There are now over 75,000 teens using the Wingocard Prepaid Visa Cards since they launched this Spring.
Wingocard launched in May of 2021 as a highly anticipated product backed with investments totaling more than $3 million, and it’s quickly gaining traction in the youth personal finance sector.
This card and mobile app resembles many others we’ve reviewed pretty closely in that it allows for instant transfers between parents and teens, provides detailed activity trackers, and enables parental controls. On top of these fairly standard features, Wingocard comes with above-average spending flexibility and a solid technical user experience. Overall, Wingocard is shaping up to be a great product. Get the facts you’re looking for here.
[Related: See how the Wingocard stacks up against the competition in our rundown of the best debit cards for kids and teens in 2021!]
Who is it For
Target age: Teens between the ages of 13 and 18.
Good candidate: Teens who want the freedom to spend their money almost anywhere.
Users must be at least 13 to be eligible to sign up for Wingocard, even with a sponsor. Sponsors are required for users under the age of 18, which is all of them—this is an app and card made exclusively for teens. Users over the age of 18 are not permitted to use Wingocard debit cards.
Features and Benefits
Wingocard parents sponsor their teens, which is just this platform’s way of saying that parents are the primary account holders and kids are the sub account holders and debit cardholders.
The Wingocard prepaid debit card is all about giving teens spending freedom.
💲 Earn: Kids can request more money for their accounts from their parents through the Wingocard app. They may also receive fixed regular allowances from their parent(s).
If a teen is employed, they can authorize direct deposit to their Wingocard account as well. The daily direct deposit transfer limit is $5,000, with direct deposits not to exceed $20,000 in a month.
Wingocard users can earn $2 for every successful referral they make (this bonus is paid per account, not per person). Referrals are successful when new users use the unique link provided to them to open an account, authorize it, and fund it. There is no limit to how many times this can be done. Wingocard even has a Leaderboard for users with the most referrals.
💸 Spend: Wingocard allows users to have both a virtual debit card and a physical debit card, both with the same card number and PIN. The virtual card can be issued immediately upon request and the physical card will come in the mail shortly after. The virtual card is compatible with Apple Pay. There is no cost associated with requesting or using either card.
Wingocard debit cards can be used almost anywhere Visa is accepted, including on international purchases, with exceptions such as restricted merchant categories in place for the sake of minor safety.
Teens will be able to see all of their spending activity from their account dashboard. Each purchase they make will show up on their account with details about how much they spent, when they last visited an establishment. They will also see what percentage of their money they use toward different spending categories such as dining, entertainment, and retail. They can spend up to $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month.
Wingocard users can use their prepaid debit cards to make cash withdrawals at over 87,000 ATMs. These in-network ATMs do not cost anything to use, but out-of-network ATMs may charge fees. Users may not withdraw more than $260 from an ATM in a given day or transaction.
The maximum balance for a teen account is $8,000. It is not possible to overdraft an account or take out credit with Wingocard.
💰 Save: Wingocard does not have built-in savings capabilities such as the option to create savings goals or separate money to be spent from money to be saved. If teens want to save, they will simply have to do so by refraining from spending.
Parents can make instant one-time transfers into their teens’ accounts or schedule automated transfers for allowance and other recurring payments. One-time transfers are instant and allowance payments are made automatically at a parent’s chosen frequency.
Accounts can be funded in the following ways:
- Direct deposit
- ACH transfer
- Credit or debit card transaction (only one credit or debit card can be linked to a parent’s Wingocard account at a time)
- Visa Direct load
Cash reloads and check deposits, either with mobile or paper checks, are not permitted. Linking an external bank account and initiating transfers through Wingo is one of the easiest and fastest ways to fund an account.
The most a parent can load per day via all funding types combined is $5,000. A parent can transfer up to $2,500 from their own account into their teen’s or from their teen’s account into their own. This is both the daily and monthly limit. Parents can load up to $250 at a time and per day when loading their account via ACH transfer or credit/debit card transaction, with a maximum monthly load limit of $2,500. The maximum balance for a parent account is $10,000.
Parents can see their teens’ activity from their dashboard and optionally receive alerts whenever a virtual or physical debit card is used. They can also set spending limits to help teach their teens to budget.
Wingocard parents cannot encourage their teens to save by awarding bonuses, matching contributions, or paying interest on savings balances.
Every Wingocard account can support up to five sub accounts. There is no charge for adding extra. Parents can lock and unlock their teens’ cards, or even deactivate them, as they see fit. There is only one primary account holder per account, so co-parents may run into trouble.
How Much Does the Wingocard Prepaid Debit Card Cost
💸 Fees: No monthly fee, no inactivity fee, no funding fees, no transfer fees. $1 per Visa Direct transfer, 3% foreign transaction fee, 3% for international ATM withdrawal, $1.50 + 3% for out-of-network domestic ATM withdrawals.
There are no subscription fees on Wingocard accounts or upcharges when additional users are added. You don’t have to worry about monthly fees or maintenance fees that may sneak up on you either. For all intents and purposes, this is a free account.
ATM fees users may incur from third parties will not be reimbursed.
Please note: Wingocard is already hinting at a Premium version that will come with extra account features and options. This will be an optional paid version, but we don’t know yet how much it’ll cost and what capabilities it’ll come with.
Benefits of Wingocard Over Competitors
Wingocard provides better cash access than most other teen debit cards on the market. With such a large network of ATMs and the ability to make international withdrawals as well, users never have to be without cash if they want it.
But another advantage to this product is that users can also go completely cash-free, if they want to. If they don’t have their physical debit card on them, they can use their virtual card on their phone. The Wingocard Prepaid Visa Card is compatible with Apple Pay and more and more merchants are accepting virtual debit cards.
This product is also cheaper than most. If users don’t make purchases or ATM withdrawals internationally, they may just be able to avoid fees entirely for their account.
Customer service availability is another positive. Representatives respond to inquiries via chat and email over the weekend and there are several avenues for getting ahold of someone to help. Because this product is on the newer side, this could definitely be advantageous.
Wingocard’s lack of savings features may be a serious disadvantage for a lot of users. This is exclusively a spend card and it’s great for that, but some teens may be looking for a product that lets them spend, save, and even invest or donate their money all within one platform.
There is at this time no Android version of the app, and this is one of Wingocard’s biggest drawbacks. The company assures its customers and would-be customers that an app is in the works, but we don’t have any more information beyond that.
Wingocard also enforces somewhat low account and loading limits. Big families may feel especially restricted by total transfer limits between the primary account and sub accounts or by funding restrictions. Also, cash reloads are not permitted. This is pretty common, but still a potential drawback worth noting.
People seem to be feeling pretty good about Wingocard so far. However, a surprising amount of reviews for this product were left before the card was actually launched. Wingocard teased the card several months before actually releasing it, and this frustrated a lot of app users who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of a card that would make the app more useful.
But for reviews that do exist for the product as a whole, customers have many positive things to say about customer service and the platform’s easy-to-use features. Complaints center around long wait times for transfers to go through and occasional app crashes.
To reach customer support, you can chat in real-time through the Wingocard app, email email@example.com, or call 1-833-699-4646. Chat and email is available between 9 AM and 6 PM EST Monday through Sunday and the phone line is open between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. You can also use this link to submit a request.
The Wingocard app has a rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars in the App Store. There is currently no Wingocard app on Google Play, but Wingocard claims to be hard at work developing an app for Android users.
Is It Safe
Wingocard accounts are FDIC insured up to the federally allowed limit of $250,000 through Community Federal Savings Bank.
Wingocard users are covered by the Visa Zero Liability Policy, which exempts them from paying for transactions they do not authorize as long as they take prompt action to notify Wingocard of suspicious activity, loss, or theft.
Blocked transactions include money orders, travelers checks, wire transfers, and lottery tickets and purchases made on gambling/casino websites and adult entertainment websites.
The Wingocard can be used internationally, but some countries are restricted not by Wingocard but by the U.S. government. A complete list of countries blocked by sanctions of the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control can be seen here.
How to Sign Up
It takes only a few minutes to sign up for a Wingocard account. First, a parent can sign up for their own account through the Wingocard website or app. Then, they need to invite their teen to join and sign up for their own Wingocard account.
Alternatively, teens can sign up for an account and invite their parent(s), they’re just not eligible to get a debit card or account before their parent(s) or legal guardian has sponsored them.
If a user suspects fraudulent activity, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a prompt response from a dedicated fraud center.
The Wingocard prepaid debit card has many benefits over its competitors and only a few significant drawbacks. Unfortunately, only Apple users can enjoy these features for now, so this product is not likely to become as popular as the competition until this changes. The Wingocard Prepaid Visa Card is also not ideal for teens or parents who want to focus on saving.
With that said, this product is an excellent option for teens overall, with excellent spending flexibility and a smooth user experience. If you’re looking for a banking platform to teach your teens financial responsibility and give them the spending opportunities they’re after, the Wingocard debit card and banking platform for teens may be for you.
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