Credit Cards

How To Delete My Green Dot Account

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 7 minute read

In order to get a feel for the flexibility and convenience of my Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card, I decided to take part in a 30-day challenge organized by Visa Clear Prepaid and Green Dot, in which I would be obliged to pay for all of my regular costs with my prepaid debit card. Visa Clear Prepaid, which includes the Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card, is designed to make selecting and using a prepaid card simpler. Cards that adhere to the Visa Clear Prepaid standards give you more safeguards and peace of mind as a customer. This is how it unfolded:

Organizing the Challenge

Before beginning the 30-day challenge, I decided to utilize my prepaid card for all of my day-to-day spending instead of my Chase Freedom credit card or my debit card from my local bank. Therefore, I made a plan that accounts for the normal monthly costs I’d put on those cards, plus a little more. Long-term and emergency funds were not factored into my budget.

Keeping Track of Shared Expenses

My family consists of more than one member, just like the families of millions of other Americans. My wife and I have a joint checking account and use that debit card to pay for some of our shared costs.

My wife and I established a spreadsheet that itemized our individual contributions to the home budget so that we could keep track of joint costs paid for with her personal monies and with my Green Dot card. I had good results with this approach, and I think it would work for anyone in a similar situation. A personal financial app can provide you with comparable functionality.

Budget Divisions

Now that we’ve ironed out the details of how to split up expenses, I’ve settled on a monthly budget that covers the following areas. We each put in the same amount of money in the joint categories, unless otherwise specified.

  1. Rent, utilities, groceries, pet food and supplies, home products, shared entertainment, and restaurant meals are all things that may and should be split amongst roommates.
  2. Expenditures that are uniquely yours, including the clothes you wear, the coffee you buy for work, the movies you see, the restaurants you eat at, the car you drive, the groceries you buy, the cleaning supplies you use,

My Loading and Reloading Knowledge

My card needed to be loaded with funds before I could begin the 30-day challenge. I found that setting up direct deposit for my Green Dot card was not the best option for me, despite the fact that direct deposit is the least expensive option for most individuals.

Instead, I utilized the debit card/bank transfer option; I purchased it online for free, and the load prices range from $1.50 to $2.95 depending on whether you choose Express Transfer (one business day) or Standard Transfer (two business days) (three business days). You must give Green Dot with your bank account details in order to use the bank transfer option. 

Within two days, Green Dot will make two test deposits to your bank account. Your account is validated and may be used to reload your Green Dot card after you confirm the deposits in the proper amount.

I had to load my prepaid debit card three times over the course of the 30-day challenge: once for my original budget, once because I neglected to account for a regular utility bill in my budget, and once because of an unforeseen, non-recurring expense at the conclusion of the project. I picked Express Transfer and paid the $2.95 price because both reloads were unanticipated and required prompt action. In subsequent months, I’ll likely have a better grasp of how much I’ll need to budget, so obviating the need to load more than once.

The loading and reloading of bank transfers was, thankfully, fairly simple. Green Dot states that transferred cash may take one to three business days to arrive on your card, depending on your bank and the transfer speed you choose. However, my money was always accessible for use instantly and displayed in my online dashboard as soon as I closed the transfer widget.

Spending

Once I’d loaded enough money onto my Green Dot prepaid card, I could finally start using it to pay for the various costs I’d planned for in advance. What were my chances of making it through the 30-day test?

Paying Bills

Since I started my 30-day challenge towards the conclusion of a calendar month, I had to start with my biggest monthly cost right away: rent. In terms of setting up payees and scheduling payments, there was no learning curve because Green Dot utilizes the same bill pay system as my regular bank.

I added our landlord to the system and set up a recurring payment for my part of the rent due on the first of every month. It’s important to note that the card has a $1,500 limit on rent payments.

While I was there, I also took care of the rest of our monthly utility bills. It came as a nice surprise to me that all of our vendors were already registered with the platform. Just to make things easier, I’ve been paying all of our bills in full and have had my wife send her share of the money straight to me. With a Green Dot card, she could have sent her share directly to my card without any fees.

Consistent Purchases

My impression was that the checkout process was quite comparable to paying with a credit card, and thus, incredibly easy. I would be prompted to input my personal identification number (PIN) after swiping. While I always had the option to cancel the purchase and use the credit, the extra step added a few seconds to my checkout time.

To be fair, this is to be expected given that the card is, in essence, a prepaid debit card that may be reloaded with funds. To the cashiers I dealt with, my Green Dot card was just another form of plastic payment; they never batted an eye.

My Green Dot card was put to good use throughout my 30-day challenge, which saw me making purchases from a wide range of stores and restaurants. Not all of them, by any means.

  • A local supermarket chain
  • My neighborhood food co-op
  • A significant big-box store
  • Several fast-food restaurant franchises
  • Two independently owned coffee shops
  • Two gas station corporations
  • A network of pet stores
  • A Post Office in the United States

Not being a frequent online shopper, I did make one online purchase during the 30-day challenge to ensure the card worked with online stores. It was clear that I was using a debit card, thus the transaction went through without a hitch.

The Green Dot card allows you to make purchases, receive cash back at the point of sale, and withdraw cash from ATMs within the card’s network all within the scope of a single monthly charge. With the Visa Clear Prepaid program, you may use your prepaid card without worrying about overspending or hidden fees, making it easier to keep to your monthly spending plan.

Although I don’t frequently use ATMs, my Green Dot transactions have always been simple and quick. MoneyPass ATMs are widely available in my neighborhood and offer free cash withdrawals. It would have cost me $2.50 plus whatever fees the ATM owner assessed if I hadn’t been able to locate a MoneyPass ATM.

Balance Monitoring

I made it a practice to check my credit card balance many times a week, usually before bedtime, throughout my 30-day challenge. It’s simple to keep tabs on your Green Dot card’s balance with a quick check in the top right corner of your account dashboard.

My card’s balance usually always updates itself immediately after a transaction or a scheduled bill payment, so there has never been a time when I doubted that the amount displayed was an accurate reflection of my available credit. On the other hand, it might take hours or even a full business day for a transaction to show up as pending on my credit card.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the results of my 30-day experiment exceeded my expectations. Never once did a purchase not go through because of a difficulty with my Green Dot card or because a store refused to take it. Even though I made a significant budget error and had an unexpected cost throughout the month, I was still able to stay on top of things thanks to my habit of checking my Green Dot account balance on the regular and the ease with which I can navigate the dashboard.

Therefore, there were no unsuccessful financial transactions. My month-long experiment with a reloadable prepaid debit card showed that it is possible for someone with a reasonably complicated employment situation and a shared family budget to make ends meet with one. If this keeps up, I may have to abandon my former method of budgeting.

This piece was made possible via the generous support of Visa Clear Prepaid and the Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card.

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