Chime Review: Checking and Savings
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- Banking experience
- Overdraft fees
Overall institution rating
Chime is an online-only financial technology company that partners with two banks to offer checking and savings accounts. It doesn’t work like a traditional neighborhood bank, but its accounts still have FDIC insurance, so they’re safe places to keep your money. Chime has no monthly or overdraft fees, and it lets you round up purchases to the next dollar and save the remainder. But it can be expensive to deposit cash.
Penalty for outsized CFPB complaints: NerdWallet deducted 0.5 star from Chime’s overall rating due to the volume of complaints on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database relative to the asset sizes of its partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank. For more information about this penalty, see our methodology page. For more context, learn about a ProPublica report on how Chime closed accounts involuntarily.
Best for: Customers who want to maximize savings account interest, are paid by direct deposit and don't deposit cash often.
- No monthly fees, no overdraft fees.
- 60,000-plus free ATMs.
- Paycheck arrives up to two days early with direct deposit (see below for more information from Chime).
- Cash deposit is offered only through third-party retailers and can cost a fee of up to $4.95.
- Mobile check deposit is available only if you’re also signed up for direct deposit.
Deposits are FDIC Insured
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
Free ATM access and no monthly fee: Chime’s checking account is free: It has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement. It also gives users access to make fee-free withdrawals at over 60,000 ATMs.
Early direct deposits and no foreign transaction fees: With direct deposit, customers can receive paychecks up to two days early. Plus, Chime doesn't charge fees to use your card abroad; some banks charge 1% to 3% of the amount of your purchase. See below for more information from Chime.
Fees for cash deposits and out-of-network ATM usage: Chime charges $2.50 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs, and the only way to deposit cash is at cash deposit partner locations (including retail stores such as 7-Eleven and Walmart). Cash deposits at Walgreens are free, but other retailers may charge a fee of up to $4.95.
Limits on mobile check services and no physical checks: Mobile check deposit is available via the app, but to access this feature, your account must have received a minimum of one qualifying direct deposit of at least $1. Chime doesn't offer a physical checkbook, but you can pay bills by sending a check through the Chime Checkbook feature on its website or in the app.
No joint accounts: Chime also doesn’t offer joint accounts, so it’s not ideal if you’re looking to share an account with someone.
» Comparison shop: Check out our list of the best free checking accounts
Deposits are FDIC Insured
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
Decent rate and no minimum balance: Chime offers an annual percentage yield of 2.00%, and it has no minimum balance requirement.
Two automated savings programs: It will also round up every purchase on your Chime debit card to the nearest dollar and deposit that difference into your savings account. Or, you can have the company automatically transfer 10% from your paycheck into your savings account. Both features are optional but handy, and not all savings accounts have them.
No limit on outbound savings transfers: Chime also offers an unlimited number of transfers from your savings account into your checking account, which not all banks allow. See below for more information from Chime.
»Want to check out your options? See NerdWallet's view on Varo vs. Chime
Checking account required: Be aware that you need to have a Chime checking account before you can open a savings account with the company.
» For more high rates, check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts.
What to know about neobanks: Neobanks can be solid options for consumers who prefer online-only banking. They do have differences to banks:
Funds deposited in neobanks' accounts are usually FDIC-insured through partner banks, which will also typically receive customers’ money if a neobank closes, so customer funds are safe.
Neobank accounts often have low monthly fees and earn strong rates. However, they may also lack traditional banking features, including in-person customer service and access to personal or cashier’s checks (often required for large purchases, such as buying a home) or wire transfers. (Learn more about neobanks and what they offer.) Consider these details before opening an account.
Chime's high mobile app ratings, solid features: Chime's mobile app excels where it counts — customers have rated both the iOS version and the Android version 4.8 stars, both out of 5. What's more, 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 checking option: In addition to having low fees, Chime doesn't use screening tools that most banks do to determine whether a person will be blocked from getting a bank account if they’ve had one closed in the past. So Chime can be a helpful banking solution if you’re trying to restart your financial life. See below for more information from Chime.
Multiple support options: Customer service is available by phone every day from 3 a.m. to 11 p.m. CST. Customers can also get help through the customer support tab in the app, by email and on Twitter.
Past history of involuntary account closures: Be aware that some Chime customers have had troubling issues with their accounts. ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization, reported in July 2021 that Chime customers have had their accounts closed without notice, leaving them with no way to access their money. These reports are similar to complaints that customers have made to the Better Business Bureau. (Find out what to do if Chime or another neobank closes your account.)
» Shop around: See banks and credit unions that are great for mobile banking
No overdraft fees: Like more and more financial institutions, Chime doesn’t charge overdraft fees.
Free overdraft program for those eligible: All qualifying customers can overdraw their account by up to $20 without penalty and could later be eligible to make a debit card purchase that drops their account as low as negative $200. The company will cover the overdraft without a fee, and your next deposit or transfer will be applied to the negative balance.
Two program requirements: To gain access to this program called SpotMe® requires your checking account to have received one qualifying direct deposit of at least $200 in the 34 days before the overdraft occurs. In addition, there must be a minimum of $200 total in qualifying direct deposits every 34 days to stay in the program.
No traditional overdraft alternatives: But 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; instead, those transactions will likely be declined. See below for more information from Chime.
How does Chime compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Online Savings Account
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at CIT Bank
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, banking 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. How we rate banks, credit unions and other financial service providers.
Frequently asked questions
Chime offers online-only financial services in partnership with two banks that are FDIC-insured, so you won’t lose your money if either of the banks or Chime goes out of business.
Chime partners with two banks, The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, to offer its services to customers.
The Chime card is a Visa debit card that comes with a Chime checking account. The account has no monthly fees.
You can add money to your Chime account through direct deposit, mobile check deposit and electronic transfer from another bank account. You can also add cash to your account at third-party retailers, such as Walgreens, Walmart and 7-Eleven. Cash deposits at Walgreens are free, but other third-party services charge a fee.
You can withdraw cash for free from a MoneyPass ATM in a 7-Eleven or at any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. (For non-network ATMs, there's a $2.50 fee per transaction.) You can also present your debit card at any bank or credit union and ask a teller for a withdrawal, but there's a $2.50 fee per transaction. See below for more information from Chime.