Comparing Current vs Extra. How Are These Banking Services Different and Which Debit Card is Better?
Current vs Extra – both offer debit cards for eligible US individuals, but their banking services are different. The Current is an NYC-based online-only fintech company offering services by FDIC-insured Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank. It combines checking and savings accounts’ features and offers money-saving and budgeting tools and an opportunity to earn interest and rewards on purchases at select merchants. The Extra has partnered with FDIC-insured Evolve Bank & Trust to help its debit card users build credit and earn rewards on all purchases.
- Current – best for applicants who are looking for solid financial advice and budgeting tool, plan to use online banking and savings services when swiping a debit card and earning rewards. Good choice for teens!
- Extra – best for those who want to use innovative online banking solutions to earn rewards while building or restoring their credit ratings.
- Comparing Current vs Extra. How Are These Banking Services Different and Which Debit Card is Better?
- Current vs Extra Debit Card Comparison Table
- Current & Extra Competing Offers and Alternatives
- The Bottom Line
- Frequently Asked Questions
Current vs Extra Debit Card Comparison Table
|Bank||Metropolitan Commercial Bank||Evolve Bank & Trust|
|Services||Online banking & savings, education, debit card, rewards||Online banking, debit card, rewards, credit building tools|
|Program levels/ plans||Teen, Basic, and Premium||Credit building, credit building + rewards|
|Program levels/ plans & fees||– Teen: $0|
– Basic: $$4.99 / month
– Premium: $4.99+ / month
|– Credit Building ($149|
– Rewards+Credit Building ($199
|Credit needed||Accepts all||Accepts all|
|Best for||Financial planning and education for Teens||Build credit and earn rewards|
|Money management tools||Yes, very well developed||No|
|Credit reporting||No||Yes, Equifax and Experian|
|Credit building||No, does not build credit||Yes, its all about building credit|
|Rewards||Up to 15x points per $||1% cashback, unlimited|
|Rewards redemption||At 14,000+ participating merchants||At Extra Rewards Store|
|Savings||Yes, 4.00% APY||No|
|Debit card||Yes, Current Visa Debit Card||Yes, Extra Debit Card|
|Opening minimum||No||Yes, $8|
|Referral bonus||Yes, $45||No|
|ATM withdrawals||Yes, the AllPoint ATM network||No, no ATM access|
|Foreign trans. fee||Yes, 3%||No, cannot be used outside the U.S.|
|More info||Current Visa||Extra Mastercard|
|Rate & review this offer||Review Current||Review Extra|
|Application||Claim this offer||Claim this offer|
Debit Card Deposits
Once you sign up for a Current account via the official mobile app, you can connect a bank account to fund your new debit card or sign up for direct deposit (Premium accounts only). Direct deposit also allows you to get a paycheck two days early. You’ll access the mobile check deposit feature after the initial deposit, which you can use to add cash to your card at participating retailers. You can deposit up to $500 per transaction or $1,000 per day, while $10,000 is a monthly limit.
The Extra debit card works differently. It lets you connect a Plaid-compatible bank account and, similarly to credit cards, gives you a spending limit (Spend Power) based on your account balance. It supports 10,000+ banks across the US. You automatically get a $10 spending limit when you sign up, which will increase once you verify your identity and connect your bank account. The limit will continue rising as you make regular purchases or use it to pay utility bills or pay off loans or credit card debt.
The Current Visa debit card gives you access to 40,000+ surcharge-free ATMs through the Allpoint ATM network in the US. You can withdraw up to $500 per day at any ATM. As for card purchases, you can spend a maximum of $2,000 per day and send a maximum of $5,000 through Current Pay, a peer-to-peer payment platform. Extra gives you no ATM access, so you can’t withdraw funds.
Current vs Extra Rewards
Current Rewards Program has different features for Basic and Premium users. The former can earn one point per dollar spent on debit card purchases, while the latter can enjoy up to 15x more points per dollar. For instance, Burger King offers 2x points, while Forever 21 offers 5x points. The rewards are available for in-store purchases at 14,000+ participating merchants across the US, including Subway, True Value, Cold Stone Creamery, and Rite Aid. You can redeem them for cash (100 points per dollar) in your Current account, apply them to Premium subscription fees, or use them to purchase products at partner retailers.
Extra is weaker in the rewards department, allowing cardholders to get back up to 1% cash on purchases. It also limits them to its Extra Rewards Store, the only place where they can spend the rewards points.
Extra has no referral program, while Current lures users with a generous $45 referral bonus. If your referral signs up for an account using your referral link or code and receives a qualifying direct deposit of at least $200 within 45 days of opening an account, you’ll receive $45 each. The maximum amount in referral bonuses is $1,000 per calendar year.
Money Management Tools
You’ll find no money-management tools with Extra, while Current might surprise you with its unique features, such as:
- Savings Pods – Each allows a $2,000 maximum balance and lets you set a savings goal. Basic accounts can have only one, while their Premium counterparts can have three.
- Budgets – Premium users can set multiple budgets in various categories, while Basic users are limited to only one. The Insights widget shows the monthly spending to help users manage money better.
- Round-Ups – This optional feature rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar, transferring the change to a specific Savings Pod.
- Saving with Interest – Only Premium accounts have access to a 4% APY on a maximum of $6,000 in savings in Pods.
Current also offers Teen debit card features with various money-management features with parental control, including – Automated allowances; Budgets; Round-Ups; Weekly chores; One Giving Pod for charitable donations; Blocked purchases at specific merchants; and Purchase notifications. Teen accounts have no Savings Pods, and parents can use the mobile app to transfer money to kids and pause their debit cards.
Credit Building Features
Current has no credit-building features. Extra is all about helping people build or improve credit. There are no credit checks or minimum credit score requirements because Extra is not a credit card. However, the company reports purchases to Equifax and Experian monthly, helping cardholders build credit. Another advantage is you don’t have to keep your credit utilization below 30% because it resets every 24 hours.
Current vs Extra Fees
Current: Premium users can overdraft up to $200 without overdraft fees by enabling the Overdrive feature, with a starting limit of $25. All users can enjoy the lack of minimum balance fees, bank transfer fees, instant transfer fees when using Current Pay, and in-network ATM withdrawal fees. Out-of-network ATM withdrawals incur $2.50 per transaction, while that jumps to $3 plus 3% in foreign transaction fees for international ATM withdrawals. You’ll also need to pay a $3.50 transaction fee for cash deposits.
Extra: There are no foreign transaction fees because you can’t use it outside the US. The card has overdraft protection, no interest on purchases, and no hidden costs.
Plans and Service levels
|Level 1||Credit building: $149 ||Teen Plan: $0|
|Level 2||Credit building + rewards: $199 ||Basic Plan: $4.99/ month ($59.88/ year)|
|Level 3||–||Premium Plan: $4.99 + / month|
Current Basic and Premium users must be at least 18 and receive a minimum of $500 in monthly paychecks via direct deposit. Minors need a parent to open a Teen account.
Extra users also must be at least 18, but they need a qualifying US bank account, an SSN or ITIN number, and a valid US mailing address (not a PO box).
Current & Extra Competing Offers and Alternatives
|Debit Card||Savings||Builds Credit||Welcome Bonus||Rewards||Best for||Application|
|Aspiration Plus||Yes||No||$150 cash credit||Up to 10% cashback||Eco-friendly attitude, saving the environment||Claim this offer|
|NorthOne Debit Card||No||No||1 month Free||–||Freelancers, entrepreneurs, businesses||Claim this offer|
|Kikoff Credit Account||No||Yes||–||–||Building credit with minimum payments||Claim this offer|
|Sable Debit Mastercard||No||Yes||–||Unlimited 1% cashback||Global citizens, international transfers||Claim this offer|
|Quontic Bitcoin Rewards||Yes||No||Extra rewards||1.5% Bitcoin rewards||Crypto enthusiasts and beginners||Claim this offer|
|Pink ACE Flare||Yes||No||$100 cash credit||–||Fighting against breast cancer||Claim this offer|
|Chime Debit Card||Yes||Yes||–||–||Improve credit, grow your savings||Claim this offer|
The Bottom Line
These debit cards cater to different users, so we can’t say one is better.
Current – can be a good choice for those looking for essential banking features while earning rewards points on eligible purchases. Many cards with no monthly fees offer similar features, but this one’s built-in money-management tools and referral bonuses might make it worth the cost.
Extra – debit card has higher fees and is even more expensive if you want to access the not-so-favorable rewards program. However, it can be excellent for building or improving credit without putting down a security deposit, worrying about credit checks and scores, and maintaining a low credit utilization.