Greenlight Card Review

Personal finance literacy is the knowledge that should be gained from childhood and most modern parents understand this. This is what some businesses also focus on. Thus, let’s check the Greenlight Card review, a solution to teach kids and teens to use their money wisely with parents being able to control this.

8Expert Score
Greenlight card for kids is worth it

With so many useful features and an affordable price, it’s a good solution for parents to teach kids to use money and do this cashless.

Pros
  • Spending control with the ability to limit purchases within certain product categories or even in particular shops
  • Broad savings features
  • Parent-Paid Interest and savings rewards
  • 1% cashback
  • Investment feature
  • Mobile payments with Apple Pay or Google Pay
Cons
  • Available in the US only
  • Customer support is not reachable

What is Greenlight Card

GreenLight (or Green Light) is an educational money app for kids with a debit card. This app allows kids to earn money through chores or in a form of allowance and spend it wisely. Moreover, kids can set savings goals and invest what they have earned.

At the same time, the Greenlight app allows parents to control how their kids spend money. 

Greenlight partners with Community Federal Savings Bank, a member FDIC that holds and manage all your deposit and debit card. All accounts are FDIC insured. 

The card is best for 9-18-year-old users but it has no age limits. It is available in the US only.

Features

Here is a quick overview of the main features of Greenlight card for kids:

  • Kids can use the card to make online or offline purchases and use it in an ATM
  • Kids can learn how to earn money with allowance and chores
  • An app by Greenlight is designed for both kids and parents
  • Parents can use the spending control feature and get real-time notifications
  • Parents can select stores where kids are allowed to make purchases
  • Parents can instantly transfer money to kids’ cards and pay allowance
  • Parent-Paid Interest rate that can be set as 1-100%
  • The ability for both kids and parents to invest
  • 1% cashback to save on every purchase 
  • Up to 2% savings reward
  • Ability to set savings goals
  • Donation option
  • Card with a custom design is available

Now let’s go into detail.

Allowance and chores

Greenlight allows setting automated allowances that can be paid out monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly. Parents can choose whether a kid would be able to spend it everywhere or whether it would be moved to Savings.

There is also an ability to send a kid payment after they complete chores. Greenlight offers preset chores or custom ones. You can also choose between one-time (all chores here are custom) or a weekly recurring chore (preset or custom). Moreover, parents are able to select a reward amount and a due date. After a kid completes a chore, a parent will get a notification with an option to pay immediately or later.

On top of that, you can connect allowance to chores. In this case, Greenlight will automatically calculate the payout based on the number of chores completed and the amount you set per each chore.

Spending control

Greenlight allows parents to track how their children spend money and limit unnecessary purchases. While parents receive real-time notifications of transactions made by their kids and can block a transaction, there are additional ways to control spending.

The company has two levels of spending controls–categories and stores. The first one means there are five common spending categories (ATMs, Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Restaurants, and Online Gaming) where parents can set spending limits for each. The second level means that parents can set how much money a kid can spend in a specific store or completely block purchases there.

There are also default unchangeable Greenlight restrictions of where a kid or teen cannot see their cards:

  • Online casinos
  • Horse or dog racing
  • Non-sport internet gaming
  • Wires or money orders
  • Security brokers or deals
  • Lotteries
  • Dating/escort services
  • Massage parlors

Additionally, parents can freeze a Greenlight card of their kid at any time (e.g. when a teen lost their card).

Savings

Greenlight has a general account for saving and a separate account for a saving goal that a kid can set. After reaching a saving goal, a kid can close the goal and get money to the main account or increase the goal amount and continue to save. Moreover, parents can pay an interest rate for the money saved within the goal.

Parent-Paid Interest is a unique feature by Greenlight that means parents set and pay an interest rate, from 1% to even 100% on any of the savings accounts.

Greenlight also has the Savings Reward feature which means families can earn up to a 2% annually as a reward for kids’ savings. It is calculated based on the average daily savings and is paid at the beginning of each month. 

The company has another feature for savings called Round Ups. It allows loading the roundup to the next dollar from purchases into the savings account. It can be done automatically from each transaction or in specific cases.

Finally, Greenlight offers 1% cash back on each purchase which is deposited directly into a saving account.

Investing

Greenlight has an investment option for both kids and their parents. Kids are able to buy shares of over 4,000 real stocks and ETFs with a brokerage account held in the parent’s name. So, a kid is able to conduct research to find stocks or ETFs they would like to buy and send a request. Then, parents must approve this request for a kid to purchase it. With this tool kids and teens learn the basic financial tool and understand how to build their investment portfolio.

Meanwhile, parents also can have a brokerage account with Greenlight to invest in their kids’ futures.

Donation

Greenlight also teaches kids how to give back with the option of being able to donate to non-profits. The company cooperates with Charitynavigator.org, and a kid or teen can choose an amount to donate with the app.

Mobile payment

There is also a useful benefit that a Greenlight card can be used for mobile payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay. And other debit cards for kids usually don’t allow this. On top of that, you can pay for an Uber or Lyft ride by adding the card details to the Uber or Lyft app. 

ATM limits

You are allowed to withdraw from an ATM max of $100 per card per day with a limit of $500 per month per family.

Greenlight card designs

You can choose a photo of your children on their card, a drawing, or a standard green-colored card.

However, there is a list of images that cannot be used on a Greenlight custom card:

  • Photos of other people, including celebrities or cartoon characters
  • Branded images like logos
  • Personal information like a telephone number or a website address
  • Sensitive images like weapons, violence, alcohol, marijuana, religious symbols, and similar

Greenlight Gift card

This is a card for sending a kid gift funds for birthdays, holidays, and other occasions. The recipient will get a gift code that will allow getting this money into the account directly. You can choose how a kid will be able to use the money: spend anywhere or put off the Greenlight Savings. Greenlight Gift can be any amount from $5 up to $100 with an additional fee of $1.99 added.

To get such money, a recipient needs to be a current Greenlight user who will get the funds to their card. Meanwhile, anyone can send the money to such a card; there is no need for the sender to have a Greenlight account.

Customer service

You can contact customer service via support@greenlight.com or call them at 1-888-483-2645. However, it doesn’t seem to be very helpful and many clients say they have bad English. 

Greenlight Pricing

The company has three pricing plans. All three options include debit cards for up to 5 children and an educational app. All plans offer core tools for saving, spending, and earning as well as giving parental controls.

  1. Greenlight, $4.99/month: Includes basic features listed above; kids earn 1% on savings.
  2. Greenlight + Invest, $7.98/month: Basic features; kids learn to invest; kids earn 1% on savings.
  3. Greenlight Max, $9.98/month. Basic features; kids learn to invest; kids earn 2% on savings and 1% cash back on purchases; identity theft protection and cell phone protection.
  • In case you need to replace your card, you’ll need to pay $3.50.
  • A custom card with your own design would cost $9.99.
  • You can additionally buy a Greenlight Gift card for a sum of $5 to $100; the flat service fee is $1.99.

Greenlight Card Reviews

With over 3600 customer reviews, the company has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 on Trustpilot. The majority of Greenlight reviews are positive as the card with an app is really helpful for both parents and kids to manage their money. However, there are numerous complaints about the customer service of the company which is not helpful and often is not reachable.

“Teaching my granddaughter to be responsible with money and easy way to give her birthday and rewards for grades. Learning to save for something she wants.”

“Awesome way to teach children about working for their earnings, as well as, savings and investments!”

“My son saved and spent over $200 in school clothes back in July. He did not receive some of his items. After contacting the vendor and getting no response, I called Greenlight. The customer service did not meet our satisfaction, the CSR was not able to help with the problem.”

“I’ve been using Greenlight for my 14-year-old for a few months now, and it’s been very helpful. The chore schedules are simple to use and understand, and my son can use his debit card for purchases, save and make his own financial decisions. The chores occasionally need to be refreshed, which isn’t hard, but it’s a tad bit annoying occasionally. I’m sure it’s a software glitch that’ll get worked out.”

“So many good things, need serious work on chores. Despite all the great features and usability, the fact that weekly chores are so manual, we are considering dropping the whole app.”

“Far too expensive. $60+/year for them to keep our cash for free and get all the interchange fees from the transactions the kids run. No statements. No notifications when they charge a fee.”

“Delay in Funds has been an issue for me. It takes up to 5 days for funds to be transferred from my bank account to the Greenlight account. This has caused some issues when my child needed money for a school event and the money had not crossed over yet. With my child’s busy schedule and my busy schedule, this has made the process quite difficult.”

“I like green light and I have it for my 3 grandchildren. I can give them allowances each week and see how they are spending money. I also invest in stock for them. I just don’t like how if I sell stock I don’t have access to the money to withdraw if needed

Greenlight Card Alternatives

Bottom Line
BusyKid
BusyKid
Main Greenlight alternative
$3.99/mo
Go to the website
Bottom Line
It’s one is one of the main alternatives to Greenlight as they have almost the same features like allowance tracker, customizable chores, allowance payout, and more. Greenlight is a bit more pricey option.
Gohenry
Gohenry
One more Greenlight alternative
$3.99/month per kid
Go to the website
Bottom Line
The two options have similar core features typical for prepaid cards for kids. However, Greenlight has more advanced features like investing or cashback and Greenlight is a more affordable option if you have two and more kids.

FAQ

How much is Greenlight per month?

The price is from $4.99 to $9.98 per month.

Is Greenlight a prepaid card?

Yes, you need to pay before getting the card and you can use it only if there are funds on the card.

What bank owns Greenlight?

Greenlight partners with Community Federal Savings Bank.

Is Greenlight card worth it?

Yes, the card is one of the best options on the market that allows kids cashless payments and teaches children and teens financial literacy.

Is Greenlight safe?

Greenlight blocks ‘unsafe’ spending categories and provide additional layers of protection to our families in the form of the face or fingerprint recognition.

Is there a minimum age to use Greenlight?

No, there is no age limit but the average age is 9 to 14 years old.

How to cancel Greenlight card?

To do this, fill out their cancellation request form here and or do this by phone.

How to get a Green Light card?

Sign up online, fill in your personal information, and wait for verification.

How to add money to your Greenlight card?

It can be done by connecting your bank account or debit card to the Greenlight app. 

Can you transfer money from your Greenlight card to a bank account?

Money can be transferred from the kid’s account back to the parent’s wallet and then, funds can be transferred to the parent’s bank account.

Can you use a Greenlight card at an ATM?

Yes, your kid can withdraw money at an ATM.

How to activate Greenlight Card?

Open the card management page by clicking on the debit card icon next to “Manage Card” and selecting “Activate a new card.” 

Does Venmo work with Greenlight?

No, you cannot directly send the money from your Venmo account to your Greenlight card. But you can do this through your bank account.

Why is my Greenlight card not working?

It can be because you have a Spend Control set for that particular store or category.

Are Greenlight reviews good?

Yes, the majority of customer reviews on Trustpilot and other similar websites are positive or neutral ones. Parents and grandparents emphasize that the card has a lot of useful features and their kids enjoy it.

What are the main Greenlight alternatives?

Among the main alternatives are BusyKid and Gohenry which offer very similar core features. However, Greenlight has more benefits and more advanced functionality when comparing the cards.

Is Greenlight card worth it?

Yes, the card is a good option for kids to learn how to spend money and invest. It’s a good option for parents to teach their children personal finance while controlling their spending.

We hope our Greenlight review was useful!

Disclosure: Self-Starters team has not received any compensation from Greenlight or anyone else associated with the company for this review. However, this review contains affiliate links, which means that, if you click & purchase from these links then, we will receive a small commission. This commission helps us to maintain this website. But you don’t pay anything extra.

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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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