An easy-to-read breakdown of Greenlight vs. gohenry, so that you can choose the best prepaid debit card for your kids and teens.
Greenlight vs. gohenry…which prepaid debit card is best for teens?
I remember the first time my parents gave me a debit card. I was in my teens, and had my driver’s license.
At first, they let me borrow their card as an authorized user so that I could buy things from the grocery store and run other small errands for the family. Then, they let me keep it in my wallet, in case I needed it while I was out.
It felt like such trust and responsibility they were giving me!
You may be looking for the best debit card for kids for your own reasons, such as:
- Safety Reasons: Giving a teen the ability to pay at the pump for gas instead of inside the convenience store.
- Travel Reasons: So that your teen has backup spending options when they’re away on a trip.
- Convenience Reasons: To make your allowance or chore system more convenient, saving you from having to hit up the ATM.
- Educational Reasons: To give your teen an education in plastic while they’re still young, since they’ll be dealing with debit and credit cards in their adult lives.
- Spending Controls: To give you, the parent, spending controls that you otherwise wouldn’t have if your child was spending cash.
What is the Best Prepaid Debit Card for a Teenager? A Prepaid One
A prepaid debit card can function like a debit card in most ways, but doesn’t give your child endless access to your checking account or the ability to rack up overdraft fees.
That’s why it’s a great option for kids and teens who are still learning about money.
A prepaid debit card:
- Looks like a debit or credit card, but that only has funds available to spend that someone physically loads onto it.
- Allows someone to make an online purchase, but they have stricter spending controls.
- Does not allow over withdrawal fees (though they do come with other fees).
- Can be attached to an app with spending controls for parents, and money management options for teens.
Greenlight Vs. gohenry Prepaid Debit Cards
Both Greenlight and gohenry are prepaid debit cards. The main difference between the two is that Greenlight is more robust with features, and will cost less for families with more than one child.
Have just one child? Then gohenry will be cheaper for you.
Let’s go over the similarities between the two before we dive into the differences.
What You Get with Either gohenry or Greenlight:
- Both alert parents of spending activity in real time
- Both offer a free trial (Greenlight, gohenry)
- Both have varying degrees of parental spending controls
- Both allow you settings to set-and-forget allowances (if you'd like)
- Both allow you to pay per tasks (if you’d like)
- Both partner with Boys and Girls Clubs of America so that kids can donate directly to them from their “give” category
- Both offer your kids the chance to set and track progress towards savings goals
Here's a quick table to highlight the main differences between gohenry and Greenlight:
|Suggested Age and Country||Age range = 8-18 years, U.S. only||Age range = 6-18 years, U.S. and U.K.|
|Monthly Fee||$4.99 – $9.98/month (up to 5 kids)|
No ATM fee
|$3.99/child per month|
$1.50 ATM fee
|Spending Limits||Store-level spending limits available, plus the ability to lock and unlock all spending||You can lock and unlock spending, or cut off spending for each of these: online, in-store, ATMs. |
You can set up weekly spending limits, single spend limits, and ATM spending limits.
|Product Features||Save the change roundup capability|
Incentivize your child to save more by paying them an interest rate on money saved
Kids can invest with trade approval from parents for an extra monthly fee
Friends or family can send a Greenlight Gift money to a child's account
Anyone can gift your child money through Greenlight Gift
|Parents can reward kids for saving regularly through the task feature (set up a task such as ‘save $5 a month’, and set the amount they’d like to reward as a one-off or weekly payment)|
Parents can invite relatives and friends to contribute to their child’s earnings via giftlinks with a personal note, too; kids can send a personal thank you note back
|Custom Cards||Cost $9.99 each||Cost $4.99 each|
|Direct Deposit of Teen Paychecks||When your teen starts earning paychecks, they can direct deposit them to their Greenlight account||**Feature being released soon: Teens (13+) will have a routing number and account number so wages can be paid into their account|
|Cash Back on Purchases||Earn 1% cash back on purchases with the prepaid debit card (Greenlight Max plan only)||None|
|Savings Reward Paid by App||Earn 1% savings reward with linked bank account, and 2% with the Greenlight Max plan||None|
|Apple and Google Pay Available||Kids that meet minimum age requirements can use Apple Pay or Google Pay for a payment method||Not available|
How to Choose the Right Prepaid Debit Card for Your Family
There are some real differences between these two in terms of price and features that should help you decide which prepaid debit card and app is best for your family.
For example, if you want your teen to be able to direct deposit their paycheck straight to their allowance/chore app, then Greenlight is the way to go (it should be noted that this feature is coming out soon with gohenry). Greenlight also offers more specific spending controls, in case that's important to you.
But if you live in the UK? You'll definitely need gohenry because Greenlight is not offered there. Not only that, but their custom cards are half the price.
Note: In order to use the Greenlight card internationally, the Greenlight account needs to be associated with a US phone number and can only be funded through a US bank account.
What might make the biggest difference is the cost you're willing to pay and the size of your family. For example, if you have 3 kids, the gohenry app is $3.99 per child per month (so a total of $11.97/month), whereas you can use Greenlight's app for $4.99/month with up to 5 kids (each with their own debit card).
In summary, both apps can work for your family, and your kids are bound to learn some good money lessons from either of these.
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