Chime Bank Review: Checking, Savings, & No Fees

Banking
Updated: 21st Jul 2021
Written by Drew Cheneler
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Banking
June 23, 2020
Written by Drew Cheneler

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Let’s cut right through the noise, Chime is a clear leader in the fee-free banking niche.

From their fee-free banking experience, to their standout banking features you need to know about, and everything in between – this is the only Chime Bank Review you will need to read.

And as a Bay Area Financial Technology company, you can expect Chime to continue to revolutionize the banking sphere as they roll out more products and expand their core offerings.

Keep reading our Chime Bank Review to find out why thousands of Americans love this bank, and whether or not you should open a Chime account.

What is Chime?

Chime is a digital first bank – online only – making it the best option for anyone with a smart phone. Why? Chime’s mobile application and website make it easy for you to bank from your smartphone or personal computer, so you never miss a beat.

Here is the deal, Chime is a financial technology company, not bank. However, banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. With this strategic partnership, Chime is able to offer consumers a checking account, savings account, secured credit card, and more – all with low to no fees.

Yes – that’s right – Chime is a fee˜-free bank so you get the best bang for your buck.

Chime Bank Review: Chime is a Digital First Mobile Bank.
Chime is a financial technology company. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. 

How Chime Works

Chime is a financial technology company that invests heavily into their infrastructure, mobile app, technology, and customer experience. As a digital-bank, Chime does not have any physical locations; however, this is not a problem.

Most American’s prefer to bank from their phone or computer, and Chime makes this experience fun, painless, and more importantly cheap.

With no brick-and-mortar locations, Chime is able to eliminate costly fees, maintenance, and spotty customer service.

But, what we like the most is how Chime is transparent and truly cares about their customers. This devotion and level of care is displayed up-front with their fee˜-free banking experience.

Chime has redefined the financial landscape, and are forcing some of the largest financial institutions in the world to reform their business models.

Chime Bank Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No Monthly Service Fees~
  • No Overdraft Fees
  • Fee-Free Overdraft Up to $100*
  • Over 38,000+ fee˜- free ATM network
  • Built in Automatic Saving’s Feature
  • FDIC – Insured: Don’t worry your money is safe with Chime
  • High Interest Rate for Savings Account
  • Straightforward Direct Deposit allowing you to get your paycheck up to 2 days early
  • Chime Visa® Debit Card
  • Chime Secured Credit Card (Credit Builder)

Cons:

  • No Physical Branches
  • Depositing Cash can be difficult
  • At times the customer service can sometimes be hard to reach, but fret not, they are quickly resolving this issue as they grow.

Even though Chime has no physical branches, it has still attracted a legion of fans due to the no- fees˜ and robust ATM Network. Chime remains as one of the best banks and checking accounts for consumers who are looking for a fee-free˜ experience.

Chime Bank Review: Features & Products

Chime Spending Account

As you can imagine, Chime puts forth one of the best checking accounts around. Their fee-free˜ banking and checking experience has attracted a legion of fans – rightfully so.

The best feature included with their checking account is SpotMe*, which protects you from overdraft fees˜.

Not to mention, overdraft fees cost the average American $250 a year…yuck.

It is important to note, that to qualify for their SpotMe program you need to have monthly direct deposits totally $500 or more.

Their SpotMe limits start at $20 but fret not, depending on the size of your overdraft transaction Chime will increase the limit to $200* leaving you worry free.

Chime Bank Review. A Fee-Free Banking Experience
Chime is a financial technology company. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. 

With the Chime Spending Account, you can receive your paycheck up to 2 days early, so there is no reason for you to ever miss a utility, mortgage, credit card, or loan payment. And enrolling in direct depositˆ has never been easier with Chime.

Finally – gone are the days of writing hand checks. If you have had a Chime account for 30 or more days, you can tap into their Checkbook feature and send checks to anyone online for free (up to $10,000 per month). Do not worry, their fee-free˜ checking account isn’t the only feature that makes this bank standout from the rest.

Chime also allows you to snap a photo of your check and it will deposit it directly into your account within seconds. No more waiting to see your money, with this feature you can start spending immediately.

And if this is not enough, Chime will even personally mail checks for you to anyone of your choosing.

All you have to do is let Chime know who you would like to send a check to and the amount, and a trusted member on their team will personally mail out the check on your behalf.

Chime Debit Card

All Chime Spending Accounts come with a Chime Debit Card. This Chime Card has no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, and no maintenance fees.

It is important to note that the Chime Card is a traditional debit card and not a prepaid debit card. The Chime Visa Debit Card is connected to your spending account, and is accepted at all Visa locations.

ATM Network

Chime has a large fee-free˜ ATM network. To be exact, you have access to over 38,000+ ATMs through VISA’s MoneyPass and another 30,000+ cash-back locations through their Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs.

So, finding an ATM should not be hard if you are a member with Chime. And, if you can’t find an ATM that is within their network you will have to pay a small $2.50 fee for any transaction you make.

Yes – $2.50 – remember, this is the only fee Chime will ever charge you.

Disclosure: Out-of-Network cash withdrawal fees apply. Third-party and cash deposit fees may apply.

Mobile Wallet Support

Built by a team of tech professionals, it is no wonder that Chime supports Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay. With both mobile pay support and Chime, you can simply leave your wallet at home and yet still have full control of your finances on-the-go .

Chime Bank Saving Account 

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 0.50% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)¹
  • Monthly Fees: $0˜

We get it, their saving account interest rate is not the best, but that isn’t why we like it. While most banks offer more than 0.50% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)¹, they do not allow you to implement an automatic saving feature, whereas Chime does.

Since Chime let’s you set up direct deposits, they also let you decide how much to allocate towards savings and will automatically deduct that from your check and will transfer it into your saving account.

So if you want to save 5% – 10% of each paycheck ⁴ – which we recommend – you can do just that with this nifty feature.

>> More: Best High Yield Saving Account.

Disclosure: The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”)¹ for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of December 9, 2020. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card

As one of the newest secured credit cards to enter the market, the Chime Credit Builder is designed to help you build your credit responsibly and effectively.

Whereas most secured credit cards require an upfront security deposit and charge high-fees, the Chime Credit Builder does not. Their is no credit check, annual fees, or interest charges. It is straight forward and easy-to-use.

However, to be eligible for the Chime Credit Builder you must have a qualifying $200 direct deposit to your Chime Spending Account within the last 365 days.

Qualifying Direct Deposits:

  • Employer
  • Payroll provider
  • Benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit

Unfortunately, this means bank ACH transfers, Pay Friends transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, and cash loads or deposits are not qualifying direct deposits.

Put simply, if you already have a Chime Spending Account and direct deposit set-up, then qualifying for the Chime Credit Builder will be a breeze.

Does Chime Charge Fees? 

With Chime, your financial experience is completely fee-free˜. That means no foreign transaction fee, overdraft fees, monthly service fee, standard transaction fee, or hidden fees~.

I know – it may sound to good to be true, but it is. The team at Chime is motivated more than ever to provide us – consumers – with a hassle-free experience.

Disclosure: Out-of-Network cash withdrawal fees apply. Third-party and cash deposit fees may apply.

Chime Bank Customer Service

Even though it is an online only bank, Chime employs a robust support staff to help you make the most of your account. If you run into any problems, their highly trained staff is ready and eager to assist you.

They are available by email or telephone. Their office hours are Monday – Saturday from 7AM – 7PM & Sunday 9AM – 5PM. This information can all be found online at Chime.

Chime Bank Security: Is My Money Safe with Chime? 

Yes – Chime is insured by the FDIC just like most financial institutions. Your deposits are insured up to $250,000.

Apart from Chime being FDIC insured, they employ 128-bit AES encryption, require two factor authentication, and support fingerprint authentication.

Finally, Chime also sends you real time alerts every time you make a transaction, so you know exactly what you are spending your money on.

If you see a transaction that is not yours, all you need to do is log into your Chime app and block your card or disable transactions. So… yes – 100% – your money is safe and secure with Chime.

How Do I Sign Up for A Chime Bank Account?

As they tout, signing up for Chime has never been easier. In fact, it should only take you about two minutes.

Fret not, applying for a Chime bank account will not hurt your credit score and it is completely free to do so.

To make the signing up process easier, make sure you have these documents nearby:

  • Government Issued I.D. – This can be either a passport or a drivers license. Chime just needs to verify your identification.
  • Social Security Card – Again, to open any bank account you need to provide your SSN.
  • A statement of Billing (Utility or Lease totally fine to use) – This allows Chime to verify your address in case they need to mail you anything. A proof of address is needed by all financial institutions.

How Does Chime Compare?

#1. Current Bank vs. Chime Bank

Current Bank is another Financial Technology company that offers low-fee banking services provided by Metropolitan Commercial Bank (Member FDIC). Current offers a teen checking account (designed for children) and a regular personal checking account.

Learn More: Current Bank Review

#2. Oxygen Bank vs. Chime

Oxygen Bank is another neobank, and similar to Chime Bank in that they are backed by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC.

Having no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, no minimum balance fee, and no ACH fee, Oxygen also offers generous cash back rewards program by offering 5% cash back on gas, pharmacies, food delivery, and more. You can also earn 7% at Amazon and Whole Foods. Oxygen’s cash back rewards rotate each month.

That said, Chime is larger and also offers a Secured Credit Card which is great for those who also want to start building credit.

Learn More: Oxygen Bank Review

#3. CIT Bank vs. Chime

CIT Bank is a top 50 U.S. Bank that aims to empower its member’s businesses, their savings, and our communities.

When you have a CIT checking account, you can take part in many different savings options from Money Markets to CDs. CIT Bank is a Member FDIC, so your funds are insured up to $250,000.

Learn More: CIT Bank Review

>> More: Best Banks

Chime Bank Review: FAQs

Is Chime A Real Bank?

Chime is an online and mobile financial service that provides you with a fee-free˜ financial experience.

As a customer you can sign up for the Chime Spending Account (“Checking”) and a Saving Account with a competitive interest rate.

With their top-notch user-experience, security, and customer service, Chime is one of the best financial apps and warrants some serious consideration.

Is Chime Legitimate?

As of writing, Chime has more than 10,000,000 customers. This is proof positive that they are a legit operation, respected within the financial technology community, and trusted by Americans.

Additionally, Chime is backed by some of the most prestigious and largest Venture Capital Firms in the world, and are eyeing an IPO in the near future.

How Does Chime Make Money? 

Chime earns a commission every time you use your debit card.

Merchant’s pay Visa® a flat fee for every transaction they process, which is then respectively distributed between Chime and Visa because they have entered a strategic business partnership.

Is Chime Free?

While nothing is “truly” free, Chime is as close as it gets. Chime has no monthly fees, overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees˜, or hidden fees.

Does Chime Have a Debit Card?

Yes! All Chime Spending Accounts come with a complimentary Chime Visa Debit Card. The Chime Debit Card has no monthly fees, overdraft fees, or foreign transaction fees˜ as well.

Is the Chime Debit Card a Prepaid Card?

No, the Chime Debit Card is not a prepaid card. It is a Visa Debit Card that is linked to your Chime Spending Account.

Chime Bank Review: Is Chime Bank the Right Choice? 

 

If you are looking for a fee-free˜ alternative then Chime is your best bet; however, they only offer a no fee checking account and a savings account.

But undeniably Chime provides user with a straightforward, cost efficient, and painless spending and saving accounts.

Their mobile application is second to none, making monitoring your account incredibly easy and convenient.

Chime is a financial technology company. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC

˜ Out-of-Network cash withdrawal fees apply. Third-party and cash deposit fees may apply.

^ 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.* Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires $500 in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Spending Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card purchases, including ATM withdrawals, ACH transfers, Pay Friends transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See terms and conditions

¹ APY—Annual Percentage Yield. Effective December 9, 2020 the interest rate will be 0.50%. These interest rates are variable and may change at our discretion at any time. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.⁴ Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers the round up from your Chime Spending Account to into your savings account. Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more into your savings accountChime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. 

¹To be eligible to apply for Credit Builder, you need to have received a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Spending Account within the last 365 days of your application. The qualifying direct deposit must have been made by your employer, payroll provider, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit. Bank ACH transfers, Pay Friends transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, and cash loads or deposits are not qualifying direct deposits.

 

Drew Cheneler
Drew Cheneler
Drew is a recognized Credit, Small Business, and Personal Finance Expert. He has been quoted in CNBC, Fox Business News Section, The Huffington Post, Business.com, Moneyunder30, US Chamber of Commerce, and more. He is known for breaking down complex personal finance topics into action-oriented advice, so you can make the most of your hard-earned money.