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Spectrum 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.

Spectrum Credit Union’s checking account options

Checking Account

This account offers a small amount of interest, but only on balances of $500 or more.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.15%

$500

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: ATMs owned by Spectrum Credit Union are always free. Your first eight transactions at other ATMs each month are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per withdrawal (even at in-network ATMs), plus any ATM surcharge fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

You only need a small $25 deposit to open this account, but once open, there is no minimum balance. However, you’ll only earn interest payments for a given month if you have $500 or more in the account that month. If not, you won’t earn any interest for that month, but it’ll still be a free checking account.

This checking account comes with an ATM card, and you’re allowed to withdraw up to $500 per day through this method; you can also write an unlimited number of checks. Spectrum Credit Union will send you an account statement once per quarter, rather than once per month as with most banks.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s Checking Account

You can open this account online. But first, you’ll need to apply for a membership with Spectrum Credit Union.

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New Solutions Checking Account

If you’ve been denied for a checking account, this account offers a second chance to prove you can handle it.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • ATM fee: ATMs owned by Spectrum Credit Union are always free. Your first eight transactions at other ATMs each month are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per withdrawal (even at in-network ATMs), plus any ATM surcharge fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

Did you know that banks and credit unions perform a check on you when you apply for an account? This might be a regular credit check, or it could be from a specialized company like ChexSystems. If the bank or credit union doesn’t like what it sees, it can deny you for an account.

If that’s happened to you in the past, you might find this account useful. It’s open to people who might otherwise be denied for an account. If you go for 12 months without any problems with the account, Spectrum Credit Union will automatically convert this into its regular Checking Account, which carries no monthly fees and offers interest if you have a large enough deposit. Additionally, you’ll get a free box of checks when you sign up.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s New Solutions Checking account

If you’re interested in opening this account, you’ll need to first apply for membership with the credit union online. You’ll need to provide basic personal information about yourself such as your name and address, along with some identifying documents like a driver’s license or another government-issued I.D.

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How Spectrum Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

We do like that Spectrum Credit Union offers a second-chance checking account to allow folks who’ve had trouble getting checking accounts in the past another shot to prove themselves worthy. However, the interest rate offered on its main checking account isn’t really that great, especially when compared with the best online checking accounts out there.

Spectrum Credit Union’s savings account options

Primary Savings

Spectrum Credit Union’s basic savings account doesn’t offer a very high interest rate.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.50%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: ATMs owned by Spectrum Credit Union are always free. Your first eight transactions at other ATMs each month are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per withdrawal (even at in-network ATMs), plus any ATM surcharge fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee:$25

If you need a safe space to park your money while banking with Spectrum Credit Union, you might be tempted to open this account. We suggest passing on this account in favor of its money market account, however, since that one offers a much better interest rate than this one.

If you do open this account, there’s a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. Make sure to keep your balance up above $25. If it drops below that level, two things happen: you won’t earn interest for that month, and you’ll have to pay a $5 monthly “low balance fee.” At that rate, your account would be drained dry in five months or less.

This account is also subject to federal regulation D limits, meaning that you are allowed up to six certain withdrawals out of the account per month out of the account. One of the nice things about this account, however, is that you can open “sub-savings accounts” where you can save for specific purchases, like a new car or a summer vacation.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s Member Savings account

You can open this account easily online. First, however, you’ll need to become a member of the credit union. You’ll have to provide personal information about yourself when you apply, such as your name, address and a provide a copy of your driver’s license or another government-issued I.D.

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Holiday Savings Club Account

If you find yourself going into debt each holiday season, this might be a good account for you.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: ATMs owned by Spectrum Credit Union are always free. Your first eight transactions at other ATMs each month are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per withdrawal (even at in-network ATMs), plus any ATM surcharge fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee:$25

This account was designed to help members save for the holidays, and it has a unique setup to do so. When you open the account, you can set up automatic transfers to this account each month. Then, every year on Nov. 10, the entire balance — plus interest — will be sent to you in a check, just in time to start your holiday shopping.

This account is also governed under federal Regulation D which allows you up to six certain withdrawals out of the account per month. But, since this account is designed to be used just once per year, it’s a good idea to let it grow as long as possible without touching it.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s Holiday Club Savings account

To open this account, you’ll first need to become a member of the credit union. As a part of the application process, you’ll need to provide information about yourself such as your name and address, as well as some form of ID, like a driver’s license or another government-issued I.D. You can do this online.

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MySavings

People under age 22 can earn a fantastic interest rate with this account while they learn about saving.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

7.00%

$0.01-$1,000

0.50%

Over $1,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: ATMs owned by Spectrum Credit Union are always free. Your first eight transactions at other ATMs each month are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per withdrawal (even at in-network ATMs), plus any ATM surcharge fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If you have a child under age 22 and want to teach them what compounding interest is all about, this is a great account to do it with. Your kid will earn a smokin’ hot interest rate, but only on the first $1,000 saved (a very high amount for any child to work up to). After that, they’ll still earn interest, but at the much lower Primary Savings account rate.

Once your child reaches age 22, this account will automatically be converted into a Special Purpose Savings account, which is basically the same thing as a Primary Savings Account for all intents and purposes. Your child cannot make more than six withdrawals out of this account per month, as dictated by federal rules.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s MySavings account

You can help your child sign up for this account online. To qualify, they’ll need their own email address, social security number and agree to sign up for e-Statements within 60 days after opening the account.

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How Spectrum Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Spectrum Credit Union’s savings accounts are a bit hit-and-miss. Its Primary Savings doesn’t really offer that great of interest. However, its MySavings youth account offers one of the highest interest rates we’ve seen, even if it’s just on the first $1,000 in the account.

However, if you’re looking for a better savings account that offers higher rates for adults, you can do much better with one of these top online savings accounts.

Spectrum Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

These Share Certificates offer decent rates, and many options for those who have larger deposits.

Term

APY

Minimum deposit to Earn APY

3 months

1.95%

$500

6 months

2.00%

$500

9 months

2.05%

$500

12 months

2.30%

$500

12 months

2.30%

$50,000

12 months

2.35%

$100,000

12 months

2.40%

$250,000

24 months

2.35%

$500

24 months

2.35%

$50,000

24 months

2.40%

$100,000

24 months

2.45%

$250,000

36 months

2.40%

$500

36 months

2.40%

$50,000

36 months

2.45%

$100,000

36 months

2.50%

$250,000

48 months

2.45%

$500

48 months

2.45%

$50,000

48 months

2.50%

$100,000

48 months

2.55%

$250,000

60 months

2.50%

$500

60 months

2.50%

$50,000

60 months

2.55%

$100,000

60 months

2.60%

$250,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies; see chart above.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: You can’t drop the balance of your CD below the minimum opening deposit for your interest rate tier. If you do so, Spectrum Credit Union will close the CD.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length.
    • For CDs of one year or less, you’ll pay three months’ worth of interest
    • For the 24 month CD, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest
    • For the 36 month CD, you’ll pay nine months’ worth of interest
    • For the 48 month and 60 month CDs, you’ll pay 12 months’ worth of interest

Spectrum Credit Union’s CDs are very flexible. There are eight different term lengths to choose from, and you can open an account with as little as $500. If you have more than that, though, you’re in luck, because Spectrum Credit Union offers even higher interest rates for those with larger deposits.

You have a few options for how to receive interest payments. You can opt to have them rolled back into the CD to earn even more interest, or you can opt to have it paid out via check or deposited into another account each month.

When your CD matures, it’ll automatically be rolled over into another CD of the same term length. This CD does come with a 10-day grace period, however, so you do have a little bit of time to withdraw the money or make changes to the CD without penalty.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s CDs

You can open these accounts online easily if you’re a member of the credit union. If you’re not already a member, you’ll need to apply for membership first, which can also be done online.

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How Spectrum Credit Union’s CD rates compare

The interest rates offered on these CDs are pretty good, especially for the shorter terms such as 12 months. We also like that these CDs are accessible to savers just starting out with a smaller amount of cash, but that people who have larger deposit sizes still have the option to earn more interest.

If you’d like to compare these rates with our current top CD picks, head over to this page.

Spectrum Credit Union’s money market account option

MarketEdge Account

This account offers a very good interest rate, but there are still better options at other banks.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.45%

$0.01-$2,499.99

1.50%

$2,500-$249,999.99

1.50%

Over $250,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: ATMs owned by Spectrum Credit Union are always free. Your first eight transactions at other ATMs each month are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per withdrawal (even at in-network ATMs), plus any ATM surcharge fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If you want to earn the highest rate possible for your cash while still maintaining frequent access to your deposit (i.e., not locking it away in a CD), this would be a perfect go-to account for those who want to stick with Spectrum Credit Union. There are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees, making this an easy-going account.

You are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals per month out of this account, however, since it still does fall under federal Regulation D guidelines.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s MarketEdge Account

You’ll need to apply to become a member of the credit union before you can open this account. Applying for membership is a relatively simple task that you can do online, as long as you can provide a driver’s license or government I.D. to show proof of your identity. After that, you can open this account.

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How Spectrum Credit Union’s money market account compares

This account offers a high interest rate, especially for a credit union. However, it’s still not the highest out there. If you’re interested in earning the most money possible, we recommend one of these online money market accounts instead.

Spectrum Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

These are the same accounts as Spectrum Credit Union’s regular CDs, just opened up inside of an IRA.

Term

APY

Minimum deposit to Earn APY

6 months

2.00%

$500

9 months

2.05%

$500

12 months

2.30%

$500

12 months

2.30%

$50,000

12 months

2.35%

$100,000

12 months

2.40%

$250,000

24 months

2.35%

$500

24 months

2.35%

$50,000

24 months

2.40%

$100,000

24 months

2.45%

$250,000

36 months

2.40%

$500

36 months

2.40%

$50,000

36 months

2.45%

$100,000

36 months

2.50%

$250,000

48 months

2.45%

$500

48 months

2.45%

$50,000

48 months

2.50%

$100,000

48 months

2.55%

$250,000

60 months

2.50%

$500

60 months

2.50%

$50,000

60 months

2.55%

$100,000

60 months

2.60%

$250,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies; see chart above.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: You can’t drop the balance of your CD below the minimum opening deposit for your interest rate tier. If you do so, Spectrum Credit Union will close the CD.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length.
    • For CDs of one year or less, you’ll pay three months’ worth of interest
    • For the 24 month CD, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest
    • For the 36 month CD, you’ll pay nine months’ worth of interest
    • For the 48 month and 60 month CDs, you’ll pay 12 months’ worth of interest

If you have a hankering to earn a high interest rate on an IRA CD, these ones might be worthy of your consideration. You can open them inside of either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, whichever you prefer.

When these CDs mature, they’ll automatically be renewed for the same term but with the current interest rate. If you’d rather do something else with your money at that point, you do have a short 10-day grace period to withdraw your money or make any changes to the IRA CD.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You’ll first need to become a member of this credit union before you can open an IRA CD. You can do this online, and you’ll need to provide a few details, such as your name, address and a driver’s license or another government-issued I.D.

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How Spectrum Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Spectrum Credit Union offers good rates on these IRA CDs, especially considering that this is a small credit union. However, you can still earn even higher rates with one of these IRA CDs, some of which are available at banks that don’t require you to go through a run-around to become a member.

Accumulative IRA

Just like Spectrum Credit Union’s Primary Savings account, this account doesn’t offer much of a return on your savings.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.50%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: ATMs owned by Spectrum Credit Union are always free. Your first eight transactions at other ATMs each month are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per withdrawal (even at in-network ATMs), plus any ATM surcharge fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If you want to keep your money more freely available and/or don’t yet have enough cash to open an IRA CD, this is one option for you. However, we also recommend skipping this IRA savings account in favor of Spectrum Credit Union’s money market IRA, because that one offers a much better interest rate.

If you’re still interested in opening this account, you can choose to open it as a traditional or a Roth IRA. You’ll also be subject to the six-item withdrawal limit per month with this account. If your balance drops below $25, you’ll also be subject to a $5 monthly “low balance fee.”

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s Accumulative IRA

If you decide this account is right for you despite its low interest rate, you can open it online after you become a member. To join, you’ll need to complete an application and provide a copy of your driver’s license or another government-issued I.D.

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MarketEdge IRA

This money market IRA offers a much better return than Spectrum Credit Union’s IRA savings account.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.50%

$0.01-$2,499.99

1.85%

$2,500-$249,999.99

1.85%

Over $250,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: ATMs owned by Spectrum Credit Union are always free. Your first eight transactions at other ATMs each month are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per withdrawal (even at in-network ATMs), plus any ATM surcharge fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

This is your best option for earning a high rate on your deposit at Spectrum Credit Union while still keeping your account relatively liquid. This is handy if you’re still growing your funds to put away in a higher-earning IRA that requires a steep minimum deposit, or if you’re already retired and are just looking for a place to stash your cash before you need to use it.

As with all money market accounts, you’re allowed up to six certain withdrawals per month as per federal Regulation D, however. You can also open this account as either a traditional or a Roth IRA.

How to get Spectrum Credit Union’s MarketEdge IRA

You can easily open this account online. First, however, you’ll need to establish membership with Spectrum Credit Union. You can also apply for membership online, as long as you have a driver’s license or another government-issued I.D. and can provide basic personal information about yourself, such as your name and address.

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Overall review of Spectrum Credit Union’s banking products

There are a lot of things to like about Spectrum Credit Union. It offers high rates on its CDs, its money market account (and the IRA versions of these), as well as its youth savings account. It doesn’t charge any particularly high monthly fees or high early withdrawal penalties on its CDs. It also offers a second-chance checking account to people who aren’t able to qualify elsewhere, which is a huge boon to those who remain unbanked.

There are also a few things not to like about Spectrum Credit Union as well. It doesn’t really offer a very good rate on its savings account, although you can avoid this by using the money market account instead.

All in all, this isn’t a bad bank to choose, especially if you want to work with a local credit union. However, if you’re the type of person who tries to get the highest interest rate possible on their accounts, we still suggest looking 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.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay 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