Updated May 31, 2024

Greenlight vs GoHenry vs FamZoo

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Greenlight, GoHenry, and FamZoo offer debit cards with parental controls. Find out which is best to teach children about money.

A debit card for your kid is a big step toward financial responsibility. It can help kids create healthy money habits for life.

But not all kids' debit cards are equal. Some are better at teaching children about money. Others are better for practical, everyday use.

Check out how Greenlight, GoHenry, and FamZoo compare. Plus, learn to choose the right card for your family's unique needs.

Greenlight vs. GoHenry vs. FamZoo

How do three of the most popular debit cards for kids compare? Learn more about each platform's features, fees, and functionality.

GreenlightGoHenryFamZoo
Card TypeMastercard debit cardMastercard debit cardMastercard debit card
Monthly FeeGreenlight Core: $5.99 per month
Greenlight Max: $9.98 per month
Greenlight Infinity: $14.98 per month
Individual Child - $4.99 per month
Family Plan - $9.98 per month
$5.99 per month, OR
$25.99 for 6 months
$39.99 for 12 months
$59.99 for 24 months
Minimum AgeNo minimum age requirement6 years old No minimum age requirement
Interest Rate1% savings reward (2% for Greenlight Max, 5% for Greenlight Infinity) on an average daily savings balance of up to $5,000 per family Create savings goals; No APY (parent-paid interest only) Parents can set up a custom interest rate to encourage kids saving
ATM FeeAny ATM with a Mastercard, Visa Interlink or Maestro name or logo. But the ATM owner may charge a withdrawal fee. No fee for either domestic (US) or international ATM use. ATM owners may charge a fee.Any ATM, but the ATM owner may charge a fee.
Best ForComprehensive financial literacy app + investingSimple money management and quick money lessonsUnique features for hands-on learning
Learn MoreVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site

Greenlight Overview

Greenlight is a popular debit card for kids that offers a wide range of features.

The platform lets your kid learn to spend, save, and invest money all in one app. Greenlight offers cash back, high-yield savings, and an investment platform to purchase fractional shares of stocks.

With all these extra perks comes a higher monthly fee than you'd find with most other debit cards for kids. Keep reading for a breakdown of what you'll get with Greenlight and whether the fees are worth it.

GoHenry Overview

GoHenry has a unique twist on educational content for kids. The app turns financial education into a game. Kids earn points and level up as they complete short lessons called Money Missions.

If your child needs an extra push to get excited about financial literacy, GoHenry could be a good choice.

It also gives parents a great deal of flexibility with the robust parental control options. Plus, you can get real-time account notifications to keep track of your child's spending.

FamZoo Overview

FamZoo offers unique features like informal loans and parent-paid interest. This can simulate real-life money situations. This platform is great for older kids who need more practical experience with handling money.

The platform doesn't offer formal education content like Greenlight or GoHenry does. But it offers cool features to get your kid familiar with spending responsibly.

Features

Winner: Greenlight

Greenlight
Greenlight offers one of the most impressive features of any debit card for kids. Like many other banking apps for kids, Greenlight offers chores, allowance, easy money transfers, direct deposit, and savings goals. The Greenlight card can be used online, in-store, and at ATMs.

But the platform takes it a step further with features you don't usually get with other kid debit cards:

  • Educational content
  • Investing platform for parents and kids
  • High savings reward
  • Cash back rewards
  • Identity theft protection
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Charity donations

The one big caveat with all these extra features is that the fee is relatively high. Still, it offers features like investments and identity theft protection. Greenlight is one of the most comprehensive apps available for children.

GoHenry
GoHenry is a stripped-down version of Greenlight. While GoHenry doesn't offer as many features, it does have an interesting, educational app.

GoHenry features include:

  • Multiple funding sources/family members
  • Gamified money lessons
  • Charity donations
  • Chores and allowances
  • Savings goals
  • Easy money transfers
  • Direct deposit

Some other apps only allow one parent to add money to the account. One of GoHenry's standout features is the ability for multiple family members to fund the child's account. This makes co-parenting a lot easier and more streamlined.

FamZoo
FamZoo comes in at a close second to Greenlightwhen it comes to unique and useful features. Unfortunately, FamZoo doesn't offer investment services, which would be nice to give kids a head start.

With a FamZoo account, you'll get:

  • Chores and allowance
  • Subaccounts for spending, saving, and donating money
  • Parent-paid interest
  • Family billing
  • Informal loans
  • Money requests and reimbursements
  • Easy money transfers

With FamZoo, there's a sense that families really get to collaborate to teach kids about money. Parents can bill their kids for monthly utilities and loan money for kids to pay back (with interest).

These features help kids learn about how money works in the real world. It helps kids understand that you can't borrow money for free. You have to pay it all back—and the compound interest can really add up.

Parental Controls

Winner: Greenlight

Greenlight
All 3 debit cards we're looking at offer a great deal of parental control. But Greenlight takes the top spot for its ability to control where and how much your kid spends.

Greenlight lets you set spending limits for categories and stores. For instance, you could set a limit on restaurant spending or online gaming. You can also set limits for specific stores like Target or Walmart. None of the other debit cards offers this level of control.

You can also turn on account alerts to get notified each time your child makes a transaction. Plus, you can easily lock and unlock the card using the mobile app.

GoHenry
The GoHenry account lets you set a general spending limit for your child. This feature is more than enough to prevent your kid from overspending and give you peace of mind. But compared to Greenlight, the parental control options are a little lacking.

You can also get account alerts through the GoHenry app. Parents can also lock and unlock the card through the app.

If you don't need the ability to limit spending at particular stores or spending categories, GoHenry and FamZoo are both good options.

FamZoo
FamZoo pretty much offers the same level of parental controls as GoHenry does. You can set a general spending limit to prevent your child from spending. If you need to take away your child's spending privileges, you can lock and unlock the card from the app.

Overall, all three debit cards offer great parental control options.

Not every family needs the same level of control. Being able to set a general spending limit is more than enough for many parents.

Pricing and Fees

Winner: FamZoo

Greenlight
At first glance, Greenlight is the most expensive debit card for your child or teen. However, keep in mind that the monthly service fee covers up to five kids per family. If you need multiple cards, the fee could be pretty reasonable.

There are three different account types with three different price points. Here are the monthly fees for each Greenlight pricing tier:[1]

  • Greenlight Core ($4.99/mo)
    Includes kids' debit card, basic banking, educational content, parental controls, financial literacy games, investing for parents with limited features, and 1% savings reward.

  • Greenlight Max ($9.98/mo)
    Adds an investing platform and research tools for kids and parents, priority customer support, protection plans, cash back on purchases, and 2% savings reward.

  • Greenlight Infinity ($14.98/mo)
    Adds family location sharing, crash detection, SOS alert, cash back, driving reports, real-time trip alerts, and 5% savings reward.

There are also a few other fees to look out for:[2]

  • Card Replacement: $3.50 (first replacement free)
  • Expedited Card Delivery: $24.99
  • Custom Card Fee: $9.99

GoHenry
The Family plan costs $9.98 per family and covers up to 4 children, and the individual child is priced at $4.99. For bigger families, this seems to be a better deal. If you need a card for three or four kids, you will be able to pay one low rate for everyone.

Although the fee is higher than other debit cards for kids, GoHenry offers good value for the money for its added features and services, particularly if you have several children.

Other GoHenry fees to look out for include:[3][4]

  • Card Replacement (same design): Free
  • Card Replacement (different design): $4.99
  • Custom Card Fee: $4.99

FamZoo
FamZoo is the most cost-effective debit card for kids, especially if you have multiple children. The monthly fee is $5.99, but you can prepay to get a discount. If you pay in advance for 24 months, the monthly fee comes out to be just $2.50 per month.[5]

Plus, the monthly fee covers up to 4 children per family. This brings down the cost even more, which is a great deal for big families. Even if you don't need cards for more than one kid, FamZoo is a solid, affordable platform.

Some other FamZoo fees to look out for include:[6]

  • Additional Card Fee: $3.00 (first 4 cards free)
  • Card Replacement: $3.00 (first 2 replacements free)
  • Expedited Card Delivery: $25
  • Cash Reload Fee: Up to $4.95

Pros and Cons

Greenlight Pros + Cons

  • Most comprehensive banking app for teens
  • Excellent parental controls
  • Great savings/investment tools
  • Relatively high fees
  • No cash deposits
  • Can only earn up to $5,000 in savings rewards per family

GoHenry Pros + Cons

  • Robust parental controls
  • Fun way to learn about personal finance
  • Supports direct deposit
  • Balances don't earn interest
  • No cash deposits
  • No investment account option

FamZoo Pros + Cons

  • Unique tools for financial literacy
  • Customizable parental controls
  • Fee covers up to 4 children per family
  • $4.95 cash deposit fee
  • Additional fee if you need more than 4 cards
  • App looks outdated (but works fine)

Which Debit Card is Right for Your Family?

FamZoo, GoHenry, and Greenlight are all great banking apps for children. To decide on the best debit card for your family, consider these factors:

Number of Children
Think about how many cards you need. Greenlight offers five debit cards per family, while FamZoo offer four. Keep this in mind if you want to open an account for several kids.

Greenlight and FamZoo include several kids in their monthly fees even at the basic level. GoHenry, on the other hand, only covers one child in its base plan. If you have a larger family, you'll have to pay the fee for the family plan which covers up to four children if you choose GoHenry.

Pricing
Greenlight fees are high, especially with the $9.98 per month Greenlight Max plan. This costs the same as GoHenry's Family plan for up to 4 children but GoHenry has an individual plan which cost $4.99 per month.

If you have many children, the price could end up being quite reasonable. But the fee is relatively high if you only need one debit card. FamZoo is a cheaper alternative, especially if you pay in advance.

Investing and Other Features
Think about what concepts you want to introduce to your child. Investing is a huge part of financial literacy, so it's a good idea to start young. If you haven't taught your kid about investments yet, an app like Greenlight could be the best choice.

If you want to teach your kid about compound interest, FamZoo offers a couple of helpful features. Parent-paid interest and informal loans can help your kid see how interest grows over time (for better or for worse).

Security
Ensure the app you choose will protect your account. Look for features like FDIC insurance, data encryption, and an easy way to lock/unlock your card. Greenlight also offers identity theft protection (but at a higher price).

Parental Controls
Setting limits and monitoring your kid's spending can give you peace of mind while your kid spends their money. Consider how much control and guidance you feel your child needs. Choose the app that offers enough flexibility for you to set healthy boundaries with your child.

Educational Content
What type of educational content is best for your child?

GoHenry is great if you think your kid would benefit most from game-like lessons. Greenlight offers a range of lesson styles, including quizzes, videos, and short articles. FamZoo doesn't have educational content, but it has tons of hands-on tools to get your kid familiar with money.

Other Kids' Debit Cards to Consider

Chase First Banking
Chase First Banking is a free debit card available to kids age 6 and up. The app offers chores, allowances, savings goals, and robust parental controls. Plus, you can visit 15,000+ Chase ATMs and 4,700+ branches to get support in person.

The biggest drawback is that the parent needs to be a current Chase checking customer to open the account. You need to link your Chase checking to your child's account. This is the only funding source supported by Chase First Banking.

Chase First Banking is powered by Greenlight,[7] which is why they have similar features. The parental controls are very flexible. You can control where and how much your child spends at specific stores.

Current Teen Banking
Current offers a free teen banking account designed for kids aged 13 and older. It offers fewer educational tools than the other platforms we've looked at. But it has great parental controls and savings features.

Current Teen Banking allows parents to set spending limits and block merchants. Plus, it's easy to co-parent since multiple family members can add funds.

Teens are encouraged to save with Current. You can create savings goals and use roundups to save more easily. Each time you make a transaction, the amount is rounded to the nearest dollar. The difference is automatically put into savings.

You'll also get access to 40,000+ fee-free ATMs nationwide.

Bottom Line

Greenlight, GoHenry, and FamZoo are all fantastic options for your child's first debit card. These debit cards all have a monthly fee. But in return, you'll find advanced features to help your kid learn about important financial topics.

Is the educational content worth it? It depends on how active of a role you want to take in teaching your kids about money. If you'd rather have the app handle most of the process, paying for a kid's debit card can absolutely be worth it.

But if you'd rather teach your kid about personal finance in your own time, there are plenty of other options. Cards like Chase First Banking and Current give your kid access to their money—for free.

Figure out what you want from a debit card for your child. Then, choose the most cost-effective product that meets your needs.

References

  1. ^ Greenlight. Plans, Retrieved 05/30/2024
  2. ^ Greenlight. List of all fees for Greenlight Mastercard Prepaid Card, Retrieved 05/30/2024
  3. ^ GoHenry. My child has lost their GoHenry card. How do I replace it?, Retrieved 05/30/2024
  4. ^ GoHenry. Do I need to pay to customize my debit card?, Retrieved 05/30/2024
  5. ^ FamZoo. Pricing, Retrieved 05/30/2024
  6. ^ FamZoo. Fee Disclosures, Retrieved 05/30/2024
  7. ^ Chase. New Chase account helps kids develop healthy saving and spending habits, Retrieved 05/30/2024

Donna Tang is a content associate at CreditDonkey, a credit card 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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Top debit cards for kids. Teach your child money matters and enjoy benefits only parents can get.
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