Chime App Review: What We Like, What We Don’t

Budget-conscious customers tired of getting paid through traditional bank accounts will benefit the most from using the Chime app.

Chime offers checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees or foreign transaction fees. Additionally, there is a credit creation tool that you can use to create credit from scratch for free.

The trade-off is that banking with Chime is done entirely online. So if you want to visit a bank once in a while, Chime won’t be the best option. And if you’re looking for a financial institution that offers a full range of products, like credit cards or loans with rewards, a larger bank might be the best choice.

However, as you’ll see in our Chime app review, Chime is a banking industry disruptor for a reason. With benefits like direct deposits up to two days in advance, savings pooling, and overdraft protection up to $200, it’s easy to see why so many are great in this app. .

Here are the pros and cons.

Chime App Review: Features

Chime is a banking app that helps users manage their money. But Chime is not a bank per se; rather, it was a technology company that created the banking platform. Banking services are actually handled by Chime’s FDIC member partners, The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank. Here are the ins and outs of what Chime has to offer:

Chime Chequing Accounts

Chime’s core product is Account Verification, which lets you manage day-to-day banking transactions like depositing a paycheck, paying bills, and withdrawing money.

Every Chime account comes with a Visa debit card that you can swipe in stores or connect to your digital wallet. Here are the notable features:

  • No credit check: Applying for a Chime checking account doesn’t involve a review of your bank or credit history, which could be a godsend if a poor track record prevents you from qualifying for other bank accounts.
  • Free ATMs: Cardholders have access to over 60,000 free ATMs worldwide. You may be charged third-party ATM fees if you go to an out-of-network site.
  • Paychecks up to two days faster: If you set up paychecks for direct deposit to your Chime account, you can get paid up to two days early.
  • Savings overview: The rounding feature can group each of your bank transactions and record the change.
  • Free discoveries: Eligible account members who have a direct deposit of at least $200 into their Chime account each month are eligible for Chime SpotMe, which is an optional overdraft service that covers overdrafts up to $20.
  • Transaction controls: You can activate and deactivate your card using the app and activate or deactivate international purchases when traveling abroad for security reasons.
  • Special offers: Chime users may have access to special discounts and cash back offers from Chime partner companies.

How to Add Money to Chime

To fund your Chime account, you can set up direct deposit, transfer money from external banks, make a mobile check deposit, or deposit money with deposit partners.

How to withdraw money from Chime

To withdraw money from your Chime account, you can withdraw money from an ATM, transfer money to an external bank account, send money to a friend, send a check or pay a bill with your card.

Chime High Yield Savings Accounts

In addition to checking accounts, the Chime app offers savings accounts that you can open to store cash for emergencies or other purposes.

Chime savings accounts currently offer an APY of 1.00%, well above the national average of 0.08% APY for savings accounts.

Chime Credit Generator Accounts

Chime’s Credit Builder account works like a secure credit card with no annual fees or interest rates.

There is also no credit check, so if you have a limited credit history or a bad credit history, you may still qualify.

Here’s how the Credit Builder account works:

  • Open a Credit Builder account through your Chime checking account.
  • Transfer money from your Chime checking account to your Credit Builder account; this money acts as your line of credit.
  • Use your Credit Builder card anywhere Visa is accepted.
  • The money in your Credit Builder account will automatically pay your credit card bill.
  • Account payments are reported to all three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – to help you establish a positive credit history.

(Image credit: Chime)

Chime limits

Apart from the above banking features, the Chime mobile banking app is quite limited in its financial services. Traditional banks may have frustrating rules, like a minimum balance requirement, but they usually offer more bells and whistles.

For example, large banks may offer loans, joint accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and investment services. Banks and credit unions can even let you manage bank accounts and loans from a single application profile. The Chime app can help you with basic banking, but not much else related to your finances, which is something to consider.

Chime App Review: Pricing

The Chime mobile app is free to download and banking is also free. So how does Chime make money? Every time you use your debit card, the merchant you buy from is charged a transaction fee, and a portion of that fee goes to Chime.

Chime App Review: Ease of Use

Clarity and simplicity are what we all look for in the app onboarding process, and Chime’s signup process delivers that. In a user-friendly way, Chime walks you through the information needed to get an account.

The Chime app is available on iPhone or Android. To get started, you’ll need to provide your email address, home address, and social security number. Chime says it only uses your social security number to verify your information and will not lead to credit.

Once setup is complete, Chime shows you how to fund your account. The app’s main screen also shows your balances, which is great when you want to quickly check if you have enough money for a purchase.

Chime app review: Support

Chime customer support is available Monday through Sunday from 3:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. CST. When you call, Chime tries to answer your question without connecting you with a live person by first guiding you through several automated customer service options. But if you press 0, you can quickly connect to an agent who is ready to answer questions about the account.

How the Chime App Compares to the Competition

Chime is very similar to Varo, another mobile banking app that offers banking services. However, one area where Varo stands out is that it offers a higher savings APY, ranging from 1.20% APY to 5% APY, compared to Chime’s 1.00% APY. So if you’re looking to maximize interest income, Varo might be a better option.

Chase is a big bank that has a banking app that offers some of the same features as Chime, like the ability to set up savings automation and transfer money to peers with Zelle. But Chase checking accounts have monthly fees unless you maintain a certain daily balance or have direct deposits of $500 or more each statement period.

Like Chase, Bank of America is a large bank that offers banking products, mortgages, and other loans. Using the Bank of America app, you can send money, set savings goals, make mobile deposits and more. But again, Bank of America checking accounts may also have monthly fees if you don’t meet direct deposit and balance requirements. When it comes to having no fees or conditions, Chime reigns supreme.

Chime App Review: Verdict

Chime is a great app for handling simple day-to-day transactions like depositing your paycheck, paying your bills, and saving money for a rainy day. But it’s pretty basic.

Chime customers don’t have access to physical branches or extensive banking services, which makes it less ideal if you want to open multiple types of accounts in one place. One of the advantages of managing many different accounts at a large bank is that it sometimes comes with loyalty benefits, such as loan interest rate discounts or reward bonuses.

Ultimately, Chime is a good choice if you need a basic bank account. But if you want to make more complex money movements or have a lot of assets to manage, it might be better to consider other banking options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does Chime offer online banking services?

Chime is a technology company that offers banking services through its app and website, but Chime itself is not a bank. The banking services that support the app are operated by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, and both of these banks are members of the FDIC.

Does Chime charge a fee?

The Chime app is free to download. Chime does not charge monthly, overdraft or international transaction fees for its checking or savings accounts. A Credit Builder account, Chime’s version of a secured card, also has no annual fee or interest rate.

What type of accounts does Chime have?

Chime has bank accounts, checking accounts, and credit generator accounts that work like a secure card that you can use to build a credit history.

About Marion Alexander

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