Chime Review: No Monthly Fees, Early Payday^ Feature, and A Better Way to Build Credit

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

Traditional banks charged $12.4 billion in overdraft fees alone in 2020.#

Skip all of the monthly fees, plus get an early payday,^ and consider Chime® instead.

What is Chime® and How Does it Work?

Chime is an award-winning mobile financial app and debit card. It has an FDIC-insured online account with:

  • No monthly fees
  • Early payday – you can get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit^
  • Automatic savings tools
  • Competitive optional high-yield savings at 2.00% APY1 (which is 11x2 the national average!)
  • 60,000+ fee-free ATMs~ at stores you love, like Walgreens®, CVS®, and 7-Eleven®
  • A Chime Visa® Debit Card with instant transaction notifications & ability to block the card when needed via the app
  • Access to Credit Builder – a free way to help you build credit with a Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Bonus for Tax season: Get your federal tax refund up to 5 days3 earlier when you file directly with the IRS and direct deposit with Chime!

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

They also have an award-winning financial app with over 300,000+ five-star reviews where you can easily track your daily transactions and balance.

Chime also offers P2P, so if you need to divvy up the money for food, etc., you can send money for free to your family and friends through Chime, even if they don’t have the app yet!

With no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement, and no foreign transaction fees, Chime makes it really easy to switch over.

Cost
Free
Founded
2013
Headquarters
San Francisco, CA
Pros
  • Get your paycheck via direct deposit up to 2 days earlier^
  • No monthly fees
  • Competitive high-yield savings at 2.00% APY1 (11x2 the national average!)
  • 60,000 fee-free~ ATMs nationwide
  • Automatic savings tools
Cons
  • No personal checks, but Chime can send them on your behalf

Get Your Paycheck Up to 2 Days Early with Direct Deposit^

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 up to two more days to think about how you want to spend, save, or pay off the bills!

“Chime is amazing! The SpotMe* feature has helped me with paying my insurance bill that could not be postponed. Without this feature my insurance would have been cancelled. In addition using this I was not charged excessive overdraft fees that most banks charge. Thank you Chime for this feature! 💚💚” – Real member, sponsored content

So, for instance, if your payday usually falls on a Friday, you could get paid on Wednesday instead. Direct deposit is just faster, and you don’t have to worry about paychecks getting lost in the mail.

Start Building Credit for Free with the Chime Secured Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Your Chime Checking Account works with Credit Builder, a valuable free option for members that want to build their credit easily and safely.4 There’s also no credit check to apply.

It works like this:

  1. Move: Move money from your Chime Checking Account to your Credit Builder secured account. This is the money you can spend on your Chime Secured Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card.
  2. Spend: Use your Credit Builder card anywhere Visa® is accepted. Your everyday purchases and regular on-time payments5 will work towards building your credit with no annual fees and no interest.
  3. Build: The money that lives in your Credit Builder account will automatically be used to pay your monthly balance on time when you turn on the optional Safer Credit Building feature5. Chime reports your payments to the three major bureaus. Positive payment history can help build up your credit!

Moving money is instant, and you’ll always know how much is in your secured Credit Builder account. Using this method to build up your credit history is extremely valuable!

Tired of Overdraft Fees?

Avoid the hassle of being at the checkout and realizing you don’t have enough money to swipe on your debit card. Instead of returning your item, Chime’s SpotMe® feature will spot eligible members up to $200* so you can continue your purchase.

At Chime, they do things differently. Instead of charging you an overdraft fee, they allow you to overdraft up to $200 with no fees.*

With SpotMe®, when your next deposit arrives in your Chime Checking Account, they will apply it to your negative balance, making this a simple and hands-off process.

Grow Your Savings with 2.00% APY1 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 with their optional Savings Account.6 They have automatic savings tools that allow you to be smart with your money with minimal effort.

  1. Competitive Savings: Their newest feature gives other banks a run for their money as they now offer a competitive 2.00% APY1 for your savings. This will let you earn more money on your money as that’s more than 11X2 the national average!
  2. Save when you spend: This optional feature rounds up each debit card transaction to the nearest dollar and automatically deposits into your savings account. The spare change adds up!
  3. Automatic Transfer: Save your paycheck on autopilot. You can automatically save 10% of your paycheck in your optional Chime Savings Account with a single setting.
Chime

Award-Winning Financial App

Award-Winning Financial App

No monthly fees
No minimum balance, monthly fees or foreign transaction fees. Plus fee-free ATMs~.
Get spotted up to $200*
Tired of overdraft fees? Get fee-free overdraft up to $200* with Chime’s SpotMe
High yield savings at 2.00% APY1
Earn more money on your money – 11x2 the national average!

How Chime Makes Money

Traditional banks make money by charging their customers overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, transfer fees, and account maintenance fees. This equals to $12.4 billion in overdraft fees# in 2020 alone!

Chime doesn’t profit from your account(s) in the way of fees. Rather, Visa collects an interchange fee from the merchant every time you swipe or run your Chime Visa Debit Card. Visa then pays a portion of this fee to Chime. That money adds up over time, enabling Chime to run smoothly, without charging fees to customers like you. Chime also receives monetary compensation from out-of-network ATM charges.

Can You Trust Chime?

Yes, Chime is FDIC insured up to $250,000 via their banking partners, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.

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 when you turn on alerts. Debit cards are also protected by Visa’s Zero Liability Policy, which states that you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made to 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 fees and complicated processes to open and close accounts, you should consider signing up with Chime for free. Utilizing their free Credit Builder credit card is also an easy way to start building up credit just by using everyday purchases to generate positive on-time payments5. This leads to positive credit history!

Plus, Chime’s competitive 2.00% APY1 puts your money in an optional high-yield savings account. You won’t get charged a fee for overdrafting 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.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. The Chime Visa® Credit Builder Card is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.

# April 2021 Overdraft Fees: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/personal-finance/how-to-prevent-overdraft-fees/

* Eligibility requirements and overdraft limits apply.
˜ Get fee-free transactions at any Moneypass ATM in a 7-Eleven location and at any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. Otherwise, out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply.

ˆEarly access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date

1The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is accurate as of October, 25th, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

2The average national savings account interest rate of 0.17% is determined by FDIC as of September 19, 2022 based on a simple average of rates paid (uses annual percentage yield) by all insured depository institutions and branches for which data are available. Visit National Rates and Rate Caps to learn more

3 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. Federal tax payment files received from the IRS may be received up to 5 days early (based on data from the 2020 tax filing season). Chime makes no guarantee over when files are sent by the IRS and funds can be made available.

4To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

5On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

6 Chime Checking Account is required to be eligible for a Savings Account

You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer

The Smart Wallet is a paid Affiliate/partner of Chime