3 Main Differences Between Chime and Chase (2023)

Written By Branson Knowles

Chime and Chase Bank are two separate companies who largely work towards the same goal of providing their customers with a reliable finance platform to do business with. While they may work towards the same ends, they do so in a couple of very different ways.

The main differences between Chime and Chase are their physical locations, transfer methods, fees, and scale. Chase has thousands of branches across America, whereas Chime is an entirely online banking app. 

Chase uses Zelle to transfer money, while Chime is its own transfer service. Lastly, Chime is a relatively new company looking to service a pretty specific demographic, new bank customers and underbanked customers, while Chase has something for everyone.

There are more differences than those three. Chase has JPMorgan Chase, the investment side of their business that works to service everyone from emerging investors to the most affluent of clientele. 

The only customers that use Chime are going to be less serious — everyday people looking for a cheap bank and an easy way to make transfers. 

They are both solid options for anyone looking for a place to store their money, receive their paychecks, or use a debit card to make purchases.

Physical Locations and Mobile Banking Apps

Chime is an online fintech company. They don’t have any physical locations, choosing to focus on an innovative and refreshing online platform to manage all of their customers’ accounts from. The difference is Chase has physical branches and an online platform. 

Not only do they have what Chime offers in an online platform plus their over 4,500 locations across the U.S., they also came out with their mobile app years before Chime.

The Chase Bank Mobile App first hit the app store back in 2008, with Chime following four years later in 2012.

Chime went public back in 2014 after an exciting appearance on the Dr. Phil show. Chase, however, had already been on the app market for 6 years. The Chase Bank Mobile App was an innovation in modern banking, giving customers a whole new way to access their accounts.

It has been quite some time since these apps were released and they’ve both made considerable progress in the time that has passed. Both apps are relatively equal in their capabilities, giving their respective customers everything they could want from a finance app.

But what lies outside the app is where the difference is made.

Chase’s physical branches add another layer of support to the customer service experience. Sure, Chime has a 24/7 hotline you can call whenever you need help, but is there anything better than speaking to someone face to face?

I like getting things done on my own, sometimes getting support from a business chat service or other times calling a customer support representative to walk me through the problem from the comfort of my own home.

The only time I might not want to just deal with someone over the phone is when I’m dealing with my money.

Finance, banking, and money, in general, are all sensitive topics due to their incredible importance. Talking to someone in person sometimes feels necessary.

If you have an account with Chase, you can sit down with a banker just about anytime you want and get advice or have them fix the problem outright. They even do it all for free! Chime doesn’t have any physical locations, and doesn’t have anyone to help you in person.

As an ex-banker who used to work for Chase, I can’t tell you the amount of times someone would come in just to do something they could have done from home, alone. Or, they could have done it at home with the help of a customer service agent but wanted help in person.

chase locations

Most of the time I didn’t mind, we didn’t get paid on normal service appointments like helping someone reset a password, but it’s always nice to help someone when you can, especially when it’s your job!

I point this out to highlight the fact that if you have a problem with your Chime account, you’re going to have to figure it out either on your own or over the phone with a customer service agent. 

Chase has branches in all 48 lower states, so if you want to talk to a banker they’re never too far away. Consider the limitations of an online bank before you open an account with them.

Transfer Methods

Chase Bank and Chime both have their own way of going about transfers.

Being able to get money to and from your friends quickly is key for any finance app these days, and both of these financial institutions know it.

Chase, like just about every other major bank in America, has partnered with Zelle to conduct their transfer service.

Zelle is a popular transfer platform that will enable you to send and receive funds in an instant. 

chase send money with zelle

Zelle is one of the fastest transfer platforms on the market. The funds you send to another Zelle user through the service arrive immediately after you send them.

Chime works the same way; if you send money on Chime to another Chime user, the funds appear immediately in their account.

There are some key differences between the two though.

Chime users can send their money to anyone they want, even people who don’t have Chime accounts. While there are a lot of other transfer apps out there — Cash App, Venmo, and Paypal to name a couple — none of them can do that.

If you send money to someone who doesn’t have an account through Chime, they can claim it with an active debit card so long as they accept it within 14 days of the transfer. You can pay anyone from Chime, and they can claim the money without ever even getting the app.

Zelle doesn’t allow you to send money to people off of the app, but they do let you send money to people at just about any bank.

Remember how I said Chase partners with Zelle, and Zelle partners with everyone?

Zelle partners with just about every major bank in America, from Chase to Wells Fargo to Bank of America all the way to Capital One.

While Chase customers normally can’t send money directly to Wells Fargo customers, they can through Zelle. 

So long as you have someone’s email address or phone number, whichever they use through Zelle, you can send them money instantly.

There’s no fee to send someone money, even if they don’t have the same bank as you. 

I think Chase having physical branches is a benefit over Chime’s not having any, but I think this area might be closer to a tie.

Chime users can send money to anyone with a debit card for free, and Chase users can send money to anyone with a bank account. Most debit cards come from bank accounts.

Scale and Size

Again, going back to what I mentioned earlier about scale, Chime was never made for billionaires.

Chime’s main clientele and demographic are going to be those newer to banking, people who may not qualify for an account at a normal bank and need some help.

They offer low requirements to open an account, fee free services, and credit builder credit cards: all products aimed at someone taking their first journeys into banking. 

These products are great, and it’s great that Chime is here for the underbanked and unbanked. They’re a great way for younger people to get a feel for money and how to use it, all from their phone.

Chase is a little different.

While Chime came out in 2012, Chase can trace their roots back to 1799!

Their experience is a key difference between the two financial institutions, showing in their approach to businesses and the services they offer.

chase locations map

Chime is geared toward anyone newer to banking; Chase is geared toward anyone.

They have accounts you can open for your 6 year old son, looking to introduce kids to saving and spending, as well as accounts for anyone looking to retire.

Their wide range of products and services really sets them apart from Chime.

Chime’s entirety exists on four pages of an app whereas Chase has dozens of different departments that can do anything from walk you through an auto loan application to increase your credit limit. 

This is a huge advantage in Chase’s favor.

Chase can help you start your banking journey and help you to new heights, while Chime can help you start out or get back up on your feet, and that’s about it. 


Chime and Chase approach fees very differently. Chime has no overdraft, minimum balance, or monthly account maintenance fees. Chase has all of those, plus more. 

Chime only has a checking and savings account, along with a credit builder credit card. Chase, on the other hand, has a ton of different account types for people at any financial level.

Chase has different checking and savings accounts depending on the amount of business you do with them and your overall balance.

Normally, your Chase banker will try to find the best account for you based on these fees, looking for an account you can get for free.

Unfortunately, however, there are sometimes when you don’t reach your minimum requirements and incur a service fee. Fees range from $15 to $25, depending on the account. Chime, again, has $0 in account fees across the board.

What do Chime and Chase Have in Common?

Chime and Chase both approach their mobile apps in a similar manner. Both mobile apps are engineered to make banking as simple as possible for their customers. 

The apps are straightforward and easy to use. They both allow you to deposit your checks from the app itself, saving a trip to your local Chase bank or giving you the ability to deposit your check at all, in Chime’s case. 

The checks process in about the same amount of time as well, just a couple of business days.

Sending money on either app is easy and free too. Just look up your recipient within the app’s search bar and send over however much you’d like to.

Another huge similarity between the two apps is the ability to interact with your debit card.

Debit cards are more popular than ever, replacing cash as the main method of payment in recent years. Losing your debit card can be a real issue though, as you don’t want it falling into the wrong hands. 

Chase and Chime both let you lock your debit card from the app, pausing transactions on it until you know where it is. If you haven’t found it, or think someone stole it, you can always report your problem directly through the app as well.

Both Chase and Chime will work hard to make sure none of your funds are going somewhere you didn’t intend. If they did, you’re not liable for the missing funds and both banks will get your money back promptly. 

Chime and Chase will also both let you set up direct deposit from the app. They’ll give you your account number, routing number, and other information you need to set it up. Or, you can set it up through a form they can both send you. You can also decide exactly how much you want deposited.

chime paycheck percentage

While Chime doesn’t have any physical branches you can go to, they do have a network of ATMs they’ve partnered with across the country that can give you the cash you need. You can find a map of all of their ATMs in their app, similar to Chase.

chime atm map

In the Chase app, you can find both ATMs and branches on a map, along with their address and directions. You can also set a meeting with a banker from within the Chase app.

While there aren’t any Chime bankers, there are customer support specialists who can help from the app instead. 

Both apps are great at letting you monitor your finances on the go, making transfers without ever having to talk to a banker or finding the nearest location to go and grab some cash.

They’re both free too, so if you’re a customer of either bank and don’t have their apps I’d suggest downloading them right away.

More Useful Articles About Banking With Chime and Chase


About the Author

Lead Researcher, Digital Banking in the U.S. at TopMobileBanks

Branson Knowles is a former banker and current writer at TopMobileBanks.com.

During his years banking, he helped his clients discover their financial freedom through smart savings and spending goals. He started as a teller before becoming a banker and obtaining his federal licenses, furthering his clients' on their financial journeys.

After becoming one of the top producing bankers in the state, Branson decided it was time to pursue his own financial freedom. He started writing freelance finance articles before joining TopMobileBanks.com, breaking down banking like only an ex-banker could.

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