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2019 Chime Bank Account Review: Better Than a Prepaid Card

Jordan Beaumont
Financial Guru
Updated: 1/2019

Table of Contents

Chime Bank ReviewIntroduction

The internet and mobile connectivity have produced many great innovations in human life. These innovations save us time, bring us entertainment, help us communicate, and save us money.

The changes that the internet has brought to banking are some of the best innovations it’s produced. Banking on your Smartphone is fast, convenient, and is cheaper than traditional banking for many people.

This article takes a look at Chime Bank, one of the most popular digital banks on the market today. We’ll tell you how it works, talk about Chime Savings Accounts, explain the app and review the benefits and drawbacks of using Chime. Use this information to decide if Chime is the right banking option for you.

How Does Chime Bank Work?

Chime is an online bank that works just like a traditional bank. The only difference is that Chime doesn’t have any physical branches. That means you’ll need to do all of your banking on your smartphone or computer.

However, the lack of a physical branch doesn’t hold Chime back. You can still make deposits and withdrawals. You can also set up an online savings account with an automatic savings plan to make reaching your savings goals happen faster and easier.

Chime Bank Review

Chime Bank Accounts

The first thing that happens when you sign up with Chime is that you get a Spending Account. This is what Chime calls your checking account. You also get a Chime Visa Debit card to use at ATMs.

When you open your checking account you are given the option to open a savings account at the same time. You can open a savings account at any time, so you don’t need to make a finial decision immediately.

Another option you have while setting up your account is to set up direct deposit. As with setting up a savings account, you can always choose to take this step later.

In order to sign up with Chime you’ll need to provide the following information to them:

  • Name
  • Birthday
  • Social Security Number
  • Address

Putting Money Into Your Chime Account

Once your account is set up, you’ll need to know how to put money into it. After all a spending account without any money in it doesn’t do anyone any good at all.

The easiest way to get money into your Chime account is with direct deposit. This means that your paycheck is automatically transferred to your account every month. You don’t need to cash it and you don’t have any need for physical checks.

You can also do a bank transfer from another bank. You can set this up on the other bank’s website using the account and routing number from your Chime account. This is a good option to pay children allowances digitally using Chime instead of worrying about cash.

You can also link an external bank account to your Chime account. You’ll need to enter your login and password information for the external bank. However, when you do this the funds can take up to 5 days to become available.

Another way to put money into your Chime account is through Green dot. This service is available at more than 60,000 retailers throughout the US. You just need to tell the cashier at the store you want to make a deposit to your Chime account and they’ll be able to execute the transaction.

One of the best things about using Green Dot is that it resolves one of the biggest issues people have with 100% online banks. Specifically, it gives you an easy way to get cash into your account. While digital payments have become more and more common, plenty of people still use cash. With Green Dot, you can get that cash into your Chime account.

Chime Bank Review

Spending the Money You Have at Chime Bank

Now that you know how to get money into a Chime bank account, you’ll want to know how to spend it.

The best way to get the money from your Chime account is with the Visa Debit Card they send you when you open an account.

You can use your card to withdraw cash at an ATM or to make purchases at stores anywhere that accepts Visa. You can even get cashback at major retailers around the country.

Chime doesn’t give you a physical checkbook. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t send checks. You can use the website or the app to send a paper check using the Chime Checkbook feature. You just tell Chime who to make the check out to and the amount you want to send. They’ll write out the check and send it for you.

The best part of this is that there’s no charge for the service. There is one thing that you need to be aware of though, it can take between 3 and 9 days for the check to get where it’s going. That means you’ll want to plan ahead for any important bills that require you to use a check.

Chime Savings Accounts

In addition to checking accounts, Chime offers savings accounts. You can get a savings account when you sign up with Chime, or at any time after that point.

The best feature of the Chime savings account is the Automatic Savings Program, which they call ASP. This program takes the form of a micro-transactions-based savings strategy. Every time you make a purchase with your card, Chime will round it up to the nearest dollar and put the difference in your savings account.

This program is nice because there’s no limit to your roundups. There’s also no minimum balance for your savings account, which is an annoying aspect that some of the other online banks have.

Another way to use the ASP is with direct deposit. You can have up to 10% of your direct deposited transferred directly to your savings account using the program.

About the Chime App

The Chime app has an easy-to-use layout and is fairly straightforward. You can manage all of your accounts from the app and switch between them with no problems. The key features you get with the app are:

  • Pay bills or people with transfers. Chime will automatically send money through Venmo if you’re sending to someone that doesn’t have a Chime account.
  • Customized alerts so you can stay up to date whenever a transaction is made from your Chime account. You can also get daily balance updates sent to you.
  • Customer assistance is also available through the app – you can contact customer service or find nearby ATMs.
  • Freeze your card if it’s lost or stolen. This is an important security feature to protect your finances and prevent fraud.
Chime Bank Review

Benefits of Chime Bank

There’s a lot of reasons to like Chime Bank. We’ll list out the biggest pros of switching to Chime for your checking and saving accounts.

Minimal Fees

Chime doesn’t charge a monthly service fee, overdraft fee, or foreign transaction fee. In-network ATMs have no fees as well. The only fee you’ll pay is a $2.50 service fee for using an ATM that’s not in-network. You’ll be charged automatically when you execute the transaction.

Automatic Options Make Saving Easy

The automatic savings options you get with Chime are also very nice. Roundups mean that it’s easy to keep track of your exact account balance in your head. It’s also a great way to slowly build savings in the course of your normal purchases.

Unless you’re making hundreds of transactions per month, you’re not likely to notice the extra change that gets transferred from your account. However, you will notice the way your savings account grows.

No Minimum Balance

Lots of 100% online banks require you to maintain a certain minimum balance. Chime isn’t one of them. There’s no minimum balance requirements for your checking account or for your savings account.

Large ATM Network

Chime’s ATM network includes more than 38,000 machines across the country. That makes it very likely that you’re near an ATM you can use for free. Moreover, it’s easy to find an ATM by using their app.

Zero Liability Protection

The Visa Debit Card you get from Chime comes with Zero Visa liability protection. That means you won’t be charged for unauthorized purchases as long as you report them promptly. That will give you a sense of relief considering how damaging identity theft and other issues can be.

Earn Rewards on Purchases

Chime gives you the option to earn round-ups on every transaction you do. That includes bills that you pay online to really boost your savings account balance and reach your savings goals early. Additionally, the spending roundups to savings through ASP are a great way to get kids started thinking about how to save money if you’re using a Chime bank account for them.

FDIC Insured

Chime is FDIC insured. If the company goes out of business, then the federal government will cover up to $250,000 of losses from your account.

Pay by Phone

Chime also gives you the option to pay by phone. It’s easy to link a Chime account to services like Google Play, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and more.

Mobile Deposit

You can also deposit any paper checks you get through the app on your phone. Just sign the check, take a picture of the front and back, and tell the app how much the check is for. You’ll get a notification letting you know that Chime has received your check and that you can destroy it.

Drawbacks of Chime Bank

That being said, there are a few drawbacks. No service is perfect after all, and Chime Bank is no exception. However, many people will find that the benefits they get from Chime far outweigh the drawbacks of using the service.

No Joint Accounts

The first issue is that you can’t open a joint account at Chime. That means it might not be the best option for couples that are looking for an account they can both put their paychecks into and use them for bills. You also only get one debit card, so that also makes it problematic for couples.

Minimal Interest

The savings account features are nice, but the savings accounts themselves aren’t very special. You don’t get any interest on your checking account and the interest on your savings account is in-line with industry averages or below. However, any savings account is better than no savings account at all.

No Overdraft Protection

One of the biggest issues with Chime is that they don’t offer any overdraft protection. That means they’ll decline any transactions that you don’t have enough money to cover. That’s a stark difference from other banks which give you an overdraft credit limit, allow you to link your savings account, or provide other options to help you out.

Is Chime Bank Right For You?

Chime is a good option for a lot of people, but it’s not right for everyone. Couples and those that need a joint account aren’t going to get much from Chime. It’s also not a good option for people that want high-interest checking or savings accounts.

However, Chime is great for people that are looking for a basic personal checking and/or savings account. The app is easy to use. The bank offers lots of features that make saving and checking easy. It also comes with some of the lowest overall fees on the market. They have a huge network of ATMs to use, and you can also make deposits at Green Dot locations across the country.

Additionally, Chime offers everything that you’d expect from a traditional brick and mortar bank. You can send checks, make deposits and bank transfers, find ATMs and get customer assistance. Best of all, you can do everything from the app on your phone. That means it’s incredibly convenient and simple for most consumers.

All of these things mean that Chime is definitely an option to consider if you’re looking for a reliable, no-frills completely online bank. You’re not going to get all of the absolute best aspects you could get for savings and checking accounts, but you’re not going to get any hassle either.

FAQ

Chime Bank Basics 

Want to know more about online banking with Chime Bank? Read below to know the basics about this fast-rising startup.

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What is Chime bank?

Chime bank is an online-only bank designed to make banking easier for clients. There are no branches to go to, just a debit card and an account you can manage using your smartphone.

What bank does Chime use?

Chime bank is a standalone bank, although it is partnered with a traditional bank called Bancorp Bank, which has been in existence for 20 years.

Does Chime bank have a prepaid card?

No, it does not. Chime bank offers a debit card that goes along with opening an online account with them which is accepted in any merchant that accepts a Visa card.

Where is Chime bank located?

Although you cannot find any Chime Bank branches as it is an online-only bank, its headquarters are located in San Francisco, California.

Is Chime bank legitimate?

Yes, it is. It is one of the new players in the financial and banking industry that are relying on the power and convenience of the internet to provide service to its customers.

Who owns Chime bank?

Chime bank was founded in 2013 by Chris Britt (who is also the current Chief Executive Officer) and Ryan King (who is also the current Chief Technology Officer).

Is Chime a real bank account?

Yes, it does offer a real savings and checking accounts (which it calls spending account). It has most of the same features of traditional bank accounts, but with no maintenance fees and lower interest rates.

Does Chime offer a checking account?

Yes, it does. Chime Bank’s version of the checking account is called the spending account. However, you can only issue digital checks, and there’s a $5,000 limit per transaction.

Is Chime bank a credit union?

No, it is not. Chime Bank is a fully-online banking system, whereas a lot of credit unions still have a physical branch. There are also online credit unions, but they offer different services from Chime Bank.

What is Chime bank's phone number?

Chime Bank offers a hotline for all its customers. If you want to inquire about your account or change some of its details, you call the Chime Member Services at 844-244-6363.

What is Automatic Savings?

Automatic Savings is a feature of Chime Bank that encourages saving. When you make a purchase, Chime rounds off the total to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference to your account.

Is Chime Bank free?

One of the main selling points of Chime Bank is that it’s almost entirely free. There’s no maintaining balance or account opening fee. There’s also no fee for withdrawing in Visa-accredited ATMs. Fees may apply in other transactions though.

Is Chime bank FDIC insured?

Yes, it is. Chime Bank is FDIC insured, meaning you won’t have to worry about losing your funds in the event that Chime Bank, for whatever reason, goes out of business.

Does Chime bank process direct deposits on weekends?

According the Chime Bank, they post direct deposits only from Monday to Friday, and they make the deposit as soon as they have received the money.

Does Chime banking card offer joint cards?

No, it does not. You won’t be able to open joint accounts with your spouse or partner with Chime Bank. They have advised, however, that they are already working on the feature.

How does Chime bank work?

Chime Bank works just like an ordinary bank, just online. You open an account online, and you’ll receive a physical Visa debit card which you can use to withdraw funds from any ATM that accepts Visa.

How is Finn bank and Chime bank related?

Finn Bank and Chime Bank are not related in any way, as Finn is owned by Chase. They are, however, both online banks that offer similar services.

What bank is Chime associated with?

Chime is partnered with one of the biggest banks in the US – Bancorp Bank. You can also make cash deposits to your Chime bank account by going to Green Dot bank branches.

What state is Chime bank in?

Chime Bank started in 2013 and has become one of the fast-rising fintech startups in the online banking space. It was valued at $500 million in 2018 and is continuing to get investments from various firms.

Chime Bank: More Information

Find out if it’s worth considering going all-digital with this online bank with our FAQs below.

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Is Chime a good bank?

It depends. If you have basic banking needs and are comfortable with the idea of having no physical bank to go to, then it is a very practical way to keep your money.

Is Chime bank safe?

Yes, it is. Aside from being partnered with Bancorp Bank, it is also FDIC insured so you need not worry about losing your funds.

Which bank is better simple or Chime?

Simple Bank and Chime bank are both mobile and online banks and offer much of the same services, but Chime Bank has advantage when it comes to allowing customer’s paychecks to disburse as much as two days ahead of time.

Do I need money to get started with Chime bank?

No, you do not need cash to open an account with Chime Bank. You just need to provide some basic personal documents when you open an account as there’s no maintenance fee.

Do you have to be a US citizen to use Chime bank?

Yes, you do. You need to be a US citizen as well as 18 years old and above in order to open an account with Chime Bank. These two requirements make you eligible for both the spending and savings accounts.

How do I find the IFSC code of Chime bank?

When you open an account with Chime Bank, it will also be necessary to download its mobile app for iOS or Android in order to manage your account more effectively. The IFSC code and other account details will be available in the app.

How do I get a bank statement from Chime?

Getting a bank statement from Chime Bank is easy. Chime actually sends monthly statements straight to your email, or you can have it printed by going to your online account and clicking on the “statement” tab.

How do I get my money out of Chime bank?

There are two ways you can withdraw your money from Chime Bank. You can withdraw using your Visa debit card at any ATM or present the same card to a bank or credit union for over-the-counter withdrawals.

Does Chime banking pay interest?

Yes, it does. Chime Bank, however, offers a really low interest rate of 0.01 % APY, which offsets most of the free transactions that Chime Bank provides.

How to close a Chime bank account?

Before closing an account, make sure to withdraw all available funds first. After that, you can get hold of a Chime Bank representative through their hotline or make a formal request via email.

Does Chime bank have overdraft?

No. Chime Bank, unlike traditional banks, does not offer overdraft. While this may seem like a negative, most financial experts actually prefer this as it prohibits overspending on the part of the customer.

How long does it take to get a Chime bank card?

According the Chime Bank, they mail the card one day after the opening of the account. The delivery, however, can take up to 10 business days depending on your location.

How long does it take to receive a bank wire on Chime?

If you want to transfer money from an external account to your Chime Bank account, you can but it will appear in your Chime Bank account within five days.

How much can I put in Chime bank?

There is no limit to how much you can deposit to your Chime Bank account if you initiated the transfer from your external bank account. But if you initiated the transfer from your Chime Bank account, you are limited to $1,000 per month.

Using Chime Bank

What works and what doesn’t work with Chime Bank? What can I do with my Chime Bank account? Read below for more information

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Can Chime bank be used on Google Pay?

Yes, you can. You just need to download and install Google Pay on your phone, and when it is done, you can add your Chime Bank debit card to Google Pay’s payment options.

Can Chime bank be used on Venmo?

Yes, you can use your Chime Bank account with Venmo. For those people who do not have a Chime Bank account, you still send them money from your account through Venmo.

Can I add Chime as a bank on Paypal?

Yes, you can. Adding your Chime Bank Visa debit card to your Paypal payment options is just like adding other bank accounts or credit cards – the process is the same.

Can I add Western Union to my Chime bank account?

Yes, you can. You can use Western Union’s send to bank account feature to send money to your Chime Bank account. The process will be the same as traditional bank accounts.

Can I deposit money from Ingo money to Chime bank?

Yes, you can deposit a check form Ingo Money to your Chime Bank account. The beauty of this setup is it all online and mobile, and you won’t need to visit a branch.

Can I link my checking account to my Chime bank account?

Yes, you have the ability to link external bank accounts with Chime Bank account. Initiating transfers from your Chime Bank account gives you a $200 daily limit and $1,000 transfer limit from your external account.

Can I print off my bank statement with Chime bank?

Just like in other banks, you have the option to print the bank statements from Chime Bank. You can wait for their email or download the bank statement manually from their website.

Can I receive bank transfers with my Chime account?

One of the main attractions of the Chime Bank is its ability to receive bank transfers from other accounts, and the transfer limit will be based on that particular bank account’s restrictions.

Can I use Chime bank with Uber?

Yes, you can pay your Uber rides using your Chime Bank Debit Card. You just need to add your Visa debit card’s information in your Uber account just like any other bank account.

Can my Chime account get a bank levy?

Yes, Chime bank accounts can actually be levied in the event that you have unpaid credits or loans, provided there is a legal resolution or judgement that orders such as a levy.

Can Starion bank reload a Chime card?

Starion bank cannot reload a Chime card directly, as it is a debit card. You can, however, make transfers from your Starion bank account to your Chime bank account.

How do I use Pay Friends feature?

Using the Pay Friends feature of Chime Bank is very easy. You just go to the Move Money tab, click Transfers, and select Pay Friends. Then, you’ll just need to enter the amount and Chime nickname or email address of the recipient.

Can you do mobile deposits with Chime bank?

Yes, you can. In fact, it is through the official mobile app of Chime Bank where most of the maintenance and transactions – including deposits – are conducted.

Can you make ATM deposits with Chime bank?

No, you cannot. Chime Bank accounts do not accept cash deposits from ATMs. You can make deposits, however, by going to a bank and presenting your Chime Visa debit card. Fees will be charged though.

Can you send money from Chime to a different bank?

Yes, you very well can. The amount you can transfer from your Chime Bank account is subject to limitations though – $200 daily limit and $1,000 monthly limit.

Does Square support Chime bank?

Unfortunately, not yet. Square, in general, does not support online-only bank accounts as of the moment, so you won’t be able to use your Chime bank account to make Square payments.

Can I send money to friends using Chime?

Yes, you can. Chime Bank has an internal feature called Pay Friends, where you can send money to your friends or family with Chime bank accounts instantly and for free.

Jordan Beaumont

Jordan Beaumont

Financial Guru

Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.

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