Chime Spending 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 Spending, 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 that gets 0.5% APY. But Chime doesn’t have the same 24/7 customer service found at other digital accounts and you can’t open joint accounts. Plus, Chime has been accused of wrongfully closing hundreds of customers’ accounts.
$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
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 Spending account?
- Click Apply now.
- Click Get started.
- Create an account by filling in your first name, last name and email address, then choose a password. Click Next.
- Continue the application process by filling in information like your address and phone number. Click Next.
- Provide your date of birth and Social Security number, then click Next.
- Fill out your occupation, source of income and how you heard about Chime. Click Next.
- 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.
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
Compare Chime Spending account to similar accounts
We gathered a quick comparison of similar accounts to help you decide if Chime Spending account is best for you. For more options, select “Compare accounts” to compare even more accounts for your spending needs.
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$0 per month
1.20% on balances of $0 to $50,000 If you setup $500 monthly direct deposit. The interest rate provided is a Bonus Rate offered by OnJuno and it is not interest provided by Evolve Bank and Trust
Minimum deposit to open
more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide
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What are the benefits of Chime Spending 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®. Overdraw on your account up to $200 and Chime will cover the difference for free and deduct it from your next deposit. But you must have at least $500 in monthly direct deposits to qualify.
- 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 — a linked account that gets 0.5% APY.
- 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
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.
- No 24/7 support. Unlike other digital accounts, 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.
- Bad reputation. More than 900 Chime customers have filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) since April 15, 2020. Many of them 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:
- 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
Is there a Chime business bank account?
Frequently asked questions
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