Chime offers a very different experience than what you find at a traditional bank.* In fact, it’s not a bank at all but a financial technology company that has partnered with regional banks to provide consumers with banking products. You can find easy access to checking accounts, savings accounts, and even a Credit Builder Visa1, all with no annual fees and no minimum balance fees. The innovative fintech company lets you get your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit, grow your savings automatically, and there’s no credit check to apply. Does Chime have a place in your finances? We’re here to help you figure that out.

Chime Overview

Chime is a financial technology company that was founded in 2012 by Chris Britt and Ryan King with the idea that basic banking services should be helpful, easy, and free for everyone. It offers a suite of no-frills basic banking products including a checking account, savings account, and Credit Builder card1. The fintech company now serves over 14.5 million customers and has a network of 60,000+ ATMs. Its banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.* This means that when you bank through Chime your money is insured up to $250,000.

Chime Checking Account

Chime is an award-winning mobile banking app and debit card whose main product is its checking account. Chime’s Online Checking Account is available to everyone. The fintech company does not conduct a credit check when you apply or look into your banking history. There are no monthly fees, no minimum balance fees, no annual fees, and no foreign transaction fees.

The checking account comes with a Visa debit card2 that may be used everywhere Visa is accepted. You can easily connect your debit to secure mobile payments like Google Pay and Apple Pay. Chime offers real-time transaction alerts and if you spot any unauthorized transactions, you can disable the card and order a replacement for free via the mobile app.

To open an account through Chime, you have to be over 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or resident. Chime does not do a credit check when you apply or screen consumers through ChexSystems as most traditional banks do. This means you can still be approved for a checking account even if you’ve had accounts closed in the past. Banking through Chime is a good place to go if you want to restart your financial life.*

Chime Savings Account

When you open a Chime Checking Account, you will have the option to also open a High Yield Savings Account. Chime’s Savings Account is an attractive option for anyone who wants to make their money grow faster. It has an Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 2.00%3, significantly higher than the national average savings APY of 0.57%. This means you can earn more on every dollar you put into your HYS account. Plus you can enroll in Round Up and Save When I Get Paid to grow your savings automatically.

Like with a Chime Checking Account, the High Yield Savings Account has:

  • No monthly fees4
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No cap on the amount of interest you can earn 
  • No minimum deposit to open an account

Round Up

Round Up lets you save on every purchase. Every time you use your Chime debit card, it will automatically round the purchase up to the nearest dollar and transfer the spare change from your Chime Checking Account into your Chime Savings Account. Say you buy a coffee for $2.50. The remaining 50 cents will go into your savings account boosting your savings. Chime estimates that you can save $360 a year with the Round Up feature if you make an average of two purchases a day.

Save When I Get Paid

Save When I Get Paid encourages you to grow your savings automatically. When you enroll in this feature, Chime will automatically transfer 10% of your direct deposit of $500 or more from your Chime Checking Account into your savings account. Studies have shown that when you set up direct deposit to send a percentage of your paycheck into your savings account you are less likely to spend it.

Easy to Save

“I’ve been using them for about two years.I have had nothing but, a generally great experience..My credit score has gone up over 44 points in the last year..I 💕 the credit builder feature..I’m proud of myself 😂This is my main “bank” I really love that they finally included rounding up”the change” to savings for both the debit & credit builder accounts.. It’s nice to not think about that savings, I also have them split my direct deposit into all 3 accounts.. Now, I just need more income 😂 Mel F

Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card

Chime knows that it can be tough to increase your credit score. That’s why they came up with the Chime Secured Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card1, a better way to build credit.5 Chime’s Credit Builder is a secured credit card that does not require a credit check to apply, has no annual fees, and no minimum security deposit.6 It simply helps you build credit with regular use and on-time payments. Chime reported that members were able to increase their credit score by 30 points on average after only 8 months of use.7

All you need to apply for the Chime Credit Builder card is a Chime Checking Account with a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more.5 It is an easy, free way to build credit, secure better interest rates, and pay less on future loans. Possibly best of all, the Credit Builder is set up to limit the risk of overspending.

Chime’s Credit Builder is a secured credit card but it does not require you to put down a security deposit to set your spending limit.6 In fact, it doesn’t have any pre-set spending limit at all. Instead, how much you spend is up to you. You move money from your Chime Checking Account to your Credit Builder secured account and that is the amount you’re able to spend. Since there is no set spending limit, you cannot have a high credit utilization ratio and Chime cannot report credit utilization to the credit bureaus. Chime does report your payment history to all three major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. The exact impact on your credit varies, but an on-time payment history will improve your credit score while late or missed payments may negatively affect your credit. Turn on Safer Credit Building8 to automatically pay your balance in full each month from the money you moved into your Credit Builder secured account. This optional feature ensures that you never miss a payment.

Build Credit for Free

“This is the best for building back my credit. I’ve had Chime for 2 years, no issues. I ordered the credit card, and since using, my credit score has gone up 110 points in a year. I don’t know what else I could have for FREE that could have done the same. All I do is transfer money to the credit account, use just like a credit or debit card (no APR, btw), which you use like a declining balance. At the end of the month, it pays that amount as a payment then reports to credit as paid in full.” Christopher Ourth

Chime Benefits

Get Paid Early

Set up direct deposits and get your paycheck up to two days earlier than you would with some traditional banks. Chime makes your paycheck available to you on the very same day they receive it from your employer, which may be up to 2 days earlier than your scheduled payday.9

Access on the Go

With an award-winning mobile financial app, Chime ensures banking services are always within reach.* Check your balances, locate in-network ATMs12, and send money to friends all through the mobile app. Stay in control with daily balance notifications and transaction alerts. If you lose your debit card, you can disable transactions and request a new card for free.

SpotMe®

Chime will spot eligible members who need a little extra cushion to cover an expense.10 Get fee-free overdraft on debit card purchase transactions, ATM withdrawals, and cash transactions up to your specified limit. SpotMe® limits start at $20 and can go up to $200! Chime will automatically deduct the amount from your next deposit and ask for a tip, but tipping is completely up to you.11 If you overdraw more than your limit or you don’t have SpotMe®, Chime will simply decline the transaction and you won’t be charged a fee.

SpotMe is a Lifesaver

“I’ve used chime since 2019 and I absolutely love them! anytime I’ve ever had fraudulent charges come up on my account, they notified me so fast, handled it with a great sense of urgency & got it resolved quickly. I also love the SpotMe feature they offer! It really helps in between pay days when you are just trying to get by those next few days. I’ve never used my SpotMe until this year, but it’s really been a life saver. I also love the fact there’s NO monthly fees, doesn’t get much better!” Kristin Ard

Automatic Savings

Chime lets you send a percentage of your paycheck to your savings account with Save When I Get Paid13 and makes it easy to enable Round Ups.14 Putting your savings on auto-pilot helps your money grow faster.

A Decent Savings Rate

Chime’s High Yield Savings Account offers a competitive 2.00% APY.3 Big banks like Bank of America and Chase only offer a 0.01% APY on their savings accounts. Earn more on every dollar in your savings account.

Low Fees

Chime stands out for its transparent fee structure and low costs. There are no overdraft fees, no monthly maintenance fees, no annual fees, no transfer fees, no minimum balance fees, and no foreign transaction fees.

Chime Checkbook

Like most digital neobanks, Chime does not give you paper checks to write but it does offer the ability to send checks through its digital checkbook. It can take a few days for a check to be processed and sent so it’s best to schedule payments beforehand.15

Large ATM Network

You have access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs at stores like Walgreens, Target, CVS, 7-Eleven, and more.12 If you don’t know where the nearest in-network ATM is, you can easily locate it via the map on your app.

Pay Anyone, The Fast-Free Way

Send money instantly to friends and family whether they’re a Chime member16 or not17, without any fees. There is no sign-up needed and you’ll never pay instant cash-out fees when you use Pay Anyone.

What Chime Could Improve

Fees for Cash Deposits

Unlike a lot of online-only neobanks, Chime does allow you to put cash in your account at over 75,000 retailers across the country. The catch is, that most charge a fee. The only place you can add cash to your account for free is at one of Walgreens’ over 8,500 locations.

ATM Fee

While Chime has a large ATM network you can use for free, using out-of-network ATMs incurs a fee of $2.50.12 In addition to Chime’s fee, many ATMs charge their own third-party fees.

Fabulous Banking App

“Honestly, as long as you have access to a smartphone this banking app is fabulous! I get paid 2 days earlier than my coworkers, I can deposit checks from my phone, and I can send checks through the mail for my rent. There’s no fees for overdraft, which is amazing living in the economy we do now. There’s tons of options for ATM with no fees. The only negative is there’s no physical branches. But I haven’t had any problems with that either. I totally recommend this as an option for banking.” Melanie

How to Open an Account with Chime

Opening an account through Chime is straightforward and takes less than two minutes.

1

Download the Chime app

2

Enter your name, address, date of birth, and SSN

3

Set up direct deposit or connect to your current bank account.

4

Indicate if you want to apply for the Credit Builder card

5

Your debit card ships in 7-10 business days

How to Withdraw Money from a Chime Account

Spending and withdrawing money is easy with Chime. You can use the Chime Visa Debit Card2 for purchases anywhere Visa is accepted or withdraw cash from ATMs12 within Chime’s extensive network. You can also get cash back at the register at places like grocery stores, gas stations, and drug stores. Lastly, you can use your Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card1 to withdraw cash from ATMs. This is a cash advance but unlike most credit card cash advances there is no interest or fees if you get it from a MoneyPass, Allpoint, or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

How to Add Money To Your Chime Account

You can add funds to your Chime Checking Account via direct deposit, mobile check deposit, or cash deposits at participating retail locations, though the latter may incur fees. You can put cash in your account for free at one of Walgreens’ over 8,500 locations (more walk-in locations than many big banks have). Once the retailer accepts your cash, the funds will be transferred to your Chime Checking Account. It takes roughly two hours for the money to hit your account. There is a limit of $1,000 per day and $10,000 per month on cash deposits.

Want an advance on your paycheck?

Check out EarnIn and get up to $750 per pay period.

Who is Chime Best For

Chime is a good option if you’re looking for a straightforward, fee-free online banking experience.* The fintech company does not conduct a credit check when you apply or look into your ChexSystems report when opening an account through Chime. This makes it a smart pick if you have poor credit or have made past banking mistakes. Chime not only makes it easy to open an account if you need to restart your financial life, but it will also help you build credit and does not charge a lot of fees. The only catch is there are no physical branches so you must be comfortable with digital banking for Chime to be right for you.*

The Best

“Getting a Chime card and account was the best idea I’ve had in years. No overdraft fees, no surprises and the app is amazing!! Big banks scam is but chime is not one of them. I can’t say enough about it and I’ve had it over a year now!!!” Anita

Final Thoughts

Chime is a fintech company, not a bank, but it may work well for you if you’re looking for an online-only banking experience with minimal fees.* The fintech company won’t check your credit score or your ChexSystems profile, making it a good choice if you’ve had issues with banks in the past. It offers a place to bank, save your money, and build credit with very few fees. If you’re comfortable with digital-only banking, Chime is a strong contender in the fintech space.

A Note on Chime Products: 

* Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

1 The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card is issued by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted.

2 Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

3 The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of September 20, 2023. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

4 There’s no fee for the Chime Savings Account. Cash withdrawal and Third-party fees may apply to Chime Checking Accounts. You must have a Chime Checking Account to open a Chime Savings Account.

5 To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime 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.

6 Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

7 Based on a representative study conducted by Experian®, members who made their first purchase with Credit Builder between June 2020 and October 2020 observed an average FICO® Score 8 increase of 30 points after approximately 8 months. On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score.

8 On-time payment history may 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. 

9 Early 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.

10 SpotMe® on Debit is an optional, no fee overdraft service attached to your Chime Checking Account. To qualify for the SpotMe on Debit service, you must receive $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your Chime Checking Account each month and have activated your Visa debit card. Qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their Chime Checking Account for up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially but may later be eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. The SpotMe on Debit limit will be displayed within the Chime mobile app and is subject to change at any time, at Chime’s sole discretion. Although Chime does not charge any overdraft fees for SpotMe on Debit, there may be out-of-network or third-party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe on Debit will not cover any non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. SpotMe on Debit Terms and Conditions.

11 Tipping or not tipping has no impact on your eligibility for SpotMe®.

12 Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. 

13 Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Checking Account into your savings account.

14 Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.

15 Mobile Check Deposit eligibility is determined by Chime in its sole discretion and may be granted based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member’s direct deposit enrollment status. 

16 Funds are automatically debited from your Checking Account and typically deposited into the recipient’s Checking Account within seconds. Pay Anyone transactions will be monitored and may be held, delayed or blocked if the transfer could result in fraud or another form of financial harm. Sometimes instant transfers can be delayed.

17 Pay Anyone transactions will be monitored and may be held, delayed or blocked if the transfer could result in fraud or another form of financial harm. Sometimes instant transfers can be delayed. Non-Chime members must use a valid debit card to claim funds.