April 3, 2022

BusyKid Review

Read more about BusyKid
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BusyKid lets your child earn, save, and invest their allowance. But is it safe? Find out if the app is worth the cost.

BusyKid
BusyKid Prepaid Card for Kids

Overall Score

3.8

Savings

2.0

Minimum Deposit

5.0

Checking

3.0

Price

4.0

Customer Service

4.0

Mobile App

4.0

Ease of Use

5.0

Education

3.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Solid chores and allowance functions
  • Save, invest, and donate money
  • Great value for large families
  • Limited spending controls
  • No educational content
  • $0.50 declined transaction fee

Bottom Line

Low-cost intro to basic money management

Gold star stickers aren't the pinnacle of achievement anymore. (If they ever were.)

With all the technology available at our fingertips, kids don't always get excited about the analog. More often than not, a shiny new app is a good way to grab your child's attention.

BusyKid is one of many banking apps aiming to make financial literacy accessible even for young kids. The app gives children real-world experience in managing money. It also comes with a debit card so your kid can shop online and in-store.

But, the app isn't right for every family. Find out how BusyKid works and how it compares to competitors like GoHenry, Greenlight, and FamZoo.

What is BusyKid?

BusyKid is a banking app designed to help kids become financially responsible adults.

The app got its start in 2011 as an online app called MyJobChart. It was created by Gregg Murset, a father of 6 who needed an easy way to track chores and allowances.

The app evolved into BusyKid, and it now allows children to earn, spend, save, invest, and donate their money.

How Does BusyKid Work?

At its core, BusyKid is a chore and allowance app. Parents assign chores and allowances for their kids to earn. Funds get transferred to your kid's account. It also comes with a prepaid debit card for your child.

Money in your kid's account is divided among 3 buckets: Spend, Save, and Share. From the parent app, you can control how the money is divided between the categories. You can also monitor your child's spending and get notifications.

BusyKid can be used by kids from age 5 to 16. Families can get the app and debit cards for up to 5 children.

How Much Does BusyKid Cost?

BusyKid charges fees for the following:[1]

  • Subscription: $3.99/mo. or $38.99/yr. (up to 5 kids)
  • Declined purchases: $0.50/transaction
  • Card replacement: $5.00
  • Paper statements: $5.00
  • BusyPay transfer: $1.00/transaction
  • Foreign currency conversion: 3%
  • International transactions: $2.50/transaction

There are NO fees for:

  • Loading money
  • Domestic transactions
  • Inactivity

BusyKid's subscription fee covers up to 5 kids, and the yearly subscription saves you 20%. This is a great value if you want to open an account for multiple kids.

BusyKid Features

Here are some of the key features you can expect when you open a BusyKid account for your child:

Chores and Allowances
Parents can assign chores and set allowance amounts for each task. Allowances are paid out weekly. You can also pay allowances with no chores and send bonuses as a reward.

How much allowance should a 12-year-old get?
A good rule of thumb is to give a weekly allowance of $1 for each year of your child's age. Using this rule, a 12-year-old would get a $12 weekly allowance.

Spend, Save, Share
Your kid's allowance gets sorted into these three categories based on percentages you set. Once the money is in your kid's account, they can move the funds between each category. Or, you can turn on Money Lock to prevent them from moving money.

Spend Debit Card
This is a basic prepaid Visa debit card that lets your kid access funds in the Spend section of their account. Unfortunately, the card doesn't support chip or contactless payments. The cards are also not eligible for ATM withdrawals.

Parental Controls
Control options are limited compared to other apps. Parents control how money is divided between Spend, Save, and Share. Parental approval is also needed each time the card is loaded. But once the money is on the card, your kid can spend it any way they want.

Notifications
You'll get a push notification each time your kid needs parental approval for allowances, bonuses, loading the card, donations, and stock transactions. You can also get card balance notifications to avoid declined purchases.

Charity
Your kid can make a donation to nearly 50 charities. You can view all the supported charities here.

Parental Matching
Parents can match their kid's savings up to 100% each week to encourage them to save more.

BusyPay
Friends and relatives without a BusyKid account can still put money in your kid's account. All they need to do is scan a QR code, enter a dollar amount, and provide their credit card information. But keep in mind that it costs $1 per transaction to use this service.

How to Get the BusyKid Debit Card

Here's what you need to open a BusyKid account and get the debit card:

  1. Download the free mobile app.
  2. Create an account using your name, email, ZIP code, and a password.
  3. Choose your PIN.
  4. Link your bank account, debit card, or credit card.
  5. Confirm your details to finish signing up.
  6. Receive your debit card in about 14 days.

How to Cancel Your BusyKid Account
You can contact customer support to close your BusyKid account. Money in the account will be returned to your linked funding source, or you'll get a PayPal payment or check.

BusyKid Customer Support
  • Availability: Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm MST; Weekends 8am - 10am and 4pm - 6pm MST
  • Phone: (833) 287-9543
  • Email: help@busykid.com

Your Spend card will stay active as long as there is still money loaded in it. You'll need to cancel the card separately by contacting BusyKid's credit card provider, Cliq.

Cliq Customer Support
  • Availability: Monday - Friday 6am - 7pm PT
  • Phone: (866) 634-3044
  • Email: customerservice@cliq.com

How to Load a BusyKid Debit Card

The funds in your child's account are separate from the funds on the debit card. Money needs to be loaded onto the card before your kid can use it.

There are a couple ways to transfer money to your kid's account from the parent's account:

  • Allowances: Set up a weekly allowance for chores completed (or send an allowance regardless of chores).

  • Bonuses: Send one-time bonuses as a reward for good grades, extra hard work, etc.

  • Approve Cash Requests: Your kid can request money from their app. Once you approve it from your app, the money will be transferred to their account.

  • BusyPay: For a $1 fee, friends and family can send your kids money through a BusyPay QR code.

Your kid can request to load their debit card with money from their account. You'll need to approve the request each time the card is loaded. You can also load the card directly from the parent app at any time.

What We Like About BusyKid

  • Real-world experience with handling money
  • Offers investing services
  • Great value for large families
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Parental match feature encourages saving
  • Easily add a co-parent with separate account
  • Good selection of stocks and charities

What We Don't Like

  • Limited parental controls
  • No in-app educational content
  • Can't cancel account through the app
  • Process to load card is a bit clunky
  • No free card replacements
  • Charges $0.50 declined transaction fee

How BusyKid Compares

Check out how BusyKid compares to other popular banking apps for kids:

Banking AppFeesMinimum AgeLearn More
BusyKid$3.99/mo. or $38.99/yr. (up to 5 kids)5 yearsVisit Site
GoHenry$3.99/mo. per kid6 yearsVisit Site
Greenlight$4.99/mo. (up to 5 kids)NoneVisit Site
FamZoo$5.99/mo. per familyNoneVisit Site

BusyKid vs. GoHenry

GoHenry is a similar app that offers banking services, chore lists, and debit cards. Both apps give your kid real-world experience in handling money. However, GoHenry features a lot of fun educational content that BusyKid lacks.

It also offers way more parental controls, including spending limits and transaction limits. The parental controls are really flexible, and you can easily adjust them to your parenting style.

The GoHenry debit card supports chip and contactless payments, and there are 45 different designs to choose from.

Large families should keep in mind the app is pricier at $3.99/mo. for each child. But the more robust features could be worth it if that's what you're looking for.

BusyKid vs. FamZoo

FamZoo is a kid banking app that almost looks and feels like a grown-up account. The app allows kids to set savings goals and earn interest (paid by the parent). It's a great way to teach kids about compound interest.

Like BusyKid, FamZoo also has chores and allowance functions. It also has the unique option to charge a penalty fee for incomplete chores.

FamZoo doesn't offer investing or donations to charity through the app. However, it does encourage saving and charitable giving by splitting money up into different buckets.

The basic subscription costs $5.99 for the whole family. While there's no minimum age to use FamZoo, the app's features are better suited for older children to teens.

BusyKid vs. Greenlight

Greenlight offers a lot of the same features that BusyKid has. Both offer banking, a debit card, investing, and chore charts. It also features tons of educational content to help your kid learn more about personal finance.

Parental controls are a lot more customizable on Greenlight. You can set limits on different spending categories and stores. With the Max account, you even get advanced features like identity theft protection and cell phone protection.

The app costs more for all these features. The basic account starts at $4.99/mo. for up to 5 children. A Max account with investing, high interest savings, and advanced protection will set you back $9.98/mo.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is BusyKid safe?
BusyKid's banking services are secure and are provided by Stride Bank, N.A. Stride Bank is FDIC insured,[2] so money in your account is protected up to $250,000 (not including investments since the FDIC doesn't insure those).

How long does it take for the card to arrive?
Once your account is confirmed, it takes around 14 days to receive your debit card.

Can you get BusyKid for free?
BusyKid hasn't come out with a free version yet, but you can try it before committing to it. You can get a full refund within 30 days of opening your account if you don't like it.

Bottom Line

BusyKid is a solid choice for parents looking to teach their kids about money. The app is one of the best values on the market, especially for larger families.

The app does lack robust parental controls and educational tools. Parents will want to devote more time to talking to their kids about money to make up for those. But overall, if you're looking for a simple, cost-effective app, BusyKid fits the bill.

Still not sure if BusyKid is the best app for your kid? Check out our reviews on Greenlight and FamZoo before you make your decision. Or simply take a look at the 9 best banking apps for kids.

References

  1. ^ BusyKid. Fees Schedule and Transactions Limits, Retrieved 2/25/2022
  2. ^ FDIC. BankFind: Stride Bank, National Association, Retrieved 2/25/2022
BusyKid Prepaid Card for Kids

BusyKid Prepaid Card for Kids

For $3.99/month, your family will gain access to entire app including charities, chores and up to 5 BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Cards (one card per child).

GoHenry Kids' Debit Card

GoHenry Kids' Debit Card

  • Real-time spend notifications.
  • Block and unblock cards easily.
  • Teach financial independence safely.
GoHenry card is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank, member FDIC
FamZoo Prepaid Card for Kids and Teens

FamZoo Prepaid Card for Kids and Teens

  • Order Online
  • No Credit Check
  • Try for Free
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Donna Tang is a content associate at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at donna.tang@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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