Teaching kids and teens about money can sometimes feel like a catch twenty-two.
You want them to learn the value of money and how to manage it, but you don’t want them to be burdened by the responsibility or make costly mistakes—it’s a tricky balance to strike.
Greenlight is a debit card designed to help parents strike that balance. Greenlight offers a variety of features and tools to help parents manage their child’s money, while also teaching them financial responsibility.
But does it really work in practice? We’re going to be answering that very question in this in-depth Greenlight review.
What Is Greenlight?
As I already mentioned, Greenlight is a debit card designed specifically for kids and teens.
It allows parents to set spending limits, monitor their child’s spending habits, and teach financial literacy and responsibility. Greenlight offers a number of features and benefits that make it an attractive option for parents, including 1%-5% interest on savings, the ability to set allowances, real-time spending tracking, and the ability to block certain types of transactions.
The Greenlight Card itself is a physical debit card that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Greenlight Key Features
1. Comprehensive Monitoring
Greenlight leverages AI to provide an in-depth perspective on how parents’ kids are spending money.
With powerful insights such as location tracking, sophisticated merchant categories, and more, parents have the most informative view of their child’s spending habits available—enabling them to stay relaxed, knowing they have real-time visibility into their little one’s lifestyle.
2. Flexible Spending & Withdrawal Rules
Greenlight provides parents with a heightened level of control over their children’s finances.
With Greenlight, you can customize your own set of rules for each debit cardholder. Whether it is limiting the types of ecommerce transactions or setting daily, weekly or even monthly spending and withdrawal limits, trusted adults are now able to easily manage their children’s funds however they see fit.
And on the subject of limits, it’s worth mentioning that Greenlight debit cards can never be used for:
- Wires & money orders
- Security brokers & deals
- Dating services
- Lotteries & gambling
- Cash back
These built-in protections should put parents at ease, knowing Greenlight debit cards will never be used for anything inappropriate.
3. Easy Allowances & Transfers
Greenlight makes it easy to set up and manage allowances for children—you can even set up a direct deposit if you don’t want to do it manually.
This feature is great for teaching kids the value of money over time, rather than handing them large sums all at once. Plus, Greenlight allows you to make allowance payments conditional based on completing chores or doing homework.
And if you’re looking to transfer money into your child’s account beyond their usual allowance, all it takes is a few clicks or taps.
4. Education Resources
One of Greenlight’s main goals is educating kids about money.
Greenlight provides various educational resources that parents can use to teach children financial literacy and responsibility, such as videos, articles, and quizzes.
Now, these resources aren’t going to turn your child into a financial genius overnight, but they do provide valuable information about money management that can be easily shared and discussed.
5. Investing Platform
In addition to Greenlight’s other features, Greenlight also has an investing platform that allows kids to learn about investing, research markets, and even buy and sell shares in stocks and ETFs (with parental approval).
It’s a great way for kids to learn the basics of investing, without the risk of unsupervised trades and massive losses. Plus, with a Greenlight Max or Infinity account (more on those in the next section), parents can invest, too!
How Much Does Greenlight Cost?
Greenlight offers a range of pricing plans and services, depending on your needs.
There are three plans in total—Core ($4.99/mo) Max ($9.98/mo), and Infinity ($14.98/mo). Each plan comes with different features and benefits, so it’s worth researching before choosing the one you want to go with.
Here’s a plan comparison table to make things easier:
|Feature||Greenlight Core||Greenlight Max||Greenlight Infinity|
|Debit Cards (up to 5)||✅||✅||✅|
|Core Financial Tools||✅||✅||✅|
|Credit for Parents||✅||✅||✅|
|Investing for Parents||Lite||✅||✅|
|Investing for Kids||✅||✅|
|1% Cash Back||✅||✅|
|Greenlight Black Card||✅||✅|
|Priority Customer Support||✅||✅|
How Do You Set Up a Greenlight Account?
Setting up Greenlight is a simple process that can be done in minutes.
To get started, you first need to download the Greenlight app from the App Store or Google Play and create an account using your email address.
Once your Greenlight account is set up, you’ll need to link your Greenlight debit card with your Greenlight account. Greenlight will provide you with an activation code that you’ll need to enter into the Greenlight app.
Once your Greenlight debit card is verified and linked to your Greenlight account, you’re ready to start setting up spending rules, allowances, and more!
Greenlight Pros & Cons
- Simple allowance management tools
- Comprehensive spending management tools
- Comprehensive educational resources
- Capable investing platform
- No free plan and expensive advanced plans
- Slow customer service
The Verdict: Is Greenlight the Right Choice for Your Child?
Greenlight is a great option for parents who want to help their children learn about money management and financial literacy.
With Greenlight’s extensive features and tools, it’s easy to set spending limits, track purchases, block certain types of transactions, and even invest in stocks and ETFs. Plus, Greenlight also provides educational resources to help teach kids the basics of managing their money responsibly.
However, Greenlight does have some drawbacks—most notably its lack of a free plan and its slow customer service support. So make sure you weigh your options before committing to Greenlight for your child.
All in all, Greenlight is a solid pick for parents looking for an effective way to manage their child’s money.
Also, check out Chase First Checking and GoHenry. Or check out our detailed comparison between GoHenry and Greenlight.