Greenlight Debit Card Review

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 25, 2021
Greenlight
Overall Rating:
securely through Greenlight's website

Greenlight, a company on a mission to illuminate the world of money for kids and parents, offers a debit card for kids of all ages. The Greenlight card and its app were designed for families. Kids apply real-life lessons in earning, spending, saving, giving and investing; parents get the tools they need to manage their children’s money. 

Schools don’t always teach finance, so kids can grow up without the knowledge they need to make the kinds of financial decisions that impact their well-being as adults. The Greenlight debit card lets kids learn by doing so that they develop crucial financial literacy skills.

Best For
  • Parents who value family financial literacy
  • Kids with siblings
  • Families on the go
Pros
  • Fun and practical money management
  • Sustainable lessons in financial literacy
  • Parental control merged with child autonomy
  • Access for kids without personal mobile devices
Cons
  • No free option
  • Monthly charge of $4.99

Greenlight Ratings at a Glance

Debit Card Customer Service
Debit Card Pricing
Debit Card Mobile App
Debit Card User Benefits
Debit User Experience
Debit Card Overall

How Does the Greenlight Debit Card Work?

To get a Greenlight debit card, you access the site on a computer or the app, having ready the standard details for any financial account signup. Type in your legal first and last name, email address, mobile phone number, child’s name(s), mailing address, date of birth and Social Security number (required by the U.S. Patriot Act). The process takes very little time, even if you are doing it with your most precise, continually questioning offspring peering over your shoulder.

Greenlight mails the physical card, but while it is on its way, your kids can access their card details in the Greenlight app — letting them start spending before their card arrives in the mail. Your kids can add their Greenlight card details to Apple Pay or Google Pay to tap and pay in an instant. 

The Greenlight app lets you manage chores and allowances, set parent-paid interest rates on savings and choose the stores where your children can spend. Kids monitor their spending, watch their savings grow and learn to make real-world trade-off decisions. 

Additionally, Greenlight is always improving. They are expanding their product offerings to include:

  • A credit card for parents
  • 3% cash back on all purchases
  • The Greenlight Infinity tier
  • Enhanced safety features like location sharing, crash detection, SOS support and phone protection

Greenlight Debit Card Customer Service

It’s easy to get help when you have a question about Greenlight in general or your account in particular. It offers all the traditional methods to get in touch. To reach customer support, email support@greenlightcard.com or call 888-483-2645. Greenlight holds true to its commitment to educating with its comprehensive FAQ section. 

Most people like to connect with the companies they love and trust on social media apps. Greenlight produces kid-centered videos and posts on Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), YouTube, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and Instagram. As of August 2021, Greenlight hasn’t offered a TikTok connection, which is the only reason Greenlight lacks a 5-star rating. Once it adopts TikTok, Greenlight’s customer service will be perfect.

Greenlight Debit Card Pricing

Greenlight plans start at $4.99 per month, and each of the 3 options includes debit cards for up to 5 kids. Use Greenlight free for your 1st month, with the confidence that you can cancel any time. Greenlight offers 3 paid plans:

  • Greenlight, $4.99 per month 
  • Greenlight + Invest, $7.98 per month 
  • Greenlight Max, $9.98 per month

All plans include:

  • Physical debit card
  • Educational app
  • Financial tools to save, spend, earn and give
  • Parental controls
  • Greenlight Savings Reward of 1% (2% for Greenlight Max)

The upper-tier plans offer additional benefits including priority support, cell phone insurance and identity theft monitoring. A lack of a free option drops what would be a 5-star rating for Greenlight.

Greenlight Debit Card Mobile App

This calming and attractive app — Greenlight nailed the right hue of a money-green that soothes but inspires — ranks high for simple set-up, ease of use and intuitive in-app navigation.

The Greenlight app lets kids track balances, manage chore lists and create other financial goals. However, kids without smart devices or regular access to a mobile phone can still use this best debit card for kids.

Greenlight’s powerful mobile app lets parents efficiently manage and see where, when and how much kids spend while helping their kids learn to manage their money.

Kids and parents log in to the same Greenlight app, but each has a different visual experience. Parents establish adaptable controls and receive real-time alerts while kids monitor their balances, set goals and learn to manage money. If only real family life could be so accommodative with complementary dual experiences where everyone is happy. The Greenlight mobile app gets 5 stars.

Greenlight Debit Card User Benefits

Benefits offered by the Greenlight debit card include the practicality of paying for things a kid wants coupled with the more abstract goal of learning about money. People learn by doing, and kids are no exception. But the consequences of making mistakes with money are high, so parents worry about giving their children too much financial autonomy. With a Greenlight debit card, kids practice money management skills while parents monitor, protecting family finances. 

The Greenlight card offers:

  • Spend, Save and Give feature
  • Motivational saving
  • Flexible parental controls you won’t get from most banks 
  • Picture of your child’s financial world complete with real-time transaction alerts
  • Instant parental money transfers to kids
  • Ability to turn the card off via the app
  • Alerts when child uses the card
  • Store-level spending controls to help kids learn to budget
  • Automated allowance payments
  • Chore management
  • Instant reward feature for a job well done

Safety concerns form one of the most important aspects of any product for kids, and the Greenlight debit card puts safety at the forefront of its product. Danger in many forms lies in wait for children — physical, emotional, academic, cyber, theft, trickery, naivety. As children learn, it’s essential that parents try to keep the child’s mistakes from causing irreparable damage to the child or the family. The Greenlight debit card acts as a protective partner for every family.

Greenlight blocks unsafe spending categories, sends real-time transaction notifications and gives parents ATM and other spending controls. It also provides additional layers of protection to families in the form of face or fingerprint recognition and the ability to turn the card on or off directly in the app. 

Greenlight financial technology (fintech) partners with Community Federal Savings Bank, member FDIC, to hold and manage funds. The Greenlight app comes with safety features to protect your accounts and monitor spending, including an EMV chip, the ability to turn the card off if it goes missing with the Greenlight app and Mastercard’s (NYSE: MA) Zero Liability Protection.

Greenlight Debit User Experience

Some apps are more trouble than they are worth because their daily usage drags you down with complications and irritations. Not Greenlight — its design facilitates ease in every step. 

Approve transactions beforehand. Maybe you don’t want to limit where your child can use their Greenlight card, but you also don’t want them dropping $140 on sneakers. They can ask for approval, and you can decline it until they find an item that’s appropriately priced.

Automate allowances and schedule chores. Weekly or monthly allowances let you set it and forget it while simple chore scheduling helps hold your kids accountable. That means no more having to make sure you have cash on hand.

Disable and enable automatically. If the card is lost, you can disable it. Or you can use the “nuclear option” and completely disable the Greenlight card when your kid is grounded.

Use almost anywhere. The Greenlight card can be used almost anywhere Mastercard is accepted, online and in-store. “Almost” because the cardholders are kids, and Greenlight puts necessary guardrails in place. 

Teach financial limits. Greenlight is a debit card for children and teens, not a credit card. Parents load money onto the card from their own Greenlight app. And because it’s a debit card, kids can’t spend what isn’t there. That’s a valuable life lesson.

Greenlight
Best For
  • Kids with siblings
securely through Greenlight's website

Greenlight Debit Card vs. Competitors

Greenlight is not the only family financial solution on the market. Other cards, both debit cards and secured cards, aim to provide a similar service. Greenlight’s advantages are 2-fold and include the ability for parents to have control of their child’s spending and the educational benefits of use. User numbers also talk — Greenlights users in late 2020 numbered over 3 million, ahead of its main competitors. Customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot are primarily positive.

Greenlight Debit Card Overall

Greenlight earns a solid 5 stars for ease of use, bolstered by the daily joy and convenience its users agree that it delivers. Signing up for an account will make your family’s financial life much easier. Get the Greenlight card, and you’ve made your last mad dash to the gas station where your teenager, late for swimming, is freaking out because the car doesn’t have enough gas to get to the pool and they have no money. 

In addition to the intensely practical aspects of the Greenlight debit card, the app makes financial dealings fun for kids. 

It’s time to greenlight your kids’ financial education.

Greenlight Debit Card Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is Greenlight debit card legit?

A

Greenlight is a legit fintech option for a debit card that kids can use while parents manage behind the scenes. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) partners with Greenlight. 

Q

What age is the Greenlight card for?

A

Greenlight is designed for kids of all ages and does not specify age limits. 

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