Chime Review 2023: What to expect

Chime Review 2023: What to expect

Chime is a financial technology company based in California that partners with The Bancorp Bank, N.A., and Stride Bank, N.A., to offer financial products. Both of the banks Chime partners with are FDIC members.

Chime is known for offering low-cost accounts that do not include overdraft fees or monthly maintenance fees. However, account options are limited, which may not make Chime the best choice for those who have more extensive or complex financial needs.

Chime says it offers customer service 24/7 via its chat and phone line. It does not have any physical locations. All rates and fees are current as of Jan. 4, 2023, and are subject to change. 

Chime offerings 

Chime currently provides two types of deposit accounts—checking and savings accounts. It does not offer money market or certificate of deposit (CD) accounts at this time. The savings account offers a 2.0% APY, which is nine times the industry average, according Chime.

Checking and savings accounts 

Chime checking 

  • APY: 0%
  • Fees
    • Monthly service fee: $0
    • Minimum balance fee: $0
    • Overdraft fee: $0—transactions that exceed your available balance are declined
    • Out-of-network withdrawal fee: $2.50 per transaction
    • Debit card replacement fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0

Funds in your Chime checking account can be accessed via a network of more than 60,000 in-network, fee-free ATMs with the Chime debit card. Customers receive a debit card when opening an account. However, cash deposits cannot be easily made with this account. Deposits must be made through third-party retail businesses. 

There are more than 90,000 such retail locations around the country where deposits can be made fee-free, including Walgreens. There are also retailers where deposits can be made and incur fees that may be charged by the merchant itself. Well-known retailers such as Walmart, CVS, Dollar General, and Rite Aid are all locations where Chime cash deposits can be made for a fee.   

Cash that’s deposited to your Chime account via a third party is only FDIC-insured once the bank receives the money.

High-yield savings account 

  • APY: Variable 2%
  • Fees:
    • Monthly service fee: $0
    • Minimum balance fee: $0
    • Out of network withdrawal fee: $2.50 per transaction
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0

Customers are required to open a Chime checking account before a Chime high-yield savings account can be established. Money can be deposited into this account in various ways including transfers directly from your Chime checking account or by routing 10% of every direct deposit of $500 or more directly into your savings account. Mobile direct deposits are also allowed with this account. Similar to the Chime checking account, you can also make fee-free cash deposits into your Chime savings at Walgreens. There are also 75,000 retail stores that will allow you to make a cash deposit to your Chime savings for a fee.

Other services Chime offers 

While its additional services are limited, Chime does offer a secured Credit Builder Visa credit card designed for those just starting their journey building their credit. There’s no credit check to apply for the card and no annual fee associated with it. Chime says users of the card raise their credit score by an average of 30 points.

There’s no minimum security deposit requirements to open the Credit Builder Visa, unlike many other secured credit cards that are aimed at helping users build credit. Instead, the money you transfer to the card each month is the amount you’re allowed to spend on the card. In order to open a credit builder account, you must have a Chime checking account and qualifying direct deposits of at least $200. 

The bank also offers a “Round Ups” program. The program allows users to automatically grow savings by offering the opportunity to round up to the nearest dollar on transactions made with Chime’s Visa debit card and transfer that difference from your Chime checking account into your Chime high-yield savings account. 

The Chime platform and customer support 

Chime offers a mobile banking app that has received positive customer reviews. The app allows for tracking spending and savings, transferring money, mobile check deposits, paying bills, and more. It is available for both iPhone and Android phones.

If you have questions or need to speak with a Chime representative, they can be reached 24/7 via phone and chat. Customers can also reach the bank via email or fill out an issues submission form on the Chime website. 

Pros and cons of Chime

If you’re considering opening an account with Chime, it’s important to consider the benefits and some of the limitations associated with this financial technology company.

Pros:

  • Minimal to no fees: Chime checking and savings accounts do not include any monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance fees. However, you will pay fees on certain withdrawals or other transactions.
  • No minimum opening deposit requirements: With a $0 minimum opening deposit requirement, Chime accounts will be accessible for many people.
  • Credit builder assistance: For those struggling to establish a credit profile, Chime’s Credit Builder Visa can be very helpful.

Cons:

  • Limited account options: Chime currently offers just a checking and savings account, which may be challenging for consumers who have more extensive needs.
  • Making cash deposits can be challenging: Cash deposits cannot be made at ATMs. While there are 90,000 retail locations where cash deposits can be made to your Chime account, this is likely to be more time-consuming process compared to making ATM deposits.

Frequently asked questions

Is Chime a real bank?

Chime is not a bank. It is a financial technology company. The banking services it offers are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A., and Stride Bank, N.A., both of which are FDIC members.

What bank owns Chime?

Chime bank accounts are backed by one of two partner banks, The Bancorp Bank, N.A., and Stride Bank, N.A.

How does a Chime bank account work?

Chime accounts work the same way as other bank accounts. You make deposits and once the money has been added to your account it is available for your use.

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