Chime is very different from the traditional banking experience. It’s often referred to as a “challenger bank” – a term used for fintechs, or financial technology companies, that don’t have an official banking charter but can provide many of the same services. Check out this Chime review to find out why twelve million people have switched to Chime and if it’s right for you.
- Full-featured mobile app
- $0 monthly maintenance, minimum balance or overdraft fees
- Get paid almost two early with direct deposit
- Round up debit card transactions to the nearest dollar and the spare change goes to your savings account
- Great for bad credit checking/second chance banking, as it does not rely on Chex Systems or credit checks
- FDIC insured
- A credit-builder secured Visa credit card is available
- Current savings rate of 0.50% is higher than most banks
- One fee to watch out for — out-of-network ATM fees for $2.50
Chime is headquartered in San Francisco and launched in 2014. Its innovative fintech, or otherwise known as financial technology, roots is the top reason why it’s different from the average brick-and-mortar bank. Chime doesn’t have any physical branches – online banking is key, using the simple-to-understand mobile app and debit card to handle your everyday finances.
Chime’s partnerships with regional banks help them create “member first financial products.” The approach lowers Chime’s operating costs and cuts out many of the fees you’re used to paying. A good example is Chime’s partnerships with Stride Bank and The Bancorp Bank, which adds FDIC protection for Chime account holders, up to $250,000.
Chime wants to make banking accessible for everyone, regardless of credit history. You don’t have to worry about credit checks or ChexSystems to open an account. Here’s a more detailed look at Chime’s products.
Spending Account (Checking)
The foundation of your Chime experience is the Spending Account – you’ll receive and send money from it. Opening one is easy – there are no monthly fees, minimum requirements or opening balances to meet.
As for charges, there is only a $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee. You can easily avoid the fee if you stick with the 60,000 free ATMs or by asking for cash back at 38,000 participating locations. Chime works with retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens, Target, CVS and Rite Aid that don’t charge you a fee for cash back. Cash deposits at participating retailers clear within two hours.
You don’t have to worry about overdraft charges either. Chime created Spot Me, which covers overdrafts starting at $20 and up to $200 over time. For any larger amount, the transaction is declined to save you an NSF charge. If you’re wondering have a glance at the link how you would even bounce a check, Chime covers overdrafts from debit card transactions and Chime Checkbook, which is similar to bill pay.
You can receive direct deposits up to two days earlier than scheduled with early access direct deposit. Note that bank transfers can take up to five business days to clear, however. One of the big complaints about online-only banks is what to do with cash. Chime solved the issue by partnering with many of the same retailers that allow you to get cash back, to accept cash deposits on your behalf.
Chime has one of the highest interest rates of all savings accounts at this time, at 0.50% APY – Annual Percentage Yield (APY)? – 8x? the national average, ranking in ninth place in GOBankingRates’ study on the Best Savings Accounts of 2022. However, it’s more than a place to park money for an emergency or for a goal. You can set up automated savings to grow your balance. There are $0 monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance required.