October 4, 2021

Chime Alternatives

Read more about Chime
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Chime offers a convenient and rewarding banking option. But can you earn better rewards and get more account options with one of Chime's top competitors?

Chime is a popular digital banking option that offers great technology and high APY.

However, you can't deposit cash with Chime. And sending money to friends via the app has strict limits.

Luckily, there's an impressive list of competitors that offer some of these in-demand features. Check out how Chime alternatives like Axos, Quontic, and Ally stack up in this review.

The Top 5 Alternatives to Chime

Chime provides a great alternative banking option, especially for people who can't open a traditional bank account due to a bad ChexSystems score.

However, Chime is not without its limitations. Below, review the top 5 Chime alternatives you should consider.

1. Axos Bank - Better Rewards

Unlike Chime, Axos is an actual FDIC-insured banking institution — not a fintech company that provides banking services through a third-party bank.

Whether Axos is right for you depends on what you're prioritizing in a bank. Overall, Axos offers more account options and better rewards than Chime, but their technology isn't as fast or user-friendly.

If you heavily rely on features like push notifications or transactions, Axos may not be the best alternative for you (but there's plenty more to choose from further down).

Chime also provides faster direct deposits than Axos (two days early versus same-day).

Axos Bank
Member FDIC

Rewards Checking - Up to 1.00% APY

  • Up to 1.00% APY
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No fees to open or maintain account
  • Overdraft Protection
Axos Bank
Member FDIC

Essential Checking

  • Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No annual fee
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient funds fee
Axos Bank
Member FDIC

CashBack Checking - Earn up to 1.00% Cash Back

  • Earn up to 1.00% cash back on signature-based purchases
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursement
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • $50 minimum balance required to open account
Axos Bank
Member FDIC

First Checking - 0.10% APY

  • Joint checking account for 13-17 year olds
  • No fees
  • Up to $12 domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month
Axos Bank
Member FDIC

Golden Checking - 0.10% APY

  • Interest-bearing checking account for age 55+
  • No fees
  • Free personal checks
Axos Bank
Member FDIC

High Yield Savings

  • 0.61% APY on balance < $25,000
  • 0.25% APY on balance $25K-$100K
  • 0.15% APY on balance > $100K
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No fees to open or maintain account
  • Free ATM card upon request
  • FDIC Insured

Chime vs. Axos takeaway: Axos may come up short in the technology factor, but this digital-only bank offers better rewards and more accounts to choose from than Chime

Read more: Axos Bank Review

2. Quontic - Better Checking Options

Quontic is a community development bank that gives back by using deposits to help lower-income families secure mortgage financing.

This bank really shines in the checking account space. They offer three distinct and impressive account options: High-Interest Checking, Cash Rewards Checking, and the first-ever Bitcoin Rewards Checking.

However, like Axos, Quontic falls short due to slow and unimpressive technology. It also requires a $100 minimum deposit for each account, compared to $0 for Chime.

Quontic
Member FDIC

High Interest Checking - Up to 1.01% APY

  • Earn up to 1.01% APY
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • APY is based on the account balance and making at least 10 qualifying debit card point-of-sale transactions of $10.00 or more per statement cycle.
Quontic
Member FDIC

Bitcoin Rewards Checking

  • Get 1.5% Bitcoin on All Eligible Debit Card Purchases
  • $500 minimum opening deposit
Quontic
Member FDIC

Cash Rewards Checking

  • Get 1.5% Cash Back on All Eligible Debit Card Purchases
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
Quontic
Member FDIC

High Yield Savings - 0.55% APY

  • 0.55% APY
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly service fees

Chime vs Quontic takeaway: Quontic has a feel-good mission behind their banking, plus an impressive suite of checking accounts with modern features that Chime doesn't offer

3. Ally Bank - More Financial Services

Ally was originally the financial sector of General Motors, then called GMAC.

Now, Ally is a full-service online bank with competitive rates. While Ally offers a similar savings account APY as Chime, they also pay interest on checking accounts.

In addition, Ally provides paper checks, a feature Chime does not have. If you need to use a traditional paper check as a Chime account holder, your only option is to have a pre-printed check mailed to the recipient from Chime corporate HQ, which can be time-consuming.

In addition to spending and savings accounts, Ally offers IRA retirement accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and home, auto, and personal loans.

Ally Bank

Interest Checking

  • 0.10% APY for daily balances less than $15,000
  • 0.25% APY for daily balance over $15,000
  • Be reimbursed $10/month for ATMs outside of Ally Network
  • $0 Minimum Opening Deposit
  • No Fees to Open or Maintain Account
  • FDIC insured
  • Daily Compounding Interest
Ally Bank

Online Savings Account - 0.50% APY

$0 minimum opening deposit. No minimum balance requirement. No fees to open or maintain account.

Chime vs. Ally takeaway: Ally provides far more traditional banking products than Chime, a good option for those who want a one-stop-shop bank

Read more: Ally Bank Reivew

4. Varo - Better Rates for Smaller Balances

Varo is Chime's most similar alternative — in fact, the offerings from these two companies are virtually identical.

Like Chime, Varo only offers checking, savings, and credit-builder (called Varo Believe) accounts.

Varo customers can also receive their direct deposits two days early and have access to 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs with their Visa debit card, just like Chime.

Which option comes out on top is determined by how much money you have in your savings account. If you have over $5,000, then Chime offers a better interest rate (0.50% for Chime vs. 0.20% for Varo).

However, if you have between $0 and $4,999.99 in your savings account, Varo offers 3.00% APY.

Online Savings Account

  • Earn 0.50% APY
  • No minimum to open
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Member FDIC

Chime vs. Varo takeaway: Varo is as close as you can get to Chime without actually banking with Chime, and their rates are better than Chime's for balances under $5K

5. Capital One 360 - Better Accessibility

Capital One 360 offers competitive banking options, including checking and savings accounts, business and commercial bank accounts, and auto loans.

Chime has a higher savings APY than Capital One 360 Savings (slightly), but falls short of Capital One in several areas.

For starters, Capital One customers can deposit cash into their account with no fees and have access to "branch" locations using Capital One Cafes.

Capital One is also the only Chime alternative this writer has personal experience with that meets or exceeds Chime's technology — including app simplicity, user-friendliness, and security.

Personal Checking Account - $100 Bonus

Open a new 360 checking account. Use promo code SHARE100. Set up and receive 2 direct deposits each of $200 or more within 90 days of account opening.

Expires 1/11/2022

360 Checking Account

  • $0 opening minimum
  • No monthly service fee
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • 0.10% APY
  • 40,000+ Allpoint ATMs

360 Performance Savings - 0.40% APY

  • 0.40% APY
  • $0 opening minimum
  • No monthly service fee
  • No minimum balance requirement

Chime vs. Capital One 360 takeaway: Capital One 360 offers the high APYs and less overhead that people love about modern banks plus the in-person support of traditional brick-and-mortar banks

Can I deposit cash into my Capital One 360 account?
Yes. One major perk of Capital One compared to the alternatives on this list is the ability to deposit cash into your checking or savings account at Capital One ATMs or Capital One Cafe locations.

Chime Pros and Cons

Not sure if you're ready to pass on Chime? Review these pros and cons for a quick recap on the best and worst points about this digital-only bank.

Pros

  • Automatically receive 0.50% APY on Savings
  • Up to $200 SpotMe fee-free overdraft protection
  • Improve your credit score risk-free with a Credit Builder account
  • 60,000+ fee-free ATM locations
  • Compatible with Google Pay and Apple Pay

Cons

What bank does Chime use?
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Chime's banking services are provided by either The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A. Both are FDIC-insured institutions, so your money will be safe in the event of a bank default.

How to Choose the Right Bank for You

With the number of new digital banks offering great rewards constantly expanding, it can be difficult to decide on what banking option is best suited for your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding on your next financial institution:

Low Fees
The average monthly fee at the top 10 largest banks in the U.S. is $9.60. That means the average person wastes over $115 per year on maintenance fees!

When deciding on a bank account, make sure you find one that does not charge monthly maintenance fees and does not require a minimum average balance.

All five alternatives listed above meet this criteria, but you can find even more great fee-free bank accounts.

High Interest or Rewards
Are you a spender or a saver?

Several companies listed above provide the option to decide between a high-interest checking account (for savers with high account balances) and cash-back rewards checking accounts (best for big spenders).

Always choose a bank that incentivizes you to use their services with cash rewards in the form of interest or cash back.

After all, banks make their money by lending out your deposits in the form of loans — using a system called fractional-reserve banking.

Big ATM Network
If you use cash, you don't want to have to pay a fee every time you use your debit card at the ATM.

Most banks allow you to view their ATM network using a map feature so you can make sure you have fee-free locations nearest you.

ATM locator tools for all the banks listed above:

The Varo ATM locator tool is only available in the company's mobile app. However, it uses the same network as Chime.

Ability to Grow with You
One big drawback of Chime and Varo is the limited number of account options available.

If you have a checking and savings account, you've basically maxed out the usefulness of these companies.

Alternatives like Capital One, Axos, Ally, and Quontic offer account options like money market accounts, CDs, investment accounts, and loans that will be useful if you graduate past the point of living paycheck to paycheck and even have a full emergency fund.

If you reach that milestone (congratulations!), you don't want to have to switch banking institutions in order to open secondary savings accounts for specific goals like a home, car, or retirement.

The Bottom Line

While Chime offers a solid lineup of features, high APY compared to traditional banks, and easy-to-use technology, there are many alternatives to Chime that offer better rewards and more account options.

Always make sure to shop around to make the most out of your banking experience. Determine what your banking must-haves and nice-to-haves are to find the best bank for your needs.

Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $225 Bonus

Expires 1/19/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $225 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code CY21 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 12/15/21, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 12/15/2021
Citibank

Citi Priority Account - Up to $1,500 Cash Bonus

Expires 1/4/2022
  • Earn up to $1,500 cash bonus when you open a new account with required activities
  • Open a new eligible checking account in the Citi Priority Account during the offer period 10/5/21-1/4/22
  • Within 20 days of opening, deposit $50,000 in New-To Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 in the checking account for an additional 60 consecutive calendar days from the 21st day
  • After all required activities are met, the cash bonus will be deposited to your account within 90 calendar days
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Money Market Account - 0.45% APY

  • 0.45% APY
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee

Write to Justin Barnard at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Read Next:

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Ally Bank Review: Is It Worth Opening an Account?

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Earn up to $1,500 for opening a Citi Priority Account with required activities. Find out how to take advantage of the huge cash bonus.
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