How to Use a Green Dot Card: Money Nation’s Guide

Here’s our complete guide for how to use a Green Dot Card, including how to get a Green Dot Card, pay bills, sign up for direct deposit, cash checks, reload and more.

We’ll also show how to transfer funds, send money and link a Green Dot Card to a bank account. We’ll explain how long it takes to get a Green Dot Card, how soon you can start using it, where to reload a Green Dot Card and all about Green Dot’s fees.

What is a Green Dot Card?

A Green Dot Card is a prepaid Visa or Master Card debit card that gives you most of the conveniences of a credit card and a checking account. Green Dot Cards can be used to cash checks, pay bills, shop online or in stores and send money to friends. They can be reloaded with cash or by direct deposits of paychecks.

Green Dot Cards are issued by the Green Dot Corporation, a leading provider of prepaid debit cards.

Green Dot Cards are different than credit cards because they’re prepaid. Green Dot Cards don’t help or hurt a credit rating. Even people with bad credit can get and use Green Dot Cards.

People who use Green Dot Cards should be careful not to rack up high fees. To see Green Dot’s fee schedule, click here.

Also see: 7 Ways a Green Dot Card Can Replace a Checking Account

How to Get a Green Dot Card

There are two ways to get a Green Dot Card. Consumers can:

Get a Green Dot Card Online

To get a Green Dot Card online, click here. You’ll be taken to Green Dot’s sign up page. Enter your name, address, phone number, social security number and other personal information.

As soon as you fill out the form, Green Dot will send a confirmation email to the email address you provided.

how to use a green dot card how to get

Get a Green Dot Card in a Store

get a green dot card in a store locator

Green Dot’s store locator can help you find the nearest store where you can get a Green Dot Card.

To get a Green Dot Card in a store, visit one of Green Dot’s retail partners. You can get a Green Dot Card at a Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, 7-Eleven, Kroger, Walgreens and other stores. To find the nearest retailer where you can get a Green Dot Card, click here to be taken to their store locator page.

When you get a Green Dot Card in a store, you’re given a temporary card that you can start using immediately.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Green Dot Card?

When you get a Green Dot Card online or in a store, you get a temporary card (or card number) immediately and a personalized card in 7-10 business days.

The temporary Green Dot Card can be used to make purchases online or in stores while waiting for the personalized card to arrive in the mail.

Temporary cards and temporary card numbers must be loaded with money before they can be used. Temp cards can only be loaded in stores unless the card holder already has an online account at Green Dot’s website.

Also see: How to Raise Your Credit Score

Where Can I Use My Green Dot Card?

You can use a Green Dot Card anywhere you can use a credit card. A Green Dot Card can be used for purchases in any store that accepts credit or debit cards. This includes Walmart, Walgreens, Target, dollar stores, gas stations and just about any other store. The cards can also be used for online purchases at just about any online store or shopping venue, such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart online, Toy R Us online and more.

Why Can’t I Pay Bills With My Green Dot Card?

Most of Green Dot’s features, like online bill pay and direct deposit, can’t be used until the personalized card arrives in the mail. In most cases the personalized card will arrive 7-10 business days after sign-up.

Once the personalized card arrives, create an account with Green Dot online by clicking here.

how to use a green dot card online

Enter the number on your personalized Green Dot Card, the expiration date, your birth date and your Zip code. Note that this will not work with a temporary card number.

Once you’ve created an online account with Green Dot, you can set up online bill pay, direct deposit, reload a card from a bank account and use other online features.

How to Pay Bills With a Green Dot Card

green dot checking account debit cardTo pay bills with a Green Dot Card, you first have to receive the personalized card in the mail:

  1. Register your personalized Green Dot Card at
  2. Create a Green Dot online account by following the steps above.
  3. Log in to your Green Dot account.
  4. Choose “Online Bill Pay” from the navigation bar at the top.
  5. Click “Sign Up Now.”
  6. Verify your email address.
  7. Use Green Dot’s Online Bill Pay screen to enter payees and bill amounts and schedule bill payments.

How to Sign Up for Green Dot Direct Deposit

To set up direct deposit with a Green Dot card, follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure you have a personalized Green Dot Card and an online account with by following the steps above.
  2. Ask your boss or payroll office if your company offers direct deposit.
  3. If they do, click here to log in to your Green Dot online account and get a printable direct deposit form from Green Dot.
  4. To skip step #3, just give your Green Dot direct deposit number and Green Dot bank routing number to your boss or payroll department. To find these numbers, just click here and log into your Green Dot account.

Green Dot Card holders can direct deposit paychecks, social security checks, veterans checks, supplemental security income and federal civil service retirement checks.

You can direct deposit all or a portion of your paycheck to a Green Dot Card. Federal government benefits that are direct deposited into a Green Dot Card must deposit the entire amount of the check.

To make sure a direct deposit went through, review your Green Dot transaction history by clicking here or call Green Dot customer support at 1-866-795-7597.

Direct deposit can be cancelled at any time by telling your boss or payroll department to cancel.

How to Cash a Check With a Green Dot Card

how to use a green dot card how to cash a checkGreen Dot Cards can’t be used to cash third party or personal checks. Green Dot Cards can be used to cash any preprinted government check or payroll check.

To cash a check with a Green Dot Card, just take the preprinted payroll or government check to any Walmart checkout lane. Hand over the check and the Green Dot Card and the cashier will cash the check. The check’s amount will be loaded into the Green Dot Card.

Not all Walmart locations offer check cashing with Green Dot Cards. To find local Walmarts that cash checks with Green Dot Cards, click here.

Also see: 6 Ways to Get a Bank Account With Bad Credit

How to Reload a Green Dot Card at the Register

To reload a Green Dot Card at a cash register, just ask the cashier to add cash directly to the card. MoneyPak is not required.

Green Dot Cards can be reloaded at the register at any of these stores:

  • CVS
  • Family Dollar
  • Rite Aid
  • ACE Cash Express
  • Dollar General
  • KMart
  • Walmart
  • Walgreens
  • 7-Eleven

To find a Green Dot Card “reload at the register” location near you, click here.

How to Transfer Money to a Green Dot Card

There are two ways to transfer money from a bank account to a Green Dot Card: Standard or Instant.

Before you can transfer money from a bank account to a Green Dot Card, you need to link the bank account to the Green Dot Card. To do this, follow the steps below.

How to Link a Bank Account to a Green Dot Card

green dot checking accountTo link a bank account to a Green Dot Card, follow these steps:

  1. Register your bank with Green Dot online by clicking here.
  2. You’ll need to tell Green Dot your bank’s routing number and account numbers. To find these numbers, look on the bottom of your checks. The routing number is the first nine digit number at the check’s bottom. The account number is the second number. Your routing number and account number can also be found at your bank’s website.
  3. Green Dot will take two small test deposits to your account of less than $1 each.
  4. Green Dot will ask you to verify that you own the bank account by having you tell them the number of the small test deposits. Once you’ve verified your identity in this way, the bank account is linked.

Also see: How Do Late Payments Affect a Credit Score?

How to Send Money from a Green Dot Card

To send money to another person with a Green Dot Card, follow the steps below:

how to use a green dot card send money

  1. Log in to your Green Dot account online.
  2. Click “Send Money” from the navigation bar at the top of the page.
  3. Enter the name or mobile phone number of the person you want to send money to.
  4. Enter the amount of money you want to send.
  5. Green Dot will deduct the money from your account.
  6. Green Dot will notify the recipient about the payment.
  7. The recipient will have ten days to collect their money.

You can send money to anyone in the U.S., even if they don’t yet have a Green Dot Card. However, to collect their money, the recipient will have to register for a Green Dot Card.

Using the Green Dot Mobile App

how to use a green dot card mobileAnyone who has a Green Dot personalized card can use the Green Dot mobile app to make managing their Green Dot money easier.

The Green Dot mobile app lets you check your balance, check transaction history, find ATMs and more.

How to Lower Green Dot’s Fees

Green Dot’s fees can rack up fast. There are fees for reloading at the register, monthly fees and other fees.

Green Dot Card users can avoid monthly fees by loading at least $1,000 a month into the card. Many Green Dot customers can reach this goal by setting up direct deposit.

Customers can also waive the monthly fee by making at least 30 qualifying purchases per month. The Green Dot mobile app can make it easier to keep track of how close a customer is to waiving the monthly Green Dot fee.

For a list of Green Dot’s fees, see below.

green dot checking account fees