11 Excellent Reasons to Get the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids

What are the professionals and cons?

Execs No value apart from the month-to-month plan price Its spending class and retailer settings, real-time buy notifications, customizable chore sheets, automated allowance system and financial savings choices make a complete management suite for folks The Greenlight Max plan’s account monitoring, buy safety, and cellphone safety advantages are particularly useful for youths and youths Not like its rivals, the issuer backs optimistic habits with as much as 1 % money again on spending and a pair of % month-to-month compounded Financial savings Increase rewards One of many few pay as you go playing cards in its class to supply an investing platform—a key, typically uncared for cash administration lesson Doesn’t require creating a brand new checking or financial savings account Cons The $4.99 to $9.98 month-to-month plan charges may be costlier than related pay as you go debit Credit cards for youths Lots of the card’s finest perks and rewards to assist offset the price are locked behind the Greenlight Max tier Cash transfers, spending controls and funding actions are tied to the first accountholder, which can make it troublesome for a number of mother and father or guardians to handle the app with no joint account Not like some opponents, requires ceaselessly managing a cellular app along with the bodily debit card


Greenlight Debit Card Options

The Greenlight Debit Card for youths has been designed to offer you a specific amount of management over when, the place and the way your youngsters spend cash. On the identical time, the cardboard permits younger folks to be taught finance administration early of their lives.

Listed below are some options of this debit card:

  • Two Classes: You may deposit cash into the kid’s account in one in all two classes. The primary class includes cash that the kid can spend no matter they need at any time when they like. The opposite class has parental controls.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Since you’re the major cardholder, you get alerts for purchases and notifications when the steadiness is operating low or the cardboard declines.
  • Fund Request: In case your baby is in quick want of cash, they’ll request funds in real-time. When you, the father or mother, get the notification, you possibly can switch cash into their card immediately and freed from cost.
  • Money Again: The Greenlight Max plan provides 1% money again on all debit purchases that go into your child’s savings account.
  • Mother or father-paid Curiosity: You may select an annual share to pay on your youngsters’s financial savings. On this approach, you possibly can promote the behavior of saving of their youngsters.
  • Funding: The Greenlight + Make investments plan permits youngsters to speculate their cash into sure ventures. They’ll want their mother and father’ approval to make any investments.
  • Financial savings Reward: With the Greenlight + Make investments plan, youngsters earn a 1% saving increase. In the meantime, the Greenlight Max provides a 2% saving increase for balances of $5,000 or decrease.
  • Buy Safety: When a baby buys one thing with a Greenlight card, they get reimbursed for repairing or changing a broken or stolen merchandise inside 120 days of supply or buy. Do observe the provide just isn’t out there in New York .
  • Cell Cellphone Safety: With the Greenlight Max plan, youngsters get reimbursed for stolen, misplaced, or broken telephones. You may avail of this characteristic for as much as 5 youngsters in all cities besides New York.

Make Your Cash Work For You

Greenlight Execs

Earlier than signing up for the Greenlight card or another debit card for youths, it’s vital to think about what’s good—and never so good—about it. Listed below are a few of the finest causes to think about a Greenlight card for youths.

  • Mother and father can set controls for spending and deposits, together with tying transfers to accomplishments like finishing chores, doing homework or getting good grades.
  • Notifications permit mother and father to trace their baby’s transaction historical past in actual time.
  • Sure purchases are mechanically blocked by Greenlight.
  • Greenlight’s financial savings rewards, debit card round-ups and money again on purchases helps youngsters attain financial savings targets quicker.
  • Children can be taught investing from an early age with a Greenlight + Make investments plan.
  • Money rewards supplied with Greenlight Max will help youngsters develop their financial savings.
  • Children’ balances are FDIC-insured as much as the $250,000 restrict.

The Greenlight debit card for youths could possibly be an excellent match if you wish to give your youngsters flexibility to spend whereas sustaining management over their accounts. The truth that Greenlight blocks sure transactions mechanically is a pleasant plus, as another debit playing cards for youths don’t do that.

What we like about Greenlight

  • Security measures: The truth that Greenlight requires parental approval for investments, in addition to the continued monitoring and different safety features can present peace of thoughts. Your baby can be taught and make errors, however you assist information their choices.
  • Instructional instruments: Educating youngsters about set monetary targets and monitor their cash could possibly be simpler with the instruments supplied by Greenlight. The investing instruments are additionally useful in the case of making it straightforward for youths to find out about investing and its advantages.
  • Teaches youngsters monetary duty: As a result of it’s an app with monetary administration instruments, youngsters can be taught worthwhile classes. The Greenlight debit card for youths prevents them from spending greater than they’ve and will assist them learn to handle their cash in a accountable approach.
  • Straightforward cash administration for the household: With the Greenlight card, it’s straightforward for the entire household to handle their cash and be taught collectively. Mother and father can rapidly and simply ship cash to the cardboard, automate weekly transfers to their kid’s card, and monitor spending in real-time. Then it affords the prospect to speak about funds and evaluation choices so youngsters have a greater studying expertise.

What Greenlight Can Do Higher

  • Month-to-month price on Investing plan. Whereas helpful to have each monetary resolution housed on the identical platform, Greenlight’s investing plan begins at $7.98 per 30 days for as much as 5 youngsters. If mother and father don’t want the controls or perception supplied by the Greenlight debit card, they may as a substitute go for a less expensive custodial account by an Acorns Family plan ($5/mo) at a decrease month-to-month price. Likewise, you possibly can go along with a BusyKid debit card system which prices solely $19.99/yr (although $7.99 per yr per further card with different price potential as properly). Whereas it has much less performance and decrease buyer satisfaction scores, it does come at a cheaper price level as in comparison with the Greenlight + Make investments plan’s price.
  • Require approval for allowance switch (not automated). After utilizing the cellular utility to pay my son for chores as a check, I seen how the characteristic mechanically transfers funds with out requiring prior approval. If I took no motion, the funds would switch regardless. If I set single time chores which require handbook approval, I don’t imagine this might occur.
  • Reload money choices. Greenlight doesn’t at the moment provide the flexibility to reload money immediately onto the cardboard from collaborating retailers nationwide. Having this entry, even for a price, can promote extra accessible populations who’re at the moment underserved by monetary companies. Choices like Famzoo permit this at areas like Walmart or Goal, albeit for a price charged by retailers on the Mastercard Reload community.
  • Mother or father / baby loans. Choices like Famzoo and BusyKid permit mother and father to lend cash to their youngsters (both with curiosity or not) to pay for bigger purchases a child can not finance alone. Having this characteristic could be a protected setting for studying about credit before moving on to a credit card or different mortgage product outdoors of the house.

Cardholder perks

Regardless of which month-to-month plan you select, the Greenlight card ought to provide strong perks that may assist youngsters get monetary savings and construct accountable monetary habits.

All Greenlight cardholders earn no less than 1 % on their common each day financial savings steadiness and get entry to distinctive cash administration options and fundamental protections like FDIC insurance coverage and 0 fraud legal responsibility. However for slightly further, it’s also possible to unlock extra rewards alternatives and options, together with the cardboard’s money again program.

The bottom Greenlight plan, out there for $4.99 per 30 days, will get the job carried out should you’re glad with a 1 % Financial savings Increase, cash administration instruments and training, however it could be value choosing the Greenlight + Make investments degree (out there for $7.98 per 30 days) should you’re enthusiastic about extra options that assist youngsters find out about investing and make it straightforward for folks to speculate for his or her baby’s future.

The third tier, Greenlight Max, might provide the very best worth. You’ll get pleasure from all of the perks of the bottom and Greenlight + Make investments tiers, plus an additional 1 % Financial savings Increase (for a complete of two % earnings), in addition to limitless 1 % money again on purchases and unique perks like devoted customer support and future limited-time affords on high of the rewards.

Right here’s a fast take a look at a few of the key advantages that include the Greenlight card, relying in your plan:

Parental controls and cash administration choices

The Greenlight program is manufactured from three elements that each the father or mother or guardian (the first accountholder) and the kid (sub-accountholder) can use: the sub-accountholder’s debit card, the sub-accountholder’s Greenlight cellular app and the first accountholder’s cellular app. Children can use the bodily or digital model of the debit card to make purchases, whereas mother and father can use the app to:

  • Monitor and approve every buy because it occurs
  • Set common spending limits and limits on particular retailer or class purchases
  • Create chore lists and one-time duties for youths tied to an allowance
  • Reload the cardboard steadiness
  • Arrange direct deposits to teenagers’ playing cards in the event that they work part-time
  • Freeze and unfreeze every debit card

These options assist youngsters get hands-on expertise with budgeting and incomes cash whereas giving mother and father visibility and management over the place and the way a lot they spend. In line with Greenlight’s analysis, the highest transaction classes for youths and youths are grocery shops, gasoline stations, eating places, on-line gaming and ATMs, so you possibly can even set spending limits for every of those particular person areas.

Whereas many of those options are just like these you’ll discover on different kid-centric debit playing cards applications, Greenlight affords extra in-depth customization choices than most.

Financial savings options

The Greenlight card may also assist youngsters be taught the ability of accountable saving choices. You may arrange “Financial savings Objectives” towards huge bills like school or a automobile, or short-term purchases like video games. In the meantime, the “Spherical Up” characteristic will help pitch in by taking the leftover change from every buy and placing it towards these plans or your baby’s common financial savings.

You may take issues a step additional and educate youngsters the worth of compounded curiosity with its “Mother or father-Paid Curiosity” price you set your self that accrues utilizing the first accountholder’s funds. You may set this price at wherever from 1 to 100%, permitting financial savings to develop at a a lot quicker tempo than you’d get with the standard APY and demonstrating how cash can develop whenever you save.

Greenlight Present

As with related kid-centric debit playing cards, Greenlight affords a present choice that permits folks outdoors your loved ones accounts to load money onto the cardboard. Family and friends can ship a present of $25, $50, $75 or $100 by way of textual content or e-mail, which may be redeemed simply by the app. Present-givers may even designate how youngsters can use their funds—wherever, at a choose retailer or solely towards their Greenlight Financial savings account.

Greenlight + Make investments

A novel characteristic amongst debit playing cards for youths, the Greenlight + Make investments month-to-month plan will unlock instructional modules and parent-approved inventory and ETF buying and selling alternatives for your loved ones.

Because it’s tailor-made for studying concerning the investing area, it’s constructed to be simply accessible. You may set your threat tolerance, set up your funding timeline and purchase most U.S. market shares with no buying and selling charges to fret about. You may even purchase into fractional shares with as little as $1.

All of the whereas, you’ll keep solely in management since your baby can’t make trades with out your permission and the brokerage accounts are in your identify as the first accountholder. You resolve how cash is invested and the way any good points are used.

The funding platform out there with the mid-tier month-to-month plan is one in all Greenlight’s most unusual and compelling options and isn’t supplied by opponents like Famzoo and Gohenry.

Unique Greenlight Max protections

Together with an additional 1 % Financial savings Increase and limitless 1 % money again on purchases, the Greenlight Max tier will get you many worthwhile perks that may simply make the additional value value it. Not solely are these options—together with buy safety, cellphone safety and account monitoring—often reserved for bank cards, however they’ll additionally are available particularly helpful for youths and youths.

The Greenlight card’s cellphone protection covers eligible injury, theft and breakdowns as much as $600 per declare throughout as much as two claims (or $1,000 in whole reimbursement) every calendar yr per card in your account. That is already a comparatively uncommon and prized perk amongst bank cards, however the Greenlight plan stands out with the inclusion of breakdown injury over time and the truth that you don’t should pay your cellphone invoice with the cardboard to be lined. Sadly, nonetheless, New York residents aren’t eligible.

Eligible purchases are additionally lined in opposition to injury or theft for as much as $100 per merchandise (as much as $1,000 per yr) for 120 days (90 days for New York residents) from the date of buy or supply if it was paid in full with the cardboard and broken or stolen. This buy safety even covers standard consumables like magnificence merchandise, gas, meals and drugs.

Greenlight Max additionally comes with sturdy account monitoring instruments. Whereas major cardholders get a run-of-the-mill credit score monitoring service by Experian, youngsters get an intensive Baby Monitoring Service that scours the net and darkish internet for his or her private data, together with their Social Safety quantity, e-mail deal with, telephone quantity, banking account particulars, medical ID quantity and extra. In case your baby’s data is compromised, you’ll even get a devoted agent beneath the full-service id restoration service that can assist you with subsequent steps.

Contemplating this degree of service often requires extra subscriptions, the Greenlight Max plan could possibly be an excellent useful resource to have in your nook in case your baby continues to be studying to be protected on-line.

Rewards price

Relying in your Greenlight card tier, you may get sudden worth from its distinctive Financial savings Increase characteristic, flat-rate money again or each.

All cardholders earn no less than a 1 % Financial savings Increase reward every month based mostly on their common each day financial savings account steadiness (on balances of as much as $5,000). That’s a powerful price of return contemplating the current average APY is 0.60 %.

Greenlight Max members fare even higher, incomes double the Financial savings Increase (2 %) and limitless 1 % money again on all purchases. Taken collectively, that’s a lot better than most cash back debit cards can provide.

When you might not earn sufficient by way of money again or Financial savings Increase to utterly offset your month-to-month Greenlight plan charges, they’ll nonetheless assist younger cardholders see how their financial savings can develop by accountable use.

The way you earn

With out Greenlight Max, the one option to earn rewards from the issuer is thru the 1 % each year Financial savings Increase that’s awarded month-to-month based mostly on the kid’s Basic Financial savings and Financial savings Objectives balances. Subscribing to Greenlight Max doubles the Financial savings Increase to 2 %, however each tier solely earns these rewards on an as much as $5,000 common each day financial savings account steadiness per household (with a most of 5 playing cards in your plan).

Financial savings Increase works by multiplying your baby’s common each day financial savings account steadiness by the rewards price and dividing the consequence by 12 to find out the month-to-month reward. For instance, a $1,500 steadiness with the essential month-to-month plan would earn $1.25. This may then be added to the financial savings steadiness and apply towards the next month’s potential reward. That is primarily an issuer-funded enhance to the kid’s APY that makes compound curiosity extra noticeable, encouraging good saving.

Greenlight Max members additionally earn limitless 1 % money again on all eligible spending, which supplies younger cardholders a superb alternative to follow incomes rewards earlier than they get a full-fledged rewards credit card. Just some debit playing cards earn rewards—not to mention limitless, flat-rate money again. For instance, the Discover Cashback Debit account, a well-liked money again debit card, solely earns 1 % money again in your first $3,000 in purchases every month.


All Financial savings Increase and money again earnings are mechanically added to your baby’s financial savings and counts towards their subsequent month’s Financial savings Boosts reward. This makes it straightforward for youths to avoid wasting, without having to fret about which redemption choices will provide essentially the most worth.

Is Greenlight protected?

Is Greenlight legit? Sure. Greenlight debit accounts are FDIC-insured and you should utilize Greenlight debit playing cards practically in all places Mastercard is accepted.

The place can’t Greenlight be used? Greenlight has safeguards in place to forestall the Greenlight debit card from getting used for purchases that aren’t thought of child-friendly, comparable to courting companies or on-line playing. Greenlight debit playing cards additionally can’t be used to buy wire or cash orders or to obtain money again on the level of sale.

What concerning the Greenlight app – is it additionally protected to make use of? Sure. The Greenlight app makes use of industry-standard encryption to make sure that all information communicated by the app is as safe as attainable.

FAQs about Greenlight

What security and safety features does Greenlight provide? Greenlight affords quite a lot of safety features, together with the flexibility to show off the cardboard within the app. It’s additionally attainable so as to add fingerprint or face recognition. Mother and father can monitor the account and set limits. Greenlight additionally has FDIC insurance coverage and SIPC insurance coverage to guard your cash within the occasion that the corporate fails. Is there a minimal age to get a Greenlight debit card? There is no such thing as a minimal age to get a Greenlight debit card for youths. Your baby should be no less than 18 to get their very own bank card account. Nonetheless, it’s attainable on your baby to get a bank card at a youthful age by turning into a licensed person in your bank card. Is the Greenlight debit card accepted in all places? Greenlight is accepted the place Mastercard is accepted as a result of that’s the fee community it makes use of. Moreover, the Greenlight card is accepted internationally, with no overseas transaction charges. Does the Greenlight debit card work with Apple Pay and Google Pay? Sure, the Greenlight card works with each Apple Pay and Google Pay, so long as your baby meets the age necessities with every of these platforms. What’s higher, Greenlight or FamZoo? Each Greenlight and FamZoo may assist your youngsters find out about monetary administration and educate worthwhile classes whereas conserving mother and father in management. Fastidiously take into account your particular person state of affairs and wishes to find out what’s finest for your loved ones.

How A lot Does Greenlight Price?

Relying on the plan your select, Greenlight prices $4.99, $7.98, or $9.98 per 30 days, and the primary month after you enroll is free. You may select and alter plans at any time, and since there isn’t a month-to-month contract, you possibly can cancel anytime. You can too get a money bonus whenever you refer somebody to Greenlight out of your account.

Greenlight Payment Schedule and Steadiness Limits

All ChargesQuantityParticulars
Month-to-month Utilization (just one price plan, as chosen by major accountholder, applies per month-to-month billing interval)
Month-to-month Payment – Greenlight$4.99$4.99 per 30 days, per household (as much as 5 youngsters)
Month-to-month Payment – Greenlight + Invest$7.98$7.98 per 30 days, per household (as much as 5 youngsters)
Month-to-month Payment – Greenlight Max$9.98$9.98 per 30 days, per household (as much as 5 youngsters)
Get Money
ATM withdrawal (in-network or out-of-network)$0.00No price to make money withdrawals along with your Card at any ATM. ATM operator charges might apply.
Card Alternative$3.50First substitute is free; subsequent replacements are $3.50 per Card.
Card Alternative Categorical Supply Payment (non-obligatory)$24.99
Customized Card Payment (non-obligatory)$9.99
Money Reload Payment$0 (N/A)Greenlight does not permit for direct money reloads. Should deposit cash by the Mother or father Account after which have it switch to kid’s Greenlight card
Card Steadiness, Spend, Deposit, Withdrawal and Switch Limits
Most card steadiness– $10,000 per father or mother account – $5,000 per baby account
Most each day and month-to-month spend limits (households)– $1,000 per day per household – $5,000 per 30 days per household
Most buy restrict– $1,000 per day per household – $5,000 per 30 days per household
Direct deposit restrict– $500 per day per household – $5,000 per 30 days per household
ATM withdrawal restrict– $100 per day per baby – $500 per day per household
Debit card switch restrict– $20 to $500 per day (minimal and most quantities of a price reload by Debit Card) – $20 to $2,500 per 30 days (minimal and most quantities of a price reload by debit card)
ACH switch restrict– $1 to $200 per day per major account (minimal and most quantities of a price reload by ACH) – $300 per 30 days per household

How Greenlight works

Greenlight is a fintech firm, not a financial institution. Greenlight affords a youngsters debit card and app that lets each mother and father and youngsters handle the cardboard.

Entry to sure app options will rely in your month-to-month plan. This is an outline of plans: 

Greenlight ($4.99 per 30 days)Greenlight + Make investments ($7.98 per 30 days)Greenlight Max ($9.98 per 30 days)
  • Debit card
  • Instructional options on the Greenlight cellular app
  • Monetary instruments that make it easier to save for particular person targets
  • Parental monitoring options
  • Earn 1% on as much as $5,000 in Financial savings Objectives and Basic Financial savings by Greenlight Financial savings Reward
  • Debit card
  • Instructional options on the Greenlight cellular app
  • Monetary instruments that make it easier to save for particular person targets
  • Parental monitoring options
  • Earn 1% on financial savings as much as $5,000 in Financial savings Objectives and Basic Financial savings by Greenlight Financial savings Reward
  • Funding account
  • Debit card
  • Instructional options on the Greenlight cellular app
  • Monetary instruments that make it easier to save for particular person targets
  • Parental monitoring options
  • Earn 2% on as much as $5,000 i Financial savings Objectives and Basic Financial savings Greenlight Financial savings Reward
  • Funding account
  • Earn 1% money again on debit card purchases
  • Get a Greenlight Black card
  • Further id theft, cellphone, and buy safety

The Greenlight plan is the app’s fundamental providing. You’ll educate your baby about cash administration by permitting them to make use of a debit card. By way of the app, you’ll monitor their utilization and assist them set up particular person Financial savings Objectives.

You will additionally earn 1% by Greenlight Financial savings Rewards, which works equally to how you’ll earn curiosity on a conventional checking account. The curiosity might be deposited in the beginning of every month based mostly on calculations of common each day financial savings on Basic Financial savings and Financial savings Objectives. The curiosity is just supplied when you have a linked checking account as a substitute of a debit card.

The Greenlight + Make investments plan affords the identical options as the essential plan, and it lets you make investments along with your baby by a brokerage account in your identify. It’s possible you’ll make investments at little as $1 in an organization, and there are instructional sources out there by the app to coach your baby about investing. 

Lastly, the Greenlight Max has limitless entry to all of the app’s options. Notably, you’ll earn 1% money again on debit card purchases, and you could be eligible to earn 2% in your financial savings. 

In case you have any questions concerning the Greenlight debit card, you could name a customer support consultant from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET on weekdays or 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

Greenlight’s cellular app is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars within the Apple retailer and 4.2 out of 5 stars within the Google Play retailer.

The Greenlight debit card is issued by Group Financial savings Financial institution, which is FDIC insured. Remember that you will not be opening a brand new checking account. As an alternative, you may be managing the debit card by a cellular app with financial savings options.

How To Open an Acount

Right here’s open a Greenlight Children account:

Step-By-Step Information

  1. Go to Greenlight’s web site and click on on Apply Now.
  2. Enter your contact particulars.
  3. Choose “I’m the father or mother or guardian” to proceed.
  4. You’ll get a verification code in your telephone. Enter it and click on on Subsequent.
  5. Kind in your e-mail deal with and select a password. You’ll even have to put in writing what your youngsters name you – daddy, dad, mother, mum, mommy – and choose Subsequent.
  6. Enter details about your baby, comparable to cellular quantity, identify, birthday, and so forth.
  7. If you wish to add a number of youngsters, choose Add one other baby.
  8. Settle for the settlement particulars and click on on Subsequent.
  9. Lastly, submit your utility, and Greenlight will confirm it.

Make Your Cash Work For You

The first account holders–the father or mother or guardian–should have a U.S. deal with, be a everlasting resident or citizen and be no less than 18 years of age.

As a father or mother, you’ll have to enter the next private data when making use of for an account: dwelling deal with, full identify, cellular quantity, social safety quantity and date of delivery.

Regularly requested questions (FAQ)

How a lot is Greenlight a month?

Greenlight has a free one-month trial. After the free trial, you’ll have to pay a month-to-month price to make the most of the app’s options.  The app has three month-to-month plans: Greenlight ($4.99 per 30 days), Greenlight + Make investments ($7.98 per 30 days), and Greenlight Max ($9.98 per 30 days).

Can you employ a Greenlight card at an ATM?

Sure. It’s possible you’ll use a Greenlight card at any ATMs which have a Mastercard, Visa Interlink, or Maestro emblem. Greenlight will not cost you any ATM charges, however it additionally will not reimburse you should you’re charged by the ATM supplier. 

Are you able to deposit money onto a Greenlight card?

No, Greenlight does not will let you immediately deposit money. You will should provoke a switch from an exterior checking account or debit card. 

Are there spending limits for the Greenlight card?

Sure. It’s possible you’ll spend as much as $1,500 per day and $7,500 per 30 days. You will additionally solely have the ability to withdraw as much as $105 per day at ATMs. 

Are there funding limits for the Greenlight card?

Sure. Mother and father will solely have the ability to hold as much as $15,000 of their Greenlight Account, and youngsters might have a most steadiness of $7,500. 

Sophia Acevedo, CEPF Junior Banking Reporter Sophia Acevedo is a junior banking reporter at Insider who covers banking and financial savings for Private Finance Insider. She can be a Licensed Educator in Private Finance (CEPF). She joined Insider in July 2021 as a fellow for the Private Finance Insider Critiques workforce. Earlier than becoming a member of the Insider workforce, she was a freelancer based mostly in Los Angeles and labored briefly in publishing. She additionally graduated from California State College Fullerton in 2020. You may attain out to her on Twitter at @sophieacvdo or ship a fast e-mail at sacevedo@insider.com. Learn extra about how Private Finance Insider chooses, charges, and covers monetary services >> Learn extra Learn much less