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Chime Review: Is it the Best Mobile Bank for You?

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

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Introduction: Chime Review

Chime is an innovative online banking solution that operates with a philosophy similar to credit unions. They aim to pass savings on to their customers by offering a streamlined banking experience. Chime is perfect for those who prefer an all-online bank with high-interest rates and low fees. In this Chime review, we will cover its features, pros and cons, alternatives, and how to get started.

Top Bank For: Best Online Banks


  • Super simple setup (see steps below)

  • Touch ID compatible (iPhone users will love this)

  • Direct deposit available

  • Early direct deposit allows you to get paid before you get paid

  • No hidden fees or minimum balance requirements

  • Referral bonuses

  • Pay friends

  • High yield savings account (more on HYSA here)


  • Limited banking-related offerings

  • Limited physical locations

  • No joint account options available

Chime Basics:

  • FDIC Insured

  • No minimum balance

  • 0.5% APY on Chime Saving Accounts

  • Checking and Savings accounts offered

  • Free online bill pay

  • Early pay (if direct deposit is setup)

  • Nationwide ATM network

What is Chime?

Chime Bank and App

Chime is a mobile banking app that has gained popularity due to its range of features and benefits. They offer a simplified set of banking options to streamline and enhance your experience. Like any other bank account, they are FDIC insured and provide high-interest rates with low fees. Chime's main features include:

  • No hidden fees or minimum balance requirements

  • Early direct deposit

  • Automatic savings

  • High-yield savings account

  • No physical branches, reducing overhead costs

How can Chime help you?

The concept of Chime is brilliant. Keep overhead low and pass the savings on to your customers. Focus your attention on building a super easy-to-use app that folks love, ask them to invite their friends, and build a community around the app.

Chime is an attractive banking option for first-time account holders, college students, and those with less complex personal finances. By eliminating most fees, Chime customers can benefit from the move to online banking. Chime focuses on providing an easy-to-use app, building a community around it, and encouraging users to invite friends.

Chime Features

Chime Spending Account - This is their version of a checking account. The reason they don't call it a checking account is because they don't offer checks, the key term in "checking account". So they call it a spending account. Which makes sense because if you are paying attention to your personal finances you should have at least two accounts, one for spending and one for saving (at least).

Chime Savings Account Screen Shot

Chime Savings Account - This is your traditional savings account, but the benefit of a Chime Savings Account is that you get a better rate than you would with most other savings accounts from big box banks. As of Jan 2021, they are offering 0.50% on a savings account. Other than that, this is your normal savings account.

Chime Mobile App

Get your paycheck early or early direct deposit - Chime has set up their key features to focus upon folks that live paycheck to paycheck (and sometimes a bit short between each). If you set up direct deposit they will allow you to spend your paycheck before it hits your account. Meaning, if you set up a direct deposit, and your company pays you on the 1st of the month, then if you get to the 28th of the previous month and need to spend money on something then Chime will work with you and allow you to spend a portion of your paycheck prior to it being directly deposited in your account. This is like a payday advance without the huge fees. A giant plus for folks that sometimes forget home much money they have in their account.

Chime Early Pay Notification

Invite friends - Chime is all about word of mouth advertising and they will pay you for it. If you allow them to access your contacts when you download the app they will reach out to your contacts. If anyone signs up then Chime will give you $75. Pretty awesome deal if you ask me.

Chime Invite Friends

Link other accounts - Linking other accounts help you get a sense of where your money is. If you are setting up an account with Chime then you care about your money and are probably keeping all your money in one place. If you aren't consolidating all your money into your Chime account then you are probably using Chime for the extra earnings from the savings account. In either case, linking other accounts might not be the most important thing for you. If it is, then this is a great feature to help you understand where all your money is.

Grow your savings - This is an awesome tool to help you increase your savings over time automatically. If you are someone that needs a little help growing your savings then take advantage of this tool

Earn more & Save money - Chime has partnered with a ton of different partners in a variety of categories to save you money. To date, they are offering discounts on insurance, Doordash, and more. As they continue to grow, more and more discounts are expected to be available.

SpotMe - The SpotMe feature is one of the most customer-centric features I've seen from a bank. Many other banks call this overdraft protection, but I like the marketing twist that Chime Bank puts on this feature. SpotMe provides overdraft protection up to $200 without fees (you need to set up direct deposit to qualify). You can gain additional credit from Chime as you sign up your friends so a bonus for spreading the word.

Pay or Request money from friends - If you know what Venmo or Paypal is, then you know what this feature is. Send or ask for money from folks with this feature right in the app

Chime Alternatives

How to get started with Chime

If you are interested in what Chime has to offer, click here. If you want to know more about setting up your account read the details below and follow along. The Chime app is available on both the Play Store and App Store for a quick and easy download.

Before you get started you will need:

  • Be at least 18 years of age

  • Have a valid government issues ID

  • Have a valid social security number

  • Email address

  • Home address

I've tried to outline step by step how you can sign up for a Chime account. So, make sure you have the right information available, then follow along below.

Steps to sign up:

Step one is entering your email address. Pretty much the exact same step as setting up an account with every other thing ever!

Chime - enter your email
Chime - enter your email

Next, adding your first and last name are pretty standard parts of setting up a bank account. The following steps will be your basic personal information setup.

Chime Enter Email

Adding your date of birth is a standard part of getting a checking or savings account.

Chime Enter DoB

Because this is an online-only bank they want your mobile phone number so they can text you a link to quickly and easily set up their app.

Chime Enter Mobile Phone Number

Having your home address allows them to send you a debit card and verify who you are.

Chime Enter Address

Pretty simple next step, setting up your password. There are cool tools out there for passwords. I suggest LastPass as a tool, its free, and it can keep your passwords organized.

Chime Password

You can't set up a bank account without providing your social security number.

Chime Identity

Now we are starting to get into the meat of your account setup. This is where Chime beings to understand more about where your money will be coming from. They need to be assured that you will have money to put into your account if they are going to offer you an early payment on your checks.

Chime Basics

Finally, you are almost there. The fine print here is that you are signing up for a bank account and need to agree to the federal guidelines of opening an account.

Chime Last Setup Step

Now it's time to download the app unless you have already. If you haven't you will receive a text message that can help you add the app to your phone, otherwise go to the App or Play store to download the app, log in, and get started.

Chime Welcome Page

After you have gone through the steps above and downloaded the app you will get a series of prompts letting you know that your account is ready to roll.

Chime App Landing Page

This is another step in the notification and setup process. Here you can make the decision to link your Chime account with your current money or future money via direct deposit.

Chime Payday Notification

The final step before you are 100% ready to roll with your Chime account. One additional chance to connect all your accounts to Chime and track all your personal finances in one place.

Chime Add Money

Who can benefit from using Chime?

Anyone can benefit from what Chime has to offer. Their target audience is first-time account openers. Additionally, anyone that may have a history of overdrafts might also want to consider a Chime account because they have great tools to help prevent the heavy fees that normally come with account over drafts.

Or, if you are just looking to make a higher rate on your savings account then Chime might be for you.

Is Chime a Real Bank?

After reading up on Chime a common question I came across was whether or not Chime is a real bank. In short, Chime is a real bank that is FDIC insured. Meaning, your money is ensured by the federal government the same way it would be if you walked down the street to any bank branch and deposited your money.

Does Chime Hit your Credit Score?

Another common question about Chime Bank was whether or not they ping your credit score when you sign up for an account. In this case, the answer is NO Chime bank does not do a hard credit check when you sign up for an account. There are other services that they offer where a hard credit check may occur: applying for their credit builder account or overdraft protection are two examples.


Chime is a streamlined online bank suitable for most people, especially those who only need basic checking and savings accounts. Like credit unions, Chime focuses on running lean operations and passing the savings on to their customers. This is evident in their overdraft fee structure and 0.5% interest rate on their savings accounts (higher than many competitors as of January 2021).

If you're looking for a basic checking and savings account with high-yield interest rates and a user-friendly platform, Chime could be the right choice for you.

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