Current Bank Account Review [2021]: Your Payday Comes 2 Days Sooner

Current Bank offers features others don't — like quicker paychecks and financial tools for teens.
Last updated Dec 1, 2021 | By Christy Rakoczy
Current Bank Checking Account Review

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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 checking accounts, it also has some limitations. 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.

Quick Summary

Receive your paycheck up to two days faster with this online bank.

  • Improve cash flow with earlier access to your direct deposit and immediate gas hold refunds
  • Help your teen learn to manage their money with parent/teen banking
  • Simplify your savings goal with Savings Pods that include automatic round ups
In this Current Bank account review

Current personal checking account basics

Current Bank
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 daily purchases using your Current debit card

FDIC insured Yes, up to $250,000
Visit Current

What we like about the Current personal checking account

Before we begin talking about the various features of a Current personal checking account, you should first know that there are three different account options.

Type of Current account Fees Special features # of savings pods
Basic $0 None 1
Premium $4.99 per month Gas holds instantly credited

Direct deposits up to two days faster

2
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

3

With that in mind, here's what we liked about Current bank accounts and the features each account type has to offer:

  • 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.
  • Mobile check deposit: Not all online banks offer mobile check deposit, but Current does. You can easily make deposits by taking photos of the front and back of your check using your phone's camera and submitting a deposit request through the Current app. The app is available on Google Play for Android users and through the App Store for iPhone users.
  • Free ATM withdrawals: Account holders can withdraw their money for free at over 55,000 different ATM locations. The Current card is a Visa card and can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. It is also supported by Apple Pay and can be added to your digital wallet.
  • Gas hold refunds: 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.
  • Cash back at select retailers: You can earn up to 15X points when you use your card at participating merchants. These points can then be redeemed for cash back into your Current account.
  • 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 specific merchants, 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 choosing the round-up feature. This features rounds up the change from every purchase you make and transfers the difference to your savings 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 work toward your savings goal. 
  • Easy access to customer service: Current customer support is available in some form 24/7 and 365 days per year. You have the ability to communicate with customer service via email, phone, and chat. 

  • Overdraft protection: Qualifying premium accountholders may be eligible for free overdraft protection through Current Overdrive. This service allows you to overdraft up to $100 without incurring fees when spending with a Current debit card.

What the Current personal checking account could improve

  • Current charges an account fee: Teen checking costs $36 per year, and the premium checking account is $4.99 per month.
  • No APY: You don't earn any interest on the money you put into your Current checking account. Since this is a checking vs. savings account, this isn't unusual — but some of the best checking accounts do pay an interest rate 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 of the best 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 banking services 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 $500-per-day withdrawal limit at ATMs and a $2,000 daily purchase limit using your debit card. Some other banks 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 Visa 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 transfer money via an 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.

Current Bank Benefits

  • No Overdraft Fees
  • Direct Deposit Up To Two Days Faster
  • No Minimum Balances or Hidden Fees
  • FDIC Insured Up To $250k

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 anywhere Visa is accepted. You can make up to $2,000 in purchases daily. You can also use your card through Apple Pay.
  • 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. If you will be frequently traveling internationally, then you may want to consider banks that don't charge international ATM fees.

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 by calling their phone number: 888-851-1172.

Telephone customer support 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.

FAQs 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. The Current debit card is issued by Choice Financial Group, which is also insured by the FDIC.

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 doesn’t allow joint bank 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 that other financial institutions might not offer, 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 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 a financial decision worth considering.

Disclaimer: All rates and fees are accurate as of Dec. 1, 2021.

Current Bank Benefits

  • No Overdraft Fees
  • Direct Deposit Up To Two Days Faster
  • No Minimum Balances or Hidden Fees
  • FDIC Insured Up To $250k

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.