Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Starling Kite vs GoHenry

Starling Kite vs Gohenry – In Brief

What methods are you employing to teach financial literacy to your children and teenagers? Nowadays, numerous bank accounts and financial apps are designed specifically for young users. These tools serve three primary purposes: they simplify the process for parents to teach money management skills, introduce financial literacy to children from a young age, and transition the giving of allowance to a digital, cashless format.

This article will examine two of the top prepaid debit cards for kids available in the UK—Starling Kite and GoHenry. We will highlight what distinguishes these options and delve into their main features. Additionally, we will explain how they operate and evaluate their security measures. Finally, we will provide a rundown of the best alternative accounts to GoHenry and Starling Kite for kids.

What is Starling Kite?

Starling Kite offers a prepaid debit card suitable for children aged 6 to 15 years, with a specific account available for 16 and 17-year-olds. This card is accessible to those who have a Starling Bank account and is linked directly to the parent’s account, not functioning as a standalone bank account. As a result, it benefits from the same protections as a regular bank account, including FSCS protection for deposits up to £85,000.

The process of applying for a Starling Kite children’s prepaid debit card is designed to be quick and easy. The card comes with a mobile app that allows the child to monitor their spending and manage their account. Parents also receive a mobile app, providing them with full visibility and control over their child’s account, including the ability to make deposits and set spending limits.

A key advantage of the Starling Kite account is that it is free of charge; there are no fees for account registration, nor are there monthly subscription or administration fees.

Main Starling Kite Account Drawback

Only existing Starling Bank clients can open a Starling Kite account, as the child account has to be tied to the parent’s account.

What is GoHenry?

GoHenry offers a comprehensive money management program for children and teens aged 6 to 18, which includes a debit card and separate mobile apps for the child and parent. The child uses their app to develop financial skills such as budgeting, investing, and saving. They can use their debit card for purchases both online and in physical stores. Parents can use their app to load funds, set spending limits, and assign tasks, effectively managing the child’s pocket money.

Unlike Starling Kite, GoHenry operates independently of traditional banks. It’s a youth-oriented fintech service recently acquired by Arcons, a U.S.-based investment app, meaning a bank account isn’t necessary to set up a GoHenry account. However, GoHenry is not free; it offers two subscription plans: GoHenry Everyday and GoHenry Plus, costing £3.99 and £4.99 per month respectively.

GoHenry is distinctive for its extensive educational content on financial literacy and offers new members a 30-day free trial. The service has also partnered with Paramount+ to give new members a complimentary 30-day streaming trial. Additionally, children can personalize their debit cards, choosing from over 45 unique designs offered by GoHenry.

Main GoHenry Account Drawback

GoHenry is not free. It maintains higher monthly and account funding fees than most kid bank account service providers.

At what age should a child get a debit card or bank account?

A recent survey by Legal and General found that 87% of UK parents with 6-year-old children openly discuss financial matters with them. This figure increases to 92% for parents of children aged 12 and older. Additionally, 83% of parents provide their children with pocket money. These findings suggest that the majority of UK parents with children aged 6 and above not only talk about finances with their kids but also give them weekly allowances. This demographic is the primary target for children’s bank account and debit card providers.

There isn’t a universally recommended age to start a child’s bank account, get them a debit card, or introduce a money management app, as every parent’s approach to teaching financial literacy varies. Nonetheless, most providers of children’s banking services suggest starting at around 6 years of age.

Dave Ramsey, in his book The Total Money Makeover, advocates early financial education, stating, “I think it’s never too early to start teaching kids about money. As soon as they’re old enough to understand the concept, you should start talking to them about earning, saving, and spending. One of the best ways to do this is to open a bank account for them and let them manage their own money.” This advice remains relevant today.

Starling Kite vs GoHenry – Features

Both Starling Kite and GoHenry children’s bank accounts share several similarities. Firstly, they both feature a straightforward and quick account opening process, allowing you to set up an account in just a few minutes. Starling Kite operates as an extension of the parent’s primary account, while GoHenry simply requires the child’s passport instead of a traditional ID. Both accounts are designed to provide similar services, including money management, financial literacy education, and facilitating cashless pocket money transactions.

However, there are notable differences between the two. In the following comparison, we’ll delve into their core features and highlight what sets each apart.

Starling Kite features

  • Set spending limits: Starling Kite lets you set spending limit controls. It lets you set spend limits, a great lesson in financial discipline. The app also allows you to set restrictions on what they cannot buy online and in physical stores. Payments for inappropriate items at a physical store or online platforms will be blocked automatically. You can also make sure they cannot withdraw cash. You will then receive a free monthly expenditure report.
  • Oversight expenditure: The Starling Kite app will send you an instant alert whenever your child makes a payment. The notification tells you how much they are spending and what they are spending on. You will also receive an alert whenever they learn a new money management skill.
  • 24/7 customer support: The Starling Kite customer support team is easily accessible and responsive. There are three primary ways of accessing help from Starling Bank. Start by consulting their comprehensive FAQs section on the app and website. This features multiple how-to and troubleshooting guides for common challenges Starling Kite app users face. For in-person help, contact the Starling Bank support team via live chat on the app or website. Alternatively, you can call their support team.
  • Create automatic transfers: As pocket money goes cashless, Starling Kite lets you automate your pocket money disbursement. You can automate regular transfers from your main account to the Kite account.
  • Multi-user functionality: The Starling Kite child account has multi-user functionality. Have more than one kid between 6 and 16 years? Create multiple Starling Kite accounts for them and tie them to your main account. They all enjoy similar benefits, and you have oversight and financial control over all these accounts. Note, however, that only one account is free. The rest are charged a monthly subscriber fee, fixed at £2.99.
  • Financial lessons: Starling Kite complements your efforts in offering financial skills to your children. Here, they learn basic to advanced money management skills based on their age and level of comprehension.

Signup with Starling Bank

GoHenry Features

  • Set spending limits: Like Starling Kite, GoHenry also lets parents set spending limits for their kids’ accounts. You get a companion app that receives real-time spending notifications. The card will also automatically block inappropriate purchases. Unlike Starling Kite, however, GoHenry supports more flexible spending limits, including weekly and monthly limits. In addition to prohibiting expenditure on inappropriate goods and services, GoHery lets you block payments to specific retailers.
  • Multiple card designs: GoHenry presents you with a range of 45+ different card designs. These borrow themes from popular kid-friendly movies and TV shows, including SONIC and Spiderman.
  • Automate deposits: GoHenry will also let you automate cashless pocket money disbursement to your kid’s account. Unlike Starling Kite deposits, GoHenry maintains a fixed top-up fee of 50 pence.
  • Comprehensive financial education: Like Starling Kite, GoHenry provides your kids with comprehensive money management skills. The app contains multiple money missions that introduce kids to multiple money skills. They are also progressive and based on the kid’s age and comprehension.
  • Assign paid chores: You can use GoHenry to assign tasks and house chores to your kids, like cleaning the dishes or emptying the bin. There can then be reasonable monetary rewards attached to these tasks. This educates them on the culture of working for money and introduces them to a healthy savings culture.
  • Multi-user functionality: Like Starling Kite, GoHenry maintains multi-user functionality. We have already mentioned that for a single user, you can buy the Everyday or Plus card versions at £3.99 or £4.99, respectively. You may also add up to four kids to this card for a monthly fee of £9.98.

Signup with GoHenry

Starling Kite vs GoHenry – Costs & Fees

Starling Kite

Starling Kite stands out as a cost-effective choice for a children’s banking and money management program. It offers a free account with no monthly fees. Additionally, there are no charges for topping up the Kite account, nor are there any fees for ATM withdrawals or foreign transactions. If you wish to add another child to your Starling Kite account, the cost is just $2.99 per month.


GoHenry, on the other hand, involves several fees for its services. Although the first 30 days are free, thereafter, GoHenry charges a monthly fee of £3.99 for Everyday account holders and £4.99 for Plus account holders. Each top-up incurs a fee of 50 pence. For families managing accounts for up to four children, there is a consolidated monthly fee of £9.98.

Starling Kite vs GoHenry – Safety

Both Starling Kite and GoHenry cards are safe and have all the basic security and privacy options.

Both the Starling Kite and GoHenry apps are safeguarded with password protection, and their cards feature chip and pin security. Additionally, both services enable parents to instantly lock the cards if there’s a suspicion that they may have been lost or misplaced.

However, it is possible that Starling Kite’s close affiliation with Starling Bank gives it an edge over GoHenry and other competitors.

The connection with Starling Bank enhances Starling Kite’s security features, as it guarantees that deposits are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), covering up to £85,000. This association provides an additional layer of financial security not available with GoHenry.

Starling Kite vs GoHenry – Which should you choose?

Both Starling Kite and GoHenry offer excellent children’s bank accounts that support financial education and help develop money management skills. They both assist in teaching your child to manage their expenses and build saving habits. However, Starling Kite has a distinct advantage as most of its services are provided free of charge. Additionally, the balances in Starling Kite accounts are insured by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), adding an extra layer of security.

Starling Kite vs GoHenry – Alternatives

Starling Kite and GoHenry currently dominate the UK bank for the kids market. There, however, are several other financial service providers catering to kids and teens. The more popular ones are:

  • Natwest Rooster Money – For kids between 6 and 18. Charges £1.67 monthly fee and 50 pence in top-up fees
  • HyperJar – Free account for kids aged 6 to 17 with a 50-pence top-up fee.
  • Revolut – Free account for kids aged 7 to 17 with no top-up fees.
  • Osper – For kids between 6 and 18. Charges £2.50 monthly fee and 50 pence for top-up
  • Nmbl – For kids between 6 and 18. Charges £2.59 monthly fee with free top-up fees.

Starling Kite vs GoHenry – FAQ

Which is the better kids bank account, Starling Kite or GoHenry?

Starling Kite comes off as the better account for kids. It offers services almost similar to the GoHenry account but is free and doesn’t even charge top-up fees.

What makes the Starling Kite Kids account stand out?

The fact that it is free and safe. Most parents also appreciate the quality of financial education presented to their kids and the parental controls offered by the app.

What makes the GoHenry kids account stand out?

GoHenry stands out with the comprehensiveness of the financial education content provided to kids on the platform. It also has more flexible parental controls. Its only drawback is its higher than average fees and charges.

*Please note: This article may include affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps support our work and allows us to continue providing content like this.

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