all the details whenever your money is involved. Know what you are signing up for before you sign on the dotted line.

  17. Rob Berger

    Diana, you can get the monthly fee waived if you load $1,000 a month on the card or use the card for 30 purchases a month. Otherwise they charge the monthly service fee. I don’t think it’s a scam as they clearly disclose the fee right up front. But if the card isn’t working for you, you may want to check out our list of low fee prepaid cards.

  18. Diana

    GREEN DOT CARDS take 5.95 a month on top of what you pay for the card at the checkout.
    This is terrible. I am calling master card and complaining to them about this as well. Green dot took 12.00 from me because I purchased the card last week of april and then again first week of may. They should be ashamed of stealing this way. Fraud, Scam, customer service at green dot is out source so good luck on getting one that can speak english well enough to understand them.

  19. Good review.

    I believe that many of the Green Dot complaints revolve around the MoneyPaks, which are used by most other cards also though not always exclusively. The scratch off number can be scratched off along with the coating and if you don’t keep the store receipt you are out of luck and your money. I bought a pak at a CVS once and the number was no good. The store manager had to call Green Dot before he could exchange it for me because I could have already used it. That was a lengthy process.

    If someone gets a Green Dot card its better to get the Mastercard since they can be swiped at an Radio Shack and there is no possibility of a mistake. Mistakes can also be made with cards that reload at Western Union or Moneygram where you are dependent on the clerk inputting the info correctly. Swipe loads are more secure and quicker.

    Green Dot is rolling out a Mobile Deposit Program where someone can scan their paycheck and have it deposited on their card. They have ads on the web for positions for that in particular.

    Finally there are more complaints about Green Dot simply because they have the most customers and have been around the longest.

    • I bought a prepaid green dot gold visa card yesterday and put all of money on it and everytime i try to verify it it saids that the card is invalid.ive call all the numbers that i could find for green dot and was not able to speak with a real person. can someone please help me i have a 3 month old daughter and i really need to use that card or get my money back.

  20. There are plenty of shady prepaid cards that should be avoided. It’s tough to say where the Green Dot Prepaid Card fits with the BBB complaints. I have heard that some companies can maintain a high rating on there just by paying for a higher membership level. The BBB is run like a business while many assume that it is a non-profit organization. Of course when any product is very popular, there are bound to be some complaints even if they are just from people who did something wrong or were not aware of the actual terms and conditions.

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