What is Chime and how you can use it

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Have you had a not very good experience with your bank? Interestingly, you are not the only one. A lot of people complain about hidden charges and poor service delivery. Well, if you want to change all these, you should consider Chime. Their motto is to change the way people feel about banking. With Chime, you should get to enjoy both savings and spending accounts.

When you open an account with Chime, you get a Visa Debit Card, an optional Savings Account and a spending account. You don’t need a brick-and-mortar location to bank with Chime. Instead, a smartphone is enough to help you do all your banking services. No wonder it’s advertised as a perfect bank account for millennials. Below is everything you need to know about Chime including its features, benefits and disadvantages. Read on and decide if this is what you have been looking for all along.

About Chime

The founders of Chime had one mission when creating it, financial peace of mind. Everyone deserves the right to know that their finances are on the right track. Luckily, the talented team at Chime is passionate about doing so and much more.

The principle behind Chime is to assist its members to rise a step higher. They do so by ensuring they profit with you instead of profiting off of you. The bank gets it is earning from Visa. Hence, every time you use your Chime debit card, they are paid a small amount from Visa.

Features of Chime bank

Chime bank welcomes you to better online banking. Plus, you don’t have to worry about hidden charges. It helps you to experience the flexibility that comes with online banking because you are at liberty to make all your banking on the go.

One of the most impressive features with Chime bank is the ability to receive direct deposit of your paycheck fast compared to other banks. If you are the impatient kind who can’t just wait for your cash to reflect in your account no matter how long it takes, Chime has a solution for your troubles. When you open a Chime spending account and set up direct deposit, you automatically become eligible to receive your paycheck up to two days early before the usual payday. Chime ensures you get your money right on time and forget about waiting time. It’s your money, why wait for it and it is sitting idle in some mysterious electronic limbo? Immediately your employer deposits money in the bank, Chime facilitates the transfer and ensure that they avail the funds to you. This is usually long before the other traditional banks can make the funds available to you.

While there are many other get paid early apps available out there, Chime is different and unique. Chime is a full-feature online bank with features enabling you to manage your savings and daily spending. Something hard to find with ‘get paid early apps’.

When it comes to security issues, there is no cause for alarm. Chime bank is secure and FDIC insured. The bank uses secure and encryption processes to make sure your money is safe. The Stride Bank, Members FDIC and Bancorp Bank are their partners who ensure their deposits are secure.

Among the things you can do with your banking app include:

  • Instantly send money to your friends through Pay Friends
  • Receive daily balance notifications alerts every time you use your Chime Visa Debit Card
  • Track your account balance, savings and daily transactions

Different Chime bank accounts

Spending account

The spending account with Chime is absolutely free. It’s the perfect option for anyone looking to a no-fee spending account. As you know, most banks will require a minimum balance, levy monthly maintenance fees and impose other charges, but this is not the case with Chime. Chime doesn’t impose any monthly fees and it doesn’t require a minimum balance to open a spending account.

To fund your Chime spending account, you simply need to set up direct deposit. Go to the mobile app and set up direct deposit with Chime and you will automatically become eligible to receive your funds early.

So, how does Chime bank make money? You get a Visa debit card when you open a Chime spending account. Every time you swipe your card, Visa gives Chime a kickback. In other words, Chime makes money from Visa and not you as it is with other traditional banks. In fact, part of the money Chime makes from Visa is given back to you in the form of Cash Back Rewards.

Savings account

You will have to open a Chime spending account before you are allowed to open a savings account. The good news is that applying for a spending account is absolutely free and won’t take your time. You will need less than two minutes and this won’t have an impact on your credit score. With that in mind, now let’s learn more about this amazing account.

The Chime savings account was specially designed to help you save. The automatic savings features enable you to set money aside and save without incurring any charges. If your savings account has a balance of at least $0.01, you are eligible to earn the interest rate. Your interest will be calculated every day based on your balance in the account. Although you won’t be able to deposit money directly into your savings account, there are pretty easy ways you can still use such as direct transfer money from your Spending account or send 10% of every direct deposit of $500 or more with Save When I Get Paid.

There are two awesome ways to grow your savings automatically.

a) Round-Ups

One of them is the Round-Ups whereby you save the change on every payment or purchase. Your Chime Visa Debit Card allows you to save money whenever you pay a bill or make a purchase. The transactions are rounded up to the nearest dollar and then transferred from your Spending Account to your Savings Account.

b) Save When I Get Paid

The second option is When I Get Paid which helps you to automatically save a percentage of every paycheck. This option makes saving extremely easy because you can save money on every paycheck. It offers you a great opportunity to achieve your financial goals.

Credit Builder

You have to be a Chime member to join the waitlist and get early access to Credit Builder. To join the Credit Builder waitlist, go to the Chime app under settings and follow the instructions. You will need a Chime Spending Account and payroll direct deposit of $200 or more within the past 45 days to apply for a Credit Builder. The bank will send you an email invitation when it is your turn. A quick tip, refer a friend to bump you up on the list.

Every week, Chime invite members from waitlist to Credit Builder. If you get invited, make sure you have the latest updated version of their app. It will make it easier for you to complete your applications directly from the home screen of Chime mobile app. When you qualify to use Credit Builder, you won’t incur any charges be it maintenance fees, international fees or interest. It will be free.

One thing that makes Credit Builder stand out from the rest is its ability to charge 0% APR, $0 fees and no credit check needed to apply. This is something hard to find with other traditional credit cards. In fact, there is nothing like negatively impacting your credit score when using a high percentage of your available credit limit with Credit Builder.

How to open a Chime Bank Account

If you wish to open a Chime bank account, here’s what you will need.

  • Social Security Number
  • Valid home address
  • United States citizen or resident in one of the 50 states
  • Be 18 years old or above

The process of opening a bank account with Chime is straightforward. Here’s how to get started:

  • Visit the Enroll section
  • Complete the enrollment form
  • Chime will then use the address you provided to send you a Chime Visa Debit Card
  • Download their mobile banking app
  • Log in to your account

You will receive your new debit card within 7-10 business days.

Benefits of owning an account with Chime bank

Chime offers amazing features you cannot afford to miss such as:

  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees, no international transaction fees and no minimum balance required
  • Faster access to your paycheck through direct deposit
  • Automatic savings option helping you achieve your financial goals
  • Free ATMs with more than 38,000 fees-free ATM locations

Limitations of Chime bank accounts

Chime bank has its own cons and that is acceptable considering nothing in life is perfect. Some of those limitations include:

  • It doesn’t offer the services of a joint account
  • It’s a bit challenging for cash deposits because Chime only provides online banking services
  • Unavailability of personal checks

The bottom line

From what you have read, there are several services you get to enjoy with Chime bank for free. That’s because Chime is designed to cater to those people who would want to have a no-fee mobile bank account to at least save some extra money. However, if you are looking for traditional banking services such as physical checks, joint accounts or multiple savings account, Chime may not be the bank you are looking for.