Are you interested in teaching your kids about money management or want an easier way to pay them their pocket money without using cash? Then take a look at this GoHenry review to see how the app and the card work and how we got on when we joined.
The sad fact is, when it comes to school, we’re taught very little in the way of financial education.
Yes, schools focus a lot on maths and equations, but they never teach you about good financial habits or the importance of money. That’s why it falls on our shoulders as a parent to teach our children what we know. And that is far harder than it sounds.
But fortunately, there are pocket money apps out there that will give your kids financial independence and help them establish healthy financial habits for the future.
Today, I’m going to look at one of the most popular options on the market – GoHenry. We’ll take a look at GoHenry’s features and see if this really is a great option when it comes to money management.
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What is GoHenry?
GoHenry is a prepaid Visa card and online app that is designed to teach children about money. It works similarly to a debit card and allows a child to shop in-store, online and withdraw money from an ATM. However, because it’s a pre-paid card, your child can’t go on a spending spree and rack up a load of debt. They can only spend what is in the account.
Launched in 2012, they now have over 500,000 members across the UK and the USA. The company that owns GoHenry (GoHenry Limited) is based in Hampshire and has been running since 2007.
And their aim? Taken from their website:
The upshot is that our product gives kids a safe space to learn and occasionally, make mistakes: no debt, no overdrawn accounts, and with the option for parents to jump in and help out if needed.
Ultimately, we want every child to graduate from gohenry with confidence, independence and money sense. We want them to be fully prepared for the digital economy and the rise of a cashless society. And we want them to boldly face adulthood’s later financial pressures, fearlessly navigating some of life’s trickiest waters: their money.
How does GoHenry work?
It takes you just a few minutes to open an account online. You then order a free (prepaid) debit card with your child’s name on it. Or, if you’re feeling generous, you can pay £4.99 and order a fully customised card. This should arrive (addressed to your child) within seven days.
Then, you should download the GoHenry app. You can monitor your child’s activity and load money onto their account. If you have more than one child with a card, all the accounts can be seen from the one app. Although you can monitor account activity from the main website, using the app is much easier and more convenient.
You will then need to load your account (aka parent’s account) with some money.
Next up, you can arrange for a set amount to be transferred from the parent’s account to your child’s account weekly. But you aren’t just restricted to that one set transfer. You can also make one-off payments if you’re feeling generous or if you want to reward your child. If you can convince your child to clean your car (and not scratch it), why not send them an extra £2?
You can also create a savings goal so that a certain % of your child’s pocket money can be set aside each week.
With GoHenry, you have overall control of the account.
Is GoHenry safe?
GoHenry isn’t a bank which means they aren’t the FSCS protected. However, they are regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), meaning that funds are kept in a segregated account. So if something should happen to GoHenry, your money is secure.
The app uses 256-bit encryption, meaning all details are kept securely. And you don’t have to worry too much about your child losing their card. If this should happen, you can quickly block the card from being used from the app.
You can also receive real-time notifications so you know when and where your child is spending. And because GoHenry is a prepaid debit card, your child can’t spend what’s not in their account.
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How much does GoHenry cost?
Each account comes with a monthly fee of £3.99 per child.
That only includes loading the card once. If I wanted to add extra money as a one-off, there will be an additional cost of 50 pence each time. Although that’s only a small fee, it can soon add up over time.
The only other fees worth noting are when using the card abroad. There is a £2 charge for a foreign ATM withdrawal and a 2.75% charge if making a card transaction. These fees are in line with most other debit cards.
And as a parent, you have a great amount of control. You can choose how your child can use their card. Don’t want them shopping online? Then turn off the option. You can control the GoHenry debit card from either your computer or the app from your phone.
The app allows:
- ✅ A full breakdown of funds on your child’s card and savings
- ✅ Set their weekly allowance
- ✅ Go through their transactions
- ✅ Monitor how much they’re earning via tasks
- ✅ See a list of tasks they need to do and how much they’re worth
- ✅ See a breakdown of their savings and different savings goals
- ✅ Retrieve their PIN
- ✅ Order a custom card or block their card
- ✅ No foreign transaction fee when spending abroad
- ✅ Ability to withdraw money from cash machines
Your child will have access to Money Missions. With a Money Mission, they can complete quizzes and watch videos to learn about different money topics such as savings, investing and interest rates. For their efforts, they are rewarded with points and badges.
Like any adult card, GoHenry has a contactless limit of £100. But you can set your own spending limit, from as little as £5. Regarding ATM withdrawals, your child can take out a maximum of £120 per day.
So, is GoHenry a good idea?
This is a great learning experience for children. Their card can be used in-store, online or at an ATM – anywhere that accepts Visa. It may take a while, but it will help them get to grips with an adult-like account. And ultimately, you have full parental control.
GoHenry has pretty much thought of everything, but there are a few downsides you need to consider.
- ❌ Your child doesn’t learn to use cash
- ❌ Limited to four child accounts per parent account
- ❌ Only load the GoHenry account once per month for free. After this, there is a 50 pence charge each time.
- ❌ Can be a pain to get your money back when you close your account
Being a father and slightly obsessed with money, I trialled the card with my oldest daughter Cara for several months.
In all honesty, we both really liked it. Having a GoHenry card made Cara feel as if she was adult-like whilst also giving her more freedom. But in reality, it allowed me to keep a closer eye on her spending.
It was also much simpler when it came to encouraging her to do bits around the house. I’m not a big user of cash, so I could transfer over money to her instantly. I’ve always found that she becomes a bit discouraged if she has to wait several days to receive her money.
The parental controls worked well too. Cara managed to lose her card in Bluewater, but luckily noticed after 10 minutes. Even after some frantic searching, we couldn’t find it. From my app, I could freeze the card instantly and then cancelled it when we got home.
But there is a big issue for me and that was the cost. As a father of three, I would be spending almost £12 per month on a GoHenry subscription, which would be over £140 per year. So, I decided to cancel my account, which was a little harder than expected. Well, not so much the cancellation, but the refund of the money held in my account. It took several emails back and forth before it was returned to my bank.
What other people think
When writing my reviews, I always like to take a look at what other people think. On Trustpilot, GoHenry scores a great 4.2 out of 5 from over 7,000 customers. On the positive side, reviewers are pleased with how the app works and how useful it is for teaching kids money skills. Most negative comments there seem to be due to the charges and fees involved.
Is GoHenry worth it?
The whole process is very slick and you can control almost everything. Plus, it’s a great way to make a young person feel like an adult and also helps them learn about financial responsibility that you don’t get from a usual bank account.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that the cost is difficult to swallow. There are cheaper alternatives available. And if I’m looking to teach my children about good money habits, I need to follow my own advice and not overspend.
But you can see what you think and whether it’s worth the fee by taking out a month’s free trial by using the button below.
If you like the idea of a child account or a pocket money app, but you’re not sure that GoHenry is right (or it’s a little too expensive), there are plenty of other options to look at. From NatWest Rooster Money to HyperJar, there should be a solution for you. Why not take a look at some of the best GoHenry alternatives?
Or, take a look at my HyperJar vs GoHenry comparison.
How do I cancel my GoHenry card?
You can cancel by phone on 0330 100 7676 or send an email to email@example.com
Can GoHenry be used online?
Yes. Although the option can be turned on or off.
How old do you have to be for a card?
GoHenry is aimed at young people aged 6-18.
Where can GoHenry be used?
GoHenry cards are accepted anywhere you see the Visa sign.
Is the GoHenry card contactless?
Yes, it is. But limits on spending can be controlled from the main account.
Is GoHenry free?
You can try GoHenry as a free trial. But once this finishes, you will need to pay a monthly subscription.
Is GoHenry a credit card?
No, the card is a prepaid debit card, meaning your child cannot fall into debt.
Is GoHenry good?
GoHenry has some great features and this is why it’s one of the most popular pocket money apps available on the market.