Current Bank Review

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Bank fees can be a major hassle. If you are looking to avoid fees, Current offers banking accounts for adults and teens with many free features. 

Some of the perks include free ATM withdrawals and debit card purchase rewards. However, if you want additional features, you can upgrade to a paid account.

Our Current review highlights the different features and rewards this online platform offers so you can determine if it is right for you.

current bank logo
4
Overall Rating

Summary

Current offers checking accounts, rewards debit cards and basic budgeting tools for adults and teens. A free checking is available with several perks. However, other banks may offer similar benefits for free.

  • Account options

    4

  • Features

    4

  • Fees

    3.6

  • Customer service

    4.2

  • Budget tools

    4.1

Pros

  • Free checking account
  • Teen banking account
  • Debit card rewards
  • 40,000+ fee-free ATMs

Cons

  • Account fees for some accounts
  • Deposits don’t earn interest
  • Mobile-app only
  • No local branch access

What is Current?

Current is a fintech company offering FDIC-insured checking accounts for adults and teens.

A basic adult checking account is free, and you can upgrade to a Premium account for $4.99 per month. Teen banking accounts cost $36 per year per child.

There are no minimum balance requirements for any account.

Other benefits include:  

  • No-cost overdraft protection
  • Free ATM withdrawals
  • Debit card rewards
  • Savings pods
  • Money management tools

Upgrading to a premium account for $4.99 per month lets you receive your direct deposits up to two days early and have more budget categories with their spending tools.

You can access the platform from the Android and iOS mobile app. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to access your account from a laptop or mobile web browser.

Who is Current For?

There are some people who will benefit from opening an account with Current.

Adults and teens who want these perks should consider the provider:

  • Online-only checking account
  • Rewards debit card
  • Money management tools

All accounts are online-only, so you must be comfortable with no local branch access. 

Fortunately, you can make cash deposits at over 60,000 stores across the United States. Keep in mind that additional fees may apply.

It’s important to note that this platform doesn’t offer a high-yield savings account, but you can set aside money in “savings pods” for various goals. As a result, this app may be best for receiving paychecks and spending money.

Unlike other checking account options, your balance won’t earn interest on this platform.

You will need to be at least 18 years old to join Current. Parents can also open teen banking accounts for minors who are at least 13 years old.  

Current Features

Here is a closer look at the online banking features you can access with Current.

Personal Checking Accounts

You will open an individual free checking account when joining Current. This account qualifies for up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance.

Joint checking accounts are unavailable at this time.

Some of the basic features include:

  • Receiving direct deposits
  • A debit card
  • Instant purchase notifications
  • Mobile check deposit
  • 40,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • One Savings Pod (a targeted savings goal)
  • No overdrafts 

This account doesn’t offer online bill pay or paper checks. You can only pay bills by providing your banking details or debit card number to the merchant.

There is even the option of sending money to your friends who also use Current at no cost. 

Premium members can access these additional perks: 

  • Receive direct deposits up to two days earlier
  • Instant release of gas station holds
  • Up to three Savings Pods
  • Unlimited budgeting tool categories

This checking account is excellent for receiving payments, tracking your spending and paying most bills. 

However, a different free checking account is better if you need more online bill pay features. This bank won’t mail a check if the recipient doesn’t accept bank transfers or debit card payments.

Teen Banking

The opportunity to open a teen banking account for your children who are at least 13 years old is another exciting benefit.

Your teen can use this account to receive payment for high school side hustles and make purchases with a debit card.

Each teen account costs $36 per year.

Teen account benefits include:

  • A debit card
  • Direct deposit
  • Instant money transfers from friends and family members
  • Parental controls
  • Automated allowance payments
  • Money management tools
  • Savings pods
  • Spending round-ups

In addition to making it easier for teens to access their cash, parents also have several features to monitor their child’s account.

Some of the best parental controls include:

  • Custom spending limits
  • Blocking specific merchants
  • Assigning chores
  • Multiple family members can add funds

Like the adult checking accounts, the teen account has up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance.

This checking account offers a moderate balance of banking features and budgeting tools.

If budgeting tools are a priority, a prepaid debit card can be a better solution and cost a similar annual fee.

Automated Savings

You can round up debit card purchases and automatically transfer the savings into a separate fund to plan for future goals.

Spending roundups are increasing in popularity since they can be an effortless way to save money. 

It’s also possible to schedule recurring transfers that move money from your checking account into your savings fund. 

These funds are separate from your spending balance and don’t fund purchases or account withdrawals.

Fee-Free Overdraft

Basic and Premium accounts won’t pay overdraft fees. Premium accounts can also qualify for the Overdrive feature that offers additional overdraft fee protection.

With at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits, you can get up to $100 in overdraft protection on debit card purchases.

You will get at least $25 in initial protection benefits. Current evaluates your account history and spending habits to potentially let you qualify for up to $100 in benefits.

If you overdraft on a qualifying purchase, Current deducts the negative balance from your next direct deposit. 

This benefit can still allow debit card purchases to be processed if you have insufficient funds. Basic members may have the transaction automatically canceled to prevent an overdraft.

Unfortunately, the Overdrive benefit doesn’t apply to these transactions:

  • ATM withdrawals
  • Peer-to-peer payments (i.e., PayPal, Venmo or Cash App)
  • ACH payments (the merchant uses your banking details to withdraw funds)
  • In-app payments 

Savings Pods

Current is best for receiving payments and making purchases. It’s also possible to save money for your upcoming financial goals with the Savings Pod feature.

Your pod balance is separate from the remaining balance in your checking account. This separation makes it harder to confuse your savings with your spending money.

There are three ways to fund your pods:

  • Spending roundups
  • Direct deposit
  • Manual account transfers

Your membership tier determines how many pods you can open:

  • Basic customers get one pod
  • Premium customers get three pods

As these pods don’t earn interest, you should consider an interest-bearing account if you plan on saving a large sum of cash. 

Fee-Free ATMs

All members have access to 40,000 surcharge-free ATMs in the Allpoint network within the United States. In addition, there are approximately 15,000 fee-free Allpoints ATMs outside the country.

As a result, you have access to over 55,000 free ATMs worldwide. You can find nearby ATMs in the mobile app by using the ATM locator map.

There is no fee reimbursement benefit for non-network ATMs.

While you can withdraw up to $500 daily from ATMs, you cannot make cash deposits.

You can find deposit locations in the Current mobile app. 

Rewards

You can earn up to 15 points per $1 on qualifying in-store purchases. All members can earn rewards points, although Premium members can earn more points. 

It’s possible to redeem your points for cash and other rewards in the online store in the app.

Some of the purchases that can earn rewards points include:

  • Restaurants
  • Groceries
  • Retail stores (i.e., clothing and merchandise)
  • Hotels

Participating merchants populate in the banking app. According to the app, there are approximately 14,000 locations offering debit card rewards.

Tip: Use a cashback site to earn cash rewards and gift cards on most online purchases. 

Money Management

The money management features are a unique benefit that not every checking account offers. These tools can make it easy to track your purchase habits and create a spending plan.

Here is a closer look at some of the budgeting tools that adults and teens can access.

Spending Insights

Your app home screen lists your recent purchases and assigns a spending category. This feature makes it easy to track your spending.

You can also receive real-time push notifications each time you make a debit card purchase.

Budgets

Tracking your spending is a nice feature, and you may enjoy the Budgets tool to prevent overspending.

Basic members can create a budget for one spending category, while Premium users can set a budget for unlimited categories.

This budgeting tool is a simple way to set a spending limit for purchase categories. As you approach your self-appointed spending limit, you can receive alerts and make adjustments.

However, if you want hands-on help and the ability to make an in-depth budget, paying for money management software can be better. 

Fees and Transaction Limits

It’s possible to avoid standard banking fees by switching to Current. However, you will need to pay certain charges for some of the most valuable perks.

Daily transaction limits can also apply for purchases and account withdrawals.

Here is a closer look at some of the fees you might pay.

Checking Account Fees and Limits

You can have a genuinely free individual checking account if you choose the standard Basic membership plan. Upgrading to Premium charges an additional monthly fee but gives you access to more features.

Fee TypeCost
Account service fee$0 (or $4.99/month for Premium)
Minimum account balance$0
In-network ATM withdrawals$0
Non-network ATM withdrawalsVaries
International debit purchases3%
International ATM withdrawals$3
Cash deposits$3.50

In addition to the potential incidental charges, transfer limits apply.

Transaction limits include:

  • ATM withdrawals: $500 per day
  • Debit card purchases: $2,000 per day
  • Cash deposits: $500 per transaction/ $1,000 per day/ $10,000 per month

Other third-party fees may apply to fund transactions with your debit card. However, Current does not charge these fees.

Teen Banking Fees and Limits

Except for the $36 annual fee per teen, the fee schedule is similar to an adult checking account.

Fee TypeCost
Account service fee$36
Minimum account balance$0
In-network ATM withdrawals$0
Non-network ATM withdrawalsVaries
International debit purchases3%
International ATM withdrawals$3
Cash deposits$3.50

Here are the standard transaction limits:

  • ATM withdrawals: $500 per day
  • Debit card purchases: $2,000 per day
  • Current Pay peer-to-peer payments: $5,000 per day

Parents can reduce these limits in the Parental Controls section of the app.

How to Open an Account

Opening an account with Current is easy and takes just a few minutes.

Here is how to join Current:

  1. Visit the Current website
  2. Enter your phone number
  3. Download the Android or iOS mobile app
  4. Create an account
  5. Deposit funds

You can begin using your Current account features after providing your personal contact information. 

The platform doesn’t require a minimum initial deposit, and you can activate your debit card when it arrives in the mail. 

There are several ways to add funds to your new account, including:

  • Direct deposit
  • Linking an external bank account
  • Remote depositing a paper check
  • Receiving a peer-to-peer payment using Current Pay
  • Depositing cash at a local retailer

FAQs

These questions can help you decide if you can improve your finances by switching to Current.

Is Current safe?

No platform is risk-free, but all Current checking accounts have FDIC Insurance of up to $250,000. Any legit checking account has similar deposit insurance.

Being able to receive purchase notifications can help you quickly spot potential account fraud if someone steals your bank account or debit card details.

The service also implements bank-level data security measures to protect your account.   

What customer service options does Current offer?

In-app live chat is available 24/7 and is the best way to contact Current customer service. You can also send emails or use the online FAQ database.

Additionally, phone support is also available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Is Current worth it?

It’s worth joining Current if you want a free checking account or a teen banking account with free ATM withdrawals, debit card rewards and easy-to-use budget tools.

Other online banks are better if you want to avoid monthly service fees for similar features. You may also use another service if you want an online checking account and savings account at the same place.

What Others Are Saying

Before signing up for Current, it’s important to know what others have to say about the platform.

Trustpilot

Current ranks well on Trustpilot, earning a 4.2 out of 5 stars.

While most reviews for Current on Trustpilot are positive, the most common complaints revolve around difficulty contacting customer service and trouble with disputes.

Apple App Store

With a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, Apple App Store users had mostly positive things to say about the platform.

In total, 84.3K people have ranked Current within the App Store. Many of the negative reviews mentioned issues with customer service.

Google Play

Current also ranked well in the Google Play Store, earning 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Over 89.2K people have rated the app in the Google Play Store. While most reviews were positive, the negative ones involved concerns with customer service and dispute resolution.

Summary

Current has some exciting features for a free checking account. People who want to avoid bank fees and parents who want to open a banking account for their teens can benefit from the platform. 

While this company can help make banking easy, other banks may offer similar features that Current requires a paid membership plan to access.

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