Updated October 17, 2022

Greenlight Alternatives

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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.

What other cards are like Greenlight?
Here are the top 5 alternatives to Greenlight:
  1. BusyKid
  2. GoHenry
  3. FamZoo
  4. Chase First Banking
  5. Capital One MONEY

Greenlight gives parents an easy way to teach kids about spending, saving, and debit cards.

But with a $4.99 monthly price tag and claims of lackluster customer service — you may want to shop around.

In this article, you'll find the five best Greenlight alternatives based on the following factors:

  • Price
  • Educational Features
  • Customer Reviews
  • Parental Controls
  • Security

What bank does Greenlight use?
Greenlight's banking services are handled by Community Federal Savings Bank, member FDIC.

What is Greenlight?

Customer Reviews
TrustpilotStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
Google Play StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
Apple App StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star

Greenlight is a banking and chore tracker app that helps parents teach their kids financial literacy. Families receive custom Mastercard debit cards for up to 5 kids with any Greenlight plan.

Inside the app, parents can set up recurring payments, like a monthly allowance. Parents can also assign individual chores (like "wash the dishes") that will be paid from their account once kids complete the task.

Greenlight's three subscription tiers:[1]

  • Greenlight: For $4.99 per month, you receive up to a 1% savings reward (similar to interest payments), parental controls, and an educational app.

  • Greenlight +Invest: For $7.98 per month, you get all the features of Greenlight plus investment tools and brokerage services for both parent and child.

  • Greenlight MAX: For $9.98 per month, kids receive all the features of Greenlight and Greenlight +Invest, plus a black debit card, 1% cash back, up to 2% savings reward, identity theft protection, purchase protection, and cell phone protection for lost or damaged smartphones.

Parents receive real-time spending notifications, and can easily turn their kid's card on or off in the app. They can also set spending and cash withdrawal limits.

Is Greenlight worth the cost? While Greenlight is a popular choice, you can get many of the same features for a cheaper price from other companies, including BusyKid. For a more affordable way to teach kids financial literacy, parents may want to look elsewhere.

Top 5 Alternatives to Greenlight

Now, let's look at the top Greenlight alternatives. Many of the following kid-friendly debit cards offer similar features as Greenlight, including chore assignments and parental controls.

Greenlight vs BusyKid

Customer Reviews
TrustpilotStarStarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Google Play StoreStarStarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Apple App StoreStarStarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star

BusyKid is the most similar app to Greenlight. It's one of the few that offers a chore tracker, debit card, and investment account all in one.

The biggest difference between the two is the price. Although BusyKid recently increased its cost from only $19.99 per year to $3.99 per month (or $38.99 per year to save 20%),[2] BusyKid is still much less expensive than Greenlight.

Parents must upgrade to Greenlight +Invest (at a price of $95.76 per year) to get all the same features as BusyKid.

BusyKid can also make your life as a parent easier by offering pre-made chore lists based on the age of your child. But don't worry — you can still customize chores in the app too.

Greenlight vs BusyKid Takeaway:
BusyKid offers a virtually identical app and banking experience compared to Greenlight, for a fraction of the cost.

Greenlight vs GoHenry

Customer Reviews
TrustpilotStarStarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Google Play StoreStarStarStarStarHalf Star
Apple App StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star

GoHenry offers similar parental control features, chore options, and financial education tools as Greenlight. But GoHenry's family plan of $9.98 per month only covers up to four kids whereas Greenlight's pricing plans cover up to five kids even at the basic plan.

Where GoHenry stands out is the fun factor.

There are over 45 custom debit card options available, and every card is customized with your child's name (instead of "Henry"). For example, if your daughter's name is Elizabeth, the logo on her card will read "GoElizabeth," as seen below.

GoHenry turns financial education into a fun game with their "Money Missions." Within the app, kids can watch videos and take quizzes to literally "level up" their financial literacy by completing tasks for XP (experience points).

These educational lessons cover topics like saving, spending wisely, entrepreneurship, investing, and more. However, GoHenry does not provide an investment account at this time.

Greenlight vs GoHenry Takeaway:
GoHenry provides a more entertaining app experience for kids, has a unique approach to its educational content, and provides real-time spending notifications. But if you want to provide your kids with real-life investing experience, choose Greenlight.

Greenlight vs FamZoo

Customer Reviews
TrustpilotNot Rated
Google Play StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
Apple App StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star

FamZoo offers many of the same basic features as Greenlight, such as parent-paid "interest," the ability to set specific savings goals, and chore payments.

On the one hand, FamZoo offers a web and app experience that looks straight out of the 1990s. On the other hand, FamZoo is beloved by its customer base and has the best customer service reviews of any similar company.

If you have an issue, you may get a response directly from the owner himself, like this reviewer on Facebook mentions:

"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 is also the only option that allows parents to set penalties for failing to do tasks in addition to rewards for completing them. While this feature may not be viewed as "fun," it can help teach your children that failing to meet your obligations often comes with financial consequences.

Greenlight vs FamZoo Takeaway:
Greenlight offers a superior app from a visual and technical perspective, but if you're looking for unparalleled customer service and prefer a straightforward spreadsheet format, choose FamZoo.

Greenlight vs Chase First Banking

Customer Reviews
TrustpilotStarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Google Play StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
Apple App StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star

The Chase First Banking debit card for kids has no monthly fees of any kind. However, this account is only available to existing Chase checking account holders.

Parents can approve or deny funding requests from kids, set recurring allowance or one-time chore payments, set spending and withdrawal limits, and receive activity alerts.

This debit card can also be used fee-free at any of over 16,000 Chase ATM locations nationwide.

Greenlight vs Chase Takeaway:
If you're an existing Chase customer, you can access most of the features available in Greenlight for free with Chase First Banking.

Greenlight vs Capital One MONEY

Customer Reviews
TrustpilotStarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Google Play StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
Apple App StoreStarStarStarStarStarEmpty Star

The credit card giant Capital One has been making waves in the banking space since it acquired Hibernia National Bank and North Fork Bank in 2005.

Like Chase, the Capital One MONEY debit card is free and comes with no monthly fees. But unlike Chase, parents do not need to have a Capital One account to qualify. Parents can link any external bank account to Capital One MONEY to fund the account.

Plus, the Capital One MONEY account earns 0.10% interest on all balances[3] and the card can be used fee-free at over 70,000 ATMs in the Capital One network.

The card comes with all the expected parental control features, like activity alerts, spending limits, and the ability to lock/unlock the card in the app. It's also locked out of many retail locations that are considered to not be kid-friendly, including:

  • Online prescription drug retailers
  • Liquor stores
  • Cigar or tobacco shops
  • Drinking establishments like taverns and nightclubs

For reference, Greenlight also offers this feature, as explained on the company website here.

Greenlight vs Capital One MONEY Takeaway:
Capital One MONEY offers a debit card for kids that's accessible to anyone completely free of charge.

Greenlight Pros and Cons

If a Greenlight account seems right for your family, review these advantages and considerations before signing up:

Pros:

  • Kid-friendly investment account (for Greenlight +Invest and Greenlight MAX accounts)
  • Impressive and easy-to-navigate app design
  • Up to 1% cash back and 2% savings reward

Cons:

  • High monthly fees
  • No ATM network
  • Poor customer service

Whether you choose a debit card for kids available on this list or one elsewhere, keep these four considerations in mind:

Parental Controls
Letting your kids get real-world banking experience is great — as long as there are some guardrails in place. All the options above have solid parental controls that will help you manage your child's spending and saving habits.

Earning money is another invaluable experience. With our guide to the best online jobs for teens, you can help them find a safe, kid-friendly way to earn some spare cash in their free time.

Price
Teaching your kids about finances starts with setting a good example, so always choose a debit card you can afford. With accounts that are free or just a few dollars a month, there's an option for every budget.

Educational Features
The best kids debit card options will have age-appropriate financial education tools like quizzes, explainer videos, and in-app explanations of common financial terms.

Greenlight and several Greenlight alternatives offer these tools.

Bank-Grade Security
If you choose a fintech app (like Greenlight) instead of a bank or credit union, make sure the company uses bank-grade encryption to keep your info secure. The industry standard for data encryption is 256-bit AES (advanced encryption standard).

Also, ensure that deposits are FDIC insured so that your money is protected in the event of fraud or if the company defaults.

COPPA Compliance
COPPA compliance is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) requires providers to disclose to parents what data is being collected, and try to ensure confidentiality and security; they can however share it with third parties.

Other Popular Greenlight Alternatives

Chime vs Greenlight
Chime is a mobile-only fintech company that offers free checking and savings accounts, a credit card, and various banking features.

It's a great option if you're looking to build up poor credit or have a shaky history with traditional banks.

Unlike Greenlight, Chime is not geared towards kids. It also doesn't offer joint accounts. If you're looking for a platform that's kid-focused, it's best to choose Greenlight over Chime.

Current vs Greenlight
Current is another fintech company that offers banking services through its online app. Their main offerings include a debit card, savings account, and faster paycheck deposits.

Current's Teen Account comes with parental controls like retailer blacklisting, spending limits, and chore payments. It costs $0/month,[4] whereas Greenlight is $4.99/month.

If you want advanced features, like kid-friendly investing, Greenlight is the way to go. But if you have an older teen who just needs a monitored debit card, Current is a good option.

Copper vs Greenlight
Copper is also a fintech platform that offers mobile-only banking services. However, Copper is specifically geared towards kids and teens.

With Copper, teens get a debit card that can be used anywhere a Mastercard is accepted. Parents can monitor account activity, set limits, and create recurring deposits.

Copper also has no monthly fee. If you want to teach your kids about financial literacy without paying for it, Copper may be a better pick than Greenlight.

The Bottom Line

Greenlight offers a beautiful app, great features for both parents and kids, and is one of the only companies of its kind that allows kids to invest in the stock market. However, it remains one of the most expensive options available for families looking for a debit card for kids.

The alternatives listed above include options from small businesses like FamZoo to some of the largest banks in the country like Chase, at prices from free to a fraction of the cost of Greenlight.

References

  1. ^ Greenlight. Plans, Retrieved 3/12/2022
  2. ^ BusyKid. Features & Pricing, Retrieved 3/12/2022
  3. ^ Capital One. MONEY Teen Checking Account Rates, Retrieved 3/12/2022
  4. ^ Current. Teen Banking, Retrieved 2/23/2022
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
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).

FamZoo Prepaid Card for Kids and Teens

FamZoo Prepaid Card for Kids and Teens

  • Order Online
  • No Credit Check
  • Try for Free

Write to Justin Barnard at feedback@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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