Chime Credit Builder Card Review for 2022

The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card comes with no credit check, no annual fee, no interest charges, and no minimum security deposit.

It almost sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, it’s not. This secured credit card can help you improve your credit without charging you unreasonable fees.

With traditional secured credit cards, your credit limit equals the amount of money in your credit-builder account. They also restrict your security deposit until you close your account. But, Chime actually allows you to use your security deposit to offset your balance at the end of a billing cycle.

Read on to learn more about the Chime Credit Builder Account.

What’s the Chime Credit Builder Card, and What Does it Offer?

Chime is not a bank, but a financial technology company that partners with The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank. Together, they offer financial products under the FDIC protection while keeping the charges at a minimum.

The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card is a popular product that is designed to help users with thin credit to build credit history. Additionally, it offers those with damaged credit more features compared to other secured credit cards.

Typically, the three key areas of your FICO score are:

  • Length of credit history, accounting for 15% of the total score
  • Credit mix (10%)
  • Your active debts (30%)
  • Your repayment history (35%)
  • New credit (10%)

The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card is a special card that works like a normal Visa debit card. However, it helps you build your credit score just like a credit card. Chime’s primary focus is to help those with bad or no credit scores to build up their credit score responsibly.

Chime Credit Builder Card Review & Ratings

  • Overall ranking: 4.1
  • Credit Boost: 5
  • Features: 3.5
  • Bonus: 2
  • Fees: 5
  • Interest rate: 5

The Chime Credit Builder Card offers a solid solution for those looking to increase their credit score. You don’t need a good credit score or much cash to get started. As long as you have a Chime Checking Account, you can start building your credit rating with as little as $200.

Highlights

  • No credit check. There are no hard credit inquiries when you apply for the Chime Credit Builder Card.
  • Zero interest. Since this card works like a debit card, you spend from your account and won’t pay any interest.
  • No monthly or annual fees. This Chime card doesn’t charge any monthly or annual fees.
  • No deposit is required. Unlike traditional cards that require a security deposit, the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card doesn’t require one.

Pros

  • No banking history review
  • No credit check
  • FDIC insured
  • Positive credit reporting
  • $0 annual and monthly fees

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus
  • Must have a Chime Checking Account

How Does the Chime Credit Builder Card Work?

First, you need to open an account with Chime before you can qualify for a Chime Credit Builder Card.

Here are some other differences between a Chime Credit Builder Card and other traditional secured credit cards:

It’s a charge card

This is one of the main features of the Chime Credit Builder Card. Unlike traditional cards, you must pay your balance fully every month, and you can’t carry forward a balance.

If you don’t pay your balance by the end of the billing cycle, Chime will deduct the amount from your funds. Don’t let this happen too often, as your account may get suspended.

Prevent missed payments

The fact that you must pay up on time is a great way to help you build your credit score—the primary goal of the credit card.

There is even an inbuilt feature called Safer Credit Building. You can activate it to help you allocate funds and schedule your payments to avoid missing payments or overspending.

No deposit necessary

Most conventional cards require a deposit which then becomes your credit limit. But Chime’s credit builder card doesn’t need a security deposit. Instead, you decide how much of the money in your Chime Checking Account you want to transfer to your Credit Builder account each month.

You can set automatic transfers or decide to do it manually every month. The amount you transfer on each transaction becomes the maximum you can spend on the card in that month. This system helps protect you from overspending.

You can also move funds back to your checking account if you haven’t spent more than your remaining amount following the transfer.

Reporting period

Each month, Chime reports payments to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. The entry should appear on your credit record within two weeks. So, each month that you make on-time payments, it will contribute to your credit history and raise your credit score.

Features and Public presentation of Chime Credit Builder

Chime Credit Builder Card offers the following features and benefits:

  • No interest or fees to pay. Chime’s Card doesn’t charge any interest since you cannot use more than you have in your secured account. It is a bit similar to prepaid debit cards, and it’s a great feature because it prevents you from overspending. Similar credit cards have high interest rates, which leads to costly debt while attempting to establish your credit history.
  • Adjustable credit limit. The amount you can spend on your card is the sum you transfer from your spending account to your secured account. You have the option of transferring funds manually or automatically whenever you are paid.
  • Spending too much money won’t hurt your score. Since Chime doesn’t submit your card utilization history to credit bureaus, you don’t need to worry about how much of your available funds you can use. However, in contrast to prepaid debit cards, Chime will report your payment history, so timely payments are crucial. Missing a payment can result in your card being deactivated until the balance is paid in full. If your payment is late by more than a month, it will be reported and can harm your credit score.
  • No credit check. Most credit cards will perform a hard credit check to help determine your creditworthiness. These hard pulls can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points. However, the Chime Credit Builder Card doesn’t run a credit check when you apply.

Who Is the Chime Credit Builder Card for?

The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card is an excellent alternative for people who are just beginning to establish credit. The features and benefits of this card are ideal for building strong credit over time.

The Credit Builder Card may also be a viable solution for people needing to restore their credit. If you require the discipline of transferring funds to use a credit card, this card might be the solution you are looking for.

How to Sign Up for the Chime Credit Builder Card

You need to have a Chime Checking Account to qualify for the Chime Credit Builder. Applying for the checking account is simple and can be completed in a matter of minutes.

The bulk of the application simply involves submitting personal identifying documentation. That may include a copy of your driver’s license and any other documentation needed to establish your identity.

Here’s a closer look at the information you’ll need to open an account with Chime:

  • Your full name
  • Email address
  • Home address
  • Your phone number
  • Your date of birth
  • A valid Social Security number

You can link your Chime account to your bank account once your application is complete and your account is opened. It’s also possible to fund your Chime account directly from your salary.

Building Good Credit Habits

The Chime Credit Builder Card works by giving you the chance to automate many of the processes that go toward building good credit. While this can be useful, it’s important to remember that this is just a foundation from which you’ve got to build.

Credit management is never truly automatic, and getting the most out of Chime’s safer credit building feature will require you to actively work on your credit building habits. The potential danger is that people rely completely on the card’s features to build their credit, and neglect putting in the hard work themselves.

The Chime Credit Builder Card is a fantastic tool for those with thin or poor credit, and it could really help make a significant improvement in one’s credit score. But we must also take the opportunity to establish good credit building habits because once you’ve built good credit, maintaining it takes effort and can become much harder when we’ve got a regular credit card later on.

Pay Your Bills

Building good credit begins and ends with paying your bills on time. Remember to always keep things simple here, and focus on keeping your financial obligations manageable. If you’ve struggled with paying bills on time in the past, then you need to get a system in place for staying on top of them if you want to rebuild your credit.

Use Scheduling

One positive of credit building today is that there are a ton of options to help you make your payments on time. You can look to your bank for bill scheduling, deposit alerts, or automatic payments from your account.

On top of that, you might benefit from any number of budgeting apps to help you manage and remember your payment obligations. Staying organized here is key, but remember it can also take time to establish a system that works for you.

Consider Your Credit Utilization Ratio

As well as knowing your credit score, responsible credit management also requires that we check out our credit utilization. The Chime Credit Builder Account works to maintain your credit utilization automatically for you, but once you stop using this card you’ll have to keep on top of it yourself.

That’s why it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with checking in on this ratio regularly. Your credit utilization ratio is simply the percentage of your credit limit that you have spent, so the lower this percentage is the better your credit rating will be. A utilization ratio below 30% is good, but aiming for 10% or less is even better.

Consider Financial Help

It’s no secret that building credit can be a challenge, and sometimes we can really benefit from seeking the advice of financial professionals. Building good credit habits on our own can seem overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it. You might consider credit and debt counselling, debt consolidation and refinancing, or simply talking to friends and family about the best ways to establish good financial habits.

FAQs

Is Chime a real bank?

Chime is a financial technology company offering banking services to customers online. They are not a traditional bank. However, they are a legitimate financial institution partnered with conventional banks. This partnership allows Chime to offer legitimate banking services to their customers.

Is Chime Credit Builder a real credit card?

Yes. The Chime Credit Builder Card is a secured credit card, which is a particular type of credit card marketed towards consumers who want to build their credit. This card is secured by the deposit amount on your Chime Checking Account. That means you can’t overspend as you could with a traditional credit card.

Does the Chime Credit Builder report to all three credit bureaus?

Yes. One of the benefits of the Chime Credit Builder Card is that Chime will report your payment history to all three credit bureaus, and provide you with regular updates on your credit score. This will help to build or rebuild your credit standing relatively quickly.

How much credit does Chime Credit Builder give you?

The Chime Credit Builder Card comes with an adjustable credit limit. It works by allocating funds from your Chime Checking Account and depositing those funds to your Credit Builder account. This deposit acts as your credit limit.

Depending on your creditworthiness you could qualify for a credit limit of $200 with a deposit that is half of that amount, or lower. But because this is a secured credit card, Chime doesn’t ‘give you’ credit, rather your credit is determined by how much you deposit into your credit builder secured account.

What is the Chime Credit Builder Card credit limit?

There is no minimum security deposit on the Chime Credit Build Card. The credit limit is entirely determined by how much you can deposit into your credit builder account. This limit is also adjustable, and you can even set up automatic transfers between your accounts to send money to your card when you get paid.

Can you get a Chime Credit Card without direct deposit?

No. The Chime Credit Builder Card works exclusively with a Chime Checking Account. To qualify for this card you need to have an active Chime Checking Account with at least $200 in direct deposits made within the last year.

Can I add cash to my Chime Credit Builder Card?

Yes. You can easily add cash to your Chime Builder Card via the Chime Checking Account, which makes it easy to increase your spending limit whenever necessary. While it might be a downside for some that direct deposit is required, it does mean that it’s quite simple to add cash to your Credit Builder secured account.

Is it possible to make a late payment with a Chime Credit Builder Card?

Yes, it is. While the card is designed to help you build credit by preventing you from overspending, it is completely up to the user to ensure they make their payments on time. This is how your credit is built.

If you miss a payment then your Credit Builder account will be suspended and you’ll be asked to overdue balance within 30 days via direct deposit or transfer. Your card will be activated again once you make the overdue payment. If you fail to pay the balance after 30 days, the delinquency will be reported to all three major credit bureaus.

Safer credit building requires timely payments, so while it’s important to manage your credit limit responsibly, you’ve also got to make sure you don’t forget your monthly payments.

How long does the Chime Credit Builder take to work?

According to Chime, the amount of time it takes for their Credit Builder secured account to show results depends on your situation. If your credit history is thin and you’re building from scratch, Chime says it could take just a month for you to start seeing improvements in your credit score.

On the other hand, rebuilding damaged credit can take much longer. Getting your credit score to reflect a genuine change in spending habits, in particular on-time monthly payments, could take 12 to 18 months. Ultimately, it all depends on your current financial situation, how much damage was done to your credit to begin with, and how effectively you can implement better credit building habits.

How much does it cost to open a Chime Credit Builder Credit Card?

You can open a Chime account free of charge. Additionally, credit cards have no monthly or yearly maintenance costs, overdraft fees, interest charges, or other penalties.

What is the minimum security deposit for the Chime Credit Builder Card?

There is no minimum required security deposit. You establish the credit limit by transferring funds from your Chime Checking Account to your Credit Builder protected account. Whatever funds you transfer are available for spending.

Does Chime Credit Builder Card have a withdrawal limit?

Chime allows you to withdraw the balance you have available or up to $500 every day. The daily limit for purchases is $7,500.

Final Thoughts

The Chime Credit Builder Card comes with enough benefits to ensure that it’s beneficial to everyone, including those with a bad credit score or those who need to start establishing a credit history.

The card doesn’t have a minimum security deposit, allows you to set your credit limit, and doesn’t charge any interest or fees. If you don’t have a Chime account yet, open one now and start building credit today.

Kiara Taylor
Meet the author

Kiara Taylor is a financial writer and Research Analyst. She is an expert at risk-based modeling having worked in the finance vertical for the past twenty years. She has a Master's Degree in Finance from Ohio State and has worked at Fifth Third Bank, J.P. Morgan, and Citi in emerging markets and equity research.