Current Bank Checking Account Review [2019]: Your Payday Comes 2 Days Sooner

Current Bank offers features others don't — like quicker paychecks and financial tools for teens.
8 minute read | 9/6/19Sept. 6, 2019
Current Bank Checking Account Review

Current Bank is an online-only bank that you access using a mobile app. It offers some unique features competitors don't, including fast direct deposits, instant credits for gas holds, special accounts for parents and teens, and Savings Pods to make putting money aside for a variety of goals easier.

While Current tries to modernize banking by addressing some annoying issues common to most bank accounts, it also has some limitations. Fees can be higher than with other online banks, and you're limited to a maximum $10,000 balance in your combined checking accounts at any time. So if you keep a lot of money in your account or costs are a priority for you, a Current Bank checking account is likely not the right choice.

That said, if you’re interested in receiving your paycheck sooner or helping your teenager learn good financial habits, then what Current Bank has to offer could be a good fit for you.

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Current personal checking account basics

APY None
Minimum balance for APY N/A
Minimum deposit to open account None
Monthly maintenance fees $0 for basic account

$4.99/month for premium account

$36/year for a teen account

ATM access Yes
Transactions limits Maximum of $500 in daily withdrawals from an ATM

Maximum of $2,000 in monthly purchases using your debit card

Maximum of $10,000 combined monthly balance across all Current accounts

FDIC insured Yes, up to $250,000

What we like about the Current personal checking account

  • Direct deposits are made available faster: Current promises that you can get direct deposits credited to your account up to two days faster than with traditional banks. This means if your employer makes direct deposits and your paycheck would normally be available to you on a Friday, you could get the cash as soon as Wednesday! Accessing funds more quickly can help with your cash flow, provided you have a premium account with Current and can take advantage of this feature.
  • Credits for gas holds: When you buy gas, it’s not uncommon for the station to place a “hold” for a certain amount of money on your card. Depending on where you live, this could range up to $100 or more. If you pay with your Current premium checking account, though, Current will provide an immediate refund for this hold. This means your money isn't tied up as it is when you use most debit cards at the pump.
  • Parent/teen banking makes helping your kids manage money easier: Current offers special accounts for teens that give parents tons of control while introducing young people to their first checking account. Teens can get their own account and debit card, but parents can set spending limits, block certain types of purchases, receive notifications about their teen's spending behavior, and even schedule an allowance for their kids.
  • Savings Pods make saving money simpler: You can create one Savings Pod with Current's basic account or three Savings Pods if you upgrade to a premium account. Creating a Savings Pod is simple to do using your mobile app, and you can give each pod a title to represent what you're saving for. You can move money into pods automatically by rounding up the change from every purchase and transferring the difference to your pod. You can also add money via manual transfer from your checking account or have funds directly deposited into your pod. You can even add a photo to each pod to further inspire you to save.
Type of Current account Fees Special Features # of Savings Pods
Basic $0 None One
Premium $4.99 per month Gas holds instantly credited

Direct deposits up to two days faster

Three
Teen account $36 per year Parents can set spending limits and monitor teen's accounts

Parents can set up automatic funds transfers to provide an allowance

None

What the Current personal checking account could improve

  • Current charges a lot of fees: Teen checking costs $36 per year, and the premium checking account is $4.99 per month.
  • Low balance limit: You can't have more than $10,000 spread across your Current accounts, so you’re unable to really save up that much money in your Savings Pods.
  • No APY: You don't earn any interest on the money you put into your Current checking account. Since this is a checking account and not a savings account, this isn't unusual — but some checking accounts do pay interest on balances.

Current personal checking account vs. a traditional checking account

Current personal checking differs in important ways from other online accounts and also from traditional checking accounts. Here are some of the key differences:

  • Current provides direct deposits up to two days faster than traditional banks and grants instant refunds for gas holds, which most banks don't.
  • Current offers special features for parents, including the ability to provide an allowance for teens, track spending, and link to multiple parent accounts. These features aren't common, even with other online or traditional banks that offer student or teen checking.
  • Current has no local branches to visit, while many traditional banks do.
  • You must use a mobile app for your Current account. Traditional banks and some other online checking accounts don't require this and allow you to manage your account in person or via the web.
  • Current has some strict limits that many other banks don't. This includes the aggregate $10,000 balance limit across all accounts, as well as a $500-per-day withdrawal limit at ATMs and a $2,000 monthly purchase limit. Many other banks allow you to keep an unlimited amount of money in your account and have higher daily limits for purchases and ATM withdrawals.
  • Current charges monthly fees for most accounts except its basic checking. While fees are common with traditional accounts from brick-and-mortar banks, many other online banks offer fee-free checking with no monthly maintenance fees.

How to open a Current personal checking account

You can complete this process in just a few minutes on your iOS or Android device. To open a Current personal checking account:

  1. Click here to download the Current app onto your mobile phone.
  2. Choose the type of account you want to open (a premium checking account, a basic checking account, or a parent/teen account).
  3. Provide some basic identifying information, including your Social Security number and a U.S. residential address.
  4. Choose how you want to fund your account. There’s no minimum balance requirement to open or maintain an account.
  5. Receive your debit card within seven to 10 business days from the date you open your account.

You have numerous options for funding your Current account. including:

  • Using mobile deposit and taking a picture of your checks to deposit them into your account. Checks typically clear within five business days.
  • Linking an external bank account and transferring funds via ACH transfer.
  • Setting up direct deposit so money goes directly into your account when you're paid by your employer or receive certain government benefits.

How to withdraw money from a Current personal checking account

You can withdraw money from a Current personal checking account by:

  • Using your card at an ATM. You're limited to withdrawing $500 per day.
  • Making purchases with your debit card. You can make up to $2,000 in purchases daily.
  • Transferring funds to an external bank account.

You can even access money while abroad, but there's a $3 fee for each cash withdrawal at an ATM and a 3% foreign transaction fee charged when using your card to make purchases outside of the U.S.

Other Current personal checking account fees

Overdraft fee $0
Stop payment fee N/A
ACH transfers $0
Incoming wire N/A
Outgoing wire N/A

Current Bank customer service

Current can be contacted via a form on the bank's website, or you can initiate a chat with a customer service representative in the bank's mobile app. You can also contact the company via phone at 888-851-1172.

Telephone customer service is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, as well as Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. In-app live chats are available weekdays only from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

Common questions about Current bank

Is Current Bank safe?

Current bank is insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), so your money is safe with this mobile banking provider.

How do I activate my Current card?

You can activate your Current card using the bank's mobile app. To do this:

  1. Select the account you're activating the card for
  2. Scroll to the bottom, select “Account Settings,” and then hit "Activate" next to the card you wish to activate
  3. Enter the card's expiration date
  4. Confirm the CVV (Card Verification Value) security code on the bank of the card
  5. Select a PIN number for your card and confirm it by entering it twice

It’s also possible to activate your card via phone by calling 888-851-1172.

How do I deposit money into my Current account?

Money can be deposited into your Current account by taking a photo of your checks and using mobile deposit or by setting up direct deposit. You can also transfer funds from an external bank account.

Can I have two Current accounts?

You can create multiple teen accounts for different young people, each of which are linked to your Current account.

Does Current Bank offer joint accounts?

Current Bank doesn’t allow joint accounts for parents, but multiple co-parents — all with their own Current account — can be added to each teen's account. This means if you start an account for your teen, the child's other parent with a Current account could link to your teen's account as well.

Final thoughts

Current adds some novel features to mobile banking, including its parent/teen accounts. But you should consider if you’re willing to pay almost $40 per year for each teenager in your family that needs access to checking versus potentially opening a free checking account for your child at your traditional bank. But if the ability to easily provide an allowance for your teen and track your teen's spending is important to you, then Current might be a good fit for your family.

If you're far along in your financial journey and have more than $10,000 in the bank on a regular basis, Current also isn't for you. But if getting faster access to your paycheck, mobile support, and multiple options for transferring money automatically to savings are features you're looking for, signing up for Current is definitely worth considering.

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