BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Debit Card review
A free way to let your child spend their allowance — but parental controls are limited.BusyKid is a chore app that allows you to pay your child on a weekly basis for the tasks they complete. The BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Debit Card is one of the many ways they can use their hard-earned money. BusyKid is free to use, but you’ll pay $7.99 every year when you buy the card.
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The BusyKid mobile app has features to help teach your child the importance of spending, saving and sharing. Unlike most prepaid cards for kids, this one has no monthly fee. You’ll only pay $7.99 annually when you buy the card.
But the Spend card itself is pretty bare-bones. Although you have to give approval before your child can transfer money to their spend card, you have no control over how they use the money once it’s loaded. Because of this, the BusyKid Spend card is best for parents who have already established a level of trust with their kid’s spending.
If you want more granular control over how and when your child uses funds, you may want to compare other options.
What you’ll like about the BusyKid card
If you’re already using the BusyKid app, adding a prepaid debit card can make your child’s funds more accessible. Benefits include:
- Supports chores and allowances. BusyKid recommends chores and an allowance amount based on your kid’s age, but you can customize these depending on your needs. Each Friday, your kid gets paid an allowance based on completed chores for the week.
- You’re in control. Your child can move money between the spend, save and share sections of their BusyKid account, but you’ll need to approve any transfers made to the spend card.
- Several ways to spend money. In addition to adding money to their BusyKid Spend card, your child can spend their money on stocks or donations to a supported charity.
- High load limits. You can load up to $2,000 on your child’s spend card in any 30-day period.
- Improved customer service. BusyKid upgraded its customer service platform in 2020 and now has quicker response times than it did before. We called twice during business hours and although no one answered the phone, we left a voicemail and a representative returned our call within a few hours.
What to watch out for
The BusyKid spend card has less robust parental controls and a heavy cost compared to other options.
- Additional cost per card. The base app has no fee, but you’ll pay an additional $7.99 annually for each spend card. The cost goes up to $8.52 if you use a credit card to pay for it.
- Limited parental controls. Other apps allow you to control when and where your child spends — BusyKid requires a bit more trust.
Compare BusyKid with other debit cards for kids
You can compare other debit cards for kids by using our guide and find the right fit for your family.
How do I get the BusyKid spend card?
To get a BusyKid spend card you’ll need to open up an account and subscribe.
- Go to the BusyKid website.
- Select Sign up now.
- Enter your full name, email, ZIP code and create a password. Then click Continue signup.
- Type in a PIN and select Create PIN.
- Choose whether to fund using your bank account or credit card.
- Confirm your personal information and complete the sign-up process.
To open a parent account and order a spend card you’ll need to meet four requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- US citizen or legal resident
- US phone number
- US bank account or credit card
You may be asked to provide the following information for the spend card:
- Your Date of birth
- Your Social Security number
- Child’s date of birth
You can only load funds to the BusyKid card by transferring money to the spend section of your child’s account. You can fund your child’s account with a connected bank account at no extra cost or a credit card for a 2.9% fee plus 30 cents per transaction. Transferring money from another prepaid card costs $1.
How long will it take to get my child’s card?
It takes between seven and 10 business days for the BusyKid card to arrive after you request it. You can activate the card and load funds as soon as it arrives.
I got my BusyKid card. Now what?
Once you receive the card, get started in three ways:
- Activate the card. Call the number on the card’s sticker to activate it.
- Transfer funds. Transfer money to the spend card by signing in to your child’s account or completing a card-to-card transfer online or over the phone.
- Check your child’s balance. You and your child can check the balance of their spend card at any time using the BusyKid app.
Interview with Gregg Murset
Co-Founder/CEO of BusyKid
What inspired BusyKid?
BusyKid came from my own experience as a father of six and a certified financial planner.
Who is BusyKid for?
The app is designed for kids between the ages of five and 16, but we have many kids younger and older using it. In regard to the physical card, kids are all different, so it’s really up to the parent to decide if their child is ready to handle using a card in a store or shopping online. We have some really young kids with cards and they seem to do really well.
BusyKid allocates payments into three categories: Spend, Save, and Share. Can parents adjust the allocation percentage for each section?
Yes, parents can decide how much allowance goes to each area. The only limitation is that the total percentage needs to add up to 100%. It’s preset at 50% Save, 40% Spend and 10% Share, but parents can adjust it.
Can parents control how their child spends their money? Is there an approval process?
Parents have complete control of how much is loaded onto a card and moved out of our system for cash, stock and charity. Our app is a teaching tool. We want kids to learn how to move money around and make decisions based on the money they have. They still need parent approval before doing what they want.
Can you explain the difference between the Save and Invest options?
We put investing in the Save area since it’s what we consider a portfolio. It doesn’t mean that the money in the Save area has to be invested. The money left under Save won’t earn interest. But you can earn in stock if you choose to invest it. When investing, a child can pull money from any category — Save, Spend or Share. There is no fee when buying stock through BusyKid. There’s just a small fee once the stock is sold.
At which age should kids start to invest?
It depends on when a parent believes their son or daughter is ready to take it on. What we’ve found is that parents are investing with their children. And in many cases, it’s the first investing the parent has done. It’s become a family experience.
What’s next for BusyKid?
We want kids to start with BusyKid from a young age and use it as long as they want. We have some big plans for our app as we look to add several features for kids who usually would have outgrown our app but are becoming financially independent for the first time.