What is Chime?

Chime Bank is a US fintech company founded in 2013. It is the fastest-growing branchless, so-called challenger bank in the US, with more than 8 million customers as of February 2020. It does not have its own banking license, but provides its app-based services via FDIC-insured bank partners.

Chime Bank is a great choice if you are a US resident, and you're looking for a simple, safe and cheap way to handle your checking and savings transactions. 

Chime review - bank card

 

Chime Bank Review 2020
Chime Bank pros and cons

Pros

  • Low fees, no minimum balance required
  • Great savings options, pays interest
  • Get paid early via direct deposit

Cons

  • Only available to US residents
  • Cannot use bank card to top up, deposit money to card
  • Customer service is not always too helpful

Chime Bank Review 2020
Chime Bank fees

Account opening and maintenance fee

At Chime Bank, the account opening is free and maintaining your account is also free, with no monthly cost. There is also no minimum balance required.

Card fees

Getting a Chime bank card, including delivery, is also free. Even getting a stolen or lost card replaced is free.

There is no fee for international transactions with your Chime Bank card.

ATM fees

Withdrawing money at over 38,000 ATMs in the US in the MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance (VPA) networks is free. However, there is a $2.50 fee for every withdrawal transaction outside these networks in the US and globally. The out-of-network ATM provider may charge additional fees. 

There is a $500 daily limit on ATM withdrawals. 

Transfer fee

Transferring money from your Chime Bank account to other Chime Bank members is free, and Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank transfers are also free. It is not possible to make international wire transfers to or from Chime Bank. 

Top-up fee

Chime Bank does not charge a fee when you top up (add money to) your account using direct deposit, bank transfer from within the Chime app, mobile checks or cash deposits at GreenDot locations.

Chime Bank Review 2020
Chime Bank vs. Aspiration

  Chime Bank Aspiration
Card type Visa Mastercard
ATM withdrawal fees Free within network, $2.50 otherwise 5 free per month, anywhere in world
Minimum deposit $0 $10
International wire transfer fee n.a. $15
Interest paid on savings (APY) 0.25% up to 0.25%

Compare other digital banks

Chime Bank Review 2020
Chime Bank account opening

Opening a Chime Bank account is a breeze: it takes only a few minutes via your phone or online, and you should have your new Chime bank card in your hands in about a week.

Chime Bank countries

Chime Bank is available only in the US, for citizens or permanent residents.

Chime Bank currencies

At Chime Bank, you can open your bank account only in USD.

Current accounts

The Chime Bank current account (they call it a Spending Account) is also available only in USD. You can also open a separate Savings Account for free.

Currencies in the app

Within the app, you can only hold money in one currency as well, which is USD.

Top up currencies

At Chime Bank, you can top up (deposit money to your account) only in USD.

Security

Is your money safe at Chime Bank? Yes, it is safe. Even though Chime Bank itself is not a bank and does not hold a banking license, Chime Bank accounts are insured up to $250,000 through its partner banks, Stride Bank, N.A. or The Bancorp Bank, which hold your deposits and are both members of the Federal Deposit Insuance Corporation (FDIC).

Stride Bank is based in Oklahoma, while The Bancorp Bank is based in South Dakota. Chime decides which bank will issue your card and manage your deposits, you cannot choose. 

Chime Bank cards overview

What kind of card does Chime Bank provide? Chime cards are provided by Visa. There is only one kind of physical card, a debit card. Chime Bank provides EMV chip cards, which however cannot be used for making contactless payments.

How long till I get my Chime Bank card? It takes about a week for your card to arrive at your home address after ordering. Once your card arrives, you can activate it through the Chime Bank app.  

What happens if my Chime Bank card is lost or stolen? If your Chime Bank card is lost or stolen, you can immediately disallow card transactions within the app, and order a replacement card via the app or by phone. There is no cost for getting a replacement card, which should arrive in about a week. 

Can I use my Chime Bank card abroad? Yes, you can use your Chime Bank card anywhere Visa is accepted, for payments and for withdrawing money from ATMs. However, you have to turn on International Transactions in your settings within the app. Chime Bank does not charge a fee for international transactions, but there is $2.50 fee for international ATM withdrawals.

Chime Bank Premium accounts

Chime has no premium accounts.

Chime Bank top-up methods

At Chime Bank, you can use the following methods to top up, i.e. deposit money to your account:

  • Direct deposit from employer
  • Bank transfer: either directly from your home bank, or from within the Chime Bank app after linking it to your bank account (not all banks supported). In the latter case, there is a $200 daily and $1,000 monthly limit on transfers.  
  • Mobile check deposit (only if direct deposit has been enabled)
  • Cash (at over 90,000 GreenDot locations in the US): You can deposit a maximum of $1,000 per 24 hours or $10,000 per month in cash.

Chime Bank Review 2020
Chime banking features

Chime Bank offers a wide array of banking features:

  • You can see your spending categorized by the type of transaction (e.g. shopping, restaurants).
  • You can send money to other Chime Bank users instantly and for free, up to a $2,000 per month limit.
  • Smart savings are also available, where Chime Bank will round up the amounts you actually spend and store the difference in your Savings Account.
  • These savings are stored separately in your Savings Account for easier overview and management.
  • You can earn interest on your savings. (0.25% as of March 19, 2020)
  • You can also save when you get paid, whereby 10% of your paycheck (if it is more than $500) automatically goes directly to your savings.
  • Setting up or canceling direct debits is possible with Chime Bank.
  • Overdrafts are possible. If you receive at least $500 per month in direct deposits, the SpotMe feature allows you to overdraw your account $20 to $100 (depending on your account activity and history) without a fee. 
  • You can set up Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. 

 

However, Chime Bank also lacks features that some of its competitors offer:

  • You cannot set monthly budgets or spending goals.
  • You cannot send money requests to friends or contacts, or use the app to split bills.
  • Joint accounts are not available.
  • 3D Secure online payments are not supported.

Chime Bank Review 2020
Chime Bank additional features

You can use Chime Bank through a mobile app or on a desktop computer through the Chime Bank website.

One of the main draws touted by Chime Bank is that it lets you get paid 2 days early through direct deposits sent by your employer. This is compared to traditional banking policies and paper check deposits made by employers or government agencies that send you money, such as your paycheck or monthly benefits. You can set up direct deposits by giving your bank routing number and your Chime Bank account number to your payroll or benefits provider. You can find this information in the Chime Bank app.  

Chime Bank does not have any additional features like a Premium account, virtual cards or cryptocurrency trading.

Loans, investments or insurance are also not directly available via the app. There is only an 'Offers' section for such services by third parties, which are practically advertisements that take you to the providers' website.

Chime Bank Review 2020
Chime Bank customer service

You can contact Chime Bank via:

  • Chat: The app has a built-in robo-chat function, but if your question is more complicated you have to send an email or call them on the phone to get an answer.
  • Phone: You have to get past several automated menu choices before you can select to talk to a personal advisor. Once there, we connected within a few minutes and got mostly useful answers. 
  • Email: Your best bet is to send an email if you have a specific question that is not answered in the FAQ. We received responses usually within a few hours, some of them not too helpful or relevant, but in other cases we received comprehensive and useful answers. 

Customer service is not available 24/7.

Author of this review

Tamás Deme

Author of this review

Tamás believes in clear and simple writing that is accessible to everyone. He has almost 20 years of experience as a financial journalist, as well as an editor and proofreader. He previously worked at Interfax news agency and wrote about M&A deals for EMIS DealWatch.

Tamás Deme

Content Editor

Tamás believes in clear and simple writing that is accessible to everyone. He has almost 20 years of experience as a financial journalist, as well as an editor and proofreader. He previously worked at Interfax news agency and wrote about M&A deals for EMIS DealWatch.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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