Banking Checking Accounts

Chime Review [2024]: Get Your Paycheck Early

Get ahead, and stay ahead. Chime® makes managing money easier, paydays come sooner, and fees a thing of the past.

Updated July 9, 2024
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Chime®

OUR VIEW

We recommend Chime® because it has no minimum balance fees, no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no transfer fees.1 And the Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card has helped members increase their FICO Scores® by an average of 30 points, making it a painless way to build credit history.234

It also has a highly-rated mobile app, a Chime Visa® Debit Card, an optional High Yield Savings Account, and a track record of over a decade.5

So, does Chime have a place in your personal finance plans? We’re here to help you figure that out.

Pros

Chime has no monthly, minimum balance, or foreign transaction fees.
It offers SpotMe®, which offers a fee-free overdraft of up to $200 for eligible members.67
Chime offers fee-free cash deposits at Walgreens and cash deposits for a fee at 75,000 retailer locations like Walmart, CVS, and 7-Eleven.8

Cons

Fees for depositing cash at certain locations.
You must meet certain qualifications to use SpotMe, and not all factors are fully disclosed.
Mobile check deposit isn’t guaranteed for all members.9
How we evaluate products

Key takeaways

  • We recommend Chime because it has no minimum balance fees, no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no transfer fees.
  • We also like Chime’s Secured Credit Builder card, Early Pay Day, and SpotMe services.
  • Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and its debit card are provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. 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 $515 of ATM withdrawals per day with a $2.50 fee per transaction. Transactions are free at over 60,000 ATMs.10
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
Visit Chime

Chime’s checking account offers popular features like Early Pay, where you could receive direct deposits up to two days early. It also offers no monthly fees and limited overdraft protection.

Chime’s checking account features aren’t all that unique, however. For example, competitor Varo also has no monthly fees and pay up to two days early.11 Varo offers a small line of credit rather than overdraft protection.

Where Chime really shines is its user-friendly interface and the ability to send money to almost anyone, even if they don’t have a Chime account.12

Chime Savings Account basics

APY 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023)13
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 Checking Account
FDIC insured Yes
Visit Chime

Chime’s High Yield Savings account offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023). It’s important to note that this account isn’t a standalone product. It can only be opened if you have a Chime Checking account.

If you like other Chime products like the Checking account or Secured Chime Credit Builder card, then it doesn’t hurt to open a savings account as well. But if savings is your priority, consider going with an option with a higher APY, like SoFi’s savings account with an APY of up to 4.60% with direct deposit.14

Featured High Yield Savings Accounts

NexBank High-Yield Savings - 5.26% APY15

NexBank offers a powerful 5.26% APY15to help you grow your money. FDIC insured. Limited Time Bonus: Earn up to $2,000 when you refer friends and family to Raisin. Visit site to learn more.

Open Account
SoFi Checking & Savings - Earn Up to $300 When You Set Up Direct Deposit

Earn 4.60% APY14 and collect up to a $300 cash bonus with direct deposit or $5,000 or more in qualifying deposits.16 FDIC Insured.

Open Account
Barclays Online Savings - 4.35% APY17

High-yield savings account. No minimum balance.

Open Account

Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Chime also offers a Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card.2 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 a $0 annual fee, 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.18

The way it works is that you move money from your Checking Account to your Credit Builder account.19 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.20 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. 

Learn more in our Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card review.

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.21
  • No monthly fees: There are a lot of bank fees you should never pay. And Chime knows this. So with Chime you won't pay monthly maintenance fees, monthly service fees, minimum balance fees, foreign transaction fees, and you have access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs.110
  • Overdraft protection: Chime has a special program 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.7
  • Save automatically: Chime members can choose to automatically transfer a percentage of every paycheck into your Savings Account to put aside extra money toward your goals.22 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 into your Savings Account.23
  • 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.9 Cash deposits are available at over 85,000 retail locations, such as Walgreens, CVS, and 7-Eleven.8
  • 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. 

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 location that processes the cash deposit might, which could cost you up to $4.95 for each deposit.
  • Mobile check deposit isn’t guaranteed: Many other financial institutions allow you to deposit checks from using an app, but you have to meet certain qualifications to be able to do mobile check deposits with Chime. According to Chime, this is based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member’s direct deposit enrollment status. 

Who is Chime best for?

Chime is best for people who prefer to bank using a mobile app and who receive regular direct deposits from an employer or government benefits.

Here’s one example of a user who enjoys the app and its convenience from the Google Play Store.

Chime review screenshot

It could also be a good fit for those looking to raise their FICO Scores. The Secured Credit Builder Card is called out specifically in several user reviews.

Chime review screenshot

It’s important to note that results may vary and there’s no guarantee of a FICO Score increase.

If you’re not tech-savvy or prefer in-person customer service, Chime may not be the best fit for you. You also need to read the terms of Chime’s services carefully. For example, SpotMe limits start at $20 and may increase to $200 based on various factors, but some Chime members didn’t realize this when they signed up.

Chime review screenshot

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.

Since Chime is mobile-only, you’ll need to download the Chime mobile app via your smartphone by visiting the Google Play or Apple App stores. 

Chime app screenshot

Next, you’ll provide your first and last name.

 

Chime app screenshot

You'll also need to provide your email address, date of birth, and mobile phone number. You'll be sent a verification code to confirm your mobile number. 

Chime app screenshot

Chime app screenshot

Chime app screenshot

Next, you'll need to enter your home address and create a strong password. 

Chime app screenshot

Chime app screenshot

Chime will also ask for your Social Security number to verify your identity. You'll also need to provide a few details about yourself.

Chime app screenshot

Chime app screenshot

Finally, you'll need to agree to the terms of service and indicate whether you want to also apply for the Credit Builder secured Visa card. 

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

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@chime.com. You can contact one of their phone specialists by dialing 844-244-6363.

Alternatives to Chime

While Chime is a great choice, it might not be a good fit for everyone. Two alternatives to consider are Varo and SoFi.

Varo

Varo, like Chime, is an online only financial institution. Its High-Yield Savings Account has an APY of up to 5.00% (as of 07/01/24) with direct deposit, which is significantly higher than Chime’s. Unlike Chime, it doesn’t allow overdrafts, but it does have a cash advance program. Varo doesn’t allow you to send checks the way Chime does, however. Varo is a bank and is FDIC insured.

Visit Varo | Read our Varo review

SoFi

SoFi is also a fintech company, but SoFi is a bank and directly insured by the FDIC. It has a significantly higher APY on its savings account — 4.60% with direct deposit. 16 And it has a wealth of other products compared to Chime, including investing, personal loans, and mortgage loans. Chime may be a better choice for those who are looking to improve their credit however.

Visit SoFi | Read our SoFi review

FAQs 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
ATM withdrawal $515
Cash back at a register $515
Over the Counter (OTC) withdrawals (at participating banks and credit unions) $515
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.”

Chime: bottom line

There's a reason Chime is on our list of the best checking accounts. If simple, on-the-go money management is your top priority, then opening a Savings Account or Checking Account with Chime is a solid choice. We especially like Chime’s user-friendly features and the ability to deposit cash at Walgreens fee-free.

Chime has no monthly, minimum balance, or foreign transaction fees.
It offers SpotMe®, which offers a fee-free overdraft of up to $200 for eligible members.67
Chime offers fee-free cash deposits at Walgreens and cash deposits for a fee at 75,000 retailer locations like Walmart, CVS, and 7-Eleven.8

Author Details

Matt Miczulski

Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer specializing in financial news, budget travel, banking, and debt. His interest in personal finance took off after eliminating $30,000 in debt in just over a year, and his goal is to help others learn how to get ahead with better money management strategies. A lover of history, Matt hopes to use his passion for storytelling to shine a new light on how people think about money. His work has also been featured on MoneyDoneRight and Recruiter.com.