BusyKid vs Greenlight Reviewed: 10 Main Differences

In this article, we’ll get into a detailed comparison of Greenlight vs BusyKid, two popular prepaid debit cards for kids. This article may contain affiliate links but this doesn’t affect my analysis of these products.

When parents consider a prepaid debit card for their kids or teens that comes with a money management app, the first two companies they would probably find are Greenlight and BusyKid. Both brands offer good financial and educational products for kids to be able to manage money while also offering parents the ability to control this process. But you still need to choose one company that would be your partner for this task.

What is better, Greenlight or BusyKid?

Overall, Greenlight has more features and customizable options, advanced parental controls and it’s also more user-friendly; however, it’s more pricey than BusyKid. BusyKid might be a better solution for younger kids (from 5 years old) as it has preset chores for younger ages. Meanwhile, Greenlight is better for older kids and teens (from 8 years old) as it has more advanced features while also having a higher level of control by parents.

So, let’s break down the similarities and differences between BusyKid and Greenlight and also compare their pricing. I’ll start with a side-by-side comparison of Greenlight and BusyKid, including their pros and cons, pricing, and features.

BusyKid vs Greenlight comparison at a glance

Here is a quick but detailed breakdown.

Price$4/month per family (up to 5 kids)$4.99 – $14.98/month per family (up to 5 kids)
LocationUS onlyUS only
Issued byVisaMasterCard
ATM feeYes, $1.5No
Custom design$7.99$4.99
(weekly, each Friday)
(weekly, biweekly, or monthly)
ChoresYes (only preset chores based on a kid’s age)Yes
(preset and custom chores)
(basic savings)
(saving goals + Parent-Paid Interest, Savings Reward and Round Ups features)
InvestingPartialYes, under parental control
CashbackNo Yes

Now let’s move to the differences between the companies.

10 main differences between BusyKid and Greenlight

Let’s first see a breakdown of the main differences between the two companies.

  1. Greenlight offers more in terms of parental controls as you can set limits on different spending categories and stores.
  2. With BusyKid, almost all transactions and actions done by a kid has to be approved by their parent; whereas Greenlight gives more freedom for a kid (probably the only thing a kid needs to get approved for sure is investing).
  3. Greenlight has no ATM fee, whereas BusyKid has a fee of $1.5 to use any ATM.
  4. Greenlight has a cashback of 1%, and BusyKid doesn’t have a cashback feature.
  5. Greenlight includes a lot of in-app educational content about personal finance, whereas BusyKid doesn’t have any.
  6. BusyKid has separate features of Payday and Bonus. The first means that a kid gets paid after completing some task from the chores list, and the second means a kid can get payment for some other reason (like getting A at school); meanwhile, Greenlight doesn’t have such a separation.
  7. BusyKid has the default setting of automatic allowance payment on Friday, whereas with Greenlight you can set a day you want.
  8. All BusyKid cards come in 11 different designs (most of them are black and white colored) with no custom designs; meanwhile, Greenlight offers the ability to choose almost any custom design. Also, each BusyKid card, unlike Greenlight, has the kid and parent names printed on the back which cannot be removed.
  9. Greenlight is billed on a monthly basis, whereas BusyKid is billed annually.
  10. Finally, Greenlight is issued by MasterCard, and BusyKid is issued by Visa

Here is what one customer says about BusyKid while comparing it to Greenlight:

“It took a very long time to receive the spending card, which is frustrating. It also took five emails back and forth with customer support to actually activate the card and put money on it. We previously had a greenlight card, and busykid is not as user-friendly as greenlight. I’m still not sure how to do an automatic allowance.”

Trustpilot, 2023
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
Greenlight has more useful features but is a bit more expensive.
Comes with a huge number of features and unique possibilities
No ATM fee
Mobile payments with Apple Pay or Google Pay
Ability to choose a custom design
Cashback feature
More user-friendly than BusyKid
More pricey, especially its second and third plans
Bottom Line
BusyKid has similar core features and is cheaper.
A lower price with very similar core features
Is good for kids of lower age
Fewer features and customization options
ATM fees
No mobile payments
No custom design

Check out this Greenlight card review to know more about the company. Read more about the company in this BusyKid review.

Greenlight and BusyKid pricing comparison

Greenlight has a more complicated pricing model. It has three pricing options: Core, Max, and Infinity. The basic plan is $4.99/month and comes with no investment for kids and cashback features. The second plan is $9.98/month: it allows investing, has a 2% savings reward as well as 1% cashback. The third plan, Greenlight Infinity, includes all the basic and advanced features as well as 5% of Greenlight Savings Reward, family location sharing and additional alerts.

BusyKid has a very simple pricing model with the only option available: $4/month billed annually.

Both companies have a family-based pricing model. This means you pay a monthly fee for a family of up to five kids–you don’t need to pay for each kid’s account separately.  

Similarities between Greenlight and BusyKid

Finally, let’s check the similarities between the two companies (there are more similarities than differences).

  1. Offer prepaid debit cards for kids that come with money management apps for children and their parents
  2. Allow up to 5 children per account and you pay for a family, not for a single kid’s card
  3. Allow online and offline payments as well as ATM withdrawals
  4. Have parental control features and notifications on kids’ spending as well as transaction and activity history within their apps
  5. Allows mobile payments with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  6. Have a chores system with a slight difference: Greenlight offers both preset and custom chores, and BusyKid offers only preset ones (chores by BusyKid are designed for each age group)
  7. Have separate savings accounts so that a kid can save money
  8. Offer automated allowance payment
  9. Allow donating to charities: Greenlight cooperates with one organization only, while BusyKid has about 50 organizations a kid can donate to
  10. Giftcard by Greenlight and BusyPay by BusyKid both allow sending money to kids as a birthday present or for any other occasion
  11. With both companies, you can get a card in the US only (with BusyKid you can get a card abroad but need to have a US verification); and both cards can be used abroad
Is Greenlight or BusyKid better?

Both apps are good but Greenlight offers more features for kids and parents than BusyKid.

What is cheaper, BusyKid or Greenlight?

BusyKid is a cheaper option. Its price is $4 per month while Greenlight’s cheapest plan is $4.99 per month.

What are alternatives to Greenlight and BusyKid?

The main alternatives to these cards for kids are GoHenry, FamZoo, Copper, Current Card, and Chase First.

David L.
David L.

David is an advocate of financial literacy. Having previously worked as a financial advisor and being a father of two daughters, he wants to show solutions to improve financial behavior.

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