Have you ever thought about banking online? I switched to an online bank a few years ago and never looked back. Online banking is convenient and it’s often more affordable.
Most online banks don’t charge nearly as many fees that brick and mortar banks do. They can also offer better rates and terms to customers since they don’t have to pay for expenses like branch locations, on-site staff, and other tools and supplies.
Chime is a newer mobile-only bank allowing members to bank from anywhere and avoid the tedious process of managing their account from a physical bank branch. Many people have chosen to bank online with Chime.
Chime was founded by Ryan King and Chris Britt, two people who wanted to build a new kind of bank account that was easy for members to use and provided them with peace of mind. Chime was ranked one of the best new finance apps by Nerd Wallet in 2017.
Chime offer bank cards along with a checking and savings account option and your money is insured by the FDIC. The best thing about Chime, in my opinion, is the simplicity of everything. There are no monthly fees or overdraft fees.
There’s isn’t a ton of fine print to go over just to make sure you’re not getting tricked into terms you don’t really want. How can Chime offer such benefits for free? Don’t they need to make money on their end? Chime’s mission is to protect members and help them get ahead.
This means they don’t purpose to make money off a business model that causes you to pay unnecessary fees. Whenever you use your Chime debit card to make money, Chime earns a small amount from Visa which is paid for by the merchant.
Since this is a mobile banking app, members can really take charge of managing their account and don’t have to wait around for customer service or a bank teller to assist them.
If you want to bank online with Chime, there’s either a checking or savings account option. Let’s go over some of the features.
If you’re looking to use Chime for spending on everyday expenses, you’ll want to consider this account option since it’s pretty similar to a checking account.
With this account, you get a free debit card to make purchases and access to over 38,000+ fee-free ATMs. You’ll also get daily account balance updates so you never get blindsided. Plus, you can easily block debit card transactions at any time if you misplace your card or your card is used for an unauthorized purchase.
Need to deposit a check? You can simply do it on the app instead of having to stop by a branch like with a brick and mortar bank. However, setting up deposit is when you get perks like getting paid early. Chime boasts on their website that members can get paid up to 2 days early when they set up direct deposit.
Chime also supports other mobile pay options like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Transferring money is also easy and you never have to worry about hidden fees.
The only fee you could incur with this account is an out-of-network $2.50 fee but this can be avoided if you use any of the 38,000 fee-free ATMs available.
Looking to save more money? The average American has less than $400 in savings. Why is this? While I didn’t conduct any studies, I could make an educated guess as to why most Americans struggle to save.
For starters, most people don’t prioritize savings. When you get paid, you may think about all the bills that need to be paid and what you need to spend money on. If you don’t prioritize savings, it’s likely that you won’t have anything left to set aside at the end of the month.
Saving is also a habit that some people struggle to develop. If you don’t budget and pay yourself first, it may be challenging to view saving money as an option.
Luckily, Chime’s savings account option makes it easy and painless to save money while tackling these problems. Chime offer an automatic savings option so you no longer have to remind yourself to save money.
There are two different ways to automate your savings with Chime. You can opt to save a whenever you get paid. Whenever your paycheck is deposited to your Chime spending account, 10% of it can automatically go to savings.
Or, you can save money automatically whenever you spend it. Chime has a Round Up feature that allows you to round up your purchases so you can save more money.
For example, say you want to round up to the nearest dollar and spend $4.50 on a coffee. From there, $0.50 will be rounded up and deposited to your savings.
Chime makes it easier than ever to save money consistently without thinking about it. Whether you’re looking to save for an emergency, a vacation, or a large purchase, you can meet your goals without any added pressure.
Benefits and Drawbacks
There are quite a few benefits of using Chime but there are also some drawbacks as well. Let’s start with the good news.
Chime definitely gets points for its simplicity and straightforward processes. Members can sign up for free and don’t have to worry about hidden fees or confusing jargon.
Everything can be managed from one handy app so you don’t have to worry about calling customer service or waiting in line at the bank on a Friday afternoon when you’d rather be home.
Members also get their direct deposit up to 2 days early and have access to thousands of fee-free ATMs. Saving is made easy with Chime’s automatic savings feature.
On the flip side, Chime doesn’t offer any interest on savings. This means you could be missing out a potentially higher balance if you were to save up a significant amount of money. For this reason, Chime’s saving account feature may be a good option for short-term savings and to help you get into the habit of saving money.
If you want to earn interest, other online banks offer more competitive rates.
Another downside is that Chime doesn’t provide members with checks and mobile bank deposit may be a challenge if you’re not used to depositing your own checks. To avoid this, however, you can set up direct deposit with your employer.
How to Sign Up
Do you want to bank online with Chime? You can apply online for Chime in just minutes and applying doesn’t hurt your credit score.
You need to be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old. You’ll need to download the app to get started and just need to submit some basic information before getting the okay from Chime to move forward with setting up your account.
Have you tried online banking yet? Feel free to share your thoughts on Chime in the comments below!