Current is a fintech banking app similar to banking apps like Chime or Varo. It’s one of the largest fintech apps out there – raising over $400 million in the past few years. As a fintech banking app, I think Current is pretty good. They offer a free checking account with no fees or minimum balance requirements, and they have a slick, well-designed app that’s easy to use. But the real reason I use Current is for its savings account. They have one of the best savings account options available, offering 4% interest on up to $6,000.
I’m someone that likes to keep a large emergency fund, so for years, I’ve been taking advantage of bank accounts exactly like this one, earning 3-6% interest on cash I keep in the bank. It gives me the best of all worlds. I get the safety and certainty of cash in the bank, but with high-interest rates that generally at least keep up with inflation.
Previously, Current’s 4% interest savings account was limited to targeted users, but they’ve since opened it up to everyone. Even better, they’ve recently made it so you can open three accounts each. This means my wife and I can each put away $6,000 earning 4% interest in FDIC-insured saving accounts. Combined with all of the other mega-high-yield savings accounts we have, that gives us $37,000 earning 3-6% interest in FDIC-insured savings accounts. That’s a massive emergency fund that anyone can be happy with.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Current banking app’s 4% interest savings account (also called the Current savings pod). I’ll go over how this account works and why you should get it. At the end of this post, I’ll also have guides to other mega-high-yield savings accounts so you can incorporate more of these savings accounts into your own savings strategy.
What is Current?
Current is a part of the new wave of neobanks or fintech banking apps. These are mobile-first banking apps that partner with an FDIC-insured bank. With Current, your funds are held by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, both FDIC-insured banks. That means your funds are insured and safe, just like money in any bank.
Current offers two plans. The basic plan is free. The premium plan gives you additional features, including access to up to three savings accounts per person. An interesting thing to note is that the premium plan used to charge a monthly fee, but is now free for all users. When you open your account, it might still say that the premium plan costs money, but when you sign up for it, you’ll see that it changes to say no annual fee.
There are two interesting products with Current. The first is a checking account. It has no fees or minimum balance requirements, so it’s a fine checking account if you’re someone that prefers using fintech banking apps. You can also get early direct deposit with the checking account, which is something I think all banks should do these days anyway.
The second product that Current offers – and the one I particularly care about – is the Current savings account (or savings pods, as they call it). The savings account pays 4% interest on up to $2,000. Everything above $2,000 doesn’t earn interest.
If you sign up for the premium plan (which used to cost a monthly fee, but is now free), you’ll be able to open up to three savings accounts, giving you the ability to put save $6,000 earning 4% interest.
At 4% interest, Current is one of the highest interest savings accounts available. And since Current is an easy account to open and manage, that makes it a perfect place to store at least a portion of your emergency fund or idle cash.
How to Set Up Your Current 4% Interest Savings Account
Here’s how Current’s 4% interest savings account works. To get started, you’ll first need to open a Current account. If you use a referral link, you can get $50 after you complete a direct deposit of $200 or more within the first 45 days of opening your account.
You can use my Current referral link here. Make sure you use the code CAITLINH786 when you open the account so that you can qualify for the signup bonus. The terms require you to complete a direct deposit, but data points suggest that an ACH transfer from Discover Bank or Schwab will trigger the bonus. I have a detailed post on how to earn your Current referral bonus that you should check out if you need more direction: Current Bank $50 Referral Bonus – Step by Step Guide.
When you open your Current account, you’ll have the option to choose between the basic plan or the premium plan. As I mentioned, the premium plan is now free, so you should sign up for the premium plan to gain access to three savings accounts.
After you’ve opened your Current, you’ll see an option in the app to open what Current calls a “savings pod.” This is the savings account that pays 4% interest. You have to move at least 1 cent into your savings pod to activate it.
My recommendation is to link your bank account with Current, move $6,000 into it, then put that into three savings pods. It took 5 business days for my $2,000 transfer to clear, which is longer than most other banks, but ultimately not that big of a deal.
How the Current 4% Interest Savings Account Works
The Current 4% interest savings account is a savings account that pays 4% interest on your first $2,000. As previously mentioned, you do not earn interest for amounts above $2,000. To make it clear, if you have $2,001 in your savings account, you’ll earn 4% interest on the $2,000 in the savings account and 0% on the $1 extra that you have in the account. In other words, going over the $2,000 limit does not impact the interest you earn on the first $2,000 in your account.
There’s no limit to how often you can withdraw money from your savings account, which is different from most savings accounts that typically limit you to 6 withdrawals per month. For our purposes, this doesn’t mean much, but it’s something that might matter to you depending on what you use your savings account for.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Current savings account is that it pays interest daily. This is different from most savings accounts which pay interest monthly. While there isn’t any real advantage to Current paying interest daily (especially if you’ve maxed out your savings account), it is nice to see the interest accrue in your account each day.
Finally, the last thing to know is that Current limits you to one savings pod on the free plan, but lets you get three savings pods under the premium plan. The premium plan is now free, so make sure you get the premium plan and open three savings pods. If you max out each one, you’ll earn $240 of interest per year.
If you’ve already opened a Current account, you can upgrade to the premium plan also. It might say that it costs $4.99 per month, but once you upgrade, you’ll see that it’s free.
Why You Should Open a Current Savings Account
I recommend everyone open a Current savings account because it’s a simple way to get much more than the typical 0.5% to 1% interest that most regular high-yield savings accounts offer.
Getting 4% interest on $6,000 means you’ll end up with $240 of interest per year. That might not seem much, but it’s important to put things in perspective.
Consider this. To get the same amount of interest in a savings account earning 1% interest, you’d need to save $24,000. When you look at it that way, I think it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of a high-yield savings account like this one.
Current has a calculator on its website that shows you the difference between what you’ll earn with Current vs. what you’ll earn in a regular savings account from one of the big national banks. The difference is pretty stark, especially when you look at how low the interest rate is at many of these big banks.
Additional Reading On 5% Interest Savings Accounts
A basic rule of personal finance is to have an emergency fund. Unfortunately, emergency funds often come with a trade-off. If you want safety and liquidity, you usually have to accept low-interest rates.
I’ve opted to go a different way by taking advantage of savings accounts paying 3-6% interest. By doing this, I not only get the benefit of a strong emergency fund, but I also get the benefit of a good rate of return. It’s more work than just opening a savings account at your bank, but I find the benefits worth it.
Right now, my wife and I have $37,000 saved between multiple savings accounts paying 3-6% interest. That’s a great emergency fund – one that I’m very comfortable with. Even better, that money is generating over $1,500 of interest each year.
If you want to learn more about my emergency fund strategy, check out my post: Where To Get 5% Interest Savings Accounts. In that post, I give a brief rundown of each of the mega-high-yield savings accounts I use.
For in-depth posts about each of those accounts, be sure to check out the following:
- Netspend Account: The Ultimate Guide to a 5% Interest Savings Account
- DCU $20 Referral Bonus – Step By Step Guide (Plus A 6% Interest Savings Account)
- The H-E-B Debit Card 6% Interest Savings Account
- Workers Credit Union Savings Account – Earn 3.56% Interest On Up To $1,000
- Service Credit Union – A Mega-High-Yield Savings Account For Up To $3,500
Jn-François Pierre says
In reference to the Current Premium savings account, if one can save up to $6,000 and be able to have three savings Pods at up to 2,000 for a total of $12,000 earning the 4% APY in which case I believe paying for upgrading to the premium account maybe worth it.
I may have misread the instructions that you have provided along with the instructions on the bank website.
Please correct me if I’m wrong on my thinking.
Financial Panther says
I don’t think you’re wrong, and I’m definitely willing to change my view on the premium account.
Here’s how I’m thinking of it.
If you have $6k earning 4% interest, you’ll end up with $240 in a year. The premium account costs $60 per year. That leaves you with $180 after paying the premium fees.
$180 on $6,000 equals 3% interest. That’s totally fine and isn’t inherently bad. But then you factor that you’ll get a 1099-INT indicating you earned $240 of interest in the year so you’ll be paying taxes on the $240.
For me, I’d rather have $2k earning 4% without paying the fee.
You cannot earn 4% unless you have a direct deposit set up from your employer. I deposited my money, the information showed that I was earning 4%, and a few days later I checked and it said .25%. I used a referral link that promised 4% regardless of direct deposit being set up, and they refused to honor it.
I don’t believe Current is the best option. Check out Stairs app. It earns 4% basic plus two options to add another +1% each (monthly recurring transfer and round-ups). No overall cap, only a daily $5k cap. In a test I was able to move money out of the Stairs app and into my checking in two business days. Not bad!
Financial Panther says
Never heard of Stairs before. I checked it out and I don’t think you can compare the two. Stairs isn’t a bank account and funds aren’t FDIC-insured. It looks like your funds are invested in real estate notes. I’m not saying Stairs is inherently a risky account or that there’s anything wrong with it (I haven’t researched it, so I don’t know), but it’s an apples to oranges comparison.
I was going to mention Stairs by Groundfloor to you as well. The one thing to consider between Current and Stairs is that Current is FDIC insured. When you invest in Stairs it’s not insured by the FDIC but backed by physical real estate. You can take your money out at anytime via ACH transfer. You initially get 4% but if you setup a recurring transfer you will be bumped up to 5%. I setup a simple recurring transfer of $10 on the first day of the month.
The app if very simplistic but I’ve been using it for a few months now.
Were you prompted to set up a log on and password? I wasn’t. Also no security questions. Just directly into asking for my bank info to deposit money. Im feeling hesitant. What was your experience?
Financial Panther says
I honestly don’t remember. I opened my current account over a year ago and didn’t track it. But I wouldn’t be too worried.
I was reading the comments about Current on another website (doctor of credit) and several individuals detailed how to obtain a free premium account for life. The premium plan allows you to save $6,000 @ 4%. Click on to profile picture at the bottom right of app. Under current codes type “BEASTHUNT, BEASTBANK, and BEAST”. You will receive three $1 deposits shortly and the banner will update to say ” MrBeast just gave you Premium for FREE FOR LIFE!”
I set up my wife’s Current account as well and she has a free premium for life. So in total, we will have $12,000 of our emergency fund making 4%.
Financial Panther says
I tried this and it didn’t work for me. I got the three $1 deposits but I’m still on the basic membership plan.
I can confirm this ($3 and free premium membership) worked for myself and my wife. Mine was nearly instant (within a few minutes). My wife’s took a few days.
I only got three $1 deposits as well and I’m on the basic account.
The current website as of 5/13/22 only lists the Current and Teen accounts as options
Like Karl, the only options I was presented with were Current and Teen accounts. Once I provided requested info I was presented with a screen to “Activate your Virtual Card” with an option to activate later. Any advice on which to do?
Some info here https://support.current.com/hc/en-us/articles/4408251334811-What-s-a-virtual-card-
Josh D says
Do the current account. Inside the Current account you have savings pods. Those savings pods are what offers the 4% return. You can have up to 3 savings pods.
Thanks so much for your website! It has helped transform my finances, and in turn, my life! FYI, as of yesterday, Current has updated their APY to 0.25%, unless you have a direct deposit of $200 or more every 35 days. I’ve currently got $12k in there (between me and my spouse) but I’ll be looking for somewhere else to stash my cash.
Will need to review the terms and fee schedule to see if there’s a monthly bill I can pay from the Current account without any fees after a $200 direct deposit. Otherwise, for the time being, Personal Capital Cash (and I’m sure others) are paying close to 4% with no stipulations. Of course, once interest rates start coming down, those rates aren’t going to last forever.
Confirmed with Current support that the direct deposit must be a paycheck. Depoosits from Social Security, IRA custodians or annuity payments are only eligible for th 0.25% rate. Guess I’ll move this to Treasury Direct spread across 1 yr bills @ 4.45%, 2 yr notes @ 4.25% and an inflation gamble in I-Bonds at 6.89% until the next adjustment unless anyone has a better idea.
Good evening! I have enjoyed your blog, and I am putting into place some of your recommendations. I got an e-mail from Current stating that they are introducing a direct deposit requirement in order to get the 4% APY, within the next week or so. Otherwise, it reverts to 0.25% or something like that. It’s a bummer. I am pulling out the money and switching to Varo, which gives $5,000. I’d rather use Varo because it’s easier to ACH my money in and out, and we did have a direct deposit that could be switched. But the direct deposit requirement for Current is a deal breaker for me.
Thanks for the tip, Chris – I missed Varo on my earlier readings of Financial Panther’s articles. I like that Varo’s Savings account pays 3% on amounts over $5,000 instead of the 0.0% that Current was offering. Varo support confirmed that direct deposit from Social Security counts toward eligibility for the elevated 5% savings rate., so that’s another plus.
However, there are some rather disturbing posts on the Varo reddit that bear investigation before I commit $5,000 and my monthly SS check to the Varo platform.