Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

This device is too small

If you're on a Galaxy Fold, consider unfolding your phone or viewing it in full screen to best optimize your experience.

Skip to main content

Greenlight Review: Financial Fun for the Whole Family

Review Updated
Charlie Pastor, CFP®
By: Charlie Pastor, CFP®

Our Banking Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield
Offer image for


Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Bottom Line

Greenlight is a full-service banking app that caters to families. At its core, Greenlight allows children to learn about spending, saving, investing and cash back rewards in a hands-on way. Most importantly, parents are always in control of spending and investing activities.

  • Kid friendly
  • Parent friendly
  • Educational content
  • Monthly cost

What is Greenlight and how does it work?

Greenlight is a full-service banking app that caters to families. At its core, Greenlight allows children to learn about spending, saving, investing and cash back rewards in a hands-on way. Most importantly, parents are always in control of spending and investing activities.

Greenlight’s base subscription comes with:

  • Allowance transfers
  • A debit card
  • In-app educational content
  • A savings account that earns 1% interest

With Greenlight + Invest, kids unlock the Greenlight investing platform where they can trade stocks and ETFs with a parent’s approval. The highest tier, Greenlight Max, increases savings account interest to 2%, and it offers 1% cash back on purchases plus a sleek new debit card. What's more, Greenlight Max subscribers have access to premier customer support and advanced data protection.

Full Greenlight review

  • Rewards: Tiered rewards program offering up to $150 for three referrals.
  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars
  • Android app rating: 4.2/5 stars
  • Cost: One month free trial then $4.99-$9.98/mo, depending on subscription plan.

Top perks

Kid friendly

Greenlight puts the focus on its core users, kids. This banking app is intuitive, showing spending and saving metrics at a glance. Kids can interact with their money by setting goals and requesting allowance for a chore well done. Older kids can set up a direct deposit to their Greenlight account. With no minimum age to use the app, younger kids can get involved too, making this a great introduction to banking.

Parent friendly

Greenlight allows parents to get involved in the fun with its parent interface. Using the Greenlight app, parents can monitor the transactions on their child’s debit card. Additionally, parents can limit or block spending categories and turn the card on or off with the tap of a button.

When it comes to investing, parents must approve trades before they are executed. When a child sets a goal or watches an educational video, parents are notified, opening the opportunity for a learning experience.

Educational content

Greenlight offers more than just experiential learning. In the app, kids can turn on Learn Mode to unlock brief explanations and definitions of financial terms. The educational content doesn’t end there. With videos and quizzes that are made for a younger audience, Greenlight can teach kids at their level.

What could be improved

High fees

Greenlight’s features come at a high price, with a base subscription costing $4.99 per month. Compared to the similar apps we've seen, Greenlight charges about 25% more. For parents, that higher price can add up month after month. And there's an additional fee of $9.99 for a customized debit card.

Alternatives to consider

For a lower cost option: BusyKid is an intuitive, educational app for kids to learn, save, and donate with a debit card. BusyKid doesn’t offer investing options or cash back. However, its single tier subscription beats Greenlight’s lowest cost option.

For more extensive features: FamZoo offers more complex features than Greenlight. With FamZoo, kids can create sub accounts, allocate funds, and even track interest on borrowed money.

What are the features?

Greenlight offers three subscription options:

  • The base subscription: The app, a debit card, and a 1% APY savings account.
  • Greenlight + Invest: Kids can research and trade stocks with a parent’s approval.

Greenlight Max: All of the above, plus 2% on savings, 1% cash back on debit card purchases, and insurance on cell phones and card purchases.

Feature Greenlight Greenlight + Invest Greenlight Max
Debit Card Yes Yes Yes
Savings 1% 1% 2%
Investing No Yes Yes
Cash back No No 1%
Protection package No No Yes

What are the costs?

Here's how the costs break down for Greenlight's three plans:

Greenlight Greenlight + Invest Greenlight Max
Price $4.99/mo $7.98/mo $9.98/mo

This app might be right for your family if:

  • Your child learns best by doing: Greenlight allows kids to watch their account balances change, learn the power of compound interest, and make spending decisions. Using concepts children are familiar with, like allowances and debit cards, the principles of earning income and tracking expenses come naturally in the Greenlight app.
  • You want to keep some control: With Greenlight’s multi-faced app, parents can keep tabs on their children while they learn. Spending controls can keep kids out of trouble, and education notifications offer an opportunity to get involved.

You want an app that grows with your kids: Greenlight’s basic subscription is suitable for children of many ages. When kids become old enough to learn to invest, they can do it safely with Greenlight + Invest. Plus, Greenlight Max offers the concepts of credit card rewards and insurance. When it comes time to deposit that first paycheck, Greenlight even accepts direct deposits.

Our Banking Expert