Teaching your teens about money management is more interesting when its hands on. But it’s impractical to follow your teen around everywhere they go so you can monitor their spending.
Instead, you can use a checking account app like the one from Current. It has plenty of parental controls to limit and monitor your teen's spending.
But that’s not all, Current also has two day direct deposits and will also refund holds placed by gas stations. In this article, we’ll review what Current has to offer to anyone looking for a mobile-only checking account with terrific features.
- Checking account and debit card with mobile-only account access
- Premium plan provides faster direct deposits and gas hold refunds
- Teen plan offers money management and parental conrol features
Personal Accounts: $0 to $4.95/month
Teen Banking: $36/year per teen
30-Free Trial of Teen Banking
Who Is Current?
Current is not actually a bank but instead is a fintech that helps parents and children make smart money choices. It also provides various benefits through its checking account. It’s CEO is Stuart Sopp. Current was founded in June 2015 and is based in the Greater New York area. Current has raised $52.6M in funding up to a Series B round.
The debit card (called the Current White Prepaid Visa Card) provided by Current is issued through Metropolitan Commercial Bank (Member FDIC). The premium Current card is issued by Choice Financial Group (Member FDIC).
What Do They Offer?
Current offers checking accounts with a faster availability of your paycheck, removal of gas station holds, and great money management for teens.
For now, these accounts are mobile-only. So not only are there no local branches available to visit, but there is no desktop account access or management offered either. As of writing, account accessibility is only offered through one of the Current mobile apps.
Current also doesn't pay any interest on its checking accounts. The features mentioned in the three plans outlined below will need to be attractive enough that you’d want to use Current for your checking despite no interest earnings.
Personal Checking Accounts
Presently, there are two plans available for customers that are looking to open a personal checking account. Below, you'll see a quick breakdown of what each plan has to offer and its pricing.
Basic — Free
Premium — $4.99/mo
Everything included in the Basic plan, plus:
The free plan isn't incredibly compelling. In fact, you could be better off with a free online bank account that might pay a little interest. Once you get into the $4.99/mo Premium plan, it’s still a tough sell. But, for the right person, features in the Premium may well be worth it.
The most compelling features are the faster direct deposits and gas hold refunds. Faster direct deposits mean money deposited from your paycheck should be available up to two days faster than the average direct deposit.
Unlike other banks, Current ignores the date that employers intend for your paycheck funds to be released. Instead, it credits your acount moments after receiving it. This is a common feature of prepaid debit cards.
The gas hold feature refunds holds placed on your card by gas stations. Some gas stations may apply a hold of up to $100 on your card. These holds basically lock the amount being held, making it unavailable for spending. Current will immediately refund the hold so that you don’t lose any availability of your funds.
The teen plan is designed with parental supervision and money management in mind. It’s a great way to help teach your teen about using money. Parental features include:
- Cashless convenience
- Instant transfer to your teen’s card
- Notifications for all purchases
- Ability to block specific merchants
- Ability to set spending limits
- Set chores to complete
- Automate allowance payments
- Multiple family members can add funds
The Teen plan, however doesn’t include any savings pods (explained next). These plans come with a 30-day free trial, after which an annual subscription fee of $36/yr per teen will be charged to the account.
You might be better off finding a great starter checking account for kids.
A savings pod is like a savings account but without the interest. It is meant to simply section off funds for a specific savings goal. You can label each pod and money can be deposited/moved into a pod directly from your checking account, direct deposit, or through round-ups (to the nearest dollar) from your card.
Recently, Current announced the launch of a rewards program for all its members. Now account holders can earn up to 15x points on the money they spend at 14,000+ retailers, including popular names like Subway, Rite Aid, True Value and Cold Stone Creamery.
Points are credited instantly after purchase and can be redeemed at 100 points per dollar inside the Current app. Current estimates that its members will earn $165 in cash back per year by just using their card at gas stations alone. It also says that new offers will be added regularly and can be found in its app.
Current accounts do have a few limits worth noting. These include:
- $500 daily maximum in ATM withdrawals
- $2,000 daily maximum in card purchases
- $5,000 maximum transaction amount for peer-to-peer payments through Current Pay
Current accounts are managed through its mobile app. The mobile app is available for Android and iOS. Visit the Current website to download the app. On iOS, the app is rated a 4.7 out of 5 from 32.6k people. On Android, the app is rated 4.4 out of 5 from 18.3k people.
Are There Any Fees?
Yes. The Premium plan costs $4.99/mo and the Teen plan is $36/yr per teen.
How Do I Open An Account?
As mentioned previously, Current's accounts are mobile-only. This means that you can only open an account through one of its mobile apps. You can download the app from the iOS or Android app store. Or you can text yourself a download link from it's site.
Is My Money Safe?
Yes. Deposited funds are covered by FDIC insurance up to $250,000 through Current’s issuing bank, Choice Financial Group.
Is It Worth It?
If faster direct deposits is a need that you have and are willing to pay $4.99/mo for it, then Current could be worth it. And if gas station holds noticeably affect you, then Premium, again, may be worth considering.
Given that so many financial institutions offer methods for parents to control their children’s spending, parental spending features may not offer much of a selling point. But if your financial institution doesn’t have anything like that, Current’s Teen plan for $36/yr could definitely worth it.
It's important to point, however, that other banks (especially online banks) are able to match many of Current's checking account features while also offering savings accounts and other products. Check out our list of the best online banks.
And be sure to compare Current's teen banking options with our favorite starter checking accounts for kids.
None (online-only bank)
55,000 Fee-Free ATMs
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Hours
Phone: Weekdays 9AM-6PM EST
Chat: 24/7 availability
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
Mobile Check Deposit
30-free trial of Teen Banking
- Fees and Charges
- Customer Service
- Ease of Use
- Tools and Resources
- Features and Services
Current is a mobile-only checking account and debit card that offers faster direct deposits, gas hold refunds, parental controls, and more.
- Direct deposit up to 2 days faster
- Instant refunds on gas holds
- Teen banking with parental controls
- No overdraft or hidden fees
- Premium and Teen Banking both charge service fees
- Mobile-only: No local branches and no desktop account access
- No interest paid on deposits
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.