Current is a New York City-based fintech company that offers mobile-only checking accounts.
The company operates on the premise that banking should be accessible and affordable for everyone.
In this post, you’ll get an idea of what sets Current apart, from its approach to banking to its accessibility for all ages.
Current Checking Accounts
Current offers three different bank accounts, and all three are for checking.
Across the board, there are no minimum deposit requirements and no minimum balance requirements.
You’ll even earn a whopping up to 4.00% APY with the Current Account.
An important thing to note with all Current accounts is that they each come with withdrawal, spending, and deposit limits — here’s what they look like:
- Withdrawal Limit: $500 maximum in ATM withdrawals per day
- Purchase Limit: $2,000 maximum spending per month with your Current debit card
- Balance Limit: $10,000 maximum balance across all Current accounts
Next, let’s jump into each of Current’s account offerings.
Current recently combined their Basic and Premium accounts into a single Current Account. In doing so, all users now receive the benefits of Premium, but without any monthly or annual fee!
Account holders get an exclusive debit card and access to early direct deposit, plus three savings pods, budgets for each category of spending, fast gas station hold releases, and the option to enroll in overdraft protection.
Teen Banking is an account specifically for teenagers and has some helpful features for both parents and their children. The account now comes with NO annual fee.
For parents, you can set spending limits, receive notifications for any purchases, and block specific merchants if you want to. You can also make instant transfers to your teen’s account, set chores to complete, and automate custom allowance payments.
For teens, the account is built around learning financial responsibility and budgeting skills. Teens can make purchases and build savings with their own account and debit card.
Teen Banking also comes with early direct deposit and round-ups and gives the option to contribute any extra funds to a charity of your choosing.
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With Current, you’ll find several banking features that you won’t see anywhere else.
Current only offers a few account options, but it makes up for it with a distinct platform and awesome perks.
Current operates on an entirely mobile platform, meaning no physical branches and no banking from your desktop.
Everything from checking your balance to making transfers is done from the Current mobile banking app, which is among the top-rated banking apps for both iPhone and Android users.
The app currently has a rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and 4.7 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.
When you use your Current debit card at participating merchants, you can earn up to 15x points on purchases, which you can then redeem for cash back.
The Current app even has a map that lets you know which shops and retailers have cash back offers, making it easy to learn where to maximize your earnings when you are out and about.
Early Direct Deposit
When you sign up for direct deposit with a Current Account, your paycheck can show up in your account up to two days earlier than with traditional banks.
While most banks will wait until the funds clear completely to issue them, Current credits your account immediately.
One of the most common drawbacks of online banking is the inability to deposit cash, which is not a problem with Current.
On the mobile app, you’ll have access to a map that lets you know the location of 60,000 retailers that allow you to deposit cash into your Current account.
Current will generate a barcode that the cashier can scan, and all you have to do is hand them the cash.
55,000 Free ATMs
Current is part of the Allpoint ATM network, so you can use more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs. These ATM locations are also easy to track down using your Current app map so you don’t need to worry about ATM fees.
Current doesn’t charge any overdraft fees. The way that their overdraft protection works is if you try to spend more than your available balance, your card simply declines unless you enroll in Overdrive.
Overdrive is only available with a Current Account and allows you to overdraft your account for up to $100 with no fees until your next paycheck comes in.
To qualify, you need at least $500 in direct deposits each month.
Automated Savings Pods
Current doesn’t offer a savings account, but its checking accounts come with a feature called Savings Pods, which help you automatically set money aside for specific purchases or savings goals.
There’s also an option to enable round-ups, which round off all of your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and moves the remainder into a Savings Pod.
Gas Hold Refunds
Since you swipe your card before they know how much you’re going to spend, some gas stations will place a temporary hold on your card when you go to fill up.
With Current, you won’t have to wait for it to clear. The gas station holds are instantly refunded so that you can access your funds right away.
Money Management Tools
Current helps you stay ahead of your finances with intuitive spending insights and budgeting tools in the app.
For example, you can track your monthly spending habits and set budget targets for specific categories like food and gas.
Current offers an in-house service that lets you transfer funds to other Current users called Current Pay. It works similarly to services like Zelle, Venmo, or Cash App and allows for instant transfers with no fees.
There are no hidden fees with Current and the bank provides a clear disclaimer for any that do exist.
Here’s a look at the charges that you can expect to run into:
Current Account Fees
- Basic Checking: Free
- Teen Banking: Free
Most banks give you an option to work around account fees through qualifying actions like a minimum balance requirement or direct deposit, but with Current, you’re stuck with each fee no matter what.
Card Replacement Fees
If you lose your debit card, the cost is $5 to replace it. If you need it ASAP, there’s a $20 express mail fee.
Paper Statement Fees
Since Current operates entirely online, it encourages you to take advantage of eStatements. If you want or need paper statements, there’s a fee of $2 per statement.
Current debit cards utilize chip technology and are accepted in over 200 countries. However, there is a 3% fee on all international transactions and a $3 fee for using international ATMs.
With that said, your Current debit card is probably not the best one to use when traveling abroad.
Signing up for an account with Current takes just a few minutes, but remember that you can only use the service on a mobile device.
To sign up for a checking account online, download the Current app, or visit the website and enter your phone number to receive a download link.
From there, all you need is your Social Security Number, a US residential address, and a smartphone that can receive text messages.
You can then fund your account through direct deposit, transfer money with an ACH, or deposit cash or a check.
Current doesn’t run a credit check of any kind for new account holders, so you don’t have to worry about a hard credit pull hurting your score.
Current Bank Promotions
Unfortunately, there are currently no active Current promotions. Check out these bonus offers instead:
|Citi® Citi Priority Account||up to $2000||January 9, 2023||
|U.S. Bank U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking||$300||December 19, 2022||
|Chase Chase Business Complete Banking℠||$300||February 16, 2023||
Current provides a secure mobile banking platform that protects your information from unauthorized individuals.
Each user has their own unique login, and you can enable fingerprint and face ID locks for added security. (So you don’t have to worry about your teen having access to your personal account unless you want them to).
Current also allows you to set up real-time spending notifications, which helps you an eye on your teen’s spending and any suspicious transactions.
You can pause all transactions on your debit card if you misplace it, and if you happen to find it, you can simply unlock it rather than ordering a new one.
Most importantly, your Current account is FDIC insured through its banking partners, so your deposits up to $250,000 are protected.
Current offers pretty solid customer support for being a mobile-app-only bank account.
Current’s customer service phone line is open weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm Eastern time, and the number to call is 1-888-851-1172.
There are also 24/7 chat agents available through the app, or you can submit a request for assistance on the website.
Current’s user-friendly tools should help you through most issues, and there are also FAQ sections on the website for personal checking and teen banking.
Overall, Current has built up a decent reputation for the quality of its customer service, as is shown by its 3.8-star (out of 5) rating on TrustPilot, which is a higher score than you’ll find with most bigger national banks.
Pros & Cons
- Great for teens and parents
- Intuitive mobile app
- Low fees overall
- Cash back opportunities
- Some fees are unavoidable
- No options to earn interest
- Limited account options
- Withdrawal, deposit, and spending restrictions
Alternatives to Current
Current is one of many online banking platforms that has popped up in recent years.
If you’re looking for an online-only bank that offers a bit more in terms of account options, some top alternatives include:
If you want to look into other options for your teenager, you might try:
New-age banks like Current tend to generate a lot of questions, especially if you’re used to traditional banking. Here are a few of the most common questions we’re hearing.
Is Current reliable?
Yes, Current is a reliable bank that has built up nearly 1 million users and is backed by multiple member FDIC financial institutions.
Is the Current debit card good?
Yes, the Current debit card is a good option and comes with a few interesting features, including access to fee-free Allpoint ATMs, cash deposits at select retailers, and the opportunity to earn cash back with participating merchants. Plus, if you misplace your card, you can pause transactions until you find it.
Who is the Current banking through?
Current offers its accounts through Choice Financial, an FDIC-backed, Minnesota-based bank.
For its prepaid Visa cards, Current partners with Metropolitan Commercial Bank, a fellow New York City bank that’s also FDIC-insured.
Does Current charge a monthly fee?
It depends on the account. The Basic Checking account is free, but you’ll pay a monthly fee of $4.99 for Premium and $36 each year for Teen Banking.
There’s no option to waive these fees, so be sure to factor them in when deciding on a new account.
Is Current Right For You?
As you can see, Current is unique in many ways. You are unlikely to find account features like automated Savings Pods and the ability to deposit cash at nearby retailers with other online banks.
Current also offers a highly functional and well-liked mobile app. There are some fees, but the opportunity to earn cash rewards should offset them.
And with tools specifically engineered to serve both young people and their parents, Current is one of the best bank options for tens.
There are some drawbacks, though. People who are more established in their financial journey might not appreciate the spending and deposit limits and the inability to earn an APY on deposits.
Now that you know what you can expect from Current, the process of finding the perfect account for you (or your teenager) should feel a little closer to completion.
Here’s to your financial future and whatever it holds.