Let me start by saying that I like the Green Light card.
I have nothing against them.
It’s an intelligent product and is much needed to help create personal financial responsibility for our kids.
I think personal finance is extremely important.
I’ll provide you with my Greenlight Card Review here.
Soon after finding Greenlight, we found a company called Step and switched to it.
Then, Cash App opened the ability for teens under 18 to get a debit card with them.
Since I already had a Cash App account, we switched to them!
The teen banking market is booming, and there are now tons of options for debit cards for our teenagers.
And with the monthly fees for Greenlight, we weren’t using all of the features…
Unused Features of the Greenlight Card
My son was not taking full advantage of what the Greenlight card had to offer.
He was not splitting his money into different categories like savings, spending, and giving.
The emails sent out by Green Light with valuable tips and information weren’t being paid attention to.
We did not have an issue with where he was spending his money, so we did not need to monitor and control his spending at different locations.
Therefore, we were paying $5 per month for a product that I thought was very simple and should be free, so I set out to find an alternative to the Greenlight card.
Alternative to the Greenlight Card
Finding an alternative to Greenlight turned out to be more difficult than I expected.
At first, I thought that we could easily use Cash App or Venmo, and I could set him up with one of those.
While I use both of these and highly recommend them, I didn’t think they were the best for younger teens.
At the time, you had to be 18 years old to use these products.
[That has since changed, so these apps are now great options for your teens!]
Before that change, I thought that I could possibly set up a second cash app under my name and just let him use that card. I would send funds to it, and it would be his that he could use.
Setting up an account in my name could have caused a bit of confusion since I already had an account.
So I thought I would do a bit more searching to see what other products I could find out there.
And then I found Step, and we gave that a go.
But remember this when it comes to a debit card for your kids.
Whatever type of debit cards you find, just be sure you don’t use cash, it’s not a great idea! Watch below…
So before moving over to Cash App (since it became easy to get one for teens), we moved to Step.
So I’ll compare their debit card features below…
Step vs. Greenlight
Step is doing precisely what the Greenlight card does, yet it does not charge a monthly fee.
It makes its money from the merchants any time you use the debit card at that Merchant.
It is partnered with a bank so that your money is protected with FDIC insurance.
It works the same as Green Light, because I can see the purchases made by my child.
While we can’t control spending at specific businesses, we can still monitor and see exactly where the money is spent.
We also can instantly lock the card, which is a great feature.
I have been delighted with what I’ve seen so far, and I’m glad to save the $60 per year (our annual cost for Greenlight) for exactly the same product.
**If you’re a parent and want to build your credit for yourself or your teen, you can additionally apply for a credit card. Virtual Credit Cards are a really interesting option in today’s market.
[I actually think that credit cards, if used responsibly, are a smart tool. Credit card usage is one of my top personal finance rules. Check them out below…]
Ok, so what if you need to chat with a customer service representative?
How does that work?
Greenlight Customer Service
When you cancel your Green Light, the only way to do it is via a phone call.
If there’s one thing you can do to make a frustrated customer that wants to cancel even more frustrated, make it difficult for them to cancel.
When I canceled our greenlight debit card, I was routed to an international call center with non-native English speakers.
When English isn’t a speaker’s first language, it doesn’t bother me, but this can make some people frustrated.
As consumers, we want to reduce friction and be able to click a button to cancel.
I mean, check out this awesome-looking espresso on Amazon and see how many clicks it takes you to make a purchase and have it on its way.
As a business decision, maybe it’s wise for them to do it this way as it forces you to call so that they can try to keep you using the green light debit card.
I still say it’s a bad move for the Greenlight customer service team.
I had already found Step before I called to cancel our Greenlight account.
They tried to offer me up to three months of the service for free to stay with them.
I went ahead and canceled.
But whatever route you choose for you’re child’s debit card, there are plenty of great choices out there in the marketplace.
FAQ for Greenlight Card
You have to CALL. At least I did when canceling. Hopefully, they have changed this feature of the children’s debit card.
You can call them at 888-483-2645
They also have a help center section on their website.
My personal complaints was that cancelling the card was difficult (on purpose, I’m sure).
I also don’t agree with the fees charged for what’s provided and think that better options are out there.