Green Light Debit Card Intro
Hey there glad you made it here to my review on Greenlight Debit Card For Kids.
Let me start off by saying when I first read about the Greenlight debit card, I was very skeptical. The thought of kids having a debit card along with the app I thought was equivalent to giving them the keys to a mustang at 16 years old and telling them to drive safe… while you wait for the phone call that they wrecked it!
But if you look at today’s landscape, it’s not surprising that Americans have shifted from the traditional use of cash to more modern methods of payment like debit and credit cards.
Facts & Stats
According to Fundera the statistics for consumers usage of cash vs credit card spending are essential indicators of consumer spending habits and the wider economy as a whole.
These are the key statistics that stood out to me:
- 80% of consumers prefer card payments over cash
- 76% of consumers have at least one credit card
- Debit cards account for 67% of card payments
- Only 10% of consumers make all of their purchases with cash
- The average cash transaction is $22
- The average non-cash transaction is $112
These statistics on consumer spending habits help reveal how cash and credit card spending pair up against each other. To me this is very eye-opening data that shows peoples preference to cash and credit cards.
Another interesting fact is according to Value Pengiun, 41% of America’s households have credit card debt. It’s important to introduce your kids to the concept of credit cards while they’re still in the nest – that way, they are prepared to carry one later in life.
Now I typically use my Delta credit card to pay for everything to get my miles which I then pay off every month. To me this is the smartest way to handle your daily spending because of the perks the credit card companies give you.
However, I do carry cash on me to use whenever I need to or want to. Now when our boys were younger, we gave them cash for doing their chores around the house. The girls we are going to handle differently now that I found Greenlight and am sold on all the benefits and services it provides.
Now before I dive in…
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Now let’s get dig into Greenlight Debit Card…
What Is Greenlight Debit Card For Kids?
The Greenlight debit card and app is a way for parents to help teach their kids healthy money management habits that will serve them in the future as they become adults.
You may think that kids don’t want to learn about finances… well that is not true.
A recent survey finds 93% of teens believe they need financial knowledge and skills to achieve their life goals, and 97% of parents agree. The earlier they learn, the faster they’ll reach their big goals — in money and in life.
The Greenlight system protects them from overspending because they can spend only the money they have and teaches them to build healthy habits early before they enter the world of credit.
Parents are able to teach kids to be financially responsible without having to get frustrated harassing them about their chores every day. The Greenlight mobile app is a fantastic motivator for kids with its in-app chore list and recurring allowance options. Once they get their chore list done you can then send them the money straight to their debit card.
Greenlight is not a credit card. It is a prepaid debit card that they can only use if they have the cash in their back account.
Greenlight Financial Services Company Profile
According to CorporationWiki Greenlight Financial Services filed as a Foreign For-Profit Corporation in the State of Texas on Friday, May 3, 2002 and is approximately 20 years old, as recorded in documents filed with Texas Secretary of State.
A corporate filing is called a foreign filing when an existing corporate entity files in a state other than the state they originally filed in. This does not necessarily mean that they are from outside the United States’
Founders Tim Sheehan (CEO) and Johnson Cook (President) imagined Greenlight when they noticed a problem: Parents didn’t have a way to teach their kids about money.
Their mission is to “Shine a light on the world of money for families and empower parents to raise financially-smart kids.”
Greenlight Plans and Pricing
Greenlight has three plans with all of them are reasonably prices to fit any budget.
- Greenlight Basic
- Greenlight + Invest
- Greenlight Max.
Each Greenlight plan comes with up to five prepaid Mastercard debit cards. The features included are as follows:
- Mastercard Zero Liability Protection
- FDIC insurance up to $250,000
- Turn cards on or off through the app
- Protected savings balances
- Real-time spending notifications for parents
- Instant transfers to kids’ debit cards
- Integrated with mobile payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay
- Balance tracking
- Use anywhere Mastercard is accepted
- Works internationally in 150+ countries with no foreign transaction fees
With all these features your not only teaching them to spend what they have available, but you are also able to track where and how they spend.
Note that while these cards function like checking accounts and have FDIC insurance, they’re not technically bank accounts.
1) Greenlight Basic Plan
This Basic Plan is $4.99/month, and offers the following eight features:
- Round-Ups Savings – Set up your Greenlight debit card to round up purchases to the next dollar and deposit the difference in savings. This may seem small but over time this will help increase your kids’ savings
- Parent-Paid Interest – Parents can increase their kids’ savings rate out of their own linked account by choosing what you want your kids to earn on their savings balances.
- Allowance and Chore Payments – Assign chores to kids with the Greenlight app and once they have completed them you can send payment to them. You can also set up recurring allowance payments on a monthly or weekly basis.
- Core Financial Tools – Greenlight’s app allows you to access their financial tools to manage day-to-day spending, set aside savings, and give back. Also, kids can set and work toward their own savings goals.
- Educational App for Kids and Parents – The Greenlight app comes with user-friendly educational modules. There is a wide selection of articles, videos, quizzes, and much more that are all designed to teach kids about basic financial concepts while empowering parents to impart their own financial knowledge.
- Core Financial Tools – Greenlight’s financial tools make it easy to manage day-to-day spending, set aside savings, and give back. Three distinct buckets help keep these three different types of funds separate. And kid users have discretion to set and work toward customizable savings goals.
- Parental Controls – Greenlight’s app comes with customizable parental controls that adjust as your kids grow. Some examples of this include choosing exactly where your child’s Greenlight debit card is accepted, the ability to set a limit on ATM withdrawals, and set store-level spending limits.
- Greenlight Savings Reward – With the basic Greenlight plan, protected savings balances earn a 1% savings reward annually. This reward is applicable up to $5,000… anything above this amount earns no further rewards.
2) Greenlight + Invest Plan
For $7.99/month the Greenlight + Invest Plan retains all the features of the Greenlight Base Plan and adds the following two features:
- Investing for Kids – Greenlight’s kid-friendly investing platform has a brokerage account held in the parents name. It requires parental approval for any and all trades. There is a minimum balance of $1 with no trading fees. Finally it allows Fractional share investing in stocks and ETFs which let you buy the priciest stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for as little as one dollar.
Investing for Parents – Greenlight offers a separate investing option for parents which is a brokerage account held in their name. Also just like the child’s account, the parent account is at the sole disposal of the adult.
3) Greenlight Max Plan
At $9.99/month the Greenlight Max Plan keeps all the features of the two lower-priced plans and includes an additional six features:
- 2% Savings Reward – Earn an additional 1% savings reward on eligible savings balances for a total reward of 2%. Note the same $5,000 average daily balance cap applies.
- Cash Back on Eligible Purchases – Your kids earn 1% cash back on eligible debit card purchases.
- Priority Customer Support – As a Greenlight Max customer you qualify for priority customer support. You get front-of-the-line access if you need to get in touch with the app’s customer service team
- Identity Theft Protection – Greenlight Max comes with complimentary identity theft protection for the entire family, not just kids which includes identify theft monitoring, Identity theft alerts and identity restoration.
- Cellphone Protection – The cellphone protection plan provides coverage for up to five phone which covers damage, loss, theft, and subject to applicable coverage limits.
- Purchase Protection – This benefit provides financial coverage for damage or theft affecting eligible items purchased with your Greenlight debit card, subject to dollar-value limits and other restrictions
How Does The Greenlight App Work?
The Greenlight app is an excellent tool for kids to learn about saving.
They have ability to create several savings buckets to learn how to save up for specific things they want which is similar to Dave Ramsey sinking fund concept.
Parents can have as much or as little control over spending, including alerts when the purchases occur.
Here are the features of the Greenlight app:
- In-app chore list
- Instant transfers
- Instant alerts when the card is used
- Kids can download the app in order to track balances, see chore lists, and create savings accounts
- Turn the card on or off through the app in case it gets lost
- Set savings goals and track progress
- State of the art encryption to protect data
- Block unsafe spend categories and don’t let kids get cash back at the register
Additional Features of Greenlight
The Greenlight Gift feature makes it easy to send money to any Greenlight user, even if you don’t have a Greenlight account yourself.
Million Bazillion Podcast
Greenlight’s Million Bazillion is a fun, age-appropriate podcast that makes basic and intermediate financial concepts accessible to Greenlight kids.
Greenlight has partnered with Kahoot! a game-based learning platform, used as educational technology in schools and other educational institutions. Its learning games, “kahoots”, are user-generated multiple-choice quizzes that can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot! app.
Customizable Greenlight Debit Card
For a one-time fee of $9.99, you can customize your Greenlight debit card with a photo of your choice. It could be a selfie, a picture of your favorite pet, a stirring landscape or still life — whatever appeals to you.
Greenlight Debit Card Pros And Cons
During my research through Greenlight card reviews, I found a lot of pros and just a couple of cons to the card:
- No minimum Age – Kids of any age can participate in Greenlight
- Teach money management and financial responsibility
- Customizable parental controls in the Greenlight App
- Payment for chores and allowances.
- No hidden fees
- Investment accounts for parents and kids
- Turn card off in an instant if lost or stolen
- Phone, purchase and identity theft protection
- Parents set spend and ATM controls
- In-app chore list to tie work with a payment
- Encourages savings with the ability to set up separate accounts and savings goals
- FDIC insured
- Get cash back on eligible purchases
- Ability to earmark funds for giving
- Savings Rewards are capped at $5,000 average daily balance
- You can’t receive money from other sources such as Venmo or Paypal, Apple Pay, etc.
- Greenlight doesn’t offer a credit card to help build good credit for kids with an entry level credit card
- The flat monthly fee is unavoidable and higher than other cards; however, those offer fewer feature
Is Greenlight Trustworthy?
Yes, this is a trustworthy company and here is why…
After reading through many of the Greenlight card reviews I found that a majority were service related with the rest being billing related.
Greenlight has a BBB rating (a B) and had 36 complaints. All of them were addressed by Greenlight customer service in a timely manner.
Some of the other Greenlight card reviews I read were good and had requests for improvements to the app.
Also Greenlight has more than four million accounts and growing.
They have been making positive news with write ups on USA Today, Nerd Wallet, CNET, The Wall Street Journal and many more.
My recommendation is to sign up like I did for the Greenlight Debit Card in order to raise financially-smart kids.
We love all the features and are looking forward to the parent credit card that is coming in the future.
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As always Dream Big!!!