Why should money-management be difficult and time-consuming? That’s the exact question the founders of Chime asked themselves when they developed the banking app.
They also took a look around at the banking system and saw fees, fees, and more fees. So they integrated the idea of a “no-fee” banking approach into Chime. Keep reading this review of Chime to find out if the simplicity and money-saving approach of this app is right for you.
How’s Chime Different?
One thing you’ll notice right away in using Chime is that you can handle your entire banking experience on your smartphone. There’s no need to log in to a computer. That’s a breath of fresh air compared to the apps of some banks, which can be lacking in features.
Along with the idea that banking can be handled entirely on a phone, Chime does not offer any physical branches. This allows them to completely remove pesky fees, such as overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, and ATM fees. Skip the traditional bank fees and keep your money in your hands.
One important thing to note is that while Chime may differ from a typical bank, your accounts with Chime still come with FDIC insurance. You can rest easy knowing that your money is protected.
Applying For An Account With Chime
Chime did a great job of ensuring that opening an account stayed a simple process. Once you download the app, the setup process only takes about five minutes.
Just like with any other bank, you’ll need to have handy important information like your Social Security Number and address.
Chime Bank Accounts
Most banks call it a checking account, but Chime prefers the name Spending Account. You’ll find no monthly or minimum balance fees with this account.
As soon as you open your account, Chime will ship you a fee-free Visa debit card. The app allows you to instantly disable the card if you ever find it missing from your wallet.
The debit card also comes enabled for both Apple Pay and Google Pay. In addition, you can withdraw cash at over 38,000 fee-free ATMs across the country.
One feature you may see missing from this account is bill pay. While you can pay people using the mobile payments option or have a paper check mailed, Chime does not provide standard bill pay features that many banks do.
Similar to the Spending Account, the Chime Savings Account won’t cost you anything in monthly or minimum balance fees. The Savings Account links to your Spending Account and you can even setup automatic transfers so that a portion of your paycheck automatically goes into your savings.
What’s really great about the Savings Account? The fact that it’s a high-yield savings account. That means you can expect to earn far more in interest than you would expect from an average bank.
An interesting quirk of the Savings Account is that you cannot directly deposit money into it. All deposits must first be deposited into the Spending Account and then transferred to the Savings Account.
Get Paid Early
No one likes waiting around for access to their money. Once you setup direct deposit for your paycheck, you’re automatically eligible to receive your funds up to two days earlier than a direct deposit with a standard bank.
Chime even provides a handy direct deposit form that you can provide your employer.
According to banking data, Americans pay banks an average of $250 a year just in overdraft fees! Use Chime and those pesky overdraft fees vanish into thin air.
If you happen to overdraft your account, Chime uses your next deposit to cover the charge. No questions asked.
They do provide the option of paying an optional “tip” that goes toward covering the cost of customer overdrafts, but it’s entirely at your discretion.
Save When You Spend
Pennies over time truly do add up. When you use your Chime debit card, the app automatically rounds up your purchase and transfers the difference into your Savings Account.
For example, if you buy a latte for $4.65, Chime transfers $0.35 to savings. It’s certainly a useful feature that grows your savings account without a thought.
Who’s Chime Best For?
The Simple Banker
Don’t need any fancy advanced features for your banking needs? If you’re satisfied with a debit card and a streamlined app that won’t set you back a penny in fees, then Chime would probably be a great fit.
The Frequent Overdrafter
Overdrawing your account can be a double whammy. Not only might you feel the shame of spending more than you had available, you also may be on the hook for overdraft fees in excess of $30 with traditional banks.
While it’s a good idea to manage your finances so that overdrafts are a rarity, using Chime will remove the stress of bank charges on the occasion that you do go into the negative.
Who Should Pass On Chime?
The Complex Customer
Some of us prefer to have things a little more complicated. Anyone requiring the use of more advanced banking features, like wire transfers, may not appreciate Chime’s simplicity.
Also, some customers prefer establishing a relationship with their bank for the purpose of seeking a mortgage in the future. Chime does not offer loans, therefore you will probably want to pass if you fall into this category of individuals.
The Check Writer
Many people can’t even remember the last time they wrote a check. The Federal Reserve, however, states that checks are still used for billions of transactions each year.
Those that plan to use paper checks may want to look elsewhere other than Chime. While you can request a paper check be mailed to a person or business, checkbooks remain unavailable.
You’ll find many similar features between Current and Chime. They both have early direct deposit availability, no overdraft fees, and large fee-free ATM networks.
Some of Current’s features are only available with a monthly $4.99 fee. But unlike Chime, Current allows you to separate your savings account into separate goals called “pods.”
Stash also provides many similar features like Chime. With Stash, however, you’ll have investment opportunities with the option to purchase stocks, bonds, and ETFs. It may be worth looking into if you want a one-stop-shop for both your banking and investing needs.
Some savers prefer using the envelope method and earmarking funds in their savings account for specific purposes or goals. Chime doesn’t offer this feature, but Simple does. It also offers customers the option of stashing their cash in no-penalty Certificates of Deposit in order to earn higher yields.
Conclusions For Chime Bank
With the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s no wonder people run in the other direction rather than confront their finances. Chime sets out to provide an easy-to-use, straightforward banking experience and it does just that. There’s just a certain beauty to keeping things simple.