Copper Banking Review 2021

Copper is a banking app for teens and their parents created to teach responsible money management. This review takes a look at how the app works.
By Rebecca Lake

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Star Rating: 4 stars

Raising financially responsible kids is an important goal as a parent. Instilling good money habits early can help teens avoid major money mistakes as adults.

But money education doesn't always start at home. In a poll conducted by the National Financial Educators Council, 57% of respondents said their parents never taught them about money.

If you have teens, it's important to have regular discussions about finance. That includes teaching them the basics of banking, bank accounts, and how they work.

That's where Copper Banking comes in.

Copper is a teen banking app that's designed to get kids learning about money. This Copper review offers a closer look at how the app works.

What Is Copper Banking?

Copper Banking is not a bank; instead, it's a fintech startup that was founded in 2019. Copper is able to offer banking services through SynapseFi, in partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust.

As Copper is not a traditional bank, it doesn't offer traditional banking options. Instead, teen banking takes the form of a reloadable debit card. Teens and parents can add money to the card, which can then be used to make purchases online or in-store anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

The fundamental principle behind Copper is teaching teens how to manage money. Copper is designed to encourage parents to take a hands-on approach in helping teenagers navigate personal finance.

Who Is Copper Banking For?

As mentioned, Copper is banking for teens.

The company's founders sought to create an app that would give teens freedom and control over spending money while making it easier for parents to pay kids an allowance.

Copper is designed for:

  • Teens who receive an allowance.
  • Teenagers who earn money through a part-time job or side hustle.
  • Parents who want to play an active role in helping teens learn about money.

Copper is also appropriate for teens and parents who are comfortable with banking through an app versus in-person at a branch. The Copper app and the Copper debit card are what teen banking revolves around here.

Top Features of Copper Banking

Copper Banking offers a straightforward approach to money management for both teens and parents.

When parents create a Copper account, they can add up to five sub-accounts for individual children. This allows for easy transfers from parent accounts to teen accounts. That's a plus when it's time to pay an allowance or make other deposits.

Aside from that, there are some other features that make Copper attractive, including:

  • Copper Mastercard debit card, which can be used to make purchases online or in-stores.
  • Fee-free ATM access at more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs.
  • Google Pay and Apple Pay compatibility.
  • Venmo and Cash App compatibility.
  • Copper Banking mobile app.
  • Easy transfers between linked accounts.
  • Get paid via direct deposit (for teens who have a part-time job or side job).
  • Mastercard zero liability protection.
  • No minimum balance requirements.
  • No credit checks.

Aside from those banking features, Copper also offers free financial education resources for teens and parents. Cheat Codes are bite-sized lessons on financial literacy for teens while parents can find educational articles at The Copper Corner.

How Copper Banking Works

Cooper keeps teen banking as simple as possible.

When you open a Copper account as a parent, you can open linked accounts for up to five teens. Each subaccount that's linked to your account comes with a Copper Mastercard debit card.

This is what teens can use to make purchases or withdraw cash at the ATM.

Copper isn't like a regular checking account. There are no checks, for example. And since there are no branches, you can't deposit cash directly into a Copper account.

If you want to add cash to a Copper account, you can:

  • Schedule an ACH transfer from a linked bank account.
  • Deposit money from a linked bank account using your debit card.
  • Reload money at a GreenDot retailer.

Copper does have some limits on how much you can deposit and what teens can spend.

Here are the current limits:

  • $500 Daily load limit into your Copper account for debit card funding or ACH.
  • $2,000 Monthly load limit into your Copper account for debit card funding or ACH.
  • $2,000 daily spending limit.

If you're adding money to a Copper account from a linked bank account it can take three to five business days to post. Debit card deposits are instant but you'll pay a small fee for those transfers.

Getting Set Up

Teens under 18 need a parent to open a Copper account. But getting started is easy.

If you're a parent, you can go to the Copper website and enter your phone number. This allows Copper to send you a download link for the app.

From there, you can provide the necessary details to open an account. That includes:

  • Your name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number and email.
  • Social Security number.

You'll also need to tell Copper who you're opening an account for. Remember, you can create accounts for up to five teens.

Each teen you're opening a Copper account for needs a cellphone number. This is required so Copper can send the invite link to download the app. You can't open accounts at Copper with a landline number at this time.

Copper uses your Social Security number to verify your identity. There are no credit checks.

Once your parent account and teen accounts are approved, Copper will ship debit cards for teen accounts. Parents don't get a debit card with Copper since it's meant to be teen banking. The debit cards can take seven to 10 business days to arrive. But teens have access to a virtual card that can be used immediately through the Copper app.

Rating the Features

This Copper review wouldn't be complete without taking a closer look at some of the highlights. If you're on the fence about whether Copper could be a good fit for your family, these talking points can help you decide.

User Experience

Rating: 4 stars

In terms of user experience, getting started with Copper is easy. Once you enter your phone number on the website, Copper sends your invite link almost instantly. From there, you can download the app.

Once you've downloaded the app, you'll need to enter your phone number, a verification code, your name, date of birth, and email. Then you can open a Copper account, which takes about a minute to do. The app is easy to navigate, as is the Copper website. If you have questions about how Copper works, there's an in-depth FAQ section where you can get answers.

Goal Setting

Rating: 4 stars

Getting teens into a savings habit is a good thing, whether they get an allowance or they're earning money on their own. The Copper app makes it easy for teens to set up and fund different savings goals.

Savings goals can be funded automatically each time money is added to their Copper account. But they can also transfer money into different savings buckets inside the app at any time.

Copper offers visual guides so teens can see how much progress they're making toward their goals. Parents can also reward teens with a "bonus" deposit for hitting their goal. Teens can earn interest on their savings but it's a pretty low rate -- just 0.01% APY.

Services

Rating: 3.5 stars

Since Copper teen banking revolves around the debit card and app, it's not exactly the same as a regular checking account or savings account. If you want your teens to learn how to write checks, for example, then you might need to show them using your regular bank account.

And Copper doesn't offer other financial products or services you may want to teach teens about. For example, there's no Copper credit card option and Copper doesn't offer money market accounts or certificates of deposit.

But Copper still earns points for giving parents a measure of control and oversight into teen accounts. Some of the things you can do as a parent include:

  • Setting up transaction alerts when teens make a purchase.
  • Monitoring transaction history.
  • Creating recurring deposits into your teen's account.
  • Sending or requesting money.

This can help you stay engaged with how your teen is spending so you can help them make good money decisions.

Education

Rating 4.5 stars

Copper emphasizes the importance of financial literacy for teens. One of the ways they encourage teens to learn about money is through Cheat Codes.

These are short video lessons on different topics, ranging from banking to budgeting to investing. The video format is designed to keep teens engaged while making the information easy to consume.

Aside from that, teens can also quiz themselves to measure their financial literacy. This quiz can be taken multiple times so teens can learn as they go.

Copper doesn't leave parents out either. The Copper Corner is packed with educational articles parents can use as a jumping-off point for money discussions with teens.

Commission and Fees

Rating: 4 stars

Overall, Copper is a fee-friendly platform. There are no:

  • Monthly maintenance fees.
  • Account fees.
  • Overdraft fees.
  • ATM fees at 50,000+ Allpoint ATMs.
  • Foreign transaction fees.

You may pay a fee, however, for reloading money to a Copper account. Copper advises that GreenDot retailers can charge up to $4.95 per deposit if you go this route for adding cash.

Pros and Cons

Copper could be a good choice for parents who are money-conscious and want to raise financially savvy kids. Before choosing a teen banking option it's important to look at how the good and not-so-good balance out. To wrap up this Copper review, here's a quick rundown of the main pros and cons.

Pros

  • Opening a Copper account is simple and convenient.
  • Compared to traditional teen banking options, Copper charges fewer fees.
  • Teens can learn about money and improve financial literacy while working toward specific savings goals.
  • Parents can take a hands-on role in educating kids about money.
  • Copper offers multiple options for adding money to teen accounts.
  • Teens can earn a $3 reward for each friend they refer to the Copper app.

Cons

  • Teens must have a cellphone to download the app and open a Copper account.
  • Daily and monthly limits on deposits and spending may be a drawback for some.
  • Teens won't earn a lot of interest on savings.
  • Customer support is limited to email, no live chat is available.

Bottom Line

Copper offers an innovative take on teen banking. If you're looking for an uncomplicated way to teach your teenager about money, Copper is a fee-friendly option. You can also research teen checking and teen savings options offered at brick-and-mortar banks or credit unions. Just remember to compare the features, benefits and fees to see how they measure up to Copper.

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