Chime’s customers have access to a broad no-fee ATM network as well as a strong overdraft program. They can also receive their paychecks up to two days early with direct deposit.
Minimum deposit to open: None.
Other pros: Chime’s SpotMe® overdraft program allows customers to overdraft up to $200 with no fees, as long as they have activated their debit card and have received at least $200 in direct deposit in the previous 34 days. Customers must continue to receive $200 in direct deposits every 34 days to use the SpotMe® program.
What you should know: If you wish to deposit cash into your Chime checking account, you can deposit for free at any Walgreens location. You can also go to other third-party retailers such as Walmart, CVS or 7-Eleven, but these retailers charge their own fees.
Another thing to consider is that Chime was the subject of a large number of complaints on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database, which were highly publicized in 2021. The complaints were about how Chime had closed accounts involuntarily.
Chime says: “Chime SpotMe is an optional service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.“
Chime also says: “Once the retailer accepts your cash, the funds will be transferred to your Chime Checking Account. Cash deposit fees may apply if using a retailer other than Walgreens and Duane Reade.”