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 whether it’s right for you.
10-second GoHenry review
A great idea and it works very well – it gives you a lot of control over your child’s spending, whilst still making them feel grown-up. It gives kids some handy pointers towards financial literacy and teaches them about the value of money. However, it’s not the cheapest option on the market and the costs soon add up for larger families.
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 app that works similarly to a debit card. You can shop in-store, and 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, it’s much easier and more convenient to use the app.
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 savings goals 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 protected by the FSCS protected. However, they are regulated by the FCA, 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, which means that 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 you receive your child is spending. And as I said earlier, because GoHenry is a prepaid debit card, your child can’t spend what’s not in their account.
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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 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
- Find out how much their allowance is due and when
- 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
Your child will have access to Money Missions. Here, 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 get to decide how much they can spend, 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.
GoHenry has pretty much thought of everything, and I can see only three downsides.
The first is that you can only have four child accounts linked as a parent. That isn’t a problem for the vast majority, but it could prove awkward for bigger families.
The second is that you can only load your account once per month for free. If the parent’s account runs out of money, it will cost an extra 50 pence to top it up. That means that you will probably be inclined to transfer a larger amount each month to make sure you have enough in your account. The only issue with this is that you won’t earn any interest.
The third, and this is a big one for me, is the monthly cost. As a father of three, running those accounts will soon add up.
How much does GoHenry cost?
Each account comes with a monthly fee of £2.99 per child. So as a father of three, I would be spending almost £9 per month or over £100 per year.
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.
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 about money. Most negative comments there seem to be due to the charges and fees involved.
My GoHenry review conclusion
I do actually love the idea behind GoHenry. The whole process is very slick and you can control almost everything. Plus, it’s a great way to make your child feel like an adult and also helps them learn about financial responsibility.
It’s just the monthly membership fee that I find difficult to swallow. If I’m looking to teach my children about good money habits, I need to follow my own advice and not overspend. Below, I link to some of the cheaper GoHenry alternatives.
If you like the idea of an app that helps your child learn about finances but are not sure you’re willing to pay the subscription cost, why not take a look at some of these 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.
Monday 6th of February 2023
Go Henry has to be one of the worst companies to actually get your money back from .... regularly saved with them, but their fees (for nothing !!) are now at £4 per month.... so its simply not worth it when trying to encourage saving yet somehow justify this monthly payment...use a building society or others as there is no monthly charge. Its now been over a month to try to close and withdraw money... all I seem to receive are emails saying they have delayed my account closing - in case I change my mind !! Now they want a fully copy of my bank statement, despite not having changed my account for years and despite Go Henry taking money from my account each month.... yet more delay tactics.... do not use them, they are a terrible company to deal with !!
Thursday 12th of January 2023
This is obviously your opinion but in all honesty and from having experience of running these accounts I do not agree and STRONGLY believe that GO Henry is unsuitable for both children and parents alike. I would not recommend them and would advise parents to keep away there are far superior options. Read the reviews for the full picture.