Chime Review: A Fee-Free Way to Bank with Early Payday

Disclosure: We’re letting you know that this post contains sponsored links which The Smart Wallet receives compensation for, which may impact their order of appearance because talking about money should always be an honest discussion.

Banking is a necessity and can be complicated with all the hidden fees, overdraft fees, and fine print.

Per year, Americans pay an average of $417* on just bank fees alone!

Skip all of the unnecessary fees and consider Chime instead.

What is Chime and How Does it Work?

Chime is an FDIC-insured online bank account with:

  • No hidden bank fees
  • Competitive high yield savings at 1.10% APY
  • Early payday – you can get your paycheck up to 2 days early* through direct deposit
  • Automatic savings tools
  • 38,000+ fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • A Chime Visa® Debit Card with instant transaction notifications & ability to block the card when needed via the app

Their mission revolves around protecting their customers by giving them peace of mind and never profiting from customers’ misfortune or mistakes (hence, no hidden fees).

They also have a highly rated mobile app with over 15,000+ five-stars reviews where you can easily track your daily transactions, balance, and savings.

Chime also offers mobile payments. Need to split the brunch bill? Send money for free to your friends through Chime even if they don’t have the app!

With no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement, no overdraft fees, and no foreign transaction fees, Chime makes a compelling case to switch over.

San Francisco, CA
  • No hidden bank fees (including overdraft!)
  • Competitive high yield savings at 1.10% APY
  • Get your paycheck via direct deposit up to 2 days earlier*
  • 38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • Automatic savings tools
  • No personal checks but Chime can send on your behalf
  • Cash deposits can only be made at Green Dot deposit locations

Never Overdraft Again

Avoid the embarrassment of being at the checkout and realizing you don’t have enough money to swipe on your debit card. Instead of putting your item(s) back, Chime’s SpotMe feature will lend you up to $100* when you need it so you can continue with your purchase.

This prevents you from getting overdrafted and saves you the high fees as well.

When your account has enough money, Chime will then automatically debit what they spotted you, to make it a simple and hands-off process.

With this feature, you’ll never get overdrafted and you’ll be covered up to $100* when you need it!

Get Your Paycheck Up to 2 Days Early

One of Chime’s most loved features is that you can get your paycheck up to 2 days early* when you set up direct deposit with Chime. That’s two more days to think about how you want to spend, save, or pay bills with your hard-earned money. If you’re one of the 78% of workers in the U.S. living paycheck-to-paycheck those extra days provide a little extra peace of mind so you can use your money better.

Grow Your Savings with 1.10% APY and Built-In Features

If you aren’t great at saving money but know you need to get your act together, Chime makes that easy too. They have automatic savings tools that allow you to be smart with your money with minimal effort.

  1. High Yield Savings: Their newest feature gives other banks a run for their money as they now offer a competitive 1.10% APY for your savings. This will let you earn more money on your money as that’s — that’s more than 17X2 the national average!
  2. Save when you spend: This feature rounds up each debit card transaction to the nearest dollar and automatically deposits to your savings account. The spare change adds up!
  3. Automatic Transfer: If you opt-in, they can automatically take 10% of every paycheck and deposit it directly into your savings account after you set up direct deposit.

Banking made awesome.

Banking made awesome.

No hidden fees
No minimum balance, monthly fees or foreign transaction fees. Plus fee-free ATMs.
Get spotted up to $100
Never overdraft since Chime spots you up to $100 when you need it
High yield savings at 1.6% APY
Earn more money on your money – 17X the national average!

How Chime Makes Money

Traditional banks make money by charging their customers overdraft fees, out-of-network ATM fees, monthly maintenance fees, transfer fees, and account maintenance fees. As mentioned before, this can add up to $417 per year* in fees alone!

Chime doesn’t profit off of your account(s) in the way of fees, instead, they make money from Visa®. They do this by collecting an interchange fee from merchants, which occurs when you use your Chime Visa® Debit Card. A portion of this fee gets paid to Chime, and those interchange fees add up and enable Chime to run smoothly without needing to charge their customers.

Can You Trust Chime?

Yes, Chime is FDIC insured up to $250,000.

Chime also has 128-bit AES encryption, access control, and security processes to ensure your money is always safe. They will send a text whenever your debit card is used to ensure there is no fraudulent spending. Debit cards are also protected by Visa’s Zero Liability Policy, which states that you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made on your account.

You’ll also have the ability to block your card and order a replacement debit card from within the Chime app too.

Is Chime for You?

If you’re sick of hidden bank fees and complicated processes to open and close accounts, you should consider signing up with Chime for free.

Their easy and automatic savings tools also benefit anyone that’s not great at saving, plus their competitive 1.10% APY puts your money in a high yield savings account. You’ll never overdraft with their SpotMe feature either. And getting paid up to 2 days earlier puts you ahead too!

Signing up for an account takes only a few minutes and has zero impact on your credit score.

*15,000 five star reviews & 128-bit AES encryption source:

*$417 in fees source:

²The average national savings account interest rate of 0.09% is determined by the FDIC as of Feb 18th, 2020 based on a simple average of rates paid by all insured depository institutions and branches for which data are available. Visit to learn more.

*SpotMe limits start at $20 and can be increased to $100 or more based on factors like Chime account activity or history

**Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of payer’s submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.