GoHenry vs NatWest Rooster Money: Find out which app is better
Looking for a prepaid debit card and money app for your children? We compare GoHenry and NatWest Rooster Money to see what they offer.
GoHenry has been around since 2012, when a group of parents put their heads together to come up with a new way to help kids manage their money. The result was a financial tool consisting of a child account, a parent account to top it up and a prepaid card.
Meanwhile, pocket money app Rooster Money was established in 2016, with the aim of helping kids become more confident with their finances. It was bought by NatWest in 2021.
This review takes a closer look at how they both work, including their similarities and differences, to help you decide which is best for you and your child.
|Age range||6-18||6-17 for card, 3+ for app|
|App for parents|
|App for kids|
|Go to site|
|Go to site|
GoHenry is designed for children between the ages of 6 and 18. In comparison, elements of the Rooster Money app can be used from as young as 3, but to use the prepaid card, your child will need to be between the ages of 6 and 17.
GoHenry comes with a prepaid Visa debit card that can be customised by choosing from more than 45 different designs, while Rooster Money offers a prepaid Visa debit card in a standard purple shade. Because these are prepaid cards, your kids can only spend the amount that’s on them – your kids cannot go overdrawn or get into debt with either provider.
With both GoHenry and Rooster Money, parents and kids can monitor their spending via the respective apps. GoHenry’s app is tailored to your kid’s age and parents have a companion app that lets them set flexible boundaries and goals for their kids and get real-time spend notifications. With Rooster Money, children can have their own login, whether on their own device or yours, so that they see how much money they have saved. Parents can also keep track of their kids’ spending and decide where they can and cannot spend on their card.
Both GoHenry and Rooster Money are e-money products, which means your money will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This covers up to £85,000 per person if a provider goes bust. However, your money will be held in ring-fenced accounts that neither GoHenry nor Rooster Money can access. In both cases, the money is held in accounts with NatWest and this means you should get your money back if either GoHenry or Rooster Money went bust.
GoHenry won the kids’ category in Finder’s independent 2023 Customer Satisfaction Awards, scoring 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 79% of users saying they would recommend the service. In comparison, Rooster Money scored 3 out of 5 stars and 65% of users said they would recommend it.
Round 1: Account features
|How many child accounts||4||No limit|
|Can non-parents gift money to child's account|
|Customised card available|
|Maximum daily ATM withdrawal limit||£120||£200|
|Make regular pocket money payments|
|Web portal (desktop access)|
|Go to site|
|Go to site|
Both GoHenry and Rooster Money allow parents to make regular pocket money contributions, though with Rooster Money, this will depend on the plan you have. There are 3 different options to choose from, with the most basic Virtual Tracker plan allowing parents and children to track money and spending habits without real money – this is suitable for younger children and includes star charts. Rooster Plus and Rooster Card are designed for older children and let you pay in regular funds and access smarter features on the app.
You’ll be able to add one additional parent or guardian to the Tracker version of the Rooster Money app, but you can add as many secondary users as you like to Rooster Plus and Rooster Card accounts. These secondary users will need to download the app first. By contrast, with GoHenry, any other relatives or friends wishing to pay into your child’s account can create their own GoHenry account to do so, or they can send money straight to a child’s card using Giftlinks.
Should you wish to open more than 1 account with either provider, GoHenry allows you to have 4 accounts per household, whereas Rooster Money sets no such limit.
Both the GoHenry card and the Rooster Money card allow you to withdraw cash from an ATM – GoHenry restricts this to £120 a day, but Rooster Money has a higher limit of £200 a day.
- Winner: It’s close, but we’re giving it to Rooster Money as there are no restrictions on the number of accounts you can have, and withdrawal limits are higher too.
Round 2: App features
|Spending controls for parents|
|Card spend notifications for parents|
|Freeze and unfreeze card|
|Go to site|
|Go to site|
There are a lot of similarities between the GoHenry and Rooster Money apps. Both offer a range of features that can be adapted as your child gets older and both have a firm focus on pocket money and chores. With both apps, you can set tasks for your kids to carry out, which they then get paid for via the app. Rooster Money even enables kids to send a photo to their parents as proof of a job well done.
Both apps also let parents set spending limits and decide where their kids’ cards can be used as well as get real-time notifications on where and when the card has been used. Plus, you can also set up savings goals. GoHenry will calculate the amount your child should save based on the amount of pocket money they get and their end goal date, while Rooster Money lets you set savings goals for your kids with different savings pots to help them track their progress. With the Rooster Plus plan, parents can even set an interest rate to encourage their kids to save.
Additionally, Go Henry offers a “Money Missions” feature, which includes stories, videos and quizzes to help teach your kids about money – different levels are geared towards different age groups. Rooster Money also offers a range of educational resources.
- Winner: Tie. Both apps offer a wide range of innovative features making it difficult to choose between them.
Round 3: Fees
|Monthly fee||£3.99||£1.99 (+1 month free trial)|
|Card delivery fee||£0||£0|
|Loading fee||50p (one top-up free per month)||3/day or 10/month free, then £0.50|
|UK card transaction fee||£0||£0|
|UK cash withdrawal fee||£0||£0|
|Fees abroad||£0||Free ATM withdrawals, 3% of transaction value on purchases over £50/month|
|Replacement card fee||Free, or £4.99 if changing design||Free for the first replacement (per household), £5 thereafter|
|Any other fees|
|Go to site|
|Go to site|
GoHenry charges a monthly fee of £3.99, although you can sign up for a 1-month free trial first. In comparison, with Rooster Money, the amount you pay will depend on the plan you have. The Virtual Tracker is free to use each month, but its features are limited. The Rooster Plus plan costs 99p a month and the Rooster card costs £1.99 a month or £19.99 a year.
There’s no fee to have your card delivered with either GoHenry or Rooster Money, but you may have to pay a fee for loading money onto the card. GoHenry offers 1 fee-free load per month and then charges 50p a time. Rooster Money offers 3 free loads per day up to a total of 10 per month and then charges 50p per load.
Should you want to use your card abroad, GoHenry does not charge for cash withdrawals or purchases. With Rooster Money, cash withdrawals abroad are free, but any spending of more than £50 a month will incur a 3% fee.
- Winner: Rooster Money for charging a lower monthly fee.
Overall winner: Is GoHenry better than Rooster Money?
Choosing between GoHenry and NatWest’s Rooster Money is not an easy decision to make as both are competitive financial tools for helping your kids to manage their money. Their apps work in a similar way, with both enabling parents to reward kids for carrying out chores and helping to encourage good savings habits. These apps are also designed to grow with your child, giving them access to a greater range of features as they get older.
Ultimately, what it’s likely to boil down to is the cost, and in this case, the clear winner is Rooster Money. As well as offering a free option for younger children, even its most expensive plan is still cheaper than GoHenry.
But what works for one person might not work for another, so you’ll need to consider what’s most important to you and go from there.
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