I’m a big proponent of online banking. I’ve been using the same online banks for YEARS.
But there are tons of new online accounts and apps out there and it can be hard to decide which ones to use.
I was contacted by this company, Chime to review their app and online bank account.
You guys know I’m always talking about side hustles and in 100% transparency Chime did in fact compensate me for my time to do this review.
As they should…time is money!
But this review represents my 100% honest review of the Chime App.
There are affiliate links included in this post as well- which means if you use the link I will receive a referral bonus but there is no charge to you whatsoever.
Now on with the goods…
What is CHIME?
Chime is a new type of bank account designed to help people lead healthier financial lives and automate their savings. With Chime, you get a Chime Visa Debit Card that can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted (which is pretty much everywhere). The account is FDIC insured and can be managed entirely from your smartphone. Plus a Savings Account that helps you save money automatically without thinking about it.
Chime Account Setup
The first thing that I did was download the Chime app which I did from the app store on my iPhone.
Once I downloaded the app I went into the app put in my name and my personal information, address etc., and created my account and set up a PIN number.
After that, I received an email confirmation letting me know that the account had been set up and that my debit card would soon arrive in the mail.
Chime Feature Highlights:
- FDIC insured.
- No overdraft fees
- No minimum balances to maintain
- The debit card is accepted anywhere that accepts Visa.
- Can be managed entirely from your smartphone
- You can set up automatic savings
- It is easy to set up direct deposit. (I personally haven’t done this yet but it’s a nice feature)
- Great notifications: After a purchase which prompts you to log into the app so you can see the balance
- Chime also sent me a notification letting me know that my balance was running low
- Like the ATM locator that allows you to see all of the ATMS near you
- It also shows the stores where you can get cash-back along with your purchase
- Took a long time for the card to come in the mail
- Card is a bit flimsy.
- Get your direct deposit up to two days early- on GP I just don’t like the idea of anticipating your check to arrive. It promotes a paycheck to paycheck mentality which I would like folks to move away from.
Detailed Chime Account Review:
I like the fact that you can do the entire set process and manage your account entirely from your smartphone. That’s super convenient since the vast majority of us a glued to our phones throughout the day anyway.
I also like the fact that there are no minimum balances that you have to maintain in your account and there are absolutely no fees associated with the account. There is no fee to set up the account and absolutely no maintenance fees.
The Chime account is FDIC insured which is very important because you want to make sure that your money is someplace safe.
Direct deposit can be set up easily with the routing number and account number which are displayed securely behind your pin number once you log into the app. This information is used to set up the necessary forms with your employer. I have not yet tried the direct deposit feature for myself.
With Chime, you have the ability to automate your savings which I really like. It’s imperative that we never forget to pay ourselves like we pay a bill. With the Chime App you can opt to automatically save a certain percentage of your paycheck every time you get paid.
Every time I swiped the debit card I would receive an immediate notification on my phone letting me know the amounts of the transaction. This feature helps to remind you that you’re spending.
There is something about seeing each transaction flash across the screen of your phone that makes it real and keeps the spending top of mind.
I also like the low balance notification that signals you when your account balance is getting low.
No overdraft fees:
Probably my favorite feature of Chime is that there are no overdraft fees. If you have struggled with your finances at some point in time have had an overdraft fee somewhere in your past.
Most banks simply don’t care if you have insufficient funds in your account. They want you to overdraft your account so that after the fact they can come back and charge you all of these overdraft fees. That is how banks make so much money off of the consumer- fees.
The no overdraft fee feature of Chime is one of the features that will allow them to stand out from the competition, in that they are not making money off of the misfortune consumers. They will not allow you to just be irresponsible with your card and continue to overdraft your account, Chime will just decline the transaction.
You can link your Chime account to your brick-and-mortar bank account or from another online account. The transfer does take a bit of time- my first transfer took about 5 business days which is a bit long.
With the Chime app, you also have the ability to transfer money to family and friends if you so choose.
If you like electronic bill pay (I don’t) for your utility bills or other household bills, you also have the ability to arrange that through the app.
The Chime Debit card can be used at ATMs across the country and app also has an ATM feature where you can type in your zip code and you can see all of the ATMs within your area.
It took a long time for my card to arrive (about 2 weeks). My husband recently signed up as well and his card took a while to arrive also. I would have liked to receive my card sooner.
The Debit Card:
Another thing that I did not like is that the card itself is a little bit flimsy.
The card is white which is nice and it has the Chime logo displayed at the top. It has a chip and it has the visa logo down at the bottom along with the account holder’s name.
The card number, security code, and expiration date are all on the back of the card.
Early Direct Deposit feature:
Chime heavily promotes the early direct deposit feature pretty heavily. With Chime, you have the ability to receive direct deposit up to two days early when you enroll in Chime’s direct deposit program.
I don’t necessarily like this feature and it does not appeal to me because it seems to promote the idea of you living paycheck to paycheck and waiting in anticipation for your check to arrive.
I don’t like the idea of ever having to anticipate waiting on pins and needles for your check to arrive period let alone getting it two days early so that you can be spent early.
If you are watching the account, waiting in anticipation for your check to arrive then to me you’re not really in control of your cash flow.
The early direct deposit feature may be a plus for many but on GP I don’t like the idea.
Overall my experience with Chime was very positive and I do enjoy using the card and the app.
I do plan to continue to use the account moving forward. The way that I’ll probably integrate it into my existing money management system is to load my personal spending money onto the card instead of pulling that cash out of the ATM each month and placing it into my cash envelope system.
It’s a great way to compartmentalize and protect my personal and discretionary spending from the remainder of my household budget.