Chime Spending Account Review

Kailey is an industry specialist covering bank accounts, credit cards, and all things personal finance. Her work has appeared on USA Today, CNN Money, Fox Business, and MSN Money.

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The Chime Spending Account was designed with efficiency and a user-friendly experience in mind and it has largely succeeded. It has fast direct deposit times, automated savings tools, and a feature-rich mobile app. But while it gets these basics right and continues to build out its capabilities, those seeking a high-interest checking account and those who visit ATMs often may not be impressed enough to stick around.

Top perks

Get your money quickly: While ACH transfers can sometimes take a couple of days to show up in most checking accounts, Chime promises to make your money available the moment the other party deposits it. This means you can get your money in some cases up to two days before you'd get it at some brick-and-mortar banks. If you depend upon each paycheck to cover your living expenses, this efficiency cannot be overlooked.

Make saving automatic and painless: The Chime Spending Account enables you to automatically designate a percentage of each paycheck to your savings, so you don't have to remember to transfer this money on your own. It also has a Save While You Spend option for debit card users where it rounds up every purchase you make to the next dollar and puts the extra change into your savings account. These features are optional, but they're useful for those who are trying to build up their savings. You must have a Chime Savings Account in order to take advantage of these features.

Easily manage your account online: Chime has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices that enable you to view your account balance, pay bills, transfer funds, instantly pay other Chime members, deposit checks, and locate fee-free ATMs near you. You can also remotely disable your debit card if it's lost or stolen and view alerts about suspicious account activity.

Forget about paper checks for good: You can pay bills directly through your Chime online account, but if a situation arises where you require a paper check, Chime can mail one out for you. Just indicate the amount and who to send it to and Chime will take care of the rest so you don't have to worry about making a special trip to the post office.

No foreign transaction fees: Travelers will appreciate that they can use their Chime Spending Account debit card anywhere in the world without paying a foreign transaction fee on every purchase.

What could be improved

More fee-free ATMs: Chime enables its checking account holders to withdraw money from over 38,000 MoneyPass® ATMs for free. Most people shouldn't have to go too far to find one near them, but this is still a relatively small ATM network compared to some other online banks. Chime is also one of the few online banks that imposes its own fee for using out-of-network ATMs and for withdrawing cash over the counter at stores. Make sure that there are fee-free ATMs near you before signing up for a Chime Spending Account or else this account could cost you.

You won't earn much interest: The Chime Spending Account has a 0.01% APY, which is below the national average for checking accounts. This might not be an issue if you pair it with a high-yield savings account and put the bulk of your money there, but there might be more suitable checking accounts for those who want to earn interest regardless of which account they are using.

Fees

Chime Spending Account Monthly Maintenance ATM Withdrawal Overdraft Stop Payment Insufficient Funds
Fees $0 $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs and over-the-counter withdrawals $0 on up to $100 in overdraft charges $0 $0

How to access your money

Though it doesn't have branch locations, Chime does offer several options for you to deposit and withdraw funds from your Chime Spending Account.

Deposit options

You can deposit money into your Chime Spending Account in any of the following ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Mobile-deposited check
  • At over 90,000 retail locations with Green Dot

Wire transfers are currently not an option for funding your account, though Chime hopes to make this available in the future.

The Green Dot program enables you to ask cashiers at participating retail locations to deposit cash into your Chime account at the register. You may deposit a maximum of $1,000 per 24 hours and $10,000 per month this way.

Withdrawal options

You can withdraw money from your Chime Spending Account in any of the following ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Mailed check
  • ATM withdrawal
  • Point-of-sale cash withdrawal

Chime only allows transfers to select banks at present, so check that yours is supported before you sign up if you plan to withdraw money from your Chime Spending Account in this way.

Online checking account comparison

The Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account is a better choice for those interested in earning interest on their checking account funds. It offers an impressive APY to customers who make at least 15 debit card transactions and deposit $1,000 to their account per month. Axos Bank also offers unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements, so you don't have to worry about ATM networks or fees.

Those who like Chime's automatic savings features but feel restricted by their small ATM network should consider the Aspiration Spend & Save Account. This checking account offers similar features, including automatic savings and an Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM) score that helps you understand the impact your shopping has on people and the planet. It doesn't have an ATM network, but it does offer five ATM fee reimbursements per month, which could make it more affordable than the Chime Spending Account if there isn't a MoneyPass® ATM near you.

Rates as of March 18, 2020
Offer
Chime
 
Member, FDIC
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
 
Member, FDIC
Aspiration Spend & Save
 
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: 0.01%

APY: Up to 1.25%

APY: 1.00%

Best For

Best For: Early direct deposit and online check payments

Best For: High APY and unlimited ATMs

Best For: High APY and no ATM fee's

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

Next Steps

This checking account is right for you if:

Those who hope to earn a substantial amount of interest on their checking account funds and those who live far from MoneyPass® ATMs should explore other options, including the checking accounts recommended above.

The Chime Spending Account is a good fit for those who prioritize convenience over interest-earning potential. Its online account management features, automated savings, and mailed check options make managing your money fast and simple. As Chime expands its services to include wire transfers and transfers to more external bank accounts, this should only get easier.

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