Banking » Reviews » Current Banking Review: Great Banking App For Beginners
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Current Banking Review: Great Banking App For Beginners

Current banking is an online only mobile app service that offers some unique features that typical online competitors don’t.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Current Banking

current logo
current logo

Current Banking

Fees

$0 for the basic account or $4.99 per month for premium

Minimum Deposit

$0

Our Rating

3.8
3.8/5

APY Savings

4.00%

Current banking is an online-only service you can access using its mobile app. This financial institution offers some unique features that typical online competitors don’t, including Savings Pods to put money aside for goals, fast direct deposits, and exceptional parent and teen accounts.

Although Current has tried to modernize banking by changing some annoying common issues, there are some limitations. So, if you want to keep a lot of money in your checking account, a Current Banking account is not likely a good option.

However, if you’re looking for an account that makes it easy to manage your day-to-day spending and helps you to start working towards your financial goals, you’re likely to appreciate Current.

Current can be a perfect fit if:

  • You've just started your financial journey

  • You would like to avoid account management fees

  • You need a debit card 

  • Retailer Cash Back
  • Free ATM Withdrawals
  • Customer Support
  • Gas Hold Refunds
  • Account Fees
  • No Branches
  • No Interest

Current Banking Review

Current Banking Features

As we’ve touched on above, Current has some unique features that you may not find with traditional or online banking facilities. These include:

  • Mobile Check Deposit: You can make a deposit, simply by taking a photo of both the front and back of the check with your phone camera. You can then submit a deposit request through the app. This is a convenient feature if you do encounter businesses or contacts that prefer to rely on a traditional paper check.
  • Savings Pods: If you’re struggling to work towards your financial goals, you are likely to benefit from the Current Savings Pods. If you have a basic account, you can create one pod, but this increases to three with a Premium account. You can give each pod a title and even add a photo for inspiration. You can transfer funds into the pods or use the round-up feature to automatically add money from your purchases.
  • Parent & Teen Banking: There are special accounts to introduce young people to using a checking account. The teen can get their own account with a debit card, but parents can set blocks for certain purchases and spending limits, receive notifications and even schedule allowances.
  • Get Paid Faster: Current delivers paychecks up to two days faster than traditional banks when you sign up for direct deposit.
  • No Hidden Fees: Current has no overdraft fees, no minimum balance fees and no fees when you transfer money with your Current ~tag.

Current Account vs. Traditional Checking

There are some key differences between Current and how traditional checking accounts work. For example, Current allows access to direct deposits up to two days faster, and you can fully manage your account on the mobile app. Just remember that Current has no branches, so you won’t be able to deal with any banking issues in person.

Current also offers unique features designed to help parents and encourage teens to develop good money habits. These include linking to parent accounts, providing an allowance, and spending tracking. However, this does come at a cost, as there are monthly fees for most accounts except the basic checking.

Finally, it is essential to note that Current has some strict limits you may not encounter with other banks. This includes a $2,000 debit card daily purchase limit and a $500 per day ATM withdrawal limit.

Customer Experience

The Current app serves as your account's hub. You must use it to access your account activity and spending insights. Because the website is more of a Q&A resource than a dashboard to manage your account, you must be completely comfortable with an app-based account. On the Apple App Store, the Current app has a rating of 4.7/5, and on Google Play, it has a rating of 4.6/5.

Current also provides customer service via phone, chat, and email 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Current
App Rating (iOS)
4.7
App Rating (Android)
4.6
BBB Rating (A-F)
B
Contect Options
phone/chat
Availability
24/7

Current Banking Pros & Cons

As with any company, Current has potential benefits and possible drawbacks. It is important to be aware of both the positives and negatives before you decide to use the service. This will help you to make an informed decision.

Current has a list of participating merchants where you can earn up to 15x points when you use your card for purchases. You can redeem the points for cash back into your account.

Current personal banking account members can withdraw money for free at over 55,000 in-network ATMs. 

While some people may be hesitant about using a banking service with no physical branches, Current aims to make accessing customer support easy. The support team is available 24/7, 365 days a year via chat, phone or email.

It is not uncommon for gas stations to place holds for money on your card when you buy gas. 

Depending on your location, this could be as much as $100, which can cause problems with your current account spending. However, if you have a Current Premium checking account, you can receive an immediate refund for the hold, so your money won’t be tied up.

While many traditional banks waive fees, only the basic checking account attracts no fees. The Premium checking costs $4.99 a month and, you can expect to pay $36 a year for Teen Checking. 

While there is free overdraft protection for qualifying Premium account holders, these costs can quickly add up if you’re used to fee-free banking. There are other services for beginners that don't charge fees at all – for example, Chime banking has no fees.

It is worth reiterating that Current does not have any branches. Although you can contact the support team around the clock, if you have an issue that you would like to resolve face to face, this is not possible.

While this is a checking account service and would not typically provide interest, it will mean that you won’t earn any interest on the money you put into your Current account. 

This is a little disappointing when there are online accounts that do offer an interest rate on checking balances.

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How to Open an Account?

1. You can sign up through the Current website. You’ll need to enter your cell phone number and click “Sign Up”. Current will then send you a download link. You can also download the app directly to your Android or iOS device, to start the sign up process.

Current does state that you will need several things to sign up, so it is best to check that you have everything you need on hand before you begin. This will allow you to complete the process in just a few minutes.

2.  Once you have the app downloaded, you will need to choose the type of account you wish to open. There are several options:

  • Current: This is the basic account with no monthly fee and no minimum balance to open the account. It does provide a debit card, budgeting tools and one savings pod.
  • Current Premium: This is the upgrade account which costs $4.99 per month. It does offer some extras in addition to all the features of the basic account including instant gas station hold refunds, access to direct deposit payments up to two days earlier and three savings pods.
  • Child’s Account: This will allow your child to have a debit card and current account with parental controls.

Once you select the account type, you can upgrade through the app, but if you decide you want to downgrade from a Premium account, you will need to speak to the customer support team.

3. You will then need to provide basic identification information and choose a funding method for your account. This completes the basic sign up and you can expect to receive your debit card within 10 business days.

If you do encounter any issues, you can contact the support team or refer to the website blog, which is filled with useful articles.

Bottom Line

Current is a great option if you’re looking for a basic online checking account. While it lacks the physical branches of a traditional bank, Current does offer some innovative features that are not often available. You can choose the basic fee-free account or if you’re looking for additional perks and features, upgrade to a Premium account.

You can manage your account fully using the Current app, which even allows mobile check deposits. There are also savings tools to help you start working towards your savings goals. So, if you’re considering a new checking out, Current is certainly worthy of consideration.

Current Banking FAQs

Current Bank is FDIC insured, so your money is safe up to the legal limits. Additionally, the Current Debit Card is Choice Financial Group issued, which also has FDIC insurance. So you can feel confident that your funds and data is secure.

Current is an online only bank where you can access your money via its mobile app. 

While some of the Current fees may be a little higher than some other banks, you will find features that are not readily available elsewhere. So, overall it is an option that is worthy of consideration, but there are better online banks out there.

Like Current, Axos is an online banking platform, so it doesn’t have in-person customer service. However, you can access 24/7 phone support, automated online chat, and secure messaging.

Axos bank rewards checking is another advantage of Axos bank. You’ll enjoy excellent rates with no monthly fees on your checking or savings accounts. There is also reimbursement for domestic ATM fees.

So, unless a specific Current product is ideal for your circumstances, you are likely to find Axos Bank a better option in most cases.

While the SoFi account is fee-free, it does combine your savings and checking funds into one account. This may be a little more complicated to use than the savings pods available with Current. The advantage of SoFi is that you can enjoy up to 4.60% on all the funds in your one account. So, which is better will depend on what you are looking for.

If you want to earn a reasonable rate on all your funds, opt for SoFi. However, if organizing your funds into different pods so you can save for other projects, Current is a better choice.

Like Varo, Current is an online-only bank that allows access via a mobile app. While Current aims to be a leader in the digital banking industry, there are some areas where it lags behind Varo.

For example, there is a maximum balance of $10,000 across all your Current checking accounts. Additionally, to access all of the Current valuable features, you need to subscribe to the higher tier plan that costs $4.99 per month, while the Varo account has no fees.

So, unless you are looking for a Current basic account that you can organize with Savings Pods, Varo is likely a better option.

Like Chime, Current is an online only bank where you can access your money and manage transactions via its mobile app.

However, Current has a maximum balance of $10,000 across all of your accounts. This means that while you can set up different savings pods and accounts, you need to watch your balances to ensure that you don’t go over.

is far more user-friendly. While there are limited product options, there are some very helpful tools to assist you to save and increase your spending visibility. Additionally, Chime banking rates are competitive, despite being a completely free service.

Bank Account Alternatives For Starters

sofi logo
Chime
APY Savings The annual percentage yield (APY) is a percentage that represents the amount of money or interest earned on your savings account over the course of a year. The APY factored in compound interest. A savings calculator can help you quickly determine how much you'll earn with a given APY.
up to 4.60%
2.00%
3.00% – 5.00%
Checking Account Fee The monthly fee on checking account
$0
$0
$0
Checking Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
$0
Mobile App Rating
4.8/5 on iOS, 4.2/5 on Android
4.8/5 on iOS, 4.6/5 on Android
4.7/5 on iOS, 4.5/5 on Android
BBB Rating
A+
F
A+

Banking Reviews

How We Rate And Review Banks: Our Methodology

The Smart Investor team extensively reviewed hundreds of banks and credit unions. We assessed them based on four main categories, each with specific features:

  • Diversity of Products and Their Attractiveness (40%): We extensively analyzed the breadth and appeal of each bank's product offerings, including savings accounts, checking accounts, loans, investment options, and more. Higher ratings were assigned to banks with a diverse range of products that are attractive in terms of interest rates, fees, terms, and additional features. This category provides insights into the variety and value of the bank's offerings, crucial for meeting customers' diverse financial needs.

  • Account Features (30%): This category delves into the features and benefits accompanying each bank's accounts. We scrutinized factors such as promotions, deposit and withdrawal options, ATM accessibility, online and mobile banking functionalities, as well as additional perks like overdraft protection and rewards programs. Banks offering comprehensive and convenient features received higher ratings, reflecting the overall value of their accounts to customers.

  • Customer Experience (20%): A positive customer experience is paramount in banking, so we evaluated each bank's performance in this area. This included assessing the ease of account opening, quality of customer service, availability of support channels, and overall user satisfaction. Ratings were based on factors such as responsiveness, efficiency, and the bank's commitment to meeting customer needs, ensuring a seamless and satisfactory banking experience.

  • Bank Reputation (10%): The reputation of a bank is a critical consideration for customers. We examined factors such as financial stability, regulatory compliance, and public perception to determine each institution's overall trustworthiness and reliability. Higher ratings were awarded to banks with strong reputations, reflecting their credibility and ability to inspire confidence among customers.

  •  

By considering these categories, individuals can make informed decisions that align with their financial needs and preferences, ensuring they choose a bank that offers competitive products, excellent features, a positive customer experience, and a solid reputation.

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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