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Disclaimer: Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A, Members FDIC.
Chime® Checking Account
- Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
- Intro Bonus N/A
The Chime® Checking Account is an excellent choice if you're looking for a checking account that comes with a long list of valuable features.
A Solid Checking Account with Serious Perks
The Chime Checking Account is an excellent choice if you’re hoping to avoid ongoing balance requirements and monthly maintenance fees. This account also comes with a long list of valuable features including early direct deposit – which allows members to access their paycheck up to 2 days early*** – a Chime Visa® Debit Card, FDIC insurance provided through Chime’s bank partners**** and account management through the mobile app.
In addition to the Chime Checking Account, the company also offers a high-yield savings account and Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card† that doesn’t require a credit check to apply.
- No monthly fees or maintenance fees
- Included Chime Visa® Debit Card
- No minimum opening deposit
- Receive paychecks up to two days early with direct deposit
- No physical branch locations
Chime isn’t like other banks because it isn’t actually a bank. Chime is a financial technology company that offers banking products through its partners, The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A.
As such, while some online Chime reviews choose to describe Chime as a bank, it’s not technically correct.
That said, Chime has been offering banking products since 2013, making it one of the pioneers of online banking.
Recently, Chime moved into the credit space, offering a secured credit card that can help you build credit from scratch or rebuild credit after you’ve made some missteps.
If you’re thinking of getting a Chime account, here’s what you need to know.
Chime Checking Account Review
Chime has minimal fees, high savings yield and some innovative features. If you’re interested in a checking account with Chime, here’s what you can expect.
Features and Benefits
The Chime Checking Account functions the same way as a regular checking account. You’ll get a Visa debit card, direct deposit and account management through the mobile app. But here are some other features you’ll enjoy if you have a Chime account.
Not only does Chime not charge a monthly fee, but it was also one of the first finance companies to offer fee-free overdraft up to $200 for eligible members.
The company will allow you to overdraw up to $200 on debit card purchases without charging a fee. This feature is called SpotMe®, and you’ll be eligible for it once you receive a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account each month.**
With SpotMe, your negative balance will be repaid once you make your next deposit, and you’ll have the option to include a tip. It’s important to note that you’re not obligated to, and tipping for the SpotMe feature won’t impact your eligibility for the program.
Chime doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees or maintenance fees, and you can make withdrawals at 60,000+ fee-free ATMs in the MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance networks*.
That said, it’s important to note that when a bank or credit union says they have no hidden fees, that doesn’t mean there are no fees at all.
The company does charge a $2.50 fee for out-of-network ATM and over-the-counter withdrawals, and there are potential fees if cash deposits are made at places other than Walgreens.
Early Direct Deposit
Chime also offers the possibility of getting your paycheck up to two days earlier*** than some traditional banks. This works because most employers process their payroll several days in advance of your payday.
In fact, Chime received a lot of praise on social media after the American Rescue Plan Act was passed because its members received their stimulus checks faster than many Americans.
If you lose your Visa debit card, you can disable it with just one swipe from your Chime mobile app. You’ll also be able to shut off international transactions if you happen to lose your card while you’re abroad.
The Chime app will also ping you every time there’s a transaction from your debit card, so you can watch out for unauthorized transactions that way.
Easy-to-Use Mobile App
Because Chime accounts are online-only, the company has invested a lot into its app, making it easy to use. You’ll be able to view account transactions and history, make changes to your features and send money to friends and family members fee-free.
The transfers are faster than similar peer-to-peer apps because the money is deposited directly in their Chime account. If the recipient is not a Chime member, they will need a valid debit card to claim their funds.
If you receive a paper check, you’ll also have the option to deposit§§ it via your mobile app. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Deposits in Chime accounts are FDIC-insured through their bank partners.***** The government agency offers up to $250,000 in insurance in the event that the bank holding your money fails.
That’s $250,000 per bank, per depositor, per ownership category — which means if you have a joint account with your partner, you’ll be insured up to $500,000.
Because Chime offers an online-only banking experience, there are no brick-and-mortar locations where you can get help. If you prefer in-person service, Chime may not be the best option for you.
For the most part, this is the only major drawback to using Chime over other options.
Chime provides a wealth of resources on its website to help with any question you have. However, if you have a question, you can reach out 24/7 through your mobile app, via email or by phone.
Some banking services only offer customer service over the phone, which can be frustrating, especially if there’s a long wait time. Having multiple channels to reach Chime’s customer service team is an excellent benefit.
Other Products and Services
Chime also offers a couple of other financial products, including a Savings Account and a Credit Builder secured credit card. Here’s what you need to know about each one.
Chime Savings Account
Chime offers a high-yield savings account with a 2.00% (Annual Percentage Yield) APY‡, which is notably higher than the national average††, according to the FDIC. There are no minimum balance requirements to earn that rate, and you also won’t be capped on how much you can earn.
In addition to a higher rate on your savings deposits, the Chime account also makes it easier to save with two of its features:
- Save When I Get Paid‖: You’ll have the option to automatically transfer a portion of your paycheck from checking to savings every time you get paid.
- Round Ups§: Every time you make debit card purchases, Chime will round up your transaction to the nearest dollar and transfer the round-up amount to your savings account.
With both of these features, which you can decide whether or not to use, you may be able to boost your savings and work toward your financial goals.
Chime Credit Builder
The Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is the company’s first offering in the credit space. The card is incredibly unique in that it doesn’t charge interest* — that’s right, there are no interest charges or annual fees.
What’s more, the card’s issuer, Stride Bank N.A., doesn’t run a credit check when you apply.
Your credit limit will be equal to the amount you transfer from your Chime account to your secured account¶. As you use the card and pay off what you owe, Chime will report those payments to all three national credit bureaus, which can help you increase your credit score.
That said, Chime doesn’t report your credit utilization, which is significant. One of the problems with secured credit cards (and other cards for little to no credit) as a whole is that they typically have very low credit limits. That means it’s easy to use up a large percentage of your available credit, even if you’re not spending a lot.
Your credit utilization rate is the second-most influential factor in your FICO® score, so the fact that Chime doesn’t report your credit utilization is a huge win.
Chime Review: Is it Right for You?
It’s difficult to tell by looking at just one bank account to determine if it’s the best fit for you. If you haven’t already, take the chance to compare what Chime has to offer compared to other similar products.
If you like to have in-person service, you may also want to include traditional banks and credit unions in your search.
As you shop around, it’s important to consider all the features each account has to offer, not just a few.
For example, some online bank accounts offer cash back rewards, ATM fee reimbursements and even checking accounts that offer interest in addition to their savings accounts.
Take your time to research the best checking accounts to make sure you get the best one for you.
The Bottom Line
The Chime Checking Account is a legit way to do your banking. While the financial technology company doesn’t offer some of the same perks that some other online banking services provide, it does give you some solid features that will make your life easier and your savings more effective.
Before you apply for an account, make sure you compare Chime with other banking services to ensure you’re getting the best deal for you. And while the company’s savings APY is high, it is definitely possible to find a higher rate.
Take your time to compare your banking options, and don’t be afraid to make changes down the road if you need to. If you decide you want to stick with your current bank account, you can make that decision knowing you thoroughly investigated Chime.
Alternatively, you may choose to use a Chime account in conjunction with your other bank accounts. In some circumstances, this can make it possible to maximize the value you get from each account’s features.
Ready to open a Chime Checking Account? Start here.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Chime Checking Account is an online checking account. The account gives members access to a debit card and a large fee-free ATM network and automatic savings tools for customers with a Chime savings account. With a Chime Checking Account, customers can also receive direct deposits up to two days early.
The Chime Checking Account carries no opening balance requirements, no ongoing balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. The checking account also carries no foreign transaction fees and no card replacement fees. Among the only fees charged by Chime are a $2.50 fee for out-of-network ATM use, and if you make a cash deposit somewhere other than Walgreens, you may also incur fees.
Chime offers a debit card and credit card. Customers receive a free Visa debit card when opening a Chime Checking Account. With a Chime debit card, customers can access more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs across the U.S. through partnerships with Allpoint, MoneyPass, and Visa Plus Alliance ATM networks. Chime charges a $2.50 fee for out-of-network ATM cash withdrawals (this also applies to over the counter withdrawals that are out of network). You may also get charged a fee by other banks or ATM owners for using an out-of-network ATM.
Customers can also apply for a Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card. The no-fee secured credit card is geared toward customers who want to build up their credit. The card is secured by a deposit, which also acts as your credit limit. There is no credit check required when applying for the Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card.
Chime currently offers a referral bonus to customers who invite friends to open an account. To earn the bonus, your friends must enroll in an account using your referral link and make a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more within 45 days of account opening. Once the bonus terms are met, you and your friend will each earn a $100 bonus.
Featured photo courtesy of Chime
*Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
**Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals 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. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions. Tipping or not tipping has no impact on your eligibility for SpotMe.
***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.
****Deposits in Chime accounts are FDIC insured through The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
*****FDIC deposit insurance limit is $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. See details at http://www.chime.com/savings-apy-and-program-banks/
†To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.
‡The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is accurate as of November 17, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
‖Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Checking Account into your savings account.
§Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.
¶Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa 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.
§§Mobile Check Deposit eligibility is determined by Chime in its sole discretion and may be granted based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member’s direct deposit enrollment status.
††The average national savings account interest rate of 0.21% is determined by FDIC as of November 17, 2022 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 National Rates and Rate Caps to learn more.