chime bank
chime card

Maybe you don’t have an ideal credit score. Maybe you want a second chance at getting your finances straightened out. Maybe you want something simple and easy to use. No matter your reasoning, Chime Bank may provide the solution. 

You may have heard the name, but you don’t quite understand what Chime is. Is it an app? Is it a bank? No, it’s so much more, and to answer all of your questions, we’ve created the complete Chime Bank Review. Here we discuss the general idea behind Chime, what it’s evolved into, who it serves best, and much more. 

So, whether you’re considering a new banking institution or are just curious about the inner workings behind the company, keep reading for a thorough Chime Bank review. 

About Chime Bank

Money is the number one stressor among people. Managing money can cause anxiety and chronic depression, among others which can significantly impact your life. Chime Bank understands that people have their financial hardships whether short-term or prolonged. To help, the company founded its bank with the mission to give users financial peace of mind. 

Chime Banking wants to help, so it doesn’t profit off of your use. Instead, they provide a secure banking solution to help you get ahead and stay in control of your finances all from a simplistic, easy-to-use online platform.

What’s Special About Chime Bank

With all of the different banks out there, what makes Chime Bank special? Chime Bank has many beneficial features, such as:

  • No hidden fees
  • Get paid up to 2-days early 
  • Automatically grow your savings
  • Digital banking
  • Mobile banking
  • Fee-free overdraft
  • Mobile payments
  • Surplus of ATM locations 

Who is Chime Bank Best For?

Unlike other banks, which require in-person consultations, minimum deposits, and other monotonous actions and complications, Chime Bank is best for those looking for a simple, completely mobile, low-maintenance bank account. 

Because of its simplicity, Chime Bank is a preferred choice for those who are new to banking and want something straightforward to manage their money. Of course, Chime Bank has many preferable features that appeal to a wider variety of individuals too.  

Pros:

  • No minimum balance requirement to open a savings account
  • No monthly fees
  • No foreign transaction fees (if you go abroad)
  • Deposit checks easily through the mobile app
  • Get your paycheck up to 2-days early 

Cons:

  • The 0.5% annual percentage yield for average savings rate is among the lowest of mobile banks
  • Limited services
  • Limited cash deposit locations
  • $2.50 out-of-network charge for ATMs not affiliated with Chime

How Chime Bank is Regulated

Chime Bank and the banks that back it are members of the FDIC, meaning you can trust them to correctly handle and maintain your funds. Chime accounts, because of their FDIC membership, federally insure your deposits up to $250,000. 

What Bank Does Chime Use

Since Chime Bank is not technically a bank itself, rather a technology company, it relies on two banking institutions: Bankcorp Bank or Stride Bank, previously known as Central National Bank. Both banks are members of the FDIC and adhere to federal laws and regulations concerning banking. 

How to Open a Chime Bank Account

Unlike opening a bank account which requires an in-person review, including a ChexSystem process that can take some time to get through, opening a Chime Bank Account only takes minutes. 

Since this is a virtual banking system, you must first direct yourself to their website to apply. You can navigate to their “Get Started” option from the website. There it prompts you for your email address. 

Once you’ve entered your email address, Chime will ask some basic informational questions, much like any bank would, including your name, address…etc. After filling out the application, you can expect nearly instant approval. From there, you can expect a physical Chime card to arrive at your previously input address within 7 to 10 business days. 

You can get your account set up from the website and download the Chime Bank app in the app store for mobile banking access without the card.

Who’s Eligible

The most desirable aspect of banking with Chime is its eligibility requirements. There aren’t any, except you must be at least 18 years of age or older. Other than meeting the age requirement, anyone can apply and get approved. You don’t have to have a stellar financial record or a credit score above a certain amount to get started banking with Chime. 

Chime Bank Features

As previously mentioned, Chime Bank has many beneficial features that make the service desirable. Here, we’ll go a little bit deeper into what those features are and how you can benefit from them. Chime Bank’s features include: get paid early, online banking, fee-free overdraft, no hidden fees, mobile banking, automatic savings, mobile payments, security, and control.

Get Paid Early

You can get paid up to two days early using direct deposit with Chime Bank. No, this isn’t a feature similar to a payday loan which requires repayment within the payment date. Instead, Chime gives you access to your funds quicker. 

All you have to do is set up your direct deposit account with your employer to connect to your Chime Spending Account. From there, you can sit back and expect your funds promptly when you need them, which just so happens to be earlier than it might with a traditional bank.

Keep in mind that early funds access isn’t just about using Chime, but about your payer’s payment file submission timing. Chime makes funds available as soon as the institution receives your payer’s payment file, which can occur two days earlier than your stated payday. 

Online Banking

While most banks nowadays have online banking options, they weren’t developed by a technology company as Chime was. Chime Bank’s online banking platform is renowned for its simplicity and ease of use. 

From the online platform, you can access your account, view funds, and receive electronic deposits and statements without worrying about vital information getting lost in the mail.

Fee-Free Overdraft

Many banks, if not all, will charge you for overdrafting your account. These charges can add up to significant amounts and negatively affect your financial record. Chime does away with this rule. Instead of charging you for overdrafting your account, Chime allows up to $100 worth of overdrafting without penalty. 

With Chime’s SpotMe feature, the company applies your next deposit to your Spending Account as a way of paying back the balance borrowed for overdrafts. With SpotMe, you don’t have to worry about paying back the funds; Chime takes care of that for you. 

While SpotMe is another one of Chime’s fee-free services, you don’t have to worry about additional payments, but you have the option to tip the service as a way of paying it forward. Though the pay-it-forward option is not required, it’s a polite, friendly option to use. 

You can also get your SpotMe limit boosted. Without using any of your money, you can send friends and family “boosts” which increase their SpotMe limits, and they can do the same in return. It’s a nice way of giving you and your loved ones some extra financial wiggle room. 

No Hidden Fees

The No Hidden Fees feature means no minimum balance fees, no overdraft fees, no foreign transactions fees, and no monthly fees. All of those fees that come with a traditional bank can add up and cause stress. Why are you paying for things you didn’t know you needed to pay for?

Chime is upfront about its payment expectations by prohibiting them. The only real fee you can expect while using Chime Bank is a $2.50 no-network ATM charge, but it details that on their homepage and compensates with having an extensive ATM network of their own.  

Mobile Banking

Much like their online banking platform, Chime Bank’s mobile banking app works near flawlessly. With over 135,000 five-star reviews in the app store, Chime provides a high-quality mobile banking platform for all people to enjoy and easily navigate. The app is compatible with smartphone devices, including iPhone and Android. 

From the app, you can transfer money to friends, deposit checks directly into your account, pay your bills, and set up options to help grow your savings. You can also set up nifty notifications to keep you in the know 24/7 about what’s going on with your Chime account. 

When it comes to sending money to friends and family, you can take advantage of the Pay Friends feature within the app. This feature lets you send money directly to whoever’s account no matter if they have a Chime account or not. Pay Friends, much like the rest of Chime’s features, is fee-free. 

Similarly, Chime’s mobile banking app lets you transfer funds between your accounts smoothly with the swipe of a finger. Since Chime supports various mobile payment apps such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, you can set up your mobile banking account as a mobile payment app.  

If you need to find an ATM and don’t want to succumb to the out-of-network charge, Chime Bank’s mobile app has an ATM map feature that gives you a clear display of the Chime-approved ATMs in your immediate area. 

Automatic Savings

Since Chime Bank is founded in the “Second Chance Banking” belief that everyone deserves the chance to improve their finances, it comes equipped with an effective Automatic Savings feature and subsequent savings boosting benefits. 

One option for automatic savings is to set up your Chime account for “Savings When You Spend,” which rounds up every payment you make with your Visa debit card and adds the difference to your savings account. It’s only a little bit of money, but the more you use the card, the more you’ll end up saving. 

The other option for automatic savings is the “Savings When You Get Paid” option. When you hook up your Chime Spending Account to direct deposit, you can enable this automatic saving feature to take a percentage out of your paychecks every time and deposit it into your savings account.  

Mobile Payments

Mobile payment has taken off in recent years with applications such as Google pay and Apple pay leading the way. To keep up with the competition and make payments easier for users, Chime has enabled its version of mobile payment. 

Ultimately, Chime’s mobile payment means you can make payments with only your smartphone, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting your wallet at home or not having enough cash on you at the moment. 

Security and Control

With all banking situations, safety is of the utmost concern, especially with such a heavy focus on virtual interactions. You want to make sure your personal information and money are safe with Chime. Fortunately, the technology company behind Chime comes equipped with rigorous protection protocols. 

With Chime, your money is not only insured up to $250,000 but your information is protected with encryption and other safeguarding practices. Visa’s Zero Liability Policy protects your Chime debit card from unauthorized sales, so you can freely swipe your card wherever you please. 

If you happen to lose your card, or someone steals it from you, you can quickly disable transactions on the app or online site. To access the mobile app or online platform, you can enable two-factor authentication to protect your data further. Two-factor authentication compatibility means that Chime can require both a password, fingerprint, retina scan, or what have you.

Chime Bank Accounts

Unlike most traditional banks, Chime Bank only offers two options for opening a bank account, either a savings or spendings account. However, Chime has most recently introduced a third option, the Chime Credit Builder credit card. 

Spending Account

Chime Bank’s Spending Account is very similar to a standard bank’s checking account in that Chime sends you a physical Visa debit card that you can load with your money and use as you please wherever Visa is accepted. 

Unlike a traditional checking account or a prepaid card, the Chime Spending Account does not require a minimum balance or monthly fees. You can also use your Chime Spending Account card to help boost your Chime Savings Account too. 

With Chime online banking, you can enable a round-up feature that rounds up every purchase you make with your debit card. The money that makes up the difference between the rounded amount and the amount you actually spent goes automatically to your Savings Account. 

If you accidentally misplace your card, lose it, flush it down the toilet, don’t worry. Chime can send you a new card upon request for free. You can also easily disable all transactions with the card directly from Chime’s online or mobile banking platform.   

Credit Builder

Chime’s credit card, the Credit Builder account, gives individuals access to a credit card without a credit check. Chime created this option with their essential mission in mind, to provide everyone the opportunity to get a good credit score. The Credit Builder account also doesn’t come with an annual fee or common interest. 

Seems too good to be true, right? Well, because of Chime’s relaxed regulations on their credit card, they require money upfront before use. This means that you upload funds to the card to establish the credit limit. 

After loading your fund to the card, you can use it as you please. Since you use your money to fund the credit card, you don’t have to stress meeting payment deadlines. You’ve already paid it off when you established a credit limit. Every month, Chime will send your timely payment reports over to the major credit bureaus. 

Because of how the Credit Builder account requires your funds and you don’t have to meet payment deadlines, you can expect the reports to reflect a glowing record of timely payments. This feature tends to lead to credit score boosts for users, making the card desirable for those looking to increase their credit standing.  

Savings Account

Chime’s Savings Account doesn’t just let your financial reserve sit and collect dust, it helps it grow. Whether you want to start saving up for future retirement plans or have your eye on a new pair of shoes, the Chime Savings Account can help you reach all of your goals. 

Similar to a traditional saving account from a typical banking institution, you can deposit money and let it sit there, unused. With Chime, however, you can easily make changes to your banking account to increase your savings daily. 

For example, you can opt to deposit a percentage of your paycheck each payday directly into your savings automatically. You can round up your purchases to drop the difference into your savings too. 

With a Chime Savings Account, your money earns a 0.5% annual interest rate without a minimum deposit amount. This APY is much higher than a traditional bank. Although, it is on the lower end concerning other mobile banking platforms.

Second Chance Banking

Second Chance Banking is at Chime’s core. A majority of banks use a verification system called ChexSystems which goes through an individual’s banking history to inform banking institutions whether they should do business with an individual or not. Chime, however, does not rely on ChexSystems because they believe in Second Chance Banking. 

Essentially, Second Chance Banking is Chime’s motto that everyone, no matter their financial standing or credit history, deserves the opportunity to take control of their finances and improve their financial health. Because of this motto, Chime Bank offers accounts to anyone who needs or wants one with many benefits to help people with poor financial records or credit scores improve.    

Stimulus Payments and Chime Bank

Chime Bank believes in the recent stimulus packages’ the same way it believes in second chances, wholeheartedly. When you use Chime Bank, you can get your stimulus payment up to 3 days early so that you can use the money as soon as possible to pay your rent, bills, necessary expenses, or whatever else requires cash.

To get your tax refund promptly with Chime, you’ll follow three fundamental steps:

Get Your Forms Together

Since you need to file your taxes with the IRS to get your refund, you need to get together all of the forms you need to file. These forms include paperwork from your employer or financial institution.

Add Your Chime Account to Your Taxes 

You’ll want to set up a direct deposit to Chime when you file to get your refund quickly. To do so, you’ll input your Chime Spending Account information, including the routing number, into the direct deposit information section. Once you’ve completed this section, your IRS will have access to your account to send over the funds.  

Get Your Refund

Now that you’ve filed and filled out your Chime Spending Account information, you only need to wait for the stimulus to drop. You don’t have to wait too long either. As soon as the stimulus is received, you’ll have immediate access to the money from your Chime Spending Account. Some banks take days to process deposits, including the stimulus, but Chime gives you immediate access. 

Now, Chime Bank isn’t a tax company in any way, but they provide as much information as they can for those who don’t fully understand the filing process. From their site, Chime bank account holders and even those without an account can access tips and tricks concerning taxes.  

What We Can Expect From Chime Bank in the Future

Chime is among the very first successful challenger banks out there. With its innovative strategy and beneficial features to individuals not in ideal financial standing, Chime continues to grow in popularity and create new ways to make banking easier and more accessible. 

As far as the future goes, we can expect Chime to develop more benefits and features for their most recently debuted credit card line. FICO, the credit scoring company, recently stated that they plan to look more intensively into missed credit payments and accumulated debt to judge credit scores with the release of the FICO Score 10 model

With this increased scrutiny over credit scores, Chime and other challenger banks may start to up the ante on their credit services such as providing more features and benefits to boost existing credit scores.  

Alternatives

Chime Bank may seem ideal, but it’s not the only online banking institution out there. To broaden your horizons on what’s possible with online banking, you can take a look at a few comparable alternatives. 

One

one finance

One, a similar company to Chime Bank, is a challenger bank operating solely online and from their mobile app to ease financial stress for its users. Rather than operating on the second chance belief like Chime, One has a more universal message about worrying less about money and getting back to what matters most, enjoying life. 

Pros:

  • Auto-savings 
  • 3.00% APY
  • Direct-deposit to access paychecks quicker
  • No hidden fees
  • Built-in safety net

Cons:

  • Achieves its 3.00%APY by automatically depositing 10% of your paycheck to savings
  • Low credit lines

SoFi

sofi

Another similar challenger bank to Chime Bank, SoFi offers completely virtual account options and various features to help you take control of your finances. However, SoFi focuses primarily on setting goals and plans to improve your financial situation rather than simply giving you a bank account without a physical location. 

Pros:

  • Direct deposit 
  • Loan and refinancing options
  • Investing options
  • Safe and secure platform
  • Auto-savings
  • Fee-free
  • Member benefits

Cons:

  • .25% APY

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, Chime Bank provides a consolidated, easy-to-use banking platform to let you improve and reclaim your financial health. It removes the stress from managing finances with its beneficial and simple features you can access at your fingertips. Chime doesn’t charge you ridiculous fees, or any fees for that matter. 

It’s the ideal bank that’s not a bank for those who want to manage their finances more closely, restore financial health, or simply don’t want to have to go through the rigamarole of traditional banking. 

As the other Chime bank reviews, topmobilebanks.com ranks Chime Bank as one of the USA’s top digital-only banking options.