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Greenlight card review: Teach your kids good money habits

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Greenlight is a fintech company founded in 2014, that offers the Greenlight Card for kids and parents. The purpose of the Greenlight card is to give kids crucial money lessons while offering parents the tools needed to manage their kids’ money.

Today's generation of children are tech-savvy, growing up surrounded by the ever-present Internet and mobile devices. But when it comes to good money habits, children are likely to be uneducated. A recent study showed that only 23% of youth discuss money frequently with their parents.

The best way to teach is through experience. The Greenlight Card allows children to learn about managing money, spending money, budgeting, and investing in real-time.

Greenlight Card Review

Greenlight's comprehensive money-management platform is built for families. Greenlight's debit card teaches kids the value of earning, saving, and investing money.

With the Greenlight card, parents are able to control where their kids can spend money, set spending limits for specific online and in-person stores, plus determine how much “fun money” can be spent each month.

When children receive their allowance or a deposit on their Greenlight debit card, they can divvy up their money between savings, spending, giving or investing categories.

The Greenlight card must be funded with a parent account unless the kid is old enough to have a job in which case they can fund their card via paycheck direct deposit.

How the Greenlight debit card works

Greenlight cards act as bank accounts for children. Parents sign-up for their children and are issued a PIN-enabled debit card. The Greenlight debit card lets children make purchases but restricts ATM usage.
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  • Parents sign-up on the Greenlight card website or app with basic information.
  • Greenlight plans start at $4.99 per month and include debit cards for up to five (5) kids.
  • Add money to the account using a bank account or debit card.
  • Parents decide how much and where their kids may spend money.
  • Greenlight accounts are FDIC-insured through Community Federal Savings Bank.

Greenlight offers three debit card plans

Greenlight debit card has three options that include debit cards for up to five kids:

Greenlight – $4.99

  • Debit cards for up to five kids.
  • Category and store-level parental controls.
  • Educational app.
  • Tools for saving, spending, earning and giving.
  • No minimum age. No minimum balance.
  • No transaction, international or overdraft fees.

Greenlight + Invest – $7.98

  • Investing platform for your kid
  • Debit cards for up to five kids.
  • Category and store-level parental controls.
  • Educational app.
  • Tools for saving, spending, earning and giving.
  • No minimum age. No minimum balance.
  • No transaction, international or overdraft fees.

Greenlight Max – $9.98

  • Greenlight Black Card
  • Priority customer service
  • Identity theft protection
  • Cell phone protection for up to five kids
  • Purchase protection for Greenlight purchases that are stolen or damaged
  • Debit cards for up to five kids.
  • Investing platform for your kid
  • Category and store-level parental controls.
  • Educational app.
  • Tools for saving, spending, earning and giving.
  • No minimum age. No minimum balance.
  • No transaction, international or overdraft fees.

Greenlight debit card features

Greenlight app makes parental controls very easy to use and offers flexible parental controls most banks don't offer with checking accounts for teens or debit cards for kids.

Parents are in control. Parents decide which stores or type of stores their kids can shop and the amount of money that can be spent. Parents can turn the card off via the app, if needed. Parents can view the child’s spend history through the app.

Chore management. Create in-app chore lists and tie the work to perks. Automate allowance payments.

Alerts and notifications. Parents can receive alerts when purchases are made or declined. If balances get low and your child is out shopping, they can send you a request to add funds in real-time.

Investment platform. Families on the Greenlight Max or Greenlight + Invest plans can research, buy and monitor real stocks and funds. Kids can learn about investing while parents approve every trade on Greenlight's investment app.

Easy transfers. Add money to your account via direct deposit, a debit card, ACH, or Apple Pay. There is a minimum $20 requirement per transfer of funds for ACH transfers. For ACH, you must deposit at least $20.00 for the initial transaction and $1.00 after that. For a direct deposit, the minimum contribution is $1.00.

And for your debit card, every time you transfer funds there is a minimum requirement of $20.00 per transfer of funds.

Kids can learn the power of compound interest. Set and pay interest on your kids’ Save accounts. Parents can add an interest rate and it will be automatically deducted from your Greenlight Wallet every month.

Kids will learn early about the power of compound interest. Compound interest is truly a wonder. The earlier kids understand how interest can be earned on the money you save but also on the interest you've earned on your interest, the brighter their financial future.

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