Greenlight Debit Card for Kids Review 2021

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
The Greenlight Debit Card for Kids gives you a reasonable degree of control over your child's finances, allowing you to set limits on transactions. With features like purchase protection, savings rewards and cash back, this card is an ideal financial debut for children. Keep reading this Greenlight debit card review to learn how.
  • Customer Service
    4.0
  • Ease of Use
    4.5
  • Cost
    4.6
  • Parental Controlss
    4.7
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • You can monitor the child's spending
  • Age-appropriate spending limits
  • Meaningful interest rates
  • You can set regular allowances and chores
  • Allows up to five children
  • Real-time alerts and spending notifications

Cons

  • No option for cash reloads
  • Limit for direct deposit
  • Not accepted in some countries

What Is the Greenlight Debit Card?

Greenlight has been featured on several news networks, including Business Insider, TechCrunch, Huffington Post, Forbes and others since it successfully raised $215 million in revenue for a debit card for kids.

The Greenlight Debit Card for kids is a prepaid account that you can use to teach kids how to manage money. Here are some of its top attributes:

  • You can purchase the debit card and link it to a bank account to monitor your child’s spending habits.
  • Kids old enough to have jobs can also set up direct deposits to receive their paychecks in their accounts. Since it’s a Mastercard, the Greenlight debit card can be used at any merchant that accepts Mastercard.
  • The card is ideal for ages 8 to 17, although most users are aged 8 to 11.

Children who might want to use their card via a digital wallet must be of a certain age–16 for Google Pay and 13 for Apple Pay.

Greenlight Debit Card Features

The Greenlight Debit Card for kids has been designed to give you a certain amount of control over when, where and how your children spend money. At the same time, the card allows young people to learn finance management early in their lives.

Here are some features of this debit card:

  • Two Categories: You can deposit money into the child’s account in one of two categories. The first category involves money that the child can spend whatever they want whenever they like. The other category has parental controls.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Since you are the primary cardholder, you get alerts for purchases and notifications when the balance is running low or the card declines.
  • Fund Request: If your child is in immediate need of money, they can request funds in real-time. Once you, the parent, get the notification, you can transfer money into their card instantly and free of charge.
  • Cash Back: The Greenlight Max plan gives 1% cash back on all debit purchases that go into your child’s savings account.
  • Parent-paid Interest: You can choose an annual percentage to pay for your children’s savings. In this way, you can promote the habit of saving in their kids.
  • Investment: The Greenlight + Invest plan allows children to invest their money into certain ventures. They’ll need their parents’ approval to make any investments.
  • Savings Reward: With the Greenlight + Invest plan, children earn a 1% saving boost. Meanwhile, the Greenlight Max gives a 2% saving boost for balances of $5,000 or lower.
  • Purchase Protection: When a child buys something with a Greenlight card, they get reimbursed for repairing or replacing a damaged or stolen item within 120 days of delivery or purchase. Do note the offer is not available in New York .
  • Cell Phone Protection: With the Greenlight Max plan, children get reimbursed for stolen, lost, or damaged phones. You can avail of this feature for up to five kids in all cities except New York.

Fees

Greenlight offers three plans with different features:

  • Greenlight costs $4.99 per month.
  • Greenlight + Invest costs $7.98 per month.
  • Greenlight Max costs $9.98 per month.

All plans allow you to get debit cards for up to five kids.

Aside from a monthly fee, there are no other fees, except $9.99 for card personalization and $3.50 per regular delivery in case of card replacement.

How To Open an Acount

Here’s how to open a Greenlight Kids account:

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Go to Greenlight’s website and click on Apply Now.
  2. Enter your contact details.
  3. Select “I’m the parent or guardian” to proceed.
  4. You will get a verification code on your phone. Enter it and click on Next.
  5. Type in your email address and choose a password. You’ll also have to write what your kids call you – daddy, dad, mom, mum, mommy – and select Next.
  6. Enter information about your child, such as mobile number, name, birthday, etc.
  7. If you want to add multiple children, select Add another child.
  8. Accept the agreement details and click on Next.
  9. Finally, submit your application, and Greenlight will verify it.

The primary account holders–the parent or guardian–must have a U.S. address, be a permanent resident or citizen and be at least 18 years of age.

As a parent, you will have to enter the following personal information when applying for an account: home address, full name, mobile number, social security number and date of birth.

Competitor Analysis

Here’s how Greenlight Debit Card compares to some other options for kids:

Card Price Age Features
Greenlight $4.99 to $9.98 per month Up to 17 years
  • Parental controls
  • Real-time fund requests
  • Parent-paid interest
  • Investment and saving opportunities
Gohenry $3.99 per month 6 to 18 years
  • Free trial
  • Spending insights
  • Customer chores and tasks
Copper Free Above 13
  • Automated saving features
  • Instant funds transfers
  • Financial quizzes
FamZoo $2.50-$5.99 per month Up to 17
  • Instant money transfer between family members
  • Free card load options
  • Parent control and visibility

Is It Safe?

The Greenlight Debit Card for kids is entirely safe due to the following reasons:

  • All personal information and images submitted through the app are encrypted.
  • All accounts have FDIC insurance from Greenlight’s partner bank, Community Federal Savings Bank.
  • You get instant notifications for transactions as a parent.

Is It Right for You?

The Greenlight Debit Card for kids is suitable for you if you want to train your child financially from an early age and give them the freedom to spend their money responsibly.

Plus, it’s suitable for parents with more than one kid since they can get up to five debit cards with one account rather than opening separate accounts for each child.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Scott Jeffries is a seasoned technology professional based in Florida. He writes on the topics of business, technology, digital marketing and personal finance. After earning his bachelor’s in Management Information Systems with a minor in Business, Scott spent 15 years working in technology. He's helped startups to Fortune 100 companies bring software products to life. When he's not writing or building software, Scott can be found reading or spending time outside with his kids.

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