Is Go Bank Better Than American Express Bluebird?

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Link:  Go Bank Application

Go Bank is a new checking account alternative which is very similar (and perhaps better?) than American Express Bluebird. 

Go Bank 10

Say Hello to Miles & Points!

You can:

The Go Bank debit card has the potential to turbo charge the way we earn miles and points.  You can pay rent, utilities college tuition, mortgages, and even credit card bills and potentially earn lots of miles and points!

Go Bank

My Go Bank Debit Card

For example, say you have to spend $3,000 within 3 months on a credit card.  You can buy Visa Gift Cards with a PIN with your credit card (from grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores etc.) and load them on your Go Bank debit card. You will pay a $5 to $6 fee for the gift card.

Even Better With a PIN!

Even Better With a PIN!

Buying the Gift Cards with a PIN with your credit card will count towards the spending requirement on your credit card and earn miles and points.  You then use your Go Bank card to pay your loans such as your mortgage, student loans, rent etc. or to get cash back which you can’t usually do with a credit card.

I prefer the Go Bank Bill Pay (you can set up recurring payments unlike with Bluebird and the monthly limit is higher) and customer support to that of American Express Bluebird.  The Go Bank interface seems much better designed than the American Express Bluebird interface.

But Go Bank is owned by GreenDot, which arbitrarily closes accounts, so please read the warning at the end of the post.  This isn’t for everyone!

Go Bank

Go Bank is run by Greendot (a prepaid card issuer) and is an FDIC insured on-line bank.  You can’t immediately open an account because Go Bank is limiting the number of sign-ups.  But I received my invitation in about 3 to 4 weeks after requesting an invitation.

Go Bank 1

Request a Go Bank Membership

You can request an invitation for a Go Bank account via this link.

My Experience

3 to 4 weeks after requesting an invite, I received an invite and signed up for a Go Bank card.  I deposited the $50 needed to order a debit card, but I could not order a custom debit card with one of our pictures from Hawaii!

I called customer service, and was almost immediately connected with a US based representative.  She explained that there was nothing which she could do, but that I’d be automatically sent a regular debit card because my custom image was not accepted.  About a week later, I received my Go Bank card.

Go Bank 3-001

My Go Bank Card

1.   Loading at Wal-Mart.   I took my Go Bank debit card to a regular cash register & to the Wal-Mart Money Center and was able to load it with a Vanilla Visa gift card with a PIN and with a US Bank issued gift card with a PIN which I had bought with a credit card.

Go Bank 4

Loading the Go Bank Card at Wal-Mart

The cashier was a little hesitant at first because she had never seen a Go Bank card, but I asked her if she could try and sure enough I was able to load it with my Visa gift card with no fees charged at Wal-Mart!

But my Go Bank balance, (printed on the receipt) didn’t increase with my 2nd and 3rd reload at Wal-Mart.  But I checked the online app and my Go Bank balance had increased.

What are the odds that I would bump into a Million Mile Secret reader loading his Bluebird card at Wal-Mart as well!

2.   ATM Withdrawal.   I withdrew $100 from a US Bank ATM which was one of the fee-free ATMs, and verified that I wasn’t charged a fee!

Go Bank 5

Withdrawing Money With the Go Bank Card

3.   Cash Back.   The Go Bank card is a debit card which means that you can use it to get cash back at stores.  I was able to get cash back from various stores using my Go Bank card!

Go Bank 9

Groceries & Cash Back!

 4.   Money Orders.   You can buy Money Orders with the Go Bank card at places such as USPS post offices, Wal-Mart, Kroger-owned grocery and gas stations, and other locations.

5.  Bill Pay.   I made small test payments to see how the Bill Pay system works and will post in more detail soon!  I really liked being able to set recurring payments, so that I can schedule my rent and student loan payments and not have to worry about them!

However, the terms say that you can’t use the Bill Pay service to make tax payments.

Go Bank 7

Bill Pay With Go Bank

Go Bank Fees

Go Bank will make its money from interchange fees (the fee which shops pay to banks whenever a customer uses a card for a purchase) and interest in Go Bank accounts.  They also claim that customers will love their Go Bank account so much that they will voluntarily pay a fee of $0 to $9 per month!

There is NO fee for joining or using GoBank.  You can customize a debit card for a $9 one-time fee, but I wasn’t able to submit a picture for my debit card.

1.   ATM Fees.   There is no fee for withdrawing money from a network of 40,000 ATMs.  There is a $2.50 fee in addition to fees charged by the ATM owner if you use any other ATM.

You can find a free ATM via this page on the Go Bank website.  Or you can use their app to very easily find an ATM when you are out.

However there is a 3% foreign transaction fee (in addition to the $2.50 Go Bank fee and the fee charged by the ATM owner) for using an ATM outside the US.

2.   Foreign Transaction Fee.   Unfortunately, there is a 3%  foreign transaction fee for charges which are not in US dollars.  American Express Bluebird doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, so this is the one area where Bluebird could be better.

3.   Bill Pay Fees.   There is NO fee for making bill payments such as mortgage or loan payments, paying your rent, etc.

This means that you can buy a Visa gift card with a PIN at a grocery store or drug store or office supply store with a miles earning credit card.  You will earn miles or points for buying the gift card.

You can then load your Go Bank card at Wal-Mart with the gift card card and use Go Bank’s Bill Pay to pay your mortgage or other bills and earn miles and points!

4.   Monthly Fees.   Go Bank doesn’t charge a monthly fee, but gives you the option to pay from $0 to $9 per month.  If you like their service and product, you could consider sending them a few dollars each month!

Go Bank 8

How Much Do You Want to Pay?

GO Bank Limits

I haven’t personally verified the limits below.

1.   Daily Spending Limits.   You can spend up to $3,000 per day.  This includes the ATM withdrawal limit of $500 per day.

The limits reset at 12 midnight Pacific Standard Time.

2.   Daily Load Limits.   You can load up to $2,500 per day and the maximum load is $1,100 per transaction or load.

The limits reset at 12 midnight Pacific Standard Time.

3.   Bill Pay Limits.   There is a limit of $5,000 per bill pay transaction. 

But customer service said that I could send multiple payments in a day if my Go Bank balance was large enough.  This is very helpful for folks who want to pay down a large loan balance.

4.   Maximum Balance.   The maximum balance on your Go Bank card is $50,000.

CAUTION

Warning:  You should NOT experiment with the Go Bank debit card and reload card if you can’t afford to be without the money loaded in your Go Bank account.  Many people complain that Green Dot (which owns Go Bank) arbitrarily closes accounts and that it takes months to get your money back.

– Do NOT fund Go Bank and then immediately withdraw money from an ATM or transfer money to your checking account.  That is very easy to detect.  Withdraw only as much money as an average person would – that is in the hundreds of dollars and NOT thousands of dollars per week.

– Use Go Bank for lots of routine transactions as well.  If all you do with Go Bank is withdraw money from the ATM or to your bank account, you are likely to be shut down because you are unprofitable for GreenDot.

– You WILL get shut down if you try to spend tens of thousands of dollars per month at any store with any one card.

– I can’t give you an exact amount  and you’ve got to decide for yourself what is a reasonable limit.

– Alternate with other credit cards so that you’re not buying too many gift cards with just one credit card.

Bottom Line

You can request a Go Bank card online at Go Bank.com.

Go Bank opens up a whole new world of point earning opportunities, but you have to go easy.  Otherwise you risk having your Go Bank account shut down.  I use my Bluebird and Go Bank to help meet credit card minimum spending requirements and to pay my loans and rent which otherwise wouldn’t earn miles and points.

Stay tuned for more posts on Go Bank!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 10,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in a RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

118 responses to “Is Go Bank Better Than American Express Bluebird?

  1. Where’s the smiling face of your lovely wife holding cards in front of WM? We’re being gypped!

    Do you know what the monthly load limits are using debit loads?

    And can you load $2,500 in one day at WM with multiple transactions?

    • @Rebekka – Check your spam folder, because it could be there.

      @YouLoseOnInternet – Actually a reader forwarded this to me when Go Bank started in January. This is your *only* warning. You *will* be added to the spam list if you persist in making comments with different usernames. Are we clear, Mick?

      @Pauly @Brent – Yes there is a FlyerTalk thread on it, but there is more information on fees, limits etc. in this post.

      @Margit @Maury
      – You could try buying a GreenDot MoneyPak and loading online. But GreenDot MoneyPaks are hard to come by with a credit card.

      @FrequentMiler – I’m quite excited about the recurring Bill Pay feature!

      @DaveS – Well put, but some would rather blogs didn’t exist!

      @Michael Belisle – Good to know!

  2. Very cool news. I’ve been wanting to test this out. I signed up for GoBank about 2 months ago & still haven’t received an invite. Hopefully mine is coming soon. I don’t like Bluebirds bill pay either. I do have a Simple account but I haven’t tested out the money orders yet

  3. YouLoseOnInternet

    @Paul, check the relevant FT thread (unlinked in this work) where the original idea came about and all answers are there

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1428935-gobank-greendot-online-banking-debit-card.html

    This method will typically work for any particular thing mentioned in this blog.

  4. I just love you bloggers. You take an idea from somewhere else like FT or FWF and report it like you found it on your own. You just got an invite, isn’t that why you are trying out the BillPay? Too bad you can’t get commissions from them.

  5. Oh, yeah, I forgot. Please tell the reader which institutions the GoBank can link checking with.

  6. Any suggestions for folks who do NOT live near a Walmart?

  7. Good info, thanks. I had a similar experience with my 3rd load at Walmart not showing up for about 15 minutes.

  8. Where’s Emily???
    Was the MMS reader at WM confused when he found no circles or arrows anywhere to be found in the store? 🙂

  9. I’m not much interested in manufactured spend at this point – maybe someday when I have more time to implement such techniques and more time to travel too – but I think MMS is doing just fine in sharing it with us. Yes the information can be found elsewhere, but the blogger’s role is to synthesize, summarize and explain for his readers, most of whom do not have the inclination to wade through hundreds or thousands of posts in an FT thread, of varying levels of significance and competence, and many of whom cannot spend the time to be checking constantly the myriad FT threads for those nuggets that are new and useful. Don’t get me wrong – I find FT a valuable resource myself, but I can fully understand that the blogger’s role is different from that of FT, and very useful too.

  10. Agree with above. The FlyerTalk thread is way ahead on this one and has asked/answered pretty much any questions that will come up here. Suggest you all check it out and keep tabs there for the most up to date info!

  11. Is the only way to load this through a cashier at Walmart? Seems like BlueBird has an advantage over this one that you can load via Vanilla Reloads at home by computer.

  12. Michael Belisle

    I just signed up and was able to get account immediately. didn’t have to wait

  13. Thanks for killing this one.

  14. Can I load the bluebird with the go bank? Need instructions!!

  15. An “inclination to wade through?”. Is that how you are characterizing laziness these days? Comments here are necessary to steer newbies away from potential pitfalls of blindly following a blog. The readers here do a good job with criticism of some articles as long as it is not personal.

    “blogger’s role is to synthesize, summarize and explain for his readers”-> Not quite how you came up with this job description.Would have been ok had it been an original idea. Granted it is not infringing copyright, but limits have been crossed several times. Some of us want to educate the newbies reading here about better avenues and better blogs so they rightfully pay the bloggers who do original work. That’s all. If making a difference to the top line here is by steering newbies away, then so be it. Hopefully it results in better literature for everyone.

  16. i think iron maiden wrote a tune about this, it was called DEAL KILLAAAAA

  17. Darius,

    Comments the last couple days seem to indicate you’re on the verge of becoming one of “those” bloggers who censor critical comments (you doing it under the guise of being rankled by multiple user names). I hope you do not take this unfortunate step. Diversity is good.

  18. This is a very nice, thorough post – with exactly the types of info we need.

    …or would need, if this deal wasn’t already dead.

    I’m surprised such a well-researched article would not include the announcement GoBank made on May 10th – check your email:

    “Deposit Options
    Using a debit card to deposit money into your account will only be an option when making your initial deposit. Ongoing deposit options now include Mobile Deposit, Direct Deposit, bank transfer and cash.”

    Anecdotal evidence suggests GoBank is struggling with the implementation of this new rule, but I certainly would not have incited a rush to apply for an account that is already in the process of being rendered useless for miles/points-earning.

    Or perhaps you have received inside info from GoBank that they are not moving forward with their plan to kill debit card deposits? Please let us know. If that is the case, this is certainly a great product.

  19. SocialistKenyanMuslimHitler

    GoBank has piece of s*** software. It is utterly amatuerish. Simple functions on their website don’t work. They use some 3rd party verification system to “validate” your identity that doesn’t have accurate info. I wouldn’t trust them with anything.

  20. I like the increased limits over Bluebird, but I can’t handle managing yet another manufactured spend account at the moment (managing 2 Bluebirds right now). Plus, I hate making the trips to Walmart. I only do that if my CVS hasn’t restocked the VRs. I have found Bluebird bill pay surprisingly good, actually. Every payment I have made has been processed the next business day, often in less than 24 hours. The only thing missing is a recurring feature.

  21. Off topic: does anyone know if I upgrade my amex business gold to amex business platinum will I get charged the annual fee or it is waived for the first year as well

  22. @John – NecessaryIndulgences:

    I’m surprised such a well written response would not include other pertinent information found by reading the last few pages of the FT thread.

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that you can no longer use a debit to load your GoBank online; however, you can continue to load using a debit card at the WM using the kiosk or Money Center.

    Or perhaps you are just very greedy?

  23. @Jessica – sorry, my bad. I actually did go back and read through the last few days of comments on the FT thread before posting, but I didn’t go back as far as 5/17 where the comments indicated that we can still load at WM using a debit card.

    FWIW, I have a GoBank account but haven’t funded it yet. Got the card, got the May 10th email & assumed it was pointless, left for Brazil. Just back yesterday and saw Darius’ post this morning.

    So, I guess that rules out greed…but not careless stupidity on my part :).

    I’m off to fund this card now. Thanks, Darius, for all the great info. And to Jessica for pointing out my error.

  24. @Michael Belisle Did you use a different link to get acceptance immediately. How long before you got your card?
    @ Darius Any reason why some get quick acceptance while, it appears, others wait for weeks or even months?

  25. ffs give credit to FT where you plagiarized this from. Don’t use the same bs excuse of “A reader forwaded me” crap.

  26. QQ- I live in NYC so we don’t have Walmarts around. Can we load anywhere else?

    Also, can you write checks using this?

  27. Darius, two questions. how easy to load GD reload card and second, any danger if to use this sole account just for bill pay. Thanks

  28. You downplay the risks here.

    I guarantee you that if you use this exactly as described here, you WILL be shut down by go bank/greendot. Happened to me, and I was v-e-r-y cautious about manufacturing the spend. They WILL close your account one day, out of the blue, for no apparent reason. When you call them, they will even admit that you did not violate any of their terms, you did nothing wrong, but they will say they are freezing your account “because you are using it in a way that it was not intended” (translation: you are taking advantage of THEM, and the system is set up for them to take advantage of YOU).

    It will take months and many long phone calls to get your money back. I’m still waiting for mine (account closed in March).

    You can do what’s described above a few times. If you plan to do it frequently/regularly, it’s 100% certain that you will be shut down and they will hold your money for a long time.

    This blog is very deceptive: the blogger does a “test” (uses it once or twice), says “hey it worked for me, here you go, do this!” but he doesn’t do it over and over – which is what his followers expect to do.

    Expect to have your account frozen and your money held if you do it more than a few times. Guaranteed.

  29. Robert Hanson

    If you manage to slog thru that dreadful FT thread linked above, you will see that the possibility of have your funds held hostage for months is very real, and can easily happen while staying within the published T/C. Even a couple thousand dollars can trigger a blocked account if you don’t use it “in the way GB intended”. Which seems to mean not generating enough fees… 🙁

    • @Brent – There are lots of critical comments on the blog and they will stay (just look at this thread). What I will NOT tolerate is misrepresenting oneself, abusing other commenters, and creating a nuisance in the comments.
      One approach is to make EVERYONE register and verify identity before posting comments. The other option is to add to the spam list (not delete) persons who create fake identities, abuse others etc.

      @John – NecessaryIndulgences – You can’t load with a debit card online, but you can still do that at Wal-Mart and via the app. You were limited to $200 per day when debit card funding was an option, so it wasn’t really worth it. The debit card funding at Wal-Mart is considered a “cash” load.

      @Lisa – As always, do what you’re comfortable with. This was just an option for others.

      @SAPMAN – I’m not sure.

      @Ganta – Angry, aren’t we?

      @Nicole – You may be able to buy MoneyPaks from RiteAid and then reload online.

      @choi – I don’t know, but will try it out for a few months and let you know.

      @Kulikan
      – Perhaps you missed the warning at the end of the 1st section and the “warning” in red at the bottom where I mention that GreenDot is known for closing accounts?

      @Robert Hanson – It is a real threat with GreenDot prepaid cards, but since Go Bank is a new product and doesn’t really charge the consumer fees (Green Dot makes money when consumers actually use the Go Bank card or leave money in the account) it could be different. Just like AMEX is more lenient with Bluebird users than with SERVE users. But I’ll load a few thousand dollars a month and pay bills to check it out.

  30. If your funds are frozen by any bank, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These are banks regulated by the FDIC, the CFPB, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

    Thanks Daraius for this post. I’ve signed up for Go Bank. Hopefully they will process my request sooner rather than later.

  31. “@Nicole – You may be able to buy MoneyPaks from RiteAid and then reload online.”

    You going to credit that nugget (which NUMEROUS others have reported different NYC experiences for, btw), or just take it from another blogger and pass off as your own?

  32. hey darius. continue to love your blog. if i can get your help, i have found very few places that will sell me the visa gift card using a credit card. suggestions?

  33. I have yet to find a place that allows credit cards for Visa/MC gift cards purchases. Everywhere I go it says : Cash and Debit Cards only. ID required for Debit card payments”.

  34. I know BB daily Walmart load is $1000 per day.. 5k per month. What is the daily/monthly load limited for Gobank (via pin enabled Visa GC) I can’t seem to find this info

  35. Since when did you start posting CC advertisements at the end of your posts?

    And what happened to grandma and her disclosure policies?

  36. Let the haters hate, this is a useful summary, and the overall utility of having this information in digestible blog-form is higher than keeping it reserved for FT nerds.

    Amazon Payments and Bluebird are two examples of where everyone knows the score, but as long as you don’t go too crazy or do anything unethical, no one seems to mind.

    Darius, keep up the good work!

  37. Great summary Darius, appreciated!! Just added my name to the waiting list, hopefully I can get in on this before it’s too late.

  38. Darius, good work. Screw the haters, most if not all of them have a misguided sense of property law both in practice and in theory. If you trolls have any questions, take your own advice and waste a bunch of hours trying to find and interpret the Copyright Clause yourself. I’ll give you a hint: the Lockean property principles that you adhere to do not form the basis of any IP law in the US.

    Those that insist that one must “work” at painstaking efforts to rightfully gain information probably don’t even recognize the convenience through which they received their information. That online forum where you compare and discuss ideas is kinda helpful isn’t it? Would you have received your info any other way (which is btw the same way that bloggers glean info)? But i guess to you guys this is wrong. I guess you’ve unilaterally decided how one can rightfully use these forums and where the boundary is (which happens to coincide with your greedy interests) …and that’s what we should all follow because you guys are just so smart.

    Also, you guys sound like bitter plantation owners after the Civil War. Seriously, after you read this (and log back onto FT to reassure yourselves how much better you are) get a life.

  39. Darius, thanks for the Info, I hope I get an invite soon.

    Brent and others, why are you here if all you do is whine like a child? Censorship? Flyertalk and it’s mods are perhaps the worst offenders of that. Why don’t you ask them how many people they censored and kicked off the board for being Critical of British Airways when they De-Valued a couple years ago?

    Yes that is your precious Flyertalk! It used to be a great site but now is run by a bunch of socialist commies and populated by anal retentive idiots like you!

    • @wtfci – That’s a good reminder on what to do if your funds are frozen.

      @Sol @jorge – It depends on the policy in the store. Some stores have the sign, but the cashier lets you buy them with a credit card. I’ve had good luck at CVS, Wal-Mart, and Kroger stores.

      @David – $2,500 a day and the maximum value on the card is $50,000.

      @Rob – There have been ads in the post and on the sidebars for over a year!

      @Elton @Steven @oldguy @Fearthebeard
      – Very eloquently put. Thanks!

  40. Darius, a clarification, please…

    In “step 1” of this article, you say that you loaded your GoBank debit card with a “Vanilla Visa gift card with a PIN and with a US Bank issued gift card with a PIN.” Since PIN-enabled gift cards appeared, I’ve been unable to find a *Vanilla* VISA gift card that allows you to set a PIN. (US Bank, yes — Metabank, yes — Vanilla, no.) Have the folks at Vanilla jumped that hurdle in the very recent past?

    The link behind that text points back at your Bluebird article — which I assume was a mistake since that article:
    a) Makes no mention of Vanilla Visa gift cards, … only Vanilla Reload cards, and …
    b) Was written before gift card PIN enablement began.
    Is it possible that you meant to say “Vanilla Reload” and not “Vanilla VISA gift card.?

    • @Ed – Thanks! I updated the link. I was able to load the cards with a Vanilla Visa gift card. Just buy the Vanilla Visa and enter any 4 digit number as the PIN and it worked! I did NOT mean Vanilla Reload because you can’t load the card with that.

  41. despite a number of attempts, GoBank could not verify my address. Not sure why

  42. Hi, do they do a soft or hard inquiry on the credit for GoBank application? Thanks.

    • @new – I’m not sure, but I haven’t got an alert from my credit monitoring service.

      @David – I used gift cards (I paid a fee to buy them), but didn’t pay a fee at Wal-Mart. I had the same experience where she said there was a fee, but after swiping the card and processing the transaction there was no fee.

  43. Darius the how have you been able to avoid paying a fee to reload at Walmart? A manager told me the only card that can be loaded without a fee is BB. All other loads cost 3-3.75.

    Also,when you load with MVD isn’t there 50Cent fee on the MVD end?

  44. Do you think purchasing 2-3 $500 ($1000-1500) Visa gift cards each month with my INK card would raise the red flag? Also, what are your thoughts on loading the Gobank debit card with that amount for two recurring payments? Too much amount and too little activities? Thank you so much for spending your time researching so that we don’t have to.

  45. Was able to open an account and found this interesting:

    When you choose the initial funding, if you pick “cash” it gives you the option to load with a Green Dot Money Pack. It also mentions that the $4.95 fee for the money pack will be refunded:

    “Retailers charge up to $4.95 for this, but GoBank will automatically refund this to your account for your first deposit.”

  46. Can you load this at Walmart with a debit card from ufb direct for AA miles or suntrust delta miles? Has anyone tried this?

  47. Since this is a debit card can we pay taxes online through the debit processors?

  48. I forgot to ask, can I use my CC to fund the account or will it be considered a cash advance?

  49. @Ken, YMMV, but both their site and their mobile app warn you twice to use a debit card and cite possible fees otherwise.

  50. Data point….. I “joined” the same day this posting was posted, and got the “Well get back to you when an opening opens up” and today 5-23-13 got my invite. I have signed up, in fact, I was able to custom my card which was accepted. Now just have to wait for the card to arrive. Another great way of making miles…Between BB and this, our trips we have planned will happen.

  51. Put my name in for Go Bank yesterday and got the welcome to Go Bank email today. Went to sign up and started on first few pages until I got to the address page. I guess just like Bluebird, no Vermont choice for state. Guess not registered in VT. Either not worth it and/or PITA I guess! Oh well.

  52. Don’t you think your website name is ironic? I can’t be the first one to say that, right?

  53. Sorry, Darius, but I can’t get a PIN-based debit transaction to work with a Vanilla VISA gift card. “Unable to process debit transaction.” Actually, you say the same thing yourself in this post: http://millionmilesecrets.com/2013/04/06/gift-card-pin-number/. You say, “But I wasn’t able to make ANY debit purchases at Kroger, Dillon’s, Wal-Mart, CVS & Wal-Greens using a PIN with the Vanilla Visa gift card!”

    I’m sure I’m simply not understanding something. May I ask, is the POS loading of a GoBank card the ONLY PIN-based debit transaction that works with a Vanilla VISA gift card? (In other words, have you been able to use a Vanilla VISA gift card anywhere else, for anything, with a PIN-based transaction?)

    Thanks.

  54. Darius,
    I’m new to your blogger, I just opened Gobank, I was able to make initial deposit with GD MoneyPak but it said that I can only do it for one time only (initial deposit) . After the initial deposit, I’m not able to use GDMoneyPak to fund my account anymore. how did you continue load your Go Bank debit card with a GreenDot MoneyPak? Thanks in advance.

    • @Mark – I’ve only been able to buy MoneyPaks at some Rite Aid shops and are curious which shops let you buy them with a credit card.

      @Gin – You can.

      @Ken – Haven’t tried that, but remember the daily spending limit.

      @Tony – Glad you were able to get your custom card!

      @Mark A – Sorry to hear that.

      @Ed – That was the 1st time I tried, but it recently worked. I will try again to make sure. I haven’t used the Vanilla Visa with a PIN anywhere since the post above except with GoBank at Wal-Mart. But I’ll try again.

      @Johnny
      – You can load it at Wal-Mart with a gift card with a PIN and you should be able to fund it with MoneyPaks.

  55. how do you load gobank with greendot?

  56. Thanks for the post and for the warning about heavy-hitting on this deal. This is probably something that I will be doing, but I will probably not use it as heavily as I would otherwise.

  57. Also, good seeing you at FTU a few weeks ago. 🙂

  58. Yeah, … still no love with the Vanilla VISA *gift* card. It’s too bad all of these products have such similar names. I’m hearing of success with the “OneVanilla Prepaid Debit Card”, but yours is the only success I’ve read with the Vanilla VISA *gift* card (the stored-value, single-purchase, non-reloadable kind).

    • onecoolrt – You can buy a GreenDot MoneyPak and load with that.

      @Aaron Hurd – Nice seeing you too and I like your blog!

      @Ed – I’ll try again next week to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.

  59. Hi Darius, can I load Chase gift card (just purchased a few) onto this Gobank debit card (received today) inside a Walmart? Which is easier – the cashier or the kiosk? Thanks as always!

  60. Irrelevant question to this topic……..

    1) any milegae/points/rewards program you know that can be used (Like SW/UNITED/CHASE UR/AVIOS/AMEX MR) to book room in a High Fi resort hotel in Goa India (Taj/Leela etc) and room can be book for free utilizing the reward programs?

    2) similar question to book free plane tickets to india?

    Kindly reply Urgently as i am planning a trip soooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnn

  61. New to MMS…. Just signed up and originally got denied SWA 50,000 card.. I asked for reconsideration, they asked me a couple of questions… Mainly income.. I hadn’t reported it correctly.. I had deducted expenses so it appears they don’t care what your expenses are… Just added up ALL my forms of revenue and they approved me on the SPOT … AND reduced the initial spend from 3k to 2k in 90!!!.. That was cool…plus apologized and UPSed my card to me the next day at no charge… such love!!
    I am now addicted to MMS and reading and rereading your posts. So much to learn. I hope I am not to late to enter this process and take my dream trips with my new husband. He is letting me take the lead on this… so..Thanks SO MUCH..BTW, I tried FT and FF before but personal choice is your blog.. Just feel very good energy.. I am still trying to understand how to pay mortgages with cards.. Haven’t tried that yet. I own several properties and being able to pay those by cc should help me get to my goals a lot sooner.. anyway I have been reading for about a month now and now ready to FLY…lol… Thanks, thanks, thanks…. ( PS… wow… I cannot believe the “haters” on here.. I think how you handle them is very mature of you and makes me like this blog even more..

  62. Any thoughts about using the Delta Suntrust Debit Card. I used it. At first got an error for trying to load $1000. I reduced to $500 and it worked. I then tried another $500 and got the error. The Walmart assistant was able to override. So I was able to put $1000 in the account. I use BB and GoBank to pay bills only. I don’t take money out from the ATM ever. Although, I may start using it to transfer money to a non sun trust account. My concern is.. how much will Sun Trust tolerate before shutting me down?

  63. I just was on the telephone with American Express Serve to cancel my account and I found out that prepaid giftcards are not allowed to be added to Serve accounts (although I was successful in adding 2 of them over the course of the last few months). The CSR said that adding a GC could force the closure of your account. I assume the same rule applies for Bluebird. I don’t know if this was already stated in the comments but I thought it was important. That takes away a huge advantage to the strategy of buying GCs with a mile earning CC and then adding them to BB or Serve. Big no no.

    • @payal – You can use Chase Ultimate Rewards and AMEX Membership Reward’s “Pay with Points” option to book rooms in Goa. You can also use Hyatt points or transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt for a room at the Park Hyatt in Goa. You can also redeem American Airlines and United miles (or transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United) for flights to India, but those awards are capacity controlled, so you may have to be flexible with your dates.

      @readytogo – Welcome and thanks for reading! You can pay your mortgage with an AMEX Bluebird card which you load with Gift Cards at Wal-Mart or via Vanilla Reloads online.

      @Charles – You can pay bills directly with the Suntrust debit card at Wal-Mart.

      @Ian – Thanks for the info, but I haven’t heard of it happening for Bluebird.

  64. Got email containing new Terms and Conditions for Go Bank. It seems like they do not allow loading from debit card (visa gift card)

    Deposit Options
    Using a debit card to deposit money into your account will only be an option when making your initial deposit. Ongoing deposit options now include Mobile Deposit, Direct Deposit, bank transfer and cash.

  65. Today I received this update from gobank

    We’re rolling out updates to GoBank’s Mobile Deposit feature, and we’ve edited our Deposit Account Agreement to highlight the improvements. We’ve also made changes to the Electronic Communications Agreement.Here are the key updates:Mobile DepositWe’ve updated our Mobile Deposit limits, availability times and the kinds of checks we do and don’t accept. You can read all about these changes in the Deposit Account Agreement.Deposit OptionsUsing a debit card to deposit money into your account will only be an option when making your initial deposit. Ongoing deposit options now include Mobile Deposit, Direct Deposit, bank transfer and cash.

    It means that go bank is no longer useful for our purposes because the only deposit with debit card is the initial one?

  66. I believe you said you have a UFB A.A. checking account in a previous blog. Have you ever experimented with using the debit card for bill pay at Walmart? Would you earn the $1 per $2 spent (P.O.S. transaction) by doing this?

  67. @Darius: re: UFB daily TX Limit
    You say “… low daily transaction limit …” The Ts&Cs I have say $1,500 in POS TX per day.
    Am I missing a different limit (undocumented or buried elsewhere) or is $1,500/day “low” for you? 😉

  68. Fair point, but then I guess it’s worth mentioning that you *can* make a partial bill payment. The clerk may not ask, may not know how, or may refuse to process it that way, but you *can* do it.

  69. Did anyone try loading money to their GoBank card from a visa gc(w PIN) recently?
    How about moneypak?

  70. I just loaded $2500 (5 Chase GC) last night…no issues

  71. I just wanted to say I think your blog is extremely helpful and I enjoy reading it. I am new to the game of miles and points and I have to say, I come to your blog everyday to read and learn new things. Keep up the great work and do not allow these haters to stop your great work. Thanks again

  72. I tried to load my GoBank last week thru Walmart pos with my ufb AA and was not successful. I called GoBank and they said as of June 12 we no longer accept debit loads from another debit account. Also Moneypaks are out. Has anyone else had that experience? Not sure if I was just getting the cold shoulder or if this is now true. They mentioned you can still load with direct deposit or mobile checks. Bummer ;(

  73. @Gin, if this is true, then what is the sense of having this card, the reason for it was to load moneypaks onto it.

  74. Tony, exactly! Not sure why they are telling me this.
    Will keep trying if others don’t have any problems.

  75. D, I just tried to add the initial load with my ST delta debit card and keep getting error message….does anybody know why s this happening? Thanks

  76. So is this dead or what now Darious???

  77. I only get those error msg when I load over 1k at money machine @ walmart

  78. @Gin, r u able to load with UFB?

  79. My account was closed. I have some 6k in that account. Do you have any idea how to go about getting my money?

  80. They closed my account today too. I did initiate a withdrawal over $5k to my bank in an attempt to use a mile earning debit card this week, so I guess that was not a good idea 🙁

  81. Can I pay tax online using gobank debit card if the amount doesn’t exceed $3000 daily spending limit?

  82. It went out as billpay when I scheduled a payment, just under $2500, to my tax office.

  83. My wife signed up for a GoBank account about a year ago because it seemed like a stress-free bank with no fees and no fuss that was easy to use and manage your money from your phone… the biggest mistake we could have made. Back in March our car was broken into in a Babies R Us parking lot in Jacksonville, FL. Her purse, a long with her driver’s license, debit card, iPhone 5 and all personal information was stolen. Not only did her license get a ticket which is jeopardizing her driving privileges, but the GoBank VISA debit card that was stolen is getting charges on it even after the bank supposedly cancelled the card and reissued a new one.

    Today upon visiting a gas station, and having a balance the previous night of around $680.00, her card was declined and we called the bank. They told us that her account balance was $0.00. The agents were rude, short and simply “unable to assist” my wife with it at all.

    Upon going over the charges, we found several that are obviously fraudulent, including a charge for $180 to “Bare Minerals”, $100 for “Victoria’s Secret” and several for $65+ for various gas stations… completely draining her account. The reps on the phone basically said “tough shit” and that they would “investigate”.

    For comparison, when my card had a fraudulent charge of several hundred dollars, my bank (Chase) simply reversed it BEFORE going on with an investigation – because they know that my money is important to me and that I need access to it. Not GoBank… nope, they simply DO NOT have your back. If your card gets stolen or you have unknowing charges on your account – you are S.O.L.

    This is coming at a time when we need our money the most. My daughter’s 1st year birthday is coming up this weekend, and Christmas is just 2 weeks away… we have bills that are also due and are facing a major setback in our lives all because our money is not protected and there is nobody at “GoBank” that you can talk to… they simply give you the runaround to get you off the phone. Stay away.

  84. @Jacob why would your wife leave her purse in the car???? I have to place some of this whole mess on your wife, Next time ask to speak to a supervisor in a nice calm voice, as all phone conversations are records for “quality.” Maybe next time your wife wont leave her purse in the car…

  85. Does anyone know definitively if Go Bank can be loaded with MoneyPaks from Green Dot? I have seen references but I can’t find Go Bank listed as a partner on the Money Pak website. Thanks.

  86. @Gaurav – per the T&Cs it appears that MoneyPak can only be used to initially fund the account but not going forward:

    “MoneyPak – Pick up a MoneyPak at a local retailer and add cash to it at the register. FYI, retailers charge up to $4.95 for this, but GoBank will automatically refund this to your account. Also, MoneyPak can only be used for your first deposit. Select the MoneyPak option online or on the app, and enter the number listed on the back of the card. Click here to find a MoneyPak location.”

    Darrius – Do you have any updates on this? Thanks, Steve

  87. Is it true you can only use one $500 money pack the first time and then after that you can’t use them anymore?

    “MoneyPak – Pick up a MoneyPak at a local retailer and add cash to it at the register. FYI, retailers charge up to $4.95 for this, but GoBank will automatically refund this to your account. Also, MoneyPak can only be used for your first deposit. Select the MoneyPak option online or on the app, and enter the number listed on the back of the card. Click here to find a MoneyPak location.”

  88. Amol (@PointsToPointB)

    Tried loading at WM just now and it looks like the load limit is $2500 per 24 hours. I tried $2000 yesterday and could only do $500 21 hours later at 2pm pacific

  89. I never needed to purchase a MoneyPak to load my card. I just walk into Walmart or 7-11 and tell the cashier I want to load my card, and I fork over the cash. It’s free of charge, unlike purchasing a MoneyPak.

  90. This is true. They do close accounts without notice. They just closed mine yesterday due to unusual mobile check deposits which made no sense at all! I have a second job where I work per diem and always kept to forgetting to setup direct deposit there. I get bi-weekly so they send my checks in the mail and then I would deposit them. Before this happened, I was singing their praises now it’s the complete opposite. And anyone I have talked to in an attempt to gather any info about it or try to figure out what happened has had an “it’s not my problem” attitude. Even if I had another opportunity to do business with this company, I would never take it. Definitely shady. If you are considering making them your bank, I would think twice about creating an account with them. Seems as though the only way you’re safe from random account closure is if you don’t really spend money on anything.

  91. Pingback: Budget Moneypak Card Paypal | moneyhealths.com

  92. Pingback: makemoneyn.com: makemoneyn.com » Frugal Moneypak Codes

  93. Pingback: My Week in Points: Intercontinental lesson leard the hard way - Rapid Travel Chai

  94. ear Go Bank, Today I called the number given to me by Renia. 1-866-652-4611-2365 I talked to a guy. (Who was RUDE and acted like a real JERK) He says that they are returning my $20 in two or three weeks to my WellsFargo Checking account and they no longer want to do business with me. I assume they are going OUT of business. I was going to transfer a large sum as soon as they released my $20 which they have had since Nov 18th. I did receive the card in the mail. But it will not work because they have a hold on my account. This all started on Nov 18th. I used my business PayPal account to transfer $20 to open a Go Bank account. That did not work. So I transfered $20 from my WellsFargo checking account and they accepted that. But they put a hold on my account because of the PayPal. So I called every week but no one I talked to could connect me with a supervisor and could not release the hold. They said they would call me. They did but I was not at home. The girl Abby did NOT leave a number to call back.I never got any EMails until I left a message here. I have talked over 10 hours over 6 weeks and still do not have my $20. Thank GOD I did not transfer my Social Security and Pensions to them. Stick with a REAL Bank and beware. Avoid GO Bank at all costs. I really learned to HATE them. And all over $20

  95. I have a bank account with GoBank and my tax return was deposited in my account on 2/3/16 and I started making transaction paying bills they then placed a hold on my account because they felt it was my activity was unusual I had to call the number on the back of my debit card to verify my transaction which I did and they removed the hold on my account so I went back to using my debit card. Later that night they placed another hold on my card without notice and I was not able to use my card at all and then next morning I received a email saying ….We’ve identified some unusual activity on your GoBank account. To protect your funds, we’ve temporarily blocked access to your account until we’re able to verify your identity. What you need to do to turn your card back on: Using your mobile phone or computer, submit a photo of your Driver’s License, State ID or Passport at the website listed below. (We’ll give you instructions on how to do this on the website.) When you submit the photo successfully, you’ll receive a confirmation, but we’ll still need up to 2 days to review it.
    I did what they asked that same day which was 2/4/16. As of today which is 2/10/16 the hold is still on my account and I have sent them email after email asking them why my account is still locked after the 2 business days. There is no way to contact the bank by phone and the last reply I received today was We apologize for the inconvenience. Your account is currently under review. We will call you as soon as we have an update. This has been such a horrible experience and I’m a single mother of 4 and I have no other money available on top of that I have a disconnection notice for my utility company if my payment is not submitted by 2/10/16 where I had to borrow money to pay it. I have contacted the Federal Reserve and I have a appointment with a lawyer I will be filling a law suit against this bank I hope anyone else that has had problems do the same.

  96. If I can’t make my initial deposit on the gobank card will my tax refund still be deposited in my account

  97. Tried to load my Gobank with US Bank issued pin enabled MasterCard at WalMart and received “invalid tender” message from register. Is this something new?

  98. I deposited a check on August 1, 2016 and was told this week they rejected it on August 9, 2016. Went to cash it at Wal-Mart since I hadn’t been able to get my paycheck for almost 3 weeks and GoBank cashed it back on August 1st and now every Wal-Mart I have been to in Kansas City area no longer sell the cards. I am so pissed. I have 4 kids to feed. I want my money now!

  99. I use go bank card..I love it…free deposits,never had had any problems..

  100. Could i use this in dominican republic for my vacation?