Chime Checking Account Review

Chime Bank

7.5

Overall

7.5/10

Strengths

  • Automatic rounded up savings transfers
  • No fees
  • Fee-free overdraft up to $200
  • No minimum balance
  • 60,000+ fee-free ATMs
Chime Bank Logo


What if I told you there was an award winning mobile checking account and debit card that combines the features of a high yield online savings account with the automatic savings of a micro-savings app?

That’s Chime. If you were building an account from the ground up, these are the features people care about.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.

Table of Contents
  1. Who is Chime?
  2. What does Chime offer?
  3. Pros and Cons
  4. Who is Chime for?
  5. Chime Alternatives

Who is Chime?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get the basics out of the way first.

Chime white-labels the banking services of The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, N.A., Bancorp is the same company that runs the banking services for a litany of private label banks. The Bancorp Bank is FDIC #35444 and has been actively insured by the FDIC since July 2000.

By “white-label” what I mean is that all the legal aspects of running a bank are handled by Bancorp Bank (NASDAQ: TBBK), Chime layers their services, their app, etc. on top of what Bancorp Bank offers. While it uses the banking services of The Bancorp Bank, Chime builds its features and perks on top of the engine they provide.

The Bancorp Bank powers 100+ private-label non-bank partners and processes $232 billion annually. They’re a publicly-traded company and you’ve probably never heard of them because they run behind the scenes of other banks. They’ve been around since 1999, are FDIC insured, but have zero branches. They’re entirely private label.

What does Chime offer?

Chime offers a checking account and an optional savings account, as well as a Chime Visa® Debit Card. A Chime Checking Account is required to be eligible for a Savings Account. There are no monthly minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, and fee-free overdraft up to $2001, as well as a fee-free ATM2 network that includes over 60,000 locations.

When they first launched, the Savings Account didn’t offer much in terms of interest but that has changed. As of July 2022, the annual percentage yield on the Chime Savings Account is 2.00% APY.3

One other nice feature – early access to your paycheck.  Some banks hold it a couple of days, for “processing,” but with Chime, when you set up a direct deposit, you can get your paycheck 2 days early.4

If you enable the Automatic Savings features, they round up every debit card transaction and transfer that money from your Checking Account into your Savings Account.5 You can also enable automatic transfers of 10% of every paycheck into your Savings Account.5

Finally, if you’re looking to build credit history, the Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is an option for those who have received a qualifying direct deposit to their Checking Account6 and want or need to build up their credit  history.

Chime offers a mobile check deposits feature that you can unlock if you have direct deposit setup via their app.7 All other banking features you’d expect are in there (including bill pay electronically as well as the mailing of a check since they don’t provide checkbooks to their members).

👉 Learn More

Pros and Cons

Chime used to offer $5 to open an account but no more, it’s not as nice of an incentive anyway compared to the hundreds of dollars some banks will give you. Getting your paycheck up to two days early4 with direct deposit and fee-free overdrafts up to $2001 are good perks.

They also don’t offer some familiar deposit products like Certificates of Deposit or loan products like a mortgage or car loans. No biggie though.

They have a network of 60,000+ fee-free ATMs2 that you can use… but go outside of it and you may be charged an out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee.

Who is Chime for?

If you want a simple, straight-forward account with automatic savings, no account fees, and a debit card – Chime does this.

They get good marks on their app and their user experience.

Considering they don’t charge you monthly fees, they’re an attractive option if you like automatic savings but don’t want to pay $5/mo to the likes of Digit (depending on how much you save, you could be surrendering that in interest).

👉 Learn More

Chime Alternatives

Once you take away the rewards, Chime becomes an online checking account that deposits your paycheck up to two days earlier4 with direct deposit.

If I needed to pick a primary checking account, I’d rather open an account at Ally Bank, get 4.25% APY on my savings account, and just get my paycheck as normal. Ally Bank has no minimums, no maintenance fees, and has an app that lets you do everything you need (like deposit checks through the mobile app).

If you really want a microsavings app, you could give Acorns a try. They play more on the investing side and they have fees, but they’re worth a look.

Here are a few other alternatives to Chime in case those don’t attract you.


Disclosures:

1 Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. 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 Friends transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.

2 Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

3The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of <date w/in 3 months>. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

4Early 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.

5Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers the round up from your Chime Checking Account to into your savings account. Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Checking Account into your savings account.

6To be eligible to apply for Credit Builder, you need to have received a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account within 365 days of your Credit Builder application. The qualifying direct deposit must have been made by your employer, payroll provider, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit. Bank ACH transfers, Pay Friends transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, and cash loads or deposits are not qualifying direct deposits.

7Mobile Check Deposit eligibility is determined by Chime in its sole discretion and may be granted based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member’s direct deposit enrollment status.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Comments

About the comments on this site:

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  1. Shona says

    You can now use the Chime banking app to deposit checks. I opened my account in January 2018, and this feature has been there from the beginning.

    • Alaina says

      I have had nothing but a great experience with Chime. I especially like the “Spot Me” as Chime lets you over withdraw an amount for no bank penalty fees. For instance, a trip to the gas station while waiting for pay day or dog\ cat food. You can refer friends and family to receive $50 per person as well. You and your friend get rewarded. Also, I love that I get paid two days early. I highly recommend Chime!

    • Barbara Segali says

      I really like banking with Chime, but the app on my phone has changed and I don’t like it. I use to go to my app put in my pin and “Bam” therecwas my account balance and record of my transactions. Now all I have is how I can get my check’s deposited 2 days early. What’s the deal.?

    • Derrick says

      Iv had a few small issues with chime but on one accession I had my account hit w a unauthorized charge and cleand my account out I was notified to this when I was making a purchase at a gas station when the attendant announced to the whole store that my care was NFC and then went ahead and told me the balance to my account and I checked my phone and sure enough she was correct about the amount I called both Chime and the as station. And neither would acknolage that their systems would be able to do such a thing I’m still trying to locate a lawyer who will take this case on

  2. Kristina Oakley says

    I have used chime over a year and at first completely love the card until it was compromised and now it has been over month and still havent received a new card.Not only is it impossible to talk to an actually human it is impossible to even get my card when I ask about why I havent got it all they can do to help is send another card which they say can not be express shipped so here I am having to wait another 2 weeks…..very unhappy!!!!!

    • John belcher says

      Yup. My account was closed due to unauthorized transactions that they found an error and supposably credited my account after they closed it over a week ago. One day before my direct deposit went in which I still yet too receive my funds and my employer can’t re issue another check till the funds have been released. I’ve emailed them numerous times and no response what Soo ever and it’s impossible too contact them unless u have an open account. I’m bout too contact an Attourney tho cuz by law they have only 5 days too return my check back. This is a scan for real especially if there’s unauthorized transactions on ur account u had nothing to do with

      • Melissa Katz says

        Yes, I recently opened a Chime account. I set my direct deposit up. Got the notification of the deposit went to get some groceries it was denied, they closed my account as soon as they received my paycheck. I am clueless why never use this card. They how have two of my paychecks and I can’t pay my rent. They are saying 30 days to receive my check if your account gets closed for any reason no one will talk to you. I want to spread this warning I’m pissed.

  3. Kevin Brecht says

    It sounded great at the beginning, no fees, ATMs anywhere, hassle free. Sounds good until you have an actual problem. Then, good luck getting even 1/10th the customer service a normal bank provides.

    My card was stolen. in a period of 4 hours my entire checking account, over $3,000 was drained. My statement reads like a text book fraud case, 21 transactions all in the $100-200 range. Basically they were at three Walmarts and appeared minutes or less apart. Now, any normal bank would surely have stopped this incredibly odd behavior after 2, maybe 3 of these transactions. But not Chime. No sir, they just let the crook have a grand old time. So, I wake up, cancel the card and after way too much time I finally find a number to call customer service. They can’t do anything until the transcation posts. So, I call the police and they can’t do anything until I get them the addresses and/or store numbers where the transactions occured. It takes 5 days for the transactions to post. I have been calling in the meantime to get the addresses and store number because, honestly should it be any problem at all to get that info? Apparently yes. After 15 days, over 10 calls, and I can’t to you how many messages on the chime app, I finally got someone to get me the information too amny employees to count told me wasn’t available.

    Meanwhile, I file a dispute for the charges, a complete online process that prevents you from speaking to a human being. Which happens to be a very consistent problem with Chime, they don’t want you to interact with humans. Everything is email and chime app, or that retarted chime bot, but I digress. So, I file the disptue. They never respond that they recieved it, hell they never responded at all. So, when I followed up after ten days (they said it would take up to 10 days) they said my claim was already denied! Never sent me any sort of response indicating that. Never, and still haven’t sent any sot of explanation as to why. Of course I can email some address (which I have) and someone will get back to me (they haven’t) and so sorry Charlie, but there is no direct lineor aboility to transfer to the Investigation team for answers.

    In summary, so long as you never ever have a probl;em with your bank, you may be ok with chime. But, if you ever need help with anything be prepared to miss the terrible service you got with your old bank, because at least you got something slightly resembling service. With Chime all you get is, ‘I understand’, or ‘I’m so sorry, if I could help I would’, blah. blah blah. What you won’t get is any help whatsoever. I will never make the mistake of letting chime have control over one dime of my money ever again. Do yourself a favor and avoid this terrible company at all costs.

    • Jeffrey says

      You can simply turn your card off with the app of it’s stolen. One swipe and you could have saved yourself a world of trouble.😉

  4. Jill Button says

    Worst bank I have ever used in my entire 40 years of doing business with a bank. I have also been in the financial services industry for 20 years so I know quite a bit about what can and can’t be done and what the banking laws are. I tried to deposit a check for $1500 into my chime account using the mobile app. It said the check was approved and the funds would be available the following business day. It was imperative I have those funds by August 2nd, Friday, the day they said the funds would be available. This was the feature and the reason I chose Chime bank, the quick access to check deposits, however, Aug. 2nd, the funds were not showing, nor was the deposit even showing as pending. Since I can’t call a person at Chime I had to message them. I sent them a very long message and got back a canned response that funds deposited after 4pm would be available in 2 business days. Clearly she the rep did not read my message, because the check was deposited at 1:00am, way before their 4pm guidelines. It wasn’t until multiple back and forth messaging (they don’t offer a live chat, only a message window to send with a question), someone said they looked into it (finally someone doing their job) and they couldn’t process it because the check was unclear. I was told to redeposit the check and provide documents as to what it was for (i.e. payroll stub or invoice), but the check was a personal check from my father. I followed their instructions and this time about an hour later I received an email saying it was rejected because it was a duplicate transaction. WTF??? So I start my messaging process again. And now I am told they can’t do anything about it, that the group that handles their deposits makes the decision and it’s final…. I respond that this is an error though, it’s not a duplicate transaction. Again, I got the message, “Their decisions are final and we can’t reverse them.” This is a week after I attempted to make my first check deposit, now they won’t even take it and put a hold on the funds until it is available. Talk about frustrating. I will go back to Chase, I wasn’t thrilled with their fees, but overall they were a good bank and I never had to deal with this kind of incompetence.

  5. Jeffrey says

    Actual Chime customer/user reviews are the best and tell the real story here … I want a bank that will be there for me if there is a problem, when someone is messing with your money it’s not funny. Based on all of the negative user reviews that Chime has managed to receive from actual Chime customers, does not look like the kind of place I want to keep any of my money.

  6. Krista says

    They may look good on the surface, but do not use Chime! Read the stories of actual customers and the numerous complaints made. I opened an account about 6 mos ago. I had direct deposit run through them. On Monday I received another direct deposit and on Tuesday Chime closed my account, without notification, and left me with zero access to my funds. After numerous phone calls and emails, I still have not received an answer as to how to receive my funds back. Chime tells me it is in Bancorp’s hands and Bancorp tells me it is in Chime’s hands. This is what they do. They take your money and lock you out. After you complain numerous times, about 2 weeks later, they will issue you a check for remaining balance. I. The meantime, they have your money and you don’t. It is a scam bank and I will do anything to prevent others from going through a similar situation as me. Total nightmare!

    • Marc says

      What a mess! First, their site to make an online application was down for several days. Finally I was able to. After going back to make a minor correction before submitting, it in fact it did submit my Application. It was declined w/o explanation. Subsequent attempts to start over were immediately declined. After 40 successful years of banking and investing, I’ve never encountered such an untenable situation.
      My sage advice – stay away at all costs!

    • Francis says

      I see many negative comments about Chime. I believe Chime is a scam. I have a chime card but don’t want to use it. I use Capital One 360 checking. Is great. I don’t have problem with it.

      • Jeffrey says

        Chime is not a scam LOL. It’s an awesome card. I usually get my direct deposit 3 to 4 days early.

  7. Anisha Winston says

    Chime don’t not have your back and chime doesn’t care if someone makes a transaction without your consent CHIME WILL NOT. Look into it and will not refund your money i wouldn’t give them suckas the last Star in the sky if they needed it so DON’T bank with them

  8. NAC says

    Con- No other way to deposit check other then online. First month can only deposit
    check under $500 and limited to $500 that month.

    I have a check that is from a municipal retirement fund that they will not deposit in my account. They say the check is in an unrecognizable format. Yet it has a web address and a phone number to call. Lots of hoops to jump through with Chime.

  9. Elena Stubbeman says

    I am not sure about this. I recently signed up, but I noticed after I deposited 100.00, that, even after using my card, that amount didn’t go down. I am spoiled, my transactions always showed at my bank. I am disappointed

  10. Desiree says

    I am not happy with my experience with this company. I’ve only had them for 2 weeks and am not satisfied with it. I set up direct deposit hoping that I would get my funds deposited sooner than Friday. The first deposit took place on Thursday. And the second has yet to arrive and it is now Thursday, two weeks later from the first deposit, and no money on my card.

    I contacted the support and they gave me the rundown about the process it takes for the funds to be available on the account. I didn’t ask for that. I asked where is my money. And they tried to brighten the situation up with, “you will be notified when your funds are available.” (I am paraphrasing.) The fact is that I would have liked to have received a notification a day ago! That’s what they advertise.

    But now I have to wait until my actual payday to get my money. This is the second issue I’ve had with this company. The first issue I’ve had with this company was waiting on my second card to arrive after it was delivered to the wrong address.

    So, yeah. My trust is shot with this company. Don’t trust it at all.

  11. Brittany Wilson says

    Same thing fraudulent charges. Claim denied. If u google chime lawsuit there is actually alot of this going on with chime bank. There are lawyers who will take your case for free. I did it yesterday

  12. Kathy says

    How can I can a replacement card, my card got replace when I was at shopping at Wal-mart today

  13. Jennifer says

    This bank was great for what I needed…at first. Then October 2019 there was a HUGE breech and my account has fraudulent charges. I found a Reddit post of tons of others with charges from the exact same company on the same day. My money was refunded.

    Then in January 2020, someone hacked all of the safeguards for changing my password and completely drained my account. They told me it would be a month before they got back to me on whether or not they believed I was telling the truth. This was a student loan bank account so obviously there was a lot of stress. I did get my money back though.

    Do NOT trust them.

  14. Regina says

    I’m upset because I did not receive the $50 when my work check was directed deposited.

      • Donna Ely says

        It was also a scam. Hidden in fine print. There was a cut off time to arrange direct deposit. They got over 1 million new accounts with this scam…. Majority of the new account holders were unaware of this. Several referral fees unpaid.

  15. Ciarra says

    I don’t know who to go to about this situation. I have an account with Chime online banking and I have them for almost 2 years now. I just started receiving survivors benefits for my son. So I got a payment on March 31, 2020 and on April 1, 2020 they suspended my account for no reason. So I call them they said to send in a picture of my Identification card so I send it they say I have to wait 24 to 48 hours. So I wait and then call them back then they say I have to send it with me holding it and my social security card and prof of address. So I do it and have to wait and mother 24 to 48 hours. So them I call they say I need to verify my phone by sending my phone bill. At this point I’m concerned but I do it anyway so they can release my account and money. Now it’s been 3 weeks and they are still not giving me my money or even opened my account. They say I need to send all that information again. So I do but I’m concerned and what to talk to a lawyer about it. Can you point my in the right direction please as to a lawyer that can help me get my money from Chime bank?

  16. Toni says

    This must be an old Post because I’m a new chime member just beginning in this month and I receive .06APY, mobile check deposit, fingerprint security and more! I’ll give them a 10 🙂

  17. Donna Ely says

    I feel like Ive been robbed. I used chime for direct deposit to receive my stimulus and my EIDL. Big mistake. My stimulus is being held hostage and my EIDL loan was reversed and returned to sender. The explanation was because it included a business name. Contacted SBA to change the name and keep the banking information because they have already been verified. This is also the account the IRS will be using for a second stimulus. I explained the importance of this account remaining open. The more I try to fix the problem the more difficult it becomes. In fact the response from support was to close to my account. It as if they like to see you suffer or need your money for collateral and or interest.
    My night started when my Chime was locked because of a reversed ACH from Bluebird; another story. 🤦🏽‍♀️. Chime requested my DL, a PDF bank statement with my account number/name from Bluebird and a written statement if available from Bluebird. I got straight to work. Spending 2 hours each call before the calls were interrupted. Finally got thru and gained access to Bluebird. I sent Chime all the things they requested, less a written statement which again was optinal.
    Nothing I sent was acceptable. So somehow, I was able to get both parties on separate phones. Bluebird was extremely impatient,🤦🏽‍♀️ ironically and hung up before a Manager from Chime could answer.
    Before leaving the rep. referred me to their terms and conditions and explained that they are not a checking account nor can they provide a letter. I sent a copy of terms and conditions to Chime explaining why ACH are not allowed with Bluebird. Unfortunately, the chime rep called dropped before a Manager could answer the call.
    noone called me back. Repeat cylce 😷 I will update you guys when I check my email. It’s my money and I want it nowwww 🤦🏽‍♀️

  18. michelle buckley says

    I been with Chime bank since 2018 never had a any problems that I just read in a few of yall comments , or issues that I read on here.
    my new card was issued in a 5-7 business days
    Customer Services was availble when I need to.
    Never had funds that were deposited into spending account ever not available for me when its suppose to . only time it wasnt was if it my payday date fell on a weekend or holiday . other wise chime bank has been good for me .

  19. Latricia Cawvey says

    Chime is a joke I had a dispute with there accounting procedures so carlos a person apart of the dispute team decided that my grocery store and nail salon activity was against chime policy. I have a 72.12 credit from sally beauty supply and the 18.24 error they made floating in cyber space while we’re still in a financial burden from the pandemic. But that’s what happens when you put to much power in the wrong hands.

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