Chime is a rapidly growing fintech company that operates solely online and offers a wide range of banking services in a free and user-friendly approach.

One of the essential features of Chime is its accessibility; it’s great for anyone who might not qualify to open accounts elsewhere, as it doesn’t check your banking history or credit score when you apply for an account. 

In this article, we will review Chime, what it is and how it works. Let’s delve right in. 

What is Chime?

Chime is an online banking platform, not an actual bank. It partners with Stride Bank, N.A. and The Bancorp Bank to offer FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts for up to $250,000.

Founded in 2013 by Ryan King and Chris Britt with its headquarters in San Francisco, Chime provides banking services to millions of people. Some of its perks are 24/7 online banking, Free ATM access, no foreign transaction fee, and cash deposits at thousands of locations.

Chime stands out because of its commitment to providing almost free banking to its users and its user-centred approach, which allows users to manage their money better while eliminating the roadblocks that come with traditional banking. Its most vital feature is that it’s excellent for people who might not qualify to open accounts elsewhere.

What is Chime and who can use it?

Who Can Use Chime?

Chime may be a good fit for you if you are frustrated with traditional bank fees, are tech-savvy, prefer online banking, are focused on building credit, and plan to receive direct deposits. 

Key Features of Chime

1. Accounts

Chime offers two bank account options to help you manage your money. Here’s a rundown of each account’s features and benefits

Chime Checking Account

This account allows you to receive payment up to two days early with direct deposit. It comes with SpotMe, a valuable feature that enables you to get a fee-free overdraft of up to $200. The account also has an automated savings feature, allowing fee-free transactions with up to a $5,000 monthly limit. It provides access to 60,000+ fee-free ATMs nationwide and is compatible with Google and Apple Pay.

Chime Savings Account

This account offers a 2.00%¹ annual percentage yield (APY). That’s a fairly competitive rate compared to other high-yield savings accounts of some top online banks. This account does not require payment of monthly fees, nor does it have a minimum balance requirement. There is no cap on the interest you can earn, and a minimum deposit is not required to open an account.

You will need a Chime Checking Account to open a Chime Savings Account.

2. The Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Chime Visa debit card

This card is available without needing a credit check to apply. It’s a secure card designed for people trying to build credit. However, to access this card, you must have a Chime Checking account and receive monthly direct deposits of at least $200 to qualify and apply. 

3. Automatic Saving Features 

Whenever you use your Chime Visa Debit Card, Chime rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits the balance into your savings account. It also offers a “Save When I Get Paid”  feature that automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposit paycheck from your checking account to your savings account each time you get paid.

How Does Chime Work?

Opening a Chime account and using its app to manage your money is similar to using other mobile banking apps. You can manage your accounts online or from the app, and 24/7 customer support is available over the phone or live chat. There are also online resources that are accessible and can be very helpful. 

You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to sign up. Applying only takes a few minutes and three steps:

  1. You complete a Chime Checking Account application online by providing your name, Social Security number and contact information. This process is seamless and user-friendly. 
  2. Creating an account will give you access to checking and savings accounts.
  3. Set up direct deposit or make an external transfer to fund your new account. 

After this process, Chime will issue you a Visa debit card which will be linked to your Checking Account. You can use it for ATM withdrawals, purchases and bill payments. 

Chime’s technology.

Chime built its mobile app features with a strong focus on the mobile experience, leading to a seamless and user-friendly app. It operates primarily on a cloud-based infrastructure that allows for flexibility and continuous updates.

Chime has a clear Privacy Policy outlining the data they collect, how it uses it, and your choices regarding data management. It also controls personal information, like adjusting marketing preferences and communication settings.

Security measures 

Chime safeguards sensitive information using technology like data encryption. It also uses two-factor authentication to provide an extra layer of protection, requiring an additional code upon login, apart from your password.

You can instantly enable or disable specific settings within the app if you suspect compromise. 


In conclusion, Chime is an online financial technology company that disrupts traditional banking by providing almost fee-free services that are available online only. It offers a well-rounded banking experience featuring checking and savings accounts, a debit card, and optional services like early paycheck access and overdraft protection. 

Chime partners with traditional banks that provide FDIC insurance and banking infrastructure while leveraging technology for a seamless, user-friendly experience.

If you’re looking for a convenient, low-cost banking solution with a strong focus on the mobile experience, Chime might be a great option to consider.