CHIME (MOBILE-BANKING) REVIEW

Monthly banking fees add up gradually. An average bank customer pays over $34 for an overdraft charge, $2.28 for an ATM Fee, and $4.58 in monthly fees based on a study conducted in 2018 by Deposit Accounts. This is one problem Chime hopes to fix.

Chime is a mobile banking app that offers Spending and Savings Accounts. When you open an account with Chime, you get a Spending Account, a Visa Debit Card and an optional Savings Account.

Created for a convenient on-the-go mobile banking with the millennial market in mind, Chime works best for anyone with an uncomplicated financial situation, looking to set up an easy mobile-only account.

CHIME KEY FEATURES

Most banks collect monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance or other fees, but a Spending Account at Chime features absolutely no monthly fees. It also has no minimum balance requirement which makes Chime a great option for a no-fee Spending Account. The ability to receive direct deposits faster than other banks makes Chime excel on this scope. With your Spending Account, Chime allows you to receive access to your money up to two days earlier when you use direct deposit for your paycheck. Chime immediately processes your employer’s check, making it faster for your paycheck to clear earlier than the typical Friday payday. According to Chime’s website: “Faster access to funds is based on a comparison of traditional banking policies and deposit of paper checks from employers and government agencies versus deposits made electronically. Direct Deposit and earlier availability of funds are subject to payer’s support of the feature and timing of payer’s funding.”

Also with monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, Chime offers a SpotMe service. SpotMe covers debit card purchase overdrafts of up to $100 with no overdraft fees. The SpotMe payment will give your Spending Account a negative balance, which gets repaid when your next deposit arrives. SpotMe limits start at $20 and can be increased up to $100.

Most importantly, at least for me personally that travels a lot, Chime has no foreign transaction fees. Other banks usually charge up to 3% when shopping or withdrawing money from ATMs overseas, Chime does not charge for these transactions at all.

Chime also offers a competitive high-yield savings account, currently earning 1.60% APY.

An advantage of Chime’s savings account is its built-in feature to help you save. With the automatic savings Round Up feature enabled, Chime will round up every purchase on your Chime debit card to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into your savings account. For example, if a cup of coffee costs you $1.75, Chime will automatically transfer 25 cents from your spending account to your savings account.

Also, with monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, Save When I Get Paid will automatically transfer 10% of your paycheck into your savings account. Both this and the Round Up feature are optional.

All Chime accounts are FDIC insured up to the standard maximum $250,000 per account, per ownership category, through its partner banks, Stride Bank, N.A. (FDIC# 4091) or The Bancorp Bank (FDIC# 35444).

On the other hand, the Chime Mobile App has a ton load of features allowing you to set up direct deposit, transfer money among your accounts, and review recent transactions, with cash withdrawals - you can find an ATM with more than 38,000 fee-free ATM or Cashback locations nationwide. The app also enables you to turn off your debit card instantly with a tap of your fingers. It notifies you when Chime processes transactions to your account. Chime also offers a payment app feature, Pay Friends, which enables you to transfer funds to friends and family who also have Chime spending accounts.

CHIME PROS AND CONS

Chime offers several features that I like:

  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees, no minimum balance required and no international transaction fees.

  • Competitive APY for Savings Accounts.

  • Faster access to your paycheck up to two days earlier with their direct deposit.

  • Chime’s mobile app features.

  • Free ATMs with more than 38,000 fee-free ATM locations.

Nothing in life is perfect, and Chime is no exception:

  • No Joint Accounts. Banking with Chime is not the right choice for those wanting a joint account. It doesn’t offer them.

  • Cash Deposits Take Work. Since Chime provides online-only bank accounts, putting cash into your Chime account is a challenge. You’ll need to go to a Green Dot cash deposit location, which may charge a fee of up to $4.95 to deposit cash.

  • Out-of-Network ATM Fees. Although you will have access to more than 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs, Chime charges $2.50 per transaction through an out-of-network ATM.

  • No Personal Checks. If you need to send a check, Chime can send one for you, although you are limited to $5,000 per payment. Payment requests made through Chime Checkbook can take three to nine business days to arrive.

This post is sponsored by Chime but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.