A Green Dot card is similar to a lot of other prepaid debit cards that you can buy at grocery, convenience, and drug stores, with some extra benefits. Like other prepaid cards, your Green Dot card is as good as cash, can be used for online payments, and is easy to load with funds.
Unlike traditional credit cards, there’s no approval process for obtaining a Green Dot card, and your Green Dot card usage doesn’t affect your credit score. All you have to do is buy a card at participating retailer and load it with funds at the time of purchase, reloading as needed.
Green Dot cards come with some additional perks compared to other prepaid debit cards. The Green Dot app and GreenDot.com offer basic online banking services, such as online bill pay, sending money directly to friends and family, and even ordering paper checks.
As great as a Green Dot card is, though, it’s not a traditional bank account, and it does have some inconvenient downsides. While it’s easy to transfer money from your bank to your Green Dot account, moving money the other way is a little more complicated.
Here’s what you need to know about transferring money to your external bank account from your Green Dot card.
Transferring Money from Green Dot to Your Bank
A Green Dot card is more like a prepaid gift card than a bank account, so it’s meant to have money added to it. Loading money onto your prepaid Green Dot card is easy through the Green Dot app, but what if you want to get that money back?
There’s no direct way to transfer money from your Green Dot card to an external bank account, but that doesn’t mean your money is trapped on the Green Dot card forever. You’re just going to have to get a little creative to move money the other way.
Send Money to Yourself
A Green Dot account allows you to send money directly to any person in the United States with their email address or telephone number. Of course, this is usually used to send money to a friend or family member, but you can use the same feature to send money to yourself.
At GreenDot.com or in the Green Dot app, sign in and go to “Send Money.” There, you’ll enter your own name and email address or phone number into the “Recipient” fields, and the amount of money you want to send.
Once you’ve finished sending the money to yourself via the Green Dot banking site or mobile app, you’ll receive a money transfer notification. The notification will arrive via whichever method you entered when sending the money – text or email.
Follow the link in the notification and fill out the requested information to complete the transfer. Funds may be loaded to a registered prepaid debit card, another Green Dot card, or the debit card associated with your bank account.
Write Yourself a Check
You can also write yourself a check from your Green Dot account and deposit it into your external bank account. This method requires a little bit of advanced planning the first time you use it, but after that, it’s effortless.
You should start this process now, even if you don’t need to transfer money right now, so it’s easy to do when you need it. In the Green Dot app or at GreenDot.com, access the “Pay” menu and click on “Paper Checks.”
Make sure your name and address are current and valid, complete your order, and voila! Paper checks in your name are on their way to your doorstep. Once they arrive, all you have to do to move money from your Green Dot account to your bank is make out a check to yourself.
Green Dot checks are generally more expensive than the checks you get from your bank – $5.95 for a book of 12 checks – so you probably won’t want to use them for your regular bill payments. But they’re perfect for occasionally transferring money to your bank.
A Green Dot card is a great way to get started with online banking, especially if your credit score isn’t perfect or you’re just wary of traditional credit cards. They’re easy to purchase, reload, and use, with lots of perks that you usually could only get from a traditional bank.
It’s a little more challenging to get the money from your Green Dot account to another bank, but not impossible. With a little bit of advance planning, it can even be easy. Check out our other articles on Green Dot and other online financial solutions.
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