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The GoHenry debit card for kids is one of the most popular and well-advertised kids’ banking products on the market, and it was also one of the first. This company launched as the “world’s first financial education tool built for the digital generation” in 2012. The GoHenry debit card and app aims to provide users with a flexible and convenient fully-digital banking experience with a multitude of built-in learning opportunities.
GoHenry has over two million users in 2022, but will you become one of them?
Find out here if GoHenry is the right kids’ debit product for you and your child. Keep reading for a summary of product offerings, a description of advantages and disadvantages, and more.
You can also see how this card stacks up against the competition in our rundown of the best debit cards for kids and teens in 2022!
Who Is It For
Average age: 6-18
Good candidate: Parents that want oversight and children who are still forming or have not yet started forming spending behaviors of their own.
This card is ideal for families that not only need a debit card for their kids but are also interested in financial literacy resources. This product is designed to introduce users to money management, so it’s great for kids that fall within the beginner to intermediate category of this skill.
Features and Benefits
GoHenry gives parents a lot of control and customization opportunities and kids plenty of choices. After parents have set limits on spending, restrictions, and payouts, kids can use their GoHenry accounts to spend, earn, save, or even give their money.
GoHenry allows for both a parent and a co-parent user, both of which have the ability to manage chores/tasks, pay allowance, and toggle settings.
There are a few ways parents/co-parents can pay into their kids’ accounts. First, they can pay them recurring weekly allowances at a fixed rate. These are released automatically each week.
Alternatively or in addition, they can pay their kids for assigned tasks they complete throughout the week. Parents can set prices for chores and assign these to their children in the GoHenry app. These can be one-time tasks or repeating tasks that reset each week.
Parents can load their own account by linking an external bank account or a debit card. Note that GoHenry limits free account loads to one per month. To keep their account funded, parents can choose to set up automatic withdrawals from their linked funding source into their GoHenry account whenever their balance falls below about $5.
As far as account management features between a parent and child account, GoHenry gives parents a range of customization options. For example, GoHenry Parents can restrict their kids’ spending in three ways. They can:
- Set weekly spending limits across all spending categories
- Set spending limits on single uses for what a child may spend at a time
- Set ATM withdrawal limits
- Disable peer-to-peer transactions
On top of these limits, parents may choose to prohibit their kids from using their cards to make ATM withdrawals at all. They can toggle these limits and restrictions from their side of the app. A parent may choose to disable the option for their children to donate as well.
Parents can also restrict their children from spending at certain types of merchants by going to the “Limits” section and choosing from “Where can you use your card” options. To help their children save, they might choose to “lock” savings goals to prohibit their child from making withdrawals from it before reaching their goals.
GoHenry parents can easily stay in the loop about their kids’ account activity. They can see when and how their children use their cards, resetting limits or locking/unlocking a card immediately with the press of a button. Many parents opt to receive push notifications whenever one of their kids uses their cards in real-time.
Each family subscription can have up to four kids’ accounts and it is possible for many adults to fund one account. Parents can invite trusted friends and family members to join the account and contribute money to the kids’. However, only one person—the parent and account owner—can manage chores/tasks and pay allowance.
For one-time gifting, parents can also share their child’s unique Giftlink with anyone they choose. Gifters can decide how much to give and leave a note for the child, choosing from over 30 card designs (the child can even ‘say thanks’ for a Giftlink and write a note back). No GoHenry account is required.
Finally, parents can see the Money Missions their children have completed and how they are progressing through the topics (more info about these in the next section) and even take the financial literacy quizzes themselves from their side of the app.
Though parents are ultimately in control over when, how, and where a young user can spend their money, there are a lot of ways kids can use their debit cards and earnings.
💰 Earn: Kids can complete chores assigned by their parents to earn money and they may earn a weekly allowance in addition to this. They will be able to see which chores they have been assigned, which chores they have completed, and what each chore is worth.
Another way for kids to get more money into their account—aside from receiving transfers from their parents—is through Giftlinks. Giftlinks can be shared with family and friends, who can use them to transfer money instantly right into a child’s account.
Every child to an account gets their own debit card, and these can be customized for a small fee.
Teens may qualify to refer friends to receive $30, but referrals are subject to availability and users must have at least $5 in their account.
💸 Spend: GoHenry users can see how much they have to spend on their card from their dashboard, where they will also see their past transactions and savings. This debit card can be used almost anywhere Mastercard is accepted, except at establishments prohibited by GoHenry or parents (i.e. “over 18” merchants).
Kids may also use their cards at ATMs within the UK at no charge. There is a $120 daily withdrawal limit.
It is not possible for kids to spend more than the balance on their cards. GoHenry does not offer overdraft features on any of its accounts.
Teen users over the age of 13 or 16 (depending on the offer) may also qualify for offers such as sales on select brands when shopping through the app or Student Beans promotions.
Save: The GoHenry app encourages users to save their money with the ability to set savings goals. There is no limit to how many savings goals a child can set. The app displays a graphic representation of how close a user is to each of their goals.
Money put toward a savings goal cannot be spent until it is transferred back to the debit card, which can be done either by a child or their parent. When a savings goal is reached, its balance transfers automatically to the card associated with the account.
Give: GoHenry kids can also donate their money. GoHenry partners with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to reach 4.3 million people per year, and GoHenry users can use money from their spending budget to give to charity. This is the only charity GoHenry account holders can donate directly to at this time.
Learn: The newest feature in the app, Money Missions allow users to complete interactive quizzes and watch videos in the app to learn financial literacy skills. When they complete a Mission, they earn points and badges to level up and unlock new Missions. Missions adhere to National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education and topics include:
- Money basics
- Jobs and earning
- Saving habits
- Spending wisely
- Helping others
- Money safety
- Budgets and plans
- Borrowing and credit
- Intro to investing
How Much Does the GoHenry Debit Card Cost
First the good news. There are no fees for account inactivity, no fees for low balances, no reload fees for U.S. customers, no fees for transfers or cash reloads, no fees for online or offline card transactions, no overdraft fees and no fees for card replacement (unless customized).
Customized debit cards are $4.99.
ATM fees, however, are a little higher than other options on the market. It costs $1.50 per withdrawal.
If you are using the card abroad, transactions in foreign currencies will come with a 2.75% fee. International ATM withdrawals also have an additional $2 fee.
GoHenry is a subscription-based service that costs $3.99 per month, per child. This fee includes a debit card for every kid and access to every service and feature GoHenry offers (saving, Money Missions, etc.).
Try GoHenry for free for 30 days with a free trial. This service will automatically renew if you do not cancel after the trial expires, but you can cancel at any time.
Benefits of GoHenry Over Competitors
GoHenry has an edge over other debit cards for kids because it is comprehensive and easy to use, which makes it better for educating users about the value of money and the importance of using money wisely. Money Missions also make this product more fun and educational than most.
GoHenry gives kids a few ways to put their money to use, but it keeps parents in control. It strikes a nice middle ground between helping kids learn and exercise money management skills and giving parents the final say.
Another benefit of GoHenry is how many choices it gives both kids and parents—restrictions for parents, spending freedom for kids. Parents can set many types of spending controls as opposed to the single overall spending limit many similar products permit, and kids can use their money to spend, save, or donate to charity. While these options are fairly standard across the best kids’ debit cards, they’re still nice to see.
GoHenry also makes it easy for people other than parents to contribute to a child’s account. This is convenient for parents that are separated and for painless and safe cash gifting from family members and friends. Also convenient for families of all kinds is the ability to add a co-parent, which many similar products do not offer.
There are also a couple of things you might not love about the GoHenry debit card for kids. The first of these is the subscription fee. At $3.99 per month, per child, families with more than one kid will be spending over $100 a year for this service. There are few fees for account maintenance and use, but that subscription price is still not ideal.
Another drawback to this product is that it does little to incentivize saving or make it more convenient. It does not pay interest or allow parents to pay interest on the money kids save, and there is no feature that allows users to have their transactions rounded up and the excess added to their savings. These are handy features you’ll find with select debit cards for kids,
Funding options are limited compared to other similar options, allowing only ACH or debit card payments. GoHenry also has limited money transfer capabilities outside of GoHenry. A GoHenry debit card cannot be used with ApplePay, for example.
Most users have positive experiences with GoHenry. The majority praise GoHenry for being user-friendly and for building in features to help their kids learn to be financially responsible. Some report issues receiving promotional bonuses, using GiftLinks, and complain about a somewhat tedious cancellation process.
Overall, though, this company is responsive and easy to contact when you need to get a question answered or concern addressed.
To reach customer service, call any day of the week between 8 AM and 8 PM GMT at 1 (877) 372-6466. Customer support representatives are also available to live chat during these hours or respond to email inquiries.
This is a company that operates 100% digitally, so online experience is important. The GoHenry app has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play and 4.7 out of 5 stars in the App Store. It is reported to be more than functional and convenient to use, and it is packed with features for both parents and kids. It has a few bugs, but seems to be satisfactory for many users
Is It Safe
All GoHenry parents’ and kids’ checking accounts are FDIC insured up to the federally allowed maximum of $250,000.
GoHenry prohibits transactions through all of the following merchant categories:
- Alcohol sales and consumption
- Gambling and casinos
- Adult entertainment
- Tobacco sales
- Dating and escort services
- Automated fuel dispensers
- Accounts are also protected by bank-standard chip encryption and 3D Secure (multi-factor authentication).
How to Sign Up
To sign up for a GoHenry account, you just need to download the GoHenry app and click “Sign Up.” You will be prompted to provide your personal details and add children to your account. They will each get to set their own PINs and get their own cards after they’ve been added.
You can load your parent GoHenry account via debit card or bank transfer. There is no option to make cash deposits. The minimum opening balance to fund an account is about $2.41. There is no minimum required deposit from a parent’s account into a child’s account.
GoHenry is a great choice for a lot of families and, with recent additions to the app, this is a strong contender for the top spot in kids banking. The price for subscriptions is reasonable, especially for how robust the app is. Free alternatives are available for those looking to save money, but you won’t find a free alternative that is as comprehensive as GoHenry.
GoHenry is easy for kids and parents to use and gives kids a moderate amount of agency, so this is good for parents of kids and young teens with little experience handling their own money. GoHenry may not be for you if you are looking for a low-cost product that offers funding flexibility and incentives for saving.