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Learning to manage money responsibly can be a daunting task at any age, but teaching kids how to budget and save their cash can feel like a particularly impossible challenge. But you can make it easier on yourself by having the right tools for the job—and kid-focused debit cards like GoHenry are a smart option for your toolbelt.

Debit cards for kids give parents the ability to put up guardrails such as spending limits and tracking transactions while also giving their children some autonomy over when and how they use their funds.

GoHenry is a popular debit card for kids designed to help children learn about money while providing them with useful saving and spending features—and allowing a trusted adult (usually a parent) to have plenty of oversight.

But is it the right choice for you and your child’s needs?

It very well might be—but if not, several rival debit cards might be a more appropriate fit. That’s why today, I’ll dive into GoHenry’s debit card, as well as the best GoHenry alternatives available. We’ll look at each card’s strengths and weaknesses, and highlight the situations where each card might be superior to the competition.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to make a confident decision about which debit card is best for you and your family. So get ready to learn how to give your child the power of financial freedom—without sacrificing safety or security!

What Is GoHenry?


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GoHenry is a debit card company that originated in the United Kingdom but soon expanded to the United States. The company offers a feature-rich prepaid debit card and app that lets an adult link their bank account to a GoHenry child’s account. Once the account is loaded with money, the adult can receive transaction notifications, set spending limits on the debit card, and even administer allowance payments.

This kid money management app helps develop a child’s financial literacy, from when they start earning “pocket money” (allowance, on this side of the pond) to when they get a job during their teenage years. In fact, GoHenry is designed to grow with the child and even offers customizations that allow them to reflect their unique personality.

Users should know that the company was acquired in 2023 by Acorns—a popular investing app for young adults who invest spare change through Round-Ups and recurring investments. However, for now, it still operates as GoHenry, and as of this writing, I’ve seen no announced changes that would suggest it will stop operating as normal.

GoHenry Overview


gohenry signup acorns new

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 30 days free. Individual: $4.99/child/mo. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children

I think of GoHenry as more than just a way to spend—it’s a financial solution for minors that includes an account, prepaid debit card, app, even financial lessons. Parents are given an online account that’s linked to, and allows them to oversee and manage, individual accounts for each of their children via both the GoHenry app and the online account portal.

Each child will receive their own GoHenry debit card; you can choose from 45 different designs or create your own customized card for $4.99. And each card is governed by parental controls you can set for your children.

What I like about GoHenry is that kids can only spend whatever money is available on the card. That means parents don’t have to worry about costly overdraft fees or their kids running up a debt.

When you open a GoHenry account, you should receive your children’s debit cards in the mail seven to eight business days later. Once you do, you can set up events and controls, including:

  • Automatic weekly allowance transfers into your children’s accounts
  • Real-time spending alerts
  • One-off or weekly spending limits
  • Choosing the stores where your kids can shop

You can even block and unblock the card as needed from your parent account. So, let’s say your child has lost their card—you can block any expenditures on it until it’s found, then unblock it once it’s back in your child’s care.

GoHenry has no minimum age requirements but recommends starting at age 6 or older. Your child will be able to do plenty with the card from the onset—and plenty more as they grow up to be teens. Not only can they receive an allowance, but they can also get paid by employers through their account. They can use that money to reach savings goals or shop within the limits you’ve set. Your teen can even receive money from (or send money to) friends!

With time, a combination of your parental guidance and the app’s features should help your kids develop good money habits around earning, saving, spending, and giving.

But GoHenry really sticks out to me as one of the best prepaid debit cards for kids because of their customer service. They offer everyday phone availability, email access, and social media engagement, ensuring users can solve their problems quickly and with little hassle.

Read more in our GoHenry debit card review.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight

GoHenry Alternatives—Our Top Picks


Best Brokerage Account + Debit Card for Teens
Top Investing & Prepaid Card for Kids
Great Debit Card for Kids + Teens
4.9
4.8
4.4
Free (no monthly fees).
Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each account supports up to 5 children.)
30 days free. Copper $4.95/mo., Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.
Best Brokerage Account + Debit Card for Teens
4.9
Free (no monthly fees).
Top Investing & Prepaid Card for Kids
4.8
Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each account supports up to 5 children.)
Great Debit Card for Kids + Teens
4.4
30 days free. Copper $4.95/mo., Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.

Best GoHenry Alternatives


While GoHenry is an excellent debit card option for both kids and teens, it’s hardly the only one on the market. And depending on what features you value most, you might want to give a second look at some of its most competitive rivals. My top choices:

1. Fidelity Youth™ Account (Best Free Debit Card With Teen Investing)


fidelity youth account art 2024

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: No account fees¹, no account minimum, no trading commissions*
  • Platforms: Web, mobile app (Apple iOS, Android)

Is your teen interested in jumpstarting their financial future? Do you want them to build smart money habits along the way?

Of course you do! Learning early about saving, spending and investing can pay off big when you start on the right foot. And one tool that can help your teen get that jump is the Fidelity Youth Account—an account for teens 13 to 17 that’s designed to help them start their money journey. Teens own the account themselves and can start investing in most U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and Fidelity mutual funds for as little as $1!³

Your teen will also get a free debit card with no subscription fees, no account fees, no minimum balances, and no domestic ATM fees². And they can use this free debit card for teens to manage their cash and spend it whenever they need.

And as for building smart money habits? You and your teen can access the account through the Fidelity Youth™ app, which has a dedicated Learn tab packed with materials developed specifically to help teens develop good financial habits. Not only will Fidelity’s interactive lessons, videos, articles, tools, and calculators accelerate their learning—but for every level they complete, reward dollars will be deposited into their account to use however they want.

Controls parents want and need

A parent or guardian must have or open a brokerage account with Fidelity® to open a Fidelity Youth Account. For new Fidelity® customers, opening an account is easy, and there are no minimums and no account fees.

Having a Fidelity account gives parents and guardians access to plenty of tools they can use to monitor their teen’s activity: They have online account access, can follow monthly statements and trade confirmations, and can view debit card transactions made in the account.

To make it even easier, you can set up alerts to notify you of your teen’s trades, transactions, and cash management activity, keeping you firmly in the loop on actions your teen takes across the Fidelity Youth Account’s suite of products.

If your teen has an interest in learning about investing, becoming smarter about money, and taking their first steps toward building their financial journey, you should consider downloading the Fidelity Youth app and opening a Fidelity Youth Account. The account comes custom-built for their needs, which will help them become financially independent and start investing for their future.

Read more in our Fidelity Youth Account review.

Related: Best Banking Apps for Kids & Teens [Teen Banking]

2. Greenlight (Best Paid Debit Card for Kids and Teens)


greenlight sign up new
Greenlight
  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial. Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (All plans include cards for up to 5 children)

The Greenlight debit card allows kids to begin spending, but provides parents with peace of mind by giving them control over where their kids can spend money. Parents also can choose to receive alerts that tell them when, and how much, money is spent on the Greenlight debit card.

Greenlight works like a prepaid debit card, allowing you to transfer money onto the card for your child to pay for expenses at approved locations. You can choose how much money to load onto the card, and your child will be cleared to make approved purchases so long as a money balance backs up the card.

If your child asks for extra money to get added to the card, you can have them take a photo of the purchase they want to make and receive your approval. This gives you control and allows you to have discussions with your child about why a purchase might be a good or bad idea.

And if your child has a job, they can add their own funds to the card as well.

Each monthly Greenlight subscription includes debit cards for up to five kids. Replacement cards cost $3.50 each but are free the first time. If you need to replace your card quickly, you can get express delivery for $24.99. The company also offers a personalized card, with your own photo or design, for $9.98 per year.

Greenlight boasts numerous other features, too. For instance, parents can open an investment account for kids to get their children investing in stocks and ETFs for the first time.

Greenlight also offers monthly savings rewards based on your tier: 1% per annum for Core members, 2% per annum for Max, and 5% per annum for Infinity. You may set up “Parent-Paid Interest” between you and your child. This allows you to foot the bill and pay interest on accounts for up to five kids.

The Greenlight debit card is a good choice for parents looking to teach their kids the importance of saving money and making prudent financial decisions. This financial product can be an effective learning tool for helping kids to understand why saving should be a priority and how to simplify paying an allowance or tracking chores.

Greenlight has no minimum age requirements but recommends starting at age 6 or older.

Read more in our Greenlight Card review.

Related: 10 Best Free Debit Cards for Kids & Teens [Earn, Save & Spend]

3. Copper Card (Best Debit Card for Kid Independence)


copper banking

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 30 days free. Copper $4.95/mo., Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.

Copper Banking was founded on the belief that kids and teens should have equal access to financial education and should be empowered to learn by doing. Now, the company is on a mission to help children gain real-world experience by giving them access to their money in a way that traditional banks can’t.

The Copper app and debit card teaches your child how to make smart financial decisions by creating a platform where parents and their kids can connect. With the Copper app, you get easy snapshots of your accounts. And with the Copper Debit Card, it’s easy to shop in-store or online, including with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Plus, users get exclusive access to engaging advice curated by a team of financial literacy experts who provide tips on how to take control of their financial future.

Copper Banking features

  • Send/Request: Kids and parents can easily send and receive money all at the touch of a button.
  • Spend: Spend using Apple or Google Pay, or using the Copper Debit Card.
  • Withdraw: Access your money from more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs.
  • Monitor: Get a snapshot of all your child’s spending in an easy-to-read dashboard.
  • Save: Gain quick snapshots of your child’s savings and helpful tips on how to save even more. Set up savings buckets and save for the things that you want.
  • Learn: With the help of Copper’s team of financial literacy experts, gain bite-sized tips on how you can maximize your money and prepare yourself for your financial future.

The basic Copper account includes the above banking features. With Copper + Invest, your child also gets access to automatically curated smart portfolios built with their preferences in mind. Your child is given a questionnaire that helps Copper determine a portfolio based on their age, income, net worth, investment objective(s) and investment horizon. Copper then recommends one of three ETF portfolios—Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive, and Extra Aggressive—made up of thousands of stocks. Parents can review the portfolio to ensure it matches with not just your child’s preferences, but your family’s. (Portfolios can be changed later on by accessing the Support chat.)

Your child can begin investing for as little as $1, then add more contributions down the road. Copper will automatically rebalance the portfolio as needed to make sure it always keeps up with your child’s investment preferences.

Copper is available to kids 6 years and older. Read more in our Copper Banking review.

Related: How to Invest as a Teenager [Start Investing as a Minor Under 18]

4. Cash App (Best PayPal for Kids Alternative)


cash app sign up

Cash App markets itself as a smarter way to manage your money. Whether you’re looking to send, spend, bank, or buy stocks or bitcoin, Cash App has several useful features that allow you to handle, save, and invest your money.

Sending and receiving payments is free with Cash App, so you can rest assured knowing that your money is always accounted for when you transfer funds to friends and family.

Cash App is one of the few payment platforms that lets teens pay and receive money from each other through the app, albeit with some lower limits than competing solutions we highlight here: up to $1,000 per 30-day period in peer-to-peer transactions. While certainly sufficient for most situations, this is one limitation worth highlighting about the service. One other limitation comes from a lack of instant account notifications when a teen spends money. Parents will have insight into their teens’ activity through monthly statements.

One safeguard worth highlighting to concerned parents: Cash App prohibits transactions at certain locations or for different types of services. Liquor stores? Nope. Online dating sites: Not happening. Gambling: Think again. These curbs can assuage some anxiety. We recommend having conversations to teach your kids about managing money.

To add a teen age 13 to 18 to your Cash App account, a parent or guardian over the age of 18 will need to set up their own account as legal owner and approve their teen to join the account. You can download Cash App today.

Related: 26 Best Online Jobs for Teens [Earn Money at Home, Age 13+]

5. Current (Great No-Monthly-Fee Teen Card)


Current signup new

The Current mobile banking app is designed with families in mind. It offers both adult and teen accounts, with the latter acting like prepaid debit cards that parents load for their children.

Current provides loads of banking services, including tracking your teen’s spending in real-time, setting limits on how much your children can spend, and even blocking specific merchants on its Visa-enabled debit cards. You also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your children’s money is safe because it’s not cash—no temptations, just a tool parents can use to help teach teens financial responsibility and sound money management skills.

Among Current’s features:

  • No minimum required balances, no fees on transfers to other Current accounts, and no hidden fees.
  • Create Savings Pods, or Giving Pods, that allow you to save up for various goals.
  • Round-Ups allow you to round up purchases to the nearest dollar amount and store the difference in Savings or Giving Pods.
  • Buy and sell 27 different cryptocurrencies with zero trading fees.

Teens will love easy allowance deposits, a card they can use in stores or online, instant gas hold removals when buying gas, and access to more than 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs nationwide. They’ll also have the opportunity to learn about financial responsibility and financial independence through Current’s Budgets feature, which allows them to track their spending and even receive alerts when they get too close to (or exceed) a predetermined limit.

Current doesn’t specifically state a minimum age requirement, but the company’s marketing suggests teens are the target audience. Still, you might be able to open an account for a younger child.

Related: Best Bank Accounts for Kids

6. Chase First Banking (Best Free Debit Card for Kids From a Major Bank)


chase first banking sign up

Ready to teach your little ones about money, but not quite sure if you have the time, patience and expertise?

Chase First Banking offers simple banking for both of you in one location: the Chase Mobile® App—for free. Manage all accounts with this mobile app and encounter no fees as well as find yourself able to withdraw money on 16,000 Chase ATMs around the country. The account is designed with kids 6-12 in mind, and available for ages 6-17.

At the heart of Chase First Banking sits one of the best free debit cards for kids and teens that works anywhere Visa is accepted.

Need insight and oversight into your child’s spending and saving? You can set spend alerts and limits as well as specific locations all in your Chase Mobile® app.

Teach your kids to spend, save and earn — all from the Chase Mobile® app. Chase First Banking helps parents teach teens and kids about money by giving parents the control they want and kids the freedom they need to learn.

To get started, you’ll first need to be a Chase customer with a qualifying Chase checking account.

Consider opening a Chase Total Checking or Chase Secure Banking account to qualify.

  • Chase Total Checking also grants access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. You can pay $0 in monthly fees, subject to meeting certain conditions.* And if you set up direct deposit within 90 days of coupon enrollment, you can earn a $300 sign-up bonus!
  • Chase Secure Banking offers the same Chase ATMs and branch locations as well as a $100 sign-up bonus when you make stated qualifying activities and meet certain conditions.

Once you open a qualifying Chase Checking account, you may apply for a Chase First Banking account for your child.

Read more in our Chase First Banking review.

Related: 8 Best Allowance and Chore Apps for Kids [Easier Family Life]

GoHenry Alternatives: FAQs


questions and answers large

Should you give your kid a debit card or open a bank account?

A lot of parents like to start out with savings accounts for their children because it limits their ability to spend. With a children’s bank account, your kid usually will be limited to withdrawing cash in person or at an ATM, but they won’t be able to spend money at stores or online.

That said, many kid-focused debit cards and connected apps provide some functions similar to children’s savings accounts, but they go a step above—not just allowing your child or teen more spending flexibility, but also allowing you to set up the parental guardrails you need.

What happens if my child loses a debit card?

Years ago, the thought of your child losing a debit card would be enough to make you shriek.

Thankfully, financial technology has made the consequences much less severe.

Even traditional banks allow you to quickly shut down debit cards over the phone or via an app. But kids’ debit cards are keenly aware of how often children can lose things, so many have made it super-simple to lock (and unlock) child accounts and replace their cards.

Typically, the lock/unlock feature is free, but card replacement fees will vary by provider. GoHenry, for instance, will let you replace a card with the same design for free, but you will need to pay $4.99 for a replacement card with a different design.

Related:


Terms and Conditions for Fidelity Youth™ Account

The Fidelity Youth Account can only be opened by a parent/guardian. Account eligibility limited to teens aged 13-17.

* $0.00 commission applies to online U.S. equity trades and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) in a Fidelity retail account only for Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC retail clients. Sell orders are subject to an activity assessment fee (from $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal). Other exclusions and conditions may apply. See Fidelity.com/commissions for details. Employee equity compensation transactions and accounts managed by advisors or intermediaries through Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions® are subject to different commission schedules. 

¹ Zero account minimums and zero account fees apply to retail brokerage accounts only.  Expenses charged by investments (e.g., funds, managed accounts, and certain HSAs) and commissions, interest charges, or other expenses for transactions may still apply. See Fidelity.com/commissions for further details.

² Your Youth Account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using the Fidelity® Debit Card at any ATM displaying the Visa®, Plus®, or Star® logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited. Please note, for foreign transactions, there may be a 1% fee included in the amount charged to  your account. The Fidelity® Debit Card is issued by PNC Bank, N.A, and the debit card program is administered by BNY Mellon Investment Servicing Trust Company. These entities are not affiliated with each other, and Fidelity is not affiliated with PNC Bank or BNY Mellon. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association, and is used by PNC Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

³ Fractional shares quantities can be entered out to 3 decimal places (.001) as long as the value of the order is at least $0.01.  Dollar-based trades can be entered out to 2 decimal places (e.g. $250.00)

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

Chase Disclaimer

* Chase Total Checking charges a $12 monthly service fee. However, that fee may be waived with one of the following, each monthly statement period: 1.) Electronic deposits made into this account totaling $500 or more, such as payments from payroll providers or government benefit providers, by using (i) the ACH network, (ii) the Real Time Payment or FedNow℠ network, (iii) third-party services that facilitate payments to your debit card using the Visa® or Mastercard® network, OR a balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more in this account, OR an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings, and other balances.

About the Author

Riley Adams is the Founder and CEO of Young and the Invested. He is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.