Chime Credit Builder Card Review 2024

Building credit can be challenging, especially if you are starting from scratch. Secured credit cards can help, but their security deposit requirements can be a barrier to entry for credit builders. The card_name does away with this requirement and lets you deposit as much (or as little) as you want. We’ll help you determine if this card is right for you, despite a few downsides.

Chime Secured Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Credit score needed

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Regular APR

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Bonus rewards full

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TIME’s take

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With almost no fees and no minimum deposit1, the card_name can help remove most of the typical barriers to entry for credit builders. However, those who want to earn rewards or eventually upgrade to an unsecured card may want to consider other options.

Chime Credit Builder pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very few fees.
  • No minimum deposit.
  • Reports payment history to credit bureaus.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t earn rewards.
  • No option to upgrade to an unsecured card.
  • Doesn’t report credit utilization to credit bureaus.

Who is the card for?

The card_name is best for people who receive direct deposits of at least $200 but may not have a lot of cash lying around. It’s also best for those who like to avoid fees. Chime charges no enrollment fees, annual_fees annual fees, and no interest, as you can’t charge more to it than what is in your checking account. This means there is no revolving debt and, thus, no interest. In addition, Chime gives you access to over 60,000 free ATMs:  MoneyPass ATMs in 7-Eleven locations, Allpoint ATMs, and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs. Otherwise, there may be out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees.

This card is also a good choice if you want to avoid a hard inquiry on your credit report. Chime doesn’t perform a hard credit check, which also means there’s no minimum credit score to get one. This makes it ideal for those with poor or no credit.

How Chime Credit Builder stands out

Traditional secured credit cards usually follow the same basic concept: Your up-front deposit is equal to your credit limit. For example, you may have to deposit $200, then have a credit limit of $200 on your card. The problem is, those who want to build their credit may not have $200 of cash to put down, leaving them unable to gain access to a valuable means of financing.

The card_name doesn’t have this requirement. Instead, you must open a Chime checking account and have an eligible direct deposit of at least $200 deposited into that account. Then, you open a Credit Builder account and move money into it from your checking account. Whatever you move into the account becomes the limit for your Credit Builder card. Other than the $200 direct deposit into your checking account, there are no minimum deposits needed to start using the Credit Builder account.

Features

Cheaper than many alternatives

As mentioned earlier, the < card_name charges almost no fees; the single fee you might incur is an out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee. Even that one is easy to avoid, as Chime has over 60,000 ATMs in its network. Many secured credit cards charge annual fees, monthly fees, or enrollment fees. This puts the card_name in line with the cheapest secured credit cards available.

No preset spending limit

Unlike many secured credit cards, the < card_name has no preset spending limit. Instead, the spending limit equals the amount you move from your Chime Checking account to the Credit Builder account. As you spend money with the card, your spending limit decreases by the amount you spend.

No ongoing annual percentage rate (APR)

Because you can only charge the amount you have in your Credit Builder account to your card_name, there’s no possibility of carrying a balance with this card. This means you’ll never have to pay interest charges as you would with unsecured credit cards.

Few bells and whistles

Although there are plenty of things to like about the card_name, one thing it lacks is the extra perks you get with many other credit cards. For example, there are no rewards or features such as travel insurance and purchase protection.

The fine print

  • Annual fee: annual_fees.
  • Purchase intro APR: intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration.
  • Balance transfer intro APR: balance_transfer_intro_apr,balance_transfer_intro_duration.
  • Regular APR: reg_apr,reg_apr_type.

Additional hidden perks

The card_name doesn’t include a large number of hidden perks, but it does have a few good tricks up its sleeve.

  • FICO® Score tracking. You can check your FICO score in the Credit Builder app.
  • Card blocking. If your card is lost or stolen, you can easily block it online or in the Chime app.
  • Basic Visa benefits. This card is part of the Visa network, so it comes with basic Visa card benefits.
  • Move My Pay. This feature automatically moves a set amount from your Chime Checking account to your Chime Credit Builder account anytime you get paid.
  • SpotMe. This feature acts as overdraft protection for your account. It allows you to overdraw your account by up to $20. The feature is optional, and there are no fees to have it or use it.
  • Paycheck notifications. Chime lets you get paid up to two days early. You’ll receive a notification as soon as your paycheck is available.

While Chime doesn’t offer a ton of extra features, there are still some nice ones that can help make things easier for you.

What could be improved

If all you want is to build credit, the card_name doesn’t leave much to be desired. It comes with almost no fees and no minimum deposit. Still, there is room for improvement. For one, the card doesn’t report credit utilization to the credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). This could be good in the sense that you don’t have to worry about a high credit utilization ratio hurting your credit score. On the other hand, you don’t have the opportunity to build your credit score with a low utilization ratio.

Another thing that could be improved is the lack of an upgrade path. Once you establish a record of using credit responsibly, an unsecured card can give you a lot more spending power. Chime doesn’t offer any unsecured cards, so there’s no way to upgrade to an unsecured card at Chime down the road. For now, though, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you want this option.

The other area needing improvement is the card’s lack of rewards. Some secured credit cards do earn cash back, though it isn’t standard for this type of card. Still, it would be nice to see Chime give its cardholders a little bit extra.

Card alternatives

Bottom line

The card_name is a great choice for anyone who wants to build their credit and doesn’t have a lot of cash up front. There are almost no fees to use it and no minimum deposit. However, it doesn’t offer rewards, and you can’t upgrade it to an unsecured card, so you may want to consider the alternatives if you have a strong preference for those features.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do I use the card_name?

The card_name is a Visa card, meaning you can use it anywhere Visa cards are accepted. Before you can use the card, you must have a Chime Checking account and transfer money into your Credit Builder account. You must have enough money in your Credit Builder account to cover any transactions you’ll make with the card_name. The only exception is SpotMe: If you enroll, you can overdraw your Credit Builder account by up to $20.

How do I cancel the < card_name?

If you are using Chime app version 5.109 or later on an Apple device, follow these steps to cancel:

  1. On the home screen, tap the gear icon to launch Settings.
  2. In personal info, tap the edit link.
  3. Select “close account.”
  4. Read the “close my account” message. If you want to proceed with closing your account, you’ll need to verify your identity to do so.
    1. To verify your identity and confirm your intention to close your account, enter the last four digits of your Social Security number in the text field.
    2. If you want to upload an image, you can add one here.
  5. Tap the “submit request” button when you’re ready to close your account.
  6. You’ll see the “your request has been submitted” message, confirming that Chime is working on your closure request. Tap the “got it” button to complete the process.

If you are using an Android device, you will need to contact support through the Chime app to close your account.

How do I transfer money from the card_name?

You can transfer money from the card_name into your Chime Checking account by using the “move money” feature in the Chime app.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.
1Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.
To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.