Chime is a convenient, utterly digitized banking service that allows anyone to open an account free of charge. In addition to its simplified layout, Chime offers a few extra perks you won’t find at other banks, like no account or hidden fees and a feature to get paid early.
It is important to note that Chime is not a bank per see, but a financial technology company whose banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., a member of the FDIC. This means the funds you deposit in the accounts are held and managed by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A. and FDIC insured up to the approved amount per depositor.
Banking Made Easy Through Chime
Chime began as a small startup in 2013, founded by California residents Chris Britt and Ryan King. The company had a spot on the Dr. Phil show in 2014 and had secured one million customers by 2018. Just one year later, that number would increase to four million.
Chime has always been an online financial technology company, focusing on making the banking experience easier and more accessible to everyone. Chime’s founders have also shown that they’re heavily invested in their customers’ financial success.
According to the company’s mission statement, Chime’s goal is to offer its customers more control of their financial well-being. Some other traditional banks (though not all) have a reputation for profiting off customers with exorbitant overdraft fees and other hidden charges. For some banking institutions, these penalties make up 40% of the company’s revenue.
In contrast, Chime prides itself on having no fees whatsoever: the company profits with you, not off you. The founders also believe in offering their customers as much transparency as possible. Everything you need to manage your money is available at the tips of your fingers with the Chime app.
What Does Chime Offer?
Chime offers an easy banking experience through the Chime app to help you manage, save, and spend your money. The Chime financial services app comes with features to manage your accounts and your finances easily in one place. And on top of that, pay no hidden fees*. When banking through Chime, forget about overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, monthly fees, or foreign transaction fees. And you can use fee-free 38,000 free in-network of ATMs to withdraw cash.
- Chime Spending Account: Coming with a debit card that you can use anywhere where VISA is accepted has no monthly fees or maintenance fees. To help you grow your money, Chime rounds up to the nearest dollar each of your debit card purchases and transfers it from your Spending Account straight into your Savings Account. If you need to disable transactions or order a replacement card, you can easily do that through the Chime app. Also, link your card to mobile wallets so you can easily pay with your mobile phone.
- High-Yield Chime Savings Account: You must have a Chime Spending Account to open a savings account, and it is additional and optional if you want to save money. With no minimum balance requirement, no maximums on interest earned, a competitive variable annual percentage yield (APY), and rounds up from your Spending Account, Chime makes it easy to help you save money. You can also access some savings settings that you can configure to transfer a portion of your paycheck to your savings account once it’s deposited.
- Credit Builder: With this Visa® Secured Credit Card*, Chime wants to give a chance to its members to build or raise its credit scores and grow savings. You can apply with no credit check, and the card has no interest and no annual fees, and your purchases will count against building your credit. By turning in a safer credit building, you will always pay your full balance automatically on time every month, and Chime will report this positive payment history to credit bureaus.
So after reviewing what accounts and products you can access through Chime, let’s review what you can do through the Chime app to improve your everyday banking experience.
The Chime App Features
Apart from the bank accounts and credit builder cards, you can also access other financial services through the Chime app or their online banking experience.
- Easy Online Banking and Mobile App: Keep track of your account balances, daily transactions, and savings from anywhere, get notifications and alerts for purchases, or send money to friends with the Chime mobile app.
- Get Paid Early: Since financial emergencies don’t operate on a schedule, if you need a paycheck in advance, Chime can give you access to your hard-earned money faster, up to two days earlier. Your direct deposit will hit your Chime Spending account as soon as it’s available, up to two days early.
- Fee-Free Overdraft with SpotMe®*: Allows you to overdraw up to $200 on debit card purchases without charging a fee and automatically applies what you owe from your next deposit. So if you are short on cash, since overdrafts happen, they don’t have to be a big deal with Chime.
- Integrated Automatic Savings: Automatically rounds up your purchases and puts the extra change into your savings account, plus 10% of all direct deposits. With Save When I Get Paid, you can automatically transfer 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Spending Account into your savings account.
- Pay Friends: Send money to your friends instantly if they also are a Chime member.
- Stay Under Control: Through the Chime app, you can instantly block your card, get alerts and notifications related to your purchases, and use your cards. Chime supports fingerprint and two-factor authentication for another layer of security. The Chime debit cards are protected by the Visa Zero Liability Policy to protect you against unauthorized purchases. Your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 through The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank N.A.; Members FDIC.
How Much Does Chime Cost?
It costs no money to open an account through Chime or download and use the Chime mobile app. The accounts opened through Chime have no minimum balance requirement. You also won’t be charged any overdraft fees, late fees, or any fees for sending money to other Chime members. You’ll be charged a small fee if you use an out-of-network ATM. To avoid ATM fees, withdraw money at one of the 38,000 in-network ATMs you can locate through the Chime app.
You may wonder how Chime can afford to stay in business without charging fees to its millions of customers. It is simple; Chime makes a small amount of money each time a customer uses their debit card. This money is paid to Chime directly from Visa, never from your account.
Opening A Bank Account through Chime
To open a bank account through Chime, enroll online with your full name and social security number. You’ll also have to provide an email address and a unique password to access your account. While everyone is usually approved, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen.
Once your identity is verified, you’ll be prompted to download the Chime app on your mobile device. The app can be found in both Apple and Android app stores, or you can just manage your account on your computer. You will also receive a debit card after you’ve been approved. Since Chime is not a bank, your deposits will be held and managed by their bank partners, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank also issues the Visa® Debit Card according to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc., and you can use it everywhere. Visa debit cards are accepted. If you want to know what of these banks issued your card, see the back of your card.