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Chime Bank Review: Checking and Savings

Sept. 9, 2019
Banking, Banking Basics, Banks & Credit Unions, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
chime bank review
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4.0 NerdWallet rating

Where Chime shines:

  • No monthly fees, no overdraft fees.
  • Large free ATM network.
  • Two automatic savings options.
  • Get your paycheck early with direct deposit.

Where Chime falls short:

  • Low interest rate.
  • Cash deposit is difficult and may cost you.

Where Chime shines:

  • No monthly fees, no overdraft fees.
  • Large free ATM network.
  • Two automatic savings options.
  • Get your paycheck early with direct deposit.

Where Chime falls short:

  • Low interest rate.
  • Cash deposit is difficult and may cost you.

Where Chime shines:

  • No monthly fees, no overdraft fees.
  • Large free ATM network.
  • Two automatic savings options.
  • Get your paycheck early with direct deposit.

Where Chime falls short:

  • Low interest rate.
  • Cash deposit is difficult and may cost you.

 

The bottom line

Chime

at Chime,

Member, FDIC

Chime is a mobile bank, so it’s not like your traditional neighborhood branch. But it still has FDIC insurance, so it’s a safe place to keep your checking and savings accounts. Chime has no monthly fees or overdraft fees, and it lets you round up purchases to the next dollar and save the remainder. But its interest rate is low, and checks and cash can be difficult to deposit.

Best if: You’re looking for free checking and savings that you can set to autopilot.


Read on for details on Chime’s checking, savings, app ratings, ATM fees and more.

» Read up on NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions

CHECKING: 4.5/5.0

Chime’s spending account is free: It has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement.

More upsides:

No foreign transaction fees: This fee is typically 1% to 3% of the amount of your purchase at other banks.

Get a jump on payday: You can receive your paycheck up to two days earlier than at a traditional bank if you set up direct deposit — Chime processes your employer’s check immediately instead of waiting like other banks may.

Thousands of ATMs: You’ll have access to over 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.

Works with mobile wallets: Chime supports Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Here are some downsides:

Out-of-network ATM fee: Chime charges $2.50 per transaction.

Depositing checks, cash can be a pain: Mobile check deposit is available, but you’ll have to deposit cash at Green Dot locations, which may charge a fee.

No physical checkbook: If you’ve had a Chime account for at least 30 days, you can send a check online through its Checkbook feature. You’re limited to $5,000 per payment and $10,000 in a calendar month.

How does Chime compare?

Chime

Spending Account

NerdWallet Rating

at Chime,

Member, FDIC

APY

N/A

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

No overdraft/NSF fees

10,000+ ATMs

Radius Bank

Rewards Checking

NerdWallet Rating

at Radius Bank,

Member, FDIC

APY

1.00%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Axos Bank™

Rewards Checking

NerdWallet Rating

at Axos Bank™,

Member, FDIC

APY

1.25%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

No overdraft/NSF fees

ATM reimbursements

Not for you? Read more bank reviews

SAVINGS: 2.5/5.0

Chime’s savings account suffers in our rating because of its rate.

Easy ways to save: Chime will round up every purchase on your Chime card to the nearest dollar and deposits that difference into your savings account. Or, have the bank automatically transfer 10% from your paycheck into your savings account. Both features are optional.
The savings account’s star rating is dragged down because of its low interest — an annual percentage yield of 0.01%.

 

» If high rates are a priority, check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts.

OVERDRAFT FEES: 4.5/5.0

 

Chime doesn’t charge overdraft fees, and for certain customers who make a debit card purchase that drops their account as low as negative $100, the bank will cover it without a fee. You need to receive at least $500 monthly direct deposits to be eligible for this program, called SpotMe. Outside of that, if you don’t have the funds, transactions will likely be declined.
Unlike many banks, Chime doesn’t offer overdraft protection transfers or a line of credit, so customers who overdraw outside of the SpotMe program or past its limits can’t get transactions covered.

 

BANK EXPERIENCE: 3.5/5.0

 

Highly rated apps: Chime’s mobile app excels where it counts — customers have rated the iOS version 4.7 stars out of 5 and given 4.6 stars, also out of 5, for the Android app.

Helps you stay on top of your money: Daily balance updates and real-time transaction alerts can help customers stay on top of their spending. And if your card goes missing, you can block transactions using the Chime app.

Second chance banking: On top of its low fees, Chime doesn’t use some screening tools that can lock people out of bank accounts who’ve had them closed in the past. That can make it a useful tool if you’re trying to restart your financial life.

Chime is a mobile-only bank. Customer service, however, is available via the app, by telephone or via email.

 

Chime

at Chime,

Member, FDIC

» Ready to take the next step? No monthly fees, no transaction fees and no overdraft fees make banking with Chime easy. Compare it with similar banks such as Varo (see our review), Simple (see our review) or Moven (see our review) to find which one fits your needs best, or check out our list of NerdWallet’s best banks.

More on mobile banks and free accounts


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, bank experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

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