Current is a bnkaing app that offers a ton of different services that make your financial life easier. Whether you're a young adult, parent, or teen just starting out, there are options for you with Current.
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 banking app like the one from Current. It has plenty of parental controls to limit and monitor your teen's spending.
In this article, we’ll review what Current has to offer to anyone looking for a mobile-only banking experience with terrific features.
- Banking app and Visa debit card with mobile-only account access
- Premium plan provides faster direct deposits
- Teen plan offers money management and parental control features
Teen Banking: $36/year per teen
APY On Deposits
Who Is Current?
Current is not actually a bank but instead is a financial technology company that helps people make smart money choices. It also provides various benefits through its account, including faster access to paychecks, spending insights, savings pods and cash back rewards, all without any overdraft fees or minimum balance requirements. It’s CEO is Stuart Sopp. Current was founded in June 2015 and is based in the Greater New York area. Current has raised $400M in funding to date.
They have some notable investors and partners, including popular YouTuber Mr. Beast.
The banking services Current offers are provided by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Members FDIC. The Current Visa Debit Card is also issued by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, pursuant to a license from Visa U.SA. Inc, and can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
What Do They Offer?
Current's accounts offer up to two days 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 Current’s mobile app.
Current also doesn't pay any interest on its accounts. The features mentioned in the three plans outlined below will need to be attractive enough that you’d want to use Current despite no interest earnings.
Presently, there are two plans available for customers that are looking to open a personal 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 basic plan isn't incredibly compelling - but it's still a solid free checking account that's on par with most others out there. Once you get into the $4.99/mo Premium plan, 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 removals. Faster direct deposits mean money deposited from your paycheck should be available up to two days faster than the average direct deposit. Also, the fee-free overdraft up to $100 when you have a qualifying direct deposit can be helpful.
Unlike other banks, Current ignores the date that employers intend for your paycheck funds to be released. Instead, it credits your premium account moments after receiving it. This is a common feature of prepaid debit cards.
The gas hold feature removes holds placed on your card by gas stations, which is a feature uniquely offered by Current. Some gas stations may apply a hold of up to $100 on your card for days. These holds basically lock the amount being held, making it unavailable for spending. Current will immediately remove 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 account, direct deposit, or automatically added through round-ups (to the nearest dollar) from purchases made with your card.
In 2020, Current launched a points rewards program for its basic and premium members. Now premium account holders can earn up to 15x points on purchases money they spend at 14,000+ retailers, including popular names like Subway, Rite Aid, True Value and Cold Stone Creamery, which are redeemable for cash back in your Current account. Basic members earn 1x points on purchases.
Points are credited instantly after purchase and can be redeemed at 100 points per dollar inside the Current app. Current estimates that its premium members could earn up to $165 in cash back per year by just using their card at participating 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 the Apple App Store, Current is rated 4.7 out of 5 from over 86k ratings. On the Google Play Store, the app is rated 4.6 out of 5 from more than 93k voters.
Are There Any Fees?
Yes, the Premium plan costs $4.99/mo and the Teen plan is $36/yr per teen.
Out-of-network and third-party fees may apply as well. For example, the fee for using an out-of-network ATM is $2.50. There's also a $3.50 fee per transaction for adding cash.
How Does Current Compare?
Current's teen accounts and their accompanying parental supervision and money management tools are really what set it apart from the myriad of online banking apps available today. But even in the teen banking space there's some strong competition.
Depending on your situation, another banking app might be a better fit. Check out how Current compares in this quick chart:
Axos First Checking
$0 to $36/yr per teen
Earns Cash Back
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.
How Do I Contact Current?
You can reach a Current agent by live chat 24/7 inside the app. To speak with someone over the phone, you can call 1-888-851-1172. Finally, you can contact the Current team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Trustpilot, Current has a 4.2/5 customer service rating out over 1,400 reviews. It's not currently accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but it has a B rating and has been promptly responding to complaints.
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 many banks (especially online banks) are able to match many of Current's 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 app options with our favorite starter checking accounts for kids.
Here are a few of the most common questions that people ask about Current:
Does Current have any physical branches?
No, but it does offer fee-free cash withdrawals at over 40,000 Allpoint ATMs throughout the United States.
Can you deposit cash into your Current account?
Yes, but a $3.50 is applied to every cash deposit transaction.
Does Current let you overdraft?
Yes, but only if you're a Premium member and enable Overdrive™ inside your account.
Can you earn rewards or bonuses with Current?
Yes, all members can earn cash back at participating retailers with the Current Visa Debit Card. Also, you can earn $1 for each friend you refer who opens a new account. Your friend will earn a $1 too!
Cash Back Rewards
40,000 Fee-Free Allpoint ATMs in the U.S.
Out-Of-Network ATM Fee
Cash Deposits Allowed
Yes, but there is a $3.50 fee per transaction
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Hours
24/7 chat availability
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
Mobile Check Deposit
Fees and Charges
Ease of Use
Tools and Resources
Features and Services
Current is a banking app and debit card that offers faster direct deposits, gas hold refunds, parental controls, and more.
- Direct deposit up to 2 days faster with Premium
- Instant refunds on gas holds
- Teen banking with parental controls
- Fee-free overdraft up to $100
- 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.