Updated August 18, 2022

Best Banking Apps for Kids and Teens

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Teaching kids how to manage their money has never been easier, thanks to a number of banking apps for kids and teens. Which is right for your family?

It's never too early to teach kids about financial literacy.

But having them manage a weekly allowance can only go so far.

Luckily, there are apps made just for kids to learn about money. They can operate a savings account, keep a debit card, and even invest.

In this guide, review the top banking apps for kids and learn what to look for when choosing the right app for them.

Tip: It can be hard to find the right bank for your needs, and even harder to teach your kids about money when you're still trying to figure it all out yourself.

Not only do you have to worry about finding the right bank, but you also have to worry about teaching your kids about money in a way that won't scare them or confuse them.

Copper is a good solution for both of those problems. Plus, their app is easy to use and super fun, so they'll actually want to use it.

Best Banking Apps for Minors

Choosing the right banking app for your kids can be a tough decision. Consider what features they offer as well as price and minimum age.

What is the best bank account for kids?
A checking account with a debit card is ideal to help kids gain financial responsibility. With parental supervision, kids can learn how to manage money and build healthy financial habits. Take a look at our guide on the best first checking account for kids to learn more.

Greenlight - Best Overall

Greenlight's goal is to teach kids a range of financial skills, including earning, spending, saving, giving, and investing. It's available for all ages, and its main feature is a debit card for kids.

The Greenlight debit card, offered in partnership with Mastercard, is available in most places—but with protections put in place that parents will appreciate, to prevent kids from shopping where they shouldn't.

For their peace of mind, Greenlight offers parents plenty of control. You'll get transaction notifications in real-time whenever a card is used and set up controls for ATM usage and which stores they shop at. You can send money instantly to kids through the app, and use it to automate allowances and even pay for finished chores.

The cards are FDIC insured up to $250k, work with Apple and Google Pay, and arrive within 7-10 days of signing up for a Greenlight account.

Greenlight also offers investing so that kids can learn. They can trade fractional shares of popular stocks for as little as $1, with no trading fees. And parents can approve every trade. Investing isn't available on the Greenlight basic plan.

Features

  • Debit Card
  • Instant Money Transfers
  • 1%-2% Cash Back[1]
  • Pay for Chores and Allowance
  • Real-Time Notifications
  • ATM and Spending Controls
  • Round-Up Change
  • Direct Deposit
  • Investing

Price:[2]

  • $4.99 per month for basic
  • $7.98 for Greenlight Invest
  • $9.98 for Greenlight Max

You can download it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

What is the best investment app for kids?
If you want to teach your kids about investing from an early age, you should consider either BusyKid or Greenlight. Both are affordable to get started—Greenlight offering investing for just $1 and BusyKid for as little as $10. There are also no fees for investing and they offer fractional shares.

At $7.98 per month for Greenlight and $3.99 per month for BusyKid, both are affordable ways for parents to help their kids get used to investing early.

Copper - Best Free App

The Copper Banking app has plenty of useful features to help encourage good spending habits for kids. Its simple interface means their information is easy to read and readily available.

The Copper Banking debit card can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted, plus there's a corresponding virtual card through the Copper app, which you can add to Apple or Google Pay. The card supports fee-free ATM withdrawals at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs all over the country.

Kids can track the card and savings account balances through the app, and there's a useful button for teens to send a request to parents for small quantities of money—$10, $20, and $30—in case of emergencies.

Teens can set savings goals, track their progress toward a specific object, and set up automatic transfers to their savings accounts.

Parents can track and set notifications on their kids spending. Copper accounts are FDIC insured.

Features

  • Debit Card
  • Free ATM Withdrawals
  • Instant Money Transfers
  • Money Requests
  • Goal Setting
  • Set Automatic Savings Transfers
  • Parental Tracking

Price: Free[3]

You can download it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

GoHenry - Best for Financial Education

Teach kids and teens financial responsibility in a fun way with GoHenry. This popular app makes learning about money fun with targeted missions like What is Saving?, Want to be an Entrepreneur?, and The Future of Money, designed to prepare them for lifelong decision making.

With the companion app for parents, you can monitor your kids' spending habits, as well as set goals and limits as you see fit. They'll send you real-time notifications any time your kid completes a transaction with their personalized debit card.

Parents can save time and energy by setting a scheduled allowance directly through the app, and pay kids for chores assigned.

Decide on savings goals and work toward them while tracking your kids' progress, and send money when you need to with instant transfers.

Plus, with GoHenry's Giftlinks feature, friends and relatives can send kids money for special occasions like birthdays.[4]

Kids can donate money to charity through the app as well, setting them up for a life of giving.

It's easy to block or unblock the card through the app if it's lost or stolen, and GoHenry is FDIC protected.

Features

  • Debit Card
  • Educational Missions
  • Set Allowance
  • Savings Goals
  • Assign Chores
  • Instant Money Transfers
  • Set Spending Limits
  • Giftlinks

Price: $3.99 per month[5]

You can download it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

BusyKid - Best for Chores

BusyKid is an app that aims to teach kids how to manage their money with an emphasis on responsibility. It starts with chores—but that isn't where it ends.

Kids can earn money (from their parents) through the app by completing tasks that parents set, like folding laundry or pulling weeds out in the yard, as well as receive a scheduled allowance.

Each account comes with a BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card, which parents can use to send money to kids instantly.

But they don't have to spend their money. They can invest it through the app in stocks they'll understand, like Nike and Nintendo, or even support charities like the Red Cross.

Parents have the option of sending bonuses through the app—say for a particularly good report card. Kids can also receive money from family and friends with the BusyPay feature.

All transactions are parent-approved, so there's no need to worry about where kids are spending their money, and the app's activity feed lets parents see exactly what's happening when.

And to encourage kids to save, parents can opt to match their savings. This is a nice introduction to the concept of employer-assisted retirement planning.

Funds on BusyKid are FDIC insured.

Features

  • Assign Paid Chores
  • Schedule Allowance
  • BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card
  • Investing
  • Charities
  • BusyPay
  • Multiple Kids' Accounts
  • Parental Controls
  • Parental Savings Matching

Price: $38.99 per year[6]

You can download it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Is your teen eager to start earning money? This beginner's guide to teen-friendly online jobs is a great resource to help introduce them to working and earning.

FamZoo - Best for Desktop Users

FamZoo calls itself a "virtual family banking" system. They offer IOU Accounts that help parents set up automated payments to their kids, and prepaid card accounts that parents can use to give their kids a little more financial freedom.

These accounts can be used to give kids their allowance every week, pay for chores, or even request loans from you.

One of the benefits of FamZoo is the ability to control how complex you want your system to be. Start off with the real basics and take advantage of more features as your kids get comfortable.

As an incentive to help kids save, parents can opt to pay interest on their savings. Parents can even set up financial penalties—for failed chores, for example.

For parents who need a little help of their own, FamZoo has several useful blogs that show how to set up different savings, spending, and giving strategies for their kids to learn from.

If you know of a family who could benefit from FamZoo, you can even gift a subscription. And if you're caring for adult children or elderly parents, FamZoo has no age restrictions on setting up their "child" accounts.

Features

  • IOU Accounts
  • Prepaid Card Accounts
  • Parent Paid Interest
  • Customizable Strategies
  • Guides for Parents
  • Ability to Set Penalties

Price:[7]

  • $5.99 per month
  • $25.99 for 6 months
  • $39.99 for 12 months
  • $59.99 for 24 months

FamZoo is browser-based via desktop or mobile devices.

Bankaroo - Best for Schools

Bankaroo is another virtual banking app designed to teach kids useful skills for managing their money.

Kids can practice setting goals and tracking their spending. They can budget for big purchases or events and see how their behavior tracks toward long-term objectives. If they're successful, kids can earn badges for their efforts.

Parents can use the app to schedule regular allowances, though some have complained they had trouble turning the feature off.

Bankaroo also has a license for schools interested in teaching kids money management skills.

Features

  • Virtual Bank Accounts
  • Goal-Setting Function
  • Badges
  • Spending Tracker
  • Schedule Allowances

Price: Bankaroo has both free and paid versions from $5[8]

You can download it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Step - Best for Building Credit

Step is a straightforward banking app targeted at teens that stands out for two reasons. There are no fees—monthly, overdraft, minimum, or service—and using the Step card helps you build credit.

While Step may lack some of the extra control and tracking features that the other apps offer, few others lack fees and offer credit-building capability.

The Step card is a prepaid Visa that can be filled by parents or direct deposits from a teen's employer.

Teens can send and receive money through the app, including instant money transfers from parents in case of emergencies, and parents can use their app to set up a recurring allowance.

The Step card is compatible with Apple and Google Pay, and accounts are FDIC insured.

Features

  • Custom Prepaid Card
  • Send and Receive Money
  • Use Apple or Google Pay
  • Instant Money Transfers
  • Build Credit
  • Schedule Allowance
  • ATM Withdrawals

Price: Free

You can download it on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Chase First Banking - Best for Chase Customers

Available exclusively for Chase Checking customers, Chase First Banking is a debit card for kids aged 6-17.

The best part is, you can manage it through your existing Chase Mobile App, which can save some of the hassle involved in setting up and getting used to a new account.

It's easy for parents to send money to their kids' accounts for them to spend through their Chase First Banking debit card. Parents can set limits on spending—$10 here, $15 there, and so on—as well as on ATM withdrawals, which are free at over 16,000 Chase ATMs.

Parents will receive alerts when their teens spend and teens can send money requests to their parents through the app, which they can approve or deny.

The app offers the ability to set concrete goals to practice saving, as well as schedule recurring allowances and pay for chores completed.

Features

  • Debit Card
  • Manage through Chase Banking App
  • Chase ATM Withdrawals
  • Spending and Withdrawal Limits and Alerts
  • Send Money Requests
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Goal Setting
  • Schedule Allowance and Set Chores

Price: $0 Monthly Fee

You can download the Chase Mobile App on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Capital One MONEY - Best for Earning Interest

The Capital One Money account offers a debit card for kids 8 and up.

It has a lot of the same features as the other cards on this list, including instant money transfers, goal-setting to teach savings practices, and parental controls.

Parents can schedule a weekly allowance and pay their kids for chores well-done, and even reward them when they meet goals set together. On top of all that, there are no fees, and the balance in the account will earn 1% interest,[9] no matter how low it is.

The Capital One Money card also offers kids free ATM withdrawals at over 70,000 ATMs. Parents don't have to be Capital One customers to sign their teen up for an account.

Features

  • Debit Card
  • Earn 1% interest
  • Instant Money Transfers
  • Schedule Allowance and Set Chores
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Goal Setting
  • Parental Controls
  • Free ATM Withdrawals

Price: Free

You can download the Capital One Mobile app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

What to look for in a Kids' Banking App

Transaction Alerts and Spending Controls
As a parent, it's important to know your kids are being safe and responsible, and when it comes to having access to a debit or credit card, that can be a difficult balance.

Transaction alerts let you know when your kids are using their cards without you needing to peer over their shoulders. Some apps even offer the ability to approve or veto each transaction.

Setting spending limits and store restrictions can also help parents manage how their kids are using their money to ensure that they aren't buying anything they shouldn't.

Spending Trackers
The whole point of these apps is to teach kids financial responsibility and good money management skills.

Look for an app that offers a spending tracker to help kids learn how to manage a budget. Making them aware of where their money is going will help them learn how to be thoughtful with it.

Investing
Saving is only the first step in a person's financial journey. Investing is one of the most important things you can do for long-term success, but even adults can find it overwhelming.

Introducing kids to investing not only gives their investments more time to grow, but it also takes away the mystery, so they can invest wisely (and without fear) as they get older.

Bottom Line: What's the best banking app for kids?

If you're looking for the best all-around experience, Greenlight is probably the way to go. While there are other apps on the list with each of its features individually, few have all of them together.

Greenlight pretty much does it all. Their list of features is impressive: real-time notifications and spending controls, investing options, direct deposit, instant money transfers, cash back, and the ability to set savings goals and chores,

Some of the features do require a more expensive membership, though. If you're looking for a free app, consider Copper. It's able to do many of the things Greenlight does, minus investing, free of charge.

References

  1. ^ Greenlight. Cash Back & Savings, Retrieved 3/6/2022
  2. ^ Greenlight, Plans, Retrieved 3/6/2022
  3. ^ Copper. Are there any fees?, Retrieved 3/6/2022
  4. ^ goHenry. Family and friends can now gift using Giftlinks, Retrieved 3/6/2022
  5. ^ gohenry. Pricing, Retrieved 3/6/2022
  6. ^ BusyKid. Features & Pricing, Retrieved 3/6/2022
  7. ^ FamZoo. Pricing, Retrieved 3/6/2022
  8. ^ Bankaroo. Bankaroo for schools - Pricing Update, Retrieved 3/6/2022
  9. ^ Capital One. Teen Checking Account Money Disclosures, Retrieved 3/6/2022

Jeremy Harshman is a creative assistant at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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Check out the top alternatives to Greenlight Debit Card for Kids to help you save money and enjoy similar features as Greenlight.

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