Chime is a Fintech company (Financial Technology) that employs modern technologies to provide automated financial services. Chime offers free checking with no ChexSystems, a high-interest savings account plus a credit card that helps build credit.
Launched in 2013 as an alternative to traditional banks, Chime has an impressive 12 million US consumers according to a recent study from Cornerstone Advisors and StrategyCorps.
This in-depth Chime review can help you decide if Chime is right for you.
Disclaimer: Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
Chime offers free checking with no ChexSystems, a high-interest savings account plus a credit card that helps build credit.
Chime Checking Account Features
1) No Monthly Fees or Minimums. The checking account is referred to as a “Spending Account”. Customers enjoy many of the same benefits offered by checking accounts with no overdraft fees, no minimum balance requirements, no foreign transaction fees, and no monthly service fees.
2) Early direct deposit. Customers with direct-deposited paychecks, government benefits, tax refund checks as well as government stimulus can get paid up to two days early with direct deposit4.
3) Chime Spot Me. Chime Spot Me provides overdraft protection up to $200 by allowing Chime customers to make debit card purchases that overdraw on their accounts with no overdraft fees. Chime’s website says, “limits start at $20 and can be increased up to $200 or more, based on factors such as account activity and history.”
4) Overdraft fees. There are no overdraft fees. Chime doesn’t allow customers to overdraft their accounts unless you have the Chime Spot Me feature enabled on your account that covers overdrafts up to $200.
5) Free ATMs. Chime customers can currently access more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs through the Moneypass ATM network and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.
6) Checking account for bad credit. Chime does not use ChexSystems to screen new accounts. Chime offers leniency for people with previous checking account problems or bad credit.
7) Check writing. Chime does not offer traditional checkbooks. However, if you need to mail a check, you can have one sent directly from the Chime mobile app by simply entering the payee. Chime will then mail the check for you.
8) FDIC-insured. Your money is always safe with Chime. All accounts held with Chime are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, through The Bancorp Bank.
Chime Savings Account Features
Chime’s Savings Account currently earns 2.00% APY2 compared to the National Rate of 0.21% APY. There is a catch though, Chime’s spending and savings account are linked. That means you must have the Chime Checking Account in order to open the Chime Savings Account.
1) No minimum balance. Open a savings account with no minimum opening deposit and no minimum balance to maintain.
2) Two automatic savings options.
- Chime’s Save When You Spend tool rounds up purchases made with your Chime Visa Debit Card to the nearest dollar and transfers the extra amount to your savings account. The more you use your debit card, the more savings you can accumulate.
- Chime’s Save When You Get Paid feature automatically saves a pre-set percentage of your direct deposit and transfers the amount into your savings account.
3) High savings rate. Earn 2.00% APY2 on your Savings Account. That’s 8x3 the national average!
Credit Builder Credit Card – No credit check credit card
Chime offers one of the easiest credit cards to get. Chime’s Credit Builder Secured Credit Card is one of the rare no credit check credit cards on the market. It’s a new way to build credit that can increase your credit score by an average of 30 points².
Here is How Chime’s Credit Builder Secured Card Works:
Customers must have a Chime Checking Account and have set up direct deposit with Chime.
Cardholders can add money from their Chime Checking Account to the Credit Builder account to spend on your Chime Visa Credit Card.
Chime reports payments to all three major credit bureaus.
The Credit Builder Secured Card charges a 0% APR.
No annual fee or interest.
No credit check to apply.
No minimum security deposit required5.
Cardholders have the option to turn on Safer Credit Building to have the balance automatically paid on time, every month. Learn more.
If you’re wondering where is Chime located, Chime operates entirely online, there are no physical locations. Chime’s platform makes it easy to entirely manage accounts from your mobile device. In terms of money management apps, Chime’s app has earned a reputation of being one of the best.
Customers experience better online account management through Chime as the intuitively designed app was built by a tech company. All of your online accounts can be managed on the go, with the ability to:
- Track your account balances, daily transactions, and savings from anywhere with the Chime mobile app.
- No need to log in just to check your balance with Chime. Using your Chime app, turn on balance notifications and instant transaction alerts any time you use your Chime debit card.
- Send money instantly to friends using Pay Friends on our mobile app.
- Deposit checks, pay bills, and even grow your savings automatically.
Chime Mobile Check Deposit Time
Chime mobile check deposit time on verified checks drawn on a bank in the United States like certified checks, personal and business checks, state and local government checks is the next business day for the first $225.00 deposited after the deposit is processed.
Chime mobile check deposit time for U.S. Treasury Checks is next business-day availability for the first $5,225 deposited after the deposit is processed.
Eligibility for mobile check deposit feature is solely determined by Chime based on the history of any Chime-branded accounts you have, direct deposit history, and direct deposit amounts, and other risk-based factors.
*Please See Chime’s Deposit Account Agreement for funds availability policy and circumstances that may warrant longer check deposit delays.
Cash deposits to Chime
Chime customers can deposit cash to the Chime Checking Account at over 90,000 cash deposit partner retail locations like Walmart, Walgreens, and 7-Eleven. You can find a cash deposit partner on the Chime app. Here are the details:
- At the retail location, ask the cashier to make a deposit to your Chime Checking Account.
- Make up to 3 deposits every 24 hours.
- Add up to $1,000.00 every 24 hours for a maximum of $10,000.00 every month.
Fees can be imposed by the retail location so make sure you inquire before initiating a cash deposit transaction.
Chime Customer Service
You can contact Chime by phone, email, or you can message the Member Services team through the Chime mobile app. Customer support is available Monday through Saturday, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Central Time, and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, excluding holidays.
The Chime company name can be confusing because Chime is not a bank, even though all Chime accounts are FDIC-insured. Chime is a financial online-only company that partners with two banks, The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, to offer its free checking and savings accounts, debit cards, and ancillary financial services that support those products.
Chime Pros and Cons
- Top mobile app. Chime is known for its mobile app, which is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars at the App Store and 4.5 out of 5 at Google Play.
- When it comes to stimulus checks, Chime gets high marks in depositing their customer’s stimulus checks immediately.
- Access to more than 38,000 MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance fee-free ATMs.
- Automatic savings options help you boost your savings. Plus, the current rate is 2.00% APY2
- Chime doesn’t review your ChexSystems history, so this is a great option if banks have denied opening a checking account for you.
- Customer service is available seven days a week.
- Earlier access to direct deposits.
- Only those with Chime Checking accounts can open a Chime savings account.
- Chime experienced major outages: Jul. 8, 2019, Sep. 15, 2019, and Oct. 15, 2019. These outages occurred a few years ago and it appears as though Chime has now resolved whatever caused those outages.
- There is no ability to open a joint account.
- No physical bank branches.
Does Chime have Zelle
The Chime debit card connects with Zelle. Chime customers must open the Zelle app to manually enter their debit card details because neither Chime nor Bancorp pop-up as options on Zelle. Once Chime customers enter their debit card account information, Zelle will send a text with a verification code to confirm you’re all set up with Chime Zelle.
Chime Metal Card
Chime offers a Secured Metal Visa Credit Card. The Chime Secured Visa Credit Card is simple to get. Simply opening the Chime Checking Account will qualify you for the 0% APR Secured Chime Metal Card.
Chime Sign Up Bonus
Earn an opening bonus from Chime:
- Chime is also offering a referral bonus every time you refer someone new to Chime using your referral link, and they receive a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more! Your friend must enroll and complete a single direct deposit of $200.00 or more from their payroll provider within 45 days of opening their new account. If the terms are complete, both you and your friend will get $100 each!
Checking Accounts Like Chime
There are several online-only accounts like Chime that offer free checking along with a card like Chime that can be used at fee-free nationwide ATMs and are FDIC-insured.
Plus, if you’ve had past ChexSystems issues, there are several accounts like Chime that offer second chance account options.
1. OneUnited Bank
OneUnited Bank’s Online Checking Account is available to people in ALL STATES. Customers can add cash to the OneUnited Bank Debit Card at over 90,000 locations across the country through a partnership with Green Dot®. To get started go to the “Get the Card” button, enter your name, email address and cell phone number. Choose the Black Wall Street Checking account option along with the opening deposit, then complete your identification details (name, address, SSN, and employer).
- Monthly fees: $0
- Minimum deposit: $25
- Free ATMs: Obtain cash, surcharge free at over 37,000+ ATMs
- Early direct deposit: Get paid up to two days earlier with direct deposit
- More OneUnited Bank Features: Cash advance feature called “CashPlease” that offers a short-term loan up to $1,000 without a credit check
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Go2bank provides a range of financial services, including a checking account, savings account, and debit card. Go2bank also offers various features like early access to paychecks, cashback rewards on certain purchases, and the ability to deposit checks remotely using your mobile device.
- Monthly fees: No monthly fees with eligible direct deposit, otherwise $5 per month¹
- Other fees: No hidden fees²
- Overdraft protection: Overdraft protection up to $200, with opt-in and eligible directs³
- Minimum deposit: $0
- Early paycheck: Get your pay up to 2 days early with direct deposit⁶
- ATM Access: Free nationwide ATM network⁷
3. Albert Banking
With Albert, there is no minimum deposit requirement to open an account. The Albert Genius feature analyzes your income and spending to find extra dollars to save automatically. All funds are insured up to $250,000 through federally backed FDIC protection. Albert will spot you up to a $250 cash advance with no credit check, interest or late fees.
- Monthly fees: $0
- Minimum deposit: $0
- Cashback: Earn cashback on gas, groceries, delivery, and more.
- Early direct deposit: Receive pay up to two days earlier with direct deposit
- More Albert Features: Save and invest right in the Albert banking app
Albert is not a bank. Banking services provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC
4. SoFi Checking and Savings
The SoFi Checking & Savings is a combination of two separate accounts (checking and savings). You can’t open a standalone checking or savings account with SoFi Bank. There are no monthly maintenance fees, competitive cash back rewards up to 15% at specific retailers, and customers have access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs across the U.S.
- Monthly fees: $0
- Minimum deposit: $50
- Savings Interest Rate: Earn 3.75% APY with direct deposit or 1.20% APY without direct deposit
- Early direct deposit: Receive pay up to two days earlier with SoFi Checking direct deposit
- Welcome bonus: Earn a $25 welcome bonus, plus get up to an additional $250 bonus for setting up direct deposit
- More SoFi Bank Features: Members get SoFi Stadium deals that offer special perks when attending events
5. Axos Rewards Checking
The Axos Rewards Checking account is a good choice for no-fee banking. There are no monthly maintenance fees, competitive cash back rewards, and customers have access to over 91,000 fee-free ATMs across the U.S.
- Monthly fees: $0
- Minimum deposit: $50
- ATM Fees: Customers get unlimited reimbursements of ATM fees in the US
- Overdraft: Zero overdraft or NSF fees
- More Axos Bank Features: Use the promo code RC100 when you apply for a Rewards Checking account by 3/31/2023. Then have qualifying direct deposit(s) to earn a $100 welcome bonus!
Final thoughts on Chime
Chime meets the financial service needs of millions of people as one of the largest challengers to banks. Chime provides financial services to consumers who want to avoid the costs and complications that sometimes come with traditional banking institutions.
1 Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A. FDIC deposit insurance limit to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, per ownership category. For Stride Savings Account depositors, funds are eligible for FDIC insurance when it arrives at the bank.
2 The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of November 1, 2021. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
3 The average national savings account interest rate of 0.17% is determined by FDIC as of November 1, 2021 based on a simple average of rates paid (uses annual percentage yield) by all insured depository institutions and branches for which data are available. Visit https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/ to learn more.
4 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
5 Security Deposit Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.