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Greenlight Debit Card for Kids Review

The Greenlight debit card helps kids practice spending and saving while keeping parents in the driver’s seat

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Our Take

With the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids, kids and teens learn money management while parents control spending and transactions. Its robust features include savings and cash-back rewards, no fee for international use, and investing tools. The Greenlight card stands out in the world of a half-dozen or so prepaid cards for kids.?

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
  • Offers savings rewards on all plans?

  • Offers cash-back rewards on some plans

  • Low monthly fee covers multiple children

  • No fees for use internationally

  • Plans may be confusing

  • Limited deposit methods

  • Investing option more expensive?

  • Can’t be used everywhere internationally

Key Takeaways
  • The Greenlight debit card lets kids save, spend, and invest in one place while earning rewards on their savings and spending, which many prepaid cards don’t offer.?
  • Parents can set spending limits and establish recurring or conditional transfers to the Greenlight debit card.?
  • The Greenlight debit card offers three plans, all with a monthly fee and allowing up to five kids per account.
Company Overview

Founded by Tim Sheehan and Johnson Cook, Greenlight is a fintech company on a mission to improve financial literacy for kids. So Greenlight provides a debit card, an all-in-one family finance app, and investing tools for kids and teens to learn about budgeting, spending, saving, and building wealth.?

The Greenlight debit card’s limits prevent kids from spending more than the amount available on their cards or racking up overdraft fees. Kids can also customize their cards with a selfie or other picture of their choice.?

The Greenlight debit card is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It bears the Mastercard logo, and you can use it just about anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.?

  • Monthly Fee $4.99–$14.98
  • Number of Kids 5
  • Rewards 1%–5% savings rewards; Max and Infinity plans offer 1% cash back on spending
  • Money Load Fee None
  • ATM Network ATMs with a Mastercard, Visa Interlink, or Maestro name or logo
  • ATM Withdrawal Fee $0
  • Card Replacement Fee First replacement card is free; $3.50 per card after that
  • Direct Deposit Support Yes

The Greenlight Debit Card for Kids has excellent features for a relatively low cost, but there are some other kids' cards to consider. See the best debit cards for kids and teens to explore your options.

Pros Explained

  • Offers savings rewards on all plans: Kids can earn 1% to 5% on up to $5,000 per family with the Greenlight debit card, depending on the plan selected. Most kids’ prepaid cards don’t pay interest or instead ask parents to pay interest as a demonstration to the child.?
  • Offers cash-back rewards on some plans: Greenlight’s more expensive plans offer 1% cash back rewards for spending, which isn’t provided by most other kids’ prepaid cards.??
  • Low monthly fee covers multiple children: The basic tier of $4.99 per month (Greenlight Core) offers a good deal and covers five children.??
  • No fees for use internationally: Some competitors charge a flat fee for using international ATMs or a point of sale and/or a percentage as a foreign currency exchange fee—but the Greenlight debit card does not. This can be helpful if your child is visiting family abroad or going on a school trip.?

Cons Explained

  • Plans may be confusing: Greenlight offers three plan tiers with varying features, such as investing, cash back on spending, priority customer support, and advanced protections. Many features overlap, and it may be hard to know what features you’ll actually end up needing (like purchase protection or priority customer support).
  • Limited deposit methods: While you can load up money on the debit card through the Greenlight app or by direct deposit, you can’t make cash deposits, use a credit card, or use a digital wallet to add funds, unlike some competitors.??
  • Investing option more expensive: Greenlight’s investing plan options start at $9.98 a month with Greenlight Max, which is higher than the few competitors in this space—but it does come with cool extras, too.?
  • Can’t be used everywhere internationally: Greenlight offers detailed lists of where it cannot be used at a point of sale (POS) and/or ATMs. For example, the card can be used for purchases but not ATM withdrawals in Mexico and not for purchases or ATM withdrawals in the Philippines.

How Does the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids Work?

A parent or guardian must sign up as the Primary Accountholder; the Primary Accountholder has a virtual wallet (called the Parent's Wallet), from which you transfer money to your child’s sub-account as you wish.? The Parent’s Wallet can be loaded via debit card or bank account.

Up to five kids can be included per account, and each child can use their card to withdraw cash at an ATM or make purchases in person or online. Parents can monitor their kids’ spending and set restrictions as needed.

Adding Funds and Reloading

You can add funds to a Greenlight debit card via ACH transfer, debit card, or direct deposit.?

The initial deposit must be a minimum of $10 to $20, while subsequent value reloads must be at least $20 for debit card reloads and at least $1 for ACH transfers.

Daily and monthly limits exist for how much you can reload onto the card at once (including daily and monthly load limits). The maximum balance for a Primary Account (managed by the parent/guardian) is $15,000. The maximum balance per sub-account (managed by the child) is $7,500.

Features and Rewards

The Greenlight debit card offers savings rewards on balances up to $5,000; you’ll earn 1% on the Core plan, 2% on the Max plan, and 5% on the Infinity plan. To qualify, the Primary Account must:?

  • Complete the account registration and verification process?
  • Have a positive balance (all secondary accounts must as well)
  • Be up to date on all fee payments, including the monthly payment?
  • Have a verified ACH funding account associated

The Max and Infinity plans also offer 1% cash back on purchases.

Plan Options

The Greenlight debit card has three plan tiers: Core, Max, and Infinity. Each offers a debit card for up to five kids with savings rewards and an app with educational tools, games, and parental controls. Beyond these similarities, here are the main differences between the tiers.?

Core Max? Infinity
Cost? $4.99 $9.98 $14.98
Savings reward 1% 2% 5%
Investing Parent only Parents and kids Parents and kids
1% cash back No Yes Yes
Identity theft, purchase, and phone protection No Yes Yes
Family location sharing, SOS alert sharing, crash detection No No Yes

The Core plan has a “lite” version of investing for parents, while the Max and Infinity plans offer full access to the parent investing platform and an investing platform made for kids.

Parents who opt for the Infinity plan will also get family location sharing, SOS alerts in case of emergency, and crash detection. The app will contact 911 if it detects a collision.

Parental Controls

Through the Greenlight app, parents can exercise a great deal of control over their child’s spending, such as:?

  • Spending: Set spending limits at certain stores or in specific categories, or more general limits, and get notifications of spending??
  • Usage: Freeze and unfreeze the child’s card?
  • ATM withdrawal: Limit or block ATM withdrawals

These are fairly standard controls in the kids' debit card world.?

Greenlight Debit Card Fees

As noted earlier, the Greenlight debit card has the following monthly fees:?

  • Core plan: $4.99 per month for up to 5 children
  • Max plan: $9.98 per month for up to 5 children
  • Infinity plan: $14.98 per month for up to 5 children

Additional fees include:

  • ATM Withdrawal: $0 (although Greenlight does not charge a fee, the bank that operates the ATM may charge a fee)?
  • Custom card (optional): $9.99?
  • Replacement card after first free replacement: $3.50 per card
  • Replacement card with expedited shipping: $24.99

Customer Service

Greenlight provides customer service via phone, SMS chat, and email. Max and Infinity plan customers’ support requests are prioritized.?

Customer Satisfaction

Greenlight has a favorable rating on Trustpilot, receiving 3.9 stars out of 5 based on 4,800 reviews. While about 77% of its reviews on Trustpilot are 4 to 5 stars, some customers cite negative experiences with the company.?

Satisfied customers wrote that it was easy to transfer funds to the Greenlight card, and they appreciated that the card and app helped their children develop greater financial awareness. However, some unhappy customers wrote that the monthly fee was too high and that it was difficult to cancel their accounts. ?

How to Get a Greenlight Debit Card

Applying for a Greenlight debit card is a simple online process that doesn’t require a credit check. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Enter your mobile phone number: You'll get a confirmation code after providing your number on the Greenlight website. Once you enter this code online, you can register your new account. 
  2. Provide basic information: You’ll need to provide personal details such as your name, address, email, date of birth, Social Security number, and the names of the child or children you want to get a Greenlight card for. 
  3. Link your bank account: You’ll need to provide bank account details (e.g., your account and routing numbers) or a debit card number to add funds to the Greenlight card. Greenlight will charge your first monthly fee to this account. 
  4. Load your Parent's Wallet: Add funds to the Parent's Wallet, from which you’ll send money to your child’s sub-account. Your Parent's Wallet can also be used to pay the monthly fee after the first month.
  5. Download the app: Your child can use their version of the app to review their account and learn money concepts, while your app will serve as the parent dashboard, where you can set restrictions, create chore lists, and set up other parental controls. 
  6. Get your child’s debit card: In seven to 10 days, your child will receive a debit card in the mail. 
  7. Load your child’s sub-account: Transfer funds from the Parent's Wallet to your child’s sub-account to give them money to spend as you see fit. 
  8. Use the debit card: When it comes to using the card out in the world, the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids works much like any other standard debit card, with the addition of its parent-specific spending controls and monitoring.

Alternatives to the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids

Before you decide, compare Greenlight to some competitors and take the time to browse our picks for the best debit cards for kids.

Greenlight Debit Card for Kids BusyKid Visa Debit Card Copper Debit Card
Minimum Age None None 13 years old
Monthly Cost $4.99–$14.98 $4 $4.95
Max. Number of Kids 5 5 5
Load Fee $0 $0 2.5% + $0.30 per debit card load; up to $4.95 per cash reload
Savings Earnings 1.0%–5.0% Not available 2.0%
ATM Fee $0 $1.50? $0 at Allpoint ATMs
Foreign Transaction Fee $0 $2.50 $0 at Allpoint ATMs

Final Verdict

Greenlight offers a valuable tool for kids and parents to manage money and improve their financial literacy. Its comprehensive controls give parents peace of mind, as they can monitor and limit spending and approve transactions. Kids also have the opportunity to earn rewards on their savings and use their cards to make purchases anywhere that accepts Mastercard, except for certain restricted categories.?

Families may also appreciate the ability to set up chore lists and reward kids for completing tasks, as well as the games, quizzes, and other educational content to improve financial literacy. If you don't mind the monthly fee, the Greenlight debit card could be a useful financial tool for you and your family.?

Is the Greenlight Debit Card Worth It?

The Greenlight debit card may be worth it if you’re looking for a prepaid debit card for kids that offers savings and spending rewards alongside financial education and other perks. It can also be a good fit for families with many children—other cards charge per-child fees or limit the number of users—or families that travel outside the U.S. to destinations that accept the Greenlight card. Although it’s one of our top-rated cards, it’s worth taking the time to shop around; see our picks for the best debit cards for kids and teens for more.

Is Greenlight FDIC-Insured?

The Greenlight Debit Card for Kids is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000 through Community Federal Savings Bank. Community Federal Savings Bank is the institution that issues the Greenlight card.

How Do You Close a Greenlight Debit Card Account?

The Primary Accountholder (parent or guardian) can close a Greenlight debit card account by filling out a cancellation request form on Greenlight’s website or contacting its customer service team via SMS chat at (404) 974-3024.

How Much Does the Greenlight Debit Card Cost?

The Greenlight debit card comes with a monthly fee that varies depending on your chosen plan. The basic Greenlight Core plan costs $4.99 per month; the Greenlight Max plan costs $9.98 monthly and offers investing opportunities along with a bigger savings reward and 1% cash back on spending. The Greenlight Infinity plan costs $14.98 per month and comes with a yet-bigger savings reward and a few extra perks like location sharing and crash detection.

Article Sources
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