If you’re looking for a way to eliminate needless monthly expenses, banking fees are a great place to start. They may seem harmless, but these small, monthly charges add up over time to a lot of wasted money.
In the past, consumers were pretty much at the mercy of their brick-and-mortar banks and didn’t have a lot of say when it comes to fees. But increasingly, mobile banking has become an attractive option for many consumers.
If you’re looking for a way to eliminate fees and switch to mobile/online banking, Chime could be a great option for you. In this Chime review, we will provide an overview of Chime so you can decide if it’s the best choice for you.
What is Chime and how does it work?
Chime is a financial technology company that works with FDIC-insured banking partners to offer checking and savings accounts. Chime often appeals to millennial consumers thanks to its simplified approach to banking.
When you sign up with Chime, you receive access to a free checking account, debit card, and savings account. When you add money to your account, it will initially be deposited into your checking account. You will likely use this account most often for daily expenses. You can transfer money to savings as needed.
You can also deposit cash into your Chime Spending Account at over 60,000 retail locations where Green Dot is available. Your deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000 through Bancorp Bank.
Users have multiple ways to save their money with Chime. You have the option to set up automatic transfers to savings. Every time you get paid, Chime will automatically transfer a percentage of your paycheck over to your savings account. This can be a good option for individuals that have a hard time saving on their own.
What are Chime’s key features and services?
Before you sign up for a Chime account, it’s a good idea to know some of the account features and services you’ll be receiving. Here is an overview of Chime’s services, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.
There is no minimum balance required to open an account with Chime, which is called a spending account. When you sign up, you’ll automatically receive access to a Visa debit card, which is tied to your Chime account.
They don’t offer paper checks, so if you need to write someone a check, you can do this through the Chime app. The check will be processed within three to nine business days. However, you can pay bills with their online bill pay feature.
Chime Savings Account
Chime also offers a high-yield savings account that you can apply for separately from the checking account. However, the interest rate is only 0.50% APY, which is very competitive right now.
Automatic Savings Program
Once you’re signed up for a savings account, you’ll receive instant access to their automatic savings feature. Every time you make a purchase with your debit card, Chime will round up the purchase amount to the nearest dollar. This money will automatically be added to your savings account.
Small numbers add up to big numbers over time, so this is a great way to slowly start building your savings account. And best of all, it will happen without you even having to think about it.
Early Direct Deposit
When you set up direct deposit, you’ll automatically be able to receive your funds up to two days early. As soon as Chime receives the direct deposit from your employer, it will post to your account.
Some people get nervous at the thought of not having a physical bank they can visit with questions and concerns. But Chime provides quite a bit of support through its mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android devices.
You can keep track of your spending, deposits, and withdrawals entirely through the mobile app. With the mobile app, you can quickly check your statement balance even when you’re on the go. You can also deposit paper checks by snapping a photo using mobile check deposit.
Chime’s simplified approach to banking can be a detriment when it comes to customer service. They offer customer service support, but it won’t be as extensive as what you’re used to with a brick-and-mortar bank.
If you think this might be an issue for you, you should probably consider going with a more traditional bank.
There will be times when you need to withdraw cash, which is why Chime provides access to over 38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. There is a $2.50 fee if you need to use an out-of-network ATM, which is the only fee Chime charges.
Does Chime charge any fees?
One of the most frustrating aspects of traditional banks is the multitude of fees they seem to stick you with. Chime offers a truly fee-free banking experience:
- No overdraft fees or overdraft protection fees
- No monthly account service fees
- No ACH bank transfer fees
- No card replacement fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- No ATM fees (in-network)
These fees may seem small, but they add up over time. If you pay monthly fees of $9.95 for a year, you’re spending over $119 a year just to do business with that bank. And if you regularly pay overdraft fees, the charges get even more ridiculous.
That’s why one of the biggest advantages of banking through Chime is that there are no fees. Chime doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, and you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees either. If a charge is submitted that would overdraw your account, Chime will simply reject the transaction.
Who is Chime best for?
Chime is a great option for anyone looking for an online-only checking account. If you’re looking for a fee-free banking option and ready to get rid of the hassle of brick-and-mortar banks, then this could be the right choice for you.
Also, Chime is on our list of top banks that don’t use ChexSystems, so if you have a troubled banking history, no worries, you can still get an account.
However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before signing up for a Chime bank account. The first thing you should consider is that you won’t have access to in-person support.
For some people, that may not seem like a big deal. But if there’s a problem with your account, you’re going to have to wait until you can get ahold of a customer service representative. And you’ll have to hope that person can take care of the issue over the phone.
And while direct deposits are simple and straightforward, depositing cash can be more tedious since there isn’t a physical location you can visit.
One of the best ways to find a great bank is by reading third-party reviews. You can discover what actual customers are saying about them before you choose to do business with them. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) currently gives Chime an ‘A+’.
You’ll be relieved to know that if you do some research, you will find many 4- and 5-star Chime reviews at several other customer review sites as well.
When it comes to managing your money, consumers have more options than ever. If you’re looking for an online-only banking solution, Chime might be an excellent option for you. It’s important to do your research first and figure out what features are non-negotiable for you.
While you will save a lot of money on fees, Chime doesn’t offer a great interest rate on its savings account. If you’re looking for a more robust APY, check out the Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Online.