BusyKid Visa Prepaid Debit Card review

Children can invest, spend and save — but parental controls are limited.

finder.com’s rating: 4.8 / 5.0

★★★★★

BusyKid is a chore app that allows you to pay your child on a weekly basis for the tasks they complete. With the BusyKid Visa Prepaid Debit Card your child can shop in stores or online but it has limited parental controls.

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$3.99

Monthly maintenance fee

$0

Signature transaction fee

$0

PIN transaction fee

Details

Card typeDebit
Card networkVisa
Monthly fee$3.99
Signature transaction fee$0
PIN transaction fee$0

Review by


Rhys Subitch is a former writer and editor at Finder who tackled topics across the site. With half a decade of experience researching, editing, and writing for a Fortune 500 company, university, and several independent publications, Rhys brought readers the most up-to-date and curated information on all things finance.

Expert review

The BusyKid mobile app has features to help teach your child the importance of spending, saving, investing and sharing.

You’ll pay $3.99 per month for up to five debit cards and access to all of the app’s features. The price did change from its original cost of $19.99 per year, but longtime customers won’t be affected by the change as their pricing plan will remain the same.

Although the new price may be a con for new customers, if you have several children and want to use multiple BusyKid cards, you could actually end up saving money. That’s because BusyKid previously charged $7.99 per year for additional cards, but the current pricing lets you get up to five cards for the same price as one. So while you previously would’ve paid $51.95 per year for five cards, now you’ll pay $47.88 with the monthly plan, saving you $4.07 over the course of a year.

Also, considering the range of features the BusyKid card comes with, it’s still a better value than Greenlight. Greenlight’s base plan is $4.99 a month for up to five kids, but you’ll have to cough up $7.98 per month if you want to give your kids the option to invest a portion of their allowance.

We tested the BusyKid card and initially found the app to be a bit confusing. But once we figured out how to use the different features, we grew to appreciate the ability to create unique chores that recur on a customized schedule.

But one thing we didn’t like was that once you load funds onto the debit card, there’s no way to move funds back into the account for sharing or saving purposes. There’s also no way to transfer money on the card to a bank. So if you accidentally move $100 to the card instead of $10, the funds are stuck on the card and can only be spent.

And 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. And there’s no way to move money off the card once it’s loaded on there. Because of this, the BusyKid debit 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 that let you choose where and when your child can use their debit card.

How much does BusyKid cost?

BusyKid costs $3.99 per month for up to five debit cards. Previously, the cost for one card was $19.99 per year, and each additional card was $7.99 per year. The new pricing costs slightly more if you need four or fewer cards. But if you need five cards, the annual cost is now lower than it used to be.

How do I get the BusyKid debit card?

Open a BusyKid Visa debit card in six steps.

  1. Select Apply now.
  2. Click Get the BusyKid app.
  3. Enter your full name, email, ZIP code and create a password. Then select Continue signup.
  4. Type in a PIN and select Create PIN.
  5. Choose whether to fund using your bank account or credit card.
  6. Confirm your personal information and complete the sign-up process.

Eligibility

To open a parent account and order a debit 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

Required information

You may be asked to provide the following information for the debit card:

  • Your Date of birth
  • Your Social Security number
  • Child’s date of birth

WATCH: Our BusyKid breakdown

Watch our short video review in which we break down how BusyKid works, how much it costs, and some some new features recently released.

8 things you’ll like about the BusyKid card

Like most prepaid cards for kids, BusyKid supports chores and allowances and even helps recommend how much to give your child based on their age. Other benefits include:

  • Competitive fee. You can get a family plan for $3.99 per month — equivalent to $47.88 per year in you stay in the monthly plan or you can get the annual plan for $38.99. BusyKid‘s fee is higher than what it used to be, but it’s still lower than Greenlight, which starts at $4.99 per month. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
  • Flexible paydays. Your kid gets paid an automatic allowance based on completed chores each Friday or bi-weekly on the 1st and 15th. Parents can add additional paydays on top of this schedule using the PayDay Anytime feature. You can also award one-time bonuses for when your child goes above and beyond.
  • Savings match feature. Help your child grow their savings by matching up to 100% of any new money they save each week.
  • Several ways to spend money. In addition to adding money to their BusyKid debit card, your child can spend their money on stocks or make donations to nearly 50 supported charities.
  • Separate funding sources. BusyKid is a great option for divorced parents because it allows you to have two separate parent accounts with different funding sources. You won’t have access to each other’s bank accounts unless you share your PIN.
  • 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.
  • Actual investing. BusyKid lets your kid buy real stocks with as little as $10, and there’s no additional fee for buying stocks.
  • BusyPay. This feature lets anyone add money to your kid’s account by scanning a QR code or visiting a URL and using a debit card or credit card to fund the account.

5 things to watch out for

The BusyKid debit card has less robust parental controls compared to other options.

  • Limited parental controls for debit card. Although you can control and approve how much money your child moves between the spend, save and share sections of their BusyKid account, you have no control over how they spend it once it’s there. Other kids’ debit cards give you control over when and where you child can use their card.
  • High load limits. You can load up to $2,000 on your child’s debit card in any 30-day period. But this limit is lower than most cards for kids.
  • No spending control. Although you can control how your child moves their money between sections, you don’t have control over how they use the money on their debit card. And once money is loaded onto the card, it can’t be transferred back to the account. It can only be spent.
  • Credit card transaction fee. If you use a credit card to purchase a BusyKid debit card, that credit card will automatically become the default funding method for your BusyKid account, and you’ll be charged a $0.55 transaction fee at the time of purchase and for each subsequent reload. To avoid this fee, use a checking account to purchase and fund your BusyKid card.
  • ATM fee. Your kid can withdraw cash from their account at any ATM, but they’ll pay a $1.50 fee in addition to whatever the owner of the ATM charges. However, other cards like Greenlight and FamZoo don’t charge a fee for ATM withdrawals.

Is BusyKid safe for my child?

BusyKid uses bank-level security to protect your information. Plus, its debit card is issued by Stride Bank, so your funds are insured by the FDIC. The card also has the added security of all Visa cards and gives you the ability to manage and control your child’s spending. BusyKid also supports separate funding sources for divorced parents, which means your ex won’t have access to your bank account information if you both want access to the app.

BusyKid reviews and complaints

BusyKid has a 3.8 rating based on 1,075 reviews on Trustpilot. Positive reviews boast about how great the app works as a financial teaching tool for their kids. They also highlight the ease of use and great customer service. But most user complaints highlight how difficult it is to add, transfer and load money to the card.

Compare BusyKid with other debit cards for kids

Use this table to compare other kids’ debit cards by fee, age requirements and features.

Name Product Annual or monthly fee Age requirements Features
GoHenry
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
GoHenry
$3.99 per month
6 to 18 years old
  • Allowance tracking
  • Custom chore assignments
  • 30-day free trial
  • No overdraft fees
Teach your kids to save with a reloadable card you control, but you pay $3.99 a month.
Greenlight
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Greenlight
$4.99 per month
1 to 17 years old
  • Parental controls
  • Real-time transfers
  • Parent-paid interest
Greenlight is the prepaid debit card for kids that parents manage from their phones with flexible parental controls. For each successful referral, you and your friend get a cash reward.
Step
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Step
$0 per month
6+
  • No monthly fees
  • Helps teens build credit without interest charges
  • Parental controls and management. Grows with your family
Step banking accounts help teens and kids as young as age 6 to learn to manage money manage their money while building their credit scores. Earn $1 for every person that joins using your unique link or code. They'll also get $1.
Copper
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Copper
$0 per month
13+
  • No hidden fees
  • Instant Transfers
  • Monitor purchases in real-time
  • Allowances paid for doing chores
Copper is a digital checking account that teaches your teen healthy money habits through interactive quizzes and an intuitive mobile app. The teen also receives a free $5 when signing up and completing the savings goal.
Jassby
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Jassby
$0 per month
7 to 17 years old
  • Parental controls
  • In-app mall
Jassby is a debit card for kids, complete with chores and allowance tracking. Plus you don't need to worry about a monthly fee.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do BusyKid‘s fees compare to the competition?

If you’re looking for a card with a low subscription fee, this card is for you. Besides the low subscription fee, the other fees and limits are pretty average when compared to other prepaid cards for kids. And unlike other cards, you don’t have the option of withdrawing money from an ATM.

Fee & limitAmountHow it compares to other kids’ cards
Fee$3.99 per month for the upgraded app and up to five debit cards.BusyKid used to have one of the lowest subscription fees for kids’ debit cards, but now it’s more aligned with competitors’ pricing. But BusyKid still costs less than its competitor Greenlight.
ATM withdrawal$1.50Some other debit cards for kids, such as FamZoo and Greenlight, don’t charge any fee for ATM withdrawals.
Cash reload feeN/AYou can only load your card through the website.
Card replacement fee$5Most prepaid debit cards for kids allow a free replacement card before charging you a fee. This one doesn’t.
Maximum card balance$2,000This daily balance is lower than what most cards for kids offer.
Debit card transfer limit$2,000 a dayThis transfer limit is average compared to other cards.
Direct deposit limit2,000 a monthThis limit is average to most kids’ cards.
ATM withdrawal limit$810.00Daily ATM limit.
Purchase limit$2,000 on a single transactionThis is limit is average when compared to other prepaid cards.

You can compare other debit cards for kids by using our guide and find the right fit for your family.

Funding options

The BusyKid debit card doesn’t directly draw funds from your kid’s account. Instead, you have to load the debit card using money in the account. You can add funds to the account in the following ways.

  • Automated clearing house (ACH) transfer. Link an external bank account and transfer funds at any time.
  • Credit card. Add funds to the account using a credit card, but there’s a 2.9% fee plus 30 cents per transaction.
  • BusyPay. Anyone can add money to your kid’s account by scanning a QR code or visiting a URL and using a credit card or debit card to add money to the account.

How long will it take to get my child’s card?

According to company’s website, it takes between seven and 10 business days for the BusyKid card to arrive after you request it. In our experience, however, it took closer to 15 days. But once the card does arrive, you can immediately activate it and load funds onto it.

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 debit 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 debit card at any time using the BusyKid app.

What stocks can my child buy through BusyKid?

BusyKid partners with Stockpile to offer over 2,000 different stocks from brands like:
  • Amazon
  • American Airlines
  • Apple
  • Disney
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Netflix
  • Snapchat
  • Zoom
Busykid stocks

How can I contact BusyKid?

You can reach BusyKid in seven ways on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST:

  • Call 833-287-9543 for general questions.
  • Call 866-634-3044 for questions regarding your card.
  • Start a live chat on Busykid’s website.
  • Fill out the support form found at the bottom of the Contact Us page.
  • Send a message via Facebook messenger to @BusyKid4Allowance.
  • Send a direct message via Twitter to @BusyKid16.
  • Send a direct message via Instagram to @GetBusyKid.

Interview with Gregg Murset – July 2020

profile pic

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.
I needed a way for my kids to track their chores, manage their allowance and do it all from the mobile devices they were attached to each day. At that time, there wasn’t an option like this so we set out to create one. We call BusyKid “your kids first job with direct deposit.” They complete chores, earn allowance and then have the option to save, share (donate), spend or invest it. It’s the same thing we all do (or should be doing) as adults, but kids need to learn it earlier.
Who is BusyKid for?

The app is designed for kids age 5 and up. 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.

How does BusyKid work?

BusyKid works with the following devices:

  • iPhone iOS 9.0 or later. Download the app from the Apple App Store. Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
  • Android. Download Busykid from the Google Play store.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to have the BusyKid app to get the debit card?

Yes. You have to use the BusyKid app to load funds. That means you’ll need to subscribe to BusyKid.

Do I have to get the debit card if I have a BusyKid account?

No. The Visa debit card isn’t required. Your child can invest, save, donate or send money they earn back to your bank account for you to take out as cash.

Can I control how much my child moves to their debit card?

Yes. You must approve any transfer requests to the debit card. Kids can freely move money between the save, share and spend sections of their account, but can’t purchase stock or load money to their card without approval.

Can I set allowances to automatically go to the BusyKid debit card?

No, but you can set up automatic allowances to go to your child’s BusyKid account. Once it’s there you can approve individual transfer requests to the debit card as your child makes them.

How does BusyKid work for divorced parents?

With BusyKid, the primary account holder can do everything, including assigning chores and paying allowances, setting up paydays, awarding bonuses and approving when the child wants to donate, load money onto their card, invest, or get paid for completing chores. The secondary account holder can do everything except approve the child’s requests for donations, investing and card transfers.

Kids’ debit card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top debit cards for kids and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. We rate kids’ checking accounts by these factors: Monthly fee, features, ATM access, customer support options, and availability. We also consider APY as a factor only for those that earn interest. We rate prepaid debit cards for kids by these factors: monthly fees, features, customer support options and account availability.

Read the full methodology of how we rate Kids’ debit card accounts.

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