Chime Review

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4.0
4/5

Summary: If you’re opening your first checking, savings account or if you’re looking for second chance banking, then Chime is the banking platform for you. With easy account creation, competitive interest savings rates, no fees or minimums, it is no surprise that it is one of the most popular online banking platforms. 

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Chime Review

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I’m a former fintech executive, current Chime account holder and this is my personal Chime review. 

Chime is one of the most popular if not the most popular online banking platforms. That is for a reason. Chime at is core delivers on what most people are looking for, a simple to use banking platform  with no fees, minimums and is perfect for people new to banking.

Be sure to also watch my detailed YouTube video review of Chime below.

What is Chime?

Chime is an online banking platform that offers services focused on people either new to banking or people that are looking for second chance banking services. They offer competitive interest rate savings accounts, spending accounts and a secure credit card to help you build your credit. 

Chime’s motto is that they don’t profit from the customer but from their service partners. For example if you use your Chime Visa Debit card, Chime receives fees from the Visa merchant where you use your debit card.

Please click on the link to the free “Tips For Safe Banking Over the Internet” guide from the FDIC, Federal Reserve and Office of the Controller.

Chime Account Creation

The account creation process is pretty straight forward and it took less than a couple of minutes to create an account. To qualify to open an account you must be a United States citizen, at least 18 years old and with a valid mailing address to apply. You can either start the account creation process from their website or do it all from their mobile app. Their app is available on both Apple App Store and Google Play.

Chime Second Chance Banking

Chime markets to individuals that either are new to banking or to people who are looking for a second chance at banking. They explain this on their website by not filtering new accounts-based banking blacklists and not using credit reporting agency links services like ChexSystems and others. This is great for anyone who might have made banking mistakes in the past and want to start banking again.

Chime and Federal Deposit Insurance

Chime is a fintech banking platform, providing you the interface and banking services managed through Chime.

With that being said Chime itself is not FDIC insured, but your deposits are FDIC insured through Chime’s partner banks, Bancorp and Stride Bank. These two banks are where your deposits actually reside when you use Chime.

Checking, savings, CDs and money market accounts in the United States are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Click here to learn more information.

Mobile Application Interface

Chime Welcome To Better Banking
Chime Interface
Pay Friends

The account onboarding and user interface is very simple and elegant. They do a good job of holding your hand per say, explaining things and providing easy access to important banking features.

Funding your spending or savings account is fast and simple. 

The settings are very straight forward with standard account features as well.

Sending money to your friends is ubiquitous to something you would find on either Venmo or Cash App.

Chime Spending Account Overview

Chime Make Yourself At Home
Chime Your Debit Card Is On Its Way
Chime Add Money To Your Spending Account

Chime offers some of the best features you want in a checking account. Immediately upon account creation you have access to your checking account number, routing number and they even start the process of getting you your debit card. Your Chime debit card arrives within the first couple of weeks of your account creation.

Here are some of the Chime spending (checking) account benefits and features:

  • Fee debit card
  • No monthly fees
  • No maintenance fees
  • No minimum balances

Please click on the FDIC guide on “Learning Bank – Checking & Savings Accounts

Chime savings account overview

Chime offers some of the most competitive annual percental yield savings account interest rates in the industry. 

With that being said, they are not the highest you can find. The advantage of what Chime offers is that their savings interest has no strings attached. For example, you could earn 1-2% more interest in competing savings accounts, but they typically require specific account activity for you to earn that higher interest.

For example, they might have you conduct a minimum amount of debit card transactions and total debit card value amounts before you can receive this interest. This way they earn the fees from the card network merchants and pass this onto you in the form of savings interest yield.

The Chime savings account also has the same no-fee features as the spending account.,

Chime automatic savings through round-ups

Chime Round-Ups

Chime offers a very similar saving account feature to that of Acorns.

With Chime’s automatic savings, you save money every time you make a purchase or payment through your Chime Visa debit card. 

Take a look at the example in the image above, if you made this coffee purchase of $4.55, the rounded-up value then automatically is deposited to your savings account. The idea here is that you’re creating a nest egg automatically, potentially carrying a significant balance over time that can earn you interest.

Bank accounts, checking, savings, CDs and money market account interest are subject to taxation. Please click the link to the IRS website for additional information.

Other Chime account features

Chime SpotMe Setup
Chime Early Pay
Chime Early Pay Day

Chime’s SpotMe

Fee-free overdraft protection. Chime will “spot you” up to $100 on debit card purchases with no overdraft fees.

Chime automatically deducts your overdraft amount from your next direct deposit. Overcoming your negative balance.

SpotMe also gives you the option to give Chime a tip when your negative balance is repaid to pay it forward. They claim your tips help keep the service ongoing to other Chime banking customers that might need it in the future. Again, these tips are optional and don’t affect your use of this service.

Chime Early Banking

This is a service that Chime offers such that you can get access to your direct deposit paycheck up to two days in advance.

The idea here is that people starting out in banking are on a tight spending budget and having access to your funds up two days in advance while your starting out can provide the extra cushion you need to get your life off the ground.

Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card

Chime Secure Credit Card
Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card

Chime offers a secure starter credit card. They offer this card to Chime spending accounts with eligible direct deposit enabled. According to their website that is a minimum of $200 within the past 365 days.

Here are some of the features of the Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card:

  • No annual fee or interest
  • No credit check to apply
  • No minimum security deposit

Secured credit cards are pre-funded cards that provide you a line of credit based on the funded amount. This is different from a standard starter credit card that is a true line of credit.

To learn more about the difference between secured and starter credit cards, please check click the link to my article explaining this more: Starter Credit Cards to Build Credit

Chime Security Features

You will be very impressed with Chime’s security features. 

Here is a list of them below:

  • Real-time alerts on your debit card
  • Daily notifications on your accounts
  • 2-factor authentication account features
  • Biometric fingerprint authentication

These features are essential for you to have confidence on Chime’s online banking platform. Just like any security feature, please use best practices when it comes to passwords, programs and sites that you visit on your devices as they could expose you to potential threats.

Summary

I strongly recommend Chime to anyone either new to banking or looking for a second chance banking platform. I would even recommend it to anyone looking for a bank only platform.

Their app is simple to navigate and very user friendly.

Their spending and savings account features are industry-leading and provide the necessary balance between simplicity, low cost and high yield in their savings accounts.

That being said if you’re looking for the highest savings yield available, then you will need to shop that around. 

In addition to this, Chime could improve their personal finance account features. You can find these services through third-party platforms such as Credit Karma or Personal Capital if you need them.

Also, there are no investment account features associated with Chime, just straight forward checking savings along with a secure starter credit card build option.

So if you’re looking for an industry-leading banking platform focused on the best services offered around checking and savings, then Chime is for you.

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Frank Makrides

Frank Makrides

Is a former financial technology industry executive, licensed realtor, real estate investor, an award-winning speaker, has been published, holds multiple patents and is passionate about all things personal finance and entrepreneurship. He is also a proud husband and father of 2 amazing children.

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