Young man doing his banking from his mobile device after reading a Chime review.

Chime Review [2024] – Is Chime Safe? Pros and Cons

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There are 4,672 FDIC-insured banks in the U.S. 

But what if you want something modern, something different? 

Meet Chime. A digital banking platform that minimizes costs while maximizing convenience. 

Chime isn’t technically a bank, but its accounts are still FDIC-insured. 

And Chime gives you special perks that most traditional banks don’t offer. We’re talking no monthly fees, automatic saving features, and the chance to receive your paycheck two days ahead of schedule with early direct deposit.

Yeah, real-deal stuff!

In this Chime review, I’ll explain exactly how the service works and help you decide if it’s worth it.

At a Glance

Juggling various financial obligations, needs and goals is always tough. The last thing anyone needs to worry about losing their money to hidden fees being charged by their banks.

Banks make billions of dollars in fees every year — account maintenance fees, overdraft fees, transaction fees. Basically, whatever service a bank provides, there’s typically a fee associated with it one way or another.

Let’s call it as we see it: This is just dumb.

When you bank with Chime you won’t have to worry about hidden fees eating up your hard-earned money.

Here’s why we love it, and a few reasons why it might not be right for you.

The Pros:

  • Chime accounts have no minimum balance fees, monthly fees or foreign transaction fees
  • It has more than 38,000 fee-free ATMs via Visa Plus Alliance and MoneyPass.
  • Gives access to your paycheck up to 2 days early when you set up direct deposit
  • Allows you to save money towards your goals with automatic round ups on purchases made with the Chime debit card

The Cons:

  • Chime doesn’t offer joint accounts
  • There are ATM fees when you choose an out-of-network ATM
  • Chime doesn’t offer personal checks, though it can send one on your behalf

If a Chime bank account sounds like it would be a game-changer for you (and it would be for a lot of people) make a $200 deposit, and get started. It only takes two minutes to sign-up.

Protect your money by banking fee-free with Chime.

Bank with Chime

What is Chime?

Chime is a financial technology company that offers convenient online banking. 

By providing checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit-building services, Chime pretty much acts like a regular bank. Sure, you lose the chance to visit a physical branch (Chime is 100% digital), but you get access to awesome perks and money-saving opportunities.

What types of perks?

Here are a few:

  • No monthly fees 
  • No minimum balance
  • No overdraft penalties up to $200 (if you make $200 in direct deposits each month)
  • Option to receive your paycheck 2 days ahead of time with early direct deposit
  • Automatic savings features 

But having an online account will make it difficult to access cash, right?


With a Chime checking account, you’ll have access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs. You’ll also receive digital and physical debit cards. This means you can get cash and make purchases, just like you would with a traditional checking account. 

Gentleman setting up his digital checking account on his mobile phone after reading a Chime review.
With no minimum balance and no monthly fees, Chime offers flexibility and convenience.
Source: Unsplash

What is the Chime Card?

When people refer to a “Chime card,” they’re likely talking about either:

  1. The Chime Visa Debit Card (comes with a Chime checking account), or
  2. The Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card. 

In this Chime review, I’ll explain both cards in detail.

Let’s start with the Chime Visa debit card since that’s the card all Chime checking account holders receive. 

You’ll get your Chime Visa debit card automatically when you open a Chime checking account. You can access a digital version on your phone right away, and the physical card will be sent through the mail 7-10 days after opening your account. 

Once you’ve got your physical Chime debit card, you can use it anywhere that accepts Visa. You can also withdraw money from an ATM with no fees as long as you use one of the 60,000 partner ATMs.

Fee-free partner ATMs include:

  • Allpoint ATMs
  • Visa Plus Alliance ATMs
  • MoneyPass ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience stores

And as with any debit card, the money you spend or withdraw with your Chime Visa debit card will come directly from your checking account. 

The Chime Credit Builder Visa credit card is completely different. It acts as a traditional credit card, but with an exciting twist. You set the money for payments aside ahead of time, ensuring you make all your monthly payments. 

And why’s that such a big deal?

Because it will raise your credit score, giving you more financial flexibility and increasing your overall financial health.

Here’s how it works:

  • Step 1: You move money from your Chime checking account into your special Credit Builder account.
  • Step 2: You use your Chime Credit Builder Visa credit card to make purchases up to the amount that you moved into the Credit Builder account. 
  • Step 3: The money in the Credit Builder account is used to pay your credit card balance, which means you’re guaranteed to make the on-time payments that lift your credit score.

This is similar to how a charge card works. You can learn more about a charge card vs credit card here

Responsible credit card use raises your credit score, while irresponsible use damages it. The power of the Chime Credit Builder credit card is that responsibility is integrated into the system, so building credit becomes stress-free! 

If you need more help fixing your credit, check out our comparison of Credit Saint vs Lexington Law, or see if working with the best tradeline companies could be the right credit repair solution for you. 

Meanwhile, learn how to budget for non recurring expenses so you can be prepared for unexpected costs going forward. 

How Does Chime Work?

Chime’s whole operation is based on convenience. And it really does provide a user-friendly version of digital banking. 

Start by downloading the Chime app or applying through the official Chime website. You’ll have to enter some basic information, but it should take less than 2 minutes to set up. 

And here’s some more good news: Chime doesn’t require a credit check. Not only does that make the enrollment process faster, but it also means your credit score won’t take a hit.

Keep in mind that to enroll, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Live in the U.S.

Once you’re accepted, you’ll receive your checking account automatically. Deposit some money electronically, receive your free debit card – and you’ll be ready to go! 

Also, I’d consider setting up direct deposit if your job makes it possible. For one thing, you can receive your paycheck up to two days early. And if you receive $200+ per month in direct deposits, you also become eligible for Chime’s “SpotMe,” which gives you fee-free overdrafts of up to $200. 

With your checking account up and running, you’ll have to decide whether to use Chime’s other services: the Credit Builder Visa credit card and the savings account.

The Chime Credit Builder Visa credit card works as a traditional credit card, except that you set aside the money for payments ahead of time. The result? Guaranteed on-time payments, which will give your credit score a major boost.

And what about the savings account? I think it’s worth considering for two main reasons:

  1. You’ll earn up to 2.00% APY, which is above the national average (at the time of this publication).
  2. You can take advantage of automatic savings features. 

The saving features are pretty special. With “Round Ups,” you’ll save the change on every purchase you make with your debit card. And with “Save When I Get Paid,” a percentage of each paycheck will go straight to your savings account. 

Those types of features allow you to save quietly in the background – setting you up for long-term financial success.

Also, read this article explaining why Chime made the top of the list for easiest bank account to open online.

Is Chime Legit?

With headquarters in San Francisco, Chime is a legit business with a real presence in the physical world. Its leadership team is also publicly known. CEO Chris Britt cut his teeth working for VISA, while COO Mark Troughton has decades of experience in the tech industry. 

So these aren’t scammers hiding in a dark basement. They’re leaders who seem proud of the company they’re building.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Chime’s record isn’t spotless. It only has a 2.8-star rating on Trustpilot, with lots of people complaining about poor customer service. And things are even worse with the Better Business Bureau, which gives Chime an “F” grade for failing to respond to customer complaints.

So Chime isn’t perfect, but it’s still totally legit.

View of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, which is also where Chime is headquartered.
Chime is a legit company with headquarters in San Francisco.
Source: Unsplash

Is Chime Safe? 

Chime is completely safe to use, especially because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protects accounts up to $250,000. Even if your money somehow disappeared, the federal government would have you covered. 

Why? Let’s get technical for a second.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. But it provides its services through Bancorp and Stride Bank, which are both traditional banks and FDIC-insured. That’s why your money is just as safe in a Chime account as it would be with a standard bank. 

Pros and Cons of Chime

Chime is legit, safe, and convenient. But is it flawless? Of course not. And this Chime review lays it all out for you.

Here are the pros and cons to consider before enrolling with Chime. 


  • No monthly fees. No matter how little you keep in your account, Chime won’t charge you a penny.
  • No minimum balance. You won’t get punished if your account runs low. And if you receive at least $200 per month in direct deposits, you can even overdraw up to $200 without paying a penalty.
  • Over 60,000 fee-free ATMs. That’s a serious real-world presence for an “online” account!


  • 2.00% APY on savings is lower than some other online options. There’s nothing wrong with earning 2% interest, and it’s still better than average. It’s just that many other online accounts offer rates that are even higher.
  • Only three main services. Chime offers checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit-builder credit cards. That smaller menu is great for simplicity, but it means you’ll have to look elsewhere for loans, CDs, and other banking services. 
  • No physical branches. Do you appreciate face-to-face interactions with bankers? If so, then Chime might not be for you.

Chime Reviews

Lots of Chime users are sharing their opinions online. 

Let’s start with a positive Chime review from someone who strongly recommends the Chime Credit Builder Visa credit card. Apparently, they found Chime to be “the best mobile banking app available.”

A five-star Chime review from a happy online banking customer.
A Chime review claims, “We need more valuable apps like Chime.”
Source: Trustpilot

Another Chime review calls the service “so super convenient.” The user did complain about poor customer service, but they still considered Chime “pretty awesome,” even after being hung up on! 

A four-star Chime review from a user who loves the app, but had a bad customer service experience.
A Chime review calls the service “so super convenient.”
Source: Trustpilot

Not all Chime users are so forgiving when it comes to poor customer service. 

In a two-star Chime review, one user says they’re second-guessing the service because the dispute process is so slow. They’d been waiting over a month for their problems to be resolved – yikes!

A two-star Chime review from a customer who claims the dispute process takes over a month.
A Chime review describes a month-long wait for a dispute to be resolved. 
Source: Trustpilot 

Another Chime user went even further, telling readers, “Do not trust this bank with your funds.” Again, customer service was the issue. The user’s account was apparently hacked, and when they tried to sort it out over the phone, the Chime agent hung up on them.

A negative Chime review from a customer who was “hung up on” by the customer service team.
A Chime user complains about receiving “terrible customer service.” 
Source: Trustpilot

Notice a pattern in these Chime reviews? I did. The accounts themselves are wonderful, but the customer service isn’t up to scratch. 

But hey, Chime is adding users quickly. Maybe growing pains are just an inevitable part of the process. 

Chime Reviews Reddit

I found a Reddit thread where people share their Chime experiences, with most users having only good things to say!

The thread started with someone asking if Chime could be trusted.

A person on Reddit is asking for a Chime review.
Someone on Reddit asks if Chime is good and secure.
Source: Reddit

Most comments agreed that Chime is 100% legit, with multiple users saying they had suspicious charges refunded almost immediately. 

A Chime review from a user who has had a positive experience with the banking app.
A Chime review on Reddit describes the company as trustworthy. 
Source: Reddit
A positive Chime review from a customer who received a refund within a week.
Someone on Reddit says that Chime refunded stolen money within a week.
Source: Reddit

Of course, not everyone agreed. This is the internet, after all! One user said they had $500 stolen from their account, but Chime wouldn’t help them.

A negative Chime review from a customer who claims over $500 was stolen from their account.
A Redditor says Chime wouldn’t help them after they had $500 stolen from their account.
Source: Reddit

Is Chime Worth It?

I’d say Chime is worth it, especially for anyone who wants the flexibility to maintain a smaller balance in their checking account. 


Because Chime has no monthly fees, no minimum balance, and no overdraft fees (up to $200 for people who receive $200+ in monthly direct deposits). That gives you valuable wiggle room if your balance is hovering around zero. 

Not only will you avoid fees, but you’ll also prevent the stress of trying to constantly avoid fees, which might be even more important.

And if your balance is bigger, Chime is probably still worth it. Those savings features are super handy, and the Chime Credit Builder Visa credit card can give your financial health a major boost.

Chime will also give you money just for opening a bank account or inviting a friend to after you join. Learn how you can get a Chime referral bonus.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t use Chime? Sure, people who really want a physical banking experience or people who are determined to earn more than 2.00% APY on their savings. 

But for everyone else, Chime is a convenient option for online banking. 

Commonly Asked Questions About Chime

What are Alternatives to Chime? 

Chime isn’t the only option for digital, app-based banking. Alternatives include:

Is Chime a Scam? 

Chime definitely isn’t a scam. It’s a legit fintech company based in San Francisco, and the accounts go through Bancorp and Stride Bank, so they’re FDIC insured. 

What is The Catch With Chime?

There is no catch with Chime, and the “no-fee” claim is really true! Chime makes its money through interchange fees paid by merchants, so it doesn’t have to be funded by its users. 

Is Chime a Good Bank? 

Chime is a convenient option for online banking. There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance, and you’ll have access to a network of 60,000+ fee-free ATMs. 

Is Chime FDIC Insured?

Chime itself isn’t technically a bank, so it’s not insured by the FDIC. But it partners with Bancorp and Stride Bank to offer accounts, and both those banks are FDIC-insured. This means the money you deposit in a Chime account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Does Chime Charge a Monthly Fee? 

Chime doesn’t charge a monthly fee. There are also no foreign transaction fees or transfer fees. And if you receive at least $200 in monthly direct deposits, you’re eligible for “SpotMe,” so you won’t pay a fee for overdrafts up to $200.  

Chime Interest Rate?

Chime savings accounts currently pay 2.00% APY, which is above the national average, but less than some other online banks (at the time of this publication). 

If you’d like to learn which budgeting app could best help you manage your finances and boost your savings, check out these comparisons of Rocket Money vs the competition:

Then use a net worth tracker to see how your new financial strategies are paying off. 

Chime Bank Bad Reviews? 

Chime gets some bad online reviews, especially from people who have had trouble with customer service. Although, plenty of users also report positive experiences with the company. I’d say the bad reviews are worth taking seriously, but Chime remains an excellent option for digital banking. 


  • Chime disclosure: Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.
  • When advertising “APY” in collateral, the term “Annual Percentage Yield” must first be stated at least once in the advertisement. The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is accurate as of May 22, 2023. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
  • ATMs: Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
  • Round up: Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.
  • Early pay: Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.