Check out our Greenlight review to find out everything you need to know about this card designed for kids. We’re covering the ins and outs of the service so you can decide if it has the features to help teach your child financial responsibility.
Typically, parents give their children an allowance so they can get used to having and spending money.
This only goes so far, though, as it doesn’t teach kids the fundamental skills of owning something closer to a more traditional debit card or checking account.
Greenlight offers a service that provides an experience similar to owning a debit card and checking account, which can better prepare children for adulthood.
It offers parents the opportunity to help kids develop smart spending habits through its prepaid debit card and app.
But is the service really worth your time?
Keep reading our Greenlight Card review for a full breakdown of everything the service has to offer.
Greenlight Card Review: What Is Greenlight?
Greenlight is a finance app designed to help parents automate their children’s allowances and teach them good financial habits.
The company was founded back in 2017.
With Greenlight, you can “disburse” your child’s weekly allowance in the form of a debit card that they can then use to make purchases.
Some features of Greenlight include:
- Prepaid debit card
- Parent account direct deposit, including automated direct deposit
- Tools that teach kids to manage money, including educational materials
- An FDIC-insured account
The service allows parents to control funding better and markets itself as a way to teach children about finances.
There are many fantastic features available to inform children about the financial world, including how the stock market works.
Greenlight also allows parents to automate allowance payments for their kids.
Greenlight: The Prepaid Debit Card for Kids
The service comes with a prepaid debit card that you can set up so that every week your child’s allowance is deposited on the card’s balance.
The platform lets kids get real-world experience managing their finances.
It also lets you as a parent keep tabs on their transactions and buying habits.
Greenlight Is Like Having a Real Bank Account
With Greenlight, you can create accounts for up to five kids all of which you can control from the app.
It’s basically a bank account for kids so they can get used to having one.
Further, you can divide each account into “Spending”, “Saving”, and “Giving” categories.
There are also a bunch of other extra features to incentivize your kids to save their money (more on that later).
How Does Greenlight Work?
Greenlight has a pretty simple setup: as the parent, you download the app and create an account.
You will be asked to key in your email address, phone number, names of your child/children, a mailing address, and your social security number.
You will also have to provide a valid debit card or bank account; and once you do that, you can set up accounts for your children.
The debit card for kids is a unique feature of the service.
Greenlight debit cards usually take about 7–10 days to arrive in the mail.
Once they get there, you can activate the Greenlight Debit Card like a normal debit card and your children can start using them.
From the app, you can set up regular deposits into your children’s accounts and also keep track of their spending habits.
Parents can transfer money directly to kids, deactivate cards, receive spending alerts, automate allowance payments, and set spending controls.
Greenlights prepaid debit cards are accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted, aside from a few key exceptions listed here.
Most stores, including gas stations, accept the Greenlight Debit Card.
The card cannot be used for money orders, broker deals, adult entertainment, gambling, or security brokers.
Also, the Greenlight Debit Card can be connected to Apple Pay and Google Pay for kids 13+ and 16+ years old, respectively.
Greenlight Review: What Does Greenlight Include?
Here is a quick rundown of the different features that the service includes.
Standout features include:
- Debit Card
- Chore Chart
- Account Restrictions
- Savings Account Interest
- Savings Goals
- ATM Controls
Greenlight Debit Card Review
The Greenlight Debit Card is the main feature of this service.
The debit card is a Mastercard product and can be used as a normal card.
Parents can load up the debit card with prepaid funds.
The Greenlight Debit Card is simply a prepaid card.
It is not a credit card, so children cannot spend money that they do not have (a valuable life lesson, no?).
With the Greenlight Debit Card, you can make instant transfers, automate allowance payments, and set up real-time notifications every time the card is used.
The service also has a useful unique feature that lets you set spending guardrails for your child.
You can exclude certain types of transactions and set up spending limits through the feature called “greenlights.”
The debit card has some limitations.
There is a monthly fee of $4.99 per card and a $5,000 limit per child account ($10,000 per adult account).
You can also only load up to $200 in funds per day via ACH and $500 a day from a debit card.
Additionally, the card has a $100 per day ATM withdrawal limit.
It also has a $1,000 purchase point maximum per day.
Greenlight App Review
The app is where the adult can manage all accounts and settings for their kids (up to five children).
The app can be used to set up accounts and change account settings, and these include spending limits and account restrictions.
You can also deactivate accounts temporarily.
In addition to the parent app, there is a special version for kids where they can check their account balance and access other educational information.
With this app, kids can check their chore lists, track balances, read more about saving and investing, and learn about managing a checking account.
Greenlight Chore Chart Review
The app also has the chore feature so your kids can keep track of their daily/weekly chores.
You can make a chore chart through the account dashboard and add a description for tasks.
Then, you can add money to the chores so your child will receive the payment when they complete it.
Greenlight Account Restrictions Review
Since it is a money service for kids, the creators gave parents a lot of discretion in how the accounts are managed.
From the parent version of the app and the parent wallet, you can create accounts for children, divide them into spending and savings accounts, and place spending limits.
As a prepaid debit card, you can easily control how much money goes into the account from the funding source, which is the parent.
You can also bar certain types of transactions or deactivate cards.
Accounts are restricted so that your kids cannot change account settings.
Greenlight Savings Account Interest Review
The company recently introduced its savings accounts which allow kids to set aside money and gain compound interest on it.
The accounts do not have all the features of a standard savings account.
However, they help children learn the basics of saving money.
They also let parents keep tabs on the savings habits of their kids.
You can set up a savings account from your parent account on the app dashboard.
Then you can select the interest rate.
You pay the interest, not Greenlight, so make sure you pick a rate that suits you.
Once you set an interest rate, the process is automated, so you do not have to worry about manually adding interest.
The app lets you set the interest rate so your children can better see tangible results from how interest works.
It is also meant to teach them the value of planning and saving for long-term goals.
Greenlight Savings Goals Review
In addition to the savings accounts, your kids can create and track goals.
These pocket accounts can be put aside for a specific purpose such as a new bike, phone, or game.
Goals give your child a bit of flexibility with how they save and what they save for, though ultimately, you are still in the driver’s seat.
Additionally, the savings accounts have a feature that notifies you if your child wants to dip into their account for purchases.
Greenlight ATM Controls Review
The Greenlight card can be used on any regular ATM with a Mastercard or Visa interface.
Parents can set limits on ATM usage for their child’s accounts and get notifications of any ATM withdrawals.
ATM withdrawals have a $105 daily limit per card and a monthly limit of $525.
The company does not charge ATM fees to withdraw money, but you still have to pay any fees associated with the ATM.
Greenlight Review: Is Greenlight Legit?
Yes, Greenlight is legitimate.
It is a real company that is regulated by the relevant authorities and is a licensed business.
The app uses standard 256-bit bank-level encryptions so you and your child’s finances are safe.
Is Greenlight Safe?
The service gives parent accounts ultimate control over transactions of child accounts so your child’s money is safe.
Greenlight uses hashing protocols and virtual private networks to secure customer data.
In other words, your money will be as safe with Greenlight as it would be at any other standard banking institution.
Greenlight Cancellation Policy Review
If you are not satisfied with the service or just do not need the platform anymore, then you can call customer support and have them cancel your account.
Greenlight does not charge any fees for canceling, and there is no long-term contract that will prevent you from canceling.
So you can try it out without a long-term financial commitment.
Greenlight Review: How Much Does Greenlight Cost?
The Greenlight debit card service has three separate subscriptions that vary in cost and features, which includes:
- Greenlight Basic
- Greenlight + Invest
- Greenlight Max
Read our Greenlight review for more pricing information.
The service has a basic monthly subscription fee that costs $4.99 a month per card.
Each account can have up to 5 children.
Also, you get the first month for free when you sign up.
The basic plan includes debit cards, educational apps, finance tools for savings and spending, and parental controls.
Greenlight + Invest
Greenlight + Invest comes with a monthly fee of $7.98 and includes everything in the basic package along with Invest.
The invest feature gives your children their own investment portfolio.
With your help, they can start investing their money to learn good financial habits.
The app also tracks several well-known stocks and ETFs.
Greenlight Max is the full-package option and costs $9.98 a month.
It includes everything in the previous two levels along with priority customer support, identity theft protection, cell phone protection, and purchase protection.
While the Greenlight Max monthly fee is two times more than the basic plan, it boasts a lot of great features and is still very affordable.
Greenlight Review: Pros and Cons
We found a lot to like about this service during our Greenlight review; however, there are some areas the service could improve on.
Read on for the pros and cons of this prepaid debit card.
- Great for children – Children can learn the basics of managing money and set up good habits for future success.
- Accounts Are FDIC Insured – Parents can have peace of mind knowing that accounts are FDIC insured (many competitor prepaid cards are not).
- Parents Get a Lot of Control – Parents can control accounts and set spending limits, cash withdrawal limits, and more. You can have peace of mind that your children’s money is safe and under your control.
- Easy-To-Use – It’s really simple to set up an account and you can have up to five kids per account. The spending, savings, and earning pockets are easy to set up.
- Greenlight Card Features – The debit card has all the functionality of regular debit cards, with a few key restrictions.
- Simple Budgeting – Your child cannot spend money they don’t have, as is the case with credit cards.
- Fair Monthly Fees – With a price ranging from about $5 to $10, these accounts are very affordable.
- Parent Paid Interest – Parents can set up interest on their accounts — though, you pay the interest.
- Not available in all countries – Greenlight is not available in all countries.
- Limited direct deposits – You can set up ACH and direct deposits from employers, but not from other forms of payment like Apple Cash, PayPal, or Venmo.
Is Greenlight Right for Me and My Child?
Greenlight is a great option to teach your children about the basics of responsible finances.
It offers a way for you to keep tabs on their spending habits and allowance payments.
If you don’t mind spending $5 to $10 each month, you might want to give this service serious consideration.
Greenlight Card Reviews from Customers
Greenlight has gained some great reviews from customers over time.
They have a B rating on their BBB page and a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot.
The Trustpilot score is very impressive when you consider that it was as low as 1.7 earlier.
The company is making strong strides toward improving user experience and its services overall.
Final Review: Is Greenlight Worth It?
Greenlight offers a lot of fantastic features to help children develop solid spending habits and learn basic financial concepts.
The service has many pluses: no hidden fees, FDIC-insured accounts, educational resources, and much more.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if Greenlight is right for your family.
That being said, it definitely offers quite a bit more than what you would get by opening an account with a traditional financial institution.
We can recommend that you take a close look at the service.
Check out our Greenlight FAQ for answers to the most commonly asked questions about the service.
What Bank Owns Greenlight?
The company is not owned by a bank, but Greenlight’s partner bank, Community Federal Savings Bank, issues its debit cards.
Does Greenlight Affect Credit Score?
Greenlight does not affect credit score, as it is a prepaid debit card — not a credit card.
Does Greenlight Charge Overdraft Fees?
There are no overdraft fees because the Greenlight Debit Card does not allow purchases outside of the funded budget.
This is a great feature for parents worried that their child might accidentally spend over their budget.
Does Greenlight Have Hidden Fees?
There are no hidden fees with Greenlight; however, if your child loses their card, you will need to pay for another ($3.50).
You may also be subject to ATM operator fees, but that is outside of Greenlight’s control.
Other than that, you only need to pay the flat monthly fee based on your subscription.
Can You Take Money Back from Greenlight?
If you want to refund your money from your Greenlight account, you’ll need to contact their customer service to have your money moved back to you.