11 Excellent Reasons to Get the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids

11 Excellent Reasons to Get the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids

How Does Greenlight Work?

Greenlight is a debit card, which is an important learning tool since most spending today happens with some sort of card, whether that’s a credit or debit card. You can use it to teach your children how to manage money by spending it more wisely, and even allocating some of it for savings for future goals.

Everything is controlled on the app. Chores are listed, checked off, and paid, and one time or recurring transfers can be set up. Controls and monitoring are all done through the app.

It does this by giving you the following tools:

  • Instant money transfers from you to your children
  • The ability to turn the card on and off when necessary
  • You’ll receive alerts anytime the card is used
  • You can set store-level spending controls – to allow you to choose the specific stores where your children can use the card
  • Set parent-paid “interest” the show children how compounding works
  • Set savings goals, and track the progress
  • You’ll have a choice whether your child can use the card at an ATM or not, and if so how much they can withdraw
  • A teen with a job can set up direct deposit into the account
  • Makes automated allowance payments weekly or monthly – you can even allocate funds between spending, saving, and giving
  • Has a chores management feature – more on that below

The Greenlight debit card is a MasterCard that can be used for both online and in-store purchases, or anywhere else MasterCard is accepted. And even though it may not be necessary, the card can be used in more than 150 foreign countries. The card can even be used in conjunction with both Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The Greenlight debit card is issued by Greenlight Financial Technology, which has a Better Business Bureau rating of “B+” on a scale of A+ to F.

Bankrates Take: Is the Greenlight Debit card worth it?

If you’re looking for a simple way to help your child learn responsible saving and spending habits, the Greenlight Debit card is easily one of the best kid-centric debit cards on the market. Though you can’t avoid fees, the card comes with a ton of unique tools like customizable chore lists, automated allowances and real-time spending notifications, and the level of money management control you get is more granular than what rival cards offer.

While Greenlight’s Savings Boost makes the basic $4.99 monthly plan a bit more valuable than many competitor offerings, the $9.98 Greenlight Max plan’s flat-rate cash back, higher Savings Boost and other perks should give you the best bang for your buck.



Is Greenlight legit? Greenlight is a legitimate company offering Mastercard debit cards that parents can control through an app. Greenlight cards are issued by Community Federal Savings Bank, an FDIC-insured bank. Because of the FDIC insurance, up to $250,000 of the cash in your account is guaranteed in the event the company fails. Is Current legit? Current is a legitimate company that offers online banking, mobile payment services, and Visa debit cards to adults and teens. Choice Financial Group is the Current card issuer and is an FDIC member. As such, up to $250,000 of money on your card is covered by FDIC insurance. Does Greenlight or Current have a savings account? Both Greenlight and Current offer accounts that kids can set up to stash away savings. You can fund their debit card first and then move money to other accounts to meet savings goals. With Greenlight, you can also set up parent-paid interest. You decide the percentage and your child’s savings will earn that interest rate each month. Kids also have to request to move money from savings, which could help you teach when is or isn’t a good time to dip into savings. What are some alternatives to Greenlight and Current? Besides Greenlight and Current, FamZoo, gohenry, and BusyKid are other prepaid debit card options you could consider using to teach children and teens how to manage cash. Here’s an overview of what each company has to offer:FamZoo: FamZoo provides a prepaid debit card with budgeting tools, savings tools, instant money transfers, scheduled transfers, and activity alerts for kids and parents. gohenry: gohenry offers custom prepaid cards for kids with spending controls, real-time notifications, and the ability to block and unblock the card.BusyKid: BusyKid is a prepaid debit card for kids designed as an account to deposit their allowance. You can monitor your kids’ spending and BusyKid offers an investment option where kids can enter the market with as little as $10.

What Is The Greenlight Debit Card?

The Greenlight debit card is a unique alternative to banking. The debit card was developed by MasterCard exclusively for youngsters. The core concept is similar to loading money onto a gift card for a friend and giving it to them.

Except with a Greenlight card, you can regularly add additional money to your children’s cards as you see fit via their convenient mobile cash app, which offers a seamless digital experience. You could even set up regular allowance funding so that you don’t forget to pay their weekly earnings.

Moreover, you can limit where your child can spend their cash so that they don’t overspend in one category, like online gaming.

With all of these wonderful advantages come even more perks, including teaching your kids how to invest! The Greenlight debit card allows parents to pay an allowance or purchase items online and set spending limitations to ensure their children do not go over what they agreed on.

The card also comes with a family finance app, a feature-rich financial platform designed to assist parents in teaching their children critical personal finance skills and developing helpful money habits such as saving, acquiring, investing, spending, and using money responsibly.

In essence, the money app is designed specifically for individuals to learn about money through the Greenlight prepaid card that comes with permissions, notifications, and safety measures.

Greenlight Debit Card


Apply now on Greenlight’s secure site

Annual fee

$4.99 per month

Intro offer


Rewards rate


Recommended credit

See Terms

Pros And Cons Of The Green Light Card

Pros Of The Green Light Card

Pros Of The Green Light Card

  • Greenlight has the best parental controls in the industry

Undoubtedly, this card has a unique level of specificity in parental and ATM withdrawal controls.

  • It provides a platform for investing for parents and kids

Greenlight incorporated an investment platform into its service, allowing parents to authorize each ETF transaction or stock.

  • Its parent-paid interest is quite futuristic

Greenlight allows parents to pay interest on their children’s savings goals, motivating them to save and helping them understand the significance of compound returns.

  • It offers savings incentives and interest

Greenlight offers savings incentives in the form of interest (1 percent – 2 percent, depending on the plan).

  • You get money back on your purchases

Kids can earn at least 1% cashback on Greenlight card purchases with the superior Greenlight Max product.

  • There is a set monthly cost for five children

Greenlight scales by allowing up to five children to receive a card. Each additional child incurs a monthly charge.

  • It sends warnings and requests for expenditures and ATM withdrawals in real-time

The program offers real-time notifications for spending activities, besides in-app, real-time calls for additional funds in children’s Spend Anywhere accounts.

  • Finally, its chores and allowances management feature

The Greenlight app helps you manage chores and allowances by providing in-app tasks, monitoring, and assessment, as well as automated allowance payouts. While some prefer personal approval reminders for allowance, some parents may appreciate these automatically generated payments to send their children the money they’ve earned as allowances without delays.

Try Greenlight Here

A Few Cons

Greenlight’s investing plan has a monthly charge. While it’s convenient to have all of your financial decisions in one place, Greenlight’s investing design begins at $7.98 a family per month for up to five children. 

That’s very pricey when you realize that there are less expensive solutions, such as the Acorns Family plan, which costs $5 per month, or the BusyKid debit card plan, which costs $19.99 per year. While the latter offers less functionality and poorer client satisfaction scores, it is less expensive than the Greenlight + Invests plan.

Greenlight does not presently allow you to reload cash straight to the card from selected stores across the country. However, even if it comes at a cost, this feature can enable access to the most financially marginalized communities.

 A Greenlight card review suggests that options such as Famzoo and BusyKid allow individuals to lend funds to their children (with or without interest) to finance bulky purchases. This feature can provide a secure atmosphere for learning about borrowing before acquiring a credit card or progressing onto any other lending product outside the home.

Who is Greenlight Best For?

I really like Greenlight despite its limitations. Before parents sign up, however, they need to read over all the fine print and purchase and withdrawal rules so they know what they’re dealing with. I also recommend playing around with the app and learning how it works so kids aren’t left in a situation where they can’t access their money when they need it.

With all this being said, Greenlight is best for:

  • Parents who want to oversee their kid’s chores, allowances, purchases and savings in one place
  • Families who want their kids to have their own debit card for safety reasons
  • Parents who want a way to teach their kids how to manage their money early in life
  • Families who want to get their kids into investing early in life
  • Anyone who wants to be able to send their kids or teens money instantly through a mobile app
  • Parents who want to be notified each time their kid make a purchase

5 important differences between Greenlight and Current

Although the two companies have some similarities, there are some key differences between what Greenlight and Current offer. Here are the biggest differences you should know:

  1. You can invest with Greenlight. With Greenlight + Invest or Greenlight Max, kids get the option to invest with as little as $1. This feature could help you illustrate the power of investing and compounding interest. Current doesn’t currently offer an investing option.
  2. Greenlight offers a few more protections. TheGreenlight Max service tier includes purchase protection, cell phone protection, and identity theft protection for the whole family (with some restrictions; for example, cell phone protection is limited to five kids).
  3. Greenlight lets you fund the kid’s account with debit cards. With Current, you fund and reload your child’s account using your bank account. Greenlight lets you fund accounts with debit cards and bank accounts.
  4. Greenlight is for all ages and Current is for teens.: To qualify for a Current account, the child has to be at least 13 years old; meanwhile, there’s no age requirement for the Greenlight debit card.
  5. Current has no minimum balance requirement. For Greenlight, you need to make an initial upload of $10 to your Parent’s Wallet to get started, followed by a minimum deposit of $1 if you’re using a connected bank account or $20 if you’re funding the account with a debit card. Current doesn’t set deposit minimums or maximums.

Greenlight Plans

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
    – Kids’ debit cards for up to five kids – Educational app – Core financial tools – Granular parental controls (store-level and category-level) – Greenlight Savings Reward (up to 1% interest on Savings) – Ability to earn, save, spend, invest and give
Greenlight + Invest$7.98Everything under the Greenlight Plan, plus:
    – Investing platform (parents must approve all individual stock and ETF investments)
Greenlight Max$9.98Everything under the Greenlight + Invest Plan, plus:
    – Greenlight Savings Reward (up to 2% interest on Savings) – 1% Cash Back on purchases – Greenlight Black Card (modern, bold and black card) – Priority customer support – Identity theft protection (identity theft monitoring, alerting and restoration for the whole family) – Cell phone protection (coverage for damaged, lost or stolen phones for up to five kids) – Purchase protection (repair or replace Greenlight purchases that are stolen or damaged)

How much does the Greenlight debit card cost?

The Greenlight debit card has three payment tiers: Greenlight, Greenlight + Invest and Greenlight Max.

You won’t be able to give your kids the Greenlight debit card without paying a monthly fee; however, you will be able to decide which tier is best for your family.

PlanMonthly feeFeatures
  • Debit cards for up to 5 kids
  • Educational app
  • Core financial tools
  • Parental controls
Greenlight + Invest$7.98
  • Debit cards for up to 5 kids
  • Educational app
  • Core financial tools
  • Parental controls
  • Investment platform
Greenlight Max$9.98
  • Debit cards for up to 5 kids
  • Educational app
  • Core financial tools
  • Parental controls
  • Investment platform
  • Greenlight black card
  • Priority customer support
  • Identity theft protection
  • Cellphone protection
  • Purchase protection


  • Cost is higher than we'd like on the Greenlight + Invest and Greenlight Max products
  • No parent / child lending
  • No cash reload options


Aside from the ability to give your kids the chance to spend and manage money, the Greenlight debit card has several other features. 

Here’s a rundown on some of our favorite features. 

Auto Transfer & Instant Transfer

Greenlight lets you set up automatic transfers for each account to help your kids manage their set income. You can tie the automatic transfers to their completed chores or a specific day during the month or week. 

And you can initiate instant transfer any time of the day or night as needed. 

Customizable Spending Limits

Greenlight allows you to set customizable spending limits for each child too. This feature can be useful for those who have children of a wide range of ages. 

For example, you’ll probably have different spending parameters for a 16-year-old than you would for a 4-year-old. 

Four Different Accounts for Each Child

The app also comes with four different accounts for the kids: Earn, Spend, Save and Give. You can work with your child to determine how much money goes into each account or decide on your own. 

You can simply transfer a set amount into the “Earn” account, or you can give your child chores to complete and let them have a hand in determining their income. 

Having the four different accounts helps you teach your kids the importance of saving, giving, and living within your means when it comes to spending. 

Parental Notifications

Besides, the Greenlight debit card app has a parental notification feature. This feature lets you know anytime and anywhere the card is used.  You’ll even get a notification if a purchase is declined due to lack of funds or some other reason. 

And if you need to, you can turn off the card from your app at any time. You can set store-level spending controls too.

That means you can choose which stores your child spends money at, which they don’t and how much they spend at any given store. 


I love this feature. With the Round-Ups feature, your kids can round up any purchase they make to the next dollar. The round-up amount goes straight into their Save account, making saving money virtually painless. 

ATM Parental Controls

With the ATM Parental Controls feature, you can decide whether your child can use their debit card at the ATM. You can also put a limit on how much money they can take out at the ATM. 

For example, a parent who is worried about their kid blowing their entire budget at the arcade can benefit from this. 

Customizable Debit Cards

One fun element of Greenlight is that they offer customizable debit cards. That means your child can get a debit card featuring a picture of themselves, their favorite pet or another custom photo. Note that there is a $9.99 charge for customizable cards. 

Customizable Interest Rates

Another aspect of Greenlight is that it lets you set customizable interest rates for your kids’ accounts. You choose the interest rate percentage you want to pay them. 

Using this feature can be a great way to teach the power of compound interest when it comes to saving and investing as a teen.

Referral Bonus Program

Greenlight has a referral bonus program too. Every time you refer someone to Greenlight with your referral code, and they open a Greenlight account, you’ll get a $10 bonus, and so will your referral. 

This program could be an easy way to earn some extra cash to fund your child(ren)’s Greenlight account. 

Investing For Kids

Greenlight recently added on an investing-for-all platform. Why not? Kids are already saving, setting up businesses, why not learn investing?

Using the Greenlight Max Plan, you simply set up an investor profile. Kids can then research ETFs and Stocks, then invest, and track their progress with the guidance of their parent or guardian.

Greenlight vs. other debit cards for kids

The Greenlight debit card isn’t the only debit card for kids out there. Here’s how Greenlight stacks up against FamZoo, GoHenry and BusyKid, three of the most popular competing debit cards on the market.

  • FamZoo vs. Greenlight: Like Greenlight, FamZoo lets parents transfer money directly to their kids’ debit cards and helps parents and kids work together to track saving, spending and giving. However, FamZoo doesn’t offer the kid-friendly investment opportunities that come with the Greenlight + Invest and Greenlight Max plans. A FamZoo subscription costs $5.99 per month, though families can save by paying for multiple months (or years) in advance.
  • GoHenry vs. Greenlight: GoHenry is another popular kids’ debit card, and like Greenlight, parents can fund kids’ accounts, set limits on spending, help their children set aside funds for charitable giving and more. As with FamZoo, the biggest difference between GoHenry and Greenlight is that GoHenry does not offer any type of investing platform. GoHenry costs $3.99 per child per month, and you can customize your children’s debit cards for $4.99 each.
  • BusyKid vs. Greenlight: BusyKid is probably the closest match to Greenlight, in terms of features and options – including the option to help your child set up an investment account and learn about the fundamentals of investing. BusyKid is also less expensive than Greenlight. A BusyKid family plan costs $19.99 per year and comes with one BusyKid prepaid Visa spend card. If you want to set up BusyKid accounts for multiple children, you’ll pay an additional $7.99 per child per year.

Greenlight Plans and Costs

While Greenlight offers a ton of tools that can help kids learn more about their finances, this product is far from free. Ultimately, this is one of the major downsides of Greenlight. After all, there are other debit cards for kids and teens that don’t have a monthly fee, although they have a lot fewer features overall.

Either way, here’s a rundown of what you can expect to pay for a Greenlight plan depending on the tier of service you sign up for.

Greenlight —$4.99 per monthGreenlight + Invest — $7.98 per monthGreenlight Max — $9.98 per month
Debit card for up to 5 kids
Education all
Core financial tools
Parental controls
Greenlight savings rewards1%1%2%
Investing tools
1% cash back on spending
Greenlight Black Card
Priority customer support
Identity theft protection
Cell phone protection
Purchase protection

As you can see, Greenlight offers three different plans for families to choose from:

Greenlight: The basic Greenlight plan lets parents get a debit card for up to five kids. This plan offers basic tools for parents, like the ability to set up chore charts, send their kids money, and be notified when their kids make a purchase. Kids in this tier of the program will also earn 1% in rewards on their savings.

Greenlight + Invest: The Greenlight + Invest plan costs slightly more than the basic plan, yet families get the added benefit of investing tools. This feature within the Greenlight app lets kids purchase fractional shares of their favorite stocks, and they can start investing with as little as $1 with no trading fees. Parents also get to approve every trade right from the app. Kids in this tier also earn 1% in cash back on their savings.

Greenlight Max: Greenlight Max is the top tier plan, and it includes all the benefits of the basic plan plus the investing features. On top of that, parents get benefits like priority customer support and kids also get 1% back on purchases made with their debit card and 2% in cash back on their savings. Other features like identity theft protection, purchase protection, and cell phone protection are included. Kids in this plan also get a Greenlight Black Card, which is just a fancy-looking upgrade for their debit card.

If you would rather listen to this post, and others here on the blog, please check out the Good Financial Cents podcast on Spotify.

Greenlight Features

  • Minimum age. None.
  • Minimum account balance. None.
  • Chores management. This may be the most interesting feature of the Greenlight debit card. You can set up weekly and one-time chores and tie them to the completion of either allowances or rewards. This can help motivate your kids, and even show them the connection between work and compensation. The kids check off their chores on the app when completed.
  • Spending round-ups. You can set the debit cards to round-up purchases to the next dollar, with the change being automatically allocated to savings.
  • Greenlight Mobile App. Available on Google Play for Android devices, 6.0 and up, and at The App Store, for iOS devices 11.0 or later. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
  • Customer service. Contact is available by in-app email. No phone contact is indicated.
  • Account security. All funds held on deposit are FDIC insured through Community Federal Savings Bank. For the protection of personal information, Greenlight uses reasonable administrative, technical, and physical security measures.
  • Greenlight sign-up. You’ll need to provide your email address, mobile phone number, your children’s names, your name, mailing address, date of birth, and your Social Security number. You’ll then need to connect the Greenlight account to a valid debit card or bank account.
  • Referral bonus. If you or your child refer someone to a Greenlight debit card, both you (or your child) and the person referred will receive a $10 referral bonus.

Learn more about Greenlight

Warning: Once you fund your account, there doesn’t appear to be a way to refund your Greenlight balance back to your funding source. To do that, you need to completely close your account and the refund process takes 5-7 days. You can access your funds via an ATM but you can’t transfer funds back to the funding source.


The Greenlight debit card has many useful features that can go a long way in helping you teach your kids about money.

As this review shows, the features and benefits of the card give a lot of value for the price. 



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