• Max Late Fee: $0
  • Cash Advance Fee: $0
  • Cash Advance APR: None
  • Recommended Credit Score: Bad
  • Regular APR: None
  • Intro APR: None
  • Annual Fee: None

Freshest Chime Credit Builder Card Review for 2021

  • Max Late Fee: $0
  • Cash Advance Fee: $0
  • Cash Advance APR: None
  • Recommended Credit Score: Bad
  • Regular APR: None
  • Intro APR: None
  • Annual Fee: None

Best For

No-Fee Credit Building

STRENGTHS

  • No credit check/minimum credit score required to apply
  • Zero annual, transaction, APR, or penalty fees
  • No minimum deposit for your secured account
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus

WEAKNESSES

  • Cannot be used for withdrawals or SpotMe overdraft
  • Requires a Chime savings/checking account
  • You can’t get extra credit higher than your deposit

Chime is a financial services provider founded in 2013 in San Francisco, California. It focuses mostly on providing online banking services using no-fee models. They offer a simple catalog of three products: a debit, savings, and credit-builder account.

In this Chime Credit Builder Card review, we’ll take an in-depth look at whether it’s the right card to help you build good credit as well as at some of its alternatives. We’ll cover:

  • What you need to know
  • How the Chime Credit Builder Card works
  • What products does Chime offer?
  • How to Apply for the Chime Credit Builder Card
  • Pros and Cons
  • Alternatives
  • FAQs

What You Need To Know About The Chime Credit Builder Card

The Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Card is a credit card tailored expressly for those who are new to owning a credit card, don’t have an adequate credit history, or who have a bad credit history. In fact, it’s great for anyone who needs to build credit. As part of our Chime banking review, we found it to be a great alternative to credit repair companies for the following reasons:

  • Unlike most credit cards, there is no required credit check or score when applying for this card.
  • Because it’s a secured credit card, you can only use the available funds on your credit card. We will get into more detail on how this works throughout our Chime card review below.
  • Chime has a number of features and controls in place to help you manage your credit spending, such as “Safer Credit Building,” “Move My Pay,” and a secured credit account.

How the Chime Credit Builder Card Works

While you can find more information in later sections of our Chime card review, here is an overview of how it works:

  • First of all, you need a Chime Spending Account with a history of regular direct deposits.
  • Transfer money from your Spending Account to the Credit Builder Card secured account. This amount effectively becomes your available credit limit which has a maximum of $10,000.
  • Now, you can start spending with your Credit Builder Card via transfers, purchases (online or in-store), or via automated monthly debit orders. Importantly, if you still have an amount overdue from the last billing cycle, this will also be deducted from your credit limit for the following month.
  • As a secured credit card, your credit needs to be paid in full each month. You can pay your outstanding balance either from your secured account, an external bank account, or your Spending account.
  • If you fail to pay the full amount by the Payment Due Date, your Account will be considered to be in Default. Chime will then use your secured account funds to settle the outstanding balance (up to the full amount).

This guaranteed credit payment is the main difference when comparing other banks and Chime in reviews.

The end result is that you can effectively never get behind on your credit payments as your credit limit is defined by the amount available in your secured account. This will allow you to build a good credit score over time by consistently meeting your credit obligations each month.

What Types Of Products Does Chime Offer?

Chime offers three banking solutions aimed at those who want a simple, no-fee way to start saving or building credit. Here are mini Chime banking reviews of what they have to offer:

Spending account.

This is a zero-fee account that doesn’t require a credit check to apply. It’s a simple and straightforward debit card facility that you can apply for in under 2 minutes. You can also qualify for up to $100 overdrafts with no fees attached. This account is a prerequisite for the Savings and Credit Builder Accounts.

High-yield savings account.

You need a Chime Spending Account to open a Savings Account. You can make deposits manually from your Spending Account or set up automatic deposits. The account will earn 0.5% APY based on a variable rate. You can also activate automatic rounding which will round your spending to the nearest dollar and send that amount to your savings account.

Credit Builder.

This is another 0-fee account from Chime aimed at helping users build better credit scores. Control your credit utilization by how much you deposit each month and manually or automatically settle the bill to build your credit score with the three credit bureaus. Read the rest of this Chime Credit Builder review to find out more about this service.

Chime Credit Builder Card Key Features And Benefits

Here are the key features and benefits you can look forward to:

No interest charges or fees.

The Chime Credit Builder Card is a zero-fee card with no flat annual fee, no transaction fees, and no penalty fees for late or returned payments.

Controlled limits.

Unlike other credit cards that give you a credit limit to utilize, you set your own credit limit using the credit builder. You do this by reserving money upfront to be used for credit card transactions so that you never land in a situation where you don’t have the funds to cover your credit.

“Available to Spend”.

You need to top up the secured account on your Credit Builder card which acts as the amount you have available to spend on purchases or transactions. This is the main feature that stops you from over-utilizing credit and amassing debt. When you spend any money, that amount is reserved and you will have less money available to spend. This feature alone is probably the main differentiator from other banks, as pointed out in numerous Chime Credit Builder Card reviews.

“Move My Pay”.

This optional feature allows Chime to move a share of your salary to your secured account on your Credit Builder card automatically every payday. This automatic top-up is handy to help ensure that you always have a spendable balance on your card.

“Safer Credit Building”.

This is another optional feature you can enable on your account. When enabled, every time you spend using your Credit Builder Card, money from your secured account will automatically be reserved to pay your bill at the end of the month. Otherwise, you will need to settle your credit bill manually.

How to Sign Up for the Chime Credit Builder Card

One thing often pointed out in reviews of the Chime bank accounts is how easy it is to apply for them. Here is the entire process:

  1. First of all, you will need to apply for a Chime Spending account as this is a requirement to open a Credit Builder account.
  2. The next step is providing your email address.
  3. Then they’ll ask you to complete a CAPTCHA test.
  4. Next, you need to enter your First and Last Names, followed by your date of birth, phone number, and residential address.
  5. Then you need to set a secure password.
  6. Next, provide your social security number.
  7. Then, you need to provide your source of income (if any), yearly income (no minimum), method of payment, and how you heard about Chime.
  8. Finally, accept all the T&Cs and submit your application.

That wasn’t the end of our Chime review. You need to sign into the Chime mobile banking app in order to open a Credit Builder account. You can download and install the Chime App from the official Google Play or Apple App Store. To open a Credit Builder account:

  1. Sign in to the app.
  2. Tap the Settings icon in the top left corner.
  3. Scroll down until you see the “Credit Builder Card” heading and tap “Try Credit Builder”
  4. You will now be signed up for the Credit Builder card facility.
  5. Wait 5-7 business days for your card to arrive.

Chime Credit Builder Card Interest Rates and Fees

Here are the most important rates and fees you should know after reading our Chime review:

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Because you have to settle any outstanding credit at the end of each billing period, there are no interest charges.
  • Cash Advance APR: See above.
  • Penalty APR: See above.
  • Cash Advance Fee: $0.
  • 0% Introductory APR: Intro APR does not apply as there is no regular APR.
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $0.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0.
  • Late Payment or Return Payment Fee: $0.
  • Overlimit Fee: None.
  • Minimum Monthly Payment: None.
  • Payment Due Dates: 21 days after the close of the last billing cycle.

Chime Credit Builder Card Pros and Cons According to Chime Visa Card Reviews

Here are the main pros and cons of using Credit Builder, backed up by other reviews on Chime:

Pros:

  • No credit check/minimum credit score required to apply
  • Zero annual, transaction, APR, or penalty fees
  • No minimum deposit for your secured account
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus

Cons:

  • Cannot be used for withdrawals or SpotMe overdraft
  • Requires a Chime savings/checking account
  • You can’t get extra credit higher than your deposit

Privacy & Security Policy

We didn’t find anything to be concerned about regarding Chime’s Privacy Policy in our Chime banking review. It states that they share personal information with the Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., of which they are a subsidiary. Most of the information they gather is from typical documents you submit in the course of banking with 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, although this has become standard.

As for security, all accounts are secured by 128-bit SSL encryption. On an individual level, you can instantly block your cards via the Chime app if you suspect fraud and will receive transaction alerts. You can also set up two-factor authentication to secure your logins.

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

Alternatives to Chime Credit Builder Card

No Chime Credit Builder review would be complete without comparing it with some of its alternatives. Here are two of the top secured credit builder cards to consider:

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

The OpenSky is one of the top credit cards for fair credit with an annual fee of $35. The minimum deposit is $200 (maximum $3,000) which also translates to your line of credit. OpenSky reports to all three credit bureaus and doesn’t perform a credit check when you apply. There is also a 17.39% APR to consider which, at least, is not very high. Furthermore, there are both foreign transactions and cash advance fees.

Capital One Secured MasterCard

This is another $0 annual fee secured credit card that you can use to build your credit with all three bureaus. Making a minimum secured deposit earns you a credit line of $200 which you can raise to $1,000 with additional deposits. Unfortunately, it is possible to get behind on your payments, and then you will have to pay the 26.99% APR. However, you also have a chance to raise your line of credit and earn your deposit back by responsible usage.

Finally, if you’re in a real hurry and have a very bad credit score, you may want to give credit repair a chance. The best we can recommend is Credit Saint, but there are plenty of other companies that can help as well.

Wrap Up

Arguably the biggest advantage we identified in this Chime Credit Builder card review is that there are plenty of safeguards and controls in place to foster responsible credit utilization over a long period of time. As your deposit defines your credit limit, you can effectively never get (too far) behind on your payments.

It’s also a 0-fee card, which means that you get to keep every cent that you earn.

If you don’t have a credit history or have a bad one, Chime reviews show that this is the ideal card to apply for to start building credit fast with all three credit bureaus. There is no credit check required, and all you need is a Chime Spending Account to get started. It can be an effective, stress-free part of your strategy on how to fix your credit score.

FAQ

Can you withdraw cash from Chime’s Credit Builder card?

No. Unfortunately, the Credit Builder card cannot be used for withdrawals or overdrafts. However, you can do this via your Chime Spending Account which is a prerequisite for getting the Credit Builder card.

Does Chime Credit Builder give you money?

No. While writing our Chime Credit Builder card review, we found that Chime doesn’t provide a scheme whereby you can get your deposit back or earn rewards via the Credit Builder card.

Can I withdraw money from Chime without my card?

No. Your Chime card is always needed to make withdrawals. However, you can make cardless payments using Google or Apple Pay.

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