I Love {Greenlight Card for Kids}

We got the Greenlight Card for John last year on his 14th birthday. We did a fair amount of research before deciding on this one and, almost a year into using it, are so happy with it!

He has a set monthly allowance. When he earns or is given money outside of that, he gives it to me and I then send it to his card via the app. It has worked flawlessly for all of us!

There is a fee of $4.99 per month, and that includes debit cards for up to five kids. I looked at options without a fee, but decided all of the benefits of this card were worth it for us. When I add Whit down the road the fee will stay the same. There is no minimum age and no minimum balance for the card, Whit just doesn’t go places without us where he needs money.

Here are a few highlights of features we value:

  • Money transfers immediately from bank > our parent account > John’s card
  • We get an alert any time the card is used, including when it’s declined for any reason. We always know when, where and how much money he is spending.
  • If the card is lost or stolen, we can immediately disable it in the Greenlight app. (We can also switch it back on if it turns up.)
  • The parent gets to decide whether the card can be used at ATMs and how much cash can be taken out.
  • Similarly, parents can select each store where kids are allowed to spend. If they try to spend where they shouldn’t, you are alerted immediately.
  • The card can be set up on Apple Pay.
  • John now keeps track of his own money and budgets for the month.
  • When I drop John off say for a haircut, I transfer the money he will need to his card. He can go in, check himself in, describe what he wants, pay and tip all while I sit in the car. The same is true if he runs in to pick something up like a gallon of milk in the grocery store. I never thought I’d value such a thing until covid. :-)

There are loads of other features we haven’t had the opportunity to even use!

  • In app chore lists
  • Kids can have spend, save and give accounts within the app. They can even set up an automatic transfer between these accounts.
  • Kids can set personal savings goals and round up purchases to the next dollar, automatically adding the change to their savings.
  • Teens with jobs can set up direct deposit and have their paychecks sent straight to their Greenlight account.

I did not set out to share this to earn referral credit BUT when I was going through the app to write this post, I noticed a referral bonus. If you sign up using this link, we both get $10! Why not?!


It feels like yesterday the kid got his debit card and in a few weeks he’ll be trying for his learner’s permit. Time, please slow down!

If you have questions, feel free to ask!

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7 thoughts on “I Love {Greenlight Card for Kids}

  1. I set up something similar for my oldest when she was 15 and traveling on mission trips. I felt safer knowing I could add money should something arise, could track where she wsa spending her $$ and get alerts if needed.

    She’s married with children now and still says that was one of the best parenting things we did. She felt empowered and learned how to handle a “credit” card (not really credit…but a plastic card that seemingly had an endless supply of money until it didnt!)…..Happy to see another program that has so many great features for young teens.

  2. Great idea, thanks for sharing. Our kids are a little older but two things that we did to help with them making purchases – 1) Discover Card offers additional cards at no charge and 2) both kids have the Target card app on their phones with our family log in info. This saves at least the 5% on their purchases and for a daughter away at college it also helps with her expenses.

    I love reading what you’re up to and trying your Sunday Supper ideas from up here in chilly Minnesota!

  3. We opened a youth account with Wells Fargo for our teen and there is a debit card attached to the account with all the similar benefits you mentioned but no monthly fee. I think we have to keep a minimum of $25 in the account to keep it open and I can monitor my son’s spending and transfer money easily within the app from multiple accounts. Do you use any of the features you mentioned enough to justify $60/year? Just wondering how this is unique. Thank you.

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