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Our verdict

Brush your teeth twice a day. Do your homework. Clean your room. It can be a list on the fridge... or on a cool mobile app.

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Customer Satisfaction Award

The kids’ prepaid card market is getting crowded but compared to its competitors (such as GoHenry and nimbl), Rooster Money is among the cheapest. It also comes with a great app and good parental controls.

Where it stands apart from the rest is the range of educational features and tools for kids to learn about managing money. If you’re not interested in those then Rooster Money is probably not essential.

Also keep in mind that traditional children’s current accounts usually come for free, although your child typically need to be 11 or over. So, when you decide to use a prepaid card with a monthly or annual fee like Rooster Money instead, you’re essentially paying for parental control and the educational features. Or you're looking to give younger children and opportunity to learn about money management.

If you have read this review and decided that Rooster Money’s card is not for you, you can also discover other prepaid cards for kids on the market.

Pros

  • Great educational value; a slick app with lots of features to personalise the way you teach your children about finance.
  • Children as young as 4 years old can use it (6 for the card).
  • Total control over where your children use the card and how much they can spend.
  • Safe and secure. The card can be frozen from the app.
  • No fees for using the card (including abroad).
  • One-month free trial.

Cons

  • Annual fee to access the full range of features, including the card.
  • Parents topping up card limited to 3 loads a day/10 a month for free.
  • Spending abroad on the card is free up to £50 a month, then it’s 3% of the transaction.
  • No interest paid on the account balance.

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NatWest’s Rooster Money is a pocket money app that lets parents keep track of their children’s spending and saving.

The app is colourful and entertaining and teaches children about finance. If you want to involve actual money and your child is 6 or over, you can apply for a prepaid Rooster Card (yet if you’re not a NatWest customer, this does come with a subsciption fee).

There are quite a few kids’ debit cards around, but the Rooster Card has some stand-out features.

What is Rooster Money?

Rooster Money is an app to manage your children’s pocket money and teach them good money habits.

You can use the Virtual Tracker for free or opt for the prepaid card at £1.99 per month or £19.99 per year, which also includes access to premium features like setting chores, tracking them and rewarding children when they complete them.

Rooster Money was bought by NatWest in late 2021, and now operates as part of the NatWest Banking Group.

How does Rooster Money work?

Rooster Money is made of two parts: the app and the Rooster card.

The app

The app can be used with young children and is a very clever way of rewarding them for executing a task
they’ve been given. From the app, you can:

  • Assign them a chore and “reward” them when they complete it. The reward can be in the form of money (which you’ll have to give in cash, at this stage) or, at the very beginning, just a star in the app.
  • Set goals. For example, you can establish, say, a 15-star goal. Once they reach it, you can buy them a toy of their choice or organise a trip to the zoo, for example.
  • Set a series of tasks they have to complete before unlocking their pocket money. If your kids are old enough for you to give them weekly pocket money, this is a clever way of tying it to good habits and behaviour.
  • Teach them how to save. The app has a “savings pot” and you can reward your children when they put money aside by setting up an interest rate.

Children can have their own login, whether on their device or on yours, to see how much they’ve earned and how they’ve been doing compared to the past.

Be aware that if you just get the app (and not the prepaid card), you will not be opening an actual account, nor dealing with real money.

The Rooster card

This is the bit of Rooster Money that more closely resembles a bank account (which is why it’s only available to children who are aged 6-17). It comes with the following features:

  • A parent account and app for you. Complete with account number and sort code, dashboard on the app and notifications.
  • A prepaid card and app for your kid. The account is funded from the parent account.
  • Spending control features. You can decide whether the kids can use the card to spend online, in person, to withdraw cash from ATMs or all of the above. You can also set dedicated spending limits.

If you’re child is 13 or over, they can also add the card to their Apple Pay.

The card is linked to the app, so children will be able to see their available balance in the app’s “spending pot”. And you’ll be able to see where their money’s being spent too.

The Rooster Card is issued by National Westminster Bank Plc in accordance with a licence from Visa Europe.

Expert test: I tried out Rooster Money with my family

katesteere profile pic
Kate Steere

Editor

My son, who's at primary school, loves being able to check his balance on his Rooster Money card. He’s often moving money between his card and his savings area. I like being able to select a reason for why he’s extra receiving money. For example, for helping at home or getting good results. He can see these on the app and it encourages him to keep doing his chores!

This kids' card is particularly convenient for NatWest customers, since you see it in the app as another of your accounts and you can top up the card directly from there. And it's free for NatWest customers!

What does the Rooster Money app look like?

Rooster app
Rooster app
Rooster app

How much does Rooster Money cost?

You can choose between 2 different plans. If you want to go for the card, there’s a one-month free trial so you can try before you buy.

  • Free. With this, you only get the most basic features of the app, so you can set chores and reward your kids when they complete them, but not much else.
  • Rooster Card. If you want actual money involved, this is the plan you’re interested in. It costs £19.99 a year or £1.99 monthly and includes all the app’s features (like its premium chore feature), plus a prepaid card and a parent account. There’s a one-month free trial. Just be aware that subscription fees apply via auto renewal after the first month’s trial has ended.

You can make card payments abroad for free up to £50 per month (then there’s a 3% fee).
Up to 10 transfers per month from the parent account to the children’s account are also included for free (it’s £0.50 per load after that).

If, as a parent, you already have a current account with one of the brands in the NatWest Banking Group (so NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank), then you can get the Rooster Card subscription free as long as you retain your account. To be eligible for the offer you must be over 18, have mobile or online banking and have children aged 6-17. You can get up to 3 free Rooster Card subscriptions per household.

Is Rooster Money safe?

If you’re worried that placing a prepaid card in your children’s hands may spiral out of control, you can probably relax. There are no overdraft options, so your children can’t go into debt, and you’ll be able to see every transaction they make directly on the app.

Attempted transactions at merchants that sell products for over-18s (such as bars and gambling sites) will be blocked. If you want more control, you can disable the ATM withdrawal option.

The app generates a new CVV code every time your kids want to use the card to pay online, which adds an extra layer of security, together with the fact that you can freeze the card from the app if it gets lost or stolen.

Finally, Rooster Money itself isn’t a bank, so there will be no Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection for your deposits. But it is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to deal in electronic money and keeps all client money in a segregated account (where Rooster Money itself can’t touch it).

Rooster Money fees and features

NatWest Rooster Money
NatWest Rooster Money
Monthly fee£1.99 (+1 month free trial)
Card delivery fee£0
UK card transaction fee£0
UK cash withdrawal fee£0
Loading fee3/day or 10/month free, then £0.50
Replacement card feeFree for the first replacement (per household), £5 thereafter
NetworkVISA
Account typedebit
How many child accountsNo limit
Fees abroadFree ATM withdrawals, 3% of transaction value on purchases over £50/month
Other fees£0
Freeze/unfreeze card

NatWest Rooster Money customer reviews

NatWest Rooster Money was highly commended in the kids’ prepaid card vcategory in the Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards in 2024, with 94% of customers saying they’d recommend the service to a friend. Feedback included praise for its pricing and parental controls.

One customer commented “I really like this brand because it teaches my child how to manage their money and how to prepare them for money management into their older teenage years and into adulthood. The site has lots of helpful information to help with dealing with money and I think it’ll help my child a lot in the long run.”

Another customer said “It is perfect for kids.”

The app has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 from more than 5,500 reviews on the App Store. On Google Play, Rooster Money has a score of 4.4 from around 6,400 Android app users (updated January 2024).

On the reviews platform Trustpilot, NatWest Rooster Money has a score of 4.8 out of 5 – classed as “Excellent” – based o. more than 2,000 reviews (last updated in January 2024).

What proportion of Rooster Money users would recommend it to friends/family?

ResponseRooster Money customersAverage for all brands in our survey
This year93.98%90.95%
Last year65.33%71.11%
Source: Finder survey by OnePoll of 500 Brits

Customer service information for NatWest Rooster Money

Email support
Telephone support
In-app or live chat
Contact form
Branch support

Frequently asked questions

Banking scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Finder scores, in blue, are based on our expert analysis. We also show reviews from users, where we've received more than 10, with a score in yellow. We gather more reviews from customers every year in Finder's customer satisfaction survey.

To find out more, read our full methodology.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.
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