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Nowadays, there are only a dozen online banks. And it seems like every bank has a different APY or reward structure to try to attract new customers. However, you usually have to jump through hoops or receive significant direct deposits to get the best interest rates.
That’s not the case with Current, a neobank that offers 4% APY on up to $6,000, no questions asked. It also offers a great, free teen account and a robust rewards platform, and no monthly fees.
Our current review breaks down everything this neobank has to offer, including some of the best alternatives.
- No monthly account fees
- There are no minimum balance requirements
- No spending or direct deposit requirements to earn 4% APY
- There is a free teen account with many parental control options
- Borrow up to $200 to avoid overdraft fees
- Earn rewards by shopping at over 14,000 merchants
- No credit building tool
- Cash over $6,000 earns no interest
Current is a new bank that launched in 2015 and originally focused on free bank accounts for teenagers. Since then, Current has grown into one of the most competitive online banking options, offering high interest rates, cash rewards, all with no fees or balance requirements.
It is important to note that Current is a financial services company and not a bank. However, it provides its banking services through Choice Financial Group, so the money is FDIC insured and safe.
What is the current offer?
There are two main current customers: those who want a free personal account with a high APY, and parents who want a free account for their teenagers. But within these two types of accounts, you get a number of features such as a reward points system, savings accounts and overdraft protection.
Current personal account
Current’s main offering is its personal account. This account has $0 monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. Other benefits include:
- No overdraft fees
- There are no wire transfer fees when sending money to other current members
- Free ATM withdrawals at over 40,000 AllPoint ATMs
- Payment up to two days before
- Immediate removal of gas reserves (so your money is not locked up for days after filling up the car)
- Mobile check cashing
According to its website, you can sign up for an account in less than two minutes. And the fact that there are no bill fees is a selling point. And features like gas stock transfers or early paycheck direct deposits can make a difference when cash is tight.
Storage of pods
Current’s personal account allows you to spend money with your Current Visa Debit Card. But right now you can earn a whopping 4% APY on up to $6,000 by moving your money into savings packs.
Each current account has three savings packages. You can invest up to $2,000 in a savings unit to achieve various goals, similar to a high yield savings account. Earn 4% APY on up to $6,000 annually on all your floors, a very competitive rate. And the best thing about it is that there is no direct deposit or spending requirements like many others online banks unlock the best interest rate.
Make one-time transfers from your main balance to fund your pods. Another option is to wire the money into your checking account via ACH or by depositing a check, which is great mobile banking applications don’t support Current also has a similar rounding feature microstorage applications which rounds your purchases to the nearest dollar and puts the extra money in the pod.
And because Current works with Choice Financial Group, the money in your savings account gets up to $250,000 of FDIC insurance.
Current teen account
If you are looking for great a banking solution for your teenager, It’s worth considering right now. It offers a teen account that is very similar to its personal account, except with more parental controls.
Teens can use their Current card to spend money anywhere Visa is accepted. They also get one pod to help them save and can turn on rounding to get good habits. And just like his personal account, teens get free AllPoint ATM withdrawals and instant gas stock removal.
Current’s teen account has several useful features for parents, such as:
- Block merchants to prevent spending
- Identify chores for your teen to complete
- Automate allowance payouts
- Set spending limits
- Receive notifications about your teen’s spending
- Send instant transfers to your teen’s account
- Have family members add funds to their account
Parents just need to download Current, create an account, and then create an account for their teen to access with their phone. You also pay no additional fees or subscriptions for your teen’s account.
With the points reward program, Current members can earn up to 15% cash back at over 14,000 merchants nationwide. All you have to do is activate the offers in the Points tab of the app and shop with your current card to earn points. You need 100 points to redeem $1 and cash credit in your account.
Many offers only pay 1% to 2% in points, but it’s still a great rewards program for a free debit card. He currently works with many big brands such as Burger King, Forever 21, Rite Aid and Subway.
Eligible current members can overdrive up to $200 with Overdrive at no cost. This can be a much better alternative than using your credit card or personal loan. To qualify for overdrive you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Receive $500 or more in a payroll or social security deposit into your account within a 30-day period
Your overdraft limit starts at $25 and can go up to $200 based on your account activity and history. It’s a similar concept apps like Floatme and Earnin use to provide cash advances based on direct deposits.
Current fees and prices
One of the benefits of Current is that you don’t pay account maintenance fees or face minimum balance requirements. However, there are still some fees you may encounter, including:
- Fee for adding cash: $3.50.
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%.
- ATM withdrawal abroad: $3 + 3%.
- Domestic withdrawal at an out-of-network ATM: $2.50 plus ATM fees.
Parents can set spending limits on their teen’s current debit card. There are also general limits on spending and withdrawals:
- Daily ATM withdrawal: up to $500.
- Daily consumption limit: $2000.
- Check the deposit limit: $2000.
- Instant payment (peer-to-peer transfer limit): USD 5000 per transaction.
Is the current bank safe?
According to its website, Current uses encryption to protect your data in transit and at rest. And as mentioned, you get $250,000 FDIC insurance from Choice Financial Group. You can even block in-app transactions and set up fingerprint and face locks to keep your account safe. Overall, Current is safe and secure and follows the same steps as other major neobanks.
How do I open an account?
Opening a current bank account takes minutes and does not include a credit check. The information you provide includes:
- US Social Security Number
- US residential address
- Your phone number to receive a confirmation SMS message
How do I contact Current?
Current customer support can be reached via email at [email protected] or via the in-app chat feature. There is also a contact form on the website.
The best alternatives
We like Current because there are no spending or direct deposit requirements to get the best APY. This is very rare with online banks. You usually need to receive around $1,000 per month in deposits to unlock the best rates.
Current also has a great teenage bank account. However, if you want credit building tools or more bank-like features, some alternatives may be better.
Best for: Improving credit.
If you like Current for its lack of fees, you’ll love it the bell. With Chime, you pay no account fees and there is no minimum balance requirement. It also has a savings account that pays 0.50% APY. And like Current, you can get paid up to two days early and borrow up to $200 to avoid overdraft fees.
The main difference between Chime and Current is that Chime also has a tool to earn credits. This secure account charges no fees or interest and helps you slowly improve your credit score with regular payments.
One of Current’s most unique features is a free teen account with tons of parental control settings. Many mobile-only banks let teenagers off the hook, but luckily that’s not the case with them Axos.
Axos actually has a number of checking accounts that we love, including a lucrative Rewards Checking Account that pays 1.25% on balances up to $50,000. But it also has a First Checking account for teenagers aged 12 to 17. This account has no monthly fees and pays 0.10% APY.
You can also explore other Axos services, e.g Axos Invest or his high yield savings account. Overall, it’s a full-service banking option that’s more comprehensive than Current.
Varo is another great alternative to Current if you want to earn a high APY with a smaller cash balance. Its savings account pays an initial 1.20% APY. But if you receive up to $1,000 in direct deposits per month, you earn 5% APY up to $5,000.
Varo also has other banking benefits, such as no account fees, no minimum balance requirements, and free AllPoint ATM withdrawals like Current. Members can also earn up to 6% cash back when shopping with the Varo Debit Card or Varo Believe Credit Card.
If you’re really chasing the highest APYs out there, you might want to consider parking emergency fund or extra money in current savings to earn 4% APY. You can then switch to direct deposits on Varo, earning 5% APY there.
The bottom line
When Current launched, it focused on its teenage account. It still offers one of the best free accounts for teens, but it has also greatly expanded its products since then.
The bottom line is that Current is a great way to get a high APY of up to $6,000 right now. And if you take advantage of its points program, you can earn even more.
Look elsewhere for credit building features and comprehensive banking services. But right now, Current is one of the best neobanks for good reason.