Chime SpotMe Overdraft: How Does It Compare With Traditional Overdraft Protection?
Overdraft fees can be a nightmare. Purchasing something as small as a cold soda can lead to high overdraft charges with traditional banks. And once they begin to add up, it can be difficult to get ahead again.
Chime is an online bank focused on providing the best for its members. That’s why it created an overdraft alternative called Chime SpotMe, which will not charge you for overdrafts up to $100.
If you often live on the brink of an overdraft, or you are just tired of paying unnecessary fees, Chime SpotMe could be the answer you are looking for. Learn more below with this Chime overdraft guide.
Who Is Eligible for SpotMe?
To qualify for Chime SpotMe, you only need a Chime bank account and to receive direct deposits of at least $500 for the previous 31 days. You will continue to be eligible each month as long as you meet the $500 direct deposit minimum.
How Does SpotMe Work on Chime?
Once you have met the eligibility requirements, Chime will send you an email invitation to enroll in SpotMe. When you register, you will be given a SpotMe limit, which usually starts at $20. Once you are signed up and go over your limit, SpotMe will step in to cover the charge and deduct that amount from your next deposit.
For example, say you have enrolled and were approved for $20 on SpotMe. On Wednesday, you go to the grocery store with $50 in your account, but your total is $60. Instead of putting something back, you swipe your debit card, and SpotMe pays the $10 difference.
When your $400 check is deposited on Friday, $10 is automatically paid back to SpotMe, leaving you with a $390 balance. This cycle can continue as long as you are enrolled in Chime’s overdraft program.
Can You Overdraft Chime Without SpotMe?
Chime likes to keep things simple. If you are not signed up for Chime SpotMe overdraft, your transactions will be declined if you go over your balance. Being enrolled in SpotMe is the only way to overdraft your Chime account.
Is There a Fee For Using Chime SpotMe Overdraft?
Chime charges absolutely no fees for using SpotMe, which is one feature that makes it such a great resource. It does, however, give you the option to help keep SpotMe running smoothly by leaving a tip when you use it. The tip is not required and does not impact your eligibility. It just allows you to help others and help keep the service free.
How Many Times Can You Overdraft With Chime?
Chime has no limits set on the number of times you can overdraft your account. It can be once or 20 times, as long as it is within your SpotMe limit. If a purchase exceeds that limit, it will be declined. You can easily keep up with the amount of SpotMe cash you have left through the Chime app.
How Do You Increase SpotMe on Chime?
When you sign up for SpotMe on Chime and are approved, you will be given a SpotMe limit. This is typically between $20 and $100 based on risk factors such as your direct deposit history and the amount normally deposited.
Over time, this amount may increase automatically if your direct deposits continue and Chime has no issue recouping their money. Increasing the amount of your direct deposit may also help to improve your limit. When you become eligible for a higher SpotMe limit, you will be notified through email and in the Chime banking app. This is an entirely automated process, and you cannot request a higher SpotMe limit by calling Chime Member Services.
What Can Chime SpotMe Overdraft Be Used For?
The Chime overdraft alternative is intended to cover debit card purchases. This means if you are trying to pay for groceries and spend more than what is available, you should be fine — as long as the total is within your limit. However, it does not cover ATM withdrawals, Chime Checkbook transactions, Pay Friends transfers or ACH transfers.
What’s the Difference Between Chime SpotMe and Overdraft Protection?
Chime’s overdraft alternative works like traditional overdraft protection, but there are some major differences. Take a look at their similarities and differences below:
|Compare||Chime SpotMe Overdraft Alternative||Traditional Overdraft Protection|
|Fees||No overdraft fees up to $100||-Fees averaging $35 per overdraft
-Possible fees of up to $12 to transfer coverage amount
-Possible annual fee of up to $50 for overdraft line of credit
|Overdraft Amount Limits||$20 to $100 each month, depending on your approval limit||Overdraft protection as high as $10,000|
|Maximum Number of Overdrafts Allowed||Unlimited free overdrafts, as long as the total remains within your monthly SpotMe limit||Up to 7 overdraft fees or $259 per day|
|Second Linked Account Required||No||Yes; unless you apply for an overdraft line of credit|
|Credit Check Required||No||No; unless you apply for an overdraft line of credit|
|Types of Overdrafts Allowed||Debit card only — no cash withdrawals or transfers||Any checking account transaction that exceeds your balance|
|Repayment Terms||Money is taken out of your next direct deposit without additional fees||Immediately — or you face an additional $35 fee for every five days the amount goes unpaid|
You might not always be able to prevent going over your bank balance. However, you can use the tools and resources available to help minimize the impact. Chime’s SpotMe overdraft alternative can give you some breathing room and ensure you do not get buried under a mountain of overdraft fees.
Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.
Rates and fees are subject to change. Information is accurate as of Sept. 28, 2021.
This content is not provided by Chime. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chime.
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- The New York Times. 2020. "Avoiding Overdraft Fees in a Strained Checking Account."