Founded in 2015 and based out of New York, Current is a money management app designed to help people make smart financial decisions. While it isn’t a bank with in-person branches, Current’s mobile banking app allows you to do most things you can at a bank but from your phone. In addition to accounts for adults, it also offers accounts specifically for teens that parents can oversee. There are even educational resources and budgetary tools to help teens learn how to manage money.
So you can learn more about Current, let’s take a look at its services and examine the pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Current
- Convenient, mobile-only banking from anywhere
- Teen-specific accounts with parental supervision options
- Two-day earlier direct deposit with a Premium account
- Instantly removes gas holds with a Premium account
- No physical branches
- No interest-earning options
What Does Current Offer?
Current offers online checking accounts for adults and teens. These accounts serve as a more modern version of those offered by traditional banks. Plus, teen accounts allow parents to sign up their teens for their own debit cards and managed checking accounts. Current mobile banking makes it easy to do many things you can do with a traditional checking account but from the convenience of your phone, including:
- Deposit money: Although there are no bank branches, you can instantly add cash to your account at over 60,000 stores nationwide through a bar code system.
- Deposit checks: You can deposit checks into your account by taking a picture of them in the Current app.
- Transfer money: You can instantly send and receive money for free to other members on Current when you use your Current ~tag, which is basically a chosen username.
You also get added bonuses like instant spending notifications every time you swipe your card, when your paycheck arrives, and when holds are removed. And although you’re not able to open a savings account, you can set up a Savings Pod to set money aside automatically every time you make a purchase; the difference between your cost and the next nearest dollar is what is transferred to your Savings Pod.
Similarly, even though Current’s checking accounts don’t allow you to earn interest, they fill this void with other income-encouraging features. For example, when you sign up for direct deposit with a Premium account, you can get paid up to two days earlier than with a regular direct deposit. They also offer money tracking tools to help with spending insights, budgeting tools, and other aspects of financial savviness — tools particularly helpful for parents looking to give teenagers financial freedom while also keeping an eye on their spending.
Then there are the purely convenient features like instant gas hold removal, which instantly removes gas holds that gas stations put on your card after filling up at the pump. So, all account funds are fully available right away. As far as banking security goes, Current uses EMV chips on all of their cards, and accounts are entitled to up to $250,000 of pass-through deposit insurance coverage from the FDIC through their issuing bank, Choice Financial Group.
What To Expect on the Site
To open a mobile banking account with Current, you need the following:
- U.S. Social Security Number (SSN)
- U.S. residential address (P.O. Boxes aren’t accepted)
- A smartphone that can receive SMS/text messages
Signing up does not require a credit check, nor does it affect your credit score. After signing up, your card will be printed and shipped to you within 7-10 business days. There’s also a 30-day free trial during which you can cancel at any time. Plus, there’s a $50 sign-up bonus when you meet certain criteria.
Aside from your card, your Current account is controlled entirely from your phone through their app. This is something to keep in mind if you’re used to doing your banking in person, as there are no branches to visit. They do, however, offer a comprehensive FAQ and support line to reach out to with questions or concerns.
Current offers two main plans Premium and Basic:
Additionally, a Teen account is a more supportive and supervised version of Premium. Teen accounts cost $36 per year per teen. It’s also worth noting that Current has no hidden fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balance fees.
What People Are Saying About Current
As of August 2021, Current has an excellent Trustpilot score. Based on Current reviews from nearly 1,500 customers, Current has a score of 4.3 out of 5 stars:
- 73% of customer reviews give it 5 out 5 stars
- 78% of customer reviews give it at least 4 out of 5 stars
The Bottom Line
Current offers a modern banking experience simplified to work for just about everyone’s needs. While you won’t find many bells and whistles, you also won’t find any hidden fees. Plus, you can do most things you can do with a traditional bank — deposits, withdrawals, transfers, savings all from your phone. And parents will appreciate the teen accounts, which are a great way for parents to teach their children financial literacy while still having visibility into their spending.
All in all, Current is a no-frills, modern option to include in your comparison of top online banking providers.