Current is a digital banking app designed to simplify banking in the modern world. It also includes features for teens and young adults that can help them learn to manage money.
So, how does Current work and what does it cost? We’ll answer all of these questions and more in the Current review below.
What is Current?
Current is not a bank. It’s different from other financial institutions in that it’s a financial technology with a mission to help people make smart decisions about money.
It comes with several perks, like faster paycheck access, savings pods, spending insights, and cash back rewards. Best of all, there are no minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees.
Founded in June 2015 by Stuart Sopp, Current has raised over $400M and landed big name partners and investors, including Mr. Beast, the well-known YouTube star.
Its banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Members FDIC. In addition, the Current Visa Debit Card is issued by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank.
To date, there are about 4 million Current users. Current accounts are currently mobile only as there is no desktop account access or in-person branch network. You can download the Current app on your Android or iOS advice.
Current offers several account features that you might find useful, including:
Sometimes, you can’t wait until payday and need your hard earned money sooner. That’s where Current’s paycheck access comes in. It will deposit the funds from your paycheck up to two days faster than the typical direct deposit.
Current is unique in that it disregards the date your employer intends to release your paycheck funds. Instead, it works like a prepaid debit card and credits your account immediately after receiving it.
There’s no denying that the price of gas has skyrocketed. As a result, many gas stations have begun placing holds on the cards of customers. For example, a gas station might place a $100 hold on your card, even if you only purchase $50 worth of gas.
This will ensure you’ll have enough funds to cover the total cost. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for the gas station to release the hold. Current will remove the hold right away so that the funds are readily available to you and you don’t have to wait.
Current offers a teen account that enables parental supervision and strives to educate teens about proper money management. Its parental features include cashless convenience, instant transfers to teen cards, purchase notifications, and the ability to block specific merchants.
Parents can also use Current’s teen account to set spending limits and chores as well as automate allowance payments. In addition, multiple family members may add funds as they wish.
With Current’s savings pods, you can meet various saving goals. Here’s how it works: You name a savings pod and deposit money into it from your account or qualifying direct deposit.
You can also add money through the round up feature where you round up to the nearest dollar from any debit card purchases you make.
At the time this article was written, Current offers 4% APY on $6,000. To take advantage of the interest feature, transfer money from your spending balance to your savings pods.
Note that the type of membership you have will determine how many savings pods you can open. If you’re a basic customer, you’re limited to one pod whereas premium customers get up to three pods.
Current members can reap the benefits of a generous rewards program. As a member, you can earn up to 15x points on purchases you make at over 14,000 retailers. These retailers include Rite Aid, Cold Stone Creamery, Rite Aid, Subway, Forever 21, Burger King, and others that are listed in the Points tab in the Current app.
You may redeem these points for cash back in your Current account. You’ll receive the points right after you make a qualifying purchase and can redeem 100 points per dollar.
According to Current, its members have the potential to earn $165 cash back per year by simply using their card at participating gas stations. Keep in mind that Premium customers have the potential to earn more points and cash back than Basic customers.
Current lets you easily deposit cash into your account. You may instantly add cash at over 60,000 at convenient places like local grocery and convenience stores, including Walmart and CVS. This is a huge selling point.
To deposit cash with Current, find a nearby cash deposit location, tap “view barcode” from the map, show the barcode to a cashier, and give them the funds. You can add up to $500 per transaction or up to $1,000 per day and $10,000 per month. The money will show up in your Current bank account immediately.
The app does more than eliminate overdraft fees. If you overdraft your account by accident, you’ll get a free pass. The Overdrive feature offers a fee-free overdraft of up to $200 on in-store and online purchases.
To qualify for it, you must be 18 years or older and receive $500 or more in eligible direct deposits each 30-day period. A qualifying deposit can be an ACH transfer from your employer, payroll company, or Social Security. Unfortunately, mobile check deposits and peer-to-peer transfers don’t count.
With Current, you can buy and sell cryptocurrency from the same app. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about any trading fees or wait days for your trade to settle. You can purchase 27 popular coins, like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Shiba Inu. Once you sell a coin, you’ll notice the cash in your Current account immediately.
Current’s money management tools can come in handy if you’re looking for a way to take control of your personal finance and make the most out of your money. The Spending Insights feature, for example, is available on your home screen.
It lists your recent purchases and assigns them a spending category so you can easily see where your cash is going. You may also sign up for real-time notifications that will appear any time you make a debit card purchase.
While the Spending Insights feature is designed to help you track your spending, the Budgets tool if your goal is to prevent overspending. You can create budgets for various categories. As you approach your budget or spending limit on an account ownership category, you can receive updates and make changes accordingly.
Current Pay works a lot like Apple Pay, Venmo, Zelle, and PayPal. If you know others that use the app, you can pay and request money from them instantly. Best of all, the process is easy and doesn’t involve any fees.
Despite all of Current’s handy features, the app does impose transaction limits you should be aware of. These include a $500 daily maximum in ATM withdrawals, $2,000 daily maximum in card purchases, and $5,000 maximum transaction amount for peer-to-peer payments through Current Pay.
Now it’s time to discuss Current review fees. You may be surprised to learn that Current doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees or have any minimum balance requirement requirements.
Additionally, there are no overdraft fees, or money transfer fees for money transfers from an internal bank account or external bank account or ATM fees at 40,000+ Allpoint ATMs. This is great news if you’d like to try it out with no strings attached.
But keep in mind that you may face out-of-network or third-party fees. For example, if you use Current at an out-of-network ATM, you’ll get charged $2.50. International withdrawals cost $3 each.
In addition, if you’d like, you can upgrade from the Basic membership plan to the Premium account or membership plan. While this will come with an additional monthly fee of $4.99, you’ll get access to more features, like additional savings pods and the chance to earn more cash back.
Who is Current best for?
Current might be worth exploring if you don’t mind mobile banking. It can help you meet smaller savings goals with a high interest rate. It’s also ideal if you use your credit card frequently and hope to earn generous cashback rewards.
In addition, you may benefit from Current if you’re a parent or guardian that wants an account for your teen and wishes to instill healthy money habits. We also recommend Current if you’re unable to qualify for a traditional banking account and are looking for a viable, cost-effective alternative.
Just like any digital banking app or online bank, Current comes with several benefits and drawbacks, including:
- No monthly fees: You can use Current without committing to monthly usage fees.
- Generous APY: Current offers 4% APY on up to $6,000 in savings to help you expedite your savings goals.
- Cash back: Unlike most debit cards, Current rewards you with cash back every time you make a purchase at 14,000+ participating retailers.
- Early paycheck access: You may access the money from your paycheck up to two days sooner.
- Instant gas hold removals: If a gas station places a hold on your account, Current will remove it immediately.
- Teen features: Current comes with plenty of features you can use to help your teen become responsible with money.
- No online or in-person banking: You can only use Current on your iOS or Android device as Current’s mobile app currently doesn’t support online or in-person banking at a local branch.
- No checks: The Current app doesn’t offer checks so you’ll have to find an alternative payment solution.
- Email-based support: If you have a question or concern, Current will only be able to help you via email support is not available.
- Mobile check deposit feature is slow: It can take up to 5 business days for a check deposit to clear.
If you’d like to sign up for Current, follow these easy steps.
- Download the app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. You can also enter your phone number on Current’s website and receive a download link.
- Share basic personal information including your name, phone number, email address, residential address, and Social Security number.
- If you’d like, connect Current to a debit card or bank account to fund your account.
Once you sign up, you’ll receive a Current debit card by mail. It should arrive via USPS within 7 to 10 business days but you can use Current before then. Current will give you a virtual card you can add to your digital phone wallet while you wait for your physical card.
Before you go ahead and sign up for the Current app, you might be wondering what other Current account holders have to say about it. Here’s an overview of the various reviews we found online.
On TrustPilot, Current earned 3.8 out of 5 stars. Most reviewers praise the app but there are several complaints about Current customer support and challenges with disputes.
Current users gave it a 4.7 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store. There are over 84K reviews and any of the negative ones relate to customer service.
When it comes to the Google Play Store, Current ranked well as well with 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 89K reviews. Again, the negative reviews are about customer service and resolving disputes.
It’s no surprise that customer service is Current’s most noteworthy downfall as it’s only available via email and in-app chat that sometimes doesn’t work. If you have an urgent question while using the app, you won’t be able to make a phone call and receive a quick response. Depending on when you send the email, you may have to wait a few business days or even longer to hear back.
Speaking of customer service, you might want to know how to go about it. You can use the in-app chat feature or fill out an email form and wait for an email response. As stated, there’s no way to call the Current team for faster support.
The good news is the app is fairly intuitive and you shouldn’t come across too many issues while using it, especially if you consider yourself tech savvy. Plus you can check out Current’s frequently asked questions on its website for answers to simple, less urgent questions.
While Current is a solid online banking app for many adults, teens, and young adults, it’s not for everyone. If you find that Current isn’t right for you or are wondering about alternative options, here are a few to consider.
Just like Current, Chime is a financial technology company or fintech company with modern features you may not find at a traditional bank, credit union, or brick-and-mortar financial services company. It offers early direct deposit2, savings roundups, and no-fee overdrafts5.
Compared to Current, it’s more like a high yield savings account8 in that it lets you earn a better APY on your savings on your entire balance, rather than just up to $6,000.
In addition, there’s a Credit Builder7 account you can use to boost your credit without a credit check. Just keep in mind that Chime doesn’t offer a teen account like the Current teen account.
Read our in-depth Chime review here.
See also: Chime vs. Current: Which Is Better?
While Current is intended for teens and their parents, Greenlight’s online banking services are geared toward younger children in elementary school. Both apps come with parental controls and features such as spending limits, chore rewards, transaction monitoring, and the chance to blacklist set retailers. Greenlight also lets you invest in the stock market.
Current offers a long list of features that make it a smart choice if you want a digital banking platform with no monthly fees or hidden fees. You can enjoy early paycheck deposit, no overdraft fees, teen savings accounts, cash back rewards, savings pods, and more.
As long as you’re okay with limited customer service and don’t mind using the app on your mobile device, it’s certainly worth exploring.
Here are a few of the most common questions that many people ask about the Current digital banking app.
It’s a risk to use any type of mobile or online banking platform. But Current checking accounts and teen accounts are backed by FDIC insurance of $250,000 in the event of a bank failure. Plus just like many reputable online banks, the app uses bank-level data security measures and you can sign up to receive push notifications any time current detects account fraud.
At this time, Current does not have any physical branches. This means you won’t be able to receive in-person service. The good news, however, is it does offer fee-free cash withdrawals at over 40,000 Allpoint ATMs throughout the country.
Yes, Current lets you deposit cash. However, cash deposits aren’t free and you will have to pay $3.50 for every cash deposit transaction.
Thanks to the Overdrive feature, it’s no big deal if you overdraft your account. You can enjoy a fee-free overdrive of up to $200 on any purchase you make in-store and online.
Absolutely! As long as you use the Current Visa debit card at participating retailers, you can earn cash back. Plus you can earn $1 every time you refer a friend who signs up for a Current account.
If you’re looking for a free checking account with plenty of bells and whistles or a teen banking account, the Current mobile app should be on your radar. But if you prefer a more traditional banking experience, you might be better off with an account at a local bank or credit union.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.
2. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment ﬁle from the payer. Chime generally make these funds available on the day the payment ﬁle is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
5. Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.
7. To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or beneﬁts payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, veriﬁcation or trial deposits from ﬁnancial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.
8. A Chime Checking Account is required to be eligible for a Savings Account.