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As a parent striving to teach my children essential financial skills and responsibility, I learned about the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids when looking for a cashless way to give my children a monthly allowance.
Each month, I was giving my children cash only to have them give the cash back to make an online purchase with my debit card.
That seemed to defeat the purpose of giving them an allowance and was not teaching them the money management skills I hoped they would learn by receiving an allowance.
Not to mention, I often forgot to give them an allowance until they would ask, “Did we get an allowance last month?” There had to be a better way to track it.
I needed an allowance card for kids with automatic transfers so I was not forgetting to give them an allowance, and they were not asking to use my personal debit card.
The Greenlight Debit Card for Kids was the perfect solution for our family. Now, we have used Greenlight to give our children their allowance for 4 years and consider it the best debit card for kids.
In this review, I will share everything I know about the Greenlight Debit Card, exploring its features, benefits, and whether it lives up to the hype as an effective tool for empowering financial literacy in kids.
What is the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids?
The Greenlight Debit Card is one such tool that has gained significant attention among parents seeking to teach their children about money management.
A financial management tool designed specifically for children and teenagers, aged 6 to 18, the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids is basically a prepaid credit card. With the baking of Mastercard, the Greenlight Debit Card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted including ATMs.
Sign up for Greenlight through my referral link and get $30 after your first month’s fee is paid. Check it out now.
Greenlight also comes with a range of features and parental controls, making it an attractive option for parents who want to introduce their kids to responsible money management from an early age.
Setting Up the Greenlight Debit Card
Getting Started with the Greenlight Debit Card is relatively straightforward.
Parents need to download the Greenlight app, create an account, and order a physical card for their child.
The card usually arrives within a week and can be linked to a parent’s bank account for easy funding.
One of the standout features of the Greenlight Card is the level of control parents have over their child’s spending.
Parents can set spending limits, specify where the card can be used (online, in-store, or at ATMs), and receive real-time notifications about their child’s spending activity.
Greenlight tracks all of the spending and keeps a running history for parents to view anytime.
Funding the Card
Parents can link their bank account to the app and transfer money instantly. You can set up an automatic draft from your bank account to cover allowances each month as well as initiate immediate transfers.
This feature ensures that kids have access to funds when they need them while maintaining parental oversight.
Remember, when you sign up for Greenlight through my referral link, you get $30 after your first month’s fee is paid. Check it out now.
Teaching Financial Responsibility with the Greenlight Card
We have seen our children learn many lessons about money since they began using the Greenlight Debit Card.
Learning through Experience
The Greenlight Debit Card takes a hands-on approach to teaching kids about money management.
By allowing children to have their own debit card and make decisions about spending and saving, they gain practical experience in handling finances.
Parents can schedule allowance payments directly onto the Greenlight Card. But my favorite feature is that Greenlight divided the allowance based on the percentages I placed for spending, saving, and giving.
This feature teaches kids the importance of regular income and helps them budget their money effectively.
The Greenlight app encourages kids to set savings goals for various purposes, whether it’s buying a new toy, saving for college, or donating to a charity.
This feature fosters a savings mindset from a young age.
Children can also receive monthly savings bonuses to teach them how money saved accumulates interest.
The Educational Component of the Greenlight App
The Greenlight app goes beyond just being a debit card; it serves as an educational platform for children to learn about personal finance. Here are some of the educational features:
- Financial Education: The app provides valuable educational content on topics such as budgeting, saving, investing, and even giving back. It includes quizzes and interactive lessons to reinforce these concepts.
- Real-time Monitoring: Kids can view their transaction history and see how their spending aligns with their savings goals. This real-time feedback helps them understand the consequences of their financial choices.
- Responsible Decision-Making: Through the app, kids learn about making responsible financial decisions, differentiating between needs and wants, and understanding the value of money.
Pros and Cons of the Greenlight Debit Card
What are the pros of using the Greenlight Debit Card for kids?
- Parental Control: The robust parental control system ensures parents can monitor and guide their child’s spending effectively.
- Hands-On Learning: Kids gain practical experience in managing their finances, setting goals, and making responsible choices.
- Educational Content: The app’s educational component helps kids build a strong foundation in financial literacy.
- Convenience: Instant transfers and automated allowances make managing the card easy for parents.
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Are there cons for the Greenlight Debit Card?
- Fees: While the Greenlight Card offers a lot, it’s not entirely fee-free. Parents should be aware of monthly fees, card replacement fees, and other potential costs.
- Limited International Use: The Greenlight Card is primarily designed for use within the United States, which may limit its usefulness for families who travel frequently.
My Personal Experience with the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids
Ease of Setup (5/5)
Setting up the Greenlight Debit Card for my kids was a breeze.
The mobile app is user-friendly and guided us through the process step by step. Within minutes, we had linked the card to our bank account and assigned chores with corresponding allowances.
Parental Controls (4.5/5)
The standout feature of the Greenlight Card is the robust parental control options.
I appreciate the ability to monitor my children’s spending, set spending limits, and allocate funds for specific purposes.
As an automated allowance card for kids, Greenlight makes it easy to teach my kids about budgeting and saving.
Greenlight emphasizes security, and the card’s security features are reassuring.
It’s a prepaid debit card, or allowance debit card, which means my kids can’t overspend or go into debt.
However, I’d like to see more options for PIN protection or two-factor authentication for added security.
Financial Education (4/5)
Greenlight offers valuable resources within the app to teach kids about money management, including saving, spending, and giving.
The interactive lessons and quizzes make learning fun and engaging. Although, I wish there were more advanced financial topics covered for older children.
The Greenlight Debit Card is accepted at most places that take Mastercard or debit cards, which is convenient for teaching kids how to use cards responsibly. Just remember that it’s not a credit card and may not be accepted in some situations, like renting a car.
While Greenlight offers a free 30-day trial, the monthly subscription fee can add up, depending on the plan you choose.
Our family uses the basic Core plan and do not use custom cards.
Considering that I do not have to run to the ATM each time my children need an allowance or money for school, I think it is perfectly priced at $4.99 a month.
Customer Support (4/5)
In my experience, Greenlight’s customer support has been responsive and helpful when I had questions or concerns. It’s reassuring to know there’s support available.
Is the Greenlight Debit Card Worth It?
The question that matters most to parents is whether the Greenlight Debit Card is worth the investment in their child’s financial education. The answer largely depends on your family’s needs and priorities.
For our family, the Greenlight Debit Card has been extremely helpful when teaching our children about money management, not to mention allowances became one less thing to remember each month.
Who Should Consider the Greenlight Card?
- Parents who want to teach their children about financial responsibility from an early age.
- Families seeking an automated allowance debit card for managing allowances and chores.
- Those looking for a hands-on approach to financial education.
Who Might Look Elsewhere?
- Families on a tight budget, as the card does come with monthly fees, starting at $4.99 a month for the Core Plan (which is the plan I have.)
- Parents who prefer cash or don’t want to introduce their children to digital financial tools at a young age.
- Families with more than 5 children.
How Much Does Greenlight Cost?
It’s essential to consider the associated fees and whether the card aligns with your family’s values and financial goals.
Greenlight offers three different plans so you can find the option to fit your family’s needs. (Our family has always used the Core plan since it had the functions I needed the most.)
The Core plan is $4.99 per month for up to 5 children and includes these features [SOURCE]:
- Kids’ debit card: Debit cards for up to 5 kids.
- Educational app: One app. Two experiences. Endless learning.
- Core financial tools: Easy-to-use tools for saving, spending, earning, and giving.
- Parental controls: Set category and store-level limits that work for your family.
- Greenlight Savings Reward: Kids earn 1% on Savings.
- Greenlight Level Up™: Fun games teach money skills in bite-sized challenges.
- Credit for parents (optional): The credit card for parents with cash back on all purchases.
- Teen credit builder (optional for those with parental credit card): Teens start building credit as authorized users on their parent’s Greenlight credit card.
- Investing for parents: A starter plan serving as an easy, flexible, and accessible way for parents to invest for their kids’ futures.
The Max plan costs $9.98 per month for up to 5 children and includes all of the features from the Core plan PLUS these additional features [SOURCE]:
- Investing for kids: Kids become investors with an investing platform made just for them.
- 1% Cash Back: Earn 1% cash back on purchases, deposited into kids’ Savings.
- Priority customer support: Your calls go to the front of the line.
- Protection, 3X: Identity theft, purchase, and phone protection for maximum peace of mind.
The Infinity plan is priced at $14.98 per month for up to 5 children, includes all of the features of the Core and Max plans as well as these other features [SOURCE]:
- Family location sharing: Switch on location sharing to stay connected to your family.
- SOS alerts: Send an alert to emergency contacts, 911, or both with one swipe.
- Crash detection: Your app will automatically dispatch 911 when a crash is detected.
Additional fees [SOURCE] 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
Can an 11 year old have a debit card?
Yes! Greenlight is a prepaid debit card for kids under 18, available specifically for ages 6 to 18.
We started using Greenlight as an allowance card for kids when our children where ages 8, 10, 12, 14, and 15 years old.
Greenlight Sign Up Bonus
Ready to give the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids a try?
When you sign up, you will receive 30 days for free to try Greenlight. If you love it like we do, you will receive a $30 bonus after your first month when you use my referral link.
Ultimately, the Greenlight Card can be a powerful tool in empowering the next generation with the financial knowledge they need to thrive in an increasingly complex financial landscape.
With its robust parental controls, hands-on learning approach, and educational content, Greenlight is the best debit card for kids and stands out as a valuable tool for teaching kids about money management.