Greenlight vs. Gohenry: Which Debit Card is Better?

Written by Jordan BlansitUpdated: 16th Apr 2022
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In the modern age, cash can be more of an inconvenience than a debit card. Cash is easy to lose, less convenient when it comes to handing out an allowance, and more difficult to track – both when it comes to spending and the potential of it being stolen.

On the other hand, prepaid debit cards come with several benefits. They’re easy to reload, help your child prepare for the “real world” of spending money via a plastic card, and come with apps that help parents monitor and control spending.

Plus, many apps come with budgeting and savings tools to teach children about financial responsibility safely and securely.

But before you go out and get the first debit card that strikes your fancy, you should do a little research to find out which card is right for you.

Greenlight Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • No minimum age requirement
  • Cheaper for larger families
  • Comprehensive parental controls
  • Savings accounts can earn interest from both parents and the Greenlight network
  • Can fund via bank transfer, debit card, or Google or Apple Pay

Cons:

  • Investing and protection features kick in at higher tiers
  • No pay-in-advance options to save money

Gohenry Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Cheaper for families with a single child
  • Valid anywhere Mastercard is accepted
  • PIN-and-chip and 256-bit encryption security
  • Cheap, customizable cards
  • Clean-cut, user-friendly app

Cons:

  • Parental controls are less comprehensive than Greenlight’s
  • No interest earned
  • Can only fund account via debit card

Greenlight vs. Gohenry Overview

Greenlight and gohenry are prepaid debit cards designed for families with children.

They offer several overlapping features, such as Mastercard prepaid debit cards, snazzy apps packed with parental controls and smart budgeting tools, and even charity partnerships.

Additionally, both networks hold funds in FDIC-insured accounts to protect your family’s hard-earned money.

But when it comes to your family’s finances, the differences between these two cards make all the…well, difference.

About Greenlight

Greenlight is a family-friendly debit card with no minimum age requirement, though the card is mostly marketed to children and teens between the ages of 8 and 18.

Fees range from $4.99 to $9.98 per month for five kids, depending on the plan, with no ATM or overdraft fees. However, this card is only available in the United States at this time.

Greenlight aims to make family budgeting easy. The app comes with myriad parental controls such as store-level spending limits, spending totals, automated and one-time allowance payments, and more.

It’s also a great card for kids ready to learn about financial responsibility, with features such as:

  • Save the Change roundups to promote healthy savings habits
  • Parent-paid interest rates
  • Automated direct deposits for teenagers earning paychecks
  • And even parent-approved investing (on some memberships)

How the Greenlight Card Works

With the Greenlight prepaid debit card, parents can teach their kids about multiple aspects of financial management, including earning, saving, and even investing money.

The first step is to fund your primary account – from your bank account, debit card, or even Apple Pay or Google Pay – and set up parental controls.

Then, you can automate weekly allowance payments with the built-in chore chart, make instant transfers, or set up direct deposit for teenagers with jobs.

You can even set up parent-paid interest schedules to pay children who earn each month – or take advantage of Greenlight’s new cashback tool. (More on that below.)

From the kids’ point of view, Greenlight is easy to use and more secure than cash thanks to the built-in PIN-and-chip technology.

Kids with smartphones can also link with Apple Pay or Google Pay (if they meet the minimum age requirements) and learn about smart financial habits with Greenlight’s educational tools.

Plus, they can submit a request for more funds if they’re in a crunch or ready to munch.

Read Our Full Greenlight Debt Card Review

About Gohenry

Gohenry is a prepaid debit Mastercard available for children between the ages of 6 to 18 in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The card costs $3.99 per child, per month and comes with comprehensive – though limited compared to Greenlight – parental controls.

Like Greenlight, gohenry lets parents reward kids for doing chores, lock and unlock spending privileges, and set store and spending limits.

However, this card does come with some limitations compared to Greenlight, such as only one funding option (your debit card).

How the Gohenry Debit Card Works

Gohenry is designed as a family money management app to teach kids (and occasionally their parents) about earning, handling, and saving money.

Each primary account can have up to four children, each with their own allowance payments, task bonuses, and spending restrictions.

Plus, your children can set up unlimited savings goals to encourage positive savings habits – and a progress bar that shows them how far they’ve come.

And anytime your child spends money, you’ll receive real-time notifications about how much was spent and where.

However, gohenry’s platform isn’t as comprehensive as Greenlight’s. For instance, you can only set store-specific spending blocks after a purchase has been made at that location.

Plus, there’s no Google Pay or Apple Pay compatibility. And while it’s “coming soon,” teenagers can’t yet receive direct deposits from employers, thereby restricting their growing independence.

Read Our Full GoHenry Debit Card Review

Greenlight vs. Gohenry: Features and Benefits

Greenlight and gohenry are safe, secure prepaid cards that may serve you better in particular scenarios.

Thus, knowing what you’re signing up for is essential in making an informed decision.

Greenlight Features and Benefits

Relatively Low Fees

Greenlight only costs $4.99 per month for a family of five kids, or up to $9.98 for full functionality including investing, identity theft protection, and more.

At this time, there are no pay-in-advance discounts available.

Parental Controls

Greenlight helps you monitor every incoming deposit and outgoing purchase, receive real-time notifications, and lock your child’s card in case it’s lost, stolen, or time for a financial time-out.

You can also set spending limits and block certain stores or websites at your discretion.

Chore Management

Greenlight also comes with a comprehensive chore management program. You can assign tasks, set up automatic or one-time payments, and even pay bonuses – all from the Greenlight app.

New Cashback Features

Unlike most prepaid debit cards, Greenlight now offers ways to earn just for using your account.

Starting August 1, all kids will earn 1% on their savings balances to teach the power of compounding and smart money habits.

And Greenlight Max kids will earn even more: 1% Cash Back on every purchase and 2% on their savings.

Detailed Educational Content

The Greenlight app comes in two varieties: the parental app and the children’s app.

From your kids’ login, they can use Greenlight’s built-in spending and savings tools to learn more about finances and money management.

For instance, your child can track their balances, chore lists, savings progress, and more.

Gohenry Features and Benefits

Easy Signup Process

Gohenry starts you off on the right foot by making the signup process a breeze. Just hop online or download their mobile app to order cards in minutes. You can even order customized cards for an extra charge!

Awesome Mobile Experience

The mobile app is where you’ll sign up for gohenry. From here, you can also manage your account entirely from one spot, including making money transfers, automating payments, assigning household chores, and locking and unlocking your cards.

Plus, the app itself is colorful and refreshing to look at – always a big plus.

Real-Time Alerts

With real-time alerts, gohenry lets you keep an eye on your child’s spending at all times. You can also set who will receive the alerts and how they should be sent (i.e., via text).

Set Store and Spending Limits

Based on your real-time notifications or prior experience, you may decide to set reasonable boundaries for your child’s spending.

For instance, you can limit store availability, adjust daily or weekly spending limits, or lock their card entirely.

Safe and Secure

But the lock card function isn’t just for punishment – it’s also there to ensure your money is safe in the event that a card is lost or stolen. Gohenry also takes several other security measures, such as:

  • A built-in chip
  • PIN-protected transactions
  • 256-bit encryption to match traditional banking standards
  • And of course, FDIC insurance up to $250,000

Gohenry vs. Greenlight: Pricing and Fees

Another place that gohenry and Greenlight differ is in their fee structure. And while the differences seem small at first, they can really start to add up.

How Much Does Gohenry Cost?

Gohenry offers a free, one-month trial to let you test-drive the service. After that, you’ll pay a flat rate of $3.99 per month, per child. And ATM transactions will incur a $1.50 fee, plus operator costs.

How Much Does Greenlight Cost?

Greenlight offers three pay tiers, each with its own perks and benefits.

Greenlight

The basic Greenlight package costs $4.99 per month for five kids. At this price, you’ll get all the parental controls, spending and saving features, and even interest earned on savings.

Greenlight + Invest

Greenlight + Invest costs $7.98 for up to five kids. This plan offers kid-friendly (and parent-approved) investing tools to introduce your children to the stock market.

Here, they’ll learn the basics of investing, compounding, and owning stocks – all under the tutelage of your watchful eye, of course.

And all investments are SIPC-insured for their protection.

Greenlight Max

Greenlight Max is the most expensive account at $9.98 per month for a family of five.

This tier offers all the features of the basic and investing package, plus identity theft and purchase protection extras for a nominal price increase.

Who is Greenlight Best for?

Greenlight is better for families who need more parental controls, funding options, or want to teach their kids the value of investing.

And because Greenlight charges a flat rate for up to five kids, you won’t break the bank if you have a larger brood.

Who is Gohenry Best for?

Gohenry is great card for single-child families or families with simpler financial situations.

Gohenry is both less comprehensive and more expensive as a service (if you have more than one child), but it still has plenty of features to offer those with pared-down needs.

Greenlight vs. Gohenry FAQs

Which is Better: Greenlight or Gohenry?

That depends on your family situation. Typically, Greenlight is best for larger families with more children, while gohenry works great for single-child families with simpler financial needs.

Is Gohenry or Greenlight Cheaper?

Gohenry is cheaper if you only have one child. But for families with two or more children, Greenlight’s flat $4.99 rate is both less expensive and comes with more functionality.

Is the Gohenry Debit Card or Greenlight Debit Card Worth It?

Either card can be worth the cost if you’re looking to introduce your child(ren) to the world of responsible, plastic card-based finance. But as to which one is right for you…only you can answer that.

Bottom Line: Gohenry vs. Greenlight Debit Card Review

There are a number of prepaid personal finance tools to help teach kids about money.

Debit cards provide a way to teach children about “real-world” financial applications – with you as the parent guiding them along the way. But it’s crucial to invest in the right prepaid debit card for your situation.

When it comes to Greenlight vs. gohenry, these are two of the best cards on the market: both are leaders in security, ease of use, and comprehensive functionality.

And while Greenlight offers more functions (and price tiers), gohenry is great for single-child families looking to jumpstart positive financial habits.

Jordan Blansit
Jordan Blansit

Jordan Blansit is a Senior Writer, Researcher, & Product Analyst for SimpleMoneyLyfe with an inexplicable predilection for mortgages, investing, and personal finance. When she’s not click-clacketing from the comfort of her living room, you can find her in the California Redwoods or Oregon Siskiyous. Jordan’s areas of expertise are mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, and investing.