Is Chime a Real Bank?

| Updated on March 26, 2024

Many consumers are wondering if Chime is a real banking institution, and for good reason. Chime is a finance company that has been making waves in the banking world–it offers a range of impressive features that have made Chime a popular banking choice for consumers. But, is Chime an actual bank?

Chime isn’t a bank; instead, it’s a financial institution that partners with two other FDIC-insured banks–The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank–to offer banking services similar to those of a traditional bank. This means that while you can do things like deposit money and use a Chime Visa debit card for spending, the company isn’t technically a bank. 

Because of this, there are some key differences between Chime and a traditional bank.

For example, Chime does not offer things a real bank does like large loans, money market accounts, or certificates of deposit (CDs). Instead, Chime’s focus is on helping people manage their everyday banking needs through their mobile phones–all with no monthly maintenance fees.

What Banking Services Does Chime Offer? 

Chime offers a full range of financial services, from checking and savings accounts to money transfers and a secured credit card. In fact, it’s one of the few mobile-first financial institutions that take care of your everyday banking needs without ever having you visit a physical bank branch. 

Here are some key features and services that Chime banking services offer:

  • Deposits: Customers can set up direct deposit into their Chime checking account for their paycheck or government benefits and have the money deposited into their account as soon as it’s available.
  • Withdrawals: There are more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide where customers can withdraw cash from their Chime account.
  • Transfers: Customers can use Chime’s Pay Anyone feature to transfer money to friends and family members, even if they don’t have a Chime account.
  • Mobile Check Deposit: Customers can deposit paper checks by taking a photo of the check using the Chime app.
  • Bill Pay: Customers can pay their bills using the digital Chime app or through our website.

What are the Pros and Cons of Chime Bank Services? 

The pros of using Chime include no maintenance fees, free withdrawals at more than 60,000 ATMs, competitive savings annual percentage yield (APY) rates, a secured credit card, and the ability to get your money deposits up to two days early.

Some cons of using Chime as noted by reviews include no physical branches and no loans or other credit services like issuing letters of credit (you can still avail of up to $200 of overdraft for free with SpotMe). Plus, the option for using mobile checks is only available to those who’ve signed up for direct deposits in their checking account Chime.

What Types of Accounts Does Chime Support? 

Chime has kept banking simple and supports only three types of accounts–a checking account (with debit card access), a savings account, and a credit-builder account. 

Chime Checking Account 

This is similar to a traditional “checking account.” The Chime checking account is linked to a Chime Visa debit card and can be used anywhere that accepts Visa. The account comes with no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and even a $0 foreign transaction fee. Chime’s checking account is helpful for users who want a specific account for their online spending.

Chime Savings Account 

Chime helps users save money by automatically transferring a set percentage of every direct deposit of $500 or more into this account. You can also choose to round up your secured debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and have that money transferred into your savings account–there are no monthly fees or minimum balances associated with Chime’s savings account. A savings account is one of the best options for customers who want a safe, secure place to save their money. 

Chime Credit Builder Account

The credit builder account is an account that helps users build their credit. Users make deposits into the account, which they can then use to make purchases with a credit builder Visa credit card. The funds in the account are used to automatically pay the credit card bill.

Chime then reports your credit activity to the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. This can help you build or improve your credit score. There are no monthly fees associated with the Credit Builder account, and you can make deposits at any time. 

How to Open an Account With Chime

Opening an account with Chime is very easy and can be done entirely online–it takes less than two minutes. All you need to open up an account is your personal information, including your name, address, social security number, and date of birth.

You’ll receive a Chime Visa Debit card within seven to ten days after your application has been processed and verified, and you can begin to use the card for your spending needs. If you have issues opening your savings or checking account, you can contact Chime customer service for help.

Can Chime Decline Your Account Opening Application? 

It is possible for your account opening application to be declined. The most common reasons for this include third-party verification failure, incorrect personal information, not meeting the age limit, and not being a U.S. citizen.

  • Third-party verification failure: Chime runs your social security number through government agencies such as ChexSystems (a consumer reporting agency that tracks banking history). If there’s some kind of red flag in your banking history, it can lead to your account opening application being declined.
  • Incorrect personal information: This can include a mistyped social security number, for example.
  • Underage applicant: Applicants must be at least eighteen years old to open an account with Chime. 

If your account was declined, you can dispute the decision by contacting Chime. You will need to provide proper financial information to establish your credibility and reasons for qualifying for an account.

Chime is a Real Banking Service

Chime is not a bank, but a legitimate financial institution that offers its customers a spending account and savings account with numerous features and benefits. Even though Chime isn’t an actual banking institution and doesn’t have physical branches, it does have more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs across the country where you can withdraw cash and can meet all your basic banking needs. Plus, Chime offers mobile check deposit, bill pay, and even early direct deposit into your account. 

Chime’s digital banking makes it easy to manage your account anytime, anywhere.

So, if you’re looking for a simple and convenient banking experience, Chime may be the right choice for you.

John M. Flood

John is a crypto enthusiast, Fintech writer, and stock trader. His writings provide guides to perform your best in the crypto world and stock planet. He is a B-Tech graduate from Stanford University and also holds a certification in creative writing. John also has 5 years of experience in exploring and understanding better about the FinTech industry. Over time, he gained experience and expertise by implementing his customized strategies to play in the crypto market.

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