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Greenlight vs. FamZoo (What’s the Best Debit Card for Kids & Teens?)

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An easy-to-read breakdown of Greenlight vs. FamZoo, so that you can choose the best prepaid debit card for your kids and teens.

There are lots of reasons why you might want your child or teen to have a debit card to use.

teen using prepaid debit card to pay at gas pump, text overlay "what's the best debit card for your teen? Greenlight vs. FamZoo prepaid debit cards"

Things like:

  • Convenience Reasons: Instead of going to an ATM every time you owe your child their allowance or chore commissions, you can simply use a prepaid debit card to move money to them.
  • Educational Reasons: Let’s face it – our world has turned into much more of a plastic one than a cash one. Your child can always choose to use cash (and I recommend they at least start with a cash system to understand their spending and money, in general); however, to give them no education at all using a plastic card is not recommended, either.
  • Spending Controls: With cash, your kids and teens can spend more freely. With a prepaid debit card, you’re more in control of their spending (as well as can see what they’ve spent money on, after the fact).
  • Safety Reasons: For example, teen drivers can pay for their gas at the pump with a debit card, instead of going into a convenience store to pay with cash.
  • Travel Reasons: Maybe your child or teen is going on an overnight school trip.
  • Etc.

That’s why I’m taking the time to highlight Greenlight vs. FamZoo prepaid debit cards and apps, so that you can clearly choose the best debit card for kids and teens in your family.

Best Debit Card for Kids – a Prepaid One

What is the best prepaid debit card for a teenager?

If you’re looking for a debt card for your kids and teens, then a prepaid debit card is likely your best option.

That’s because actual debit cards can incur overdraft fees, as well as can give your child access to whatever funds are in your checking account (depending on whose checking account the debit card is attached to).

A prepaid debit card looks like a debit or credit card, but must be pre-loaded with money to spend. They have some of the benefits of a debit card, such as allowing someone to make an online purchase, but they have stricter spending controls. You cannot over withdraw with one.

Even better? Is a prepaid debit card attached to an app that gives spending control to parents and money management options to kids.

Both Greenlight and FamZoo are prepaid debit cards with apps, and we’ll go over the big differences, subtle differences, and likenesses between the two.

Greenlight Vs. FamZoo Prepaid Debit Cards

Both Greenlight and FamZoo are prepaid debit cards.

Here's what else is the same about them:

  • Both allow parents to lock and unlock the card
  • Both allow parents to incentivize their kids to save more money by paying an interest rate they choose
  • Both allow kids to divide up their money into digital envelopes for spending, saving, and charity
  • Both also allow kids to request money from their parents, with parents having the ability to approve or deny the request
  • Both work with Apple Pay and Google Pay (FamZoo also works with Samsung Pay)
  • Both alert parents of spending activity in real time
  • Both allow you settings to set-and-forget allowances (if you'd like)
  • Both allow kids to set savings goals and track progress towards them
  • Both offer a free trial (Greenlight, FamZoo)

Here's a quick table to help you see the differences between these two products:

DetailsFamZooGreenlight
Suggested AgeAll ages8-18 years (but no minimum age requirement)
ProductYou get an award-winning family finance app, plus:
– A Prepaid Debit Card Account, OR
– An IOU Account without a card
Prepaid Debit Card with an Educational App

Greenlight + Invest comes with the prepaid debit card and educational app, plus an investing platform for kids to use
SecurityUsers push funds onto a FamZoo card, so the app never knows the user's main bank checking account info.Greenlight allows parents to pull funds from their main checking account and asks parents for the sign-in and/or routing/account info of that checking account to do so.
Functionality– Kids can work through chore checklists (tied with rewards and penalties)
– Offers loan tracking with parent-chosen interest rate (if kids borrow money from you)
– Kids can set budgets and track their spending
– Comes with a calculator for parents to use when figuring out allowance to pay
– Kids can use Save the Change Roundup
– Kids can use the Greenlight + Invest app to research stocks, invest an amount of their choice and track progress over time (parents must approve buys)
– Card customization available

Parental Spending Controls & Oversight– Parents can charge kids a penalty for not doing chores
– Kids can pay parents through the app for money responsibilities
Category and store level limits and controls – parents can block transactions from specific retailers
Price$5.99/month (option to pay in advance to save money)$4.99 – $9.98/month
ReloadParents can reload by direct deposit, bank transfer, MasterCard rePower, PayPal, PopMoney, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung PayParents can reload by direct deposit, debit card transfer, bank transfer, Apple Pay and Google Pay

The biggest differences between Greenlight and Famzoo are that Greenlight connects directly to the parents’ bank account, meaning you provide your checking sign-in information to the app, and they also allow parents to block spending at specific retailers before the spending happens. With Famzoo’s app, parents push funds onto a FamZoo card, meaning the app never knows your main checking account info. They allow you to block spending at certain retailers after a purchase has already occurred, so for future spending. Also, you can choose either an IOU or a Prepaid Card Account with Famzoo (with Greenlight, it’s a prepaid card option only).

Greenlight Vs. Famzoo – Comparing Costs

Let’s discuss the cost difference between these two apps.

How Much Does FamZoo Cost?

FamZoo costs $5.99/month.

There are also options to pay in advance, and if you pay up to 24 months in advance $59.99), then you pay just $2.50/month (an $83.77 savings).

Other fee information:

  • Additional Card Fee: You get 4 cards with the plan, and each additional card is $3.00.
  • Card Replacement Fee: You'll be happy to know that you get two card replacements completely free! Each next replacement costs an additional $3.00.
  • ATM Fee: FamZoo does not charge a fee to use an ATM. However, the ATM you use might charge you a fee.

Your subscription fee includes your whole family, and it's the same whether you choose the IOU Account, or the Prepaid Card Account.

How much is Greenlight a month?

Greenlight costs $4.99/month for up to a family of 5. You can also choose Greenlight + Invest for $7.98/month, or Greenlight Max for $9.98/month.

Other fee information:

  • Additional Card Fee: The first replacement is free, and then each additional one is $3.50.

Greenlight vs. FamZoo prepaid debit card…in the end, the winning card + app is the one that works best for you and your family. If you want the functionality of an award-winning family finance app but without a prepaid debit card, then a FamZoo IOU Account is your best bet. Are you looking for your kids to start investing? Then you might want a Greenlight + Invest account. The choice is yours – it's just always nice to know your options!

Pssst: still didn't find what you're looking for? Check out my article on the best allowance apps.

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2017 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Amanda's kid money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money, CA.gov, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Read more here.

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