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Current Bank Review: Is It The Right Mobile-Only Bank For You?

If you want to know more about your options when it comes to mobile banking, you got to check this Current Bank review, and see for yourself if this mobile-only bank account is what you are looking for.

Current Bank Review: Is It The Right Mobile-Only Bank For You?

In an article by Business Insider, it says that “convenience and quickness of completing financial transactions via an app” are the key reasons why consumers are attracted to mobile banking.

With mobile banking or online banking, consumers can easily access their money, at the same time, quickly send or receive money from another account regardless of their location.

Meanwhile, a report by Statista, states that the total mobile users across the globe as of 2020 is roughly around 6.95 billion, and it is forecasted to increase to 7.1 billion by 2021, and 7.41 billion by 2024.

In another report also by Statista, in the United States alone, there are 274.7 million people who access the internet through their mobile devices in 2020. The numbers are also projected to rise to over 295 million by 2023.

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Currently, the total number of mobile internet users in the country comprises 83% of the total U.S. population.

Now, going back to mobile banking, currently, Statista reported that there are 57 million people in the United States who use mobile banking, and similar to the different projections we mentioned earlier, the number of mobile banking users are also expected to grow in the years to come.

Now, what are we trying to say here?

What we are trying to point out is that as the number of mobile users in the country as well as across the globe increase, so as the number of mobile banking users – whether it be in the United States alone or worldwide.

With that, it is not surprising that mobile banks are becoming a huge thing. The industry is growing and competition is higher.

Currently, there are a number of mobile banks out there, and the choices can really get overwhelming. Needless to say, the more it becomes harder to pick which bank to sign up and do banking with.

Among the many options available out there is Current Bank.

As mentioned earlier, and as stated in the title, in the following sections, we are going to share with you essential information about this mobile-only bank. Hopefully, by the end of this, you get to gauge if this one’s exactly what you are looking for.

For your reference, in the next few sections, we are going to tackle the following:

  • What is the Current Bank?
  • What does the Current Bank offer?
  • Are there fees and charges involved?
  • How to open a Current Bank account?
  • What are the benefits of using the Current Bank?
  • What are the downsides of using the Current Bank?
  • Is the Current Bank safe?

WHAT IS THE CURRENT BANK?

Founded in June 2015 by it’s CEO Stuart Sopp, Current Bank is “focused on creating better financial outcomes for people and their unique lives” by bringing premium financial services to people of different lifestyles.

Based in the Greater New York area, Current generally an online-only bank that is accessible using a mobile app.

While it is relatively new in the mobile banking industry, Current Bank has definitely made its presence felt by offering unique features to the market that the rest of their competitors don’t.

Some of its one-of-a-kind features include fast direct deposits, special accounts for parents and teens, instant credits for gas holds, as well as Savings Pods, which makes putting aside funds for various goals easier.

Although Current tries to modernize banking by proving solutions to some annoying issues common to a lot of checking accounts, the bank does have its limitations as well.

One of the most evident is that compared to other online banks, Currents charges higher fees. Also, consumers are limited to a maximum of $10,000 balance online. That is applicable to the user’s combined checking accounts at all times.

Thus, if you are looking at keeping big amounts of money in your account, or if you are wary about the cost, then, Current Bank may not be the perfect choice for you.

Quick Summary of Current Bank Details

Before we proceed on a more detailed Current Bank review, here’s a quick summary of some of the most important details you need to know about Current Bank:

Product Name Current
Account Types Checking
Minimum Deposit $0
Fees Personal Accounts: $0 to $4.95/month Teen Banking: $36/year per teen
Promotions 30-Free Trial of Teen Banking
Transaction Limits Maximum of $500 in daily withdrawals from an ATM Maximum of $2,000 in monthly purchases using your Current debit card   Maximum of $10,000 combined monthly balance across all Current accounts
FDIC Insurance Up to $250,000

Before we proceed to the next section, know more about the Current Visa card in this very informative video by Eann:

WHAT DOES THE CURRENT BANK OFFER?

Now, apart from the bank’s history, another important thing or consideration you should look into as a consumer is the products and services that the bank offers.

It must fit your needs and preferences. Otherwise, you may have to consider looking out for other mobile bank options.

True to its name, Current Bank offers checking accounts. However, they’re not your typical checking accounts because it comes with a faster availability of your paycheck, removal of gas station holds, as well as amazing money management specifically for teens.

As mentioned earlier, Current Bank is a mobile-only bank, thus, the accounts are accessible online only as well.

So, if you are looking for a bank with a local branch, or desktop account access or management, Current checking accounts may not be ideal for you.

It is also important to note that the Current Bank does not pay any interest on all its checking accounts.

Perhaps you are wondering what would make you consider opening a Current checking account at all. Well, Current offers three plans that are pretty much attractive among consumers. Later on, we’ll discuss more of them.

But, first, let’s discuss the Current’s personal checking account.

Personal Checking Account

At the moment, Current Bank offers two plans for its customers who are planning to open a personal checking account.

The first option is the Basic plan, which costs nothing. It’s entirely free. The second option, meanwhile, is the Premium plan, which charges a fee of $4.99 per month.

For your reference, here’s what makes one different from the other:

BASIC PLAN (Free) PREMIUM PLAN
($4.99 per month)
No minimum balance Everything that is included in the Basic Plant plus the following:  

Direct deposits of up to 2 days earlier Faster gas holds refund 3 Savings Pods
Free cash withdrawals
No overdraft or hidden fees
Mobile check deposit
Money management tools
1 Savings Pod
Send money instantly for free
24/7 member support

To be honest, Current’s free plan is not as incredibly compelling as other mobile banks you find in the market today.

In fact, customers could be better off with other free online bank accounts that pay a little interest.

As with Current’s Premium plan, which charges you $4.99 a month, it still, for us, is a tough sell.

However, perhaps for the right person, the features offered by Current in their Premium plan may well be worth it.

For its Premium plan, the most convincing features for us would be its faster direct deposit feature as well as the gas hold refunds.

By having a faster deposit, you can expect to have the money deposited from your paycheck to be available for up to two days faster than the usual average direct deposit in the market.

Contrary to other banks, Current does not mind the date that employers intend for your paycheck funds to be made available. Instead, the funds are credited into your account just a while after you’ve received it.

This type of feature, though, is very common among prepaid debit cards.

Meanwhile, the gas hold feature refunds hold placed on the user’s card by gas stations. There are gas stations that apply a hold for up to $100 on your card, which is already a big amount for some.

The hold locks the amount that is being held, making it not possible for you to use it for spending.

However, with Current’s gas hold refund feature, the bank immediately refunds the amount so that you get to use your money anytime.

Teen Banking

Current Bank’s Teen Plan is particularly designed taking into consideration two important aspects: parental supervision and money management.

This feature is a great way for parents to teach their teens about using money wisely.

Current’s Teen plan’s parental features include the following:

  • Instant fund transfer to your teen’s card
  • Cashless convenience
  • Notifications for all purchases made
  • Ability to set spending limits
  • Ability to block specific merchants
  • Automatic allowance payments
  • Ability to set chores to complete
  • The ability for multiple family members to add funds

Take note, however, that the Teen plan does not include a savings pod.

Current Bank’s Teen plan comes with a 30-day free trial. After which, you will be charged an annual subscription fee amounting to $36 per year.

Other Features

As mentioned, Current Bank has the following features:

By signing up for a checking account with Current, you get to enjoy these features: Savings Pod, Teen Banking, and Rewards.

  • Savings Pod

A savings pod is basically like a savings account. However, the only difference is that it does not earn any interest.

A savings pod is meant to just section off funds for particular savings goals like emergencies, travel, etc.

What’s nice about it is that you can label every pod to ensure you are putting the funds in the right pod. It also makes things less confusing.

Furthermore, you can deposit or move funds directly into a pod from your checking account, as well as direct deposit, or through round-ups from your card.

  • Rewards

Only recently, Current announced the launch of the bank’s rewards program, which is made available for all its members.

With the rewards system, account holders can now earn up to 15x points of the money they spend at any of the 14,000+ retailers that Current is in partnership with.

Points earned are credited instantly after every purchase. It can also be redeemed at 100 points per dollar within your Current app.

ARE THERE FEES AND CHARGES INVOLVED?

In this section of our Current Bank review, we are going to talk about fees and charges involved.

We actually have already mentioned them in the earlier sections. But, just in case you have not noticed, Current charges a subscription fee for both its Premium Plan and Teen Plan.

For Premium Plan, the bank charges $4.99 per month, while for the Teen Plan, the Current charges $36 per year.

Take note that you can also opt to use the bank’s Basic plan, which costs nothing. It’s for free.

Meanwhile, Current does not charge overdraft fees, while most mobile banks do. The bank also provides free ATM usage.

Transaction Limits

Apart from the fees and charges, it is also important that as a potential user, you know about the bank’s transaction limits.

Current accounts do have a few limits, and these include the following:

  • $500 daily maximum in ATM withdrawals
  • $2,000 daily maximum in card purchases
  • $5,000 maximum transaction amount for peer-to-peer payments through Current Pay

HOW TO OPEN A CURRENT BANK ACCOUNT?

As mentioned in the earlier sections of this Current Bank review, Current is an entirely mobile-only bank, which means, you can only open an account through one of its mobile apps.

Don’t worry because Current made sure they are accessible to both iOS and Android users.

Now, to particularly process your application for a personal checking account, all you have to do is follow these steps:

1. Download the Current Bank app on your mobile phone.

2. Select the type of account you want to open. There are three options available: Basic checking account, Premium checking account, and Teen account.

3. Provide some basic personal information such as your residential address in the United States, as well as your Social Security number.

4. Choose how you want to fund your account. As mentioned, there is no minimum balance requirement to open as well as to maintain a Current bank account. For funding, you can opt to use a mobile deposit, linking an external bank account and transfer funds via an ACH transfer, and setting up a direct deposit so that funds go directly into your account.

5. Wait for your Visa debit card to arrive within seven to 10 business days from the date you open your Current Bank account.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING THE CURRENT BANK?

Similar to any other mobile banks out there, Current Bank does have its share of pros and cons, and of course, just like any other Current Bank reviews out there, we are also giving some of the things we found beneficial to Current customers, as well as some downsides to taking note of.

First, let’s talk about the benefits –

  • Checking Account Options. Current Bank offers checking account options depending on the preference of the user/customer. There’s the Basic checking account, Premium checking account, as well as the Teen account.
  • Teen Banking and Parental Controls. Current’s Teen plan is a great choice for parents who want to teach their kids how to use money. It provides parental controls, which benefits both the parents and their kids.
  • No Minimum Balance Required. Unlike other mobile banks, Current does not require a minimum balance in your account. You can definitely put as much or as little money as you want.
  • No Overdraft Fees. Overdraft fees can cause headaches for most users. Needless to say, it’s somehow a waste of money for customers. Good thing, Current Bank does not charge it.
  • Direct Deposit Up To Two Days Faster. This feature is specifically available for Premium checking account members. Definitely a unique feature by Current Bank.
  • FDIC-Insured Up To $250,000. Current Bank accounts are FDIC-insured, which means should unfortunate things happen, your money is insured.
  • Free ATM Withdrawals. Current Bank offers free ATM withdrawals across the United States.
  • Savings Pods. This feature allows users to focus on saving money for particular reasons. It can also be done automatically, which makes it more convenient to use.
  • Innovative Tools. Current Bank does have innovative tools that provide users insight into their spending.
  • 24/7 Live Chat Support. Current Bank does have a 24/7 live chat customer service to ensure customers can immediately seek help should they have any concern with their accounts.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING CURRENT BANK?

In the last section, we provided you with some of the benefits of using the Current Bank. This time around, we are going to share with you some of its downsides.

Some of the cons of using Current Bank include:

  • Service Fee. Let’s face it, there are a lot of other mobile banks out there that offer either lesser or no service fees at all. Current Bank’s Premium and Teen accounts’ service fees are not too compelling.
  • Mobile-Only. Unfortunately, Current Bank is only accessible through the mobile app. It does not have local branches and is not accessible on a desktop computer as well.
  • No Interest For Deposits. Another notable downside of Current Bank is that it does not pay any interest on deposits, which means your money will just literally sit in your account without any changes over time.
  • Maximum Debit Card Balance. Unlike other mobile banks, Current only allows up to $10,000 for debit card balance.
  • ATM and Transaction Fees Abroad. If you use or make transactions outside the United States using your Current Bank card, expect to be charged for making such transactions.

IS THE CURRENT BANK SAFE?

Ultimately, opening a Current Bank account is safe. As mentioned earlier, all deposited funds are covered by FDIC insurance of up to $250,000 through the Current’s issuing bank, which is the Choice Financial Group.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CURRENT BANK REVIEW

Current Bank, just like any other mobile banks out there caters to a specific group of customers. It’s not for all – especially with the fact that it charges quite a good amount of service fee for its Premium and Teen accounts.

With all the information we have provided, have you seen yourself using Current Bank?

We do hope that our Current Bank review was able to provide you with essential details you need to be able to decide if it’s indeed the perfect mobile bank based on your preferences and needs.

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