Chime is a technology company that offers digital banking options for people on the go. Chris Britt and Ryan King created Chime in 2013 as an alternative to traditional banks. This in-depth review of the growing mobile platform can help you decide if Chime is right for you.
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No monthly fees
No overdraft fees
Early access to direct deposits
Large ATM network
Poor savings rate
Difficult to make cash deposits
Out-of-network ATM charges
No monthly fees – Chime provides simple banking options free from monthly maintenance or services fees, along with no minimum balance fees. There are also no foreign transaction fees attached to the Chime.
No overdraft fees – Many traditional banks charge up to $35 for overdraft fees. Chime offers fee-free overdraft protection through SpotMe, which is available to customers who receive $500 or more in total monthly direct deposits.
Early access to direct deposits – Payday is always a good day, but with Chime it’s possible to receive your money up to two days early.
Large ATM network – Chime customers have access to more than 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs across the U.S.
Average savings rate – Chime’s savings account earns 1.00% annual percentage yield (APY), which is considered a high-yield rate. It’s much better than what’s offered by almost all traditional brick-and-mortar banks, but compared with other online banks, Chime’s savings rate still misses the mark.
Limited services – Chime offers simple banking services, so if you’re looking for a full-service bank with certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts, and lending options, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Difficult to make cash deposits – Cash deposits are only possible at retail locations with Green Dot. You may pay a fee for this service.
Out-of-network ATM charges – Chime charges a $2.50 fee for every out-of-network ATM transaction.
Who Is Chime Bank Best For?
Chime is a good fit for customers looking for simple banking services with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Chime allows customers to:
- Open a savings account with no minimum balance requirement
- Open a spending account with a debit card
- Have access to a large ATM network
- Use their debit card overseas without foreign transaction fees
- Deposit checks electronically through their mobile phone
What Does Chime Offer?
Chime keeps its service options simple, with only a two account choices available.
- Savings Account
- Spending Account (with debit card access)
Chime offers only one savings option—a high-yield savings account. Chime’s savings account comes with a savings rate of 1.00% APY, which is good but still lower than the best high-yield savings accounts on the market.
The savings account comes with two optional automatic savings programs, so customers can reach savings goals faster:
- Save When You Spend – When enabled, every purchase you make with your Chime Visa debit card is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The rounded-up amount is transferred to your savings account.
- Save When I Get Paid – Enrolled customers can automatically transfer a percentage of every direct deposit of $500 or more to their savings account.
Depositing cash into your Chime savings account is not a simple process. It requires a visit to a Green Dot location, where you may face a third-party transfer fee for the service. Customers also have the option to transfer money from their Chime spending account.
|Chime Savings Account|
|ACCOUNT NAME||MIN OPENING DEPOSIT||MONTHLY FEE||APY|
|Chime Savings Account||$0||$0||1.00%|
Chime’s "checking" account is called a spending account and comes with a complimentary Visa debit card. Though it doesn’t come with traditional check writing privileges, you can write checks using the Chime checkbook feature. You simply choose to pay bills through the checkbook feature, and Chime will send a check on your behalf, up to $5,000, typically arriving in three to nine business days. There’s no limit on how many checks you can send per day. This feature is only eligible for checks mailed to recipients in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Customers can use their debit card without paying a fee at more than 38,000 ATMs across the U.S. There are also no foreign transaction fees charged for using your Chime debit card internationally. Unfortunately, using your debit card at out-of-network ATMs yields a $2.50 charge per transaction. ATM withdrawals are limited to $500 per day.
To combat overdraft fees, Chime offers SpotMe, an overdraft protection service that allows eligible customers to avoid overdraft fees on their spending account. SpotMe is available for customers who receive monthly direct deposits totaling at least $500. Chime uses your direct deposit total from the previous 31 days to determine eligibility. Instead of charging a fee, Chime uses your next deposit to cover the overdraft amount.
Overdrafts through SpotMe are initially limited to $20, but they may be increased up to $100, based on account history and activity.
|Chime Spending Account|
|ACCOUNT NAME||MIN OPENING DEPOSIT||MONTHLY FEE||APY|
|Chime Spending Account||$0||$0||None|
Chime Customer Service
Chime embraces mobile banking as evidenced through its mobile phone app, available on iOS and Android. Through the app, customers can:
- View accounts
- Deposit checks electronically
- Send money to other Chime customers
- Freeze your card if it is lost or stolen
- Pay bills
- Transfer funds between accounts
- Receive transaction notifications
Chime offers several ways to contact its customer service when you need help. Besides logging in to the mobile app, customers can also get support from Chime by email (email@example.com) or by calling 844-244-6363 Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CST), and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST).
Chime’s banking services are provided via a partnership with Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A. Both banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means your deposits are insured by the federal government up to $250,000.
How to Bank Through Chime
Chime makes it easy to open an account. To get started, simply head to Chime’s website or download its mobile app. You’ll need to enter some basic personal information and set up an online account. There is no credit check associated with opening a Chime account.
Accounts are limited to people 18 years and older. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to open a Chime account.
Chime is a top choice for customers who want simple banking options with few fees and an excellent mobile app for banking on the go. Although Chime has no physical locations, it does have a large fee-free ATM network that will meet most customers’ in-person needs.
While its savings account offers a decent rate, there are other banks to consider that may offer a higher APY. You'll also want to look elsewhere if you want a full-service bank that offers other products, such as CDs and money market accounts.
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