November 19, 2021

FamZoo Review

Read more about FamZoo
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FamZoo is a virtual family bank offering prepaid debit cards for kids. But is it worth the monthly fee? Find out how it stacks up in this review.

FamZoo offers a safe way to teach kids about spending, saving, and earning money.

But for $5.99/month, could parents find a better value elsewhere?

Learn about FamZoo's features and fees in this review. Plus, find out how it compares to alternatives like Greenlight, BusyKid, and more.

What is FamZoo?

FamZoo is a financial platform that helps parents teach their kids good money habits. It was designed to be a stepping stone between a piggy bank and a real bank account. With FamZoo, the parent is the "banker".

FamZoo's main offering is a prepaid, reloadable MasterCard for kids. Parents control the account while kids can see their balance, track progress toward goals, and more.

The platform was founded in 2006 by Bill Dwight, a father of five and self-proclaimed software nerd. His goal was to "prepare kids for the financial jungle" and help teach good money management.

Is FamZoo Legit?
Yes. All deposits are ensured by Four Corners Community Bank (as of 8/9/2019), member FDIC. That means that even if FamZoo defaults, your deposits are guaranteed by the government up to $250,000 per account.

FamZoo Pros and Cons

Wondering if FamZoo is right for your family? Review the pros and cons below for a quick takeaway.

Pros:

  • 30- or 60-day free trial
  • Option for parent-paid interest
  • Same price regardless of family size
  • FDIC insurance up to $250,000
  • No overdraft fees

Cons:

  • Relatively high monthly fee ($5.99)
  • No ATM network
  • Mobile app and website look outdated

FamZoo Features

A FamZoo account comes with all the following features.

Scheduled and Instant Transfers
Parents can schedule regular transfers (great for things like an allowance) to deposit money into their kid's account. Or, for last-minute expenses, instantly move money between accounts using the instant transfer feature.

Savings Goals
Incentivize kids to save with custom savings goals. Kids can track their progress toward goals like a new video game console, bike, or trip with friends. Parents set a goal name, amount, and starting balance.

Parental Controls
Easily manage FamZoo's features, including the ability to lock/unlock cards, receive activity alerts via push notifications, and view detailed decline information if one of the cards was declined.

Parent-Paid Interest
Parents can teach kids about compound interest by paying a custom interest rate on their balance. Simply set an interest rate and pay frequency (every week, month, etc.).

Chore Payments and Penalties
Set up chores, such as "Make the Bed" or "Clean Your Room," and make a payment when they're complete.

Another interesting feature — and one that is unique to FamZoo — is the ability to teach the fact that failing to meet your obligations often has financial consequences. For example, parents can charge penalty fees for failing to accomplish chores.

Tip: Parents of multiple children can set up "first dibs" chores that are up for grabs. Whoever is the first one to finish the chore gets the dough!

How Much Does FamZoo Cost?

FamZoo offers one main plan that includes the prepaid card, a unique "IOU" account, and all other features.

You can choose to pay for FamZoo monthly or get a slight discount if you pre-pay for 12 or 24 months.

  • Basic Monthly Subscription: $5.99/month

  • Prepay Discounts:
    • $25.99 for 6 months (averages out to $4.33/month)
    • $39.99 for 12 months (averages out to $3.33/month)
    • $59.99 for 24 months (averages out to $2.50/month)

FamZoo also offers a 60-day free trial of its IOU accounts and a 30-day free trial of its prepaid card accounts.

What Fees Does FamZoo Charge?

Besides the monthly subscription cost, FamZoo charges very few fees. In fact, these fees should be fairly easy to avoid. Here's what to expect:

  • $3.00 additional card fee (first 4 cards are free)
  • $3.00 card replacement fee (first 2 replacement cards are free)
  • $25.00 card express delivery fee
  • $4.95 cash reload fee (depending on reload agent)

It's great to see a company that understands the fact that kids lose things constantly. The multiple free card replacements is a nice touch.

It should also be noted that because FamZoo uses a prepaid card model, it's impossible for kids to overdraw their account and incur overdraft or insufficient funds fees.

For FamZoo's full fee schedule, visit their website.

How Does FamZoo Work?

To sign up for FamZoo, you first need to register your family on the website using the following steps:

  1. Register Your Family: Include a family name (e.g. "The Smiths), parent name (e.g. "Dad"), private password, email, and phone number (optional)

  2. Add Cards for Each Child: Include each child you want to receive a card and include their name or a fun nickname

  3. Choose Your Payment Option: Choose between a monthly subscription ($5.99 per month) or one of the prepay discount options listed above

  4. Access and Set Up Your Account: Log in on the website or use the mobile app (available on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store)

FamZoo Customer Reviews

FamZoo has exceptional reviews from customers online, and complaints are difficult to find. The company enjoys a 4.6-star rating on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store and 5 stars on Facebook.

The most common complaint about FamZoo is that the app is not user-friendly. Here is one negative review:

"I am giving a 3-star because the app needs to be updated and made more mobile-friendly for Android. I am unfortunately on the verge of closing this because there are other apps like this that are much more user-friendly."
— Kelly via Google Play Store (03/31/2021)

How to Contact Customer Support

There are two ways to contact customer support for FamZoo. The easiest way is to email the company by filling out the inquiry form found here. Cardholders can also call 1-800-416-6373.

FamZoo's website boasts rapid response times for email inquiries, even on weekends, and recommends that you check your spam folder if you don't receive a reply in 45 minutes or less.

The company also has an extensive list of FAQs on their website that cover a huge range of questions you might have about using your account.

Does FamZoo Have Good Customer Service?
Customer service is a bright spot for FamZoo. The company is handled like a genuine small family business, not an overstretched corporation.

Unlike most finance companies that outsource customer support or make it nearly impossible to speak to a real person, if you have a question for FamZoo you'll likely receive a reply from the owner himself, as this Facebook review notes below:

"The customer service is amazing. When our cards arrived, my oldest's card came with the wrong name printed. The owner himself called me to set it right and even sent my son a gift because of the mistake. I would recommend these cards to anyone…"
— Jessica via Facebook (09/09/2021)

FamZoo Alternatives

While FamZoo has several great features that parents may enjoy, there are many alternatives available. Let's look at the top three.

FamZoo vs Greenlight
In a head-to-head comparison, Greenlight has a slight edge.

Both teach financial literacy using prepaid debit cards for kids. The primary difference is that Greenlight offers a better app and website interface than FamZoo.

Additionally, Greenlight now offers cash rewards with up to 2% interest on savings balances and 1% cashback on purchases.

Both apps have comparable pricing. Greenlight Basic costs $4.99 per month, compared to $5.99 for FamZoo. However, FamZoo is the less expensive alternative if you pay in advance for 1 or 2 years.

FamZoo vs Current
Like Greenlight, Current also outshines FamZoo in tech-savviness. Current utilizes cutting-edge security features like biometric scanning (i.e., fingerprint scan). Current is also free for the basic plan, $3.99 for the premium version, and $36 annually for the teen option.

However, Current is primarily targeted at teens.

If you have kids between the ages of 8 and 14, FamZoo is likely the better option. While more simplistic and less technologically sophisticated than Current, FamZoo is more intuitive and easier to understand.

As an added point for FamZoo, customer service is one of Current's issues. Users frequently complain that they had difficulty or were unable to resolve problems by contacting the company.

Current

Banking for Modern Life

  • Get Paid Up to 2 Days Faster
  • Fee-Free Overdraft up to $100 with Overdrive
  • 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs in the U.S.
  • No minimum balance or hidden fees
Current is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group, Member FDIC

Read more: Current Review

FamZoo vs BusyKid
In this contest, BusyKid is the undisputed champion.

BusyKid only costs $19.99 per year, provides custom debit cards, has superior technology, and offers many of the premium features found from other companies like Greenlight at no additional cost, such as a kid-friendly investment account.

BusyKid now also offers family members and friends an easy way to deposit money into your kids' accounts using a QR code called BusyPay.

Read more: BusyKid Review

The Bottom Line

While FamZoo may get beat out by some of the competition, it still offers a great app for teaching kids about saving and spending for a fair price and unparalleled customer support.

If you're looking for a simple, straightforward prepaid spending card and financial education platform developed by a real parent like you, FamZoo offers all the basic features you need.

Current

Banking for Modern Life

  • Get Paid Up to 2 Days Faster
  • Fee-Free Overdraft up to $100 with Overdrive
  • 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs in the U.S.
  • No minimum balance or hidden fees
Current is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group, Member FDIC
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