Chime Spending account review
Linked checking and savings accounts from a mobile-first bank that’s light on fees.
finder.com’s rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Chime is an online bank with a unique premise: Its business model doesn’t revolve around profiting off your mistakes. It takes a different approach to banking, providing both a checking, or “spending”, account and a savings account when you sign up. Once your accounts are open, you’ll be able to manage your money, make transfers, set up automatic deposits and more. If you’re tired of getting nickeled and dimed by big banks and don’t mind doing most of your banking online, Chime might be right for you.
Minimum deposit to open
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer who has written nearly 500 Finder articles. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
Chime offers many consumer-friendly features, and for many people it’s a step up from big banks. Still, it’s not for everyone. You might want to sign up for Chime if you hate paying random fees for your bank accounts and want an automatic way to grow your savings account. However, you might want to keep looking if you want a higher interest rate on your savings account or if you tend to do most of your banking at branches.
Explore and compare bank accounts in our handy guide to banking
What are the benefits of the checking account with Chime Spending account?
In many ways, Chime is an improvement on most banks. Its fees are best in class and its unique account system can help you reach your financial goals:
Banking like it should be
- Protection. Chime security protects your information and prevents unauthorized use. Plus, your deposits are covered by FDIC deposit insurance up to $250,000.
- Easy access. Access your money anytime, anywhere using the Chime website or through the mobile app.
- Instant notifications. You’ll get daily balance notifications and instant transaction alerts anytime you use your debit card.
- Transparency. Chime claims that it will never hide behind fine print or profit from members’ misfortune or mistakes, and its website displays a chart of all potential fees associated with the account.
- Manage your money. When you sign up for a checking account, you’ll also get a linked savings account to help you better manage your money.
- Automatic Savings. When you use your Chime card, Chime rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar and transfers the rounded amount to your Chime savings account. Plus, you can opt in to automatically transfer 10% of each paycheck into your Chime savings account.
- Low fees. Chime eliminates many of the most annoying costs at other banks, such as minimum balance fees, monthly maintenance fees and foreign transaction fees.
- Get paid early. Send your payroll direct deposit to your Chime Spending account to get access to your money as soon as your employer deposits it. According to Chime, that’s usually two days earlier than other banks post your money.
ATM network and fees
Chime members have access to 38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide and get cash back at over 30,000 participating locations like CVS, Walmart, Target, Whole Foods and more. You’ll pay no fees at Chime-partnered ATMs, but Chime does charge $2.50 in out-of-network fees on each transaction. The account also comes with a Visa debit card, allowing you to access your money almost anywhere.
What to watch out for
Chime takes an innovative approach to banking, giving it a leg up on some of the larger, more traditional banks, but it still has its drawbacks:
- Poor interest rates. When you’re looking for a savings account, you generally want the highest interest rate possible. Unfortunately, Chime clocks in at the bottom end of the spectrum — 0.01% APY.
- No overdraft protection. Chime doesn’t offer an overdraft protection program, so any purchases that would bring your balance below zero would just be denied.
- You can’t visit a branch. With Chime, you must conduct all your banking digitally, and if you need to deposit cash into your bank account, you must visit a Chime partner location — and potentially pay fees to the third party.
- No 24/7 support. Unlike many banks, Chime’s customer service line isn’t available 24/7.
- Limited product selection. Chime only offers checking and savings accounts, so if you’re looking to do all your banking with one institution, you might want to look elsewhere.
- No joint accounts or secondary cards. If you’re looking to open a joint checking or savings account with Chime, you’re out of luck. This bank doesn’t allow joint accounts or allow customers to get a second card.
- Transaction limits. There is a limit of $5,000 per transaction and $10,000 per month when using Prime Checkbook.
Compare Chime Spending account to other checking accounts
Compare Chime to the competition
How much do I need to open an account?
There is no minimum balance required to open this account, so you can get started even if you don’t have anything saved.
How do I apply?
1. Visit Chime’s website and click Get started.
2. Create an account by filling in your first name, last name and email address, then choose a password. Click Next.
3. Continue the application process by filling in information like your address and phone number. Click Next.
4. Provide your date of birth and Social Security number, then click Next.
5. Fill out your occupation, source of income and how you heard about Chime. Click Next.
6. Confirm your information is correct. Check that you read and agree to the terms of Chime’s Electronic Communication Agreement and Deposit Account Agreement. Finally, click Submit Application.
In order to open this account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:
- Valid Social Security number
- 18 years of age
- US citizen
- Valid US address
When you apply for this account, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Date of birth
- Contact information (Address, phone number, email)
- Employment information
- Social Security number
How do I deposit or withdraw money?
Although Chime operates entirely online, it offers a number of ways to access money:
- Direct deposit
- Cash at one of 60,000 retail locations with Green Dot
- Mobile check deposit
- Transfers from other bank accounts
- Mail a check
- At an ATM
- Transfer to another account
- Cash back at participating retailers
- Send a check to another account
How do I contact Chime customer service?
There are a few ways you can get in touch with Chime customer service:
Online: Through the support channel on the mobile app
Frequently asked questions
Checking account ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.