Almost 48 million Americans have “poor” credit, with countless others in the “fair” category. If you’re one of them, you may be looking to build or rebuild your credit. This is where the Chime credit card comes in.
With no annual fee, it’s a reliable option for building your credit, making it easier to manage your money while boosting your score. But you won’t get major credit card perks with this card, so look elsewhere if you want rewards or extra features.
We believe the Chime card is a great option if you don’t have much money to contribute at first. It only requires a checking account and $200 worth of deposits into that account (like a paycheck) before you can qualify for one. (Yes, I’m talking to all of you who don’t have much cash flow month to month.)
So, let’s chat about the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card.
How Does the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card Work?
The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is a secured credit card that uses the funds from your Chime bank account. The best part about it is that it doesn’t require a credit check.
Once you’ve had $200 worth of deposits in your checking account (from a transfer or paycheck), you can then open the card and add as much money to it as you’d like. There is no minimum or limit to the amount of money you can charge, as long as you have that amount in your checking account.
Note: The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card is issued by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. The card doesn’t have any fees and doesn’t have an annual interest rate.
The Chime Credit Card is a secured Visa® card, so it has a few basic protections— like lost and stolen card assistance and cardholder inquiry services—but it doesn’t offer a rewards program.
Does the Chime Credit Card make sense for your finances?
Chime Credit Card Review: Overall Card Rating
|Credit Boost||No credit check required—anyone with $200 can qualify . This card reports to all three credit bureaus.||5/5|
|Secured Credit Card||You must pay in $200 (whatever you add to the card is all that you can spend—there’s no other security deposit).||4/5|
|Rewards Programs||No rewards or benefits.||2/5|
|Credit Card Rates & Fees||No annual fees and 0% APR.||5/5|
|Customer Service||Available via online chat, email, and helpline.||5/5|
|Overall Credit Card Rating||4.2/5|
5 Pros Of Using the Chime Credit Card
1. No credit check
The Chime Credit Builder Visa® is a secured card, so it doesn’t require a credit check.
Even if you have a low credit score, or if you’re looking to start building your credit from scratch, this is a great option—solid for young adults, students, or teenagers.
However, it’s still important to know where you’re starting. If you don’t know your current credit score, you can always get one free report each year via Credit Karma.
2. No fees
No revolving debt, no interest. You’re pretty much using your own money with this card, so Chime doesn’t charge you for it.
3. Credit utilization isn’t reported
Unlike unsecured credit cards, the Chime Visa Credit Card doesn’t report your card utilization limit. Let’s say you add $200 to the card, spend it all, and not “pay back”. The issuer won’t report a 100% credit utilization, and won’t hurt your credit score. You’re using your own money, so you’re technically not in debt.
Instead, Chime only reports your on-time payments and how long your card has been open—two other important factors in building your credit score.
But it’s not all sunshine and roses—if your payment is more than 30 days late, it will be reported. Set an early reminder just in case.
4. No APR
The Chime card doesn’t have an annual percentage rate, so even if you don’t pay your balance off in full, you’ll be fine.
By now you’ll realize you can just pay off a bit every month—and as long as you’re on time, there’ll be no bad consequences. Don’t try to game the system, though—credit builder cards are there to help you learn how to manage your budget.
If you reliably have money in your account and would like to “set it and forget it”, Chime makes it easy for you to automatically pay your balance in full every month. All you have to do is log in to your account, turn on Chime’s Safer Credit Building option, and sit back while they do the hard work.
6. No credit limit
Unlike traditional credit cards that have a fixed credit limit, this card will only let you spend what you add. If it’s $200, that’s how much you’ll be able to spend (but you don’t have to spend it all!).
7. Ability to move money
If you don’t know how to move money from your Chime Credit Builder card or checking account, it’s easy with Chime’s “Move My Pay” option.
It’ll move the amount of money of your choice onto the card every payday. You can also move money manually from your checking account any time you want. Just tap “Move money” in your app or on the website to get started.
8. ATM options
You can use it at any place that accepts Visa (which is nearly anywhere)—and at most ATMs to withdraw funds. You can do it fee-free at any MoneyPass ATM in a 7-Eleven location or at any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. However, out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply.
4 Potential Cons Of Using the Chime Credit Card
The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card does have a few drawbacks:
1. Chime bank account required
You’ll need a Chime checking account before you can qualify for their secured card. You’ll also need to make an eligible deposit into your Chime banking account (at least $200).
2. No spending rewards
This secured card doesn’t earn any cashback or offer rewards based on your spending.
Most secured credit cards are like this, but there are a few exceptions—like the $0-annual-fee Discover it® Secured Credit Card that earns users 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
If rewards are important for you, the Chime Visa Credit Card won’t be your best bet.
3. No in-person bank branches
While you must have a Chime account to use the credit card, the institution doesn’t have any in-person branches you can visit. You have to do all banking online through their website or app.
4. No credit card perks
The Chime Card doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus, or extras that traditional cards have, like:
- Cellphone insurance
- Trip insurance
- Room and flight upgrades
- Free premium services
It’s a very simple secured credit card you can mainly use to build your credit and start your credit history. If you’re looking for a card that offers more benefits, it won’t be your best choice.
Important Chime Card Fees
Let’s take a quick glance at the rates and fees that the Chime Card has.
|Rates & Fees||Percentage|
|Cash Advance APR||0%|
|Cash Advance Fee||N/A|
|Balance Transfer Fee||N/A|
|Foreign Transaction Fee*||0%|
|Late Payment Fee||$0|
|Returned Payment Fee||N/A|
You can’t use this card in: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen, or Zimbabwe.
5 Key FAQs on the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card
Have questions about the Chime Credit Card? Here are the most commonly asked.
1. What is the Chime Metal Card? How do I get one?
You can’t get it anymore. The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card had an option for cardholders who wanted to opt for a shiny new metal card. This was through the company’s Go Metal promotion and Metal Card Challenge. Cardholders had to complete a challenge to earn the card back in 2021—and the program hasn’t been reinstated since.
2. How do I activate my Chime Card?
It’s simple—the whole application process takes less than five minutes. You’ll need to:
- Sign up for a new Chime checking account (or log in to an existing account).
- Make a qualifying deposit of at least $200 into that account.
- Go to the Chime app or website, log in, click on settings, click Credit Builder—and activate the card.
You’ll be able to activate and use your new card as soon as it ships to you (usually within three business days).
3. Can I use the Chime Card in other states?
You can use your Chime Card in all 50 states (and anywhere that Visa cards are accepted, except in the countries listed above).
4. Can I use my Chime Credit Card with no money? What happens if I do?
You can’t use your Chime Credit Builder Card without money, since the card works a bit like a checking account. If you don’t have the funds for your purchase, you won’t be able to use the card.
5. Can I use my Chime Credit Builder Card at an ATM?
Just like with a debit card, you can withdraw cash at one of Chime’s cash fee-free ATMs found in stores like Walgreens®, 7-Eleven®, CVS®, and more. Use the Chime app or website to find an ATM near you.
Alternatives for the Chime Card
Looking for an alternative to the Chime Card? Check out these options:
1. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card lets you rebuild credit or start out on your credit journey. There is no credit score required to apply, and the minimum security deposit is $200.
Unlike the Chime card, this one does have interest rates (with a 25.99% variable APR). But it doesn’t have an annual fee—and you can earn 1%–2% cash back on purchases made with the card.
2. Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is mainly for those looking to establish or rebuild their credit. You’ll have to pay a $200 minimum security deposit and go through a credit score check (but your score doesn’t need to be “fair” or “good”).
The card has a 28.49% variable APR, but it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees or a yearly fee.
It has rewards and perk options—you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back reward on all eligible purchases, and qualify for 5% cash-back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. You’ll also get 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024.
Is Chime Credit Card Good for Me?
The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card is a great choice for anyone looking to establish and build credit or to improve their score. It doesn’t require a minimum deposit or credit check, and it still reports to the three major credit bureaus as long as you make on-time payments.
However, it doesn’t offer rewards, they still report late payments, and what you load is what you have to spend
(you’re basically treating your own funds as credit, remember?). It’s a solid starter card, but should only be used up to a certain point.
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.