gohenry alternatives: A list of prepaid cards for kids
Don’t think gohenry is quite what you’re looking for? Here are some other money services for children that might be right for you.
Founded in 2012, gohenry is a financial tool for children aged 6 to 18, and is a combination of a money management app and a prepaid card, which comes with advanced parental controls. gohenry costs £3.99 a month for each child, includes free payments and ATM withdrawals in the UK and abroad, plus one free load from the parent account to the child account each month (after that it’s 50p per load). There are also educational resources for kids to use to learn about managing their money. To find out more, read our full gohenry review.
If gohenry isn’t exactly what you’re after, this guide takes a look at some similar alternatives out there in the UK market.
NatWest Rooster Money
Rooster Money has a big emphasis on keeping track of pocket money – and the chores that kids do to earn it.
Rooster Money comes in two parts. The first is an app, designed for children as young as 4, to earn stars for small jobs they’ve done or things they’ve achieved. They can then see these stars add up and turn into rewards, such as their weekly pocket money – but you’ll have to hand over the physical cash at this stage, if you’re just using the app to track stars and teach good habits.
If you want the banking-style element of Rooster Money you’ll need to order its prepaid card, which comes with the usual parental account and spending control features. This payment card links up with the app, although your child has to be 8 years old to use the card.
Fees for using Rooster Money vary from a free basic version of the app to a full subscription complete with a prepaid card and no spending or ATM fees, costing £19.99 a year.
To view the specific features and fee plans on offer, visit our Rooster Money review page.
That’s right, ever-popular challenger brand Revolut operates a bank account for kids as well as us adults. Called Revolut <18, it’s aimed at children aged from 6 to 17.
Like gohenry, Revolut <18 comes with a mobile app and a physical payment card. The parent also tops up the money held in the child’s account and can set controls on how much is spent and where.
The big plus of Revolut <18 is that there’s no monthly fee or any charges to top up the child’s account – but the big catch is that as a parent you already have to be a Revolut account holder in order to open the Junior version.
Although Revolut <18 is free to set up, other transaction fees apply, and will mirror those of whatever type of Revolut account the parent has (e.g. Standard, Premium, Metal or Ultra).
The exception to this is around the Junior card. While spending online or in-store is free, ATM withdrawals are only free for the first £40 taken out each month. After that, a 2% fee applies across the board.
Get the low-down on it in our Revolut <18 review.
In a similar offering to Revolut <18, Starling Kite is a debit card for kids that you can only order if you are a parent (or guardian) and already have a Starling current account or joint account.
Starling Kite is designed for 6 to 16 year olds, who can use it to spend money from a separate prepaid account, which is set up and topped up by their parents through the Starling banking app. The parents can keep an eye on where and when their children are spending money through real-time notifications, and they can also set daily spending limits or block certain merchants altogether.
Kids now also get their own version of the Starling app, so they can check out their transaction history and get notifications when they spend.
At £2 a month, Starling Kite is comparable to the cost of most other kids’ prepaid cards (although rival Revolut <18 is free), and it comes with unlimited free top-ups.
Find out more in our dedicated Starling Kite review.
Another financial service aiming to help parents show their children how to save, budget and be organised with their money is nimbl.
It follows the familiar structure of a financial app linked to a prepaid card, involving a parental account linked to a child’s account. Children as young as 6 years old can use the account, and the associated payment card is a prepaid debit Mastercard.
A parent can see what their child is spending by receiving real-time notifications of card transactions through the app, and like with many similar digital providers, they are able to block certain merchants altogether.
With nimbl, the monthly fee is £2.49 for each child account, but purchases, top ups and ATM withdrawals are all free, which is one of the few obvious differences between nimbl and gohenry.
For a full run-down of nimbl and how to use it, check out our in-depth nimbl review.
Osper also bears a close resemblance to gohenry, so it could be the alternative you’re looking for.
It comes with all of the features you’d expect from this type of money management app aimed at families. There’s the linked parent and child accounts, a digital app, a prepaid Mastercard, spending controls and text alerts for any declined transactions.
Like with most of the providers we’ve mentioned here, with Osper, parents can top up their kid’s funds, get an oversight of what they’ve spent the money on, freeze the payment card if it gets mislaid, and be assured that there’s no possibility of the child’s account going overdrawn.
Aimed at 8 to 18 year olds, Osper is free for the first month, but it will cost parents £2.50 per child, per month after that.
Discover more about what’s on offer in our Osper review.
HyperJar is the latest provider to have hit the kids’ prepaid card market, following its original 2020 debut as a prepaid card and budgeting app for adults.
The HyperJar kids’ card is available for children aged between 6 and 17, and it works through their parents’ HyperJar account. The parent basically sets up one of their “jars” (money pots) as a spending account for their child, which the prepaid card is then linked to.
The child can then use the card to spend in-store and online, as well as withdraw cash from ATMs. Parents can see all of their transactions and set spending limits. They can also set up a savings pot, if their child wants to set aside some of the money they’ve been given to save up for something specific.
There’s no cost for the HyperJar kids’ card (or fees for using it to spend in the UK or abroad), but parents can only put money on it by shifting funds into that jar from their own HyperJar account.
Read all about it in our HyperJar kids’ card review.
gohenry is one of the most popular kids’ spending card and app services in the UK, but if you’re looking for an alternative then there are many similar options out there, as outlined in our guide above. Another different route to getting a payment card for your child would be to open a children’s bank account, and our separate guide explores the differences between a debit card that comes with a kids’ bank account and one that comes with a kids’ spending app.
- Finder survey, October 2017
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