Budget-conscious customers who are tired of getting nickel and dimide from traditional bank accounts will get the most out of using the Chime app.
Chime offers checking and savings accounts with no monthly or foreign transaction fees. Additionally, there is a credit building tool that you can use to build credit from scratch for free.
The trade-off is that banking with Chime happens entirely online. So if you want to visit a bank from time to time, Chime will not be the best choice. And if you are looking for a financial institution that has a full range of products, such as rewards credit cards or loans, then going with a larger bank may be the best option.
However, as you will see in our review of the Chime app, Chime is a disruptor of the banking industry for a reason. With perks like direct deposits up to 2 days early, savings rounding up and overdraft protection up to $200, it’s easy to see why there is so much interest in this app.
These gains and losses.
Chime app review: Features
Chime is a banking app that helps users to manage their money. But Chime is not a bank per se; Instead, it is a technology company that created the banking platform. Banking is already handled by Chime’s FDIC’s member partners, Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank. Here are the ins and outs of what Chime has to offer:
Chime’s main product is checking accounts, which lets you handle everyday banking transactions such as paycheck deposits, bill payments, and withdrawals.
Each Chime account comes with a Visa debit card that you can swipe in stores or connect to your digital wallet. Here are the salient features:
- No credit check: Chime Checking does not include a review of your previous bank account or credit history, which could be a blessing if a bad history prevents you from qualifying for other bank accounts.
- ATMs without fees: Cardholders get access to more than 60,000 ATMs without fees worldwide. A third party ATM may be charged if you go to one outside the network.
- Paychecks are up to two days faster: If you set up paychecks to direct the deposit into your Chime account, you may be paid two days in advance.
- A round of savings: The rounding feature can aggregate all your bank account transactions and save the change.
- Free overdraft: Eligible account members who have at least a $200 direct deposit into their Chime account each month are eligible for Chime SpotMe, an optional overdraft service that covers overdrafts up to $20.
- Transaction controls: You can turn your card on and off with the app, and enable or disable international purchases when you travel abroad for safety.
- special offers: Chime users can access special discounts and cashback offers from businesses that partner with Chime.
How to add money to Chime
To fund your Chime account, you can set up a direct deposit, money transfer from outside banks, mobile check deposit or cash deposit with deposit partners.
How to withdraw money from Chime
To withdraw money from your Chime account, you can withdraw from an ATM, transfer money to an external bank account, send money to a friend, mail a check, or bill your card.
Ringing high yield savings accounts
In addition to checking accounts, the Chime app offers savings accounts that you can open to store money for emergencies or other goals.
Chime savings accounts currently offer an APY of 1.00%, well above the national average of 0.08% APY for savings accounts.
Resonance Credit Builder Accounts
Chime’s Credit Builder account works like a secured credit card with no annual fees or interest rates.
There is also no credit check, so if you have a limited credit history or poor credit history, you may still qualify.
Here’s how a Credit Builder account works:
- Sign up for a Credit Builder account with your Chime Checking account.
- Transfer money from your Chime Checking account to your Credit Builder account; This money serves as your credit limit.
- Use your Credit Builder card anywhere Visa is accepted.
- The cash in your Credit Builder account will automatically pay your credit card bill.
- Payments on the account are reported to all three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – to help you build a positive credit history.
Outside of the banking features mentioned above, Chime mobile banking app is somewhat limited in its financial services. Conventional banks can have some frustrating rules, such as minimum balance requirements, but they usually offer more bells and whistles.
For example, major banks may offer loans, joint accounts, certificates of deposit (CD), and investment services. Banks and credit unions may allow you to manage bank accounts and loans from a single application profile. Chime can help you manage basic banking services but not much other matters related to your money which is something to keep in mind.
Chime app review: Pricing
The Chime mobile app is free to download and banking is free as well. So, how does Chime make money? Every time you use your debit card, a transaction fee is charged to the merchant you’re buying from, and a portion of that fee goes to Chime.
Chime app review: Ease of use
Clarity and simplicity are what we all look for in the setup process for an app, and Chime’s subscription flow provides just that. In a friendly manner, Chime guides you through the information required to get an account.
Chime is available on iPhone or Android. To get started, you’ll need to provide your email, home address, and Social Security number. Chime says it only uses your Social Security number to verify your information and won’t result in a credit hit.
Once setup is complete, Chime shows you how to fund your account. The app’s home screen also prominently shows your balances, which is ideal when you want to quickly check if you have enough cash for a purchase.
Chime app review: Support
Chime customer support is available Monday through Sunday from 3 AM to 11 PM CST. When you call, Chime attempts to answer your question without connecting you to a direct person by first directing you through several automated customer service options. But if you press 0, you can quickly contact an agent who is willing to help with account questions.
How Chime stacks up against the competition
Chime is very similar to Varo, another mobile banking app that offers banking services. However, one area in which Varo stands out is that it offers higher savings APY, ranging from 1.20% APY to 5% APY, compared to Chime’s 1.00% APY. So if you are looking to maximize your interest earnings, Varo may be a better option.
Chase is a major bank with a banking app that offers some of the same features as Chime, such as the option to set up savings automation and transfer money to peers with Zelle. But Chase checking accounts have a monthly fee unless you maintain a certain daily balance or have direct deposits of $500 or more per statement period.
Like Chase, Bank of America is a major bank offering banking products, mortgages, and other loans. With the Bank of America app, you can send cash, set savings goals, deposit mobile money, and more. But again, there may be a monthly fee on Bank of America checking accounts if you don’t meet the direct deposit and balance requirements. When it comes to no-fees without restrictions, Chime is sovereign.
Chime app review: Verdict
Chime is a great app for handling simple everyday transactions like depositing your salary, paying your bills and saving some money for a rainy day. But it’s very basic.
Chime customers do not have access to physical branches or extended banking services, which makes them less ideal if you want to open many types of accounts in one place. One of the advantages of running several different accounts at a major bank is that they sometimes come with loyalty perks, such as loan interest rate discounts or bonus rewards.
Ultimately, Chime is a good option if you need a basic bank account. But if you want to make more complex financial moves or have many assets to manage, it may be better for you to consider other banking options.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Does Chime offer online banking?
Chime is a technology company that offers banking services through its app and website, but Chime itself is not a bank. The banking that supports the app is handled by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, both of which are FDIC members.
Does Chime charge any fees?
The Chime app can be downloaded for free. Chime does not charge a monthly, overdraft, or international transaction fee for checking or savings accounts. The Credit Builder account, which is Chime’s version of the secured card, has no annual fee or interest rate.
What type of accounts does Chime have?
Chime has bank accounts, checking accounts, and credit originator accounts that act as a secured card that you can use to create a credit history.