• APY: 0.5%
  • ATM fee: $0-$2.50
  • Monthly fee: None
  • Daily withdrawal limit: $500
  • Minimum deposit: N/A

2021 Chime Reviews: Should You Consider Using This Bank?

Fact-checked
  • APY: 0.5%
  • ATM fee: $0-$2.50
  • Monthly fee: None
  • Daily withdrawal limit: $500
  • Minimum deposit: N/A

Best For

No-Fee Banking

STRENGTHS

  • No credit check and low eligibility criteria for credit card
  • Quick signup and easy-to-use banking facility
  • Quick signup and easy-to-use banking facility
  • No signup, account, or transaction fees

WEAKNESSES

  • No in-person branches
  • No rewards programs
  • Daily transaction limits

Chime was founded in 2013 as a financial technology company and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Chime offers a range of fee-free financial services, based on their main product: the Chime spending account.

Chime reviews show that this service is great for individuals who want to start saving and building a solid credit record. It offers:

  • Banking with no fees
  • Low eligibility criteria
  • Savings and credit building features

In this review, we’ll look at this bank from every angle to help you decide if it’s the right financial service for you. We’ll cover:

  • What you need to know about Chime Bank
  • Chime Bank options and products
  • Who Chime is best for
  • Pros and cons
  • Chime Bank customer reviews
  • Privacy and security policy
  • Chime alternatives
  • FAQs

What Do You Need to Know about Chime Bank? 

Chime Bank is both a technology product and a banking services provider. It partners with The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank which manages and insures individual consumer banking accounts. As Chime online banking reviews illustrate, its digital platform is one of its main selling points.

Chime is part of a movement of newly formed banking services that focus on providing mobile-first banking solutions using the mobile app for a user-friendly, convenient, and accessible banking experience. However, you can also access your account and complete daily banking actions via the website dashboard.

Chime is the largest digital banking service in the US holding over 35% of the total number of digital bank accounts, according to Forbes. Like similar services, Chime offers zero-fee accounts as well as higher APY rates thanks to its limited operational overhead, with no physical banking locations.

Chime Bank Options

Below, you’ll find a number of Chime banking reviews of their main banking services. All of these products are tightly linked and consistent with Chime’s goal of providing fee-free and accessible banking services:

Chime Spending Account

A Chime spending account is a prerequisite for all other Chime services as well as your single-point-of-contact for these services. It’s a basic checking account that comes with a Visa debit card. You can open an account for free and it comes with no attached monthly fees or yearly account fees. The card is also free and will arrive within 7-10 days from the moment of your application.

There are also no usage fees, although out-of-network cash withdrawal fees apply for ATMtransactions. Although there are no Chime-specific ATMs, there are over 38,000 no-fee partner ATMs.

According to Chime bank account reviews, the account is extremely user-friendly with an intuitive and minimal app interface. You can individually allow/disallow different types of transactions with a toggle as well as disable your card with a single tap if it’s lost or stolen.

You can also use Apple Pay™ and Google Pay™ with your account to make no-card transactions.

Another two unique features are that Chime makes faster processing times possible for some payments, potentially allowing you to receive debits 2 days sooner. The other feature allows you to access a fee-free overdraft facility called SpotMe, although eligibility criteria apply.

Chime Savings Account

A Chime savings account can be attached to your Chime spending account to help users save money from their daily account usage. Money can’t be directly moved into the savings account but has to be transferred from the associated spending account. This is another favorite benefit users point to in their reviews on Chime Bank.

It comes with a number of features to help users save, such as a 0.50% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as well as an Automatic Savings feature. The latter rounds up your payments to the nearest dollar and/or takes an amount from your paycheck(10% from direct deposits of 500 or more) each month and deposits it into the savings account.

The account facilitates saving by having no fees attached for opening or subscribing to the account, no minimum balance, and no maximums on the amount of interest you can earn.

You can apply for a savings account in less than 2 minutes if you have a savings account and you’re logged into your banking profile.

Credit Builder Account

As the name suggests, this credit card account is tailored to individuals with low or limited credit history who want to build a strong credit record. Chime Credit Builder reviews often refer to its ease of use and affordability as two of its top advantages.

Like the other accounts, it only takes a matter of minutes to apply and there is no signup, annual, or other fees associated with the account. You also get a free Visa credit card with your account.

Unlike most other credit cards, there is no credit check necessary to apply. This is because the Chime Credit Builder card is a secured credit card. In simple terms, that means your credit card expenditure is insured by money reserved for this purpose from your spending account. You can secure your credit card with a maximum of $10,000. This means that you can have up to $10,000 in “credit” to spend.

According to Chime credit card reviews, this is one of the best credit-building cards due to its ease of use.

You can direct Chime to automatically settle your balance at the end of the billing period with the Safer Credit Building feature. You can do it yourself, but if you forget, your account will be considered in default. Chime will still settle your account at the end of the grace period, however, so you avoid paying any APR.

Who Is Chime Best For?

Chime is uniquely positioned as one of the best banks for those who want to start saving some money as well as those who want to improve their poor or limited credit history. Chime reviews mostly point out how accessible and easy to use this service is.

Except for out-of-network cash withdrawals, there are no other signup, account, transaction, or overdraft fees making these accounts extremely accessible for those who have limited financial capability or who just want to maximize their savings. The relatively high APY of 0.5% also makes this a more attractive option than most other accounts for day-to-day use.

With no credit check and almost no other hard requirements, virtually anyone can successfully apply for the Credit Builder card. They also report to all three credit bureaus to help you build a good credit history in line with the other credit-building features.

That said, Chime doesn’t offer any reward programs or advanced banking features. Having to secure your credit card expenditure might also defeat the purpose for some.

Pros and Cons

Here are the most vital Chime pros and cons we identified in our review:

Pros

  • No signup, account, or transaction fees
  • High 0.5% APY savings account
  • No credit check and low eligibility criteria for credit card
  • Quick signup and easy-to-use banking facility

Cons

  • No rewards programs
  • No in-person branches
  • Daily transaction limits

Chime Bank Customer Reviews

Customer Chime bank reviews are somewhat mixed. On BBB, the company has an A+ rating although they are not yet BBB accredited. Their BBB customer reviews average 2.36/5 from approximately 697 reviews. Chime also doesn’t have a great score on ConsumerAffairs – just over 1/5 stars.

Most complaints have to do with consumers not receiving funds deposited into their account as well as struggling to reach customer support. In spite of this, Chime does seem to be very active in addressing complaints on BBB.

It’s a different story on Trustpilot, where they have a great score of 4.2/5. Most positive reviews refer to the ease and convenience of using Chime’s various accounts.

It’s also worth pointing out that expert reviews of Chime Bank generally give it very high ratings.

Privacy and Security Policy

Chime Bank reviews seem to indicate that there are no red flags concerning their privacy and security policies.

In short, they admit to sharing personal information with the Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., with which they are partners. Most of the other information they gather is typical information and documents you would submit to any financial institution.

They may collect contact and social media handles, but only if you provide them. And, they may share some information with third-party services like Google Analytics, which is standard practice nowadays.

All accounts are secured by 128-bit SSL encryption. As a Chime banking user, you can immediately block your card by just tapping a toggle in the app, just one of the convenience-driven features we found while writing our Chime card review. There are also other security basics in place such as two-factor authentication and transaction alerts.

Finally, Chime insures deposits of up to $250,000 and offers 0% fraud liability.

Alternatives

Chime Bank vs Axos

Unlike Chime that is mostly a technology company, Axos is a direct banking institution. Axos also offers zero-fee checking accounts and high-yield savings accounts with 0.61% APY. However, Axos doesn’t offer the same credit-building facility.

Read the full Axos bank review here.

Chime vs Varo

Varo is a mobile-only neobank that’s very similar to Chime in that one of its main features is its quick and easy-to-use mobile banking platform. Varo also offers a range of no-fee checking accounts as well as secured credit-building accounts. With the savings account, you start at 0.4% APY and build up to 2.8% APY, although it’s tied to other requirements.

Conclusion

Chime is as much a technology platform as a banking service with a focus on providing accessible and easy-to-use banking services with no fees attached. Most Chime reviews highlight its general ease of use and convenience. Users seem to love its features, such as the early paycheck direct debit service, and how quick it is to apply for accounts.

Furthermore, it provides one of the easiest ways to start building your credit as the Credit Builder account doesn’t require a credit check, has low eligibility criteria, and secures your account so you can use your credit card with complete peace of mind.

FAQ

Is Chime a legit bank?

Chime is a technology neobank company. Through its platform, it offers bank accounts that are managed by its partners, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, which also insure customer deposits. All three of these companies are reputable and legitimate businesses.

Can you rent a car with a Chime card?

Yes, it’s entirely possible to rent a car using your Chime Credit Builder Visa credit card as we found in our Chime Visa card reviews. The only difference between using Chime’s cards and using another card is that you must first secure the amount you need to charge to the credit card via your linked secured account so that you have the available balance.

What is the Chime ATM limit?

Chime has a withdrawal limit of $500 at a time but it doesn’t limit how many times you can make a withdrawal per day. However, your total expenditure from over-the-counter and POS cash withdrawals and purchases, cannot exceed $2,500 per day. This is one of the few impactful restrictions pointed to in Chime reviews.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I learned a lot about finance after working for a digital marketing company specializing in investing and trading stocks, forex, etc. After that, I got exposed to other verticals such as wealth management and personal finance, which further improved my understanding of the financial world.