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Chime Checking account review

Get early direct deposits and free overdraft protection with this checking account that’s light on fees.

finder.com’s rating: 4.7 / 5.0

★★★★★

With Chime Checking account, you won’t pay most of the pesky fees charged by big banks. Plus, you get access to early direct deposits and an optional savings account. But you can’t open joint accounts. Plus, Chime has been accused of wrongfully closing hundreds of customers’ accounts.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

$0 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APYN/A
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$0
ATMs60,000+ fee-free ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$2.50
Foreign transaction fee3%
Overdraft fee$0
Learn moreApply now
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Review by


Kevin Joey Chen was a credit cards, banking and investments writer for Finder. His work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com.

Expert review

Like most fintechs, Chime isn’t a bank, but rather partners with two banks to provide its banking services and protect your funds up to $250,000. Its business model doesn’t revolve around profiting off your mistakes. It offers features like overdraft protection, an optional savings account and early access to your money. But Chime has also been accused of wrongfully closing customers’ accounts and refusing to return their money.

Chime is best for those who want access to early direct deposits and avoiding random fees that you’d often find at banks. But, you might want to keep looking if you intend to do most of your banking at branches. And in light of all the recent complaints filed against Chime, you might want to explore other options until the dust clears.

How do I open a Chime Checking account?

  1. Select Apply now.
  2. Click Get started.
  3. Create an account by filling in your first name, last name and email address, then choose a password. Click Next.
  4. Continue the application process by filling in information like your address and phone number. Click Next.
  5. Provide your date of birth and Social Security number, then click Next.
  6. Fill out your occupation, source of income and how you heard about Chime. Click Next.
  7. 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.

Eligibility

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

Required information

When you apply for this account, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Contact information (Address, phone number, email)
  • Employment information
  • Social Security number

Compare Chime Checking account to similar accounts

We gathered a quick comparison of similar accounts to help you decide if Chime Checking account is best for you. For more options, select “Compare accounts” to compare even more accounts for your spending needs.

Chime Checking account

HSBC Premier Checking

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Finder rating 2.7 / 5

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on Chime's secure site
Go to site
on HSBC's secure site

Fee

$0

Fee

$50 per month
(can be waived)

APY

N/A

APY

0.01% on balances of $5+

Minimum deposit to open

$0

Minimum deposit to open

$0

What are the benefits of Chime Checking account?

Chime eliminates many annoying fees found at banks, such as minimum balance, overdraft, monthly maintenance and foreign transaction fees. Plus, it has a unique account system that helps you reach your financial goals:

  • Overdraft protection with SpotMe®. With SpotMe, you can overdraft up to $200 and Chime will cover the difference for free and deduct it from your next deposit. But you must have at least a single deposit of $200 or more in direct deposits to qualify each month.
  • 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.
  • Optional savings account. Sign up for this checking account and get access to Chime Savings.
  • Get paid early. Send your payroll direct deposit to your Chime Checking account to get paid early. According to Chime, that’s up to two days earlier than you would with some traditional banks.

ATM network and fees

When you sign up for Chime, you’ll get a Visa debit card that grants you fee-free access to more than 60,000 ATMs across the country. This includes 40,000 Allpoint ATMs, which are located at retailers such as CVS, Target and Walgreens. Chime customers can also get cash back at more than 38,000 participating stores. But if you use your card at an ATM outside of Chime’s network, expect to pay a $2.50 fee per each transaction.

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:

  • You can’t visit a branch. With Chime, you must conduct all your banking digitally, and if you need to deposit cash into your account, you must visit a Chime partner location — and potentially pay fees to the third party.
  • 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. Chime 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.
  • Bad reputation. More than 900 Chime customers have filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) since April 15, 2020. Many claim that Chime wrongly closed their accounts and refused to return funds. An article published by ProPublica in July 2021 explains that Chime closed these accounts in an effort to fight fraud, but it seems that many innocent victims lost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

If you want a traditional checking account and banking experience, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when considering a checking account.

Is Chime safe?

It depends on who you ask. Chime isn’t a bank, but it partners with Stride Bank, N.A. and the Bancorp Bank, which offers FDIC protection for up to $250,000. The Chime app also provides encryption to protect your account information and allows you to block your card if you suspect fraudulent or suspicious activity. Plus, you can turn on notifications to stay on top of your account activity. However, nearly 1,000 people claim that Chime wrongfully closed their accounts and refused to return their funds.

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 deposit or withdraw money?

Although Chime operates entirely online, it offers a number of ways to access money:

Deposits

  • Direct deposit
  • Cash at one of 60,000 retail locations with Green Dot
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Transfers from other bank accounts
  • Mail a check

Withdrawals

  • 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:

Email: Support@chimebank.com
Phone: 844-244-6363
Online: Through the support channel on the mobile app

Is there a Chime business bank account?

No, there are no business account options with Chime. If you’re looking for an online business account, consider an account with Novo or check out these top business account options.

Frequently asked questions

How does Chime make money?

According to Chime, it earns a cut from Visa each time you swipe your debit card. This cut comes from the merchant when you make a purchase, so the money doesn’t come out of your pocket.

Can I open an account if I am not a US citizen?

No. Unfortunately, you’ll only be able to open an account if you are a US citizen.

What do I do if I find an unrecognized transaction?

Log in to your account online or through the mobile app and temporarily block your card. Then, contact the support team online, by phone or by email and explain your situation.

What happens if my card is lost or stolen?

If your card is lost or stolen, you should immediately disable your card and contact support to request a replacement card. You will be required to verify your identity by providing your account number, full name, transaction history and other details.

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.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

Chime says:

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa cards are accepted.

The retailer that receives you cash will be responsible for transferring the funds for deposit into you Chime Checking Account. Cash deposit fees may apply if using a retailer other than Walgreens.

Chime Checking Account is required to be eligible for a Savings Account.

Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member's Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime's discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won't cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Friends transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.

Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

Mobile Check Deposit eligibility is determined by Chime in its sole discretion and may be granted based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member's direct deposit enrollment status.

FDIC deposit insurance limit to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, per ownership category. For Stride Savings Account depositors, funds are eligible for FDIC insurance when it arrives at the bank. Please visit the Chime site for more details on FDIC insurance.

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12 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    LJ
    April 29, 2019

    How long does it take for a mobile check to be added to account after i take pics etc? How long does it take for a mobile checkin to go through?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanes
      April 30, 2019

      Hi LJ,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Though there is no specific time frame for a mobile check going through, you may need to contact Chime directly via the contact details advised on the page we have. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    Anonymous
    April 17, 2019

    Hi John,

    I get SSI from the social security when will that be deposited onto my Chime account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jeni
      April 20, 2019

      Hi,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Please note that Chime do not hold deposits. Instead, when Chime receives payment information from your benefits provider, the deposit is instantly posted to your Chime Spending Account. Chime will let you know as soon as your money is available with an email and a push notification to your phone.

      If you don’t see your deposit, it means that the files are either in transit or haven’t been sent by your benefits provider. In that case, please contact your provider for more information.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  3. Default Gravatar
    hitmencrew3
    April 15, 2019

    If i get a check on the first of the month i got direct deposit when will i recieve my benifiets

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanes
      April 16, 2019

      Hi hitmencrew3,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      It would depend on what benefits you are specifically looking at. Generally, once you have set up an account, you are already up for the benefits that the account provides it’s users. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  4. Default Gravatar
    Buffy
    March 23, 2019

    How can I get a replacement card? mine was lost.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Val
      March 24, 2019

      Hi Buffy,

      Thank you for your question. Sorry to hear that you lost your card.
      You can disable transactions in the Settings section of your Chime app or at http://www.chime.com. Under Card Settings, toggle the Allow transactions switch to the grey position. In the security section of the Settings page, turn off Chime Card Transactions. This will immediately prevent any more transactions on your card.

      If you need a new Chime Card, tap the “Replace My Card” button in the Card Settings of your Chime app! You will be asked whether your card was Lost, Stolen, or Damaged. After confirming your address a replacement card will arrive within two weeks. Keep an eye out for a green envelop with a Salt Lake City, Utah return address.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Val

  5. Default Gravatar
    Charles
    March 12, 2019

    Can I transfer money from my account to other accounts outside United States?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Val
      March 12, 2019

      Hi Charles,

      Thank you for leaving a question. Chime does not impose a limit on bank transfers (ACH transfers) that are initiated from an external account. However, external banks may impose their own limits and fees. You may want to ask your receiver to check their bank if Chime transfer account is acceptable.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Val

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