- Free online signup
- 30-day trial
- Fast Direct Deposit
- Free overdraft $100
- Points and cashback
- Instant Current transfers
- Cash deposits at 60,000 stores
- Free ATM withdrawals
- Gas hold refunds
- Mobile check deposit
- Teen Banking
You might have seen a black Current card in the hands of one of your favorite influencers. Are you wondering if it’s legit and what it brings to the table? In this Current review, we’re covering all the ins and outs, but first, here’s our short verdict:
Current is really easy to use and easy to sign up for online. If you’re ready to ditch your dinosaur bank for a digital account, the no-frills Current accounts might just be your best choice.
Current is a US-based mobile-only bank account, offering a checking account service designed to add speed and ease to the banking experience while also allowing customers to manage their money more closely.
It was founded in 2015 by Stuart Sopp, who is the company’s CEO. Its headquarters are in the Greater New York area. This challenger bank has raised more than $402 million in funding over four rounds and has around 15 investors. It has about 2 million customers.
Current is a member of the FDIC, meaning they have the standard insurance coverage limit of $250,000 per depositor. That is 240,000 more than you need as you can’t actually hold more than $10,000 in your Current account.
Pros and cons
- $100 overdraft with no fees
- Get paid faster
- Instantly send and receive money for free
- No minimum balance
- 55,000 free ATMs
- Automated savings
- Instant gas hold refunds
- Maximum debit card balance of $10,000
- ATM and transaction fees abroad
- Overdraft only up to $100
- $4.99/m Premium account
- $36/year Teen account
- $3.50 to deposit cash into your account
- $3 fee for international ATM withdrawals
- 3% fee on international card spending
- $5 fee for each replacement card
- No transaction or transfer fees
- No minimum balances
- No minimum transfer amounts
- No overdraft fees
- No activation fee or inactivity fees
Who can apply for a Current account?
Anyone over 18 with an SSN, a smartphone, and a US residential address can apply for a Current account. Additionally, they also have a Teen account.
How to open a Current account?
Current makes it incredibly easy to open a fully-fledged checking account with just your smartphone. You’ll need your US Social Security Number (SSN), US residential address (no P.O. boxes), and a smartphone, of course.
The application process begins when you download Current’s app from the App Store or Google Play, you can also go to their website and request they send a download link to your phone.
Once the app has downloaded, the next step is to tap the prompt to “get started” and follow the screen’s instructions. These steps involve having a verification code sent to your mobile and using your phone’s camera to upload a photo of your driver’s license, followed by a selfie to verify that you are exactly who you say you are.
Current will then take a maximum of one business day to review your application and get your checking account up and running, which makes the process much quicker than at a traditional bank.
Basic Checking Account (free)
- Free White Card
- Standard direct deposits
- 1 Savings Pod
- A budget for a single category of spending
- Spending Insights
- Instant notifications for purchases
- No overdrafts or hidden fees
Premium Checking Account ($4.99/mo)
- Exclusive Premium Card
- Early access to direct deposit
- 3 Savings Pods
- Budgets for each category of spending
- Spending Insights
- Gas station authorizations immediately credited
- No overdrafts or hidden fees
- Instant notifications for purchases
Teen Account ($36/year)
- $36 per teen per year
- No hidden fees
- No minimum balance
- No overdraft fees
- No transfer fees
- No activation or inactivity fees
Current offers a choice of two different checking account plans designed to suit different types of people. The first is the Current Basic account. This account comes with a free checking account and a white debit card.
You will also have access to standard direct deposit services, one of Current’s “Saving Pods,” and all of the app’s spending insight and notification services.
You can also opt for a Current Premium account, which will cost $4.99 per month. This account offers everything that the Basic account does, in addition to an exclusive black debit card, early direct deposits, three saving pods, and gas hold refunds.
The Teen Banking account costs $36 per year and gives you, the parent, the complete control and visibility into the spending habits of your kid. It also gives your teen financial freedom and teaches them responsibility.
How to add funds to Current account
You can add funds to your account by cash, check, or direct deposit.
Linking an external account
To add funds from another account, you will need to link the account that will be your funding source via the app.
This involves tapping the dollar sign along the bottom of the app and selecting Move Money. You can then choose who and where your funds will be coming from, enter an amount, and select the payment frequency.
You can also just as quickly send the money back to your funding source. Withdrawals are operated via the ACH network, so they will take between 1 and 3 days to appear in the account.
To deposit cash to your Current account, go to the app and find the map to see the location where you can deposit cash. To find the map, tap the $ sign and scroll to the bottom of the screen to “Withdraw or Deposit.”
More than 60,000 stores nationwide, including CVS Pharmacy, 7-Eleven, Dollar General, and Family Dollar, accept cash deposits to Current.
At the store, tell the cashier you’d like to deposit cash. Generate a barcode in the Current app and give it to the cashier to scan. The cashier will provide you with a receipt, and money is instantly available in your account.
You can deposit up to $500 per transaction and up to $1000 per day. In addition, you can deposit up to $10,000 per month in cash. This is the only way to deposit cash at the moment.
Depositing checks is easy with the Current app as it will automatically take a photo of the front and back of the check. It takes five business days for the check to clear.
The check must be written out to you. Current doesn’t accept checks written to a business name that have been altered or signed over to you, money orders, cashier’s checks, and non-US bank checks.
You also can’t use a check to fund your account for the first time.
The Current app
The mobile app is the hub for all of Current’s banking services. Its easy-to-navigate, straightforward, and sleek design makes it incredibly clear to make sense of your personal banking.
Your Current checking account is placed front and center on the app, offering all of the standard tools with an online banking account. However, this checking account goes above and beyond the typical traditional checking account, offering an array of innovative and intuitive tools and services.
Your Current checking account is filled with a range of insights on your spending and savings. Spending categorization allows you to break down your spending into groups so you can see where your money goes.
Saving with Current
Current does not currently offer a full-fledged savings account; however, they offer their innovative “Savings Pods” to encourage better saving behavior. These savings pods work like individual savings goals.
You set it up yourself and give it a name such as “Deposit fund” or “New shoes fund.” You can transfer money into this savings pod from your Current checking account, and you have the option to set up a direct deposit that will add new funds monthly.
Current also offers a “round-up” feature that will round up all of your payments to the nearest dollar, placing the excess in your savings pod – so you can save without even thinking about it.
The Current Basic account comes with one savings pod, while the Current Premium account comes with three.
Traveling with Current
Traveling with your Current debit card is made as simple as possible, so you can spend more time enjoying your time away. You can use your Current debit card wherever Visa is accepted, meaning you will be able to withdraw cash from ATMs when traveling.
Domestic travelers will be happy to hear that all ATMs within the US offer Current users free withdrawals; however, there may be an external fee placed by the ATM owner.
Nevertheless, when traveling abroad, there will be a 3$ fee for cash withdrawals at an international ATM, and there will also be a 3% fee on the total transaction amount for purchases.
It is also necessary to make a travel plan with Current ahead of your trip, avoiding them being alerted to suspicious activity on your card and preventing you from accessing your funds. Luckily, Current make travel plans easy to access on the app.
The chances are that your teen already has a teen account, but if he or she doesn’t, here’s what the Current teen account has to offer.
Current gives your teens a set of tools to teach them how to budget. They include savings goals, the ability to check their balance, and a round-up savings feature to help them save up faster.
If you want to engage your teens into doing more chores at home, there’s the chores feature that allows you to set up a list of chores for them to complete each week. You are in complete control of the payout that they get for successfully or unsuccessfully completing the chores.
They will receive a set amount that you can reduce or withhold if they didn’t do everything or didn’t do a good job.
Your kids can also pay or request money from their friends, give to charity, and pay online or in-store with their Visa debit card or via Apple Pay.
To control this, you’ll get instant notifications for all purchases, set spending limits, block specific merchants, and pause or replace the card.
If they are out with friends or traveling outside the country, sending them extra money is easy as well.
If all this isn’t enough, you can automate allowance payments and allow multiple family members to add funds.
How to link teen to your account
If you already have a Current account, you can link your teen or teens to your account. They will also have to download the Current app for this to work.
Open “View all Accounts” and select your teen’s name. You’ll see the option to add your teen. Once you tap on “Add,” choose yes, and a QR code will be displayed. Your teen can scan it in the app, and the app will link your accounts.
Teens can’t see or access your balance but will only be able to view their own balances, transactions, and account information, as well as move money into their Savings or Giving pods.
If you have problems sticking to your monthly budget, Current is offering a somewhat simple budgeting tool that will (try to) keep you in line with notifications when you approach the limit.
Choose from categories like food, gambling, nightlife, education, household, and a few others. Set your spending limit, and Current will notify you of your progress and when you get closer to the limit.
To set up a budget on your Current app:
- Expand the Insights card
- Tap on ‘Create a Budget’
- Choose a spending category
- Set monthly spend amount
If you’re swiping and spending your money, you might just get some of it back. With the Current card, you can earn up to 15x points with participating merchants. You can redeem your earned points for a Premium subscription or cash in your Current account.
To see what stores are eligible for points, tap the Points icon in the center of the Current app and select a store near you.
To earn points for your purchases, you’ll need to:
- Open the Points map (in the center of the bottom bar)
- Tap on a participating merchant
- Tap Activate Offer
You can only have one offer redeemed at a time. Points settle after 3-5 days, and if you return or exchange something, the points will be updated.
Did you ever find yourself stuck in a situation that you needed some extra cash when you didn’t have any? If you had Current’s Overdrive, you’d be covered.
You see, Overdrive is just a brand name for overdrafts. With Current, you can get an overdraft of up to $100 if you sign up for their premium account and receive a deposit of at least $500 per month.
The 100 bucks are fee-free and can save you from some awkward conversations. The downside is that it’s only $100 and not even that at first.
Instant gas hold refunds
If you have a gas guzzler and you find yourself at the gas station constantly, you’ll find this option really sweet. Namely, Current will instantly refund those annoying holds into your account, making all your funds fully available without any waiting.
Is my money safe with Current?
Although Current isn’t a banking institution, it is a mobile-only bank or an e-money institution. Your deposits are FDIC insured through their issuing bank – Choice Financial Group. Your account is entitled to up to $250,000 of pass-through deposit insurance coverage if something happened to Current.
Current also uses encryption to protect your data, tools to make sure your account cannot be maliciously accessed, and other security features to keep your money safe.
Who owns Current?
Current was founded in 2015 by former Wall Street banker and CEO Stuart Sopp. It’s headquartered in the Greater New York area.
The company raised more than $400 million from four rounds of funding, with the last Series D round bringing in $220 million in April 2021.
It has 15 investors that include Tiger Global Management, Expa, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, and others.
Current has a 4.5-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, with 76% of reviewers giving it an excellent mark and 17% a bad one. With a 4.5 score, Current is placed similarly to OnJuno (4.5) and MoneyLion (4.6), for example, and better than Chime (4.1) and Varo (4.4).
With more than 12 million users, Chime is the most popular challenger bank in America. Other than meeting the age requirement, anyone can apply and get approved. You don’t have to have an excellent financial record or a credit score above a certain amount to get started banking with Chime.
MoneyLion is a superb all-in-one financial service that has you spending, saving, budgeting, investing, and even building up credit. If you’re still on the fence about getting a mobile-only bank, MoneyLion might just tip you over.
OnJuno is a great neobanking platform that offers excellent APY, no minimum opening deposit, no monthly service fees, and an instant virtual card or a cool black metal card. It’s great for anyone who wants to earn high interest in their account without tying up their money in a savings account.
The bottom line
Current is an excellent option for those looking to dip their toes into the US’s growing world of neobanks. It offers some great features for in-depth insight into your spending and saving activity, and the savings pods allow you to squirrel money away to one side without even realizing it.
The mobile app was designed for a seamless user experience. It is ultimately satisfying to use while also offering plenty of money management tools into the features you have come to expect from a digital banking platform.
The option for free ATM withdrawals from all US ATMs is a great touch; however, it does not extend to fewer fees abroad. Despite not having any physical branches due to this bank’s digital status, the responsive 24/7 customer service allows you to have all of your problems and inquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently online.