If you have poor or non-existent credit, you may have been told that the best way to fix this is with a credit card. Credit cards allow you to establish credit, especially if you have previously had a poor credit score.
However, using them the wrong way can have the opposite effect, getting you into further financial trouble. This is why options like the Chime Credit Builder Card exist. So how does it work and what are the benefits?
This Chime Credit Builder Card review will discuss how the card works, who might benefit from it, and the pros and cons.
The Chime Credit Builder Card is a great choice for people who are just starting out establishing credit or those who have previously damaged their credit.
However, that does not mean that it is a solution across the board. It is important to review the details carefully before signing on to decide if a Chime credit card is a good choice for your financial situation.
About Chime Credit Builder Card
The Chime Credit Builder Card is intended to take all the guesswork out of making credit card payments. How does it do this?
Firstly, the card requires automatic payments. This means, of course, that you will never miss a payment, accruing extra fees or damaging your credit.
Secondly, you can’t overspend with the Chime card. The whole system is organized to make sure that you pay what you need on time without hurting your future financials.
To get a Chime Credit Builder Card, you need to have a Chime spending account. The funds and payments for your credit card will come directly from this account to ensure that you make your scheduled payments on time.
What Are The Benefits Of Chime Credit Builder?
Here are the biggest benefits of the Chime Credit Builder Card:
- Designed to build your credit and protect your future finances
- Automatic payments mean you never miss your payment date
- No overdraft option
- Helps beginners establish credit responsibly
- No annual fees
- No minimum deposit required
Pros & Cons
Like any product, the Chime Credit Builder Card has pros and cons. Here are some of the main ones that you will want to consider before signing up.
- No credit check
- No interest or monthly fees
- No minimum security deposit
- Automatic payment settings
- Other features for credit building
- Monthly credit reports only show payment and balance, not card usage
- No rewards program (a common feature with many credit card companies)
- Customers need a spending account with a minimum deposit of $200 before opening a credit card
- It may not prepare you for having an unsecured credit card in the future
How To Sign Up For Chime Credit Builder Card
Before you sign up for a Chime Credit Builder Card, you will have to set up a Chime Spending Account. These are the direct funds that the credit card uses to fund your purchases.
Although you don’t need to make a direct deposit to open your credit card, you do need to make a direct deposit of at least $200 to your spending account.
Signing up takes place completely on the Chime website. Once you put in your information and connect the credit card to your spending account, all you have to do is wait for the card and activate it. At that point, you can start making credit purchases.
So what are the features of the Chime Credit Builder Card and what makes it so special?
There Is No Credit Limit
Most credit cards work by providing a credit limit. You can spend up to the credit limit and then no more until you pay some of the debt off. The Chime Credit Builder Card works a little differently.
When you open your account, you can move as much money as you want to your Credit Builder account. This is all available right from the Chime app, so you can access everything right from your phone.
That means that there is no spending limit except what you decide. If the money is available in your account, you can use your credit card. Many people transfer a certain amount over to their Credit Builder account every time they get paid.
The bottom line is that you’re not spending money you don’t have. Instead, you are spending credit that you then use your own pre-saved money to pay off.
There Is No Interest
The Chime Credit Builder Card does not charge interest or extra fees. This means that you will never be able to spend more than you have available. There are no overdraft options or other tricks to get you to spend more than what you have.
If you need access to cash, you can transfer the money back from your credit account to your spending account at any time.
A Simplified Credit Report
Another benefit is that Chime won’t report your credit card use to credit card bureaus. This makes it simpler to track your spending — you don’t have to stick to spending below a certain percentage. You can spend whatever is in your credit account since those funds will be used at the end of the month to make an automatic payment.
What does get reported to a credit bureau is your payment history. That alone is the biggest factor in rebuilding your credit. But unlike with other credit cards, the Chime Credit Builder Card makes it simple to pay back what you owe and build your credit without paying extra interest or fees.
Every month, Chime will send a report to a credit bureau that will reflect on your credit score. This report includes:
- Your payment history
- Your most recent payment status (whether you paid your balance last month)
- The amount past due (any money you currently owe)
- How old your account is
- Your current balance (how much you have spent since your last payment)
Unlike with most other credit card companies, the report does not include a credit limit (since Chime does not use one) or how much you have used your card in the last month.
To track how much your credit score is improving, Chime offers a Safer Credit Building feature on its app so you can make sure you’re on the right track.
Credit Builder vs. Chime Debit Card
Chime also offers a regular debit card. Since the Credit Builder Card functions a lot like a prepaid debit card, you might wonder what the point of having both is.
Firstly, a debit card from Chime offers a few key features that are not yet available for the Credit Builder Card. The credit card does not let you make ATM withdrawals. Similarly, users can’t yet use features like SpotMe, which are now standard on the debit card.
Credit Builder Metal Card
Chime is currently offering a promotion of its metal card to cut back on plastic use and help members make more purchases to improve their credit.
The promotion challenges users to make 40 purchases on their credit card of at least $1.00 within 60 days. Customers who reach this challenge limit qualify for a new metal credit card.
The goal is to use the credit card for small, easily managed purchases that can be paid off quickly. You build your credit more while getting the everyday items you need and get a new credit card out of it.
How Do I Build My Credit Score With a Chime Card?
The Chime credit card is advertised as a way to help you build your credit, especially if you previously had poor or non-existent credit. But how does this work, practically? In other words, what do you need to do to start building your credit with a Chime card?
One of the best ways to do this is to move your monthly spending budget to the Credit Builder account connected to your Chime card. Throughout the month, you will make purchases on your credit card. When payments are due at the end of the month, the funds will be withdrawn automatically from the money you have already deposited.
As you make more purchases on your credit card and pay them off promptly every month by your payment date, your credit will improve.
The key difference between the Chime credit card and other credit cards is that Chime offers foolproof payment plans to ensure you make your payments on time. Many people who get in financial trouble from credit card debt have no problem making purchases but can’t pay them off on time.
If you decide that the Chime Credit Builder Card isn’t a good choice for you, don’t despair. There are other options available, even for those who have poor credit. If you are looking for a credit card for less-than-stellar credit scores, here are some options for you.
Experian Boost Credit Card
The Experian Boost card, as the name implies, offers a boost for your credit score. It does this in a few ways. One of the ways it helps supplement your credit is by adding to your credit score by factoring in the utility bills and mobile bills you already pay. When you make a payment on time — even without using your credit card — it is reflected on your credit score.
Milestone Gold Mastercard
The Milestone Gold Mastercard can be another good choice for those looking to build or repair their credit score. Unlike the Chime Credit Builder Card, it accrues high monthly fees, with an APR of 23.90 percent.
It also has a credit limit of $300, which is low for most credit cards — and a disadvantage when compared to the Chime Credit Builder Card. However, some people may find that having this kind of limit can be helpful for them, especially as they first begin establishing credit and making small purchases.
The Bottom Line
Qualifying for a credit card when you have poor credit can be a challenge. But services like the Chime Credit Builder Card open the door to new possibilities for those who are struggling.
Though it functions like a prepaid debit card, the Chime credit card offers a chance to use a credit card in a “safe” way. It is worth mentioning, however, that it is not foolproof. Even with a card like Chime, it is possible to get into more financial trouble if you do not make payments on time.
However, for many people, the Chime Credit Builder Card can be an excellent option for safely establishing credit.