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Greenlight card review

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Start teaching good saving and spending habits early with flexible parent controls.

As a parent, you want to set your kids up for success any way you can — and that likely includes teaching the value of earning and saving money. The Greenlight card lets you assign chores, pay allowances, set spending limits for specific in-person and online stores and pay them interest on savings. But it has an unavoidable monthly fee.

  • Get this card if you’re a parent who wants to control how and when your kids use their money.
  • Choose another card if you want a card that doesn’t have a monthly fee.

$4.99

Monthly maintenance fee

$0

Signature transaction fee

$0

PIN transaction fee

Details

Card typeDebit
Card networkMastercard
Monthly fee$4.99
Signature transaction fee$0
PIN transaction fee$0

Expert review

Rhys Subitch

Review by


Rhys Subitch is a writer and editor at Finder who tackles 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 brings readers the most up-to-date and curated info on all things finance.

Expert review

The Greenlight card is best for parents who want granular control over their child’s spending. The app lets you set spending limits for specific online and in-person stores, plus you can indicate how much “fun money” they can spend out of their total account balance each month. The app also comes with a savings account that has parent-paid interest, so you can reward your kid for choosing to save vs. spend.

Greenlight’s biggest downside is the flat monthly fee of $4.99. There are other prepaid cards — such as BusyKid — that offer a lower fee. But Greenlight’s features outweigh this fee if you want more say in how your child spends their money.

WATCH: Our Greenlight prepaid card review

How do I get the Greenlight card?

Sign up online using these steps:

  1. Click on Go to Site.
  2. Enter your phone number and click Get started.
  3. Choose I’m the parent or guardian.
  4. Enter the verification code that’s messaged to you and click Next.
  5. Enter your email address, create your password and select what your kids call you and click Next.
  6. Enter your child’s name and mobile number — or name, birthday and gender if they don’t have a mobile number — then select Next or Add another child.
  7. Enter in your personal information, accept the cardholder agreement and click Next.
  8. Set up funding and submit your application for verification.

Eligibility

Kids who want to sign up before their parents need to be at least 13 years old, but there’s no age minimum for a kid who’s signed up by a parent. The primary accountholder needs to meet these requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen or permanent resident of the US
  • US address that isn’t a PO box

Required information

The primary accountholder will give the following information when they sign up:

  • Full name, mobile number and home address
  • Date of birth and Social Security number

What you’ll like about the Greenlight card

The Greenlight card has general prepaid card features, such as no credit check and a convenient mobile app that lets set the level of notifications you want to receive about your child’s spending. But it also has these noteworthy features:

  • Two categories you can fund. Deposit money in two categories: one that can be spent by your child anywhere and anytime, and the other that has parental control features. As the primary cardholder, you can receive alerts when purchases are made or declined, requests come in, balances get low and more.
  • Set up chores and allowance payouts. Create one-time and recurring chores in the app that you can monitor and incentivize with payouts. Then, set recurring allowance payments and make it easier for you and your kids to keep track of and manage the funds.
  • Parent-paid interest. Encourage savings by setting up an annual percentage yield rate that you pay toward your kid’s general savings. It’s based on the average daily balance of the general savings and pays out monthly.
  • Real-time extra funds requests. If your child’s out shopping and needs to make a purchase that exceeds the funds they have, they can send you a request for additional money in real-time. Any transfers made from the parent to the child’s wallet are instant and free.
  • Flexible plans. You can have up to five children on one parent account. Plus, you can customize your child’s card with a photo of them for a one-time fee of $9.99.
  • Few fees. Greenlight doesn’t charge any purchase, reload or withdrawal fees — although you may pay ATM operator fees. If your card gets lost or stolen, the first replacement is on Greenlight, and any after will cost $3.50.

What to watch out for

While the Greenlight card can be an effective teaching tool, there are a few potential downsides to consider.

  • $4.99 monthly fee. Keep in mind, though, that this is a flat fee regardless of how many children you have on the account.
  • Not accepted in several countries. Check thelist of countries where the Greenlight card isn’t accepted before you send your kid across borders with it.
  • Direct deposit is limited. Your child can receive direct deposits to their card from their employer — but not from other income sources, such as Apple Cash, PayPal, Venmo or the state or federal government.

If you’re looking for a prepaid debit card with minimal to no fees, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when choosing a prepaid debit card.

Is Greenlight a safe option for my child?

The Greenlight card has an EMV chip in it, which helps keep your data safe and secure each time your child makes a purchase. As a parent, you can set spending controls that are just right for your child, and you’ll get instant notifications each time they spend money. Together, these features help make Greenlight a safe option for your child.

Compare Greenlight to other prepaid cards for kids

Use this interactive table to see how Greenlight compares to other prepaid cards for kids. Sort the table by monthly fee and ATM withdrawals to find a card that suits your needs.

Name Product Annual or monthly fee ATM withdrawal Features
Greenlight
$4.99 per month
$0
  • Allowance payouts
  • Usage notifications
  • Flexible parental control
  • Parent-paid interest
Greenlight is the prepaid debit card for kids that parents manage from their phones with flexible parental controls.
BusyKid
$1.67 per month ($19.99 annually) includes free card; $0.67 per month ($7.99 annually) for additional cards
  • Competitive fee
  • Flexible paydays
  • Savings match feature
The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Card gives your kids the freedom to spend anywhere Visa® is accepted, and parents see every transaction made.
FamZoo
$5.99 per month
$0
  • Free trial
  • Real-time requests
  • Parent-paid interest
Teach your children good money habits with this comprehensive prepaid card and account.
Gohenry
$3.99 per month
$1.50
  • Free trial
  • Custom tasks
  • Spending limits
Teach your kids to save with a reloadable card you control, but you pay $3.99 a month.
Akimbo
$0 per month
$1.98
  • Automatic reloads
  • Send money instantly
  • Create up to five subcards
Get up to five debit cards that you control from your main account — but it will come at a cost
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

How do Greenlight’s fees and limits compare to the competition?

Here are Greenlight’s fees and limits, along with how they compare to other leading prepaid cards for kids:

Fee & limitAmountHow it compares to other kids’ cards
Monthly fee$4.99It’s not the lowest, but it’s pretty average.
ATM withdrawal$0Most cards for kids don’t have an ATM withdrawal fee.
Cash reload fee$0Most cards don’t have a cash reload fee.
Card replacement feeFirst one free, then $3.50This is average, but you’ll find other cards that offer $0 or up to four free cards before you see a fee.
Maximum card balance$10,000 per parent account

$5,000 per child account

This balance is higher than what most cards for kids offer.
ACH transfer limit$200 a day

$300 a month

This limit is lower than what you’ll find with other cards.
Debit card transfer limit$20 to $500 a day

$20 to $2,500 a month

This transfer limit is higher than most.
Direct deposit limit$100 a day per child account

$500 a day per family

$5,000 a month per family

This limit is pretty standard with most kids’ cards.
ATM withdrawal limit$100 a day per child

$500 a day per family

This is average, but Famzoo and Akimbo offer higher limits.
Purchase limit$1,000 a day per family

$5,000 a month per family

This is limit is lower than the average you’ll find with other cards.

Funding options

The parent wallet can be loaded by:

  • ACH transfer from your bank account
  • Debit card

The child’s prepaid debit card can be funded by:

  • Transfers from the parent account
  • Direct deposit from the child’s employer

How long will it take to get my card?

The card should arrive five to seven business days after the parent account is verified and approved.

I got my Greenlight card. Now what?

Now that you have your card in hand, here’s how to make the most of it:

  • Download the app for you and your child. Check balances, transfer funds, monitor chores and more from your smartphone.
  • Encourage your child to set up their savings. The general savings account also comes with savings goals that you can set and work toward.
  • Sign up for direct deposit. Children who already have a job can set up direct deposit and have their hard-earned check go straight into the prepaid debit card’s anytime fund.
  • Contact customer service with any questions. Call the number on the back of your card or 888-483-2645 with questions — Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. You can also email through its site.

How can I reach Greenlight’s customer service?

There are four ways to reach customer service:

  • Visit the Help section of your Greenlight app to send a message directly to customer service.
  • Send an email to support@greenlight.com.
  • Call 888-483-2645 to speak with a representative.
  • Text 404-974-3024.

Frequently asked questions

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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Angela
    July 31, 2019

    Is it $4.99 per child for the card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      July 31, 2019

      Hi Angela,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      Regarding your question, the answer is no. The $4.99 rate is a flat fee regardless of how many children you have on the account.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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