FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card Review: Family Financial Education with Ease

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FamZoo makes teaching your kids about personal finance easy and fun! Set up virtual bank accounts, assign tasks, and show your kids the power of responsible financial management.
  • Monthly Fee:
    $5.99/Month*
  • Card Limit:
    $5,000
  • Best For:
    Parents, Families, & Educators

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It seems likes more and more you hear the phrase, in some fashion, “I wish school would teach my kids life lessons such as investing, savings, and money management!”

Welcome to FamZoo, your virtual family “bank”, designed to help you teach your kids to earn, save, spend, and give money (charitable) wisely.

In the intuitive FamZoo app, you, the parent(s), are the “banker”, and your kid(s) are the customers. You can assign chores, pay allowances when chores, or tasks, are completed, and even set up personal budgets.

When you feel your child is ready, you can integrate a prepaid debit card where you, the parent, manage it fully.

FamZoo Account Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Parents Are in Complete Control
  • Easily Teach Your Kids About Personal Finance (Investing, Saving, Spending)
  • Setting Up an Account is Quick & Easy
  • Low Monthly Fee
  • Set Up Direct Deposits, Monitor Accounts, & Assign Tasks
  • Does Not Impact Credit Score
  • Free Trial Period to test it out
  • No Hidden Fees, debt, or Overdraft Fees

Cons:

  • Not Free ☹

How Does FamZoo Work?

Any family can join FamZoo. First, you need to decide if you want to incorporate prepaid debit cards or stay with just a virtual family bank using what FamZoo calls “IOU accounts” (essentially virtual currency).

Do not worry. If you choose to start with the IOU accounts, you can add prepaid debit card accounts at any time.

Once you decide which option you want to start with, you “register” on the FamZoo website or on their app that you can find in Google and Apple app stores, where you create a family username, parent sign-in name, create a password and input your email.

One parent will be the primary account holder who controls the transferring of money to either the prepaid debit card or the IOU child accounts.

Each child can have their own sub-account. Here is the breakdown of both options so you can make an educated decision on what is best for your family.

FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card

FamZoo gives the first four Prepaid debit cards free. Any additional card after that is a one-time $2 fee. Since these are prepaid debit cards, think of them as gift cards. You do not need to worry about any overdraft fees, declined transactions, or credit approvals.

However, you need to be at least 13 years of age or older to use the card. If your child is younger than 13, and you would like them to still have a card, FamZoo lets you get them “on behalf of” cards which the child can use when the parent is present.

Children 13 years or older can have their name on the card, and children under the age of 13 will have the parent’s name on the card.

The first prepaid debit card ordered will be by the parent, which creates the “banker”. This will act as the main account, so any time the parent funds a child’s prepaid card, it is deducted from the parent card. There are no additional card fees, and cards can be used at any location Mastercard is accepted.

Although the parent cannot restrict the card to be used at certain stores, there are real-time notifications on when the card is used.

The parent can also lock and unlock the card, set up automatic payments to the card (e.g., at the end of the week), or make payments (send money) to the child’s cards at any time.

This is all controllable by the FamZoo portal. If you are not ready for Prepaid debit cards just yet, stick with the IOU accounts.

FamZoo IOU Account

Unlike the FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card, the IOU accounts do not allow child accounts to spend actual money.

The best way to think of the IOU accounts is a virtual currency that is assigned, collected, and spent within the FamZoo portal.

Each account can see its account balance and can input amounts and memos (the reasoning), which is like writing a check.

This is a great setup as children do not need to handle money with the risk of losing it. If they receive money from grandma and grandpa or for their birthday, they can give the parent the money, and the parent can credit their IOU account.

The child can then see how each time the money is used affects his or her account balance. The parent can even set up a parent-paid investment account for the child account to encourage investing—more on that below.

FamZoo Features and Benefits

Within their great app, FamZoo offers many features and benefits.

  • Prioritizes Education: FamZoo does a great job teaching children, and families in general, the importance of money management. Getting instant feedback within the app each time you spend money brings a sense of appreciation to the value of the account. Furthermore, each account can use FamZoo to keep track of all transactions, allowing the family to see what the funds are being used for and where you can cut back and save money if needed.
  • Low Fees: FamZoo offers 2 months free to try out the app. After two months, FamZoo costs $5.99 per year for the whole family. Read further down to learn how to get FamZoo even cheaper!
  • Parents Are in Control: Whether you decide to set the family up with Prepaid Debit Cards or the IOU Accounts, it all starts with the parent account. The parent account has full access to all the account info where the child’s account can only see their account. The parent account also gets real-time notifications for all transactions while also suspending cards/accounts at any time.
  • Instant Transfers: Parents can make any transfer, whether it is on the Prepaid Debit Card or the IOU accounts, instantly.
  • Scheduled Transfers: Do you want to pay your child on the same day each week? Or maybe deduct the account on a certain day each month to signify an investment or charitable gift? This is all doable in the FamZoo portal.
  • Activity Alerts: From using the Prepaid Debit Card to moving funds in the IOU accounts and even checking items off on a chore list within the app, all activities can send alerts. The parent can have the alerts go to only them or the whole family.
  • Easily Lock / Unlock Cards: The parent can lock and unlock the Prepaid Debit Card anytime, in real-time, from the portal.
  • Reimbursement: Another feature that is accessible from the parent account is being able to automate, track, and alert of any reimbursements.
  • Family Billing: The parent can control all virtual charges. Did your child break something? Did they eat all the food? Deduct from their account and show them the cause and effect of their actions. Get creative. This is where you can incorporate real-life situations!
  • Set Savings Goals: One of the great features of the FamZoo app is educating the children on the importance of saving. The parent can set up saving goals and even force monthly deductions from the account to symbolize moving funds into an investment account.
  • Parent-Paid Interest: Another aspect of teaching the importance of saving is showing the positive inflow of cash from investments. Do you want to encourage your child to save? Tell them they can earn X % on all funds they keep in their account and then each month pay that percentage so they can see that over time, their account grows.
  • Add, Spends, Save, & Give Accounts: Parents are encouraged to get creative when it comes to FamZoo. No matter if you are using IOU or Prepaid Debit Cards, the parent can order additional cards and or set up additional IOU accounts for specific use cases such as spending accounts, savings account, and charitable accounts.

How Much Does FamZoo Cost? Is it Free?

As previously mentioned, FamZoo offers a two-month trial period. After the trial period, it is just $5.99 per month.

However, if you pay for 6 months at a time, that cost goes down to $4.33 per month. Paying for 12 months at a time will bring the monthly cost down to $3.33, and if you want the best deal, paying for 24 months at a time will drive the price down to a minimal $2.50 per month.

Where else can you get life lessons for $2.50 a month!?

How Does FamZoo Compare to Other Prepaid Debit Cards?

#1. FamZoo vs Greenlight Debit Card

Greenlight calls themselves “the debit card and money app for families”. Teaching real-world lessons in financial responsibility, greenlight kids can set their own goals and learn the power of savings.

According to a survey in March of 2020, 89% of parents said Greenlight has helped their children with financial responsibility.

Kids as young as 6 can get the Greenlight debit card that starts at $4.99 per month and has no minimum balance nor transaction or overdraft fees.

>> More:Greenlight Debit Card Review and FamZoo vs. Greenlight

#2. Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® vs FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card

Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard is a reloadable prepaid debit card that can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.

Brinks is more expensive than most competitors at $9.95 per month, but some options can lower this. However, Brinks offers more member benefits than most.

From prescription discounts to savings accounts, you can definitely get more than the monthly fee back in benefits.

>> More:Brink’s Prepaid Card Review

#3.  Western Union® Netspend® Mastercard® Prepaid Card vs FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card

Do you find yourself using Western Union regularly? If so, it may be time to look at their low-cost reloadable prepaid card.

Although the monthly fee is $9.95, the card can hold a limit of $15,000 and is issued by FDIC member MetaBank.

This means your funds are 100% insured, and this is important if you are having your paycheck sent to your Western Union Netspend Mastercard, which you can gain access to up to two days earlier than traditional banking.

>> More: Western Union Prepaid Mastercard Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Is FamZoo Legit?

FamZoo has been around since 2005 and is backed by FDIC insured Four Corners Community Bank.

Furthermore, educators worldwide use FamZoo to run a virtual banking system and economy for students in the classroom, per FamZoo.

What Bank Does FamZoo Use?

FamZoo uses FDIC insured Four Corners Community Bank

Is My Money Safe in FamZoo?

Yes! With FamZoo being backed by Four Corners Community Bank, which is FDIC insured, your funds are insured up to $250,000.

Does FamZoo Pay Interest?

While the parents can pay interest to child accounts within the FamZoo portal, FamZoo themselves do not pay any interest on funds stored with them.

How do I sign Up for a FamZoo Account?

Go to www.FamZoo.com and chose if you would like the Prepaid Debit Card or IOU account, and then follow the registration process. If you decide to start with the IOU account setup, you can add the Prepaid Debit Card(s) at any time.

Bottom Line: FamZoo Prepaid Card Review

FamZoo offers an intuitive app that encourages families to teach their children about financial responsibility.

You no longer need to worry about if your child or children will lose the money they received on their birthday.

Using the IOU account setup, you can handle all their money and allow them to see, virtually, how transactions look when they buy something.

Within the app, you can also teach them the importance of saving and what that looks like when you give them interest payments for not spending their money. Last but not least, you can also set up, edit, and keep track of chores within the FamZoo app!

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.