Guide to the Greenlight debit card for kids


Many parents wish there was an easy way to teach their children about money – and if you’re one of those parents, the Greenlight debit card for kids could be the educational tool you’re looking for.

Greenlight Cards Products

Prepaid Debit Card for Kids

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 Greenlight card.

Parental Controls

Parental controls are one of the key features provided by Greenlight Debit Card, as they lead the industry in terms of granularity of control.

Greenlight uses a permission-based spending rules system whereby parents can set rules for specific stores and spending categories. When parents set these controls over spending, this allows them to place their preferred limits on their child’s spending at a particular store or within a particular spending category.

We will cover these details more next.

  • Store-Level Spend Control

Greenlight is the only prepaid card which allows y

Greenlight is the only prepaid card which allows you to select each and every store where kids can use their Greenlight card.

And, for parents really concerned this might not be enough control, Greenlight Card issues you an alert as soon as your kids try to spend funds where they shouldn’t.

But, even if they shop where they are allowed, you still receive an alert anytime the Greenlight debit card gets used. Further, it also tells you when a card gets declined for any reason.

This level of insight as to when, where and how much money your kids are spending is unmatched by any other minor debit card.

Though, do you want even more flexibility through the controls you can put in place?

You can relax this by choosing to place your child’s allowance money (or any other funds you’ve loaded onto a Greenlight card) into the Spend Anywhere spending category. This allows them to spend their money where they want.

Your child can use funds held in the Spend Anywhere category at any merchant online or off which accepts Mastercard for payment.

Also, you should have the option to connect your child’s individual Spend Controls to their Spend Anywhere fund so that they can combine funds toward a desired purchase.

For example, if your child goes to make a purchase for $7 at Walmart, but their Spend Control only has $6 in the balance, when this setting is turned on, the difference will come from your child’s Spend Anywhere Spend Control. This avoids having the purchase get declined.

  • Spending Categories

Greenlight categories purchases commonly made by kids and teens into five categories:

  • ATMs
  • Gas Stations
  • Grocery Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Online Gaming

When you first join Greenlight, your last four spending categories (“Gas Stations”, “Grocery Stores”, “Restaurants”, and “Online Gaming”) act more like budgetary guidelines than actual spending rules.

Meaning, you can set funds in the Spend Anywhere account balance and have all these categories set to Pull Overages from Spend Anywhere in your Spend Control Settings.

As an exception, Any ATM has this turned off by default to prevent your children from withdrawing more than the balance set for the Any ATM Spending Category amount.

  • In-App Approvals

In the event your child goes to a new store without prior approval but doesn’t carry a high enough balance in their Spend Anywhere Spend Control, they can contact you through the app to make a real-time request for additional funds.

  • Freeze Your Child’s Greenlight Card

If you lose a Greenlight Card, have it stolen or otherwise want to disable your child’s card temporarily, you can simply turn off their Greenlight card through the parent app. When it’s found, you can simply turn it back on.

Parent Paid Interest

Paying your own interest rates is a big perk of so

Paying your own interest rates is a big perk of some checking accounts for minors, as it can help parents incentivize their kids to save money. It’s a way to teach your child the benefits and responsibilities that come with managing money, setting goals and saving funds toward achieving them.

Parent-Paid Interest is an annual percentage rate that you set for your child’s General Savings in the Greenlight app. Their account will earn the interest on the first of each month and all you have to do is set up the instant transfer into their account from your parent’s wallet.

Greenlight calculates and pays interest monthly based on the average daily balance of your child’s “Total Savings” for the previous month. This represents the total amount saved between General Savings and Savings Goals.

With this feature, you can choose how much interest their savings earns. If you want them to earn a lot, then you can set your interest to pay up to 100% interest.

But if that is too expensive and you’d rather pay a legitimate interest rate, then you can set the amount to as low as 1%. It’s up to you!

This feature will show your children the power of saving. You can teach them how savings grow with each month’s payment.

Instant Money Transfers

The instant transfer capability is really beneficial for parents. When a child is too small to have a job or your teens are too busy to go with you to the bank, it’s up to you to give them some spending money each week.

Transfers from your card to your Parent’s Wallet will show up immediately while transfers from your bank account will generally be available for validated bank accounts with sufficient funds 3-4 business days after initiating the transfer.

Depending on your history with Greenlight, the company may provide instant funding to expedite your transfer.

Many parents use this as a way to pay for weekly chores. The instant transfer capability eliminates the need to make a trip into an actual bank, which could be difficult for children with no transportation or adults pressed for time.

Plus, it helps parents to see how much money they give their children and can help them determine if they should give more or less as time goes on.

Chore Plans

Chores aren’t always the most fun, there&#82

Chores aren’t always the most fun, there’s no sense in denying it. There’s even a split in whether you should pay your children for doing chores. One cohort believes allowance shouldn’t be earned through work but mainly given as a teaching tool to learn how to manage it when stakes are low.

The other links paying an allowance to earning a wage and taking pride in your work. No matter where you fall, chores are useful behaviors to begin building because they can translate to positive outcomes outside of childhood.

Greenlight gives you the tools to set up, administer and oversee a chore plan or schedule. The program offers routine tasks that can start as unpaid which then allow you to add gradual tasks you do pay for because they require more time and work.

You can use your app to schedule or even automate your chore schedule. The app allows you to:

  • Set chores that repeat weekly—or multiple times per week.
  • Set single-time chores for bigger tasks like spring cleaning, babysitting or mowing the lawn.
  • Manage and track recurring chores and also place money transfers on autopilot (if you choose to pay them).
  • Provides an open discussion opportunity into the chores expected and what they need to do before checking them off and getting their recurring transfers.

For reference, the five most popular chores families assign on the app are:

  1. Clean your bedroom
  2. Take care of the pet
  3. Wash the dishes
  4. Read
  5. Take out the trash

You might consider starting here and working your

You might consider starting here and working your way up to more tasks you deem equally important.

Allowance Automation

Kids who do their chores tend to have better profe

Kids who do their chores tend to have better professional success later in life.

Though, the motivations behind doing chores can also be something worth exploring: are your children doing more around the house because they know you’ll pay or because it gives them a stronger sense of accomplishment?

All people are different, which means their motivations differ as well. However, establishing routines can build healthy habits that last a lifetime.

That’s why setting up a chore system early and rewarding them with financial earnings can lead to positive outcomes. What we do as children often guides what we do as adults.

Therefore, earning an allowance for helping around the house can give children a sense of responsibility and pride.

Greenlight’s feature, Allowance Automation, allows parents to set up specific chores for their children on the parent app. Once they complete that chore or each time it is assigned, they will receive a payment.

Parents can choose whether they want to pay them once every week (or month), or on a daily basis.

The best part about this feature is that parents can customize the allowance depending on their child’s age and what they’re doing around the house.

For example, if your child does regular chores like sweeping, washing dishes or taking out trash then you might want to give them $0.50 for every time they do it.

If you want children to do chores that require more detailed instructions, then it’s best to pay them a higher allowance. This will give them the incentive they need and encourages your child to follow through with what is asked of them.

It can be difficult for parents to balance providing children with an allowance while making sure it doesn’t go overboard. By setting up a system with Allowance Automation, you can measure how much they are earning and the time it takes for them to complete their chores.

Related: 11 Best Allowance and Chore Apps for Kids [Easier Family Life]

Savings Rewards

The best debit cards for kids are not just about t

The best debit cards for kids are not just about teaching responsibility. They’re also savings accounts in disguise, since the money gets drawn from the linked checking account on the card itself and all transactions go through it.

Learning to manage these funds can teach kids how to save and budget their money in the short-term but also toward longer-term goals.

Greenlight offers their version of a savings account through its Savings Rewards feature.

The basic Greenlight and Greenlight + Invest plans offer a savings boost of up to 1% on the average monthly balance up to $5,000. This sounds like an interest rate, though Greenlight names it differently.

Though, like a rose of any other name, it still smells as sweet.

Further, Greenlight Max plan participants see their Savings Rewards double to 2%.

Round Ups

Much like the famous micro investing app, Acorns, Greenlight also adds more saving capability through their Round Ups feature.

This enables kids to round up purchases to the next dollar and add this money to their Greenlight General Savings automatically or on a per transaction basis.

For example if they spend $3.25 at the Disney Store, they can round up that purchase to $4.00 and automatically save the difference of $0.75. Parents and children can manage Round Ups from the Savings page in their app.

Direct Deposit

One of the best features that may be available on a debit card for kids is direct deposit. Direct deposit means that a child’s paycheck will go directly to their account, rather than just getting an envelope from work and then handing it over to mom or dad for money management.

Direct deposits are also good because they can help a grown-up manage when money should come into the bank account and when they know they need to transfer money for any expected expenses.

Greenlight Debit Card allows teenagers with jobs to receive their paychecks directly on their card as a source of funds.

Customized Cards

A common feature among kids’ card companies,

A common feature among kids’ card companies, Greenlight allows you to customize your children’s cards. If you’d like to order a Custom Card for $9.99, you can do so by following the prompt in the notification section of your Parent Dashboard.

Identity Theft, Phone and Purchase Protection

As part of the premium Greenlight Max plan, the company offers you identity theft, phone and purchase protection for up to five children.

  • Identity Theft – Greenlight provides identity theft monitoring, alerting and restoration services for the whole family. Coverage provided by Experian.
  • Phone Protection – Coverage for damaged, lost or stolen phones for up to five kids on the Greenlight Max plan. This protection allows for imbursements related to the cost of replacing or repairing your child’s cell phone in the event of damage, or up to $600 per claim if it is damaged, lost or stolen. You have 2 claims available per calendar year up to an aggregate of $1,000 per card per calendar year. A $25 deductible applies per claim for the coverage provided by Virginia Surety Company, which is unavailable to plan members in the state of New York.
  • Purchase Protection – Purchase protection allows qualifying users to seek reimbursement for the cost to repair or replace an item that was purchased in full with the Greenlight card. This is allowable if the purchase becomes damaged or was stolen within 4 months (120 days) of the date of purchase or delivery, up to $100 per item and an aggregate of $1,000 per calendar year.


Who is Greenlight Best For?

  • Parents who want tight controls over their kids’ spending.
  • Bigger families who need centralized financial oversight, including chore and allowance management as well as transaction notifications on spending activity.
  • Parents who want a debit card for kids and a cost effective investing solution.
  • Parents who want to teach their kids about managing money.

How much does the Greenlight debit card cost?

The Greenlight debit card has three payment tiers: Greenlight, Greenlight + Invest and Greenlight Max.

You won’t be able to give your kids the Greenlight debit card without paying a monthly fee; however, you will be able to decide which tier is best for your family.

PlanMonthly feeFeatures
  • Debit cards for up to 5 kids
  • Educational app
  • Core financial tools
  • Parental controls
Greenlight + Invest$7.98
  • Debit cards for up to 5 kids
  • Educational app
  • Core financial tools
  • Parental controls
  • Investment platform
Greenlight Max$9.98
  • Debit cards for up to 5 kids
  • Educational app
  • Core financial tools
  • Parental controls
  • Investment platform
  • Greenlight black card
  • Priority customer support
  • Identity theft protection
  • Cellphone protection
  • Purchase protection

Greenlight Pros

Before signing up for the Greenlight card or any other debit card for kids, it’s important to consider what’s good—and not so good—about it. Here are some of the best reasons to consider a Greenlight card for kids.

  • Parents can set controls for spending and deposits, including tying transfers to accomplishments like completing chores, doing homework or getting good grades.
  • Notifications allow parents to track their child’s transaction history in real time.
  • Certain purchases are automatically blocked by Greenlight.
  • Greenlight’s savings rewards, debit card round-ups and cash back on purchases helps kids reach savings goals faster.
  • Kids can learn investing from an early age with a Greenlight + Invest plan.
  • Cash rewards offered with Greenlight Max can help kids grow their savings.
  • Kids’ balances are FDIC-insured up to the $250,000 limit.

The Greenlight debit card for kids could be a great fit if you want to give your children flexibility to spend while maintaining control over their accounts. The fact that Greenlight blocks certain transactions automatically is a nice plus, as some other debit cards for kids don’t do this.

How It Works

The standard Greenlight plan includes the debit card for kids and access to the Greenlight app. Greenlight offers debit cards for up to five kids per account, which is great if you have a larger family.

Parents can load money onto the Greenlight card for kids to spend or save. You can send money to your child’s account manually or create recurring transfers. For example, if you pay your child a weekly allowance, you could set up automatic transfers so the money is deposited on the same day each week.

Transfers are scheduled through the Greenlight app. Adults on the account can also perform the following functions.

  • Monitor balances
  • Track spending and purchases
  • Manage account controls
  • Add chores or other conditions for receiving transfers
  • Establish direct deposits
  • Set limits for ATM withdrawals
  • Set limits on purchases
  • Freeze or unfreeze kids’ cards

Parents can set rules for where their children can make purchases, and they can receive notifications each time their kid uses the card. The card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, but Greenlight does block transactions at certain merchants. For example, Greenlight cards can’t be used to pay for:

  • Wires or money orders
  • Security brokers or deals
  • Dating/escort services
  • Massage parlors
  • Lotteries
  • Online casinos or online gambling
  • Horse racing and dog racing
  • Non-sport internet gaming
  • Cash back at the point of sale

Kids have access to the Greenlight app through their own dashboard, but they have a different set of controls. They can see how much money they have to spend and check their transaction history. Kids also have access to core tools in the app to help them learn about spending, saving, earning and giving.

Greenlight offers kids a 1% savings reward to encourage them to learn the importance of setting goals and the value of compounding interest. The savings reward is similar to interest your kid would earn from a traditional bank. Adults on the account can also activate “parent-paid interest” to help kids grow their savings faster.

If you’re wondering whether Greenlight is legit, the answer is yes. The balance on your child’s Greenlight debit card is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000. Greenlight is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is a member of both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

How much are the rewards worth?

The Greenlight card’s  Savings Boost feature and the Max tier’s cash back program can offer solid value depending on how much you spend and save. And while these earnings may not be enough to offset the card’s ongoing cost, they can make a big difference.

With the help of Bankrate’s Compound Savings Calculator, we estimate the maximum Savings Boost rewards potential at $101 per year with the Greenlight Max plan (assuming you meet the $5,000 family balance cap in one account). That’s just shy of the approximately $120 annual cost of the Green Max plan ($9.98 per month). Meanwhile, we estimate the base plan will net $50 in earnings per year, also short of the card’s approximately $60 annual cost ($4.99 per month).

Keep in mind, however, that this assumes your child has $5,000 saved in their Greenlight account, which may be a stretch considering the median bank account balance for people under 35 is $3,240.

Depending on your child’s allowance or other purchasing power, the Greenlight Max plan’s flat-rate cash back program may not yield as much value. According to the Piper Sandler investment banking company’s annual research surveys, teenagers reportedly spend an average of $2,150 per year, which would net just $21.50 in cash back per year with Greenlight Max. That’s better than nothing, to be sure, but won’t make much of a dent in the plan’s cost.

Combining the Greenlight Max plan’s 2 percent Savings Boost and 1 percent cash back, typical cardholders can expect to earn a total of about $86.50 in rewards each year (based on an average spend of $2,150 per year and the median $3,240 savings account balance). This increases to about $122.50 per year if your child has the maximum eligible savings balance of $5,000—just enough to cover the cost of the plan.

How to Delete a Greenlight Account on Your Own?

Deleting your Greenlight account on your own

1. Delete Greenlight Account Through Customer Care Team

To delete your account through the customer care team. You need to drop a message at (888) 483 – 2645. Their customer care team will help you to delete your account. You can get a refund of your remaining amount in the Greenlight wallet. Remember, you won’t be charged any fee when you wish to delete accounts.

2. Delete Greenlight Account Through Email

Another way to delete your account is via email. You need to create an email stating you need to delete accounts. And next, the team will help you. Here are the steps involved in deleting accounts with email.

  • Step 1 – Open the email account that was previously used. Remember, you need to use the mail that was used during log-in.
  • Step 2 – Write email address –
  • Step 3 – In the subject section, write you need to delete the account. Type, "Request to delete my account."
  • Step 4 – Compose the mail. Make sure you state that you want to delete your account permanently. And send it.

Note – If you want to delete your account temporarily. Make sure you deactivate your account. Under the deactivation, you need to log into your account within 30 days. Otherwise, the team will start the account deletion process. In case you feel the process is long or tiring. Feel free to ask for help from DoNotPay. It is a fast and furious platform within a few clicks on DoNotPay. You can effortlessly delete your Greenlight account. Below is the detailed process to work with DoNotPay.

Why Use DoNotPay To Delete Accounts?

DoNotPay offers countless perks to customers. You can do much more than just delete accounts. Also, the work is done at a much faster pace. You don’t have to wait for weeks or months. Everything is done perfectly without any stress. DoNotPay can help you to ban other accounts too. Be it Amazon, eBay, or Steam, DoNotPay can help!