In this independent review, we look at the pocket money app GoHenry*, including how it works, how much it costs, and the alternatives. We recommend that you read the review in full, but you can jump to specific sections of the article using the following links:
- What is GoHenry?
- GoHenry key features
- How does GoHenry work?
- How to set up a GoHenry account
- GoHenry account limits
- How much does GoHenry cost?
- Is GoHenry safe?
- Can GoHenry be used abroad?
- Alternatives to GoHenry
- GoHenry customer reviews
- GoHenry pros and cons
What is GoHenry?
GoHenry* was launched in 2012 by a group of parents that wanted to teach their children how to manage their own money without getting into debt.
GoHenry now has over 1.5 million members across the UK and America, and has raised over £10m through investors and shareholders. GoHenry provides an account that can be monitored by a parent while giving children between the ages of 6 and 18 the freedom and independence to manage their own money. GoHenry won Best Children's Financial Provider 2021 at the British Bank Awards.
Most high street banks already offer a number of children's accounts, however, none of them offer the ability to track your child's spending or provide features that can help your child to understand their spending first-hand. For more information on the best bank accounts for under 18's, read our article "The best bank accounts for under 18's".
GoHenry key features
- Customisable Visa prepaid debit card - A prepaid card that can be topped up and used in shops, online, or at cash machines. It can be customised by your child with a personalised name and image
- Online or mobile app - GoHenry can be controlled online or via an iPad or smartphone app
- Regular payments - Set up regular pocket money payments
- Set tasks/chores - Set tasks for your child to complete, which they can mark as complete when finished
- Instant notifications - Instant spending notifications for both you and your child
- Block and unblock cards - Block and unblock the card if it becomes lost or if you want to prevent your child from spending
- Pick where the card can be used - Stay in control of exactly where your child can spend money
- Savings goals - Set savings goals within the app and track your child's progress
- Money Missions - In-app learning programme designed to teach children about money management while earning points and badges
Get 1 month free and a free custom card
If you open a GoHenry account via Money to the Masses you can benefit from 1 month's free subscription and a free custom GoHenry card (worth £4.99). All you need to do is create a GoHenry account by signing up here* and the promotion code will automatically be applied when creating an account.
How does GoHenry work?
You can set up a GoHenry account online or by downloading the smartphone app. The app has a demo account, meaning you get to see how everything works before signing up. When you download the app, you can choose whether to download the parent or child's version.
What can children do?
- Earn money by completing tasks
- Budget within their weekly allowance
- Spend on the card (within the set limits)
- Get instant notifications as to why a transaction was declined
- Save into set savings goals
- Ask for relatives to contribute
- Use Money Missions to build money management skills
What can parents do?
- Manage up to 4 children's accounts in the app
- Set up regular payments
- Make one-off payments
- Set tasks
- Invite relatives to contribute
- Set spending limits
- Control where the card can be used (e.g. cash machines, online, in-store)
- Block and unblock cards
- Receive instant spending notifications
How to set up a GoHenry account
To set up a GoHenry* account, simply sign up online or download the free mobile app. You will need to enter personal details such as your name, email, and mobile number and then choose a password to create an account. Once you have added your child's details and confirmed your account, your cards will be ordered and should arrive within 5-7 days. There is a 30-day free trial where you get access to full membership, after which you will be charged a monthly membership fee of £2.99 per child, taken from the parent's linked bank account. You will need to activate your cards and deposit a minimum of £5 to start setting spending limits and tasks as required.
How do I cancel a GoHenry account?
If your child reaches 18 or no longer wants to use a GoHenry account, you can cancel by contacting the customer services team by calling 0330 100 7676 or emailing [email protected] between 8am-8pm, 7 days a week. Your account will be closed with immediate effect, although there is a 3-day cooling-off period during which time you can reactivate your account. Any money left in the account will be returned to your nominated bank account within 7-10 days. However, GoHenry recommends withdrawing the money at a cash point if the funds are needed quickly.
Are there any limits on a GoHenry account?
GoHenry Parent account limits
|Maximum account balance||£6,000|
|Maximum account load at any one time||£500|
|Maximum account load in a day||£600|
|Annual load limit||£10,000|
|Maximum number of loads in a day||3|
GoHenry Child account limits
|Maximum single bank transfer load||£500|
|Maximum bank transfer loads in a month||£1,200|
|Maximum spend in a day||£4,000|
|Maximum number of spends a day||10|
|Maximum number of spends in 4 consecutive days||20|
|Maximum ATM withdrawal||£120|
|Maximum daily ATM withdrawals||3|
|Maximum ATM withdrawals in 4 consecutive days||4|
How much does GoHenry cost?
GoHenry has a monthly fee of £2.99 per child and gives you access to all of the features mentioned above. You get one free load per month onto a parent account, after which you will be charged 50p per load. However, an easy way around this load charge would be to load a larger sum onto your account at the beginning of each month. For example, add £20 at the beginning of the month if your child gets an allowance of £5 a week. You also get a free standard GoHenry card, but if you wish to upgrade your GoHenry card to a customisable card or the Eco card, this will cost you a one-off fee of £4.99. GoHenry accounts also give users free UK transactions and ATM withdrawals.
How does GoHenry make money?
Charging a monthly subscription fee and loading fee is the only way that GoHenry makes money to develop the app, according to the GoHenry website.
Is GoHenry safe?
The money in your GoHenry* account is held as e-money as it is a prepaid card. Therefore, GoHenry does not offer FSCS protection. However, GoHenry says that it is regularly monitored by Visa to ensure it is complying with its regulations. All money held with GoHenry is held in a secured NatWest account and GoHenry itself is regulated by the FCA.
Can GoHenry be used abroad?
Yes, GoHenry can be used abroad at no extra cost (be aware that some foreign ATMs may charge a small fee). All payments will be taken in GBP and GoHenry will use the Visa Europe exchange rate on the day the payment leaves the account. GoHenry can be used anywhere that accepts Visa cards.
GoHenry vs other prepaid cards
There are a few other apps that offer pre-paid cards to help your children manage their money without opening a children's bank account. We compare GoHenry to its alternatives in the table below.
|Cost||£2.99/month (1 month free trial)||£2.49/month or £28/year (1 month free)||£2.50/month (first 30 days free)||
£24.99/year (1 month free)
|Loading Fee||50p (1 free load a month)||Free||50p (free via direct debit)||
Free (up to 3 per day and 10 per calendar month, or 50p per subsequent load)
|Fees Abroad||No international fees||£1.50 cash withdrawals, 2.95% transaction fee||£2 cash withdrawal, 3% transaction fee||
3% transaction fee over £50/month
GoHenry vs Starling Kite
Starling Bank has launched a pocket money account for children aged between 6 - 16 years old. Starling Kite exists as a 'Space' within a Starling Bank personal account and therefore a parent needs to have a Starling account for it to be used. If you have a Starling Joint account then both account holders will be able to access and control the Kite account. A Starling Kite* account costs £2 per month per card with no additional charges for transferring or withdrawing money. Starling Kite has no additional app for children to use on their own devices and it does not have the functionality to set tasks or chores within the app.
A Starling Kite account allows you to:
- Instantly transfer money
- Set up regular payments
- Set savings goals
- Summarise spending with spending analytics
- Set spending limits
- Spend overseas with no additional fees
GoHenry free alternatives
GoHenry is a great idea but can be an expensive way to teach your children about money, especially if you only want to pay your child a small amount each month. Below are a few alternatives to help you teach your children about money for free.
Above, RoosterMoney is listed as a competitor to GoHenry for its prepaid debit card account. However, it also has a free pocket money app that has similar features to GoHenry without the monthly subscription fee. The free of charge Rooster Virtual Tracker* account is essentially a pocket money tracker and allows you to keep tabs on the money you are giving your child and the money they have been sent as a gift from friends or grandparents. To add tasks/chores and to get the full use out of the app, you need to register for a Rooster Plus account (£14.99 a year) or a Rooster Card account (£24.99 a year), but it is a great place to start.
A basic Rooster Virtual Tracker account allows you to:
- Give your child access to their own account to see how much money they have to spend
- Incentivise tasks with reward stars or money
- Set goals for your child to save toward
- Save money for safekeeping
Otly! is a pocket money app that allows you to keep track of pocket money and gifts that your child has accrued over time. Children can download Otly! Jr and manage their own money within the app. Each child is able to request to spend some of the pocket money by sending the parents a notification, which can then be approved or denied within the app. You can create tasks and chores for free within the Otly! app and it can be used in multiple currencies.
An Otly! account allows you to:
- Create tasks/chores for your children to earn pocket money
- Track your children’s spending or saving
- Create savings jars
- Approve or deny spending or allowance requests from your child
In the following Money to the Masses podcast episode, Damien and Andy share some brilliant free online resources to teach your children about money. Click to listen to the full podcast episode, or search the title on your favourite podcast app - "Understanding fund performance & teaching your kids about money online". Alternatively, check out our article "5 ways to teach your kids about money".
GoHenry customer reviews
GoHenry is rated as 'Great' on Trustpilot with a rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars from almost 5,000 reviews. About 70% of customers rate it as 'Excellent' with customers citing great customer service and noticing an improvement in their children's financial knowledge. Those who rated it as 'Bad' (13%) cited difficulty in cancelling the subscription fee and one user commented on the app always breaking down, leaving the children in the lurch when trying to make a payment.
GoHenry pros and cons
Pros of GoHenry
- Teaches children about money
- Personalised card option
- Gives children financial independence
- Allows adults to keep track and manage spending
- Can block the card at any time
- Can control where the card is used to spend
- FCA regulated
Cons of GoHenry
- 50p loading fee for more than one load a month
- Unable to earn interest on savings
- No FSCS protection
- Have to call or email to close the account
Overall, I think it is an excellent product and I really like the fact that you can demo the app before downloading it, enabling you to see all of the features before signing up. At Money to the Masses, we are big advocates of teaching children about money, and this app is a great way to teach basic financial skills whilst encouraging independence at the same time. Unlike a high street children's bank account, you can access and control your child's spending from a distance, helping them on the road to financial independence.
I do, however, believe that you shouldn't have to pay to teach your child about money and there is no doubt that the monthly fee will be enough to put many parents off. That said, GoHenry* has over 1.5 million users worldwide, suggesting that, for many, the card and features on offer are a price worth paying for.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses or take advantage of any exclusive offers - GoHenry, Starling Bank, RoosterMoney