Advertiser Disclosure Editorial Disclosure

What Is Green Dot? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Green Dot is a name that pops up a lot thanks to the unique credit cards they issue. Many people, however, aren’t familiar with the bank and what it offers. So, precisely what is Green Dot Bank?

The Global Leader In Prepaid Debit Cards

In the world of credit and banking, Green Dot might not be the first name that comes to mind. That said, the bank is one of the premier card issuers for people with subprime credit scores. Additionally, the Green Dot Corporation is the largest prepaid debit card company in the world.

The company is one of the pioneers of prepaid debit cards, first getting into that business in the late 1990s. To date, Green Dot prepaid cards are available from major retailers across the United States, plus through the bank’s website. You might notice Green Dot money cards at Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, and other stores.

Green Dot Credit Cards

While Green Dot enjoys immense popularity for its prepaid debit cards, the bank is also gaining a reputation for its high-quality credit cards for bad credit scores.

Continuing with the company’s ethos of providing payment solutions to those that other banks overlook, the company issues credit cards to those who are “underbanked” or “unbanked.” What these terms mean is that Green Dot offers credit cards to people without access to bank accounts, as well as individuals without adequate access to credit card products.

Green Dot primor Credit Cards

Green Dot credit cards are secured credit cards. A secured card requires a deposit, which acts as collateral for the card and as its credit limit. Green Dot secured cards require a minimum deposit of just $200, making them very affordable for those struggling to repair their credit score – or who are entirely new to credit.

Secured cards typically charge an annual fee – and Green Dot cards are no different. These annual charges range from $39 to $49, depending on the card. While an annual fee is never ideal, the yearly rate is significantly lower than many unsecured credit cards for bad credit. Those cards usually have an annual fee considerably higher than anything Green Dot offers. Some of these cards also charge a monthly maintenance fee, further increasing the cost of membership. Those cards also typically have much higher APRs, making them more challenging to live with day-to-day.

The following are the current Green Dot secured card offers:

Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card

The Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card is a no-nonsense secured card for those new to credit. The card offers a fixed interest rate which is comparable with other secured card products on the market. This card is an excellent choice for those either new to credit or banking, as a bank account isn’t a requirement. Plus, Green Dot reports activity to all the major credit bureaus, letting cardholders quickly build credit with on-time payments.

Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card

Good Credit and Bank Account Not Required

Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 19.99%
  • Cash Advance APR 19.99%
  • Annual Fee $39
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Good credit or bank account not required
  • Your application will not impact your credit score
  • Initial security deposit can be as low as $200
  • Raise your credit score with responsible card use
  • See additional Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card details
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 19.99%
  • Cash Advance APR: 19.99%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $27
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $27
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Gold Card

The Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Gold Card is at the other end of the spectrum from the Visa Secured. The Gold Card features one of the lowest interest rates on the market today, at 9.99% fixed. In fact, the APR with the Gold Card is far superior to most other credit cards on the market – no matter the issuer of the credit score required!

The Gold Card has a slightly higher annual fee ($49), but for that cardholders enjoy the same low minimum deposit and reporting to the major credit bureaus. Plus, the cash deposit on the Gold Card earns interest, meaning the card offers a return on investment if used correctly.

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Gold Card

Earn Interest on Your Security Deposit

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Gold Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 9.99%
  • Cash Advance APR 18.99%
  • Annual Fee $49
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line
  • See additional Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card details
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 9.99%
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $49
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Classic Card

The  Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Classic Card is another offering from Green Dot, which is a mid-range secured card. The card is the perfect middle ground for those who don’t want to pay the extra $10 in fees each year but still want a great rate. The Classic Card features a fixed-rate APR which is extremely competitive for a secured card. The low rate is on-par with many low APR credit cards for people with excellent credit, meaning it offers the ability to carry a balance – without the punishment of costly interest payments each month.

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Classic Card

Credit Limits From $200 to $5,000

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Classic Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 13.99%
  • Cash Advance APR 18.99%
  • Annual Fee $39
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Low fixed 13.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line
  • See additional Green Dot primor® Visa® Classic Secured Credit Card details
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 13.99%
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200

Should You Consider a Green Dot Prepaid Card or Secured Credit Card?

The Green Dot Corporation prides itself on offering quality products to those who lack access to many other traditional banking services. The bank’s ethos of serving those who lack access to banking and credit card progress continues to attract new customers, with the secured credit card offers particularly enticing thanks to their exceptional interest rates and low annual fees.

Green Dot customer service also earns rave reviews. The company has millions of satisfied customers across the United States – thanks in no part to their no-nonsense cards that avoid hidden fees and provide value-for-money.

Related Article: What Is the Easiest Credit Card to Get for Bad Credit?

About: Cory

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident rewards expert, covering all facets of the points game – especially travel, hotels, and airlines. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.