Current Review: Checking

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Overall bank rating

Current

    4.0

    NerdWallet rating 

    The bottom line:

    Current is a neobank, a nonbank financial technology company, that offers a basic spending account with no monthly fee and a premium account, with benefits including early access to direct deposit, for a $4.99 monthly charge. Neither account earns interest, although they offer a rewards program in which account holders earn points by using their debit card at select retailers. Points can be redeemed for cash or a premium account subscription.

     

    Within each account, Current offers ”pods” for setting aside money for a specific goal or purpose. Pods don’t earn interest, and the money in them can't be used for overdraft protection. Premium members, however, may qualify for up to $100 in overdraft protection on their spending accounts with no additional overdraft fees. Accounts are accessed primarily through the Current mobile app.

     

    Looking for ways to help your teen learn about money? Current offers the option to link a teen debit card to the main account. The fee is $36 a year.

     

    Current partners with FDIC-insured Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank to provide banking services.

     

    What to know about neobanks: Neobanks can be solid options for consumers who prefer online-only banking. Funds deposited in these accounts are usually FDIC-insured through partner banks, which will also typically receive customers’ money if a neobank closes, so customer funds are safe. Neobank accounts often have low monthly fees and earn strong rates. However, they may also lack traditional banking features, including in-person customer service and access to personal or cashier’s checks (often required for large purchases, such as buying a home) or wire transfers. Consider these details before opening an account.

     

    Best for: Customers who are looking for a rewards debit card, plan to do most of their banking via mobile app and don’t need an interest-earning savings account.

     

    » Want more options? See NerdWallet’s analysis of the best savings accounts and the best checking accounts.

    Pros

    • Offers a cash-back rewards program.

    • Well-rated mobile apps.

    • No-fee access to more than 40,000 in-network Allpoint ATMs in the U.S.

    Cons

    • Overdraft available only on premium accounts, which have a $4.99 monthly fee.

    • Phone-based customer service available only on weekdays.

    • Money set aside in “pods” doesn't earn interest.

    RATING METHODOLOGY

    NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.