Current Bank Review 2022: 4.00% APY on Savings plus $50 Cash Bonus

I recently discovered a new fintech company called Current.

It’s a neobank with a compelling offer:

  • Get $50 when you receive a paycheck of at least $200 within 45 days, plus,
  • Earn 4.00% APY on up to $6,000 of your savings in their “savings pods.”

The Current cash bonus is nice (there are better offers on our bank bonus page) but when you pair it with a safe way to earn 4.00% APY – it starts to become a compelling place to stick your emergency fund.

So, if you’re looking for a simple easy to use online financial app with a great yield on your savings account, Current may be for you. While it doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles it has all the core features you’ll need in an account and aims to make money management easier.

In this Current review, we’ll show you exactly what the Current app can and can’t do for you, and how it can make working with your money easier:

Table of Contents
  1. Who is Current?
  2. The Current Personal Account
  3. The Current Teen Account
  4. Opening a Current Account
  5. What Else Should I Know About Current?
  6. Alternatives to Current
    1. Chime
    2. OnJuno
    3. Axos Bank
  7. Current Pros and Cons
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
  8. Summary

Who is Current?

Current is a neobank, which simply means it’s not itself a bank. It is a fintech company that partnered with a bank to offer banking services. They focus on making the service and the app powerful while the partner bank does the banking services piece.

For instance, when you open a Current Premium account and sign up for Direct Deposit of your paycheck, you can get your paycheck up to two days earlier than you can with a traditional bank’s Direct Deposit system.

This is just one of the features you might like about Current, which was founded in 2015 in New York. But let’s back up a bit and first discuss the partner bank.

What bank does Current use? Choice Financial Group.

Current holds pass-through FDIC insurance of up to $250,000 per account via their partnership with their partner bank, Choice Financial Group (FDIC# 9423).

When you set up your account, you get an account number from Choice Financial Group. If you go to set up your direct deposit, you’ll notice the Current Routing Number of 091302966 actually belongs to Choice Financial Group.

When you open an account, you can opt for a Personal Current Account or a Teen account if you’re setting up one for your teen child. The teen accounts piggyback onto the adult account and offer great features such as spending notifications. That way you can know exactly what your teen is spending their money on.

Previously, Current offered a Basic and Premium account type for Personal accounts. They’ve since stopped those tiers and now everything is free, with no monthly or annual fees. This is great because before this change, the big difference between the tiers was that Basic had 1 savings pod while Premium had 3. Now everyone gets 3 Savings Pods.

The company also has three customer service options: phone, email, and chat. Next, let’s go over some details on Current’s account choices. 

The Current Personal Account

They used to have two tiers, Basic and Premium, but now everything is free!

The Current Account has no monthly fee with no minimum balance requirement.

Other features include:

  • Free debit card
  • Early direct deposit, up to 2 days depending on your employer or payroll provider
  • 3 Savings Pods
  • Budgeting tools and spending insights
  • Overdrive overdraft protection
  • Instant notifications for purchases

A Savings Pod is a savings account with a twist. With Current’s Savings Pods, you can set and name savings goals, have money automatically transferred to your Savings Pods, and even round up purchases for additional Savings Pod accumulation. Best of all, they earn 4.00% APY.

The Current Teen Account

Current also offers a Teen Account. This account must be established through a parent Basic or Premium account. The teen account has the following features:

  • A White or Black debit card
  • Standard direct deposits
  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • Parental notifications for purchases
  • Instant transfer of funds from the parent account
  • Parental control over spending limits

Current’s Teen account also comes with a feature that allows parents to set up and pay for weekly chores that are completed. 

Using this feature can be a great way to teach your teen how to earn and spend money. 

Note that to open a Teen account (or any other account) with Current, you will need to provide a valid ID. Current counts the following as valid IDs: 

  • A current, unexpired state driver’s license or ID card
  • A current, unexpired passport or passport card
  • A current, unexpired permanent resident card

If your teen doesn’t possess one of the above-mentioned ID forms, they cannot open a teen account with current.

Opening a Current Account

The process for opening a Current Personal Account took only a few minutes. Simply click through to the Current website and enter your phone number. There is a bonus right now and that code is automatically entered.

Current will text you a link to the app store where you download the app.

Click through, pick your account, enter in some personal information, and you’re pretty much set up.

It’s important to set up Savings Pods at some point because that’s how you get the higher interest rate:

What Else Should I Know About Current?

Here are some other things you should know about using Current., they aren’t deal breakers for me but they may be for you:

No Check Writing

Current does not issue checks nor do they allow check writing from your Current account at this time. You can only access funds via ATM withdrawals or debit card purchases.

This can be a minor inconvenience but since you can use a debit card, I don’t see it has a huge deal.

Current Pay

Current Pay is Current’s P2P transfer system. It allows you to send or request money from other Current members. You can use it to split dinner bills, pay friends money you owe, receive money you’re owed, and more. I don’t see myself using this instead of Venmo.

Referral Program

Current also has a referral bonus program. If you refer a friend to open a Current account using the Invite & Earn Money section of your app, Current will reward you with a referral bonus after the account gets opened.

At the time of this writing, the referral bonus is $50 for you and your friend when they set up a direct deposit – it’s similar to the openly available one.

ATM and Debit Card Purchase Limits

Current has daily limits for using your Current card;

  • The daily ATM limit is $500 for all accounts.
  • The daily debit card purchase limit is $2,000 for all accounts. 

For teen accounts, parents can lower these limits.

Debit Card Rewards Program

Current recently implemented a rewards program for account owners. When you shop at participating retailers using your debit card, you can earn up to 15x rewards depending on your account and the retailer. 

The rewards cash is deposited directly into your Current account. 

Total Aggregate Balance Limits

Also, Current does have limits on how much money you can have in your Current accounts. There is a $10,000 combined limit on all of your Current accounts, whether it’s your teen or savings pod accounts.

I’m not entirely sure why this limit exists but it does.

Alternatives to Current

If Current is appealing but you are curious what might be out there, here are a few alternatives that compare to Current. 

Chime

Like Current, Chime is a mobile app. It offers a fee-free checking account, and an automatic savings account that pays interest too. 

Chime offers a debit card for account holders, as well as a credit builder Visa card for those looking to build or rebuild credit. 

For more information on how to rebuild your credit, see our article on rebuilding your credit with secured credit cards

You can round up checking account purchases to increase your savings balance too, just like you can with Current. And there are no overdraft fees as long as your account doesn’t fall below a negative $100.

See our Chime Bank Account Review for more information on Chime.

Learn more

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.

OnJuno

OnJuno is a digital banking platform that pays interest on some checking account balances. The Basic checking with OnJuno is free and doesn’t offer interest. 

However, the Metal checking offers an attractive interest rate when you have monthly Direct Deposits of $500 or more. 

Note that the Metal checking account does cost $9.99 per month. Both accounts offer free in-network ATM usage. 

Learn more about OnJuno when you read our OnJuno review.  

Learn more aobut OnJuno

Axos Bank

Axos Bank is another online banking app. There’s no monthly service fee with Axos, but they do have a $50 opening account minimum. 

Axos offers checking and savings accounts and their Reward Checking account has a great rate if you meet certain conditions.

To earn the full interest rate of 1.25% APY (as of 7/15/2022), you must do all of the following.

  • direct deposits (not including intra-bank transfers from another account) totaling $1,500 or more each month will earn 0.40%. A qualifying direct deposit is required for the remaining interest rate qualifications to apply. (and to unlock the next tiers, you must have direct deposit set up first)
  • debit card spending or Personal Finance Manager – Ten (10) point-of-sale transactions per month using your Rewards Checking Visa® Debit Card for normal everyday purchases with a minimum of $3 per transaction, or enrolling in Account Aggregation/Personal Finance Manager (PFM) will earn 0.30%;
  • self-directed trading – maintaining an average daily balance of at least $2,500 per month in an Axos Self Directed Trading Invest account will earn 0.20%;
  • Managed Portfolios – maintaining an average daily balance of at least $2,500 a month in an Axos Managed Portfolio Invest account will earn 0.20%;
  • Loan Payments – and making a monthly payment to an open Axos Bank consumer loan (commercial and business loans excluded) via transfer from your Rewards Checking account will earn a maximum of 0.15%.

Check out this article on best bank alternatives for more information on Axos and other Current alternatives. 

Learn more about Axos

Current Pros and Cons

Here’s a rundown of some of Current’s most prominent pros and cons

Pros

  • Savings pods earn 4.00% APY on the first $2,000 (up to 3 pods)
  • Get your Direct Deposit up to two days early
  • Teen account comes with great parent monitoring/control features
  • Instant notification for purchases
  • Current Pay P2P transfer feature
  • Cash back rewards at select retailers

Cons

  • Maximum allowed balances must total $10,000 or less
  • No joint accounts allowed
  • Mobile banking only

Get started with Current

Summary

The Current mobile banking app can be a great way for you to use mobile banking and get your Direct Deposit up to two days early. 

And if you’re searching for a teen account that gives your teen a chance to learn about money management yet still allows for parental controls on spending, Current could work for you as well. 

What do you think about Current and its mobile banking features? Have you ever banked using Current? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. 

Current

8.5

8.5/10

Strengths

  • High yield on up to $6,000
  • Get your Direct Deposit up to two days early with Premium account
  • Teen account comes with great parent monitoring/control features
  • Instant notification for purchases
  • Cash back rewards at select retailers

Weaknesses

  • Maximum allowed balances must total $10,000 or less
  • No joint accounts allowed
  • Mobile banking only

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  1. Quester says

    How long can we realistically expect the 4% APR to last? Just didn’t want to risk transferring funds then they then drop it to 0.5% 🙂

    • Jim Wang says

      Great question – my guess is that we should probably expect it to stick around for a while. They started it at the beginning of the year and rates at other banks are only now starting to go up in response to the Federal Reserve increasing the target interest rate. Since the 4% is not locked up in a CD, there is a risk it could go down… but you wouldn’t really lose anything over keeping it at a bank that only gives you 1%. Plus there’s the little $50 juicer of a bonus if you have a DD to move over.

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