BusyKid Review: Is It Effective For Your Kids?

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Dec 17, 2019

BusyKid is a financial app you use to set up chores for your kids and pay them when they do the tasks.

Gregg Murset, a Phoenix-based certified financial planner, told us he launched BusyKid because he wanted kids to exhibit the successful money habits his clients showed.

“My successful clients were successful because they had two characteristics hard-wired into them: work ethic and they were smart with their money,” Murset. “I really kind of determined I need to get those two major characteristics into my kids’ lives.”

That’s the philosophy behind BusyKid, he said: building work ethic and financial intelligence.

In our review, we give you our analysis of how this app works and why it may or may not be a good fit for you and your kids.

BusyKid Features

Chores

The app provides pre-set chores and allowance amounts specific to your child’s age.

For example, I created an account and within five minutes I set up three chores:

  • Brush teeth ($0.25)
  • Brush hair ($0.25)
  • Pick up toys ($1.00)

You can adjustment the chore’s frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) and its allowance, too. Also, you can add chores that aren’t listed in the app.

The advantage here is simplicity. Within five minutes, you can create a list of seven or eight weekly chores for your child.

The drawback is that the app works best when your child has a phone, too. If he or she is a toddler, you’ll need to create a chore list they can visualize since they don’t have the app.

Allowance

Once your child finishes hers or his chores, they can mark the chore completed. Then, on Thursday, BusyKid sends you a text message asking your permission to pay the weeks’ chore allowance.

You can choose to make transfers directly from your bank account or a credit card. Bank transfers are free. Credit card transfers cost 2.9% and $0.30 per transfer.

These fees cover the cost of what credit card companies charge BusyKid to process credit card transactions.

BusyKid will distribute the money into the Spend, Save and Share categories based on pre-determined percentages.

The default setting for money distribution is:

  • Spend: 50%
  • Save: 40%
  • Share: 10%

You can change these percentage distributions by going to the main page of your account and clicking “Edit Allocation Settings.”

Spending

Once you pay your child, BusyKid holds the money in an FDIC-insured account.

Spend

If your child wants to spend their money, they have two choices: getting cash or loading the money onto a BusyKid prepaid card.

The cash option moves their money from the holding account back into their bank account or your bank account.

The card option requires you to sign up for the prepaid card. It takes seven to 10 business days to arrive. Once you have it, activate it and it’s ready for use. Your child will use it as a debit card.

This card is a great way for your child to learn responsible spending habits. Also, you can use the card to prepare your child for using a bank account debit card and credit card.

Leverage the card as a teaching tool: Emphasize the importance of only spending what you have and encourage them to check their balance daily.

Save

BusyKid deposits your child’s “Save” money into a Stockpile account, which is a kid-friendly investment platform your child can use to buy stock shares in their favorite companies.

Examples of stocks your child can buy include:

  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Tesla
  • Snapchat
  • Netflix
  • Nike
  • Amazon
  • Google

They can also choose to invest their money in ETF and cryptocurrency, too.

Their Stockpile account is a custodial account, which means you control the account on behalf of your child. Anytime they choose to deposit to Stockpile and make a trade, BusyKid and Stockpile ask you for your permission before they approve the transaction.

The advantage to this option is you get to teach your child about investments through an easy-to-use platform. You can show them the link between working hard, earning money and investing it wisely.

Share

If your child chooses this option, he or she sends a portion of their allowance to any of the 23 charities available on the BusyKid app. Some of these charities include:

  • American Red Cross
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Special Olympics
  • Toys for Tots

This feature’s drawback is that there are only 23 charities to which your kids can donate. Your child doesn't have the option of donating to local charities, either. If they want to donate locally, they’ll need to cash out or send money to their prepaid card and donate that way.

Fees

BusyKid itself is free to use. However, you’ll pay a $7.99 yearly fee to pair a BusyKid prepaid card with the app.

A company name Cliq issues the card through BusyKid. They’ll charge your child the following fees, per BusyKid’s FAQ:

  • Card-to-card transfers: $1.00
  • Paper statement: $5.00
  • New card: $5.00
  • Declined transaction: $0.50
  • Transferring money to a bank account from card: $3.00

Also, you’ll pay $0.99 per trade your child makes in Stockpile.

If your child uses his or her prepaid card responsibly (no declined transactions), then they won’t have to pay any fees.

BusyKid Customer Reviews

You can get a good sense of how well BusyKid can help your child learn about hard work and money management via the reviews the app gets on HighYa and in the Google Play and iTunes stores. We analyzed those reviews to give you perspective on the average user’s experience:

Most Common Compliment: App Is Excellent

Many users praised the app for its ease-of-use. They like how easy it is to assign chores, approve chores and send many to Spend, Save and Share accounts. Multiple customers said the app is a great platform for teaching their kids about finances.

Most Common Criticism: Functionality of Old App, Website and Customer Service

The majority of the negative reviews we analyzed focused on poor functionality across the older versions of the BusyKid app, website portal (no longer available) and customer service.

Customers complained that the money transfers between the BusyKid app and bank accounts or prepaid card were cumbersome at times. When they reached out to customer service issues, response time was slow or non-existent.

Review Takeaways

We saw a significant change in reviews after BusyKid launched their new app late in 2019. This tells you that your experience with the app will likely be a positive one because of its improved functionality.

However, you’ll most likely face one or two episodes of slow customer service responses if you have issues with the app or money transfers.

Also, the positive reviews about the updated app indicated that you may want to try BusyKid again if you used it previously but stopped because of too many issues.

The Bottom Line: Is BusyKid the Right App for Your Family?

In our opinion, BusyKid’s approach to chores and money management options is an excellent tool to teach your kids about the value of hard work and responsible spending.

The default settings for spending, saving and sharing show your children the money they earn is meant for more than just spending. It plays a part in their generosity (charitable giving) as well as their financial future (Stockpile investing).

Also, you can use the app to start conversations with your kids about the importance of work, earning and money management. The sooner you can talk about finances with your kids, the better the chance you can set them up for financial success later in life.

“When you teach a kid early on how the relationship between working and money actually happens,” Murset said, “you’re inspiring within a kid this drive to be successful.”


Read 15 BusyKid Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Customer Rating: 2.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 3 4 star: 1 3 star: 1 2 star: 0 1 star:  10
Bottom Line: 27% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 15
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  • Scam...Buyer beware.

    I signed up initially because I thought it would be a wonderful tool to teach my 7 and 9-year-olds how to save and manage their allowance. It started out great with the app and initial set up but became a headache that is not worth the trouble.

    The first problem I received was an email stating that I requested cancelation (which I didn't!). I emailed support about my cancelation. I received a reply stating that it wasn't canceled and it was still active. The following day I tried numerous times to log in but was prompted that both my email and password were invalid! I send another email stating my difficulties trying to log in. I received an email stating that they needed a copy of my DL, social security card, and a copy of my bank account number or a photo of my credit card. They truly are full of it if they think that I would provide a copy of any of my credentials. Be wary...

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jan 17, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Christian, I was just made aware of this post and I'm sorry that we didn't provide you a great experience. The situation you describe came from an email that was sent to several of our members at the same time we believed we had negative influences trying to use stolen information to open BusyKid accounts. We take security and the safety of our member information extremely seriously, and that is why we asked for additional items of information that would prove you were actually opening the account. I hope you see that our intentions were good, though my team could have executed it better. We should have done more then, and since, have included video calls as part of our process to confirm identities. My deepest apologies and I wish you well.


  • Scam - makes it difficult to transfer money

    • By Julie S.,
    • Pittsburgh, PA,
    • Nov 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    What a scam they have going. They make it seem easy to transfer money to your kids, but they skim off a "small" percentage every time you put that money on your kid's card. Furthermore, I added $20 to my child's account, "just because"... just for doing extra things around the house, and while the busy kid website shows that I added the money, it's never gotten to the card. When I called customer service, they said that I have to email a different customer service to help me. I pushed and they gave me a phone number.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jan 17, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Julie,

      BusyKid takes no money from any account or funds added to a kids card. I think there is a misunderstanding on how the system works or in regards to the money in the account or on the card. As for customer service, I would need to go back and see the communications, but let me say, that we will continue to improve this area as we mature. I apologize that your experience wasn't great but we have a new version being released in a few weeks with a new design and other enhancements that will help correct the initial issue where you thought we took money.

      Sincerely,

      Mike Prusinski, President, BusyKid


  • Terrible

    • By Cymone W.,
    • Indiana,
    • Dec 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Difficult to transfer money. BusyKid only allows one parent to be on the card. My husband's name and our daughter is listed on the card, so I'm unable to speak to customer service. Customer service says that my child or my husband can call in. How can a minor child call in for anything? This idea is crazy, and the creator is a single parent of 6 children, of course, so he invented this for single parents. I will just be adding my daughter to our chase account so she can have her own debit card where I can control funds.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jan 17, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Cymone,

      First of all, having one child and one parent on the card is a decision made by VISA and its card provider, not BusyKid. If we could have both parents, we certainly would. Secondly, your husband is the main account holder and that is why he is listed on the card and would be responsible for the account. I would need to go back and look at the communication between you and our support team, but if you are listed on the account, you should be able to address issues. If you will contact me at feedback@busykid.com, I can look this up. Finally, the man who came up with the idea for BusyKid is not single. He's a happily married father of six and BusyKid is created for any parent who wants their kids to learn how to manage money. I hope you will contact me so I can address the support issue. I wish you well and hope your daughter is enjoying her Chase account.

      Sincerely,

      Mike Prusinski, President, BusyKid


  • Costs money to start and is difficult to use.

    I paid about $5 per card as well as the fee for the year and used my oldest daughter's card to test it. I put $50 on her card and had her use it. The card was declined over a month ago and the charge has sat in pending this entire time. It is unusable. She now has $50 of phantom money just sitting there. Along with the start-up costs and that money, I have spent more than $120 and cannot get a refund.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jan 17, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Josephine,

      I think there is just a misunderstanding of how the system works. I looked at your account and all you need to do is move the money over the card and it will work. As for the $120, I see where you gave one child a $50 bonus, bought 7 spend cards ($35) and was charged the annual family subscription ($14.95). Only $49.95 is spent with BusyKid. If you would contact us at support@busykid.com, we would be happy to help talk you through loading the card and extend your free trial (refund the $14.95) for another 2 weeks so you can try the cards out. Please contact us. Sorry for any miscommunication.

      Sincerely,

      Mike Prusinski, President, BusyKid


  • Not as good as it seems

    • By Anonymous ..,
    • Scottsdale, AZ,
    • Jan 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I would start by the lack of customer service. If you are handling money, you should have customer service. The app has stopped working, does not show the chores we loaded. This is a great idea, but this app is not reliable.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jan 18, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Sorry that the experience was not good for you. I would love to look up your account to provide more answers but since you failed to provide your name, there isn't much I can do to help. Our customer service is improving and have regular hours now, and we haven't had reports of chores not showing up unless there was user error or a misunderstanding of how the system works. If you are still using BusyKid and would like more help, please contact us at feedback@busykid.com.

      Thanks,

      Mike Prusinski, President, BusyKid


  • Beware, fund not on cards!

    • By Tina B.,
    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Feb 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Run from this company! Every "payday" for my children required an email complaint and manual push from BusyKids. I have reported this as a scam/fraud to our bank, the AG, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They link to your bank account, withdraw funds for your kids' allowance and never give it to them unless parents complain, and for our last transaction - still not paid after 6 days. This company is a DE company with an AZ address formerly known as LeapSpring, Inc. and MyJobChart, Inc according to their Form-D filing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Feb 13, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Tina...I'll also respond to you through email but there is no question we've had issues the past few paydays due to issues with text messages. This is why we are going to push notifications in our new version coming in a few weeks. I reviewed your communication with my team and I believe there is a miscommunication on our part. The conversation appears to be good between both sides but my team member (new to the position) failed to finish the ticket and push the funds manually. We would do that now but you've canceled. We'll need to find another way to get the funds to you. I deeply regret that all this happened, but we'll resolve this to your satisfaction. We maybe going through a few growing pains but we're not a fraud or scam. We'll just need to work harder to prove that point.

      Sincerely, Mike Prusinski, President.


  • Money not on card

    • By Tameka P.,
    • Texas,
    • Mar 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tested this out. BusyKid takes money out of your account and never puts it on the card. The reviews are right. I got a text message but funds are just sitting there. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get my funds back.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • May 22, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Hopefully by now you have found that BusyKid doesn't put money on the cards, kids do as part of the process. Funds must be loaded onto the Spend Cards before they are used. The system is working fine and we have provided a full page on the website on how it works, but if you need more help, please contact us at support@busykid.com. I hope you'll update this review once you've found success in the system.


  • The worst, better off with a GreenDot Card

    • By Erica S.,
    • Detroit, MI,
    • Jul 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Absolutely no technical support! You have to leave a message for them to decide if they wanna call you back about your issues but take their fees with no hesitation and no issues! Not one live agent M-F to help you with the transactions you've already pushed thru! The app sucks, always glitching, so NO ONE can log in! Don't do it!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jul 17, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Sorry that you had this experience but we do have agents available every day from 8-8 PT, but if our team failed you, I'd like to find out how. There isn't any issue that can't be fixed and we continue to push updates that are improving our app each time. I hope that we have the chance to show you we support our customers. You can contact me at mp@busykid.com. Thanks.


  • Beware!

    • By Stephanie N.,
    • West Orange, NJ,
    • Oct 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I signed up for this app for my 13-year-old son. We purchased the BusyKid Visa card for $7.95. For starters, it took forever for the card to arrive. The allowance was supposed to be $10 a week/$5 a week for each of two chores. It worked fine for the first couple of weeks. Then, for some reason, it said that my son’s allowance would be $50 a week! I updated it, but it kept reverting back. Then it said it would be $30 a week. I can’t fix it and customer service is almost non-existent. I started declining the allowance and just sending the money to my son as a bonus. The last bonus NEVER got credited to the Visa card! So they took his allowance money. Customer service suggested I close the account and try again when they update their app. Absolutely unacceptable! My poor son is so frustrated and so am I!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Oct 23, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Stephanie...I have emailed you to see how we can find a happy solution. We have a brand new app coming online soon which will resolve the issue I believe you're having. My goal is for all members to have a great experience, so I'll do all I can to make it so for you. When we do, I hope you'll update this review. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

      Sincerely,

      Mike Prusinski

      President


  • Instructions

    • By Del B.,
    • Vallejo, CA,
    • Feb 14, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    What and where are the instructions on how to set up the program on both parents' and child’s phones. I cannot find anything. Tried Google but all I get is the same site that says absolutely nothing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Feb 14, 2020

      Company Response from BusyKid

      So sorry that you're having issues getting the platform set up. Please contact us at help@busykid.com and we'll gladly walk you through the steps until you're satisfied.


  • Updated review

    Update

    • By Nat F.,
    • Raleigh, NC,
    • Nov 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The team did acknowledge the issue, reconciled the balance, and refunded us the proper amount. I believe the concept is great and the kids loved it initially. Hopefully the new version will have minimal frustrations.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Previous review
    • Nov 6, 2019

    Inaccurate

    We used BusyKid for over a year. The concept is great and initially we were pleased. Over the last ~6 months, we got locked out of the account for several weeks while they were migrating to a new platform. Once it came back online, we could not reconcile the transactions from our bank account to the balances in BusyKid. We finally canceled the account and cut our losses. To pour salt in the wound, I get an email saying we are going to be charged $24.99 for our account and have 24 hours to respond. We never got any notification that they were going to start charging for the service. Really disappointing and spent way too much time on what was supposed to make my life easier. Going to get debit cards for the kids and print a sheet of paper for chore tracking.

    • Nov 6, 2019

      Company Response from BusyKid

      Nat,

      I just sent you an email but I'm sorry our service disappointed you. The migration to our new app hasn't been easy but we should have communicated better. The new app is coming online and it will be free, so there is no $24.99 charge. I believe the message you got was tied to the old system. Still, we have refunded everything you said was in the account and your communication with our team seemed to be good. I wish I could convince you to try this new app since you were once happy with our service. This app is the best we've ever produced and I'd like a chance to show you.

      Sincerely,

      Mike Prusinski

      President

    (read moreread less...)

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