The Greenlight debit card for kids investing can be an excellent tool to help teach kids financial responsibility and literacy. Parents teaching their kids money responsibility is on the rise, and with this new, almost cashless society, setting your kids up on the right path can pay dividends.
But committing to just one program, one app, or card can prove to be impossible. Especially if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be looking for. So today, we’re breaking down everything about debit cards for kids, including uses, types, and benefits.
What Is a Debit Card for Kids?
Before we can go into all the ins and outs of a Greenlight debit card for kids investing, we need to answer a question. What is a debit card for kids and how is it different from a card for adults?
In theory, a debit card for kids works just like any other debit card, but they are made specifically with children in mind. Typically, parents can choose to link the card to a bank account or have a prepaid card. No matter the type, the cards can be used both online and in stores.
Some of the features you should be looking for are:
- Low fees
- Spending limit
If you want to learn more about debit cards for kids, check out our extensive guide on the topic.
How to Choose a Debit Card for Kids
Which debit card you end up choosing will depend on your kids’ age, needs, and sense of financial responsibility. Prepaid cards are usually a better choice for younger children, who are still just learning about finance and investing. They give parents much better oversight and a sense of control.
On the other hand, once your kids start wanting more financial independence, it might be best to switch to a card attached to a bank account. The ideal age is somewhere after 12 when your kids start becoming teenagers.
Greenlight is an Atlanta-based fintech company founded in 2014. Its mission is to help parents raise financially smart kids, and the app reflects that. It was created with the whole family in mind, and geared toward children who are ready to start learning about money.
The Greenlight debit card for kids investing bears the Mastercard logo, which means that it can be used anywhere Mastercard can. For an additional charge of $9.99, Greenlight allows card customization.
How Greenlight Works
Within the Greenlight platform, there are three different plans kids can choose from, and we will break them down in a second. But the important thing to know here is that, with the basic plan, you can get access to the debit card.
The app offers cards for up to five children per account, and parents can load the money onto it. What’s more, they can send money to the account manually or create recurring transfers for allowance, for example.
Other functions of the Greenlight debit card for kids investing include:
- Set limits on purchases and ATM withdrawals
- Tracking purchases and spending
- Establishing direct deposits
- Monitoring balances
- Adding conditions like chores to receive transfers
Just like their parents, kids get access to the Greenlight app through a dashboard, but they have a different set of controls. They can see their transaction history, check their balance, and get access to core tools to help them learn more about saving and spending.
The app gives kids a 1% savings reward to encourage them to learn about the value of compounding interest and setting goals. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures all of the balance on the debit card for up to a quarter of a million.
As we mentioned earlier, the Greenlight debit card for kids investing can be used pretty much anywhere Mastercard is accepted. However, the company will block certain transactions for specific vendors. For example, things children can’t use their cards on are:
- Online casinos
- Non-sport internet gaming
- Cash back at the point of sale
- Wire or money orders
- Security brokers or deals
- Massage parlors
- Dating/escort services
With the Greenlight app, parents get to choose from three different types of plans. It’s important to cover them all so you can make an informed decision.
The Greenlight Core costs $4.99 and includes a debit card for kids and a credit card for parents. There are the core financial tools, parental controls, and Investing for Parents Lite. Kids can receive 1% on savings.
Greenlight Max has all of the features of the Core but comes with 2% Savings for $9.98 per month. There’s also 1% cash-back, priority customer support, and the Greenlight Back Cards. For this plan, parents and kids also receive a purchase, identity theft, and cell phone protection.
Finally, there’s the most expensive plan, which is Greenlight Infinity, and it comes out to $14.98/mo. There is also a 5% savings with this plan. Of course, you’ll see all of the features from Core and Max, but there’s also:
- Crash detection
- Family location sharing
- SOS alerts
SOS alerts send an alert to all emergency contacts or 911 with a single swipe, while crash detection will automatically dispatch help in case of a collision.
We’ll leave the decision of whether these three features are worth the additional five dollars per month up to you.
Greenlight Debit Card for Kids Investing: How to Get It
The first step toward getting a Greenlight card is to visit the website and enter your phone number. Then, the app will send a confirmation code, which you need to enter into the website.
Once you’ve done that, you can register your family account by providing the app with some information. Greenlight requires your name and the names of the kids that the Debit cards are for. You also need to enter a mailing address, email address, date of birth, and social security number.
When you’ve set up the account, you need to link an existing bank account to the card. You can choose whether you want to enter routing numbers or the numbers of your current debit card.
With Greenlight, you’ll get one month free to test out the app and see whether it works for you. If you want to continue using it, you’ll have to choose a plan and start paying monthly fees.
There is a way to waive the monthly fee, and it’s if you have a Morgan Stanley CashPlus brokerage account. But you have to link it as your funding source.
Greenlight Card Products
Greenlight uses a permission-based spending rules system, in which parents can create rules for specific spending categories and stores. Essentially, that means that the prepaid card allows the parents to choose every store where it can be used. They can also receive alerts if their kids try spending their money where they shouldn’t.
Parent Paid Interest
The Parent Paid Interest feature is an annual percentage rate that parents can set for their kids’ General Savings. The account earns interest on the first of every month, and the rate can be anywhere between 1% to 100%.
With the Greenlight app, you will have the tools to administer and oversee a chore plan. It offers routine tasks, which you can, but don’t have to, pay your kids for. You can set the chores to repeat weekly, create one-time tasks, and manage and track the entire schedule.
Potentially one of the more popular features of the Greenlight is instant money transfers. Parents can take cash out from their Parent’s Wallets and it will immediately show up. Also, in some cases, Greenlight might provide instant funding to expedite the transfer.
Most parents use the instant transfer app as a way to pay for weekly chores. This feature eliminates any need to make a trip to the bank and it helps give parents oversight of how much they’re giving.
Greenlight Debit Card for Kids Investing Alternatives
If the Greenlight debit card for kids investing and its app just aren’t for you or you don’t like the pricing plans, try BusyKid!
The BusyKid Visa Spend debit card is secure, easy to use, and helps teach money management. There are more than 10 designs to choose from, and it’s backed by the Visa Zero liability policy. If your kids misplace it, it can be temporarily locked, but if they lose it, with a press of a button, it’s stopped and we begin the replacement process.
For only $3.99 or with a 20% discount if you buy annually, you can give kids an allowance, which they can spend on their debit cards. It’s the perfect way for children to have real-life experiences and practice responsible money spending.
You can get the BusyKid app on Google Play or the Apple Store, and for your sense of security, if you’re not happy with the app in the first 30 days, we will refund your subscription. The setup takes only a few moments but your bright financial future starts now!