Chime is one of many fully online banks that have emerged in the last few years. They offer attractive personal finance options for individuals who don’t like (or can’t bank with) traditional banks or credit unions. They’re unlike traditional financial institutions in many ways, most notably that they don’t have a physical banking location. Chime also proudly leads with the fact that they don’t have any hidden fees or minimums for your personal bank accounts. But if you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, is Chime a good choice for your business accounts?
What is a Chime Bank Account?
Technically, Chime is a financial technology company that offers online-only financial services by partnering with two banks: The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank. Both banks are members FDIC, which means the Chime accounts are safe for personal banking. Their main selling point is that they offer simplicity through limited options: one checking account, one savings account, and one credit card. They’re also proud to say they offer mobile banking with no monthly fees, no minimum deposit, and no minimum balance requirements.
Chime offers a highly functional mobile app that allows you to make mobile check deposits as well as check your account balances. They offer a SpotMe service, which won’t charge you overdraft fees for as much as $200.
What Are Some Benefits of Chime Checking Accounts?
Chime checking accounts include a Visa debit card for ATM withdrawals that you can use at over 60,000 fee-free ATMs, including Moneypass ATMs, Allpoint ATMs, or Visa Plus ATMs. You can also create and send paper checks through the mail using the banking app, so you don’t need a checkbook. Plus they don’t charge a foreign transaction fee if you use the debit card while traveling internationally, although there are a few places where you can’t use the card.
What Are Some Benefits of Chime Savings Accounts?
Their savings accounts are attractive for people who like hands-off automatic savings options to help build savings. Chime offers two easy automated savings programs:
- Save When You Spend, which rounds up transactions from your checking account to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference to your savings account.
- Save When You Get Paid, which allows you to set up a recurring transfer of 10% of your direct deposit ACH paycheck from checking to savings each time you’re paid.
They also offer a competitive high-interest savings account interest rate at 0.50% APY, and there’s no cap on the interest you can earn.
What Are Some Other Benefits of Chime for Personal Banking?
For folks who want to build their credit, there’s the Chime Credit Builder Card. This is a Chime Visa card with 0% APR that reports to all three major credit bureaus and doesn’t require a hard credit check, so it won’t ding your credit report. You can preload the Chime Credit Builder Card with funds from your checking account, and then use it as a credit card. This can be a game changer for individuals who want to build their credit but may not qualify for a more traditional personal credit card.
What Are Some Cons of Chime for Personal Banking?
The biggest difficulty that Chime account holders have found is that it’s hard to make cash deposits easily. Another issue is in-person service, because they don’t have a bank where you can visit with a human being. There have also been some issues with access to funds and accounts on Chime, but this may just be the growing pains of a startup. Overall, Chime is a great option if you’re just starting out on your financial journey.
Can You Create a Chime Account For Your Business?
In spite of all Chime’s perks for personal banking services, Chime does not offer a business checking account or a business savings account. If you’re a sole proprietor, you may choose to use Chime for your personal banking and business banking combined. However, Nav generally recommends that you keep your business accounts separate from your personal accounts, especially for tax purposes.
Alternative Options to a Chime Business Bank Account
If you’re a small business owner and want to find a business bank account that best suits your needs, there are many options that may come close to what Chime offers for personal accounts.
Here are some of our favorites.
Small Business Checking by Bank of America
While they can’t boast no fees like Chime, Bank of America’s Small Business Checking option is a good place to start. You can earn several bonuses for signing up and statement credits, and they offer a business credit card. Plus, Bank of America has convenient locations all over the U.S. so you can find an ATM or physical bank easily.
Axos Basic Business Checking
Axos Basic Business Checking may be right for you if you care less about a physical location and more about saving on monthly fees and minimums (as you may with Chime). Axos offers new businesses a $200 welcome bonus with a promo code, plus four free months of ADP payroll services. Like Chime, they lean into a few aspects of the no-fee model: zero monthly maintenance fees, unlimited transactions, unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements, no minimum opening deposit requirement. Plus, they offer cash deposit capabilities at MoneyPass and AllPoint ATMs.
BlueVine Business Banking
With a focus on small businesses, BlueVine Business Banking is another online-first banking option that offers a quick application process. They have a BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard as well as services through digital wallets or mobile payment platforms. The service also offers several no-fee perks: no monthly fees, no insufficient funds fees, and no minimum balances. Plus, you can earn 1.2% interest back on balances if you spend $500 per month on your debit card or get $2,500 in customer payments.
Chase Business Complete Banking
Like Bank of America, Chase Business Complete Banking is backed by a big financial institution – Chase Bank – that has plenty of physical locations and ATMs throughout the U.S. While they do charge monthly fees, they will waive them with minimum daily balances or purchases on the Chase Ink Business credit card. They also offer a mobile app where you can get notifications on how your accounts are doing, plus easy account management.
Lili – Banking Designed for Your Business
Lili is specifically designed for sole proprietors and single-member LLCs. They offer built-in tools to simplify accounting and help you save money on taxes, like a write-off tracker and tax bucket capability. Lili also offers no fees and overdraft coverage, plus a Visa debit card and a fee-free ATM network.
Online & Mobile Small Business Checking by Bank Novo
Bank Novo also aims to be as simple as possible for small business owners, and offers a free checking account with a debit card, no fees, and no minimum balance requirements. It also offers integrations with other business tools and a financial health dashboard.
Whatever your needs, there are several business banking options available for small businesses and entrepreneurs that look similar to what Chime offers for personal accounts. Whether you’d prefer a large bank with physical locations to visit or a mobile-first business account with fewer fees, you can find any option to suit your needs. You can even keep your Chime personal bank account to use for non-business purposes.