Greenlight the Debit Card and Money App for Families

Greenlight Basics

Greenlight is a fintech company on a mission to help parents raise financially smart kids. The Atlanta-based company was co-founded in 2014 by Tim Sheehan and Johnson Cook; as of 2022, more than 4 million families have opened Greenlight accounts.

The Greenlight app is specially built with families in mind, and it’s designed for kids of all ages who are ready to start learning about money. Using the Greenlight card for kids, parents can teach their children about budgeting, spending wisely, saving and investing.

The Greenlight debit card is a secured debit card for kids, tweens and teens. This debit card bears the Mastercard logo and can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Kids can even add a selfie to personalize their card design.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 1 percent monthly Savings Boost rewards, or, with the Greenlight Max Plan, 2 percent monthly Savings Boost rewards and 1 percent cash back on purchases
  • Monthly fee: $4.99, $7.98 or $9.98 (based on plan)
  • Initial deposit: N/A
  • Early direct deposit? Direct deposit supported, but not early deposit
  • Out of network ATM withdrawal fee: No issuer ATM fee (operator ATM fees may still apply)
  • Overdraft fee: N/A
  • Additional savings account included? No, but there is a monthly compounded 1 percent to 2 percent rewards rate on the first $5,000 in a savings account, depending on the plan.

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Greenlight Account

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
None
Minimum Deposit Amount
None

3.75/5 A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star 3.75 out of 5 Stars Editor’s Rating Learn more

3.75/5
A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
3.75 out of 5 Stars
Editor’s Rating

Annual Percentage Yield (APY) None Minimum Deposit Amount None

Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Pros Separate accounts for parents and children No overdraft fees ATM access May waive the initial deposit Can assign chores Earn 1% to 2% annually through Greenlight Savings Reward Save for individual goals Parental monitoring features to limit spending Can set up an allowance (weekly, biweekly, or monthly) Cons Monthly service fee depends on plan No refunds if you’re charged by an ATM provider

Details It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options. More Information Use any ATMs that have a Mastercard, Visa Interlink, or Maestro logo App features may vary depending on plan ($4.99, $7.98, or $9.98) Debit Card FDIC inusred up to $250,000 through Community Federal Savings Bank

The Greenlight Account is where both parents and kids can manage the Greenlight Debit Card through the app. Parents and children will have separate accounts. Parents will also set limits on how often kids can use their cards and assign chores or allowances. Meanwhile, kids may use the app to establish individual goals or learn about personal finance concepts. 

How Much Does Greenlight Cost?

Greenlight costs $4.99 per month for up to five separate cards for kids. You can try Greenlight for free for 30 days, and you can cancel anytime if you’re not happy with how it works. 

Other fees include a $9.99 charge for custom Greenlight debit cards and a replacement card fee that can be up to $24.99. However, Greenlight says the first replacement card is free. 

FeesGreenlightGreenlight + InvestGreenlight Max
Monthly*$4.99$7.98$9.98
PIN Transactions$0$0$0
Signature Transactions$0$0$0
ATM Withdrawal*$0$0$0
ATM Balance Inquiry $0$0$0
Direct Deposit $0$0$0
*See Greenlight terms and conditions

Greenlight Pros

Before signing up for the Greenlight card or any other debit card for kids, it’s important to consider what’s good—and not so good—about it. Here are some of the best reasons to consider a Greenlight card for kids.

  • Parents can set controls for spending and deposits, including tying transfers to accomplishments like completing chores, doing homework or getting good grades.
  • Notifications allow parents to track their child’s transaction history in real time.
  • Certain purchases are automatically blocked by Greenlight.
  • Greenlight’s savings rewards, debit card round-ups and cash back on purchases helps kids reach savings goals faster.
  • Kids can learn investing from an early age with a Greenlight + Invest plan.
  • Cash rewards offered with Greenlight Max can help kids grow their savings.
  • Kids’ balances are FDIC-insured up to the $250,000 limit.

The Greenlight debit card for kids could be a great fit if you want to give your children flexibility to spend while maintaining control over their accounts. The fact that Greenlight blocks certain transactions automatically is a nice plus, as some other debit cards for kids don’t do this.

Greenlight details and features

The Greenlight debit card offers a variety of features designed to help children learn how to earn, save, spend and invest money.

Depending on which Greenlight plan you choose – Greenlight, Greenlight + Invest or Greenlight Max – you and your kids will have access to any or all of the following card benefits:

  • Debit card: All Greenlight plans offer debit cards for up to five kids. This is great for families with multiple children since your Greenlight monthly fee covers up to five individual debit cards.
  • Educational app: All Greenlight plans offer an educational app that helps kids track their balances, complete chore lists to earn money and more. Parents can also use the Greenlight app to turn their kids’ debit cards on and off – which means that if your child temporarily misplaces their Greenlight debit card, you can turn off the card’s functionality until the card is either found or replaced.
  • Core financial tools: All Greenlight plans give kids the opportunity to learn key financial concepts, like how to set a savings goal. Greenlight’s financial tools focus on saving, spending, earning and giving and can help you pass your financial values along to your children.
  • Parental controls: All Greenlight plans offer parental controls, including the ability to set limits on how much your children can spend in a particular category (such as gaming) or at an individual store.
  • Investment platform: The Greenlight + Invest and Greenlight Max plans offer a kid-friendly investment platform that teaches children the fundamentals of investing – including how to evaluate risk, diversify investments and how compound growth can increase their investments.
  • Greenlight black card: The Greenlight Max plan gives kids access to the Greenlight Black Card – a sleek, modern card that might help kids get excited about saving and spending.
  • Priority customer support: The Greenlight Max plan gives parents the opportunity to jump to the head of the customer support line.
  • Identity theft protection: The Greenlight Max plan gives everyone in your family access to identity theft monitoring, including fraud alerts and restoration services.
  • Cellphone protection: The Greenlight Max plan provides coverage for lost, stolen or damaged phones for up to five kids. (That’s as many as five phones that you no longer need to worry about.)
  • Purchase protection: The Greenlight Max plan offers purchase protection for any purchases made on the Greenlight debit card that are stolen or damaged.

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.

Greenlight debit card FAQs

Yes, the Greenlight debit card and the Greenlight app are compatible with both Apple and Android devices.

Yes, Greenlight works with Apple Pay. Children over 13 years old can use their Greenlight debit cards to make purchases through Apple Pay.

Yes, Greenlight works with Google Pay. Children over 16 years old can use their Greenlight debit cards to make purchases through Google Pay.

You must be at least 18 years old to open a Cash App account, and Cash App doesn’t accept unaffiliated prepaid debit cards as methods of funding transactions. This means that the Greenlight debit card probably isn’t a good fit for Cash App.

What We Like About Greenlight

There are a few benefits on the “pro” side. 

  • Teach your kids to live within their means and follow a budget
  • Show them the correlation between work vs. pay
  • Spend, save and give accounts if needed
  • Affordable price
  • Available for both Android and Apple iOS devices

Greenlight trustworthiness and BBB score

We use ratings from the Better Business Bureau to help determine how a business deals with customer issues. The BBB gave Greenlight a B rating because it has received a high volume of complaints. 

A strong BBB rating doesn’t necessarily ensure your relationship with a business will be perfect. You’ll also want to talk to customers or read online customer reviews to get a better idea of whether Greenlight may be suitable. 

Greenlight hasn’t been involved in any recent public controversies. 

What Greenlight could improve

  • Monthly fee: There’s a monthly fee for using Greenlight. Depending on where you live and the bank you use, you might be able to get a joint account with your children and get a different kids’ debit card for free, which allows you to add money quickly and easily without a monthly fee. There are also investing apps that don’t charge monthly fees while allowing custodial accounts for kids.
  • Parent-paid interest: Instead of paying a yield, the Greenlight card requires parent-paid interest if you want your kids to earn a yield. Other banks pay a set interest rate, even if it’s a small amount. Instead, with the Greenlight card, you have to pay the interest for your children, which can be a hassle.

How does Greenlight work?

The Greenlight debit card for kids is just what it sounds like — a debit card designed for children to use. As a parent, you can load the debit card using the Greenlight app, and your kids then have access to funds. You have the option to make transfers manually or set up weekly automatic transfers. Parents also set the terms for adding money, which could include requiring chores, getting good grades, or just providing an allowance. You may also choose to add money to the card for emergency purposes.

Parents and kids both get access to the Greenlight app, but they see different information when they log in. As a parent, you can see what’s going on with your child’s account, including monitoring balances and seeing purchases. If investing is included, you can approve each trade. When your kids log in, they can see their balances and set goals, as well as learn valuable lessons. The idea is for them to be able to learn about financial management with a set of tools in the mobile app.

Greenlight card spending and saving balances are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) up to the limit of $250,000. On the investing side, Greenlight is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). So although there’s no guarantee against decisions you and your kids make about money, you are protected in the event that the Greenlight company fails.

Greenlight at a glance

Greenlight Greenlight + Invest Greenlight Max
Monthly fee $4.99 $7.98 $9.98
Minimum age None None None
Security features FDIC insurance SIPC insurance Identity theft protection
Features
  • Set goals
  • Spending and saving
  • Allowance
  • Parent monitoring
  • All Greenlight features
  • Invest with as little as $1
  • All Greenlight/Greenlight Invest features
  • Purchase protection
  • Identity theft protection
  • Phone protection

Get a one-month free trial of Greenlight

Greenlight plans

Greenlight

This is the basic plan from Greenlight. It costs $4.99 per month and includes the Greenlight debit card, which you can get for up to five kids. You also get access to the Greenlight app, which offers two different experiences for parents and kids. This plan also includes tools that allow kids to see their spending and saving balances, as well as set their own goals. They can also track items like allowance and other ways of earning.

Parental controls are also included in the Greenlight plan. Parents can choose to add funds to the Greenlight card for their kids, as well as set spending limits, store-level controls, and monitor what’s going on in their kids’ accounts.

The Greenlight basic plan is the least expensive option and can work well for families with younger kids who are just learning about money management. It can be a useful tool to help them learn about how to manage money and set savings goals. If you’re interested in helping your kids develop basic financial literacy, this plan is likely to be adequate.

Greenlight + Invest

Besides all the tools available with the Greenlight plan, Greenlight Invest adds an element of investing. Kids can begin learning about investing money with as little as $1 on a platform designed for them. There are no trading fees involved and parents have to approve each trade from their parent account.

For those interested in helping their children learn about investing and the importance of getting started, this can be one way to do it. Greenlight helps kids buy fractional shares, providing them with a way to invest in their favorite companies. If your kids are old enough to learn about investing and start making those choices, this can be a good plan for your family, though it does come with a cost of $7.98 per month.

Greenlight Max

On top of having a Greenlight debit card for kids, as well as access to investing and other financial management learning resources, Greenlight Max comes with additional benefits. First, you get priority customer support for your issues. But other benefits include:

  • Identity theft protection: Identity monitoring and alerts that can help you stay on top of identity-related threats.
  • Cell phone protection: If a cell phone purchased with Greenlight is damaged or lost, it can be protected for up to five kids.
  • Purchase protection: Items that are damaged or stolen, and paid for with Greenlight, can be replaced or repaired.

For $9.98 per month, this plan could be good for families that want all-inclusive protection on top of access to financial resources and tools.

Information

Seller
Greenlight Financial Technology, Inc.
Size
352.1 MB
Category
Finance
Compatibility
iPhone
Requires iOS 12.0 or later.
iPad
Requires iPadOS 12.0 or later.
iPod touch
Requires iOS 12.0 or later.
Languages

English

Age Rating
4+
Copyright
© 2022 Greenlight Financial Technology, Inc.

Price Free

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