In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question
Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser disclosure
Greenlight
4.6
★★★★★
Finder score
4.1
★★★★★
On Greenlight's secure site
Savings
5.00%
Fee
From $4.99 per month
Age requirements
Any age

Our verdict

A kids' debit card with flexible parental controls and a robust financial literacy app — with savings and cashback rewards.

Gold Finder Awards Badge
Finder Awards winner

The Greenlight card gives you granular control over your child's money by allowing you to set spending limits on specific stores. Depending on your plan, it comes with cashback rewards, a 1% to 5% annual savings reward and an investing platform that teaches your kid the power of stocks. It's one of the only kids' debit cards that offers protections for identity theft, cellphone and purchases — for a higher price. But no matter which plan you choose, you’ll be paying a monthly fee.

Best for: Parents who want control over their kids' spending and additional safety protections.

Pros

  • Store-level spending limits
  • Safety protections like SOS alerts and crash detection
  • Up to 5% savings rewards and 1% cashback rewards
  • Interactive financial literacy game

Cons

  • Unavoidable monthly fee
  • Doesn't accept direct deposits from PayPal, Apple Cash or Venmo

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Who is Greenlight best for?

Greenlight card is best for parents who want a headstart on teaching their kids about financial literacy. While there is no age requirement, Greenlight’s average age ranges from 9 to 14 years old, according to a Greenlight customer service rep.

In one verified testimonial provided to us by Greenlight, a customer raves about the convenience and educational benefits, stating, “We love using Greenlight. Not only are we able to make sure our daughter has access to money when we aren’t with her, but in the case of an emergency or an unexpected purchase, we can immediately add more if needed. Being able to set limits and track her purchases is also wonderful. This has been a good teaching tool for her to earn money and see the value of each dollar.”

Greenlight plans and cost

PlanMonthly costFeaturesLearn more
Greenlight core30-day free trial, then $4.99
  • Debit cards for up to five kids
  • Category and store-level parental controls
  • Financial literacy game and educational app
  • Tools for saving, spending, earning and giving
  • 1% savings reward per year on balances up to $5,000 per family
  • Investing for Parents Lite with few exchange-traded funds options
Go to site
Greenlight Max$9.98 after free trialEverything in Greenlight Core plus:
  • Investing for parents and kids
  • 1% cash back on card purchases
  • 2% reward on savings balances up to $5,000
  • Cell phone coverage for five phones
  • Purchase protection with Greenlight card purchases
  • Identity theft monitoring and alerts
  • Priority customer service
  • Greenlight Black Card
Go to site
Greenlight Infinity$14.98 after free trialEverything in Greenlight Max plus:
  • 5% savings reward on balances up to $5,000
  • Family location sharing
  • SOS button with 911 dispatch
  • Car crash detection
Go to site

WATCH: Our Greenlight card review

What we like about Greenlight

From customizable debit cards to parental controls, Greenlight offers a myriad of benefits to families looking to teach their kids about financial literacy.

Strong parental controls

Parents can set parental controls, approve transactions and assign chores and allowances through their parent account called the Parent Wallet.

Greenlight also allows parents to set spending limits for categories like gaming, restaurants and specific stores. Its store-level spending limits are similar to GoHenry and Mazoola, although spending limits aren’t a common feature for kids’ debit cards.

Kids can also move money from their spend account to savings and need their parents’ approval to do so. And if they need money, they can send parents a transfer request, which they’ll receive immediately.

Most kids’ cards offer basic chore and allowance features, but Greenlight lets you opt for all-or-nothing payments to encourage kids to complete all chores. This is a unique feature not offered by most competitors.

Safe and insured

Greenlight is a safe and legitimate account option for kids and parents. Greenlight’s spending and saving balances are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. The cards also have an EMV chip, keeping your data safe and secure each time your child makes a purchase.

Through Greenlight’s Max plan, you get these additional safety perks:

  • Location sharing. Share your location with family members, and see others’ locations if you’ve shared your location with them.
  • Identity theft protection. Greenlight partners with Experian to monitor your child’s personal information on the web, alerting you automatically if it notices anything off.
  • Phone insurance. An unheard-of benefit with kids’ debit cards, this card comes with cell phone protection for up to $600 per claim, or $1,000 total for two claims within a year. The phone should be the one used for the child’s account.
  • Purchase protection. Claim up to $100 per item or $1,000 total per year for damaged or stolen items your kid paid entirely with their card — a benefit you’d usually find with a credit card.

For extra safety perks, you’ll need to upgrade to the highest tier, Greenlight Infinity:

  • SOS alerts. Tap the SOS button to send an alert to an emergency contact, 911 or both if you’re ever in an emergency situation and need help.
  • Crash detection. If you get into a crash, this feature uses your phone’s motion sensor to detect when a crash has happened and notifies 911.

Play games and earn rewards

Greenlight teamed up with academic and gaming experts to create its interactive financial literacy game called Level Up. It teaches kids practical money skills like earning, spending, saving and investing. The game uses story-based gameplay rich with animations, videos, minigames, quizzes and scenario questions to captivate kids and teens.

There are also earning opportunities:

  • Kids can earn savings bonuses. Kids can earn a 1% to 5% reward for balances up to $5,000, a rare reward for a kids’ account. The exact reward depends on your plan, with the highest reserved for Greenlight Infinity members.
  • Cash back. Greenlight Max and Greenlight Infinity plans let you earn an unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase. To compare, its competitor Jassby also lets kids earn cash back, but they have to work at financial learning and earn up to 100 points to redeem it. If you’re after rewards tied to financial literacy, Jassby is a good choice. Otherwise, go with Greenlight if you want your kid to meet their savings goals faster.
  • Referral rewards. When you get others to join, your child and their friend can earn a high referral reward of $30 each, whereas other platforms like Step only offer a $1 referral reward.

Investing features

Greenlight Core gives parents recommendations on their exchange-traded funds (ETF) investments and a selection of 10 diversified ETFs.

But if you want your kids to get involved with investing, you’ll need to upgrade to Greenlight Max. This plan lets kids research over 4,000 ETFs and stocks, propose to purchase shares and fractional shares of their favorite companies and even request trades – as long as a parent approves it. On an even sweeter note, there are no trading fees.

Kids can build credit history with Family Cash Card (upcoming)

Greenlight also offers a credit card, called the Family Cash Card, which is available on all membership tiers. While it requires an adult to sign up, parents can add their kids as authorized users so they can start building a credit history.

The Family Cash Card offers up to 3% in cashback rewards on all purchases — and all card users earn cash back. Parents can also choose to auto-invest the cash back into savings to meet savings goals. And similar to the Greenlight debit card, the credit card offers strong parental controls for authorized users, such as spending limits and purchase alerts.

Just know that the cashback rate does depend on how much you spend. For example, to earn the 3% cashback rate, you must spend at least $4,000 in a billing cycle.

Important note: Greenlight’s Family Cash Card is currently on a waitlist. Greenlight states it is updating the card for a refresh and new launch. Parents can sign up for the waitlist here.

Where it falls short

Greenlight has some great features, but it’s not a perfect fit for all families.

High monthly fees

Greenlight’s biggest downside is its high monthly price tag, costing over double what competitors charge if you go with one of its higher tier plans like Greenlight Max or Infinity. Though it might be worth it if you have multiple kids, as each plan comes with up to five debit cards. If you don’t need all of Greenlight’s features, you could find a better deal elsewhere.

For example, BusyKid offers investing and charity giving and costs around $4 per month — billed annually. And Step lets kids earn cash back on purchases for free.

And if you’re a Chase customer, you could get Greenlight‘s basic features for free by opening a Chase First Banking account, which is powered by Greenlight. You’ll have free access to features like store-specific spending limits, chores and allowances and transfers.

Greenlight fees

Type of feeAmount
Purchasing fee$0
ATM withdrawal fee$0
Custom card fee (optional)$9.99
Card replacement fee$3.50
Expedited card replacement fee$24.99

Compare Greenlight to other debit cards for kids

Check out the monthly fees and features for other kids’ accounts.

Greenlight logo

Greenlight

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.6 / 5

Go to site


Maintenance Fees

$4.99 monthly


Card purchase fee

$0


Age requirements

Any age

GoHenry logo

GoHenry

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.3 / 5

Go to site


Maintenance Fees

$4.99 monthly


Card purchase fee

$0


Age requirements

6 to 18 years old

Current teen banking logo

Current teen banking

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.8 / 5

Go to site


Maintenance Fees

$0 monthly


Card purchase fee

$0


Age requirements

Any age

Greenlight card reviews and complaints

Greenlight is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds a B rating. The B rating isn’t ideal, and it’s the result of multiple complaints. Many complaints revolve around customers not getting refunds after closing their account or having accounts locked for long periods.

On Trustpilot, Greenlight has a 4-star rating out of 5 — a solid rating considering many other financial services don’t usually fare as well. However, a similar trend to the BBB, many reviews cite issues around getting refunds or seeing double charges.

Overall, many customers are pleased with the service. Positive reviews commonly praise the app’s chore and allowance features, are grateful for help in creating savings accounts for their kids and are happy with the ability to transfer money to the kids to help them learn financial literacy.

Greenlight card alternatives

Here are other family and kid accounts to consider with similar features:

  • GoHenry. The GoHenry card is very similar to Greenlight. It has chore and allowance features, parental controls over kid accounts and also offers financial literacy interactive games developed for the kid’s age. GoHenry and Greenlight have the same price for their basic plans at $4.99. But with GoHenry, only one kid is allowed on the plan for the basic plan compared to Greenlight’s five kids on the basic plan.
  • FamZoo. Similar to Greenlight, FamZoo comes with standard chore and allowance tracking, notifications and instant transfers from the parents’ account to the kids’ debit cards. It also allows parents to automate charges to their kids’ cards for family expenses. Kids can borrow money and pay it back with parent-defined interest. But FamZoo doesn’t offer an actual investing platform like Greenlight — it has a mock stock feature for educational purposes.
  • Current. Designed for teenagers, Current offers standard features free of charge, and there are no monthly fees, opening deposits, ATM fees or overdraft fees. You can perform instant transfers to your kids’ account, assign chores and automate allowance payments. You can block certain stores so that your kid can’t spend there. But unlike Greenlight, there aren’t any investing features or educational games.
  • BusyKid. The BusyKid card is a good alternative to Greenlight if you mainly need features to assign chores or pay allowances. BusyKid charges $48 per year, or $49.74 with debit or credit card funding, which works out to around $4 a month. BusyKid comes with investing for kids, whereas Greenlight lets kids invest if you upgrade your plan, costing $9.98 or $14.98 per month.
  • Step. Well-suited for teens, Step lets teenagers build credit without APR — and it’s free. Kids can only spend up to the balance in their account, transfers are allowed and parents get to use the account for free. It also comes with an optional investment account that lets kids buy and sell fractional shares of stocks and ETFs with parental approval. But Step doesn’t come with any chore or allowance tracking features.

Need more options? Compare the best debit cards for kids.

Frequently asked questions

Is Greenlight a bank?

No, Greenlight is not a bank. It’s a finanical technhology company. Banking services are through the Community Federal Savings Bank (FDIC member), and it’s the Greenlight card issuer.

Can you use the Greenlight card online?

Yes, you and your kids can use the Greenlight card everywhere Mastercard is accepted, which incudes places like Amazon, DoorDash, PayPal and millions of other sites and locations. You can also use the Greenlight card at ATMs that accept Mastercard.

Do I need an app for Greenlight?

To use the breadth of features, yes, you’ll need the Greenlight app. It’s what lets parents manage and monitor spending, set up allowances, manage savings goals, use investing tools and more. The app can be downloaded on phones, Kindles, iPads and more.

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.

Ask a question

Ask a question
Avatar

Cassidy Finder

Writer

Hi there, looking for more information? Ask us a question.

Error label

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
Accept and continue

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our finder.com Terms of Use and Privacy and Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Avatar

Angela

July 31, 2019

Is it $4.99 per child for the card?


Avatar

Joshua Finder

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


Show more Show less
Go to site