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While some parents may think it’s cute for their kids to count out coins at the cash register, the long line appreciates a quick card transaction.

But since you’re here, you’ve likely already decided to teach your child money management through a debit card designed specifically for their age. Now all you need to do is choose which card is the best fit for your family between GoHenry and Axos First Checking.

I can help you make that decision. I’ve thoroughly researched all of the most competitive kids’ debit cards—including GoHenry and Axos First Checking. Today, I’ll compare these two cards for you. For each card, I’ll provide an overview, review costs, and detail noteworthy features. In case you aren’t fully convinced either card is the best for your family, I’ll also highlight a few other notable kids’ debit cards.

GoHenry vs. Axos First Checking Comparison


gohenry logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Nowaxos bank logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Now
WealthUp Rating☆ 4.4 / 5☆ 3.6 / 5
App Store Rating☆ 4.5 / 5☆ 4.7 / 5
Price*Individual: $4.99/mo.
Family: $9.98/mo. (Up to four children)
No monthly fees
BillingMonthlyN/A
Special OfferFree 1-month free trialN/A
Allowed Cards Per SubscriptionIndividual: 1
Family: 4
1 per account owner
Minimum Age**613
Features That Make This Card Stand ApartVideos and quizzes that teach money skillsPeer-to-peer money transfers; ATM fee reimbursements

Basics

gohenry logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
SpendingYesYes
SavingYesYes
InvestingNoNo
Giving/DonatingYesNo

Funding

gohenry logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Funding Source(s)Debit card, credit card (Does not accept AmEx)Direct deposit, mobile deposit
Direct DepositYes (Age 14+)Yes
AllowanceYesNo
ChoresYesNo
GiftingYesNo
Cash Reload FeeN/A (No cash reload)$0 (retailers may charge fee)

Saving/Spending

gohenry logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Savings APYN/A0.10% APY
Round-UpsNoNo
Other Savings FeaturesParent-Paid InterestNone
ATM NetworkNoneNone
ATM Transaction Fee$0 (GoHenry does not charge an ATM fee, but it is not part of an ATM network, so an ATM operator fee will apply)Up to $12 domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month
Card NetworkMastercardVisa or Mastercard
Compatible Mobile WalletsApple PayApple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Parents

gohenry logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Parental ControlsHigh (Single-transaction and/or weekly spending limits, transaction type-level controls)Low (Card lock)
Parental MonitoringYesYes
Parental NotificationsYesYes

Other Features

gohenry logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Cash BackNoNo
Builds CreditNoNo
Customization optionsYes, 45+ optionsNo
Refund PolicyNo refunds given, month-to-month pricingN/A
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.

GoHenry Overview


gohenry signup acorns new

I view GoHenry as more than just a way for kids to spend—it’s a holistic financial solution for minors.

GoHenry 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.

Kids can only spend whatever money is on the card, so parents don’t have to worry about costly overdraft fees or their kids running up a debt. Plus, it comes with some parental controls.

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.

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.

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. (In fact, Acorns actually offers GoHenry for free when you sign up for its Premium plan.)

Related: 30 Best Side Hustles for Teens [In-Person + Online]

GoHenry Plans + Costs


GoHenry offers a one-month free trial, then two pricing options, depending on the number of children:

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Individual$4.99/mo.

    - GoHenry card for one child
    - Parental controls
    - Allowance and chores
    - Instant money transfers
    - Savings goals
    - Money missions
    - Giftlinks
Family$9.99/mo.Everything in the Individual plan, for up to four children

GoHenry accounts don’t charge transaction fees nor foreign transaction fees. It’s also free for friends to instantly send money to your child.

GoHenry is one of the few cards that does not have a fee-free ATM network, however, so you’ll incur third-party fees at virtually every ATM.

You can customize debit cards at a cost of $4.99 each.

Related: 11 Best Debit Cards for Kids

GoHenry Features


young teen with debit credit card yellow background

Below, I’ve listed a number of GoHenry’s most prominent features. Many of them are designed to keep kids and teens happy, but others help parents keep an eye on their children’s spending.

GoHenry Card

The GoHenry card is a Mastercard-branded prepaid debit card that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Parents load their parent account via a linked debit card or credit card, though GoHenry doesn’t allow you to fund via American Express. Parents load their children’s GoHenry cards from the parent account.

Each child can choose from 45 different GoHenry debit card designs or create a customized card for $4.99. When you open a GoHenry account, you should receive your children’s debit cards in the mail seven to nine business days later.

ATM charges are a weak spot here. While many kids’ debit cards have fee-free ATM networks, GoHenry does not. GoHenry itself won’t charge your child for withdrawing money from an ATM, they will incur a third-party fee from virtually any ATM. GoHenry caps ATM withdrawals to $120 per day and $480 within four days, as well as three withdrawals in one day and four within four days.

The card offers chip and PIN-protected transactions, bank-level encryption, and secure PIN recovery through the app. Cardholders also 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 GoHenry.

Parental Controls

GoHenry offers a few parental controls to ensure children are using their debit cards responsibly, including:

  • Spending overviews
  • Real-time spending alerts
  • Single-transaction and/or weekly spending limits
  • ATM withdrawal limits
  • Enabling/disabling spending at ATMs, in stores, and/or online

GoHenry also automatically blocks spending at “over 18” merchants, such as casinos, alcohol wholesalers, adult-themed sellers, and more. Optionally, you can turn on a “strict merchant block” from any businesses that sell age-restricted items, even if they also sell kid-friendly merchandise. (For instance, your child wouldn’t be able to buy candy at a convenience store that sells alcohol.)

You can also 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.

Allowance + Chores

Parents can reduce their mental load and put allowance on repeat every week. Just choose the amount, and the day of the week, and it’ll automatically be sent to your kids from then on.

You can also set chores for your child, such as walking the dog, doing homework, or sweeping. Kids get paid as chores are marked completed either by you or your child. Any chores marked as complete will be paid out when weekly allowance is due.

Instant Money Transfers

In addition to paying a regular allowance, parents can click “Quick Transfer” to instantly send money to a child at any time. Instant money transfers are a great way to reward a child, gift money for a special occasion, or send money in the event of an emergency.

Savings Goals

Kids can set up savings goals through GoHenry to start building the essential habit of setting money aside. They can set a target amount and/or date and, if they find it motivating, add an image. GoHenry also offers weekly autosaving to help children reach their goals faster.

Parent-Paid Interest

Earning interest is an excellent way to motivate kids to save. While GoHenry itself doesn’t pay interest, it does offer parent-paid interest. When this feature is enabled, parents can pay a predetermined rate on any deposits in the child’s savings account. The interest is paid on the first of each month from the parent’s account.

Money Missions

In addition to the hands-on financial experience kids gain through GoHenry’s debit card, they can increase their financial literacy through GoHenry’s in-app Money Missions.

The short stories, videos, and quizzes are easy to binge, and learning is gamified through earning badges. These lessons are tailored for your child’s age, so younger kids learn money basics and older kids learn more advanced topics. Money Missions are developed by teachers and financial education experts and follow the K-12 Personal Finance Education National Standards.

My suggestion? Give your kids small monetary rewards for successfully completing lessons.

Giftlinks

You’re not the only one who can send money securely to your child through GoHenry. Anyone you give a Giftlink to can send money as well. So if grandparents want to send money for a birthday or a family friend wants to gift money for a baptism, they can easily do so without anyone needing to deal with cash. They can even add a personal message.

The sender doesn’t even need to have the GoHenry app. All they need is a credit card or debit card registered to a valid U.S. address (Cash, checks, nor prepaid debit cards won’t work, however.)

Customer Service

GoHenry has some of the best customer service among kids’ debit card providers. They offer everyday phone availability (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET), email access, and social media engagement.

Interested in GoHenry? You can sign up here.

Related: 4 Best Ways to Save Money for Kids [Children’s Savings Plans]

Axos First Checking Overview


axos first checking

Axos First Checking is a free joint bank account for teens and adults offered by Axos Bank—an online-only bank with a focus on technology-driven finance.

First Checking offers teens and their parents (or other adult owners of the account) a free debit card, peer-to-peer transfers, direct deposit, bill pay, extensive security features, even interest payments.

The Axos First Checking account comes with a debit card—you can choose either Visa or Mastercard—that you can use to spend in store and online, as well as to withdraw cash. While Axos Bank doesn’t have its own ATM system, Axos offers fee-free access to 91,000 ATMs nationwide, and it reimburses up to $12 in third-party ATM fees every month.

If you’re worried that your (or your teen’s) card is lost or stolen? You can lock and unlock the card from your Axos account. And the card limits cash withdrawals to $100 daily and debit transactions to $500 daily.

Axos First Checking charges zero monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and non-sufficient fund fees. It’s designed for teens between ages 13 and 17 (up to 18 years old in Alabama). And once your teen reaches adulthood, it’s easy to convert to another Axos checking account, giving the newly minted adult full control.

Related: Best Debit Cards for Teens

Axos First Checking Plans + Costs


If you hate fees, you’ll love Axos First Checking, which charges zero monthly fees and avoids a host of other fees. First, a look at the features:

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Axos First CheckingN/A

    - Axos Visa or Mastercard debit card
    - Peer-to-peer transfers
    - Direct deposit
    - Bill pay (parents only)
    - $12/mo. in ATM reimbursements
    - APY on checking
    - Cash deposits
    - Easy account transition once child reaches adulthood

Axos charges no fees for overdrafts, non-sufficient funds, incoming wire transfers, first debit cards (and replacements), or money transfers. The account requires no minimum deposit, nor any minimum balance requirements. And not only do you get access to 91,000-plus fee-free ATMs, but Axos will reimburse you for up to $12 in domestic ATM fee charges every month—so you don’t really have to worry about third-party ATM fees, either.

Axos Bank will charge $5 for customers who prefer paper account statements, and they do have a 1% foreign currency conversion fee. Axos Bank doesn’t charge a fee for cash deposits, but retailers may charge up to $4.95.

Related: Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Kids and Teens [Reloadable]

Axos First Checking Features


young man woman smartphones apps

Below are some of Axos First Checking’s most notable features. Some of these features are geared towards the teens, while others exist to keep parents sane.

Axos First Checking Debit Card

The Axos First Checking account comes with a free Visa- or Mastercard-branded debit card. (You can choose which one during the application.) The card can be used in stores and online wherever the chosen brand is accepted, including internationally.

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of Axos’s card is its ATM access. Axos Bank allows you to withdraw cash fee-free from 91,000-plus ATMs nationwide. And if you come across an ATM outside of Axos’ network, no problem—it will reimburse up to $12 in third-party operator fees every month. Point-of-sale transactions are limited to $500 per day, while ATM withdrawals are limited to $100 daily.

Card actions such as activating, deactivating, reactivating, ordering a replacement, and sending a travel notification can all be done online.

Security features include active fraud monitoring, two-step authentication, and 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.

Parental Controls

Parental controls in Axos First Checking are fairly rudimentary. Parents can monitor their teen’s spending through account alerts received as real-time push notifications, emails, or text messages. They can also track transfers made from the account and lock/unlock the debit card from the mobile app and dashboard.

Related: Best Taxable Brokerage Accounts for Parents and Teens to Invest Together

Cash Deposits

If teens have a tip-based job or receive a lot of cash for celebrations and holidays, they might want to deposit that cash into their accounts. Fortunately, while Axos is an online-only bank, there are still ways to make cash deposits.

Members can log in to the app and use the ATM locator to find ATMs that accept cash deposits. Alternatively, through Axos’ partnership with Green Dot Network®, they can deposit cash at many popular retailers, including:

  • ACE Cash Express
  • CVS
  • Dollar General
  • Kroger
  • Rite Aid
  • Safeway
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • 7-Eleven

Members can instruct the cashier to add the provided cash directly to their debit cards. Usually, the amount has to be between $20 and $500, but some places allow up to $1,500. Axos Bank doesn’t charge a fee for the transaction, but retailers may charge up to $4.95.

Peer-to-Peer Transfers

Axos lets teens make peer-to-peer payments directly from their checking accounts online. Just an email or phone number is needed to send a secure payment. So whether they need to pay a friend back for cash, fast food, or a group activity, it’s quick and easy to settle up.

Earns Interest

Teens earn an interest rate of 0.10% on any money in their account—a nice bonus for doing nothing. While this is an admittedly small annual percentage yield (APY) compared to, say, a high-yield savings account or money market account, it’s still more than you’ll get on your typical checking account (which is nothing).

Direct Deposit + Mobile Deposit

Teens with jobs can easily get their paychecks directly deposited into their accounts. Axos Bank has no minimum direct deposit amount to avoid fees (which isn’t the case with every financial institution).

Do the teen’s grandparents love to write birthday checks? Not an issue. Axos allows free mobile deposits. You can use a mobile device or computer to send money from a check straight into a First Checking account any time of day.

Bill Pay

While parents should always be covering a kid’s essential expenses, it isn’t unheard of for teens to be responsible for some of their nonessential costs. For example, a teen with a job might be asked to pay for their cell phone plan.

With Axos’ free bill pay feature, parents can schedule payments from a primary account to ensure the teen doesn’t miss a cell phone payment. (Note: Only parents, not teens, can access this feature.)

Bill Pay is parent use only.

Easy Transition to Adulthood

Once a teenager reaches adulthood, the account can be converted into a different checking account, such as Essential Checking, Rewards Checking, or CashBack Checking. The parent or original adult on the account can then remove themselves as a joint account owner so the new adult is completely in control.

You can sign up for Axos First Checking here.

Related: Best Teen Checking Accounts [Banks for Teens]

GoHenry vs. Axos First Checking: Our Editors’ Choice Is …


GoHenry and Axos First Checking can both teach your child financial responsibility. The better fit for your family largely depends on the age of your child, the price you’re willing to pay, and the features you need most.

GoHenry is available for kids as young as six years old, while Axos First Checking is designed for teenagers. The younger your child, the more parental controls you need, and GoHenry shines in this area. Its controls are much more extensive than what Axos First Checking offers. Parents can set single-transaction or weekly spending limits. They can enable or disable spending at ATMs, in stores, and/or online, as well.

Parents can also set up chores and/or an allowance for their child (with optional parent-paid interest). Another area where GoHenry beats out Axos First Checking is helping kids build financial literacy skills through videos and quizzes.

But don’t count out Axos First Checking just yet. One of its most appealing features is that there is no monthly fee. Unlike GoHenry, the money in an Axos First Checking account earns interest that Axos pays—rather than parents having to cough up interest payments.

The account also offers $0 cash reloads (though retailers may charge a fee). This is a useful feature for teens who have tip-based jobs or those who receive a lot of cash for special events, such as a quinceañera or bar mitzvah.

Overall, while both of these accounts offer debit cards for kids, the features differ quite a bit. We tend to prefer GoHenry over Axos First Checking as it has more comprehensive features, but for some families, Axos First Checking may make more sense. You can sign up for GoHenry here or with Axos First Checking here.

Our Pick: GoHenry
Runner-Up: Axos First Checking
4.4
3.6
Our Pick: GoHenry
Runner-Up: Axos First Checking

Related: 13 Best Allowance and Chore Apps for Kids [Easier Family Life]

Other Debit Cards for Kids to Consider


Are neither GoHenry nor Axos First Checking the best fit for you and your family? You may want to try one of these other highly rated debit cards for kids.

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: Best Teen Credit Cards for Building Credit


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.