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As a parent, you walk a fine line in giving your child enough independence, while still protecting them. You need to teach your kids money management skills, but giving them free rein of your debit card is a good way to get your account drained at a candy store.

That’s why several financial companies have designed debit cards specifically for kids and teens. Since you’re here, I’ll hazard a guess that you’re choosing between BusyKid and Copper and are stuck as to which is better.

You’re in luck! Here at the WealthUp, we’re well-versed in debit cards for kids and know all the ins and outs of every option.

Today, I’m going to provide all the information you need to compare BusyKid and Copper. Following an overview of each card, I’ll break down the prices, highlight the important features, and go over any other information worth mentioning. And if you’re still unsure whether either card is perfect for your family, you can keep reading to learn about other competitive debit cards.

BusyKid vs. Copper Comparison


busykid logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Now Cutcopper logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Now
WealthUp Rating☆ 4.0 / 5☆ 4.4 / 5
App Store Rating☆ 3.4 / 5☆ 4.9 / 5
Price*$48/yr.Copper: $4.95/mo.
Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.
BillingAnnuallyMonthly
Special OfferFree 30-day trialFree 30-day trial
Allowed Cards Per Subscription55
Minimum Age**No6
Features That Make This Card Stand ApartLow price compared to other kids' paid debit cardsEarn money by filling out surveys

Basics

busykid logo transparent text thin leftcopper logo transparent text thin left
SpendingYesYes
SavingYesYes
InvestingYes (Stocks and ETFs)Copper: No
Copper + Invest: Yes (ETF-only smart portfolios)
Giving/DonatingYesNo

Funding

busykid logo transparent text thin leftcopper logo transparent text thin left
Funding Source(s)Checking account, debit, or credit cardBank account, debit card
Direct DepositNoYes
AllowanceYesYes
ChoresYesYes
GiftingYes ($1/transfer)No
Cash Reload FeeN/A (No cash reload)N/A (No cash reload)

Saving/Spending

busykid logo transparent text thin leftcopper logo transparent text thin left
Savings APYNoneCopper: 2.0%
Copper + Invest: 5.0%
Round-UpsNoYes
Other Savings FeaturesParental MatchDivvy
ATM NetworkAllpoint (55,000+ ATMs)Allpoint (55,000+ ATMs)
ATM Transaction Fee$1.50 (Operator fee may apply at out-of-network ATMs)$0 (Operator fee may apply at out-of-network ATMs)
Card NetworkVisaMastercard
Compatible Mobile WalletsApple Pay, Google PayApple Pay, Google Pay

Parents

busykid logo transparent text thin leftcopper logo transparent text thin left
Parental ControlsMedium (Limited transfers from app to card)Low (Card lock, auto-blocks "inappropriate content")
Parental MonitoringYesYes
Parental NotificationsYesYes

Other Features

busykid logo transparent text thin leftcopper logo transparent text thin left
Cash BackNoNo
Builds CreditNoNo
Customization optionsSelect from 10+ preselected designsNo
Refund Policy30-day money-back guaranteeNo refunds given, month-to-month pricing
Affiliate CTA Apply NowAffiliate CTA Apply Now
* Prices do not include processing fees when applicable.
** Many cards have different suggested minimum ages. We are only listing any hard-and-fast minimum age requirements.

BusyKid Overview


busykid signup new1

If you’re looking for prepaid debit cards for kids that let your kids spend while learning about money, and lets you pay them allowance, consider the award-winning BusyKid app and the connected BusyKid Visa Spend Card.

BusyKid started as an easy-to-use, interactive chore app but has since added a prepaid debit card for kids that allows your children to spend their money both in person and online. Better still: Your children can earn money by completing chores and other tasks around the house, then use the app to learn valuable financial skills, such as budgeting, saving, and even giving back.

Parents can pay allowance on an ad hoc basis, or they can set up Auto-Allowance. When parents add to their children’s accounts, that money can be split among their Save/Invest, Share, and Spend allocations:

  • Save/Invest: Parents can automatically allocate money toward a savings basket, and they can also match any money their children elect to save.
  • Spend: When your kid is ready for a little independence, they can spend from this account using BusyKid’s Visa Spend Card.
  • Share: Children can choose which charities they would like to give money to, and parents must approve before the cash is transferred.

Parents aren’t the only people who can add money to children’s BusyKid accounts. With BusyPay, parents can share a simple QR code that allows grandparents, aunts, uncles, other family members, and even friends to add money—whether it’s a birthday present or a payment for chores. BusyKid charges the giver a $1 fee plus any credit card or bank transaction costs.

BusyKid also allows children to invest their earnings through the app. Doing so requires setting up a separate Apex Clearing account. Children can choose to invest in hundreds of stocks and ETFs with as little as $10.

BusyKid has no minimum age requirement.

In addition to the $4 monthly subscription, BusyKid charges other fees, including 50¢ per declined transaction, $5 for a card reissue, and a $5 monthly fee for paper statements.

Related: Best Greenlight Alternatives

BusyKid Plans + Costs


BusyKid has a simple, single subscription tier that costs $3.99 per month, which is billed annually, so you pay $38.99 once per year.

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
BusyKid$4/mo. (Billed annually, so $48/yr.)

    - BusyKid Visa Spend Cards for up to five kids
    - Core financial tools
    - Parental controls
    - Chores
    - Allowance
    - Savings matches
    - Ability to earn, save, spend, invest and give

Also, people outside of the BusyKid account who want to send money to a child must pay a $1 fee per transaction.

Past that, BusyKid’s other fees are pretty standard and minimal. For instance, it charges a $5 replacement-card fee and a 50-cent domestic fee for declined charges.

If you’re not satisfied, BusyKid provides a 30-day subscription-back guarantee. While it sounds nice, that’s actually a step down from most other cards. I’ve reviewed more than a dozen kid-focused cards, and most of them offer 30-day/one-month free trials—meaning you don’t have to spend anything until you’re sure you’re happy with the product. But with BusyKid, you have to pay up front, then ask for a refund if you’re not happy. It’s a small difference, but one I think is worth noting.

BusyKid Features


Below, I’ve listed a number of BusyKid’s most prominent features. Like with all debit cards aimed at children and teens, some of these features are for the kids, but others are meant to keep parents happy (and sane).

BusyKid Visa Spend Card

The BusyKid Visa Spend Card is a prepaid debit card that acts as the physical central point of the BusyKid experience. Each BusyKid subscription comes with up to five of these kids’ debit cards, which are intended for use by children ages 5 through 17.

Kids can choose from a small selection of more than 10 designs.

The adults can instantly transfer funds at any time. Kids have to follow the set spending limits, so they can’t overspend as they learn money management skills.

Every debit card is backed by the Visa Zero Liability guarantee, which means if your kid’s card gets lost or stolen, or misplaced and fraudulent charges crop up, you can dispute the charges within a certain time frame to avoid liability for paying.

Related: Best Money Apps for Kids

Parental Controls

Parental controls are essential for parents who want to retain some peace of mind while their kids develop money management skills.

With BusyKid, parents can monitor all transactions made either in the app or with the BusyKid Visa Spend Card.

BusyKid’s parental controls are pretty rudimentary. By using the “Lock Money Transfers” feature, parents can prevent their kids from transferring money among their Save, Share, and Spend areas. Kids will still be able to use the money in these accounts, but each transaction will require a parent’s approval.

Chores + Allowance

Some parents like to pay an allowance to their younger children, and this might or might not be connected to chore completion. BusyKid allows you to pay an allowance to and/or set chores up for your child. For chores, parents can set up their own chores and payment amounts, or they can use BusyKid’s preset chore chart, where chores and allowance are preset based on a child’s age. As kids complete their chores, they can click “I did it!” inside the BusyKid app.

BusyKid pays kids each Friday based on any chores the child has marked “Done” since the previous Friday. Parents will be notified and asked to approve; when it is, it will be deposited into the child’s various account areas depending on how their allocations were set up.

BusyPay

The BusyPay feature lets family and friends instantly send money to a BusyKid account, whether it’s as a birthday or holiday gift, payment for helping out, or just because. It’s easy, too—a child just has to share a QR code, and anyone can pay them. (Note: The payer is charged a $1 fee to use this feature.)

Related: How to Get Free Money [Ways to Earn Money] 

Bonuses + Savings Matches

Several BusyKid features help your children accelerate their earning and saving.

For instance, let’s say your teen stepped up to babysit a younger sibling, or one of your kids got a perfect report card—BusyKid allows parents to pay a bonus to any of their kid’s account areas or even directly to the BusyKid Spend Card.

Parents can also establish a savings match, which is similar to a 401(k) match. Parents simply select a weekly percentage match, or a monthly max that’s dividend equally across all the weeks in a month, and BusyKid will transfer the appropriate amount of additional funds to the kid’s account based on how much they save.

Investing

Learning to invest is an important part of the personal finance journey. BusyKid helps children with that journey by providing commission-free stock trading.

BusyKid offers commission-free trading of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), allowing kids to start investing with as little as $10. BusyKid provides access to “hundreds” of popular stocks and ETFs—a considerably smaller selection than the thousands of stocks and ETFs available from traditional brokerage accounts, but a sufficient world of assets to get a child started.

Charities

Parents who want to instill the importance of giving back to their children at a young age can allow their kids to donate a percentage of their allowances to charity. Kids can choose among roughly 50 charities, and BusyKid even welcomes suggestions for other charities to add.

You can sign up for BusyKid here.

Copper Overview


copper banking

Copper Banking is a fintech app with a prepaid debit card that provides digital banking for minors. While Copper Bank is entirely online, customer deposits are FDIC-insured through their banking partner, Evolve Bank & Trust.

Copper 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 is available to kids age 6 and older. A parent can add up to five kids (and thus five Copper Cards) with each subscription.

Related: 25 Best Jobs for 15-Year-Olds [In-Person + Online]

Copper Plans + Costs


child kid debit credit card swipe

Copper has two plans to choose between:

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Copper$4.95

    - Copper Cards for up to five kids
    - Earn 2.00% on savings
    - Smart savings with Divvy and RoundUps
    - Automatic allowance
    - Instant P2P money transfers
    - Parental controls
    - Built-in financial education
    - Mastercard Zero Liability Protection
Copper + Invest$7.95Everything under the Copper plan, plus:

    - Investing for kids
    - Earn 5.00% on savings
    - Priority support

In addition to a monthly fee, other fees may apply. For instance, you will incur a $4.95 fee any time you load cash onto the card via the Green Dot network of retailers. You will also incur a fee for instant debit transfers; the fee is 2.5% of the total amount + 30¢ per transaction.

Related: 7 Best Investments for Kids [Investing for Children]

Copper Features


parents teen debit credit card payment

Copper Card

The Copper Card is a Mastercard-branded debit card that can be used for shopping at physical stores or online, as well as for withdrawing cash at more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs. This means your kid can spend virtually anywhere—Mastercard is accepted in more than 210 countries worldwide—with the exception of any vendors flagged for “inappropriate content.”

Parents can put money onto their kids’ Copper Cards for free from their Copper wallet. Parents have two ways of funding their Copper wallet:

  • Bank transfer: Transfers from a linked bank account are free and take three to five business days to clear.
  • Debit card transfer: These transfers cost 2.5% of the total amount +30¢ per transaction and the money instantly hits accounts.

You can manually initiate transfers or set up Auto-Reload to add money any time funds fall below a predetermined threshold.

Kids with Copper accounts can also send money to each other. So if a sibling borrows money, it’s easy to pay it back.

Cardholders benefit from Mastercard Zero Liability Protection. This means you and your child aren’t held responsible for any unauthorized transactions as long as you used reasonable care to protect the card from loss or theft and promptly reported any fraudulent charges to Copper.

Savings

Copper accounts also have a savings area. Kids can create savings goals and put money away toward those goals. Copper will help that money grow faster by paying interest in any money saved. The annual percentage yield (APY) varies by plan: Copper users get a 2% APY on savings, while Copper + Invest users get 5%.

Parental Controls + Card Limits

Copper has adequate parental controls. Parents get real-time alerts on children’s transactions, so they’re always up-to-date on kids’ spending habits. The adults also have the option to freeze the card at any time to stop spending.

Copper has its own card limits in place as well, including the following restrictions:

  • Daily deposit limit (debit card or ACH): $500
  • Monthly deposit limit (debit card or ACH) $2,000
  • Daily spending/transfer limit: $2,000

You can, of course, instruct your child that you have stricter limits, if you so choose. But no matter what, your kid won’t be able to exceed these limits, even if there’s an emergency.

Copper also has a “merchant shield” so your kids can’t make purchases with any vendors flagged for inappropriate content.

Investing (Copper + Invest Only)

With Copper + Invest ($7.95 per month), your child also gets access to an easy starter investment platform that uses automatically curated smart portfolios built with their preferences in mind. While I personally prefer self-directed investing (you pick whatever stocks and funds you’d like), smart portfolios allow people with little investing knowledge to start putting their money to work in an effective way. Thus, they’re perfect for children.

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 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.

Allowance

Parents also can pay their kids an allowance using Copper. You have the choice of an automatic allowance or one-time payments when your kids need or request them. (And if you set up an automatic allowance, but your kid hasn’t exactly been on their best behavior, you can skip payments as needed.)

Tasks + Earn

Copper also has a chores feature called Tasks. To teach your kids the concept of earning, you can set up Tasks, such as cleaning, homework, or babysitting. Once the Task is marked as complete, the child gets paid. Tasks can be set up on a one-time basis or made to repeat.

Kids can also get paid through the Earn feature. When they complete surveys, they collect “creds” that can be cashed in for real money. (Parents don’t have to foot this cost—Copper covers it!)

Related: 40+ Ways to Earn Money as a Teenager

RoundUps

Copper’s round-up feature, RoundUps, helps children and teens save money every time they make a purchase. It’s simple: Every purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the change is put toward your kid’s savings goals. (Example: If your child spends $2.50 on candy,  50¢ will be put into their savings.)

Related: Best Round Up Apps + Savings Accounts

Financial Education + Literacy Development

Copper wants kids to build the financial literacy skills they’ll need to succeed. To help them, it has hired financial literacy experts to develop their literacy development content, including:

  • Liz Frazier, Copper’s Executive Director of Financial Education. Frazier is the author of the book Beyond Piggybanks and Lemonade Stands.
  • Lily Lapenna, Copper’s Financial Literacy Advisor. Lapenna has been recognized by Queen Elizabeth and the World Economic Forum for her work in personal finance.

Money Moves

Learning financial skills is helpful, but the process isn’t always fun. But Copper keeps things light via its = Money Moves—short videos that are organized into the following categories:

  • Debt
  • Budgeting
  • Investing
  • Saving

Each video answers a question children are likely to wonder about, such as “How do debit cards work?” and “What is the lottery?”

Direct Deposit + Divvy

Teens with their own jobs can take advantage of the direct deposit feature. Their paychecks will be instantly deposited into their Copper accounts—and by using direct deposit, they can get paid up to two days early.

Copper also offers a feature called Divvy that allows you to automatically put aside a percentage of each paycheck toward savings and/or investing.

You can sign up for Copper here.

Related: 10 Best Savings Accounts for Kids

BusyKid vs. Copper: Our Editors’ Choice Is …


BusyKid and Copper require you to have paid plans, so it makes sense to choose only one. These are both competitive cards, but Copper has an extra edge.

One of the most compelling reasons to choose Copper is that your child earns 2% APY on Savings with a Copper plan and 5% APY with Copper + Invest. Families with BusyKid aren’t earning any money on savings. Kids can save even faster through Copper’s RoundUps feature.

Other notable features present in Copper and missing from BusyKid include direct deposit and the ability for kids to make money by taking surveys.

But BusyKid has features you can’t get in Copper as well and this card may be a better fit for some families. Both accounts have investing capabilities, but while Copper users can only access ETF smart portfolios, BusyKid lets kids invest in individual stocks. It allows children to donate a part of their allowance to charity. BusyKid is also slightly more affordable than Copper.

While BusyKid puts up a good fight, Copper still wins in the end. BusyKid may cost slightly less, but that can be made up for through Copper’s savings APY and cashback. Overall, Copper has more competitive features. If you’re interested in trying out Copper, sign up here today.

Our Pick: Copper
Runner-Up: BusyKid
4.4
4.0
Our Pick: Copper
Runner-Up: BusyKid

Related: Best Debit Cards for Teens

Other Debit Cards for Kids to Consider


If you’re still not convinced on BusyKid or Copper, you might want to look at these other highly rated options:

AppApple App Store Rating
+ Best For
FeesPromotions
greenlight transparent logo thinGreenlight☆ 4.8 / 5
Customer rating and parental controls
1 month free. Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each plan supports up to 5 children.)Free 1-month trial
copper logo thinCopper Banking☆ 4.9 / 5
Teen financial independence
Copper $4.95/mo., Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.30-days free
gohenry logo thinGoHenry☆ 4.6 / 5
Accessible customer service support
1 month free. Individual: $4.99/mo. Family (supports up to 4 children): $9.98/mo.1 month free
revolut logo thinRevolut <18☆ 4.7 / 5
Parent-paid bonuses
No monthly feesNone
Axos Bank logoAxos First Checking☆ 4.7 / 5
Teens ready to learn about money management
Free (no monthly fees)None
*Apple App Store Rating as of April 1, 2024.

Related:


Revolut <18 Disclosure

The Revolut prepaid card is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Visa.

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.