NatWest Rooster Money pocket money app review

11 min Read Published: 17 Aug 2022

NatWest RoosterMoney review

NatWest Rooster Money* launched in 2016 with the mission to 'educate, motivate and empower' children financially. NatWest Rooster Money is a pocket money app that allows both children and parents to manage pocket money from the same account.

NatWest Rooster Money has a variety of tools for children of all ages, ranging from 3 - 17 years old, so children can start to learn about money from a young age. This article reviews the pocket money app NatWest Rooster Money explaining how it works, how much it costs, and how it compares to other pocket money apps such as GoHenry and Osper.

NatWest Rooster Money key features

  • Get a free £5 pocket money bonus and 1 month free trial* - if you take out a Rooster Money subscription between now and the end of September just enter the code 'MONEY5' in the sign-up process
  • Free NatWest Rooster Money card subscription - get a free NatWest Rooster Money card subscription for 12 months if you are a NatWest, Ulster Bank or RBS current account holder. The subscription includes up to three Rooster cards
  • Smartphone app - Parents and children can access the NatWest Rooster Money app from a smartphone device to keep track of pocket money at all times
  • Star Chart - Reward children for good behaviour from the age of 3 with the virtual star chart
  • Set Goals - Set Goals that children can work towards and track their achievements
  • Virtual Money Tracker - Track your child's money and spending habits virtually without real money
  • Pots to manage money - Children can set aside money with the 'Spend', 'Save', and 'Give' pots
  • Budgeting tools - Children can gain a better understanding of money with the budgeting and saving tools
  • Set and manage chores - Set chores and reward your children with an allowance or stars for completing tasks (subscription required)
  • Visa prepaid debit card - The Rooster Card, a contactless prepaid visa debit card, allows your child to spend their allowance online and in shops (subscription required)
  • Multiple parents/guardians - More than one parent/guardian can be added to the app (there is a 2 parent limit for the free account)
  • Set recurrent payments - Allow your child to pay you regularly - e.g. for a magazine subscription - from their allowance (subscription required)

*the bonus is applied after the 1-month free trial ends and your first subscription payment has been taken 

How does NatWest Rooster Money work?

NatWest Rooster Money* is a pocket money app that allows you to teach your children about money and give them financial independence whilst still having control over their finances.

Setting up an account is easy, you need to provide your full name and an email address and then create a password. You will be asked how your children refer to you - e.g. mum or dad - and which country and currency you would like to use on the app. You will then be asked which aspect of NatWest Rooster Money you are most interested in - e.g. the Star Chart or the Rooster Card - but you do not have to choose this in order to sign up.

Once signed up, you can play around in the app to see what features you do and don't like, and then upgrade to a premium account at a later date if desired.

After you have created an account, you will be asked to add children to the app. You will need to provide your child's name, date of birth, and gender. You also have the option to input your child's pocket money allowance and whether they receive this weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Initially, any children you create will be automatically set up with a Virtual Money Tracker account, which is the free version of the NatWest Rooster Money app. You will have the option to upgrade to the Rooster PLUS or Rooster Card accounts. For more information on the different accounts available with Rooster Money, click here.

Rooster Money app     NatWest Rooster Money chores screen

(click to enlarge images)

NatWest Rooster Money account types

NatWest Rooster Money has three different accounts that allow you to track your child's money. We have summarised them in the comparison table below.

What are the different NatWest Rooster Money accounts?

Virtual Tracker Rooster PLUS Rooster Card*
Age range (years)  3+ 5+ 6-17
Annual cost Free N/A £19.99 (1 month free)
Monthly cost  Free £0.99 £1.99 (1 month free)
Star Chart
Track money virtually
Schedule allowance
Money pots
Child login
Chore tracker
Interest rate setter
Unlimited guardians
Set regular payments
Real money deposits
Prepaid debit card
Flexible parental controls
Debit account details

*Currently only available in the UK 

NatWest Rooster Money Virtual Tracker

  • Free
  • Suitable for children aged 3 years and over
  • Virtual pocket money tracker
  • Reward chart
  • Spending and saving pots
  • Child login
  • 2 parent/guardian logins

The Virtual Money Tracker account is the free version of the NatWest Rooster Money app. It is suitable for children from 3 years old and allows you to virtually track your child's pocket money. This means that no physical money is loaded onto the app, but if you give your child a regular allowance, you can keep track of how much you give them within the app.

If the child spends, saves or gifts some of their allowance, this can also be updated in the app so both you and the child can track how much pocket money has been spent or saved. You also get access to a virtual reward chart, but to use this, you'll need to set the child's currency to stars. You can then set goals for your child to work towards and reward them with stars for good behaviour to help them to achieve their goal.


NatWest Rooster Money Rooster PLUS

  • £0.99 a month
  • Suitable for children aged 5 years and above
  • Virtual pocket money tracker
  • Reward chart
  • Spending and saving pots
  • Child login
  • Unlimited parent/guardian logins
  • Chore tracker
  • Set an interest rate on your child's money
  • Recurring payments

The Rooster Money PLUS account has all of the features of a NatWest Rooster Money Virtual Money Tracker account, as well as the additional feature of a chore tracker. It is suitable for children from the age of 5 years old and allows you to set tasks for your child to complete.

As your child completes each task, they can get rewarded by earning their pocket money allowance. You can set two types of chores: allowance chores and extra earners. An allowance chore has to be completed for the child to receive their allowance, and an extra earner chore allows the child to earn additional pocket money on top of their allowance amount. To encourage saving habits, you can also set an interest rate within the app. This is a notional interest rate that is funded by the parent and can be selected within the app under the 'Save' pot settings.

Rooster Plus also allows you to set up a recurring payment within the app for things you would like your children to contribute to, such as pet food or maybe a TV and film subscription. The regular payment amount will be deducted from the child's pocket money allowance amount on the day you have chosen for the allowance to be delivered.


NatWest Rooster Money Rooster Card

  • Get a free £5 pocket money bonus by entering the code 'MONEY5' when signing up between now and the end of September (bonus is paid after the 1-month free trial ends and your first subscription payment is taken)
  • £19.99 per year or £1.99 a month (1-month free trial)
  • Suitable for children aged between 6 - 18 years old
  • Virtual pocket money tracker
  • Reward chart
  • Spending and saving pots
  • Child login
  • Unlimited parent/guardian logins
  • Chore tracker
  • Set an interest rate on your child's money
  • Recurring payments
  • Prepaid contactless Visa debit card
  • Spending limits
  • Instant notifications for both parent and child
  • Freeze/Unfreeze the card in-app
  • Secure online card details for one-time transactions

The NatWest Rooster Money Rooster Card is a prepaid contactless Visa debit card that allows your child to spend and manage their own money whilst allowing you to oversee the account via the app. A Rooster Card allows parents to set daily, weekly, and monthly spending limits, as well as ATM and single transaction limits.

The debit card can also be used abroad for free, as long as transactions are kept below £50. Any transactions over the £50 limit will be charged a 3% fee. As well as getting a Rooster Card, you can also benefit from the same features included with the Rooster PLUS and the Virtual Money Tracker account.

How much does NatWest Rooster Money cost?

You can choose between three NatWest Rooster Money accounts - the free account or the two different subscription accounts. In the below table, we summarise the subscription fees and any fees associated with a Rooster Card. You can scroll down for further detail on the account limits.

Fees
Virtual Tracker FREE
Rooster Plus monthly fee £0.99 per month
Rooster Card annual fee £19.99 per year* (first month free)
Rooster Card monthly fee £1.99 per month (first month free)
Spending online
FREE (limits apply)
ATM fees
FREE (limits apply)
Foreign transactions
FREE up to £50 per month 3% fee thereafter
Debit card loads
FREE (limits apply)
CHAPS transfer £10
Bank transfer OUT
FREE (limits apply)
Rooster Card replacement fee
FREE
Returning money held in account 12 months after subscription ended
£5

*Additional cards cost £19.99 each year

What are the limits on NatWest Rooster Money accounts?

Loading and transfer limits on a parent NatWest Rooster Money account

  • Maximum free daily loads - 3
  • Maximum free monthly loads - 10
  • Minimum load amount - £2 (loads of less than £2 will be charged £0.50)
  • Loads over the free limits - £0.50 per load
  • CHAPS transfer loads - £10
  • Maximum parent account balance - £10,000
  • Maximum annual load limit - £10,000
  • Maximum parent account load - £1,000
  • Maximum parent account load per day - £1,000
  • Monthly money transfer limit - 2 free money transfers a month (£0.50 transaction charge thereafter)

N.B. Rooster Cards can only be loaded by a personal account (business and Paypal accounts are not accepted).

Spending limits on a NatWest Rooster Card

  • Maximum daily spend transactions - 15 (any additional transactions will be charged at £0.50 per transaction)
  • Maximum weekly spend transactions - 25 (additional transactions will be charged £0.50 per transaction)
  • Maximum daily spend - £1,000
  • Contactless spending limit - £45

Spending abroad with a NatWest Rooster Card

  • Free ATM withdrawals up to £50 per calendar month (any additional spending is charged at 3% of the transaction amount)
  • Free spending abroad up to £50 per calendar month (additional spending will be charged at 3% of the transaction amount)

NatWest Rooster Card ATM withdrawal limits

  • Daily withdrawal limit - £200
  • Maximum daily withdrawals - 4
  • Maximum weekly withdrawals - 10

Is NatWest Rooster Money safe?

Rooster Money is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The money held in a NatWest Rooster Money account with a Rooster Card is ring-fenced in an account with the high street bank NatWest. The money you deposit, however, is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme FSCS should Rooster Money go bust. However, according to its website, Rooster Money says 'If NatWest Rooster Money went bust, our creditors would not be able to access your safeguarded money due to it being held in a ring-fenced account. All of the safeguarded funds would be returned to our users.'

Can NatWest Rooster Money be used abroad?

Yes. Rooster Cards can be used abroad for chip and pin and contactless transactions. You can spend a maximum of £50 abroad for free and after this, there is a 3% charge. It is also worth considering that some foreign ATMs will charge foreign transaction fees in addition to a fee for using the ATM itself.

NatWest Rooster Money customer reviews

NatWest Rooster Money is rated as 'Excellent' on review site Trustpilot with a score of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 900 reviews. 88% of customers rate the app as 'Excellent', citing the app as easy to set up and navigate. Parents also comment that the app provides great motivation for their children to complete chores and better understand money. Only 2% of customers rate the app as 'Bad', citing problems with accessing the money debited on the account and technical problems with some transactions.

NatWest Rooster Money pros and cons

NatWest Rooster Money Pros NatWest Rooster Money Cons
  • Teaches children about money from a young age
  • Quite expensive if your child earns minimal pocket money
  • Can set and track customised chores
  • Have to have a paid-for version to access the chore tracker
  • Children can access the app on their own smart devices
  • Money is not FSCS protected
  • Can have multiple parents/guardians (limited to two on a free plan)
  • Virtual Money Tracker has to be manually updated so easy to lose track
  • Parental controls within the app on transactions
  • Star Chart can be easily replicated at home without signing up

Alternatives to NatWest Rooster Money

NatWest Rooster Money is just one of a range of pocket money apps available. In the below comparison table, we compare NatWest Rooster Money to other pocket money apps from the likes of GoHenry and Osper, as well as junior bank accounts from Starling and Revolut. For more information on the pocket money apps and some of the free alternatives, read our article "The best pocket money apps".

The best pocket money app comparison table

Natwest Rooster Money* Nimbl Osper GoHenry* Starling Kite* Revolut Junior*
Eligibility (years)  6-17 6-18 8-18 6-18 6-16 7-17
Cost £19.99/year or £1.99/month (1 month free) £2.49/month or £28.00/year (1 month free) £2.50/month (first 30 days free) £2.99/month (30-day free trial) £2/month Free (limits apply to a free account)
Loading fee Free up to 3 per day and 10 per month Free 50p instant loads 1 free load each month and 50p thereafter Free Free
ATM fees* Free Free Free Free Free
Free
Fees abroad 3% transaction fee over £50 per month £1.50 cash withdrawals, 2.95% transaction fee £2 cash withdrawal, 3% fee No international fee Free
Up to £250 per month
Instant notifications
Set spending limits
tick tick tick tick
Chore tracker
Child app tick
FSCS protection

*Limits apply

Summary

Overall, NatWest Rooster Money* is a great app if you are looking to teach your children about money. The free version of the account allows access to the Star Chart and Virtual Money Tracker, but the chart can easily be replicated by a simple handmade rewards chart on the fridge at home.

In addition, it may be easy to forget to update the NatWest Rooster Money Virtual Tracker allowances manually when your child spends their pocket money. Accessing the chore tracker, however, is a great way to incentivise your child to earn their pocket money and having separate logins for children allows them to track their progress on their own smart devices, further encouraging independence - though it does come at an additional cost.

The Rooster Card account offers the most benefits for a child to manage their pocket money and is a great way to allow your child to have financial independence whilst still having access to their money and control over their spending habits.

NatWest Rooster Money is slightly cheaper than other similar pocket money accounts, but there are restrictions on how much you can spend. If you sign up for a subscription account between now and the end of September you can get a £5 pocket money bonus if you enter the code 'MONEY5' when signing up. To find out more about the different options available for your child and their pocket money, read our articles:

 

 

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