Chime Spending Account Review: 5 Alternative Online Banks – No More Outages

Any Chime review must include multiple outages the online-only bank experiences. So, even though this site is an affiliate of Chime, this doesn’t influence our evaluations.

Chime is not like a traditional bank. It’s actually a Fintech bank (Financial Technology). Fintech banks use modern technologies to provide automated financial services.

In 2019, Chime reached 5 million customers in the U.S., which is impressive considering the financial institution was established in 2013. The San Francisco-based startup created an FDIC-insured online-only bank without any physical locations, but it’s not been without some major problems.

Chime Outages

Chime bank reviews cannot exclude major outages where customers lose complete access to their cash.

  • Chime Jul. 8, 2019 Outage. Customers experienced problems logging into their mobile accounts. Chime responded within an hour of reported problems that the issue was resolved. However, customers continued reporting intermittent and ongoing issues logging into their accounts through July 9, 2019.
  • Chime Sep. 15, 2019, Outage. Customers were unable to complete certain debit card and mobile transactions. Chime customers posted complaints on Twitter and Facebook stating they were unable to make card purchases or withdraw funds from ATMs and also got error messages when trying to view transactions on the app.
  • Chime Oct. 15, 2019 Outage. Chime experienced a major outage for several days. Millions of customers were stranded in restaurants, stuck at gas stations, airports and grocery stores with no way to pay.

The most recent (Oct. 15, 2019) Chime outage garnered an alarming amount of frustrated and angry Chime customers. The latest outage appears to have been on a much larger scale than previous outages.

Livid Chime customers turned to Twitter and Facebook to voice their complaints. Here is a small sample:

Some Chime customers reported being short hundreds of dollars with no explanation.

 

 

 

It’s time for a backup bank if Chime is your only banking option. It’s best to spread your money over several banks anyway.

Opening a second account or having multiple accounts at several banks means you’ll always have access to funds. At least have two accounts and possibly split your direct deposit between the two.

If you’ve had past banking issues, there are several second chance banking options that can be opened online.

5 Alternative Online Banks to Chime – No More Outages

1. Best Bad Credit Option: BBVA Online Checking 

The BBVA Online Checking Account is most recommended for anyone with bad credit or ChexSystems records. The BBVA Online Checking Account is available in ALL STATES (except Alaska & Hawaii). Enjoy free checking, mobile deposits, bill pay, check writing, Visa debit card, and over 64,000 FREE ATMs nationwide where you can deposit checks and cash.

BBVA Online Checking Details:

  • Earn $200 when you receive a direct deposit of $500 or more by October 31, 2020
  • Open with $25.
  • No Monthly Service Fees.
  • No ATM fees nationwide at 64,000 BBVA USA and participating non-bank ATMs.
  • Automatic rebate of ATM fee charged by other banks.
  • Deposit cash and checks at Allpoint® Network ATMs.
  • Complimentary Online Banking and Mobile Banking, plus Mobile Deposit® and Bill Pay.
  • Popmoney® lets you send money to virtually anyone, within minutes, using an email address or mobile number.
  • Earn cash back for everyday debit card purchases.

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2. Best Second Chance Option: OneUnited Bank

black-owned-bankOneUnited Bank’s U2 E-Checking Account is a second chance checking account available to people in ALL STATES. OneUnited Bank is the first Black internet bank and one of the largest Black owned banks in the country, with branches in Los Angeles, Boston and Miami. Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit. To apply you must first enter your name and email address plus choose the “Debit/Checking” option then click the button “Apply Today.” During the application process you’ll need to choose the “U2 E-Checking (2nd Chance) Account” option plus choose a plain debit card or one of their speciality debit card designs.

U2 E-Checking Account Details:

  • Minimum opening deposit of $50
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • Free Online, Mobile Banking & Free Bill Pay
  • Obtain Cash, Surcharge Free at Over 30,000 ATMs Nationwide
  • Deposit checks through the mobile app using Mobile Remote Deposit Capture
  • Monthly service charge of $12.00 for checking

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3. Best for Interest Earning: M1 Finance Spend Account

M1 Finance is an online investment brokerage firm that allows customers to invest in stocks on a fractional basis. For instance, if you’re buying a single stock and its share price is $50, but you only have $25 to spend, you can buy $25 worth of that stock.

M1 Finance offers the M1 Spend Checking Account and is completely free. M1 Spend is an FDIC-insured checking account and debit card. Two Spend Checking accounts are available, the M1 Plus Spend Account earns 0.50% APY on all balances.

M1 Spend Account Features

  • No minimum balance requirements.
  • M1 doesn’t charge any fees for monthly maintenance.
  • Direct deposit available.
  • Bill payment.
  • Limited ATM fee reimbursements.

M1 Plus Spend Account Features

  • No minimum balance requirements.
  • M1 doesn’t charge any fees for monthly maintenance.
  • M1 Plus members earns 1% APY on their total account balance and 1% cash back on debit card purchases.
  • Limited ATM fee reimbursements.
  • $125 fee to open the account.
  • Direct deposit available.
  • Bill payment.

If you are new to investing M1 Finance offers over 80 customized portfolios. Customers can build an investment portfolio with commission-free trades. You only have to invest a fractional share in stocks.

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4. Best for Cash Back Rewards: Radius Bank

The Rewards Checking Account is designed for customers that like to earn cashback rewards and interest on deposits. Additional features include unlimited ATM fee reimbursements and monthly free checking. Radius Bank will rebate non-Radius ATM fees each month for withdrawals. Accounts can be managed totally online with digital and banking technology.

Radius Rewards Checking Features:

  • $100 minimum opening deposit.
  • No Monthly or Hidden Fees.
  • Up to 1.5% Cash Back.
  • Early Direct Deposit by up to two days.
  • Free Bill Pay and eStatements.
  • Free ATMs Worldwide – Get unlimited ATM fee rebates.

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5. Best for Investing: Acorns Spend Account 

Acorns is designed to get you saving on an automatic basis. With the Acorns Spend Account customers enjoy no monthly or overdraft fees, a debit card and free ATM access nationwide. Acorn customers benefit from the automatic savings and investing feature where purchases made using your debit card are rounded up to the nearest dollar with the excess change being invested.

There is a $3 monthly fee for the Acorns Spend Account but the unlimited ATM fee rebates will more than compensate for the monthly fee. Plus, the debit card is made with an impressive heavy metal, just like premium credit cards.

Acorns Spend Account Features

  • No minimum balance fees. You don’t have to fund an Acorns Spend account to open it
  • No overdraft fees
  • Unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATM withdrawals nationwide
  • Rounds up your purchases and invests the spare change for you
  • Digital direct deposit and mobile check deposit and check sending
  • Free bank-to-bank transfers
  • Automated bill pay
  • FDIC-protected checking account up to $250,000 plus fraud protection

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Chime Review

Accounts Offered. Chime says they are it’s the fastest-growing challenger to traditional banks in the world. Customers enjoy many of the same benefits traditional bank customers do when it comes to checking and savings accounts. Although the checking account is referred to as a “Spending Account.”

No Fees. Chime has no monthly fees or overdraft fees, and it lets you round up purchases to the next dollar and save the remainder. Plus, because it’s FDIC-insured, customers have a safe place to keep their money.

Online Banking. Digitally savvy consumers will enjoy Chime’s banking platform as accounts can be managed entirely from your smartphone. Chime banking’s app has garnered a reputation as one of the best Money Management apps out there.

Direct Deposit. Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit ².

Mobile Deposits. Mobile check deposit is available, but you’ll have to deposit cash at Green Dot locations, which will charge a fee.

Free ATMs. You’ll have access to over 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs. Out-of-network fee is $2.50.

Final thoughts on Chime

Chime meets the banking needs of millions of people as one of the largest challenger banks. Chime provides banking services to consumers who want to avoid the costs and complications that sometimes come with traditional banks.

But multiple outages outweigh the benefits of Chime when customers loose access to their money, experience major outages and have to chase down missing money from their accounts. It’s worth considering other tech-friendly financial institutions that will help customers get ahead financially.

 

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