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Security Service Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Security Service Federal Credit Union checking account options

Power Checking

This is a free checking account that doesn’t earn any interest
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None for in-network ATMs (including CO-OP and Stripes locations); $1.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32.50

This is a basic checking account best for those looking to avoid fees, though you don’t earn any interest. You get free online and mobile banking, and a debit card. If you choose, you can personalize your debit card with a photo. The only monthly fee you may need to pay is a $3 charge for paper statements.

This checking account also offers the Member Overdraft Privilege program™, a service that covers overdrafts up to $1,000. These transactions include recurring debit card payments, checks and automatic bill payments. You’ll be charged the $32.50 overdraft fee if this service does kick in.

Alternatively, you can link your savings or money market account to have funds automatically transferred in case you don’t have enough money in your checking account. The first three transactions are free each month, but then you’ll need to fork over $2 for each excess transfer.

How to get the Power Checking account

You can open a Power Checking account through an online application form. You’ll need to select which option qualifies you for membership and open a basic savings account with $5 to establish membership. Then, provide details such as your address, Social Security number and employment information. Afterward, you can fund your account.

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Power Protected Checking

You can earn interest with this checking account, along with other perks.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.40%
$10,000
0.50%
$25,000
0.60%
$50,000
0.75%
$100,000
0.95%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None for in-network ATMs (including CO-OP and Stripes); $1.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32.50

This checking account is best for those looking for an account that helps to protect their finances and gives cashback rewards. Account holders get identity theft protection, such as credit score tracking, text alerts and ID theft reimbursement up to $25,000. You also get $0.10 cash back for each purchase with your debit card as well as mobile phone coverage — up to $250 — in case you accidentally damage your phone.

This account also comes with the Member Overdraft Privilege program™, which covers up to $1,000 in overdrafts. It includes checks, recurring debit card payments and automatic bill payments. If you opt into this program, you’ll be charged the $32.50 overdraft fee.

Alternatively, you can link your money market or savings account to automatically transfer funds. You don’t need to pay for the first three overdraft transactions in a given month, but if you go over that number, you’ll need to pay $2 for each excess transfer.

Although there is a monthly maintenance fee, you can waive that if you maintain a monthly average balance of $50,000 or more. If you elect to receive e-statements, you’ll avoid the $3 paper statement fee.

How to get the Power Protected Checking account

You can complete an application form online to open an account, where you’ll need to indicate how you qualify for membership and agree to open a basic savings account as well. Then, you’ll need to provide information such as your name, address, employment information and Social Security number. After that, you can fund the account.

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Power Youth Checking

Teens 13 to 17 can open this account to establish membership.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None for in-network ATMs (including CO-OP and Stripes); $1.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is meant for anyone between the ages of 13 to 17 who wants to get a head start on managing their money. Account holders don’t earn any interest, but you’ll get free paper or electronic statements, and both online and mobile banking access. You can also personalize a debit card with a photo of your choosing.

Once the account holder turns 18, you’ll receive a notice that the account will be converted to a Power Protected Checking account.

How to get the Power Youth Checking account

A parent or legal guardian needs to be a joint owner on the account. Your child also needs to open a youth savings account and indicate before filling an online application form how they qualify for membership (if you’re already a member, this counts). Then, you’ll need to provide details such as your name, address and Social Security number, and fund the account.

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How Security Service Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Although the Power Protected Checking account does offer some decent rates when compared with our list of the 10 best online checking accounts, it requires a high account balance minimum in order to get those rates. Also, you’re stuck with a maintenance fee unless you can maintain the balance amount required to waive it. Sure, it’s pretty cool that you can get a personalized debit card, but that perk isn’t worth it considering there are much higher rates out there, plus many of these online banks also offer free checks and no fees.

Security Service Federal Credit Union savings account options

Basic Savings account

Everyone needs to open this account to establish membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is a required account to establish membership with the credit union. As long as you maintain a minimum balance of $100, you can waive the monthly maintenance fee. The fee is also waived if the primary account holder is 65 or older, has a loan with the credit union or a Power or Power Protected Checking account. If you link your Basic Savings account to a checking account, you can use it as overdraft protection and get ATM access. Although you do get unlimited ATM access, you are allowed up to six certain withdrawals/transfers per month for other types of transactions as mandated by Federal Reserve Regulation D. Otherwise, you’ll be charged $10 for each excessive transaction. You can also be charged $2 per withdrawal if you make more than four over the counter.

How to get the Basic Savings account

To open an account, head over to the credit union’s website and fill out an online application form. You’ll need to choose how you can quality for membership then fill in your personal details such as your name, address, employment information and Social Security number. Then, you can fund your account.

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Club Savings account

Achieve your short-term savings goals, but you may be better off with a CD account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Club Savings account is meant to help you set aside money for a specific purpose or a short-term savings goal. You can make as many deposits as you want. You’re limited to transferring funds on Oct. 31.

If you take out money before Oct. 31, you’ll forfeit all the interest you would have earned that month, plus Security Service Federal Credit Union will close the account.

How to get the Club Savings account

You’ll need to open a Basic Savings account to establish membership if you want to open a Club Savings account. Head to the credit union’s online application form and indicate how you qualify for membership, then fill in your personal details such as your name, address, employment information and Social Security number. Then, you can fund both your accounts.

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Youth Savings account

Anyone under age 18 will need this account to establish membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is a required account for anyone under the age of 18 to establish membership with the credit union. Those ages 13 to 17 can link to the youth checking account. Parents or legal guardians need to be a joint owner and will have complete access to the account. Once the child turns 18, the account will be converted to a Basic Savings account.

Since this is a savings account, Federal Reserve Regulation D states that you are allowed to make a maximum of six debits per month. If you go over that amount, Security Service Federal Credit Union will charge a $10 excess transfer fee per withdrawal, or $2 each if you make more than four withdrawals in person.

How to get the Youth Savings account

You and your child will need to open an account together by filling out an online application form. First, indicate how your child qualifies for membership and then provide details such as both your names, address and Social Security number. Once completed, you can fund the account.

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How Security Service Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

The basic savings account for the credit union falls way short when compared with other options offered online. Most of these account have no minimum balances or fees. If you’re looking to maximize your savings with a higher APY, you’re better off looking at our list of the current best online saving accounts.

Security Service Federal Credit Union CD rates

Traditional certificates

Earn competitive rates the more you deposit into the CD.
$500 opening deposit
TermAPY
3 months0.55%
6 months1.65%
1 year1.90%
15 months2.35%
2 years2.25%
30 months2.90%
3 years2.40%
5 years2.65%
7 years2.90%
$25,000 opening deposit
TermAPY
3 months0.60%
6 months1.70%
1 year1.95%
15 months2.40%
2 years2.30%
30 months2.95%
3 years2.45%
5 years2.70%
7 years2.95%
$50,000 opening deposit
TermAPY
3 months0.65%
6 months1.75%
1 year2.00%
15 months2.45%
2 years2.35%
30 months3.00%
3 years2.50%
5 years2.75%
7 years3.00%
$100,000 opening deposit
TermAPY
3 months0.65%
6 months1.75%
1 year2.00%
15 months2.45%
2 years2.35%
30 months3.00%
3 years2.50%
5 years2.75%
7 years3.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 – $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Tiered – see tables above
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term:
  • 1 year or less — 90 days’ of interest or 30 days if your CD has earned less than 30 days’ of interest
  • Less than 5 years — 180 days’ of interest or 60 days’ of interest if the CD has earned less than 60 days’ interest
  • 5 years or more — 360 days’ of interest or 90 days’ of interest if the CD has earned less than 90 days’ interest

These fixed-rate CDs are best for those looking for a conservative investment vehicle as you’re guaranteed the above rates as long as you keep the funds in the CD for the agreed term. These CDs are also best for those looking to take out a secured loan, as the credit union allows you to use the CD balance as collateral. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly. You can choose to have interest earned transferred to another account or kept in the CD.

The credit union will send you a notice 20 days before your CD matures. When it does, you have a seven-day grace period where you can withdraw funds, make additional deposits or renew for another term. Otherwise, it’ll automatically be renewed.

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Future Builder Share Certificate

This CD allows you to make additional deposits and withdrawals before maturity.
TermAPYMinimum opening deposit amount
1 year1.40%
$250
1 year1.45%
$25,000
1 year1.50%
$50,000
1 year1.50%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250 – $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Tiered – see table above
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Applies to those who withdraw more than 50% of CD balances. The penalty is 90 days’ of interest or 30 days’ of interest if the CD earned less than 30 days’ of interest.

This CD is best for those who want a conservative investment account with some liquidity. Unlike the traditional CD, a Future Builder Share Certificate allows unlimited deposits up until the last seven days before your account matures. You can also make make withdrawals up to 50% of your account balance per day and as long as you keep at least $250 in the account.

Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. You can choose to keep interest earned in the account or transferred to another account. Like the traditional certificate, you can also use the CD balance as collateral in a secured loan with the credit union.

You’ll receive a notice 20 days before your CD matures. Once it does, you’ll have a seven-day grace period in which you can renew for another term, make additional deposits or withdrawals. Otherwise, the CD will automatically be renewed.

How to get Security Service Federal Credit Union’s CDs

Opening a Security Service Federal Credit Union CD first requires you to establish membership with a Basic Savings account. Both accounts can be opened with an online application form where you’ll indicate your membership qualifications, then provide personal details such as your name, address, employment information and Social Security number. Once that’s done, you can fund both accounts.

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How Security Service Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Security Service Federal Credit Union’s CD rates are pretty much on par with what’s being offered out there. The minimum deposit amount is lower than what’s currently being required by some of the banks on our list of the best CD rates.

In addition, the Future Builder Share Certificate is unique in that it gives account holders the opportunity to make additional deposits or withdrawals before maturity. The rate is slightly lower, but it could be worth it if you value the flexibility.

Security Service Federal Credit Union money market account option

Security Service Money Market account

You won’t earn a high rate with this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$0
0.30%
$10,000
0.40%
$25,000
0.45%
$50,000
0.60%
$100,000
0.85%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Security Service Money Market account is best for those who want a bit more flexibility than a savings account as it offers limited check-writing capabilities. You can also access your cash via ACH transfer. In order the avoid the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain a minimum daily account balance of $1,000.

Since this is considered a savings account, Federal Reserve Regulation D states that you are allowed up to six certain debits a month. If you go over this, you’ll be charged a $10 fee on each excess related transaction. Your account may be closed if you keep exceeding the transaction limit.

How to get Security Service Federal Credit Union’s Money Market account

You need to become a member in order to open the credit union’s money market account. To do so, fill out an online application form and indicate how you qualify, and agree to open a basic savings account to establish membership. Next, you’ll need provide information such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then, you can fund your accounts.

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How Security Service Federal Credit Union’s money market account compares

The rates for the Security Service Federal Credit Union Money Market account isn’t anywhere near the rates we’re seeing on our list of the best money market rates. Many of its competitors don’t have minimum opening deposits and some even offer limited ATM and check-writing access. If you’re after a flexible money market account that offers better rates, you’re better off going elsewhere.

Security Service Federal Credit Union IRA options

IRA CD rates

Fixed-rate IRA certificates

Earn some decent rates with this retirement account.
$500 opening deposit
TermAPY
3 months0.55%
6 months1.65%
1 year1.90%
15 months2.35%
2 years2.25%
30 months2.90%
3 years2.40%
5 years2.65%
7 years2.90%
$25,000 opening deposit
TermAPY
3 months0.60%
6 months1.70%
1 year1.95%
15 months2.40%
2 years2.30%
30 months2.95%
3 years2.45%
5 years2.70%
7 years2.95%
$50,000 opening deposit
TermAPY
3 months0.65%
6 months1.75%
1 year2.00%
15 months2.45%
2 years2.35%
30 months3.00%
3 years2.50%
5 years2.75%
7 years3.00%
$100,000 opening deposit
TermAPY
3 months0.65%
6 months1.75%
1 year2.00%
15 months2.45%
2 years2.35%
30 months3.00%
3 years2.50%
5 years2.75%
7 years3.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 – $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Tiered – see tables above
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term:
    • 1 year or less — 90 days’ of interest or 30 days’ of interest if your CD has earned less than 30 days’ of interest
    • Less than 5 years — 180 days’ of interest or 60 days’ of interest if the CD has earned less than 60 days’ of interest
    • 5 years or more — 360 days’ of interest or 90 days’ of interest if the CD has earned less than 90 days’ of interest

This IRA CD is best for those looking for a guaranteed rate of return on their cash. As long as you keep your money in for the agreed term, you’ll earn the advertised rate. Interest is compounded daily and paid out each month. Interest earned can be kept in the IRA CD or transferred to another account, though you may be limited by the IRS as to whether or not you can. In this case it’s best to consult a representative at the credit union or a tax professional for guidance.

You’ll receive a 20-day notice before the CD matures. Once it does, account holders receive a seven-day grace period to make additional deposits, withdrawals or renew for another term. Otherwise, it’ll be renewed automatically.

How to get Security Service Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You’ll need to first establish membership by selecting how you qualify on its online application form. You’ll also need to open a basic savings account with $5 to complete the membership process. The form will ask you to fill in your personal details like your name, address and Social Security number. Then, select the CD term (it’ll be for a regular traditional certificate initially) and fund the savings and CD account. Afterward, send a secure message in your account to let the credit union know that you want to open a fixed-rate IRA certificate.

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How Security Service Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

The rates for the IRA CD are slightly lower than what’s being currently offered out there. While some of the banks and credit unions on our list of the best IRA CD rates require a higher minimum opening deposit, the rates could be worth it. If you’re looking to maximize your retirement savings, you may be better off shopping around.

IRA savings account

It’s not the best rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This savings account is best for those wanting a more flexible option than an IRA CD, as you can make withdrawals at any time. However, you’re allowed up to six specific debits a month as mandated by Federal Reserve Regulation D. You may also face IRS penalties if you’re younger than 59½, so check the rules and regulations.

How to get Security Service Federal Credit Union’s IRA savings account

You can only apply for an IRA savings account by calling customer service at 1-888-415-7878.

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Overall review of Security Service Federal Credit Union’s banking products

Security Service Federal Credit Union offers some competitive CD rates along with the ability to make withdrawals before maturity through the Future Builder Share Certificate. Otherwise, the other accounts don’t really stand out.

Another shortcoming is that in order to open any account, you need to become a member by opening a savings account, as is typically the case with a credit union. Yes, it only requires a $5 opening deposit, but you’ll be charged a monthly maintenance fee if you don’t meet the minimum deposit amounts. If that’s a turnoff for you, then it’s probably a better idea to look elsewhere.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Reviews

Review of Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Get rewarded for your spending with the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. The account earns unlimited 3% cash back earned from online or in-app purchases, but unlike most cashback programs, this one prevents you from enjoying your earned rewards immediately. The catch: You can only access and redeem your cashback rewards if your account is in good standing a year after registration. In addition, there is a $7.95 monthly fee, although it’s simple to get around the fee.

While you wait for your account registration anniversary, you can use this account’s other features to your advantage. For one, Green Dot Bank can get you your paycheck up to two days in advance through direct deposit. You can also use the 3%* APY Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account to stash and grow your money.

Green Dot doesn’t have any branch locations of its own, so it relies heavily on its app and participating stores to offer its services to customers. This makes it slightly tricky for users who need quick and easy ATM access.

Read on to learn more about the FDIC-insured Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account and its rewards requirements, fees and fine print.

How does the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account work?

 

The Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account’s biggest draw is the unlimited 3% cash back earned from online or in-app purchases. There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn, so long as you’re using your card for online and in-app purchases (there’s more on how Green Dot identifies those purchases in a section below)

Getting access to your cash back is a little trickier, however. While you’ll see the cash back earned on each purchase reflected almost immediately, you’ll have to wait for each anniversary of your account registration to redeem the funds. On each anniversary date, you can transfer your cash back rewards into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. Your registration date is the date you actually register your card no matter where you got it, either at a store or online.

On your registration anniversary, your account must be in good standing. This means it must have a positive balance and cannot be blocked or flagged for any reason. If you have a negative balance, you must bring it to a positive balance before you can redeem your rewards.

Depositing cash into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account is also a little unorthodox, as Green Dot doesn’t have any of its own branches or ATMs. To deposit cash, you need to visit a Green Dot participating retailer, including CVS pharmacies and Walmart stores. Cash deposits are free when you initiate the deposit on the Green Dot app and complete them at a retail store. You can also initiate a cash deposit by swiping your Green Dot debit card at a participating retailer, who may charge a cash deposit fee of their own.

As for withdrawals, you can locate free ATMs through the bank’s app. Otherwise, you’ll face an out-of-network ATM fee, in addition to a potential ATM owner surcharge.

Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account features

  • Earns unlimited 3% cash back on eligible online or in-app purchases
  • Get your paycheck up to two days earlier with ASAP Direct Deposit™
  • Links to 3%* APY Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account
  • No overdraft fees

Along with its competitive cash back rate, another big perk of banking with Green Dot Bank is that you can get your direct deposit paychecks up to two days in advance. Typically, employers deposit paychecks into employees’ banks two days before actual payday. So instead of letting your paycheck sit in the Automated Clearing House (ACH) limbo, where payments like these are processed, Green Dot deposits your paycheck on the same day the bank receives it. Exact timing and availability of your direct deposit will depend on when your employer submits your payment information and deposit verification.

Also included with the Green Dot app is the Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account. There is no fee, and the account earns 3%* APY on balances up to $10,000. Once you’ve redeemed your cash back rewards and deposited them into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account, you can then transfer those funds into your High-Yield Savings Account for better savings.

As you’ll read below, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account is rife with fees, depending on how you use your account and manage your money. But a certain perk of the account is its lack of overdraft fees. So when you make a purchase that your balance cannot cover, Green Dot will decline the transaction, but they won’t charge a fee like most other banks do.

Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account fees and fine print

Unlimited Cash Back fees
Unlimited Bank Account purchase — online$0
Unlimited Bank Account purchase — in store$1.95 or less
Monthly fee$7.95, waived when you spend $1,000 or more in the previous monthly period
Deposit cash with Green Dot app & participating locations$0
Direct deposit$0
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal$3 per transaction
Teller cash withdrawal$3 per transaction
Out-of-network ATM balance inquiry$0.50
Foreign transactions3% of total transaction amount
Paper checks (pack of 12 checks)$5.95

There are quite a few fees to keep an eye out for when you have a Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. For starters, note that there is a fee when you open the account in a store. You can easily avoid this fee by opening the account online instead.

The account charges a $7.95 monthly fee. This can be waived when you spend at least $1,000 in the previous monthly period. This excludes transactions like ACH payments or prepaid card purchases. This may be easier if you do much of your shopping online, since you’re more likely to reach the minimum balance. If you’re betting the cash back you earn will offset this monthly fee, you’d have to spend $3,180 in a year to earn enough to pay off a year’s worth of the monthly fee. Plus, you’d have to wait for each anniversary to take advantage of that cash back bonus.

It also helps to keep your account activity online. You can initiate the deposit through the Green Dot app then depositing cash at a participating retailer at no charge. However, if you want to deposit cash without the app by swiping the debit card at a participating retailer, then the retailer may charge a service fee for cash deposits. Note that direct deposits are free.

As for the fine print, there is some room for error when it comes to determining which purchases are eligible for the 3% cashback. Green Dot identifies online and in-app purchases through unique merchant category codes (MCC) and “other identifying information,” according to the Green Dot website.

However, Green Dot acknowledges that sometimes online or in-app merchants use an MCC that does not properly identify themselves as online or in-app. On Green Dot’s part, the bank states that it “does not determine which MCC a merchant chooses to classify itself as and has no way of changing a merchant’s identifying information.” So if merchant misidentification is the case, your purchase won’t register as online or in-app and won’t earn 3% cash back.

Cash back also does not apply to airline tickets or to products and services that are redeemable for cash, such as gift cards, online funding of accounts, credit card cash advances, P2P funding, prepaid cards, money orders and traveler’s checks.

Opening an Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

You can open an Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account either online or in-store at Green Dot participating retailers. When you open an account online, you’ll need to provide your full name, address, email address, phone number, Social Security number and date of birth. If you open an account in store, you’ll need to register your new debit card online or through the Green Dot app. There, you’ll need to provide your personal information.

Who is the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account best for?

The Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account seems to be a better option for those who aren’t chasing a quick reward. Green Dot requires you to wait a year after account registration to redeem your cash back rewards, which may not be much of a reward for some. It’s more of an added perk than a real primetime feature since you have to wait so long.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account may also be better for those who are tech savvy enough to manage their accounts largely online and in the app. Accounts are more easily opened and registered online and even cash deposits work best when done through the app.

That said, this account could be a potential hassle who want the ease and speed of ATM access. Green Dot requires you to visit a participating store to deposit cash, whether you use the app or not. For many, navigating a physical store just isn’t as convenient. When it comes to withdrawals, it may be difficult to find a free ATM nearby in order to avoid the out-of-network ATM fee.

In all, the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account seems to hold a lot of promise. But there’s a few hoops to jump through to earn rewards and use the account efficiently that detract from the eye-catching 3% cash back.

*Rate accurate as of August 21, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Reviews

Fitness Bank Savings Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Fitness Bank’s savings account option

Fitness Savings Account

This unconventional savings product offers customers the chance to earn an outstanding APY when they are physically active. The daily average number of steps you took in the previous month determines the APY you earn on your account balance. The table below outlines the five earning tiers that this bank currently offers:
APY Tiers*Minimum Balance to Earn APYSteps Required
0.50%$1000-4,999
1.25%$1005,000-7,499
1.75%$1007,500-9,999
2.50%$10010,000-12,499
3.00%$10012,500+

If you are a US citizen age 65 or older, you qualify for a different rate schedule:

APY Tiers*Minimum Balance to Earn APYSteps Required
1.25%$1000-4,999
1.75%$1005,000-7,499
2.50%$1007,500-9,999
3.00%$10010,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum daily balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, waived by maintaining the minimum daily balance.
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $40

These rates truly are outstanding if you live an active lifestyle. The first month, everyone gets highest APY regardless of number of steps they take. After that, your APY will be assigned based on your daily average number of steps over the course of the prior month. Needless to say, if you don’t live a very active lifestyle, or if you have a health condition that would prevent you from meeting the step requirements, this may not be the best account for you.

This bank charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t maintain a minimum average daily balance of $100. If you’re not confident you can maintain this minimum, you may want to look at a checking account rather than a savings account — keep in mind, however, that Fitness Bank only offers a savings account. If you meet the minimum balance requirement, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived.

This savings account does not come with an ATM card or checks. You are limited to six certain withdrawals and/or transactions per month, per Regulation D, which is enforced by the federal government, although banks do have some flexibility in allowing more than six per month in certain cases. At Fitness Bank, if you make more than six withdrawals per month you will be charged a $10 fee for each additional withdrawal.

If you want to go above and beyond achieving the highest APY available from this account, you can join one of Fitness Bank’s challenges. Every month, there is a step challenge where you can compete with all other participating Fitness Bank members to get the highest number of average daily steps. Top competitors will be awarded with prizes at the end of the month. You can also set up challenges just for your family or friend group, or for a group of employees participating in a workplace challenge.

How to get Fitness Bank’s savings account

Opening a savings account at Fitness Bank is a straightforward process. The bank boasts account setup will take you less than two minutes.

You’ll fill out a quick online application, supplying basic information like your name, address and Social Security number, along with documentation of your driver’s license or passport. Then you’ll need to provide funding information, namely your bank account number, credit card or debit card.

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How Fitness Bank’s savings account compares

This bank offers phenomenal rates. At the time of writing, they offer the highest savings account rate in the market — if you can rack up the steps needed to earn it. In addition, you will have to be comfortable doing your banking 100% online with this savings account. You will not receive a checkbook or ATM card – all of your withdrawals and deposits will be completed via electronic transfer. If you’d prefer ATM access or the ability to visit a physical branch, Fitness Bank is not the right match for you.

The minimum deposit required to open and maintain an account without incurring a monthly maintenance fee isn’t outrageous. But you can find savings accounts offering somewhat competitive rates without these requirements. And to repeat, you’ll have to meet the step requirements; if that challenge goes unfulfilled, the advantages of saving with Fitness Bank wane. Its rates get progressively less competitive the fewer steps you take.

Overall review of Fitness Bank’s banking products

This bank offers a unique financial product aimed at promoting wellness. Its minimum balance and deposit requirements are fairly average for the industry, as are its fees. While its offerings are fair and get more generous as you take more steps, you will likely find better rates elsewhere if you cannot realistically meet these specific fitness standards. If you can, though, you’re in for some of the best rates on the market.

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Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here