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When it comes to prepaid debit cards for teens and kids, there are few brands as well known as Greenlight card. From its low monthly fee, to its feature-filled product offering or its ease of use, Greenlight is a great option for parents looking to teach their children about responsible financial habits and how money works in the real world.

However, just because Greenlight stands atop the debit card for kids market doesn’t mean it is always your best choice. Other prepaid cards offer similar features at different price points better adjusted to your needs and situation. So, if you don’t want your child using a Greenlight card right out of the gate, there are several Greenlight alternatives that might be better suited to your needs!

In this article we’ll take a look at some of these alternatives to Greenlight and help you decide which is best for your family.

Best Greenlight Alternatives—Top Picks


Best Debit Card for Customer Service
Paid Debit Card for Kids + Teens
Free Teen Checking Account
4.4
4.4
3.6
30 days free. Individual: $4.99/mo./child. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children.
30 days free. Copper $4.95/mo. Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.
Free (no monthly fees).
Best Debit Card for Customer Service
4.4
30 days free. Individual: $4.99/mo./child. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children.
Paid Debit Card for Kids + Teens
4.4
30 days free. Copper $4.95/mo. Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.
Free Teen Checking Account

What Are the Best Greenlight Alternatives to Consider?


Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best alternatives to Greenlight that should work for your needs. Not all are prepaid or paid card options, so look at each and compare which one makes the most sense for your needs.

AppBest ForFeesPromotions
gohenry logo thinGoHenry☆ 4.6 / 5
Accessible customer service support
Individual: $4.99/child/mo.
Family: $9.98/mo. for up to four children
Free month trial + $5 bonus
copper logo thinCopper Banking☆ 4.9 / 5
Kid financial independence
Copper: $4.95/mo.
Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.
Free month trial
famzoo logo thinFamZoo☆ 4.5 / 5
Financial literacy resources
$5.99/mo. per childFree month trial
Axos Bank logoAxos First Checking☆ 4.7 / 5
Teens ready to learn about money management
FreeNone
current logo thinCurrent☆ 4.8 / 5
Innovation and product features
FreeNone
*Apple App Store Rating as of June 24, 2024

 

1. GoHenry (Best Greenlight Alternative)


gohenry signup acorns new
GoHenry
  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 1 month free. Individual: $4.99/child/mo. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children

GoHenry is a banking app for minors that competes with Greenlight debit card and comes paired with prepaid debit cards for parents to oversee and manage their children’s account balance.

You have an online account which comes linked to individual accounts for each of your children allowing you to lock and unlock each prepaid card.

You can manage all of the money held in each account through the company’s app and online account portal.

Each child will receive their own GoHenry debit card which comes paired with parental controls you can set for your children.

What’s nice about GoHenry is the ability to spend only the money available on the prepaid card, meaning you don’t need to worry about costly fees for overdrafting or accruing debt.

You open a GoHenry account, receive your children’s debit cards in the mail 7-8 business days later, set up an automatic weekly allowance transfer into your children’s accounts and can set up one-off or weekly spending limits.

This will keep your children’s spending in check and you can block/unblock the card as needed as well as choose the stores where your kids can shop.

With time, the controls provided by the app and the guidance you offer can help your kids to earn, save, spend and give with good money habits.

GoHenry is one of the best debit cards for kids for customer service. They offer 24/7 phone availability, email access and social media engagement, ensuring users can solve their problems quickly and with little hassle.

The product has no minimum age requirements, but recommends starting at 6 or later.

Learn more by reading our GoHenry debit card review.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight

2. Copper Card


copper banking
Copper
  • 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 kid’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: Best Banking Apps for Kids & Teens [Teen Banking]

 

3. FamZoo


famzoo sign up
FamZoo
  • Available: Sign up here
  • Monthly Fee: Free trial, then $5.99/month per family

FamZoo is another competing Greenlight service for parents interested in opening prepaid debit cards to manage their children’s spending.

It works by having parents release money into their child’s account and then having the card work with a loaded balance. Money can be loaded onto the cards at any time.

FamZoo acts like a regular checking account with a linked debit card except FamZoo makes sure the account can’t be charged an overdraft fee, saving you money.

Adults are able to monitor the transactions being made. After a free trial, this app costs $5.99 per month, but the price goes down if prepaid in advance.

FamZoo is our top education choice because of its strong financial education library which improves its overall value.

The product has no minimum age requirements, but recommends starting earlier than later.

Related: Greenlight vs. Famzoo

4. Axos Bank First Checking (Best Free Greenlight Alternative)


axos bank first teen checking sign up
Axos Bank

First Checking by Axos Bank is the ultimate starter checking account for teens which also comes with a debit card. The world of banking can be a little scary, but not with the simplicity and power of Axos’ First Checking Account.

The account competes with Greenlight by working as a joint account between a parent or guardian and their teen, allowing for easy-to-set, customizable parental controls with a debit card dashboard.

Parents and teens can manage almost every part of the banking experience through a convenient mobile app or through the online desktop portal. Perfect for modern families who always find themselves on the go.

The First Checking account from Axos Bank gives teens their first taste of financial independence by giving them their own checking account (which pays interest!) and free debit card for teens that has daily cash withdrawals limits of $100 and purchase limits of $500.

This provides safeguards against teens getting carried away with the money held in their account.

Further, you can have up to $12 of domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month, avoid any monthly maintenance, overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees—essentially making the account free!

The account carries the highest level of security through biometric authentication techniques like fingerprint readers, voiceprints and facial recognition (pending smartphone feature availability).

The product has a minimum age requirement of 13 and will convert to an Axos Checking Account after reaching the age of majority.

Read more in our Axos First Checking Account review.

Related: Best Investments for Kids

5. Current


Current signup new
Current

Current is a banking app designed for all families. The Current app allows you to track your teen’s spending in real-time, set limits on how much they can spend, and even block specific merchants on Visa-enabled prepaid cards.

You also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing their money is safe because it’s not cash. Plus, the company doesn’t charge any fees or interest for student accounts so there are no surprises when bills arrive.

Current helps parents teach teens financial responsibility while giving them a way to learn without having cash around the house and all its temptations.

That means less worry for both parents and kids! With Current, your teenager will be able to do everything from paying friends back to buying groceries at the store–all safely with only her phone!

And teens will have the opportunity to learn financial responsibility and budgeting from an early age. This will allow them to grow their savings and move one step closer to financial independence.

The product has no specifically stated minimum age requirement, but the marketing points toward a Teen Account as the target audience. Therefore, you might be able to open an account below this age for your child.

Read more in our Current review.

Related: How Old Do You Have to Be to Invest in Stocks by Yourself?

6. Chase First Banking (Best Free Debit Card for Kids and Teens)


chase first banking sign up
Chase

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

Chase First BankingSM 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 BankingSM 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 BankingSM 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 SM or Chase Secure BankingSM account to qualify.

  • Chase Total CheckingSM 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 BankingSM 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 BankingSM account for your child.

Read more in our Chase First Banking review.

Related: Best Debit Cards for Teens

What Are Prepaid Debit Cards for Kids?


custodial account son father child kid

A prepaid card is a type of payment card that can be loaded with funds in advance and then used to purchase goods or services without incurring debt from the issuer. The most common type of prepaid cards is a prepaid debit card (which acts like making bank account withdrawals when purchasing goods and services).

Prepaid cards for a child allow you to avoid non-sufficient funds fees or overdraft charges because they can only spend what they have on the card.

What Is the Greenlight Debit Card for Kids?


greenlight card

The Greenlight app offers a feature-filled financial platform meant to help parents teach their kids important personal finance skills and build useful money habits including how to save, earn, invest, spend and give money responsibly. The Greenlight app and prepaid card function as a purpose-built solution for families to learn about money through use of a prepaid debit card with parental controls, notifications and safety features.

Further, the Greenlight prepaid card and app offers a parent account for establishing chore plans and administering weekly allowance payments for successful completion of assigned tasks.

From there, parents can show their kids how to use the included investing platform (on a higher plan through Greenlight Max) to invest in stocks for kids and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This can show real-life lessons of compound interest and encourage children to save and invest funds regularly.

Related:


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.