There are now several pocket money apps available, designed to help teach children how to manage their finances. I’ve taken the time to look at each one, including the cost, features, and pros and cons, to identify the best pocket money apps available to parents.
Pocket money apps have made keeping track of children’s allowances and cash flow quick and painless, as well as providing a means for children to spend their money in a safe and controlled way. In their simplest form, they are a digital piggy bank, and in a world where all banking is moving online, these apps may be providing children with an invaluable education on how to manage their finances as adults as well as providing families with a convenient way to manage pocket money and encourage savings.
List of best pocket money apps UK
In my list below you will find the best pocket money apps available for those based in the UK.
What is a Pocket Money App?
A pocket money app acts much like a first bank account for a child however, it is usually linked to a parent account for instant notifications on transactions and spending limits, and often comes with a prepaid debit card with restrictions on where the child can spend their money. These apps provide a means from which to pay your children pocket money and can effectively act as a savings account although you won’t usually get interest. More often than not, they come with an adult app, whilst children have their own app from which to view their spending history and balance.
Which Pocket Money App is Best?
I’ve compared the costs and services of most of the major online children’s accounts available to UK residents so you can make an informed decision as to which of the money management apps would be best for your family.
GoHenry: Best for range of tools and features
GoHenry was the winner of Best Children’s Financial Provider 2021 at the British Bank Awards and they definitely have a decent range of tools and features to help children learn good financial habits. The major concern for parents considering GoHenry is the higher than average monthly fee.
- View available funds on all linked children’s accounts
- Load money onto any child’s accounts
- Set up weekly allowance transfers for pocket money
- Add a co-parent for the setting of boundaries, notifications and management of chores
- View breakdown of all transactions
- Set tasks for earning pocket money
- Set savings goals
- Transfer money instantly
- Receive notifications every time a child spends using their GoHenry card
- Place spending limits and controls on your child’s spending
- Retrieve lost PINs
- Order and block/unblock card
- Add up to four children per account
- View balance
- View chores
- Create savings goals and automatically save a percentage of pocket money each week
- Recieve notifications when money is gifted to the account
- Split the Bill with friends
- Recieve a prepaid Visa debit card
- Link card to ApplePay for children 13+
After the initial one month free trial, all account holders can expect to incur the following charges:
|Monthly Fee||£2.99 per child|
|UK ATM fee||Free|
|Loading fee||1 free top-up per month, 50p thereafter|
|Card replacement fee||Free|
- Friends and family can gift directly into the child’s account
- Comes with a pre-paid card
- Good range of features designed to help children manage their finances
- Includes a stocks and shares ISA
- One of the most expensive options at £2.99 a month
- No interest available on savings
- Only one free top-up per month
Revolut Junior: Best for low cost and spending abroad
For people looking for the lowest cost option, Revolut Junior comes with a completely free version that can be accessed for one child and allows parents to pay in pocket money whilst providing a debit card for the child. It is also one of the most cost-effective ways of spending money abroad.
However, to unlock some of the more advanced features, or to open a Junior account for more than one child, there is an associated cost. In addition, the limit of £40 per month for free ATM withdrawals may be prohibitive for older children.
- Instant notifications on all spending using the Revolut Junior card
- Ability to set custom controls for online and contactless payments
- Instant top-ups
- Instantly freeze lost or stolen cards
- Retrieve forgotten PINs
- Add a co-parent providing they have an adult Revolut account
- Set goals and tasks (paid accounts only)
- View balance and transaction history
- Receive a unique card with a number on the back for additional security
- Link card to Apple or Google Pay (13+)
- Free ATM withdrawals up to £40 per month
The fees associated with Revolut Junior are in relation to the tier you have selected on your parent account. Therefore it is important to know the features you will access on both accounts for each tier. For more information please refer to my full Revolut review here.
|Cost||Number of Children||Full access to Junior Features|
|Plus||£2.99 per month||2||Yes|
|Premium||£6.99 per month||2||Yes|
|Metal||£12.99 per month||5||Yes|
In addition to this, the following fees apply:
- Card delivery fee: £4.99
- Replacement card: £5
- Overseas transaction fees: FREE for first £250 per month
- ATM withdrawal fee: FREE for first £40 per month, 2% thereafter
Pros and cons
- Free version available
- Good parental controls
- Ability for more than one parent to manage the account
- Parent must have an adult Revolut account to access Revolut Junior
- Friends and family unable to gift money directly into the child account
- Very limited features on the free version
Nosso: Best for investments
Nosso is a different offering from the other children’s apps on this list as it is specifically designed to help parents save and invest for their children’s future. Anyone can contribute to the child’s investments, however, there is no payment card with this solution as it is not intended as an account.
- Stocks and shares ISA
- General investment account
- Nosso Core Portfolio
- Carbon Cutter
- Water World
- Health Heros
A unique link that allows friends and families to contribute to the child’s investments.
Nosso is a low-cost option with an annual platform fee of 0.50% and a fund charge of 0.25% – 0.30% depending on the fund you select.
- Can be managed by more than one parent
- Great customer support
- Comes with a unique link for family and friends to contribute
- Limited products
- No card or spending opportunities
- Limited opportunities for experienced investors
Starling Kite: Best for Starling account holders
If you are one of the 2.7 million people who already have a Starling current account, then Starling Kite is the most obvious choice for you. You can open a Kite account in minutes from your own Starling bank account.
- Transfer money instantly to the Kite account
- Access balance and transaction history of the Kite account
- Set spending limits daily, weekly, or monthly
- Get instant notifications when the child spends money
- Lock the Kite card
- Set where the card can be used to spend money
- Stop cash withdrawals or online purchases
- Restrict age-inappropriate merchants
- Set task and savings goals
- Instant payment notifications
- Account balance and transaction history
- Prepaid card
|Monthly Fees||£2 per child|
|UK ATM fee||Free|
|Card replacement fee||Free|
- Free transfers in
- Good range of parental controls
- Ability to set automatic transfers for weekly pocket money
- Only available with the adult account
- Not compatible with Apple or Google Pay
Rooster Money – Best for younger children
NatWest Rooster Money
The free version of Rooster money is ideal for very young children who are gaining a grasp on the basics of managing their own money. Whilst the free version is only virtual, this can provide a means of keeping track of your child’s pocket money and help develop good money habits.
- Schedule your child’s allowance to be automatically paid in with weekly or monthly transfers
- Encourage your child to save money with saving pots and saving goals
- Set chores to be completed before allowance can be paid in
- Utilise the educational content to encourage good money habits
- Set interest rates to help your child understand the value of compounding
- Use the reward chart to encourage good behaviour
- Teach children how to set recurrent payments to pay for subscription items
- Add multiple parents and guardians to manage the app
- Virtual Tracker – FREE
- Rooster Plus – £14.99 /yr with 1-month FREE trial
- Rooster Card – £19.99 /yr
|Foreign transactions||FREE up to £50 per month 3% thereafter|
|Debit card loads||FREE for 3 a day or 10 per month|
|Bank transfer out||FREE|
|Rooster card replacement||FREE for 1, £5 thereafter|
- Set and track chores
- 3 free loads per day
- Good parental controls
- Subscription fee to access features
- Only 1 free replacement card, £5 thereafter
- Free account is only virtual
Pocket Money Apps Comparison Table
|Age||Cost (per month)||Extra accounts||Child’s app||Top-up fees|
|Revolut Junior||7-17||Free||up to £12.99||Yes||None|
|NatWest Rooster Money||6-17||Rooster PLUS: £14.99 p/yr or 99p p/month
+ 1 month free trial.
Rooster Card: £19.99 p/yr or £1.99 p/month
+1 month free trial
Online business bank accounts FAQs
Is there a free alternative to GoHenry?
Yes, Revolut account holders can access Revolut Junior for free although you won’t get the same level of features that you can access at GoHenry. Rooster also has a free virtual account that can help keep track of your children’s pocket money.
Can a 12-year-old have a debit card?
Absolutely, children aged as low as 6 can access a prepaid kids debit card which can be used to spend the money in their children’s bank accounts. Kids prepaid cards are an excellent way to introduce children to money management without the risk of them going overdrawn.
Which money app is the best?
This depends on your requirements. GoHenry seems to be loaded with the most features and educational content however, it is also the most expensive option available. For parents who already have a Starling or Revolut account, the obvious choice would be the Kite or Revolut Junior children’s bank account. Revolut Junior is also an excellent option for spending money abroad.