Extra Customer Benefits
- No service fees
- Get paid up to two days early6 with direct deposit
- Round up debit card transactions to the nearest dollar and the spare change goes to your savings account
- Does not rely on Chex Systems or credit checks
- A credit-builder secured credit card is available2
- Current savings rate is higher than most banks4*
- 24/7 customer service via phone or chat
- Counter/out-of-network ATM fee of $2.50
- Limited account options
- No branch locations
Chime® is headquartered in San Francisco and was launched in 2014. Its innovative financial technology — fintech — roots are the top reason why it’s different from the average brick-and-mortar bank*. Chime doesn’t have any physical branches — online banking, including a simple-to-understand mobile app and debit card to help you handle your everyday finances, is its focus.
Chime’s partnerships with regional banks help it create “member first financial products.” The approach lowers Chime’s operating costs and cuts out many of the fees you’re used to paying. A good example is Chime’s partnerships with Stride Bank and The Bancorp Bank, which add up to $250,000 in FDIC protection for Chime account holders.
Chime Key Features
Here are the features GOBankingRates looked at when considering Chime for inclusion in its Best Banks of 2023 roundup.
The foundation of your Chime experience is the Checking Account, which was included in GOBankingRates’ Best Checking Accounts of 2023 survey. Opening one is easy, and there are no monthly fees, minimum requirements or opening balances to meet.
As for charges, there is only a $2.50 fee for over-the-counter and out-of-network ATM withdrawals. You can easily avoid the fee if you stick with the over 60,000 free3 ATMs8 or ask for cash back at 38,000 participating locations when you make a purchase using your debit card. Chime works with retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens, Target, CVS and Rite Aid that don’t charge you a fee for cash back.
You don’t have to worry about overdraft charges either. Chime created SpotMe®7, which covers overdrafts starting at $20 and all the way up to $200 over time. For any larger amount, the transaction is declined to save you a non-sufficient funds charge. You’re eligible for SpotMe® if you have a qualifying monthly direct deposit of up to $200 into your Chime Checking Account.
You can receive direct deposits up to two days earlier than scheduled with early access direct deposit6. Note that bank* transfers can take up to five to seven business days to clear, however.
One of the big complaints about online-only banks* is what to do with cash. Chime solved the issue by partnering with many of the same retailers that allow you to get cash back, to accept cash deposits on your behalf9.
Chime’s savings Annual Percentage Yield (APY)4 is comparable to the average online and neobank savings account APY. The account is more than a place to park money for an emergency or for a goal. You can set up automated savings to grow your balance. The savings account is optional, and a Chime checking account is required to open it.
An automatic saving feature allows you to designate a percentage of your direct deposit to your savings11. You can also use rounding up — a clever way to put a few cents extra for each purchase you make towards your savings account12.
All you need to do is toggle rounding up and each time you make a payment with the debit card, Chime will round up the transaction to the nearest dollar and send the amount to your savings account.
Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card
If you had some past financial challenges that you feel still come back to haunt you, you may be relieved to know that Chime won’t penalize you for them. The company is committed to giving a fresh start to everyone by not basing its decisions on Chex Systems reports or credit scores10. And best of all, you can start on your credit-rebuilding journey by signing up for Chime’s Credit Builder5 secured Visa2.
The credit card secures the credit limit from funds in your Spending Account and won’t pull your credit. There is no annual fee or interest charges, either, which is rare for secured credit cards. The point of the card is to show the credit agencies that you can spend responsibly and pay your bills on time.
Enabling Safer Credit Building will transfer automatic payments towards your balance on time every month to avoid late payments. Chime will also report your timely payments to the credit bureaus.
Chime isn’t a bank, but its technology and partnerships with banks result in a seamless banking experience for its customers.
Chime wants to make banking accessible for everyone, regardless of credit history. You don’t have to worry about credit checks or Chex Systems to open an account. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the typical fees you’ll see with other banks such as monthly maintenance or overdraft fees. For anyone who struggles opening a bank account or can’t afford to pay fees, Chime is a great option*.
Other online banks and fintechs may have a wider variety of products, including CDs, money markets and loans. However, the typical Chime customer is in search of a simple, no-frills way to bank*. In many cases, they’re just starting on their financial journey or looking to rebuild credit. A checking and savings account — as well as one credit card option — can be the perfect package.
You’ll need to feel comfortable with turning to the mobile app for most of your banking* needs, but if you run into problems, you can contact customer service via live chat 24/7 from within the app. You can also reach customer service 24/7 by phone at 844-244-6363. For support via email, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chime Mobile App has 4.7 stars on Google Play and 4.8 stars on the App Store. In addition to providing access to your accounts and account management tools to help you stay on top of your finances, the app lets you make mobile payments to people you know. This feature can simplify your life by cutting out the need to use separate apps such as Venmo, PayPal or CashApp.
Chime vs. Competitors
Take a look at this comparison between Chime and some of its competitors.
Chime vs. Ally Bank
Ally Bank is an online bank with low fees and high-yield savings. Chime’s mobile app is better designed, but Ally beats Chime when it comes to comprehensive products. You’ll have access to multiple checking, savings, money market accounts as well as loans and investments.
Chime vs. Capital One
Capital One also offers free online banking* but edges out Chime with innovative Capital One Cafes where you can talk to an advisor or attend a financial seminar.
How To Open an Account
Chime makes opening a checking account simple. As mentioned, nearly anyone can open an account since credit history doesn’t factor into the decision. As long as you’re age 18 or older and a U.S. citizen or resident, you can get started using the mobile app or website by following these steps:
- Click or tap on Apply.
- Enter your name, email address and Social Security number.
- Answer if you’d like to open an optional linked savings account now or later.
- Create an account password.
- Wait for approval.
- Set up direct deposit by providing your employer with your Chime account number and routing number.
- Wait for a Chime debit Visa card1 to arrive in the mail.
Chime is reinventing banking* — and according to Chime reviews, many people are responding well to the concept. The app is working on removing all the objections that hold people back from going fully digital. You can make cash deposits at participating retailers, pay friends and bills without the need for checks and finally have an account even if you have bad credit.
More on Chime Bank
- Chime Account Promotions
- Chime ATM Withdrawal and Deposit Limits
- Where to Load Your Chime Card
- Chime vs. Varo
Chime FAQHere are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Chime.
- Can Chime be trusted?
- Chime has been offering account services since 2014. It offers banking* services through The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A. to provide FDIC protection for up to $250,000.
- Is Chime a good bank*?
- Chime is a great option for anyone in need of low-cost, no-frills, second-chance banking. You don't have to worry about credit checks or Chex Systems to open an account.
- What are the cons of Chime?
- Chime doesn't offer more than a basic spending and savings account. Plus, there are no physical branch locations if you need one-on-one assistance.
- What are the pros and cons of Chime?
- Chime's pros are the low fees and availability to everyone regardless of credit history. However, Chime doesn't offer as many banking* services as the traditional brick-and-mortar banks such as physical branches, multiple account options, investment services and more.
- Is Chime worth getting?
- If traditional banking doesn't meet your needs, Chime can be an excellent alternative and well worth trying out
- Is Chime better than a bank?
- Chime provides fewer products than a bank, but lack of overdraft fees and an application approval process that doesn't consider banking history or credit score makes it a better choice for individuals who don't qualify for a traditional bank account.
Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for 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.
1Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
2The 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.
3There’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.
4The 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.
5To 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.
6Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
7Chime SpotMe is an optional service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.
8Out-of-network ATM withdrawal and over the counter advance fees may apply. See here for details.
9The retailer that receives your cash will be responsible for transferring the funds for deposit into your Chime Checking Account. Cash deposit fees may apply if using a retailer other than Walgreens and Duane Reade.
10On-time payment history may have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian® and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.
11Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Checking Account into your savings account.
12Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.
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.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 30, 2022.
To determine rankings for the Best Neobanks, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (2) savings APY; (3) products/services offered (credit cards and investment services); (4) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores; and (5) number of extra benefits and perks unique to neobanks. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factor (1) was weighted 0.5 times, and factors (2) and (5) were weighted 2 times.
To determine rankings for the Best Checking Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding credit unions): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) APY on the checking account; (6) overdraft fee amount; and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1), (2 and (5) were weighted 0.5 times, and factor (4) was weighted 1.5 times.
Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.
- Cornerstone Advisors. 2021. "Chime forced to ditch use of word ‘bank’ after regulator’s pushback."