10 Best Greenlight Card Alternatives

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If you’re considering getting a debit card for your child, you might be wondering what your choices are. One of the most popular options, the Greenlight debit card, can help kids learn to earn, save, give and invest. 

Although Greenlight is a top choice for many parents who are looking for debit cards for kids, you do have other options. Many Greenlight debit card alternatives have most or all of the same features.

We’ve found the best Greenlight card alternatives to help you teach your kids money management habits that will set them up for financial success.

Top Greenlight Alternatives

chase logo 250x250

Chase First Banking is a free checking account starting at age of 6.

acos bank

Axos First Checking has a debit card with minimum age of 13.

copper bank

Copper Teen Banking has a minimum age of 13 and $10 deposit.

When it comes to kids’ debit cards, you’ll want to choose a card that fits your family’s needs and budget. 

In alphabetical order, here are the best alternatives to the Greenlight debit card. 

1. Acorns Family

Acorns Family home page

Acorns is best known for their adult accounts that allow you to invest in fractional shares of stock using roundups from connected debit and credit card purchases. 

You can open an Acorns checking account and make purchases with your Acorns debit card. This costs just $3 per month.

What you might not know is that Acorns Family is available to families with kids. When you open an Acorns Family account for $5 per month, you get investment accounts for unlimited children.

Better yet, this account comes with investment, retirement and checking accounts in addition to bonus investments, money-related advice and much more.

Note that with Acorns, there’s no specific debit card for your child. However, you can allow your child to make purchases by setting up an Acorns checking account in your name. 

Of course, you will have to be with them when they make purchases. 

Price: $5 per month

Pros

  • Six ETF portfolios to choose from
  • Invest for both adults and children
  • Reasonable monthly fee

Cons

  • No targeted debit card for kids
  • No option for an education investment account

2. Axos First Checking

Axos First Checking page

The Axos First Checking account is designed for kids aged 13-17. Teen account owners must have a joint adult account owner. 

The account comes with a free debit card that is fee-free as long as you are using in-network ATMs. You can also get up to $12 in ATM fee reimbursements each month. 

Other features of the Axos First Checking account include:

  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 monthly service fee
  • $100 daily ATM limit/$500 daily purchase limit
  • Real-time activity notifications
  • Interest-bearing

Parents can control debit card access using the app or website. Kids can make peer-to-peer transfers and take advantage of Axos’ referral program. 

Biometric identification and bill pay are also available with this account. See the Axos website for more details. 

Price: $0 per month

Pros

  • Interest-bearing account
  • Expansive parental controls
  • No overdraft fees

Cons

  • Limited ATM fee reimbursements
  • Lower debit card limits than other cards

3. BusyKid

BusyKid home page

BusyKid is a prepaid spend card that helps your kids earn money by doing assigned chores.

As a parent, you can use the app to assign preset chore choices or add your own. The money in your child’s BusyKid account can be spent anywhere Visa is accepted.

Alternately, you can work with your child to save the money in a savings pod, invest it in fractional shares of stock or donate it to a charitable organization. 

Other features include:

  • The option for parent-directed bonuses
  • Friends and family can send money to the account via QR code
  • Parental match feature on savings pods
  • Multi-parent access

You can add up to five kids to your BusyKid account. Keep in mind that there is a $0.50 charge for each declined purchase (due to insufficient funds). 

Also, it’s important to note that you will get charged $7.99 for each replacement card. 

You can load funds onto the card, which can be used anywhere you would normally use a Visa debit card. Plus, you can move funds off of the card when appropriate.

Read our full BusyKid review here

Price: $3.99 per month or $38.99 per year

Pros

  • Attractive pricing options
  • Family and friends can add to accounts
  • Extensive parental control options

Cons

  • Hefty card replacement fee

4. Chase First Banking

Chase First Banking page

The Chase First Banking account is for teens ages six to 17. This account comes with a chore app as well as a savings feature. 

Parents can choose how much a child can spend per transaction and where. For example, you could set a $10 limit at restaurants or a $20 limit across all categories. 

Other features include:

  • $0 monthly fee
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • Free ATM withdrawals at Chase ATMs
  • Real-time spending alerts

Kids can even request money transfers through the app, which parents can choose to accept or decline. 

As the parent, you need to have or open a Chase checking account in order for your child to have a Chase First Banking account.

Up to five Chase First Banking accounts are allowed per parent or guardian. 

Price: $0 per month

Pros

  • Set automatic allowances and/or make a chores list
  • Ample adjustable parental controls
  • No fees

Cons

  • Parents must have a Chase account
  • No direct deposit allowed

5. Copper Teen Banking

Copper Teen Banking page

Copper Banking is a fintech company that has accounts for adults. However, each adult account holder can open up to five Copper Teen accounts. 

You can fund your Copper account by transferring money from your bank account or debit card. Then, you can transfer money to any Copper Teen account. 

Other Copper Banking features include:

  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • Automated allowance payments
  • Direct Deposit capabilities
  • Financial education tools
  • Savings goals feature

Your teen does need to have their own cell phone in order to use Copper. That might be a downside for some parents. 

Read our full Copper Banking Review for more information.

Price: $0 per month

Pros

  • Zero account fees
  • Large fee-free ATM network
  • Get up to five teen accounts with one adult account

Cons

  • Limited parental controls
  • Teens must have a cell phone to use

6. Current

Current home page

Current is a fintech banking app designed to help kids and teens learn about earning, spending, saving and giving. 

When you open a Current account, you can add a teen account for your child. Teen accounts through Current cost $36 per year. 

As the parent, you have control over transfers to the account. You can set spending limits and ATM limits as well.

Other features include:

  • $0 opening deposit requirement
  • $0 minimum balance
  • Fee-free in-network ATM withdrawals
  • Chore list capabilities
  • One savings pod
  • One giving pod

Giving pods allow your teen to donate money to a charity of their choice. You can set weekly allowances, make one-off transfers or help your child earn via the chore list.

Price: $36 per year

Pros

  • Free parent account available
  • Flexible and adequate parental controls
  • Direct Deposit available

Cons

  • Annual fee applies
  • Only one guardian allowed

7. FamZoo

FamZoo home page

FamZoo is a family banking fintech designed to help you teach your kids about money. You can choose from two types of accounts, an IOU account or a prepaid account.

A prepaid account, whether a spending, saving or giving account, holds actual money. IOU accounts are accounts you’ll use to track the money you owe your child.

You can choose whether to use IOU accounts, prepaid accounts or a combination of the two. Additionally, you can use the app to set up daily and weekly chores.

Kids earn their money (or you give them a weekly allowance), and then they work with you to decide how to spend, save and give. 

Other features of FamZoo include:

  • Full parental controls
  • Activity alerts
  • Parent-paid interest option
  • The ability to add rewards or penalties

The rewards and penalties option is a nice touch for parents who want to reward their children for going the extra mile or penalize them for not following the rules. 

Note that you can save money on the monthly fee by paying semi-annually, annually or bi-annually. 

Price: $5.99 per month

Pros

  • Comprehensive teaching tools
  • Rewards and penalties features
  • Flexible parental controls and features

Cons

  • No free option
  • Learning curve is slightly difficult

8. GoHenry

GoHenry home page

GoHenry is a fintech banking app with a debit card for kids ages six to 17. With GoHenry, you can establish weekly allowances and/or set up chore lists. 

Your child’s earnings can stay in a spending account, get transferred to savings or they can give some money to Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Some features of the GoHenry debit card include:

  • $0 minimum balance
  • Real-time spending notifications
  • Parental spending controls
  • Direct Deposit capabilities

Note that GoHenry has a comprehensive learning center that is ideal for giving kids extra knowledge about money. Classes in the learning center are free. 

Teens can also send and receive payments from other GoHenry members. This is a great feature to have if your teen wants to split a lunch bill or other expenditure with a friend. 

Keep in mind that your teen will not be able to use the “pay at the pump” feature with GoHenry. However, they can pay for gasoline inside the gas station.

Price: $3.99 per month

Pros

  • Comprehensive learning center
  • Referral reward program

Cons

  • No free options
  • Additional limits on debit card spending

9. M1 Finance

M1 Finance home page

M1 Finance is a fintech company that allows adults to spend, save, borrow and invest. Within M1 Finance, you can open a UTMA/UGMA custodial account for your child.

The company has a regular account that’s free. However, you need to open the Plus account for $125 per year in order to be able to create an account for your child.

If you do use the debit card feature to spend some of the money from the custodial account, the money must be used for the direct benefit of the minor child.

All of the money will be transferred to the child’s ownership once they reach legal age. This varies based on the state you live in.

One nice thing about choosing M1 Finance over other options is that you can buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs for your child. 

Other features include:

  • 1% cash back on debit card purchases
  • Up to four monthly ATM fee reimbursements
  • $0 minimum account balance
  • No fees on international debit purchases

M1 Finance is geared specifically for parents who are interested in investing on their children’s behalf. The debit card is a secondary feature. 

You can design your own portfolio or use one of M1 Finance’s custom portfolios.

Price: $125 per year

Pros

  • Attractive investment features
  • Cash back on debit spending for Plus members
  • Custodial UTMA/UGMA accounts are available

Cons

  • Hefty annual fee (comparatively)
  • Not geared directly toward kids

10. Mazoola

Mazoola home page

Mazoola is a family digital wallet that you can use to pay kids for chores. From there, you can help them manage their money, whether that be saving, spending or setting financial goals.

Some features of Mazoola include:

  • Parents can set limits on dollar amounts and approve retailers
  • $0 minimum balance
  • Chores feature
  • Goals feature
  • Charitable donations option
  • Real-time activity notifications

Although the subscription cost is a bit high, Mazoola does offer a one-year free trial. 

Price: $9.99 per month

Pros

  • Ample parental controls
  • “Stealable” chores
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay compatible

Cons

  • No physical debit cards
  • Additional fees not disclosed on the website

How Do These Greenlight Alternatives Compare?

CompanyFeesPromotions
Acorns$5/month$10 Bonus After First Deposit
Axos$0/monthFree
BusyKid$3.99/month30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Chase $0/month Free
Copper $0/month Free
Current$36/yearNone
Famzoo$5.99/month 30 Day Free Trial
GoHenry$3.99/month30 Day Free Trial
M1Finance$125/year$30 Bonus With $1,000 Deposit
Mazoola$9.99/month12 Months Free

Summary

The best Greenlight card alternatives will help your child learn to save, spend, invest and also find ways to make money as a teen. That way, they’ll be prepared when it comes time to leave the nest. 

Take the time to understand which features are most important to you. Then, review the offerings and costs of each option to decide whether Greenlight or another card is best for you.

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