Chime and Chase are two of the most well-known and popular banks in the US. Chime vs Chase is a battle between the new and the old, digital vs traditional.
However, Chime has seen rapid growth since it was founded less than 10 years ago, yet they are still tens of millions of customers short of Chase. What bank has better rates, more services, and is meant for you? Stick around and read our Chime vs Chase review.
But first, here’s our short verdict:
Chime offers a more modest digital banking experience with its no-frills bank account. On the other side is a mega-bank, Chase, and its seemingly endless financial services and many account types.
How are Chime and Chase the same?
Chime and Chase are both well-known and extremely popular with tens of millions of customers. Both of their apps are also top-notch with millions of positive reviews on app stores.
Both companies also have tens of thousands of ATM locations where you can withdraw money for free and a $2.50 fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
This is pretty much where the likeness between Chime and Chase ends as Chime was founded to disrupt the traditional banking system that Chase is at the forefront of.
How are Chime and Chase different?
There are many inherent differences between Chime and Chase. Firstly, Chime is a completely digital bank with no bank branches while Chase is a traditional bank with thousands of branches nationwide.
Chime also offers a free account with no monthly fees and no hidden fees, something that their customers greatly appreciate. Chase, on the other hand, doesn’t offer a free account but its account fees can be waived with qualifying deposits or a minimum daily balance.
Chime also offers far fewer financial services with their simpler checking and savings account that also focuses on disenfranchised folks with no or bad credit history.
Chase is part of a huge conglomerate with more than 250,000 employees and is a full-blown bank with everything that that entails. Basically, all your financial services could be met by banking with them. We’re talking about personal and auto loans, mortgages, CDs, credit cards, investments, and more.
Who should use Chime?
Chime has more than 12 million customers so they must be doing something right. Customers typically love that there are no fees and that it’s easy to sign-up.
If you don’t care for physical bank branches and like to do all your banking online or from a sleek mobile app, then Chime is definitely for you. People that want a free bank account with no credit score checks while applying will love this account as well.
If your credit score is low or non-existent, Chime has a free Credit Builder Program that might appeal to you and that will provide you with a free credit card that could put you on a better path.
Chime doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of traditional banks or even digital banks like Axos, but what it does offer is outstanding.
Who should use Chase?
Chase is the 2nd bank in the US by the number of branches. If having access to a physical branch is important to you, Chase should be high on your list.
It’s also great for those that don’t have an account with Chase already as the bank offers bonus incentives upon signing up. For instance, you can earn $225 by simply opening a new Chase Total Checking account and setting up a direct deposit.
Being a traditional bank, Chase has a wide variety of banking and financial services. Most, if not all of these accounts and services can be accessed through their fantastic and highly-rated mobile app.
If you do have an appetite for various financial services that are easily accessed, Chase will be an excellent choice.
Pros and cons
- Free to sign up
- No monthly fees
- Get paid early (paycheck)
- Overdraft $100 with no fees
- Free Chime to Chime payments
- Credit builder card
- Savings account
Chime was founded in 2013 by Chris Britt and Ryan King, who are the company’s CEO and CTO, respectively. It’s a fintech company that has partnered with The Bancorp Bank and the Stride Bank to be able to bring banking services to its customers. This partnership also gives Chime’s customers FDIC deposit insurance of up to $250,000.
Fintech companies in the US still have to partner with existing banks to offer checking and savings accounts, and all other banking services. So Chime partnering with traditional banks is nothing out of the ordinary.
So, what features and benefits do you get with Chime? You get a free mobile banking app and Visa debit card with no account fees and no sneaky fees in general. There’s also the benefit of getting paid up to two days early if you set up a direct debit, fee-free overdrafts, free ATM withdrawals, a credit building program, etc.
- Monthly fee
- Pay bills
- Deposit checks
- Chase Credit Journey
- Spending summary
- Savings account
- Mortgages and loans
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or simply Chase, or Chase Bank, was founded all the way back in 1799 as The Manhattan Company. It’s one of the big four banks in the US that also include Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. Together, they hold 45% of all US customer deposits (as of 2018).
Chase has more than 4,700 branches nationwide but also offers online and mobile banking that lets you manage all your accounts, deposit checks, perform commission-free trading, pay and get paid, check your credit score, set up your budget, etc.
This famous bank offers all that you’d expect from an established bank. Meaning, a broad range of financial services for personal, business, and commercial customers.
How to open a Chime account?
You’ll have to enter your full name, email, address, password, and Social Security Number. These details will be used, not only to open the account but also to verify your identity.
Remember, there are no credit score checks but you have to be a US citizen and be at least 18 to open a Chime account.
How to open a Chase account?
Although you can open a Chase bank account in the branch, it’s far easier to do it from home by using their mobile app or website. Only around 25% of people open a Chase account this way, which is rather surprising.
Simply visit their website or download their highly-rated app from Apple or Google. You’ll need to have your SSN handy, as well as a driver’s license or an ID. ANd you’ll also have to fill in your personal information like name, address, phone number, email, etc.
Chime has only one checking/spending account. It also has a savings account and a Credit Builder Program.
The Chime spending account is, as we already mentioned, free and comes with a Visa debit card. It’s a run-of-the-mill account that is luckily attached to a superb app developed by a fintech company from the ground up.
In order to apply for a savings account, you have to have a spending account already. Chime’s savings account comes with a 0.50% APY which is quite high for a traditional bank but a bit low for a digital bank as they usually offer higher savings rates.
Still, there are other features such as the automatic savings feature that will round up your transactions and put the spare change in the savings account, making it easy to save on autopilot.
There are no minimum balances and you can withdraw money to the savings account whenever you wish.
The credit builder account is basically a credit card that will report your purchases and on-time payments to major credit bureaus and in the process, hopefully, build up your credit score. It’s a free account with no fees.
Chase is a banking powerhouse with many account types and financial services. It has three everyday checking accounts:
- Total Checking
- Secure Banking
- Premier Plus Checking
Then there are kids and students accounts:
- First Banking
- High School Checking
- College Checking
Plus, two premium account types – Sapphire Banking and Private Client Banking.
The Kids and High School accounts are the only ones without a monthly fee. All other checking accounts have a fee that can generally be waived by qualifying deposits or balances.
You’ll choose a checking account based on the fact that you need free out-of-network ATM withdrawals (Premier Plus) or free international cash withdrawals (Premium accounts), overdraft services (Secure has no overdraft), or fees waived for checks, and the number of additional free checking accounts.
Chase savings accounts and CDs are really nothing to write home about as their interest rates are abysmal and range from 0.01% to a maximum of 0.05%!
Chime is a straightforward digital banking account with fee-free overdrafts of up to $200, early paychecks, and a credit builder program. And that’s it basically. There are no loans, business accounts, mortgages, etc. Simplicity at its best.
Chase, on the other hand, offers many services outside of their checking and savings accounts. There are mortgages and home loans, auto loans, and 31 different credit cards to choose from that cover travel, dining, business, hotel, cashback, and other categories.
You can also opt-in to invest your money, commission-free, into stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, managed portfolios, etc. through J.P. Morgan, and all manageable in the Chase app.
Both Chime and Chase have excellent apps that let you manage most, if not all, aspects of your accounts. Both apps have a 4.8-star rating on the App Store from 316k (Chime) and 3.7M (Chase) ratings.
In Chime’s app, you can check ATM locations, access overdraft, Credit Builder Program, track your budget in detail, transfer money, etc.
Chase’s multifaceted app has more functionalities because the bank has more services available. Besides the usual account access and management, you can track your budget and access the credit score, transfer money, and deposit checks with your camera, plus get personalized insights and even advice.
Because Chase is part of J.P. Morgan, you can also access the trading platform to buy, sell, or watch stocks, ETFs, etc. Powerful stuff, and unimaginable 5-10 years ago.
Number of customers
Chase is the leader in digital bank accounts with over 55 million active digital customers including more than 40 million mobile customers. It’s continuing to expand and make acquisitions in the US and worldwide.
Chase’s biggest assets are its wealth of data and the ability to offer a wide range of services on a seamless digital platform which is something that challenger digital banks still struggle to do.
Chime has a 3.9-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, with 77% of 7,133 reviewers giving it an excellent mark and 9% a bad one. With a 3.9 score, Chime is placed better than Wells Fargo (2.4), BoA (1.4), Capital One (1.3), and Chase (1.3) but worse than MoneyLion (4.7), Current (4.2), and Varo (4.4).
Chase has only a 1.3-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, with only 7% of 603 reviewers giving it an excellent mark and 86% a bad one. With a 1.3 score, Chase is the same as Capital One (1.3), but worse than BoA (1.4), Wells Fargo (2.4), Chime (3.9) MoneyLion (4.7), Current (4.2), and Varo (4.4).
Banks and their clients are under constant threat of hackers, scammers, and other cybercriminals. This is especially true if you’re some of the most popular banks in the country.
Chime has seen its fair share of hackers and scammers targeting its systems and customers. But Chime has also been closing possibly thousands of accounts that were and weren’t part of foul play, such as fraudulent deposits. Many ordinary customers seem to have paid the price as well, being unable to access their accounts or money for several months.
Generally, Chime is utilizing all the latest security features to secure its systems and customer data. We, as customers, also have to do our part and be careful not to get scammed.
Where do I even start with Chase? When you’re more than 200 years old, you’re bound to collect many controversies and even security breaches along the way. The bank apparently collaborated with the Nazis during WWII. But recent years were also filled with controversies.
To paint the picture, the bank paid $16 billion in settlements and fines from 2011 to 2013. That’s a hefty sum of money. The bank also had security breaches in recent years, exposing customer data.
But, same as Chime, your money is generally safe as the bank utilizes the latest technology to keep accounts and data safe.
Chime and Chase alternatives
Axos Bank is a sheep in wolves clothing and a pioneer of digital banking. They were doing this while CEOs of some other digital banks were still in pre-school. They have low to no fees and offer competitive interest rates and convenient access to their SME, commercial, and of course, personal checking accounts.
MoneyLion offers a stellar all-in-one financial service that has you spending, saving, budgeting, investing, and even building up credit. If you’re still on the fence about getting a digital bank account, MoneyLion might just tip you over.
SoFi is a jack of all trades; a cash management account that earns interest. It also does stock, ETF, and crypto investing and offers all kinds of insurances and loans, including mortgages. You name it, Sofi has got it.
Varo Bank is the first challenger bank that got a banking license in the US. Its bank account comes with no fees and is therefore great for everyday banking, spending, and traveling inside and outside of the States. There’s also an excellent savings account, early payday, and much more for free.
RELATED: The 20 Best Digital Banks In The USA
The bottom line
Perhaps not a fair comparison, Chime vs Chase is a battle of David vs the goliath. And, although Chime is a goliath for other challenger banks on the market, it’s still a David compared to Chase.
Chase is, after all, a 220-year-old bank that offers comparatively more financial services than most banks. Still, they have managed to make an excellent shift to digital banking and offer a top-notch bank account with, albeit, low-interest rates that won’t satisfy anyone.
Adrian Volenik is a fintech enthusiast who loves testing and reviewing digital banking apps and financial products in general. How many digital banking accounts can one man have? Not enough, if you ask Adrian. As his wallet will soon explode if he doesn’t cut back on the number of cards.