In a Nutshell
- Lets you collect your paycheck instantly
- Gives you money every time you spend
- No monthly maintenance fees
- Very low savings rate (0.01%)
- No CDs or traditional savings accounts
- No lending products
Chime at a Glance
Personal loans available: No
Credit card available: No
SMS/Mail alerts: Yes
24-hour customer service: No
Money transfers: Yes
Check scanning: Yes
Average APY: 1.60%
Minimum for APY: $0
Advantages Over Regular Bank
Chime is one of a new generation of online banks that aim to be sleeker and more user-friendly than traditional banks. Regular banks offer an endless number of products and services that require lots of red tape and fees. Chime strips personal banking down to the bare necessities.
Here are some of the advantages of choosing Chime over a regular bank:
- No fees. That means no monthly fees, no minimum balance fees, and no overdraft fees whatsoever.
- 100% online. Allows you to do everything on the Chime website or mobile app, from opening a new account to tracking your spending.
- Easy management. Lets you track all your activity from Chime’s full-service mobile app.
Cutting-Edge Banking Services
Chime stands out with a set of unique banking features. It lacks the savings products and loans found at traditional banks, but makes up for this with a bunch of unique, user-friendly banking features.
Here are the top Chime banking features:
- Automatic savings account. Each time your make a purchase or pay a bill with your Chime Visa debit card, Chime automatically rounds up your transaction to the nearest dollar and pays you the difference. For example, let’s say you buy a coffee for $4.55. Chime rounds up the transfer to $5 and pays you the rounded-up amount of $0.45. The more you use your Chime card, the more money you save. What’s more, Chime users can automatically transfer a percentage of every paycheck into their savings account.
- Direct deposit. This function ensures your paycheck (and other regular payments) arrives in your checking account the moment your employer deposits it – as opposed to receiving it 1-2 business days later, which is the case with most bank accounts.
- SpotMe. Grants you zero-fee overdraft of up to $100. When you repay your SpotMe negative balance, Chime gives you the option of leaving a voluntary tip to pay the next overdraft forward. The idea is that your tips help Chime and SpotMe keep going without fees.
Traditional Banking Services
While this service shies away from traditional banking services, it still offers a few essentials. That way, users get to enjoy new banking features without giving up on the staples.
Here are a few familiar banking services offered by Chime.
- Chime Visa debit card. Accepted everywhere, Visa debit cards are equipped with EMV chip protection. As mentioned, every debit card payment puts money in your Chime savings account.
- ATM network. Lets you use more than 38,000 free ATMs around the United States, for free, through partners MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance. Through the Chime mobile app, the ATM Finder identifies 32,000 cashback locations at major merchants throughout the US. No fees for using network ATMs, $2.50 fee to using third-party ATMs.
- Checking account. When you strip away the features, the Chime Spending Account is essentially a checking account that lets you receive, store, and spend money.
Interest Rates and Fees
Chime offers two accounts: Chime Spending account, an alternative to regular checking accounts; and Chime Savings Account. The Chime Savings Account offers an APY of 1.60%, which is extremely low. However, there are benefits to opening a Chime Savings Account – namely the round-up feature, whereby debit card expenses are rounded up and the difference paid into your savings account.
Chime doesn’t charge any fees for using its services. There are no monthly fees, transfer fees, nor overdraft fees. The only fee is for using a third-party ATM, which costs $2.50 per withdrawal.
Chime has a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot, which is pretty good considering it has been reviewed by almost 5,000 customers. It offers customer service during regular business hours at 844-244-6363 and firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also an extensive FAQ page on the Chime website.
Chime offers a free mobile app for iOS and Android on the App Store and Google Play. While other banks offer a mobile app as an afterthought, the Chime app is a central feature of its platform and contains all the same features as the desktop version.
The Chime mobile app offers the following features:
- Dashboard with details of external bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts.
- Daily balance notifications.
- Instant transaction alerts.
- Check scanning.
- Instant mobile payments to anyone with a Chime account.
- Support for mobile payment apps including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
- Lets you send checks to businesses and individuals via mail.
All Chime’s banking services are provided by Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, both of which are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
With Chime, your money is kept secure by the following measures:
- All savings accounts are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000.
- Debit cards are protected by Visa’s zero-liability policy, which returns money from unauthorized charges.
- Two-factor authentication and optional fingerprint authentication to log in.
Chime really is the opposite of a traditional bank. It strips away most of the features of traditional banks – and also eliminates all those pesky fees. What we’re left with is a banking platform that offers all the essentials of a checking account – plus a bunch of cool features that help you track, manage, and save money. Overall, this is a good option for anyone wanting to use a mobile app to receive, spend, and save money without having to spend anything on fees.