★ Rockstar Review: Chime Bank (Online Banking w/ Round-Up Savings Feature)
This is part of our Rockstar Reviews series.
Be sure to check out all previous products we’ve reviewed!
Simple Online Banking + The Power of Round-up Savings!
Chime was founded by two guys in the industry who were tired of the hatred that so many millennials have with their own banks. Between high banking fees and impersonal approaches, they realized the relationship between banks and their customers were broken and wanted to fix that.
Enter, Chime Bank.
Chime is a “mobile-first” bank account designed from the ground up to help you save money. Each Chime account comes with a Spending Account, a Savings Account and a Chime Visa debit card. Along with that, there’s the ability to round-up all your transactions and drop the difference right into savings for you.
And the best part? Chime helps you avoid all those unnecessary banking fees.
How Chime Works
Chime works straight from your smartphone using their mobile app.
Signing up for Chime takes only a couple minutes and you can open up an account entirely online. Once you finish signing up, they’ll send you a Chime Visa Debit card in the mail. While you’re waiting for the card to arrive, you can download the app which provides instructions for funding the account.
Chime makes it easy to save with two types of Automatic Savings programs:
#1. Save When You Spend: Each time you use your Chime card to pay for something, the purchase amount is rounded up to the nearest dollar and automatically transferred from your Spending Account into your Savings Account. This essentially puts into motion a 100% automated “saving through spending” plan.
Better yet, every Friday, Chime pays members a 10% bonus on top of their round-ups for the week to help them meet their savings goals faster. Not bad for doing something you should be doing anyways! They say that members who use their Chime card at least twice a day will average about $400 in savings after a year.
#2. Save When You Get Paid: If you want to save even more aggressively, I highly recommend turning on this feature as well. Chime will automatically transfer 10% of each paycheck to your savings account as soon as it arrives in your account. It’s a great way to “pay yourself first” as we like to say here!
To top it all off, Chime doesn’t charge a fee to use them. No monthly fees, overdraft fees, no foreign transaction fees and they don’t require a minimum balance. They also have over 24,000 free ATMs for members across the United States.
The rich mobile app has a bunch of nifty features that almost any of us will find super (uber?) handy.
Early Direct Deposit: Chime members who receive payroll direct deposit can receive their paycheck up to two days earlier. For most members, that means payday comes on Wednesday instead of the typical Friday pay day.
Notifications: While most banks bury notification settings, Chime makes sure you’re always on top of your account activity with real-time transaction alerts and daily balance notifications that come standard with the app.
Connected Accounts: Chime makes it easy to connect other bank accounts so that you can move money between them. Let’s say you have a Fidelity account for investments. Connect it to Chime via Settings, and you’ll be able to make transfers and even view your Fidelity account balance from the home screen of the Chime app.
Tip Calculator: It’s true the math isn’t that hard, but what finance application would be complete without this? When you use Chime for a restaurant or service bill, they’ll include a handy tip calculation in the transaction notification. That means you don’t even have to open the app to see it.
Bill Pay: Similar to other banking services, Chime lets you automatically pay your bills. They’ll even drop a check in the mail if you prefer rather than transfers from your Spending Account.
Pay Friends: Chime makes it insanely easy to transfer money around between friends. Want to chip in for the last round of beers? Instant money transfers through the app makes this a simple and straightforward task.
Apple Pay & Apple Watch: Apple users will love Chime’s built-in support for Apple Pay and for those Apple Watch fans, Chime also has a dedicated watch app.
Security & Support: Bank-level security is in full swing with Chime, like FDIC-insured bank accounts, two-factor authentication, 128-bit encryption and real-time transaction alerts. Misplaced your debit card? No problem – temporarily block all transactions in the app until you find or replace it!
Oh, and Speaking of Fees…
Check out these stats from Chime’s sister site, BankFeeFinder.com, for a look at just how profitable banking fees are to large financial institutions. It’s pretty incredible!
Chime doesn’t charge any of these fees. Here’s a vid they put together asking people to guess how much they’re paying at their bank, and spoiler alert: it’s much higher than they thought :(
The Downsides to Using Chime?
Using Chime is completely done online and through their smartphone app. Not a problem for many of us who are used to – and enjoy – the digital flexibility. However, if you’re not comfortable with that yourself, Chime isn’t the bank for you.
Additionally, Chime is only based in the United States, as are all of its ATMs. Therefore, members must reside within the United States to take advantage of a Chime bank account. Further, to get the most from Chime, you’ll need to use their debit card to pay for your transactions. But a bank account without fees and an automated way to save more with every purchase might just be worth making room for another card in your wallet.
Chime was built for those looking for a modern approach to finances, and expects more out of their bank than fees and heartache. If you’re looking for a solid, fee-free bank that helps you save more, Chime is worth the consideration.
Learn more, and sign up, here: ChimeBank.com
(Rockstar readers get a $5.00 bonus after making your first deposit!)
PS: For a list of other savings and banking tools we recommend, click here.
This review was in partnership with Chime and all links to them above are affiliate links. As always, we only share those products we find to be “Rockstar worthy,” and we hope you find them to be helpful :)