We've all had this banking experience at one time or another: Fees. FEES. FEES.
What if I told you there was a new type of account in town, and it's saying, “Enough with all the fees already!”?
I can’t exactly quote them on that, but Chime is that new account. What’s its business model? It doesn’t profit off you but rather with you. Every time you swipe your Chime debit card, Chime earns a small amount from Visa. That’s it. No overdraft fees, no minimum balance fees, no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no transfer fees. 2
Chime is fully mobile, and it offers a debit card and an optional Automatic Savings Account. So, does Chime have a place in your personal finance plans? We’re here to help you figure that out.
Make managing your money easier and less expensive with this straightforward mobile app and debit card.
- No monthly fees
- Improve your cash flow by getting your paycheck up to 2 days earlier
- Automatic savings, including round ups, helps you grow your money faster
*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 Checking Account basics
|APY||Not an interest-bearing account|
|Minimum balance for APY||N/A|
|Minimum deposit to open account||None|
|Monthly maintenance fees||None|
|ATM access||Yes, up to $500 of ATM withdrawals per day with a $2.50 fee per transaction. Transactions at MoneyPass ATMs are free.|
|Transactions per month||No limit on number of transactions; however, all transactions are subject to the $2,500 maximum amount that can be spent on the card per day.|
Chime Savings Account basics
|APY||0.50% 3 (as of May 10, 2022)|
|Minimum balance for APY||None|
|Minimum deposit to open account||None|
|Monthly maintenance fees||None|
|Transactions per month||Up to six withdrawals per statement cycle by transferring money to your Checking Account|
What we like about Chime
- Get your paycheck early: Chime members who set up direct deposit are automatically eligible to receive their paycheck up to two days early. How? Employers often deposit your money up to two days before it’s made available to you in most accounts. Chime makes your money available as soon as your employer deposits it.
- No monthly fees: There are a lot of bank fees you should never pay. And Chime knows this. So with Chime there are basically no fees at all. No overdraft fees, no monthly maintenance fees, no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, no foreign transaction fees, and over 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass network ATMs. 2
- Overdraft protection: Chime has a special program they named SpotMe to help you with accidental overdrafts that other financial institutions might charge you a lot for. With SpotMe, qualifying members can overdraft up to $200 without incurring a fee. 1
- Mobile banking: The Chime mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
- Save automatically: Chime’s Savings Account has several features that allow you to automate your savings, such as automatic transfers and an option to save when you spend. You can choose to automatically transfer a percentage of every paycheck into your Savings Account to put aside extra money toward your goals. You can also have every debit card transaction rounded up to the nearest dollar. That rounded amount will then be transferred automatically from your Checking Account (also known as a Chime Spending Account) into your Savings Account. 7
- A decent savings rate: APY stands for annual percentage yield, and is the amount your money could earn you while sitting in your account. The Chime Savings Account offers a generous 0.50% APY
(as of May 10, 2022) — the average APY for traditional savings accounts is just 0.06%
(as of May 10, 2022).
- Easy deposits: It’s simple to make deposits with Chime. Direct deposit is the easiest way to add funds to your account, but Chime also supports mobile check deposits, electronic funds transfers, and cash deposits. Cash deposits are available at over 90,000 retail locations — such as Walgreens, CVS, and 7-Eleven — using the Green Dot Network.
- Write checks: Fewer and fewer paper checks are written these days, but Chime provides an option for people who still need them. The service is known as Chime Checkbook, and it’s 100% free, takes only a few clicks to initiate, and has no limit on the number of checks you can send each day. Just enter the check details in your Chime Checkbook, either online or through the app, and Chime drops your check in the mail for you.
- Referral bonus: Chime offers a referral bonus of $100 for both you and the person you refer. The person you refer must enroll and complete a single direct deposit of $200 or more from their payroll provider within 45 days of opening their new account for you to receive the bonus.
Chime Credit Builder
Chime also offers a Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card. To qualify for the card, you need to have received a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account within the past 365 days. It has no annual fee or interest, and you don't need a credit check to apply. The Credit Builder card is designed to help you improve your credit through on-time payments. 4
The way it works is that you move money from your Checking Account to your Credit Builder account. 5 The amount you move is what you can spend. You can also use the money you moved to pay your balance by turning on Chime's Safer Credit Building feature. Chime reports your payments to the major credit bureaus. Chime doesn't report credit utilization, so you don't have to worry about high utilization hurting your credit score.
What Chime could improve
- Fees for depositing cash: Many online banking accounts don’t provide a way to deposit cash, so the fact that Chime even offers a solution to this problem is worth noting. However, depending on how often you’ll need to deposit cash, you might find yourself racking up quite a few fees. Chime doesn’t charge a fee itself, but the Green Dot location that processes the cash deposit might, which could cost you up to $4.95 for each deposit.
Earnings from a Chime Savings Account vs. a traditional savings account
The Chime Savings Account offers a generous APY compared to a traditional bank account. With more and more of the best banks competing for your money, there’s no need to settle for a less-than-generous interest rate.
To showcase the difference in earning potential, we put the Chime Savings Account and a traditional savings account up against each other. We used the standard interest rates for these types of accounts and an initial deposit of $5,000 for our example.
|Traditional Savings Account
0.06% APY 6
(as of May 10, 2022)
|Chime Savings Account
0.50% APY 3
(as of May 10, 2022)
|After one year||$5,003||$5,050|
|After three years||$5,009.01||$5,152|
|After 10 years||$5,030.09||$5,523|
As you can see, Chime offers a better return. If you're looking for a decent APY on your savings and minimal fees, Chime might be the way to go.
How to open an account with Chime
Opening an account with Chime is straightforward and can be completed through the Chime app or website in just two minutes. You must be a U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old to open an account, and all you need is a few bits of personal information to apply.
To create a Chime account, you’ll provide your first and last name, Social Security number, email, and a password. Once your eligibility is confirmed, you’ll be a new Chime member.
Since Chime is mobile-only, you’ll need to download the Chime mobile app via your smartphone. Once you complete your account in the app, you can set up direct deposit to fund your account. You can also fund your account at any time if you transfer money from an external bank account at a different financial institution.
How to withdraw money from a Chime account
Chime members are provided with a debit card when they open a Chime Checking Account, which can be used for purchases and cash withdrawals at ATMs.
Other Chime account fees
|Stop payment fee||$0|
|Incoming wire||Not offered|
|Outgoing wire||Not offered|
Chime customer service
Chime’s Member Services team can be reached 24/7 through the customer support tab in the Chime app or by email at email@example.com. You can contact one of their phone specialists by dialing 844-244-6363.
Common questions about Chime
Is Chime secure?
Chime uses a variety of bank-level security processes to ensure your money is always safe. As a Chime member, you’ll receive instant transaction notifications. If you notice an unauthorized transaction, you can immediately disable your Chime card from your Chime app or the Chime website. Chime accounts are also insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) up to $250,000. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.
Can you withdraw money from a Chime Savings Account?
You can withdraw money from your Chime Savings Account by transferring it to your Checking Account using the website or mobile app. Online transfers from your Savings Account are limited to six per statement cycle, per federal regulations.
How much money can I withdraw from Chime?
Chime doesn’t limit the number of times you can use your Chime Visa Debit Card, but it does limit the amount of money that can be spent using the card each day. While each of the following transaction types has a specific daily maximum, the total of each day’s transactions is limited to a combined $2,500:
|Transaction type||Dollar limit per day|
|Cash back at a register||$500|
|Over the Counter (OTC) withdrawals (at participating banks and credit unions)||$500|
Can I have two Chime accounts?
Chime does not offer members the option of having multiple accounts.
Does Chime offer joint accounts?
Currently, Chime does not offer joint accounts or secondary cards; however, its website states that it is “actively working on this feature.”
There's a reason Chime is on our list of the best checking accounts and our list of the best savings accounts. If simple, on-the-go money management is your top priority, then opening a Savings Account or Checking Account with Chime might seem pretty appealing. With no fees and a passive-saving feature, managing your money can be simpler and less expensive.
Disclaimer: All rates and fees are accurate as of May 10, 2022.