Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.
Chime® is a mobile-first online bank that offers checking and savings accounts that are easy to manage on the go through a brilliant mobile app.
Chime offers a fee-free checking account with a really neat SpotMe® feature that can prevent you from incurring overdraft fees.
Additionally, its online savings account offers innovative ways to help you automatically save money. Keep reading to learn more.
Founded in 2013, Chime is an online-only, mobile-focused financial technology company, and a relative newcomer to the world of online banking.
The company’s motto is to not charge its customers unnecessary fees. Instead, it wants its customers to get ahead.
Since Chime is online only, the company doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar locations that you can pop into. Instead, all of its services are offered through its award-winning mobile app.
In fact, the Chime Mobile app has a 4.8 star (out of 5) rating on the App Store and the Google Play Store. Not too shabby!
Chime offers a checking account, branded as the Chime Checking account, and a savings account:
Chime Checking Account
Chime offers a fee-free online checking account, which is known as a Chime Checking Account.
Account-holders can process most transactions right through the mobile app. Some of the accounts main features include:
- Pay Friends: This is a free way to instantly transfer funds to friends¹.
- Mobile Check Deposit: This allows account holders to quickly deposit checks using their smartphones.
- Chime Checking Account and Visa® Debit Card: This enables you to make traditional debit card purchases wherever Visa is accepted. Customers can also withdraw funds from Chime’s network of over 60,000² ATMs throughout the U.S.
- Get Paid Early: This is one of the coolest features offered. Account holders that link direct deposits with their Chime Checking Account are eligible to receive those funds up to two days earlier than they would with a traditional bank account. This is because it processes your employer’s deposit much more quickly than traditional banks.³
- SpotMe: This is a fee-free overdraft service for eligible Chime account holders. Here’s how it works: If you overdraft your account by $50, for example, Chime will “spot” you that $50. Then, the next time you receive a direct deposit, Chime will automatically deduct $50 to pay itself back. There are no fees for SpotMe. However, after Chime has recouped its funds, account holders are given the option to “leave a tip” (similar to an Uber or Lyft ride). Who doesn’t want to give their bank a tip?! To qualify for SpotMe, customers must have at least $500 in monthly direct deposits.⁴
Chime offers no hassle online banking with a quick and easy to use app that allows you to manage all or your accounts in one place, and best of all, there are no fees to worry about.
Chime Savings Account
With Chime’s Savings Account, you can “watch your savings grow automatically,” the company says. Here’s how:
- Built-in Automatic Savings. This feature routes a percentage of your direct deposits directly into your savings account each pay period. For example, if you’d like to save 10% of your paycheck, you can do so without having to manually transfer funds.
- Save When You Spend. When you enable this feature, Chime will automatically round up your spending transactions to the nearest dollar and then automatically deposit those funds into your savings account. For example, if your cup of dark roast costs $2.54, Chime will add $0.46 to your savings account. It’s an easy way to start stockpiling proverbial pocket change.
Pros & Cons
Let’s cover some of the advantages and disadvantages of opening a Chime account:
- Competitive Interest Rate: Chime’s High Yield Savings interest rate is 10x the national average at 2.00% APY⁵.
- No Fees: By far, its no-fee philosophy is the bank’s main benefit. Thanks to features such as no overdraft fees (for eligible account holders), no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balance fees, and no foreign transaction fees, customers can be assured that they are not going to waste money on unnecessary bank fees.
- Cool and Unique Features: Chime has some of the most innovative online banking features on the market. SpotMe, Get Paid Early, Built-in Automatic Savings, and Save When You Spend all seem to be designed with the tech-savvy millennial in mind.
- Mobile-Friendly: Chime’s award-winning mobile app makes managing your account online super easy. I also really like Chime’s instant transaction alerts and the fact that you can disable your debit card right from the app.
- Second Chance Banking: If you’ve made some financial mistakes and have a less-than-ideal credit score, you can probably still open an account with Chime. This is because Chime does not use traditional credit reporting agencies to determine your creditworthiness.
- No Physical Locations: While you may not need to visit a physical bank most of the time, you’ll simply never have that option with Chime. So if you want paper checks or want to deposit cash, you’ll have to find another option.
- Tricky Cash Deposits: Cash deposits have to be made at a Green Dot location. As a result, you might have to pay a fee.
- Limited Services: Chime does not offer many of the services that bigger banks offer. With that in mind, if you want credit cards, a mortgage loan, investment products, or car loans, you’ll have to get those from another bank.
Chime takes account security very seriously. Chime accounts feature 128-bit AES encryption and you can instantly block your debit card in the app. That way, if you lose your card, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing no unscrupulous actors can charge anything to it.
Further, you can enable instant transaction alerts that notify you every time your debit card is used.
Frequently Asked Questions
What bank is Chime through?
Chime Banking services are backed by Bancorp Services and Stride Bank, N.A. As an account holder, you’ll probably never have to interact with either of those financial institutions.
Is Chime a prepaid bank?
No. Chime is not a prepaid bank. Chime offers online checking and savings accounts like other standard banks. The main difference is that Chime’s services are online only. What’s more, Chime positions itself as the ideal alternative to prepaid cards.
Do you really get paid early with Chime?
Yes! This is one of the coolest features that Chime offers. The Get Paid Early feature allows account holders that link direct deposits with their Chime Checking Account to be eligible to receive those funds up to two days earlier than they would with a traditional bank account.
This is because Chime processes your employer’s deposit quicker than traditional banks.
Can you overdraft with Chime?
Yes. You can overdraft with Chime—just like you could with any other bank. However, a major benefit of Chime is that in the event you do draw more funds than you have in your account, you may not have to pay a fee thanks to the SpotMe feature. To clarify, it is still not recommended to overdraft your account.
Is Chime legitimate?
Yes. Chime is a legitimate FDIC-insured online bank, which means that deposits of up to $250,000 are guaranteed by the government.
Is Chime Right for You?
Chime has some pretty cool features that no other institutions offer. If you absolutely hate bank fees and you don’t need the services of a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, Chime might just be the perfect fit for you.
Also, if you’re in a situation where you are trying to rebuild your credit or if you have been turned down by other banks, I would definitely consider chiming in, so to speak. Chime might be a great way to get your financial health back on track.
Choosing which bank to trust with your money is a major decision. With so many options, it can be a tricky one, too. I hope that this post has answered all of the questions you might have about Chime. Good luck and happy banking!
¹Chime account to Chime account Funds are automatically debited from your Checking Account and typically deposited into the recipient’s Checking Account within seconds. Pay Anyone transactions will be monitored and may be held, delayed or blocked if the transfer could result in fraud or another form of financial harm. Sometimes instant transfers can be delayed. Chime account to non-Chime account Sometimes instant transfers can be delayed. The recipient must use a valid debit card to claim funds. Once you are approved for a Chime Checking Account, see your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Pay Anyone Transfers details. Please see the back of your Chime debit card for your issuing bank.
²Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
³Early 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.
⁴Chime 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.
⁵The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of October 25, 2022. No minimum balance is required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.