- $3.99/£2.99 per month
- Prepay Visa or Mastercard
- Personalized card
- Easy to sign up and top-up
- Free trial
- Tasks and savings goals
- Available in the UK or USA
The rise of digital banking is unstoppable and banking apps are so widely available that even kids can have their own digital money accounts. One of the pioneers in this regard is the UK company gohenry. You know it’s cool because you write its name with a lowercase letter.
In this gohenry review, we’ll look at all the nooks and crannies so you can decide if this is the account for you and your offspring. But first, here’s our short verdict:
Teaching kids about money and budgeting was never easier with digital banking apps and gohenry has greatly contributed to that with their dedicated kids’ app and card. For a low monthly fee, easily top-up your kid’s account and teach them about savings and budgeting. Recommended.
Launched in 2012, gohenry is an app and a top-up card that got its name after their first customer – an 11-year old boy named Henry.
Gohenry started as an idea beside a kids’ football pitch when a group of parents started daydreaming about a simple solution for their kids’ allowance that doesn’t include scrambling for pocket change or giving them access to their cards.
And so, the parents, Louise Hill, Mark Timbrell, and Doug Mahy started meeting in a local restaurant every Thursday night to come up with a business plan for what would be a prepaid card for 6 to 18 year-olds and an app for both kids and their parents.
Grueling pitching sessions finally paid off when a “group of high net worth angel investors” decided to invest in their idea.
The London-based company even broke a world record when they raised just shy of £4m on Crowdcube. The hard work clearly paid off as gohenry now has more than 1.4 million customers in the UK and in the USA.
Why is gohenry so special?
Gohenry is easy to sign up for and offers great features for both parents and their kids. It lets you set up the weekly allowance, set spending limits, control where the card can be used, and set up tasks that can earn your kids extra money. They even offer a one-month free trial to test the waters before you commit.
Pros and cons
- One month free trial
- Low or no fees
- Automatic weekly allowance
- Spending limits
- Tasks, goals, and giving features
- Easy to control the card
- Access for only one parent (in the US)
- You have to call or email to cancel your account
- Up to 4 kids per parent
- No savings interest
- No family account
I noticed that other gohenry reviews put the monthly fee as a con. I don’t have an issue with gohenry charging this small fee, I mean they have to make money somehow especially when there are almost no other fees.
You could argue that it adds up if you have more than one child but the fee is less than the price of a takeaway coffee mind you.
- $3.99/£2.99 per month
- Custom card $4.99/£4.99
- $1.50 for ATM withdrawals (UK accounts free)
- 50p service charge for loading the Account (US accounts free)
As you can see, the fee structure is really simple but it is a bit different on each side of the big pond. While ATM withdrawals are free in the UK, they are charged $1.50 in the US.
And while the States offer loading the account for free, the UK has to pay a small fee. Other than that, there’s a monthly fee and a custom card charge. Spending the money is free at home and abroad.
In which countries is gohenry available?
Gohenry expanded from the UK to the United States and is only available in these two countries for now where it has more than 1.4 million customers.
How to open a gohenry account?
You can signup for gohenry either by downloading their app from one of the app stores or by visiting their website and filling out an online form in a couple of minutes. You’ll need to provide your email, first and last name, your phone number, and make a password.
Next, you’ll need to fill in your kid’s details – first and last name and the date of birth. To meet government regulations, gohenry will verify parent’s details with various public databases, and that’s it. Your kid’s card should arrive in a week. If they want a personalized one, you’ll have to pay up.
Can two parents have access to the gohenry account?
Interestingly enough, only the parents in the UK can be co-parents and have each their own gohenry app but share the “Parent balance”. In the USA, both parents can access the app only if they share the same login details and do it at different times. A bit strange.
Best gohenry features
This is easily the best gohenry feature. Some parents are still on the fence if they should pay their kids’ for doing chores and incentivize them. Some folks think that chores and everyday tasks like doing homework should not be paid as they are essential.
No matter what your stance is, the tasks option enables you to set one-off or weekly chores. When a chore is done, both you and your kid can mark it as complete from the app.
Teaching kids how to save money is fundamental and a skill that they’ll certainly need throughout their lives. The gohenry app allows you to set up savings goals for as many goals as you/they wish. Once the goal is reached, the money can stay there or your kid can release it to their spending account.
The gohenry card is free on both sides of the Atlantic and the only difference is in the issuer. In the UK, the issuer is Visa, while in the US, the card issuer is Mastercard.
The card can be used anywhere where you use your own Mastercard or Visa, online or in-store, and even abroad. If you or your kids want to order a custom card with their own design, you’ll have to pay £/$4.99. You can add their name, choose a picture or a pattern and pick a color.
Let’s talk safety a bit. The gohenry card is a prepaid top-up card that is different from a credit card and more similar to a debit card. They can only spend the amount that they have in their account. Still, it can be used almost anywhere as long as they accept Visa or Mastercard respectively, and I’m yet to find a shop that doesn’t.
You’ll also get instant notifications when and where your kid is spending their money, and you can decide where they can use it – online, at ATMs, and in shops.
Another safety feature is that you can block and unblock cards at any time or apply spending limits.
There are two versions of the gohenry app – the child version and the parent version.
Parents can manage up to 4 kids’ accounts from their app. When you open the parent app, the home screen will show you your balance, how much your kids have on their account, when is their next allowance, and the options to top up or transfer money.
Next screen is the card screen that lets you set limits, retrieve PIN numbers, and block or order a custom debit card. You can also see a thorough breakdown of your kid’s spending as well.
The earning screen shows you the weekly allowance that you can edit and all the weekly or one-off tasks or chores that your kids have and that earn them money. You can add new ones to the checklist and mark the ones that are completed. Checkmark has to be put in place until 10 pm before the payday or your kid won’t get their money for the task.
If you’re not sure how big the allowance should be, the app gives you a suggestion based on the kid’s age.
The saving screen presents you with the total amount that they saved, how much they’re saving per week, what they’re saving for, and the current progress. Here you can also end the completed goals and add new ones.
The more tab has three options – Spending, Giftlinks, and Offers.
When kids open their app, the home screen will show them what’s their weekly spending limit, how much they already spent this week, and how much is left to spend. They can also easily see how much money is on the card, how much they have in their savings account, and the total sum. There’s also the time until the next allowance and how many tasks are on the to-do list.
The card screen shows them the spending limits, spending transactions, and the PIN number. The earning and saving screens are identical to the parent’s view.
There are a couple of standard ways to keep your kids safe when using gohenry:
- Block and unblock cards instantly
- Get real-time spend notifications
- PIN-protected transactions
- State of the art chip security
- No risk of overspending, no overdraft
- 256-bit encryption like the banks use
- FDIC insured up to $250,000 (US)
How is gohenry regulated in the USA?
In the States, gohenry cards are issued by the Community Federal Savings Bank, a federal savings bank that is regulated by US federal laws and that is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). As such, your deposits are insured up to $250,000 if gohenry were to go bust. That is quite an allowance I must say.
How is gohenry regulated in the UK?
In the United Kingdom, the gohenry card issuer is the IDT Financial Services that holds funds with Visa. Visa holds all customer deposits in a NatWest account that gohenry can’t access.
This all means that if gohenry, IDT, or Visa were to go bust, you’d still get your money back from NatWest. So, gohenry basically operates under FSC and the UK Treasury.
Revolut got into junior accounts only recently but better late than never especially since they’re offering solid kids accounts with plenty of features and a dedicated junior app as well as a prepaid card. You can open from one to 5 junior accounts depending on which account you already have. It’s unfortunately only for kids between 12 and 18.
Starling has a very good kids account for children between 6 and 16 and a teen account for 16 and 17-year olds. It costs £2 per month per card with no transfer or ATM fees. It’s available only in the UK, same as their main accounts.
Greenlight is a popular kids account in the States that costs $4.99 per month and interestingly has no minimum or maximum signup age. It’s a bank account with all the bells and whistles from personalized cards to chore lists and auto allowance.
RoosterMoney is available in the UK, Australia, and the United States. It has a free, a plus, and a family account. The free account is only a virtual tracker but the plus account has interest rates for savings, chores, and unlimited guardians.
The bottom line
Gohenry is still a popular choice for parents to teach their kids about healthy money habits and to simplify or complicate weekly allowance, depending on where you stand on this topic.
Personally, I don’t like fumbling around with coins and so we think that gohenry is a great service for kids and their parents even though there are many competitors by now that can do similar things.
If you don’t already own one of the more popular digital banking apps like Revolut that have kids’ accounts, and you don’t want to open it for yourself, getting a gohenry card for your kid is a great alternative.