Current Debit Card Reviews
About Current Debit Card
Current is an online and mobile app platform that can be used by parents to give their teens access their own money. Current’s developer created the platform as a way to teach his daughter about financial responsibility.
This program gives teens the freedom to spend money and make choices about spending or saving money. Some innovative features include tracking spending and savings through the app, as well as making money transfers easy.
Current is a form of banking for teens that allows parents to link their own bank account with a Current account. Teens receive a Current debit card that they can use anywhere Visa is accepted or even at ATM’s.
How does it work?
After parents link a bank account to their Current account, parents can transfer money to the account for teens to spend. But these are just the basics - Current is much more than just transferring and spending money.
Current’s features allow parents to set up chores for teens to do, and once the chores are finished, the money is transferred to the Current account. Some teens equate it to having a job since they are seeing themselves receive money once they have finished a task.
Others say that it motivates them to complete the chores. It’s a win-win for both parents and teens. Parents can even use it for grade incentives and transfer money to the teen after report cards come out (or take money away!).
Through the Current app, parents can monitor spending and even regulate where the card can be used. For example, a parent can use the app to restrict ATM withdrawals or to restrict spending at a particular store.
Parents can also receive notifications about spending when it happens, so even if your teen isn’t with you, you can still see where they are spending money and how much they are spending.
The Current debit card is available in black or white, both with a splash of color across the front. The website is targeted towards teens, but the site sets no age requirement.
Cost and Price Plans
A Current subscription costs $36 a year per teen and is billed once a year. Right now, Current offers a 30-day free trial; after the 30-day period, you will automatically be charged for the year’s service.
With Current, there are no interchange fees such as transfer or transaction fees. You will not be charged fees from Current for transactions at an ATM (ATM surcharge fees may apply). There are no minimum balances or minimum balance transfers and no fees for activation or inactivity.
Current does charge a 3% fee for international transactions and a $3 fee at international ATMs. Other charges apply for replacement cards, paper statements, and expedited mailing.
Customer service for Current can be reached through their website. You can also use the phone number 1-888-851-1172 or write to 217 Centre Street #180, New York, New York, 10013.
Many people who use Current love that it’s easy to use and a convenient way to pay teens their allowances, especially since fewer people keep cash on hand these days. Parents love being able to track their teens’ spending, budgeting, and saving, and it’s a great way for them to encourage teens to develop healthier spending habits.
Teens love being able to order online and being able to see and control their money. Many even say that it encourages them to save it, especially after seeing how much they spend.
There are a few negative points, such as transfers taking a few days rather than being immediate or inaccurate insufficient fund errors, but the majority of reviewers acknowledge that.
Current support is quick to respond and that they make improvements based on customer feedback.
Competitors and Alternatives
Current isn’t the only option available for giving kids and teens a little control of their money.
The Current Debit Card vs. The Greenlight Debit Card
The Greenlight debit card is similar to the Current debit card in that parents link their bank account and transfer money. Spending options can be limited, and spending can be tracked.
With Greenlight, parents can separate money into designated accounts, such as money that can be spent anywhere and money that can be spent ONLY at certain “greenlighted” stores. Greenlight also offers parents the ability to set up a parent-paid interest rate on a child’s savings account.
Current seems geared more towards teenagers while Greenlight has more of a “younger child” feel to it.
The Current Debit Card vs. a Prepaid Card
A prepaid card is an alternative that does not require it to be linked to a bank account. You can get one even with bad credit history, and it doesn’t affect your credit score. As long as the card is preloaded with money, it can be used anywhere that accepts the logo on the card, such as Visa or MasterCard.
With a prepaid card, money must be preloaded before use and they must have enough money on them to cover the monthly fee required to keep it active. In looking at which option is better for teens, Current offers the convenience of quick money transfers through the app, as well as the ability to track spending and get notifications about spending.
If you’re funding your teen, you’re probably going to want to know what they are spending their money on.
The Current Debit Card vs. a Credit Card
Credit cards are an option for establishing and building credit when first starting out, and they offer theft and fraud protection that debit cards don’t always offer. Most credit cards offer rewards programs to incentivize spending, but credit cards are not the best option for teens.
Can teens even get credit cards? Even if they can, credit cards usually have ridiculous interest rates, and they aren’t the best tool for teaching financial responsibility since they are essentially spending money they don’t have yet.
Credit cards are a better option for people who have gotten a grasp of earning, spending, and budgeting, and who can do so without over-charging and living outside their means.
Where to buy?
You can download the Current app by visiting their website and texting yourself (and your teen) a download link and then signing up through that link.
When kids and teens are just learning about financial responsibility and discovering that there is not actually a money-tree in the backyard, using a platform such as Current is a great way to teach them how to earn, save, and spend their money responsibly.