Current Bank Review – Is It The Ultimate Online Banking Experience?
Mobile-focused online banks put great care and attention into creating an exceptional online experience. That’s why online banks, like Current Bank, have been successful in building a digital banking platform that removes the need for customers to have a brick-and-mortar financial institution.
But are Current Bank’s services truly a solid option worth considering? That’s what we’re here to find out in this complete Current Bank review. So, let’s dive into what this mobile bank has to offer so you can decide if it’s the right choice for your banking needs!
What is Current Bank?
Current Bank is a neobank, or financial technology company that offers checking accounts and a debit card. A Current Bank account has some additional features that make it notable compared to other online banks, such as their budgeting tools and parental controls on their teen accounts.
History of Current Bank
Based in the Greater New York area, Current Bank was founded in June 2015. Its CEO is Stuart Sopp.
The company has raised $220M in funding up to a Series D round. Popular YouTuber, Mr. Beast is among their most notable investors.
Current Bank and Choice Financial Group
Current Bank is not like traditional banks. In fact, it’s not really an actual bank.
The company partners with Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank to offer their banking services and debit card. Through these partnerships, a Current account customer receives FDIC insurance on their funds.
What are Neobanks?
Neobanks mean that it is an online-only bank. Through partnerships with traditional banks, neobanks are able to offer FDIC insurance on funds that are deposited into accounts with a neobank.
So in the event that a neobank closes, the customer’s funds are safe.
Typically, neobanks offer accounts that have higher earn rates and lower fees than financial institutions. Due to their online structure, a neobank may lack traditional banking features such as wire transfers or check writing.
Before you open a Current account or any neobank account, you should consider if there are any money management tools that you may need access to.
Current Bank Product Offerings
There are three account type options available if you wish to open a Current Bank account: Basic account, Premium Account, and Teen Account. We will take a closer look at each of these account types below.
The basic checking account offered by Current Bank is their free plan. There is no monthly fee or minimum balance that’s required to open an account.
The basic checking account basically has everything that you would expect from an online checking account.
You will receive a debit card along with your free checking account. Use it to make withdrawals to Current’s partnership network of over 55,000 ATMs.
Additionally, if you wish to deposit money, it’s possible at 60,000 stores.
Here are all the features that you get with Current Bank’s basic account:
- Free debit card
- Standard direct deposits
- One Savings Pod
- Budgeting for one category of spending
- Insights on Spending
- Notifications for purchases
- No overdraft fees
This Current Bank account will likely fit your needs if all you need is a basic bank account with no monthly fees.
The Current premium account is available for $4.99 per month. This Current checking account offers the full spectrum of features that are available with the neobank.
All the features and services that are available in the basic account (debit card, cash deposits, etc.) are available with the premium account.
You get some extras too. If you sign up for direct deposit, you can get access to your paycheck two days before payday for instance. There are also three savings pods that you can set up with the premium account to track multiple savings goals.
A Current Bank premium checking account also allows you to get instant refunds for gas station account holds. A gas hold typically occurs when you use your debit or credit card at a station.
The gas station will set a hold on your account for a certain amount. For example, a gas station could put a hold of $50 on your account. Once you complete your purchase, the gas station releases the hold with the amount that wasn’t used to buy gas. So if you used $20 out of the $50, you’ll get $30 released back to you.
A gas hold can sometimes take a few days to be released, so that leaves you with money in your checking account that’s not available.
Here is a breakdown of what premium Current accounts offer:
- Debit card
- Early access to direct deposit
- Spending insights
- Budgets for each category of spending
- Three savings pods
- Immediate gas station authorizations credit
- No overdraft fees
- Notifications for purchases
You get more value for a premium account, particularly with the early payday with direct deposit and gas hold refunds. A plan also comes with an exclusive black debit card that is slicker than the free offering.
Finally is the Current Bank teen account which is available for $36 per year. If you have a teenager who doesn’t have a checking account, this offering will provide a set of money management tools that are catered to their needs.
In personal finance, one of the key habits that a person should learn is budgeting. These Current Bank accounts give teens tools such as a round-up savings feature, savings goals, and the ability to check their balance to help them learn this important skill.
As a parent, you may wish to have your teen involved in doing chores around the house. Current Bank has a chores feature in these accounts that could help.
How it works is that you set up a list of chores for your teen to complete. You are able to automate allowance payments when you successfully complete chores. Since Current Bank puts you in control of these payouts, you can reduce or withhold payments if chores weren’t completed or not finished correctly.
Another unique feature of Current Bank is the teen debit card. While other financial services, such as Gohenry, are designed around the aspect of offering debit cards for kids, Current Bank sets itself apart by offering this service in addition to its other services for adults. Using their debit card or Apple Pay, your teen can pay or request money, give to charity, and pay online and in-store for purchases. You’ll get instant notifications every time they make a purchase. Plus you’ll have the ability to set spending limits, block specific merchants, and pause or replace the debit card.
Multiple family members can also add funds to their accounts if you wish to give them that ability. You can link your teen or teens to your Current account if you have one. Everyone must have the Current mobile app for this to work.
On the Current Bank app, you simply need to go to the “View all Accounts” and select your teen’s need. You’ll have the option to add your teen and by selecting this, a QR code will appear. Your teen will need to scan this code on their mobile app to link the accounts. Don’t worry, this won’t give your teen the ability to see or access your balance.
Current Bank Teen Account Features:
- Instant transfer’s to your teen’s account
- Notifications for all purchases
- Set up blocks to certain merchants
- Ability to set up spending limits
- Automate payments for allowances
- Set up chores
There are no savings pods offered on this type of plan. You can try out this account for 30 days for free first before being charged the annual $36 fee.
Current Bank Product Features
Below we will discuss the key product features offered by Current Bank.
Essentially Current Bank’s savings pods are like a savings account. The difference is that you don’t accrue interest.
The purpose of this feature is to help you reach specific savings goals by sectioning off some of your funds.
Each savings pod can be labeled and you can move or transfer money directly from your account, use round-ups to the nearest dollar from using your card, or use direct deposit.
One of the key drawbacks of using an online bank rather than a financial institution with physical branches is being able to work with cash.
Free ATM withdrawals are typically available with online banks. The problem lies when you want to deposit cash into your account.
More than 60,000 stores in the U.S. have partnered with Current Bank to accept cash deposits from their customers. The money is added instantly to your account.
This feature is important to those who deal with a lot of cash and wish to use an online bank over a traditional bank.
Budgeting and Savings Tools
Keeping track of your spending and budgeting on a day-to-day basis is a challenge. If you sign up for Current’s premium account, you’ll get their budgeting tool so that you can track your spending across various categories.
By setting up spending limits in all your categories, you will be able to keep track of all your purchases made using your card.
Access and view your budget on the go with the mobile app so you know how much you’ve spent and have leftover.
The spending insights that Current Bank generates will also provide you with more information about what and how you’re spending.
The Current Bank app is available on Android and iOS. This is how you can manage your own Current account.
A rewards program is common with credit cards but is typically not available on debit. Cashback, airline miles, and hotel points are usually offered on these credit card reward programs.
However, Current Bank has built partnerships with merchants across the country so you can get rewarded for paying for things with your Visa debit card.
You can earn 15 points for each dollar you spend with a company that they partner with. These points can be redeemed for various rewards, including cashback.
It’s worth noting that there are some limits when using Current Bank that includes:
- $5,000 maximum transaction amount for peer-to-peer payments through Current Pay
- $2,000 daily maximum in card purchases
- $500 daily maximum in ATM withdrawals
Current Bank Pros
Cash Back Rewards
Using your card at participating stores will earn you rewards. Getting rewarded for something you were already going to purchase is a nice bonus.
Fee Free Overdraft
As long as you get at least $500 in direct deposits per month, you can overdraft your account by up to $100 without paying a fee. This feature is available for their premium account holders.
Teen Accounts with Parental Controls
Parents can help their kids learn about managing money, give them some financial freedom while having control over their spending such as being able to set a spending limit or restrict certain merchants.
Current allows you to easily deposit cash through their network of over 60,000 stores. This is an ability that isn’t available to most online banks.
Basic Services for No Monthly Maintenance Fees
If all you need is a basic online bank account, you can get that with Current. There are no hidden fees, minimum balance requirements, and you get access to a savings account through their pod feature.
There is no monthly fee for opening up this basic account either.
Current Bank Cons
Can get pricey
If you want to open multiple teen accounts, it is going to cost you $36 per year for each.
To get all the services that Current has, it’s $4.99 per month. Gas hold refunds, early payday for direct deposits, and savings accounts are all nice extras. However, the monthly fee can feel a bit expensive.
No interest earned on “Pods”
Although the savings pods are a nice feature, the fact that it doesn’t earn any interest could be reason enough to look elsewhere.
FAQ: Current Bank Review
Let’s get down to business and talk about how Current performs overall as a service provider.
Does Current Bank have a good mobile app?
Current Bank’s app scores highly on both the Apple and Google Play stores. People have reported positive experiences using the app, particularly using the teen account to teach their kids about good money habits.
How are the Current Bank features?
There is no minimum balance requirement or hidden fees with all Current accounts. However, if you want access to their better features like free overdraft, you must upgrade to their $4.99 plan and set up at least a $500/month direct deposit.
Does Current Bank offer customer service?
The Current customer support includes an FAQ section where you can search for answers to common questions, chat feature, and by emailing email@example.com.
You can also contact them by calling 888-851-1172. Their phone support is available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
Is Current Bank worth using?
If all you’re needing is a basic checking account to manage your money, Current could be a good fit for you. Their premium service seems over-priced when comparing it to what you get for the price.
Competitors like Chime offer many of Current’s paid features at no cost to their customers. Therefore, if you’re more interested in the premium offerings that Current has, it is worth looking at their competition to see if there might be a better fit.
If you have a child, their teen account offerings are a solid value. They give parents the right amount of control of their child’s spending to help responsibly teach them how to become good money managers. But if you have several kids, the price might be too pricey for some families.