Kids need a debit card of their own. Just like adults, kids like the modern ease of paying with a debit card. It’s easier for parents to hand allowances to kids via a debit card too, and there is less chance of cash going lost accidentally. There are a couple of debit cards for kids on the market and the Go Henry card is a top choice. Let’s take a look.
Go Henry, styled as gohenry by the company, makes it easy for parents to track and control children’s spending habits. Parents can exercise this control either via the gohenry app or the gohenry website. The company says its debits cards can be used by kids as young as 6, and up to 18 years of age.
Every child in the family gets their own account on gohenry, which is centrally controlled by the main gohenry user – their parent or guardian. Only the money loaded into the account can be spent so parents don’t risk their kids running up debts on the card or getting charged with expensive overdraft fees.
The app offers very granular control, going far beyond just the convenience of electronic pocket money. Parents can customize spend restrictions and limits for each child, even choosing to unlock cards only at certain periods of the day.
Kids also get budgeting tools that they can use to help them view and manage their spending. To top it all off, parents can set tasks for children which, if completed, tops up the child’s gohenry account with extra pocket money.
Overall gohenry offers a very comprehensive feature set, much more so than most other prepaid debit card products. Though gohenry does not offer the same full functionality as a checking account with a debit card, it also keeps kids out of trouble. Full-service checking accounts are really only appropriate for older teens.
Gohenry offers more than the typical prepaid debit card, but what does gohenry cost? The cost structure for gohenry is simple: it’s $3.99 per child per month, with the first month free. You can optionally pay $4.99 for a card that’s customized: instead of gohenry the card would read gothomas or goshirley, for example.
Loading your gohenry card is free if you use another debit card but watch out for cash withdrawal fees of $1.50 at a time and note that international transactions will get charged a 2.75% fee on the transaction value.
There are limits on the usage of the card, but nothing that will be a problem for a young person’s spending habits. You can have a maximum of $6,000 on your gohenry account and can load up to $500 at a time. Daily purchases are limited to $2,500 and note that you can make a maximum of 4 cash transactions worth $480 in any given 4 days.
Note that gohenry is not the cheapest option when it comes to prepaid debit cards for kids, some apps are cheaper where families have multiple kids with cards, and a checking account can be free. Nonetheless, you get a solid feature set with gohenry that is a good match for younger children.
Part of gohenry’s appeal is its two excellent phone apps, one each for iOS and Android. Apple users are very satisfied with the gohenry app, scoring it (4.5 / 5) in the App Store. In general, users praise the simplicity of the app, saying that their children quickly adapted to using a debit card for payments.
One user liked the ability to transfer money out of their kid’s account so that they could deduct payments made when their child left their debit card at home. Some users felt that the app needs to add a daily chores function so that kids can earn money by completing tasks every day. Currently, the app requires users to list these tasks over and over.
Over at Google’s Play Store, gohenry gets a really solid (4.6 / 5), with one user saying that despite the slightly higher price of gohenry they still picked the app because it simply offers much more in the way of features.
Like iOS users, people who use gohenry’s Android app also like how gohenry makes it easier to help kids manage their pocket money. That said, the occasional in-app glitch does come up, as is typical of Android apps, but problems appear to be rare.
FamZoo is another family-friendly debit card app you can choose from. As we suggested earlier, gohenry is a bit more expensive, but it is also the most feature-rich of the two apps. That said FamZoo has been around longer and offers an extensive feature set via its website.
FamZoo gets (4.4 / 5) on the Google Play Store and (4.6 / 5) from Apple users, which is broadly in line with gohenry. Famzoo is cheaper though, offering a single fee that covers the entire family from $3.33 per month. Essentially, you need to decide whether the extra features and card customization of gohenry are worth the extra money, though we are only talking about a couple of dollars a month.