Chime SpotMe overdraft protection review
No fees or tips required to access this exclusive online feature.
Bottom line: Chime’s overdraft protection and cash advance features are a convenient option for those who already have a Chime account. But for everyone else, it’s not a relevant option.
Our take on Chime SpotMe
Current Chime users may find SpotMe helpful if they regularly overdraw their checking account. SpotMe offers up to $200 in fee-free overdraft to users who deposit at least $200 in qualifying direct deposits into a Chime checking account in the last 34 days. It works like a lot of other overdraft protection and cash advance apps like Earnin, where the only cost from Chime is an optional tip.
All Chime members are immediately eligible to overdraft up to $20 in debit card purchases, with higher limits available to established users based on factors like their account history, frequency and size of direct deposits, spending habits.
In addition to SpotMe, Chime also offers another feature: the option to receive your paycheck up to two days before your payday, if you sign up for direct deposit into a Chime account. How soon you receive your funds depends on when your employer submits your paycheck — Chime makes this available the day it receives the payment file. However, early direct deposit is a common feature on many checking accounts — including those from big banks like Capital One and Chase.
But those who don't already use Chime may want to compare other cash advance options if you need to borrow for a larger expense. New Chime users won't be able to receive more than $20 with SpotMe until you've built up a history of regular deposits. SpotMe also doesn't cover non-debit card transactions like ACH transfers, so those transfers will be declined if you don’t have the money in your account.
- No fees or obligation to tip
- Low monthly direct deposit requirement
- Easy to enroll
- Also offers cash advance two days before payday
- Only covers debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals
- Limits start at $20
- Must be used for Chime checking account
How Chime SpotMe works: Fees, features and requirements
SpotMe allows you to overdraft up to $200 from your checking account when you make a purchase with your debit card or withdraw cash from an ATM. Limits start at $20, but account history and regular deposits let you increase your limit to $200. But Pay Anyone transfers, ChimeCheckbook and ACH transfers don't qualify.
- Maximum withdrawal.$200
- Cost. Optional tip
- Turnaround. Instant
Unlike overdraft apps linked to an external checking account, you don’t need to wait a day or two to receive funds to use SpotMe. It’s available to users instantly. Repayment is seamless too: Chime automatically deducts the amount you overdrafted from your next deposit.
While Chime doesn’t charge a fee to use this service, third-party fees still apply. For example, if you use an ATM that’s out of Chime’s network, you may pay a fee.
SpotMe is part of Chime's suite of financial products:
- Chime's checking account has no monthly fee and is required to use SpotMe.
- Chime's secured credit card helps you build your credit history with no annual fee.
- Chime's savings account comes with savings tools like the option to automatically set aside a portion of your paycheck.
To qualify for SpotMe, you'll need to have a Chime checking account that receives at least $200 in qualifying direct deposits into a Chime checking account in the last 34 days. That's it. There are no other requirements or eligibility criteria you need to meet to get started.
How Chime SpotMe compares to cash advance apps
For Chime users, SpotMe works similarly to other cash advance apps that offer overdraft protection. For example, Dave offers advances up to $250, charges a $1 membership fee and it can take as long as three days to receive the funds. Brigit is an overdraft protection app that offers $250 in overdraft protection, charges a membership fee of $9.99 and it can also take as long as three days to receive the funds.
But Chime may not be the best choice for everyone. You can’t use SpotMe with an external checking account. And if you’re worried about overdrafts due to automatic ACH payments or regularly overdraft more than $200, another app may be a better choice.
Previously, other cash advance apps like Brigit were unable to connect with Chime, due to connectivity issues. While that’s no longer the case, SpotMe offers a more seamless experience to current Chime users than using an external app.
Chime reviews and complaints
Chime receives mixed reviews on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot pages, as well as on the App Store and Google Play. Many users report issues with customer service and problems disputing false charges, frequently saying they weren't able to have every charge removed.
Reviews for SpotMe are also mixed. Some customers have no issues and love it. But one says their SpotMe was closed after receiving a smaller deposit than usual. Overall, the feature earns decent ratings.
Is Chime legit?
Yes, Chime is a legit online banking platform. Because it only uses your Chime checking account information to offer access to SpotMe, you won't need to sign into other bank accounts or share extra information with Chime.
SpotMe vs. payday loans
SpotMe and payday loans work very differently. SpotMe simply covers debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals as needed, up to your limit. It's not a good option for covering an unexpected expense. Payday loans are a high-cost, short-term option that may put you at risk of a cycle of debt if you fail to repay on time.
Up to $200
Typically up to $1,000, and most states allow only one at a time
Typically next business day
Sign up through Chime app
Simple online application, typically requires Social Security number and bank account numbers
High interest rates that can equal fees of $15 to $25 per $100 borrowed
Anywhere in the US
Is SpotMe worth it?
SpotMe is definitely worth signing up for if you already bank with Chime. If there's ever a chance you might overdraft your account through a debit card purchase, there's good reason to enroll. With no fees, automatic coverage and no obligation to tip, SpotMe is one of the better overdraft protection options on the market. And its early direct deposit feature can also help out users who find themselves tight on funds right before payday.
If you don't qualify, or aren't already banking with Chime, compare more cash advance apps and overdraft protection options.
See cash advance apps
Compare more low-cost options to keep your account in the green until your next payday.