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Chime vs. Cash App: Which fintech is right for you?

Chime and Cash App have more in common than you might think, but Chime has a slight edge.

Chime and Cash App are two top fintechs. Chime focuses more on typical banking products, while Cash App is widely known for its peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer services. At a glance, you’d think these two apps are fields apart, but they share many of the same features, including early direct deposit, cash advances, savings and P2P payments.

Chime vs. Cash App: A quick comparison

AccountChimeCash App
Chime logo
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Cash App logo
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Bonus$100 direct deposit bonus with activity requirements$5 referral bonus with activity requirements
SavingsAPY: Up to 2%APY: Up to 4.5%
Checking
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
CDsN/AN/A
ATMs
  • Total ATMs: 60,000 MoneyPass and Allpoint network
  • ATM fee: $0 within network, $2.50 out-of-network cash withdrawal fee
  • Total ATMs: Select commercial ATMs
  • ATM fee: $2.50, or unlimited free ATM withdrawals at in-network ATMs with monthly direct deposit of $300 or more
BranchesOnline onlyOnline only

Chime vs. Cash App: Account options

Chime and Cash App are fintechs, not banks. Each has banking partners that can provide FDIC deposit insurance up to the typical insured amount of $250,000. Cash App partners with Wells Fargo Bank, and Chime partners with The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank.

To have your Cash App balance insured by the FDIC, you need the Cash App Card, which is free and simply requires a Cash App balance. Without the Cash App card, your balance is not covered under FDIC insurance through Cash App’s partner bank.

Banking

Chime and Cash App are online fintechs that offer spending cards, direct deposit up to two days early, savings with decent APYs and P2P payment services.

The Chime Checking account features many perks, such as early direct deposit, an optional overdraft service SpotMe, cash advances and a secured credit-building card with no APR. With a Chime checking account, you unlock the optional savings account that earns 2% APY. However, to qualify for features like overdraft services, cash advances and the credit-building card, you need direct deposit of at least $200 per month.

Cash App is, first and foremost, a P2P money app. Famous for its quick and easy money transfers to other Cash App users, it charges no fees to send or receive money in the app. Cash App also offers a prepaid debit card linked to your Cash App balance. The card is free to open and maintain and can be used for spending. Cash App also offers a savings pocket that automatically earns 1.5% APY. If you set up direct deposit of at least $300 per month, you can earn 4.5% APY on savings. Those APYs are much higher than the national average rate for savings accounts of 0.45%, as reported by the FDIC.

Just like Cash App, Chime offers a feature called Pay Anyone, which lets you send money to anyone with a debit card. There are no fees for its P2P services, and users don’t even need a Chime account — a major leg up on popular P2P apps like Cash App and Venmo.

Borrowing

Chime and Cash App both offer short-term borrowing options.

  • Cash App Borrow. A limited pilot program, some Cash App users can borrow money with its Cash App Borrow feature. It offers $20 to $200 with a four-week term, costing a 5% flat fee (roughly 60% APR). The requirements to qualify are unclear, and it’s not available to all users or states.
  • Chime MyPay. A low-cost cash advance, Chime MyPay is offered to users with direct deposit of at least $200 per month. Advances range from $20 to $500, depending on your eligibility, and your loan term lasts until your next direct deposit, similar to payday loans. This product has limited state availability, with a larger rollout expected in late 2024.

Investing

Chime doesn’t offer any investing services, but Cash App does. Cash App Investing allows you to invest in stocks or crypto with as little as $1. To open an investment account, you must be an adult US resident and provide information such as your Social Security number, address, date of birth and more.

Apps, features and more

Cash App and Chime are both full of features, which we can expect from two modern fintechs.

Chime’s extra features include:

  • Chime SpotMe. An optional overdraft service available to users with direct deposit of at least $200 per month. This service allows you to overdraft your account from $20 to $200, depending on your eligibility. Chime automatically repays itself using your next direct deposit or transfer of funds, whichever comes first. No fees or tips are required.
  • Early direct deposit. Get direct deposit up to two days early and federal tax refunds up to six days early.
  • Credit Builder card. With a Chime Checking Account and up to $200 in monthly direct deposits, you may qualify for Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card. It’s a secured credit card with no annual fees, APR or hard credit check. The balance in your Chime checking sets the spending limit, and Chime reports payments to the three major credit bureaus to build credit history.
  • Pay Anyone. Chime’s P2P service lets you send money to anyone with a debit card with no fees.
  • Round-ups. This optional feature rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically sends the rounded-up amount to your savings.

Cash App’s extra features include:

  • P2P services. Its core feature, Cash App lets you send money, stocks or Bitcoin to other Cash App users.
  • Early direct deposit. Like Chime, Cash App offers direct deposit up to two days early.
  • File taxes. Cash App lets you file your federal tax returns for free and includes free audit defense and a max refund guarantee.
  • Teen account. Ages 13 and up can use Cash App when sponsored by a parent or guardian.
  • Boost. Using Cash App Pay or your Cash App Card, you can get discounts on select purchases with Cash App Boost. In the app, you can find discounts at restaurants and merchants. Offers are limited time, and you can browse them in the app and activate them one at a time.

How Chime and Cash App’s fees compare

There are no monthly maintenance fees or opening deposit requirements with Cash App or Chime. Cash App also doesn’t charge overdraft fees, and Chime’s overdraft service, SpotMe, is completely optional.

Cash App and Chime have the same out-of-network ATM fee of $2.50. However, Chime is much more transparent about what ATMs are in-network — Allpoint, MoneyPass and Green Dot retail locations. Cash App states it has “in-network” ATMs but doesn’t list what they are. Cash App says you can use its ATM locator in the app if you have a Cash App prepaid card.

What customers say about Cash App and Chime

Cash App has the highest Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+, and Chime is currently unrated as of June 2024. However, Cash App and Chime aren’t strangers to BBB complaints — Chime has over 8,000, and Cash App has well over 12,000.

Unsurprisingly, most of Cash App’s complaints center around P2P payments and reports of scams. On Reddit, users warn others that you have to be careful to whom you send funds, with many saying if you send money to a scammer, you probably won’t get it back. The overarching message from customers is that as long as you keep your information safe and only send money to people you actually know, it’s a convenient and easy-to-use app. Other Reddit threads also contain success stories of using Cash App to file their taxes and reports of receiving refunds very quickly after filing.

Chime used to have a major issue of closing accounts due to “suspicious activity” — reportedly from a faulty fraudulent alert system. These complaints have significantly slowed down, and it no longer has an alert on its BBB profile. More recent Chime complaints are typical banking grievances, such as issues contacting customer support and failed attempts to resolve fraudulent charges. On Reddit, many customers point out they’ve used Chime for years with no problems. A few say that Chime’s customer support isn’t great, but that’s typical for online banking services.

Final verdict: Chime wins

It’s a close call, but Chime is definitely better suited if you need a more traditional checking and savings platform. Cash App’s banking features make sense for people who already use it regularly or want to use its investing platform. But it’s unclear what Cash App’s ATM network actually includes, while Chime is transparent about using Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs, and you can deposit cash at Green Dot retail locations.

Chime’s overdraft service SpotMe and cash advances are available to users who meet direct deposit requirements, neither of which require tips or extra fees. Chime also has Pay Anyone, reducing the need for Cash App because you can send money to anyone with a debit card. It also has a credit-building secured card that’s linked to your Chime checking account, which can allow you to build credit history without APR or worries of racking up high-interest debt.

However, Chime’s savings APY is lower than Cash App’s, with Chime only offering 2% and Cash App offering up to 4.5% if you meet deposit requirements. Cash App’s APY is competitive with some of the best high-yield savings accounts. However, Chime doesn’t have any deposit requirements to get that 2% rate.

Chime at a glance

Chime has checking, savings, P2P money services, cash advances, a credit-building card and so much more.

Pros
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 2% APY on savings and Round Ups
  • P2P transfers with Pay Anyone
  • MyPay and SpotMe
  • Secured card with 0% APR
  • Over 60,000 fee-free ATMs
Cons
  • $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee
  • Direct deposit activity requirements for some features
  • Many complaints about account closures

Cash App at a glance

It’s great for sending money to friends and family, but it falls a little short compared to Chime and more traditional banking options.

Pros
  • No monthly fees
  • Free P2P transfers to other users
  • Up to 4.5% APY with activity requirements
  • Cash App Invest
  • File federal tax returns
  • Discounts with Boost
Cons
  • Cash advance eligibility unclear
  • ATM network not stated
  • Direct deposit requirement for best savings APY
  • Scammers galore

Alternatives to Chime and Cash App

Chime and Cash App don’t have any physical branches, and a few other online banks have more to offer with similar features.

  • SoFi. A top competitor to Chime, SoFi is a fully insured FDIC online bank featuring a top hybrid checking and savings account. The account has no fees, high APYs, and SoFi also has an investing platform and various lending services.
  • Varo. An online bank, Varo’s bank account has no monthly or overdraft fees and no opening deposit requirements. It also features an optional savings account with up to 5% APY, and you can earn up to 6% in cashback rewards with debit card purchases.
  • PNC. A trailblazer for online hybrid accounts, PNC’s Virtual Wallet® accounts are interest-bearing and let you sort funds for the envelope budgeting method, but you might have to pay a monthly fee.

See how even more bank accounts stack up:

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To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Holly Jennings as part of our fact-checking process.
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Editor, Banking

Bethany Hickey is the banking editor and personal finance expert at Finder, specializing in banking, lending, insurance, and crypto. Bethany’s expertise in personal finance has garnered recognition from esteemed media outlets, such as Nasdaq, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GOBankingRates, SuperMoney, AOL and Newsweek. Her articles offer practical financial strategies to Americans, empowering them to make decisions that meet their financial goals. Her past work includes articles on generational spending and saving habits, lending, budgeting and managing debt. Before joining Finder, she was a content manager where she wrote hundreds of articles and news pieces on auto financing and credit repair for CarsDirect, Auto Credit Express and The Car Connection, among others. Bethany holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan-Flint, and was poetry editor for the university’s Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine. See full bio

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