Chime Bank Review

Table of Contents
  1. Who is Chime?
  2. What does Chime offer?
  3. Pros and Cons
  4. Who is Chime for?
  5. Recent Changes as of November 2019
  6. Chime Alternatives

Chime Bank LogoWhat if I told you there was a bank that combined 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 a bank from the ground up, these are the features people care about.

Who is Chime?

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

Chime white-labels the bank services of The Bancorp Bank, 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 cashback, their apps, 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 savings and checking account (checking is called a Spending Account) as well as a Chime Visa Debit Card. There are no monthly minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, no overdraft fees (fee-free overdraft up to $100), as well as a fee-free ATM network that includes over 24,000 locations (they use the MoneyPass ATM network).

When they first launched, the Savings Account didn't offer much in terms of interest but that changed. As of September 2020, the annual percentage yield on the Chime Savings Account is 1.00% APY.

One other nice feature – instant processing of your payday check. Some banks hold it a couple of days, for “processing,” but Chime processes it immediately when you set up a direct deposit and can even get it to you 2 days early.

If you activate Automatic Savings, they round up every debit card transaction and transfer that money from your Spending Account into your Savings Account. You can also have it automatically transfer 10% of every paycheck into your Savings Account.

The only missing ingredient, which they plan to introduce, is photo check deposit via their app. You have to deposit it via a third-party app. All other banking features you'd expect are in there (including bill pay electronically as well as the mailing of a check).

Pros and Cons

They 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 two days early and no fee overdrafts up to $100 are good perks.

The only big disadvantage I see is that the Savings Account doesn't offer much interest, which is far below other online savings accounts. It's nice that you get automatic savings but this low-interest rate can be a deal-breaker for some. Check deposit via a third-party app is also not ideal but hardly a deal-breaker.

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 use the MoneyPass ATM network and their 24,000 ATMs… but go outside of it and you will be charged $2.50 per transaction.

Who is Chime for?

It's hard to overlook the low-interest rate but if you want a simple, straight-forward bank with automatic savings, no fees, and a debit card – Chime does this.

They get good marks on their app and their user experience, the only thing dragging down their rating is the interest rate. To be fair though, the difference between 1% and 0% is minor. I'd prefer 1% but you get a few perks in return.

Considering they don't charge you anything else, 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).

Recent Changes as of November 2019

As I mentioned in the yellow box above, Chime recently took away the rewards on their debit card and the $5 sign up bonus. The bonus was never a big influence on whether or not the account made sense but losing rewards was a big blow. We originally had Chime scored at an 85, it wasn't a 90 because the interest rate was so practically non-existent.

Without their cash back debit card, I'm not really sure where Chime fits in the marketplace. You're getting a savings account with roundups on debit transactions to help you save? Your paycheck two days earlier? I'm not really sure where the value is. That's why the score was lowered to 75.

Learn more at Chime

Chime Alternatives

Once you take away the rewards, Chime becomes an online checking account that deposits your paycheck two days earlier than a traditional bank.

If I needed to pick a primary bank, I'd rather open an account at Ally Bank, get 0.50% 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.

Chime Bank

7.5

Overall

7.5/10

Strengths

  • Automatic rounded up savings transfers
  • No fees
  • Fee-free overdraft up to $100
  • No minimum balance
  • 24,000 fee-free ATMs

Weaknesses

  • Very low interest rate on savings account
  • 3rd party app for check deposits

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Jim Wang

About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of three 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 a farm in Illinois via AcreTrader.

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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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

      • 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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 🤦🏽‍♀️

  7. 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 .

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