IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

Chime Review: Checking and Savings Accounts

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Written By
G. Dautovic
Updated
July 29, 2022
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

If you’re looking for a high-interest checking account, Chime is worth a look. But is it the right financial technology company for you? That’s what we will try to find out in our Chime review. We’ll also see what BBB Chime reviews have to say in order to identify any major issues customers face and examine them in our expert review.

Chime is a financial technology company that launched in 2013. The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, N.A. run the banking services offered by Chime. You can’t pick which of the two will handle your account, but there’s no difference; you’ll get the same treatment regardless of which of the two reputable banks handles your account.

Monthly fee:
$0

No ATM and foreign transaction fees

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Fortunly Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Account type
Checking
Monthly fee
$0
Minimum balance
No requirement
Account fee
$0
ATM fee
$0
International ATM fee
$0
Foreign transaction fees
$0
pros thumb up Strengths
  • Early deposit
  • 60,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Fee-free overdraft (SpotMe)
  • Compatible with Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • No ChexSystems
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • No wire transfer
  • No joint accounts

Chime Checking Account

Opening a checking account with Chime is an easy and straightforward process that can be done entirely online. You will need to provide basic information, such as your name, address, and Social Security number, and create a username and password for your account.

If you’ve ever called a bank to open a checking account only to be told that the bank can’t do so at this time, it could be due to the ChexSystems reporting system. Banks use ChexSystems to help them make decisions about new account applicants.

If an applicant has a history of writing bad checks or if they’ve been reported for fraud in the past, their name will almost certainly appear in ChexSystems. This is why having a good ChexSystems report is important – it can make it easier to open a new checking account.

Fortunately, Chime online banking, like many other online-only banks, does not use ChexSystems to determine fresh application decisions, providing everyone with a second opportunity.

After you create your account, you must fund it, which you may do by setting up a direct deposit from your employer or transferring money from another bank account. Once your account is funded, you can start using it right away.

Chime’s checking account has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, so you keep your entire paycheck (minus taxes and other deductions). As you are probably aware, this is where Chime differs from most banks, which typically charge a monthly fee unless you meet requirements (such as keeping a certain balance in your account).

One of the unique features of Chime is its early deposit feature. With most banks, you must wait until your payroll is processed before the funds are available in your account. However, with Chime, you can get access to your paycheck up to two days early. This feature is available automatically, and there’s no fee for using it.

The account also comes with a Chime Debit Card, which you can use to make purchases or withdraw cash from ATMs. Another great feature is that Chime provides access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs in the US, but it comes with a $500 daily withdrawal limit. If you use any other ATM outside of its network, you’ll have to pay a $2.50 fee in addition to the ATM provider fee.

Finally, Chime offers a feature called SpotMe, which allows you to overdraft your account without being charged a fee. The starting amount you can overdraft is $20, but it can be increased to $200 depending on your account history.

Overall, Chime is an excellent option for anyone looking for a new checking account. It offers some unique benefits that make it worth considering. However, you should pay attention to a few things before opening an account. 

First, Chime does not offer wire transfers. This means you’ll need to use another bank if you want to send or receive money via wire transfer. Second, Chime does not offer joint accounts, so if you have a spouse or partner who also wants to use your account, that won’t be possible.

APY:
1%

FDIC-insured

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Fortunly Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Account Type
Savings
APY
1%
Monthly fee
$0
Minimum balance
No requirement
Account fee
$0
ATM fee
$0
International ATM fee
$0
Foreign transaction fees
$0
FDIC-insured
Yes
pros thumb up Strengths
  • Chime’s Round Up feature
  • Save When I Get Paid feature
  • Flat APY
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • You must have a Chime checking account

Chime Savings Account

To be able to open a savings account, you first have to open a checking account, which can be a bit of a hassle, but don’t forget that having a checking account doesn’t cost you anything at all. The same is true of savings accounts. 

Chime banking offers its clients two types of savings accounts, and they both come with a flat APY of 1%.

Round Up Saving Account

The first one is the Round Up Savings account. Every time you make a purchase with your Chime Visa card, the amount is rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference is deposited into your savings account. For example, if you spend $3.20 on coffee, $0.80 will be transferred from your checking account to your savings account.

This is a great way to save money without even realizing it, and it can help you reach your savings goals quicker than you thought possible, especially since there are no fees to pay for maintaining your account.

Save When I Get Paid Account

The second Chime saving account option is the Save When I Get Paid account. This account allows you to automatically transfer 10% to your savings account every time you get a direct deposit of $500 or more.

For example, if you receive a direct deposit of $1,000 in your checking account, the system will automatically take out $100 (10%) and deposit it to your savings account. You won’t be charged any extra fees for this process.

If necessary, you can transfer funds from your savings account to your checking account and vice versa. Regulations used to cap the number of transfers from a savings to a checking account per month, but the Federal Reserve has removed the restriction for the time being. Just keep in mind that the limitation might be reintroduced at some point.

Annual fee:
$0

Your credit limit will equal your deposit amount.

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Fortunly Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Product
Secured Visa card
Annual fee
$0
APR
N/A
Minimum security deposit
$0
Credit limit
As much as you transfer to it
Late payment fee
$0
Foreign transaction fee
0%
Cash advance fee
N/A
pros thumb up Strengths
  • No annual fee
  • Builds credit history
  • No credit check
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • Requires Chime account
  • No unsecured card to upgrade to

Chime Credit Builder

The Chime secured credit card is a great option if you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit. It reports to all three credit bureaus and comes without an annual fee. 

It is a secured credit card, meaning you’ll need to make a security deposit before using it. The deposit is held on a Chime account, and your credit limit will equal your deposit amount. For example, if you deposit $500, your credit limit will also be $500.

One thing to keep in mind is that this card can only be used if you have a Chime checking account. So, if you don’t have a Chime account, you’ll need to sign up for one before you can apply for this card.

You may raise your credit score by using your credit card wisely and paying it off on time. Nonetheless, there are no further rewards or unsecured credit cards you could upgrade later.

How Does Chime Compare to Other Similar Banking Services?

Chime Logo
Chime
Minimum initial deposit

$0

APY

1%

Varo Bank Logo
Varo Bank
Minimum initial deposit

$0

APY

1.20% - 5%

Quontic Logo
Quontic
Minimum initial deposit

$100

APY

1.85%

Is Chime Legit?

Chime isn’t your regular brick-and-mortar bank but a financial service that works with FDIC-insured banks, which means your money is protected up to $250,000 in case the bank or Chime goes out of business. In other words, it’s just as legitimate and safe as any other bank or financial institution.

Chime Customer Support

Chime support is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week via phone or email. The Chime app also comes with a helpful chat feature.

This all sounds wonderful on paper, but is that really the case?

When we called Chime’s customer support, we discovered nothing out of the ordinary, and they were able to answer all of our questions and provide us with accurate information. The problem is that Chime’s reviews on BBB paint a different picture. 

Due to the absence of a genuine banking problem, we could not evaluate the financial team. Therefore, we will supply you with all the facts we uncovered and let you form your own conclusion.

Chime banking has a staggering number of complaints. Still, it also has a BBB alert stating that there is a recurring pattern of complaints involving accounts with deposited funds that were closed for no apparent reason, leaving the money trapped. Customers tried contacting customer support but could not resolve their issues. 

In 2021, Chime customers filed more than 900 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding the same issue. The majority of the problems occurred during the period when Chime was attempting to crack down on accounts that used fraudulently acquired unemployment assistance or government stimulus payments. 

While this is good on its own, the review process is anything but quick, leaving many customers stuck waiting for Chime customer support without access to their money.

To be fair, the BBB notice is from 2020, and the crackdown occurred in 2021. As a result, we decided to investigate current customer concerns, most of which are as expected: unauthorized charges and an inability to contact customer service to resolve their issues. The customer support’s financial department clearly has room for improvement.

Even with all of this, the Chime account on BBB still has an A+ rating. It managed to keep that rating only because of its response time and the number of answered and resolved cases. At this moment, there isn’t a single unanswered or unresolved complaint.

Should You Sign Up for Chime Services?

Chime online banking is a safe and legitimate financial institution that offers many great features, such as no foreign transaction fees, early direct deposit, and fee-free overdraft up to $200.

However, it has received an increasing number of complaints lately about issues such as account closures and difficulty reaching customer support. We didn’t have any issues with customer service throughout our Chime review, but that doesn’t mean problems don’t arise from time to time. If you don’t mind the occasional hiccup and are okay with waiting a while for a response, then Chime might be the right choice for you.

If you are still harboring doubts, remember that you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket. Having a Chime checking account is free, and it isn’t the only bank or financial institution that offers excellent benefits. For example, Varo Bank offers little to no fees and a better APY, but there are some requirements you need to fulfill to get the full benefit of Varo’s savings account.

FAQ

Can Chime be trusted?

+

Thanks to FDIC insurance, Chime has the same level of trustworthiness as any other bank or financial provider.

What are the cons of Chime?

+

One of the most significant and apparent disadvantages is the absence of a brick-and-mortar bank branch you can visit to do business or speak with someone in person to resolve your problem. The other one is ita financial team’s customer support.

Is Chime worth getting?

+

Even though Chime’s reviews on BBB aren’t stellar, we can still recommend Chime due to its higher-than-average APY rate, little to no fees, and its customer support dedication on BBB. In addition, if you can’s create a checking account elsewhere, you will be given a second opportunity at Chime.