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Chime is a mobile bank account that offers a Spending Account, a Savings Account, and a Visa debit card along with a very user-friendly mobile app. The goal of Chime is to eliminate the high banking fees and impersonal approaches most people have experienced with their banking relationships.
From Chime: “Most bank accounts cost you money. We designed Chime differently, with a business model that doesn’t rely on fees to profit. Chime earns a small sum from Visa on Chime card transactions. So the more members spend, the more money we make. We share some of those earnings with our members so that the more you use your card, the more money you save.”
Chime is partnered with The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC.
Joining Chime takes a few minutes (2 minutes when we did our review) and is done completely online. After you finish joining, Chime will send you a Visa debit card in the mail, but you'll have access to the mobile app features right away. Through the mobile app, you'll get instructions on how to fund your account. With Chime, you'll get two accounts: Spending Account (checking account) and a Savings Account. Chime accounts are FDIC insured.
Chime calls their checking account a “Spending Account” and is completely free. There is no minimum balance requirement. No monthly fees, transfer fees, or overdraft fees. The main feature of the spending account is the Visa debit card for your purchases. In fact, the goal is for you to use your Visa debit card every time you make a purchase because that is how Chime makes its money. Visa pays Chime for every swipe.
Every time you use your debit card to pay for something, Chime will round up the purchase to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference from your Spending Account into your Savings Account. This essentially can help you save money while you spend.
The Savings Account has no minimum balance requirements. Transfering between your Spending and Savings accounts is done through the mobile app or online. Your money in the Savings Account also earns a very small interest rate.
You can set up automatic savings every time you get paid. For instance, Chime can automatically transfer 10% of your paycheck each payday into your Savings Account as soon it arrives in your Spending Account.
Currently, Chime does not offer joint accounts or accounts for anyone under the age of 18 years old. If you're partnered, you'll each have your own separate accounts.
The easiest way to get money into Chime is through direct deposit. You can also transfer money from an existing banking relationship. Chime has also partnered with Green Dot locations where you can deposit cash into your accounts but you'll end up paying a fee.