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Chime

Chime is a great new bank that was built for the digital generation and makes banking easy and convenient. Chime offers free checking with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, Chime Cash Back rewards on debit card purchases at participating retailers, and Chime savings to help grow your money automatically. Chime also has a mobile app that makes it easy to check balances, deposit checks from home and pay bills!

What is Chime Bank?

Chime, founded in 2013 and based in San Francisco, is a fee-free online bank that considers itself a financial services software firm. It doesn’t have a bank charter technically. Instead, it works with Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, both of which are FDIC members.

This implies that The Bancorp Bank manages all of the legal aspects of operating a bank.

What Chime does is supplement Bancorp’s services with its own apps, debit cards, and loyalty program.

In this light, Chime is a totally distinct entity in terms of the characteristics and privileges it provides.

Features

Chime’s goal is to assist you in using your primary bank, encouraging you to have direct deposits into your accounts and giving you rewards for your expenditure.

Of course, utilizing Chime in tandem with other banks and finding alternative ways to deposit money is perfectly fine.

It’s also optimized for mobile users since the majority of the features are accessible through their app

Spending Account

Consider Chime’s spending account to be a basic checking account with no interest on deposits, minimum balance requirements, or paper cheques.

Chime Checkbook is a feature that allows you to send someone a paper check. To use it, the first log into your app and account in the bill pay area.

The process is simple: follow the app’s instructions to complete the necessary information. Chime Bank will then take your payment and send you a hard copy check within three to nine business days, based on your location.

Chime offers many more features, including budgeting, money management, moving funds between Chime and external accounts, and the capacity to see all of your transactions.

You can keep track of your spending and get instant notifications from your account.

Chime says that if you sign up for a direct deposit, you can receive your pay several days sooner than your coworkers.

You can make purchases and pay bills using your debit card without a problem or concern since it is linked to the spending account.

Debit Card

If you qualify for a free Chime Visa debit card after your spending account application has been approved, you’ll get one within ten business days.

The debit card is linked to your account and may be used at any merchant that accepts it.

You can also use your debit card to withdraw from ATMs. In reality, if you utilize a MoneyPass ATM, you will not be charged any fees.

You can discover them via your Chime app, which has over 24,000 different locations.

If you use their online checkout, they will give you cashback on your purchase. You can also get money off if you shop at certain stores like CVS, Safeway, Target, and Walmart, among other places.

Savings and Micro savings

When you have a spending account, you can also open a savings account.

If you want to participate in Chime’s automatic savings plan or micro-savings function, you’ll need one. It does mean that you must complete another application form in order to join back up.

The Automatic Savings Program helps you save money. Each time you buy something, some money goes into your savings account.

Whenever you use your Chime debit card, the program will round up your purchase to the next dollar, and the variance is moved into your savings account.

You may do as many round-ups as you like.

Other Cool Features

  • Cash Back Rewards

    Chime also has a cashback program when you utilize your debit card.

    If you use the rewards to pay bills to participating utility companies and retailers, you’ll receive the opportunity to redeem for rewards.

    Think of cashback rewards as you would with credit cards or savings apps. The reward will depend on the type, and there could be different categories, but they are updated frequently, so their value fluctuates accordingly.

  • Split The Bill

    Split the Bill is another Chime feature that can come in useful when splitting a bill with others. How does it work? You may use Chime’s app to split your utility bills or other purchases.

    It will then send a text message to the recipient of your intended message, along with a link for them to pay you back through their own Chime account or Venmo.

  • SpotMe

    Another useful feature is SpotMe, which works similarly to overdraft protection but without incurring a cost.

    Chime will alert you to qualifying debit card transactions, which may be up to $100 for eligible account users. Chime will use the overdraft amount to your negative balance when you make your next deposit.

    When your debt is paid off, you can give Chime any amount you want to help pay it forward. It isn’t necessary, though.

    To use this, you must first make a total monthly direct deposit of $500 or more in order to enroll. Your limit is initially set at $20 after approval, with a potential upgrade to $100 or more.

    Your actual limit is determined by Chime, depending on a variety of variables such as your account activity and history. To discover more, contact customer service representatives for your unique circumstances.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ability to save automatically
  • No fees
  • Fast signup process
  • Automated savings tools can assist you in changing your spending habits.
  • Visa Debit card with a huge ATM network

Cons

  • Only one account is allowed.
  • No branches for in-person service
  • Debit linking doesn’t seem user friendly

Chime Bank Fees

The fee structure at Chime is quite straightforward. You don’t have to pay for any overdraft, maintenance, foreign transaction, or bounced check charges.

Also, you won’t have to pay ATM costs if you use one of the 24,000+ MoneyPass machines.

However, when you deposit money to your account using a debit card rather than a direct transfer (or an external debit charge), you will be charged $2.50 and 3% of the amount transferred, regardless of which network terminal is used.

In other words, it’s essentially a free account as long as you use an in-network ATM and only conduct bank transfers.

There is no overdraft charge because this overdraft protection isn’t available to you unless you qualify for their SpotMe feature.

It also implies that transactions will be denied if you attempt to withdraw cash or make a purchase greater than your current balance.

There are no account balance minimums, although there are savings and spending accounts. Cashback, paper checks, and overseas money transfers will all be a problem for you.

Chime’s differs from your bank’s limits in a few ways:

Green Dot: up to $1,000 every 24 hours

External debit cards (United States-based): At least $25 for each transaction, with a maximum daily expenditure of $200. If you don’t use direct deposit, you may only make three external debit card transactions in total.

Outgoing bank transfers: $200 each day, up to $1,000 each month. 

Chime Checkbook: Up to $5,00 per check

How to Get Started With Chime: Step by Step

It only takes a few minutes to open a bank account.

Step 1

  • To begin, you’ll need to fill out an online form using your address, birth date, Social Security number, and create a secure password.
  • Then you’ll need your smartphone to complete your signup process. 

Step 2

  • If you already have an account, log in using the smartphone and make a deposit by choosing direct deposit or sending cash manually.
  • You can communicate with your bank through the Chime app or via another bank to do so.
  • You can also use Green Dot, a prepaid card company to make deposits. 
  • There are also wire transfers and using a U.S. based external debit card (there could be limitations, see below).

Step 3

  • You’ll need to use their mobile app to perform basic banking like creating a new debit card, transferring money, and establishing a savings account once you’ve completed everything else.

Alternatives

Axos bank

Axos Bank, a San Diego, California-based financial institution, was founded in 2000. The online bank aims to provide its customers with “banking evolved” services — aka the online bank wants to offer extra conveniences within its products and services. Since it’s an online-only bank, they don’t need a lot of money to run their business. So you can save money when you use this bank because they have less overhead costs.

Axos Bank is good for people who want to do their banking online. It’s better for people who are already tech-savvy and prefer to do their banking that way. Axos Bank is also good for people who only want to use one bank. Axos Bank offers a variety of services, including ones for retirees and teenagers.

Pros

  • No minimum monthly balance requirements
  • You can earn interest in many different accounts.
  • There are no monthly or overdraft expenses.
  • Free debit cards

Cons

  • Requirements for the highest rates might not be right for some people.
  • Free checks aren’t available on all accounts.

Empower

Empower began as an app that functioned as a financial advisor with A.I. technology, assisting you in analyzing your spending and providing suggestions to boost your finances. Since 2018, it’s branched out into banking, offering a checking account and a savings option. Evolve Bank & Trust was the provider for accounts established prior to January 1st, 2020.

Nbkc bank is the lender for these accounts, which was established in 1999 and is a member of the FDIC. Empower doesn’t have any physical offices since it does not have any physical branches.

Pros

  • Ability to customize budget
  • User-friendly app
  • Set up automatic savings
  • Minimal fees

Cons

  • No mobile check deposit
  • Few ATM network

LendingClub

Personal loans from LendingClub are ideal for individuals with good credit looking to combine debts or finance big purchases. Despite the fact that LendingClub isn’t the cheapest loan, it provides borrowers with various payment options and is upfront about requirements and costs.

LendingClub is best for borrowers with good credit who need a tiny sum of money. LendingClub loans, on the other hand, come at a cost, especially to less creditworthy customers. Prospective borrowers who are prepared to apply with a co-borrower might be able to get approved for a bigger loan amount and cheaper rates.

Personal loans from LendingClub are now available in all 50 states. Residents of U.S. territories are being targeted for further expansion.

Pros

  • Provide joint loan options.
  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.
  • Choice to change the payment date.

Cons

  • Borrowers are limited to two repayment period choices.
  • Charges an origination fee.
  • Borrowers cannot use this loan to refinance a personal loan.

Conclusion

It’s always a good idea to explore all of your options when you are searching for the best bank. If you want an online banking experience that is simple, straightforward, and free from hidden fees, then Chime Bank might be right for you.

If you’re worried about the technology or security, know that their mobile app is intuitive, and many people have given it positive reviews online.

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