Many secured credit cards out there promise to help you raise your credit score. But Chime®* has a unique approach to credit building that doesn’t require a minimum security deposit or charge interest on your card balance. Read on to learn more about how the Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa credit card1 works, how to get it and how quickly it may improve your credit score.
How Does the Chime Credit Builder Card Work?
The Chime Credit Builder2 card is a secured Visa credit card. It works just like a regular credit card in that you can use it to buy gas, groceries or household goods anywhere Visa is accepted. You can also make fee-free3 cash withdrawals at in-network ATMs4. The card has no annual fee or APR.
With the Chime Credit Builder card, you make security deposits into your Credit Builder account however often and for any amounts you choose. You can then make purchases on credit up to your account balance.
Each month, you receive a statement that you must pay in full. You can either pay your balance with money from your Credit Builder account or your Chime checking account. Chime then reports your on-time payments — and late payments, if you have any — to the major credit bureaus every month.
How Much Credit Does Chime Credit Builder Give You?
The balance in your Chime Credit Builder account determines the credit limit on your Chime Credit Builder card. So if you have $200 in your account, you can charge up to $200. If you only charge $100 worth of goods and don’t add more money to your account during the month, your credit limit for the next month is $100. If you add $150 to your account, your new credit limit is $250.
How Fast Does the Chime Credit Builder Card Build Your Credit?
Chime claims that using the card can improve your credit score by an average of 30 points in just eight months. If you hope to see similar results, you’ll need to make sure you’re making on-time payments on your Chime Credit Builder card and any other revolving credit accounts and loans you may have.
Features and Benefits of the Chime Credit Builder Card
Chime Credit Builder has other features and benefits that can help ensure your credit score does improve.
With traditional credit cards, credit utilization can affect your credit score. Your credit utilization is the amount you owe divided by how much credit you have available. If you have a credit limit of $1,000 and you owe the credit card company $400, for example, your credit utilization rate is 40%. Credit reporting bureaus like to see a ratio of 30% or lower.
However, with the Chime Credit Builder card, you don’t have to worry about that because Chime doesn’t report credit utilization rates. You can spend as much as you have on the card (in your Credit Builder account) without negatively impacting your credit score.
Safer Credit Building
With the Safer Credit Building feature enabled, anytime you make a purchase using your Chime secured Visa card, Chime will hold the funds in your Credit Builder account and then automatically pay your account balance each month, ensuring on-time payments.
Move My Pay
You can use the Move My Pay feature to have whatever amount you choose from your paycheck directly deposited into your Chime Credit Builder account.
Chime has partnered with Experian, one of the major credit bureaus, to help you boost your FICO score even faster by using your Chime account to pay qualifying bills. Qualifying billers include streaming providers, such as Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu; mobile providers, such as AT&T and Verizon; and more.
How Do You Apply for a Chime Credit Builder Card?
To apply for a Chime Credit Builder card, you must have a Chime checking account into which you’ve received a qualifying direct deposit of at least $200 within the previous 365 days. It takes no more than a couple of minutes to apply for a checking account, and you can opt to automatically receive a Credit Builder card once your $200 direct deposit posts to your account.
If you already have a Chime checking account and a qualifying direct deposit, you can apply for a Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa card anytime through the Chime app.
You can also apply for a Chime savings account, which currently offers a annual percentage yield5. To be eligible for a Chime savings account, you must have a Chime checking account.
Is the Chime Credit Builder Card a Good Way To Build Credit?
Chime Credit Builder is an excellent fee-free option for building or rebuilding your credit. You never pay interest on your card balance. Best of all, you control the amounts and frequency of your security deposits and your credit limit.
Just keep in mind that using the Chime Credit Builder card doesn’t guarantee an improved credit score. Late card payments may have a negative impact. However, by enabling Chime’s Safer Credit Building feature, you can ensure you never miss a payment.
To get the most out of the Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa card, use it to buy essentials you would normally put on a debit card. Chime will inform the three major credit bureaus that you’re up to date with your bills, which should boost your credit score in as little as a few months. Continue to use the card this way, and you’ll be well on your way to a much-improved credit score. With a good credit score, you’ll be in a much better position to qualify for a rewards credit card with a decent APR that will enable you to start earning cash back or other rewards on those purchases.
Gail Kellner contributed to the reporting for this article.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of July 5, 2023.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.
*Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.
1 The 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 To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your 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.
3 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.
4 Out-of-network ATM withdrawal and over the counter advance fees may apply. See here for details.
5 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.