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Welcome to the What’s the fine print? series. WOOP, WOOP!
In this series, we take a look at a business, product, or service to review the terms, conditions, and other information you need to know before buying it or using it.
The Money Edition of this series is a review of financial products. The questions we wanna know are: Are the products safe? Is there any fine print you need to be aware of?
This specific review is about *drum roll * Chime. We’ll cover:
- What Chime is
- The unique features
- The costs
- The security
- Key points you need to know
What is Chime?
Chime is a bank account that boasts no fine print fees and early paycheck deposits. Along with spending accounts, Chime has a savings account available that members can use to stash some coins. After opening an account, you get a Visa debit card that can be used at any one of the 38,000 fee-free ATMS that are part of Chime’s network.
The unique features
- Early paychecks. You can get your paycheck up to two days earlier with Chime. Although it’s worth pointing out this is just an estimate and timing of payments depend on several factors such as whether your employer’s payment system supports the feature.
- Automatic savings rules. You can set up different savings rules that are pretty sweet. There’s a roundup rule that rounds up your purchases every time you spend money, and it saves the difference for you. You can also save when you get paid by setting up a percentage that goes into your Chime savings account.
- Mobile banking and payments. Management of your account can happen all with your phone. There’s an intuitive app that tells you how much is in your account and your most recent transactions. You can transfer money, deposit checks, and pay bills through the app. There’s also a feature where you can instantly send money back and forth to friends. Need to split a happy hour bill? Chime has you covered. The one stipulation is that whoever you’re sending money to needs to also have a Chime account.
Chime is completely free. There are no hidden fees that you need to be aware of.
There is, however, a $2.50 for over-the-counter cash withdrawals. Otherwise, there’s no overdraft fees, monthly fees, transaction fees, card replacement fees, or minimum balance fees. Chime makes money by taking a percentage of the transaction fee charged when you use your debit card. This is one of the highly promoted selling points of the account.
Security is ALWAYS vital when we talk about any checking account. You shouldn’t be opening up accounts all willy nilly. There has to be some terms that are protecting your money.
The money you deposit into the Chime account is covered by FDIC insurance through The Bancorp Bank, which is Chime’s banking partner. This means that up to $250,000 of your money is protected.
There’s a feature in the mobile account where you can instantly turn off card transactions if your card is lost or stolen. The account comes with Visa Zero Liability in case someone makes unauthorized purchases. You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized purchases, but you do need to notify Chime immediately.
Key points you need to know
- No fees. There are no nickel and dimey fees here that you see with many other bank accounts.
- Ease of mobile banking. There are plenty of mobile banking features you can use. Basically, you can manage the entire account from your phone on a dashboard that is pleasing to the eye and easy to use. You can make quick transfers, turn off card usage, and deposit cash in a few clicks.
- FDIC insurance. This is key for any bank account. Your money is insured up to $250,000.
- Possible early paychecks. Chime says you can get your paycheck up to two days sooner. This may or may not be possible so it’s not a benefit that you should bank on. (Pun intended.)
**Disclaimer: We make every attempt to keep product, service, and business reviews up-to-date. With that said, terms and conditions can change. Be sure to read through the policies and terms of service yourself before any purchase.**
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