Chime Review [2021]: Get Your Paycheck Early

Get ahead, and stay ahead. Chime makes managing money easier, paydays come sooner, and fees a thing of the past.
Last updated Apr 1, 2021 | By Matt Miczulski
Chime Account Review

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Fees. FEES. FEES.

According to SNL Financial and CNNMoney, America’s three biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo — took in more than $6 billion in 2015 just from ATM and checking account overdraft fees.

That’s $6 billion. And that only takes into account three banks and two of the many fees often charged to customers. But 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.3

Chime is fully mobile, and it offers a debit card and an optional Automatic Savings Account. So, does Chime have a place in your financial plans? We’re here to help you figure that out.

Quick Summary

Make managing your money easier and less expensive with this straightforward mobile app and debit card.

  • No hidden fees - no overdraft, no minimum balance, no monthly service 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
In this Chime review:

Chime Spending 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.
FDIC insured Yes

Chime Savings Account basics

APY 0.50%1 (as of Feb. 16, 2021)
Minimum balance for APY None
Minimum deposit to open account None
Monthly maintenance fees None
ATM access None
Transactions per month Up to six withdrawals per statement cycle by transferring money to your Spending Account
FDIC insured Yes

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 hidden fees: Basically no fees at all, for that matter. 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 ATMs.3
  • 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. With the Chime Save When I Get Paid feature, 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 Spending Account into your Savings Account.4
  • A decent savings rate: The Chime Savings Account offers a generous 0.50% APY1 (as of Feb. 16, 2021) — the average APY for traditional savings accounts is just 0.05%2 (as of Feb. 16, 2021).
  • 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 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. The maximum amount you can send is $5,000 per check per day, up to $10,000 per month.
  • Referral bonus: As of Feb. 16, 2021, Chime is offering a referral bonus of $50 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 Benefits

  • No hidden fees - no overdraft, no minimum balance, no monthly service fees
  • Get your direct deposit paycheck up to 2 days earlier
  • Automatic savings helps you grow your money faster

What Chime could improve

  • Limitations on check writing: Chime sets a limit on how much you can send per check. A $5,000 maximum might be more than enough for some people, but if you want to use a check for substantial purchases, such as paying a contractor for work being done on your home, this $5,000 limit can get in the way.
  • Fees for depositing cash: Many online 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 savings 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

0.05% APY2

(as of Feb. 16, 2021)

Chime Savings Account

0.50% APY1

(as of Feb. 16, 2021)

Starting balance $5,000 $5,000
After one year $5,003 $5,050
After three years $5,009 $5,152
After 10 years $5,030 $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.

How to withdraw money from a Chime account

Chime members are provided with a debit card when they open a Chime Spending Account, which can be used for purchases and ATM withdrawals.

Other Chime account fees

Overdraft fee $0
Stop payment fee $0
ACH transfers $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 support@chimebank.com.

You can contact one of their phone specialists by dialing 844-244-6363; they’re available Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST or Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.

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.

Can you withdraw money from a Chime Savings Account?

You can withdraw money from your Chime Savings Account by transferring it to your Spending 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
ATM withdrawal $500
Cash back at a register $500
Over the Counter (OTC) withdrawals (at participating banks and credit unions) $500
Card purchases $2,500

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.”


Final thoughts

If simple, on-the-go money management is your top priority, then opening a Savings Account or Spending 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 Feb. 16, 2021.

Chime Benefits

  • No hidden fees - no overdraft, no minimum balance, no monthly service fees
  • Get your direct deposit paycheck up to 2 days earlier
  • Automatic savings helps you grow your money faster