It’s colourful and entertaining, so they’ll love it. And you retain full control, setting limits and getting notifications. There are quite a few kids’ debit cards around, but Rooster Card and its app have some stand-out features. We’ve covered the pros and cons in our review.
What is Rooster Money?
Rooster Money is an app to manage your children’s pocket money and teach them good money habits.
The basic version is a pretty simple app to keep track of their chores and reward them when they complete them. However, you can upgrade to the prepaid card that goes with it and effectively use it as a children’s account.
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 card.
The app can be used with children as young as 4 and, in itself, is just 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. Rooster says the average rate that parents give is a market-beating 9%. Lucky kids!
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.
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 6-18). 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.
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.
What does the Rooster Money app look like?
How much does Rooster Money cost?
You can choose between 3 different plans. If you want to go for the card, or Plus, 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.
- Plus. This costs £14.99 a year or £0.99 a month and includes the app’s more advanced features, such as the ability to add interest to the savings pot. There’s a one-month free trial.
- 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 (£1.67 with the free trial) and includes all the app’s features, plus a prepaid card and a parent account. There’s a one-month free trial.
Using the card is free. There are no charges for making card payments or withdrawing cash from ATMs in the UK, and 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 a free Rooster Card for 12 months for up to 3 kids.
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
|Monthly fee||£1.99 (+1 month free trial)|
|Card delivery fee||£0|
|Card transaction fee||£0|
|Cash withdrawal fee||£0|
|Loading fee||3/day or 10/month free|
|Replacement card fee||Free for the first replacement (per household), £5 thereafter|
|How many child accounts||No limit|
|Fees abroad||3% of transaction on purchases after £50/month|
Pros and cons of Rooster Money
- 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 Rooster (age 6 for the card).
- Lots of control over where your children use the card and how much they can spend.
- The card can be frozen from the app.
- One-time CVV for more secure online purchasing.
- One-month free trial for the card.
- Annual fee is one of the cheaper options available.
- 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.
The bottom line
The field of children’s prepaid cards is getting more crowded as challengers such as Starling and Revolut jump in. This is always a good thing for consumers because it keeps prices low. Compared to its competitors (such as gohenry and nimbl), Rooster Money is among the cheapest options, and it comes with a great app, reliable security and good controls. Where it stands apart from the rest is the range of educational features and tools for kids to learn about managing money.
Just keep in mind that traditional children’s current accounts usually come for free. 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.
If you’re not especially interested in those (for example because your kids are old enough to be trusted with how they use their pocket money), then a product like Rooster Money is probably not an essential for you.
If you do want to sign up, then get started by visiting Rooster Money's website and ordering a card. 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.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Lloyds Under 19s account review
Learn more about the Lloyds Under 19s account to see if it’s right for your child.
Barclays Young Person’s current account review
Learn more about the Barclays Young Person’s current account to see if it’s right for your teen.
HSBC MyAccount current account review
Learn more about the HSBC MyAccount current account to see if it’s right for your teen.
BarclayPlus current account review
Learn more about the BarclayPlus current account to see if it’s right for your child.
Halifax Expresscash account review
Learn more about the Halifax Expresscash account to see if it’s right for your child.
RBS Revolve current account review
Learn more about the RBS Revolve current account to see if it’s right for your child.
Nationwide FlexOne current account review
Learn more about the Nationwide FlexOne account to see if it’s right for your child.
Kids banking statistics
Three in five (61%) children in the UK aged between 10 and 15 use an app to manage their money.
Bank accounts for 11-year-olds
Discover the pros and cons of bank accounts for 11-year-olds.
How do we rate kids’ prepaid cards?
There’s an increasing number of kids’ prepaid cards available in the UK – here’s how we decide our Finder star ratings for them.
Ask an Expert