Current Banking Review
Current banking is an online only service that you can access using its mobile app. This financial institution offers some unique features that typical online competitors don’t including Savings Pods to put money aside for goals, fast direct deposits and special parent and teens accounts.
Although Current has tried to modernize banking by changing some annoying common issues, there are some limitations. So, if you like to keep a lot of money in your checking account, a Current Banking account is not likely a good option for you.
However, if you’re looking for an account that makes it easy to manage your day to day spending and helps you to start working towards your financial goals, you’re likely to appreciate Current.
There are some key differences between Current and a traditional checking account or other online accounts. For example, Current allows access to direct deposits up to two days faster and you can fully manage your account on the mobile app. Just bear in mind that Current has no branches, so you won’t be able to deal with any banking issues in person.
Current also offers special features designed to help parents and encourage teens to develop good money habits. These include linking to parent accounts, providing an allowance and spending tracking. However, this does come at a cost, as there are monthly fees for most accounts except the basic checking.
Finally, it is important to note that Current has some strict limits you may not encounter with other banks. This includes a $2,000 debit card daily purchase limit and a $500 per day ATM withdrawal limit.
On Current Secure Website
No Minimum Deposit
As we’ve touched on above, Current has some unique features that you may not find with traditional or online banking facilities. These include:
- Mobile Check Deposit: You can make a deposit, simply by taking a photo of both the front and back of the check with your phone camera. You can then submit a deposit request through the app. This is a convenient feature if you do encounter businesses or contacts that prefer to rely on a traditional paper check.
- Savings Pods: If you’re struggling to work towards your financial goals, you are likely to benefit from the Current Savings Pods. If you have a basic account, you can create one pod, but this increases to three with a Premium account. You can give each pod a title and even add a photo for inspiration. You can transfer funds into the pods or use the round up feature to automatically add money from your purchases.
- Parent & Teen Banking: There are special accounts to introduce young people to using a checking account. The teen can get their own account with a debit card, but parents can set blocks for certain purchases and spending limits, receive notifications and even schedule allowances.
- Get Paid Faster: Current delivers paychecks up to two days faster than traditional banks when you sign up for direct deposit.
- No Hidden Fees: Current has no overdraft fees, no minimum balance fees and no fees when you transfer money with your Current ~tag.
Current Banking Pros & Cons
As with any company, Current has potential benefits and possible drawbacks. It is important to be aware of both the positives and negatives before you decide to use the service. This will help you to make an informed decision.
Current has a list of participating merchants where you can earn up to 15x points when you use your card for purchases. You can redeem the points for cash back into your account.
Current personal banking account members can withdraw money for free at over 55,000 in-network ATMs
While many traditional banks waive fees, only the basic checking account attracts no fees. The Premium checking costs $4.99 a month and you can expect to pay $36 a year for Teen Checking. While there is free overdraft protection for qualifying Premium account holders, these costs can quickly add up if you’re used to fee free banking.
It is worth reiterating that Current does not have any branches. Although you can contact the support team around the clock, if you have an issue that you would like to resolve face to face, this is not possible.
It is not uncommon for gas stations to place holds for money on your card when you buy gas.
Depending on your location, this could be as much as $100, which can cause problems with your current account spending. However, if you have a Current Premium checking account, you can receive an immediate refund for the hold, so your money won’t be tied up.
While some people may be hesitant about using a banking service with no physical branches, Current aims to make accessing customer support easy. The support team is available 24/7, 365 days a year via chat, phone or email.
While this is a checking account service and would not typically provide interest, it will mean that you won’t earn any interest on money you put into your Current account.
This is a little disappointing when there are online checking accounts that do offer an interest rate on balances.
How to Open an Account?
1. You can sign up through the Current website. You’ll need to enter your cell phone number and click “Sign Up”. Current will then send you a download link. You can also download the app directly to your Android or iOS device, to start the sign up process.
Current does state that you will need several things to sign up, so it is best to check that you have everything you need on hand before you begin. This will allow you to complete the process in just a few minutes.
2. Once you have the app downloaded, you will need to choose the type of account you wish to open. There are several options:
- Current: This is the basic account with no monthly fee and no minimum balance to open the account. It does provide a debit card, budgeting tools and one savings pod.
- Current Premium: This is the upgrade account which costs $4.99 per month. It does offer some extras in addition to all the features of the basic account including instant gas station hold refunds, access to direct deposit payments up to two days earlier and three savings pods.
- Child’s Account: This will allow your child to have a debit card and current account with parental controls.
Once you select the account type, you can upgrade through the app, but if you decide you want to downgrade from a Premium account, you will need to speak to the customer support team.
3. You will then need to provide basic identification information and choose a funding method for your account. This completes the basic sign up and you can expect to receive your debit card within 10 business days.
If you do encounter any issues, you can contact the support team or refer to the website blog, which is filled with useful articles.
Current Banking FAQs
Is Current app legit and safe?
Current Bank is FDIC insured, so your money is safe up to the legal limits. Additionally, the Current Debit Card is Choice Financial Group issued, which also has FDIC insurance. So you can feel confident that your funds and data is secure.
Is Current Banking a good bank overall?
Current is an online only bank where you can access your money via its mobile app. However, one of the great features of this bank is that you can use savings pods to organize your funds and you’ll enjoy instant credit back on gas station card purchase holds.
While some of the Current fees may be a little higher than some other banks, you will find features that are not readily available elsewhere. So, overall it is an option that is worthy of consideration.
Which is better: Current Banking or Axos Bank?
Like Current, Axos is an online banking platform, so it doesn’t have in person customer service. However, you can access 24/7 phone support, automated online chat and secure messaging. Another feature that makes Axos a better option than Current, is its rewards checking. You’ll enjoy excellent rates with no monthly fees on your checking or savings accounts. There is also reimbursement for domestic ATM fees.
So, unless a specific Current product is ideal for your circumstances, you are likely to find Axos Bank a better option in most cases.
Is Current Banking better than SoFi Money?
While SoFi doesn’t charge fees, it does combine your savings and checking funds into one account. This may be a little more complicated to use compared to the savings pods available with Current. The advantage of SoFi is that you can enjoy 0.25% on all the funds in your one account. So, which is better will depend on what you are looking for.
If you want to earn a reasonable rate on all your funds, opt for SoFi. However, if organizing your funds into different pods, so you can save for different projects, Current is a better choice.
Which is better: Varo Bank or Current?
Like Varo, Current is an online only bank that allows access via a mobile app. While Current is aiming to be a leader in the digital banking industry, there are some areas where it lags behind Varo.
For example, there is a maximum balance of $10,000 across all of your Current checking accounts. Additionally, to access all of the useful Current features, you will need to subscribe to the higher tier plan that costs $4.99 per month.
So, unless you are looking for a basic Current account that you can organize with Savings Pods, Varo is likely to be a better option for you.
Which is better: Chime or Current?
Like Chime, Current is an online only bank where you can access your money and manage transactions via its mobile app.
However, Current has a maximum balance of $10,000 across all of your accounts. This means that while you can set up different savings pods and accounts, you need to watch your balances to ensure that you don’t go over.
Chime is far more user friendly. While there are limited product options, there are some very helpful tools to assist you to save and increase your spending visibility. Additionally, Chime offers very competitive rates, despite being a completely free service.
Current is a great option if you’re looking for a basic online checking account. While it lacks the physical branches of a traditional bank, Current does offer some innovative features that are not often available. You can choose the basic fee free account or if you’re looking for additional perks and features, upgrade to a Premium account.
You can manage your account fully using the Current app, which even allows mobile check deposit. There are also savings tools to help you start working towards your savings goals. So, if you’re considering a new checking out, Current is certainly worthy of consideration.