Personal Finance

Kids’ Banking App Greenlight to Launch Family Cash Card for Parents

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Greenlight, a financial technology company offering a banking app and debit card for kids and teens to use with a parent’s oversight, is creating a credit card for parents who want to use earned rewards to invest for the future. Greenlight’s Family Cash Card — issued by First National Bank of Omaha — won’t be available until this summer, according to a Greenlight representative, but you can sign up for the waitlist now. Though the Family Cash Card is geared toward parents, kids ages 13 and older will be able to be added as authorized users.

To apply for the card, you must be a current paid Greenlight customer. There are three plan options available, ranging from $4.99 to $9.98 per month, which include access for up to five kids. The least expensive option does not include an investing account through Greenlight.

The Family Cash Card earns different cash-back rates, depending on how much you spend per month on the card:

  • 3% cash back when you spend $4,000 or more.

  • 2% cash back when you spend between $1,000 and $3,999.

  • 1% cash back when you spend less than $1,000.

Is the Greenlight Family Cash Card worth it?

Earning 3% cash back is impressive, but you have to spend a lot to get it. That may present a limitation for anyone who doesn’t typically charge such high amounts each month. Other cash-back cards earn 2% on all purchases no matter how big your monthly bill is. Or you may prefer to maximize your earnings by carrying several credit cards that earn 3% or more in common spending categories, like grocery stores or restaurants, and using them where they’re the most rewarding. You can then deposit those cash rewards into a savings or investment account and earmark them for your kids.

If your goal is to save for college, you may do better with a card that offers the ability to directly deposit rewards into a 529 college savings account with tax benefits. The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card earns 2 points per dollar spent and offers the option of turning those points into cash-back rewards when they are deposited into a Fidelity account, including a 529 account. That translates into 2% cash back on purchases going directly into college savings.

The real differentiator for the Family Cash Card is the ability to automatically invest your earned rewards into flexible investment options. In order to do this, you must have at least a mid-tier Greenlight account that costs $7.98 per month. You can redeem rewards into your Greenlight Investing for Parents platform, which provides a brokerage account for investing in preselected stocks and exchange traded funds. You can change your preselected investments at any time.

You can also redeem rewards as cash into your Parent’s Wallet, which is where you store money to move into kids’ Greenlight debit cards for their own spending.

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