Published on June 24th, 2014 | by William Charles37
Chime Card Review: Reloadable Cash Back Debit Card – What You Need To Know
Chime Card is a new prepaid/reloadable Visa debit card. It’s possible to add funds to this card in a variety of ways and they also have regular offers for different merchants that change monthly (similar to AmEx offers).
They have deals which are similar to those offered by AmEx and other card issuers. These offers have a limited quantity and rotate every 30-60 days, there is also a limit of one per customer. Chime offers two types of deals:
- Store credit: This is a virtual balance with that merchant. You can make as many purchases as you want to use that store credit up E.g, you have a $10 store credit with Amazon. You make a $5 purchase, then a month later you make a $2 purchase and then six months later you make a $3 purchases. You will not be charged for any of these purchases as they will use your store credit.
- Earned credit: This is the same as statement credit or cash back. E.g you get $10 in earned credit and this will add $10 back to your Chime card.
Here is a sample of some of the current deals (these might already be sold out, as only limited quantities are available. They also vary based on your location).
- $10 earned credit when you spend $50 or more at Amazon
- $10 earned when you spend $50 or more at BestBuy
- $10 earned credit when you spend $50 or more at Target
- $10 earned credit when you spend $75 or more at Serena & Lil
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Chili’s
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Olive Garden
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Victoria’s secret
- $5 store credit with any purchase at the Gap
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Express
- $5 store credit with any purchase at American Eagle
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Old Navy
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Abercrombie & Fitch
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Marine Layer
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Sports Authority
- $5 store credit with any purchase at NetFlix
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Kiwi Crate
- $5 store credit with any purchase at theBalm
- $5 store credit with any purchase at Birchbox
- $3 store credit with any purchase at Sephora
- $2 store credit with any purchase at SubWay
- $1 earned credit when you spend $7.5o or more at Dunkin Donuts
[UPDATE 3/11/15: As of 3/1/15, Chime no longer offers a refer-a-friend bonus.]
Chime is currently offering you $10 per person who signs up using your card, the person you refer also gets a $10 bonus. They need to add $50 to their account for you both to get the bonus. You can use our referral link by clicking here. Feel free to share yours in the comments section, but your comment must be of substance and offer our readers something they might not already know about this card. If you just spam your referral link the comment will be removed.
The maximum amount that can be loaded to this reloadable card depends on the method used. Here are the limitations (emphasis mine):
- Direct deposit of payroll or benefits: up to $9,999.99 each calendar day; posted on the payment date of the deposit
- Bank transfer or PayPal transfer: up to $500.00 each calendar day with a maximum of $2,000 in a calendar month; posted on the payment date of the deposit
- Account transfers initiated through Chime in a mobile application or website: up to $200.00 each calendar day with a maximum of $1,000 in a calendar month; posted within 5 business days of initial request
- Bank debit card: up to $100/day; within minutes of approved transaction
- Works: Paypal Business debit card
- Doesn’t work: MetaBank Visa Gift Card, U.S Bank Visa Gift Card
- Cash load partner: up to $1,000.00 each calendar day with a maximum of $9,999.99 in a calendar month; within two (2) hours after loading
Here is the fee schedule which was taken directly from the cardholder agreement. Emphasis is mine:
- ATM ($500 maximum per day, an additional $500 per day can be withdrawn from POS machines):
- Domestic Cash Withdrawal Fee: $2.5 per transaction
- International Cash Withdrawal Fee: $2.50 + 3% of total* (per transaction)
- ATM Balance Inquiry Fee: $0.50 (per transaction)
- International Transaction Fee**: 3% of total** (per transaction)
- Account Maintenance Fee (assessed after 180 days of no purchases, withdrawals, or deposits): $5.00 (per month)
- Check Refund Fee: $5.00 (per check issued)
*Applies to total dollar amount of any cash withdrawal made outside of the United States.
**Applies to total dollar amount of any signature or PIN POS purchase made outside of the United States.
It’s also important to note that you will be charged ATM owner/operator fees if the ATM isn’t owned by the Chime network. You view a full list of free ATMs here.
Automatic Savings Program
Chime has an automatic round up savings program. Whenever you pay a bill or make a purchase with your Chime card they round up the transaction to the nearest dollar. Chime then pays a 10% bonus on the rounds up for the week. So if you make 100 purchases for $0.90 each will be rounded up to $1 and $0.1 will be transferred to your Chime Savings account. Chime will then pay a 10% bonus (in this case $1) into your account every Friday.
You can also save money with every paycheck by transferring 10% of your paycheck into this savings account. This does not receive the same 10% bonus.
- Is it a hard pull to open this card?
No, it’s a soft credit pull to open this card (this is clearly stated in their own support section. The answer can be found under “requesting a card” and then “Does Chime run a credit check or help build my credit score?”. Direct link here. There might be a ChexSystems inquiry done though.
This card looks interesting, the $100 daily load limit when using another bank debit card will mean that it’s not attractive for most people looking to use it to unload Visa, American Express or Mastercard gift cards in bulk for manufactured spending purposes. Although it could still be useful for unloading low value cards (assuming they accept those cards of course).
They also don’t state who their cash load partners are, so there could be an opportunity there as well as this has much higher limits. Their cash load partner is GreenDot MoneyPak.
In terms of the deals this card offers, there could definitely be some profit to be had. The best deals are the $10 credit earned for $50 in spend. This is really $10 cash back and a discount of 20%. This means there should be a lot of opportunity for buying and reselling gift cards.
E.g with the current BestBuy deal you could purchase a $50 gift card and get $10 cash back and then resell it for up to 93% of face value which would result in a profit of $6.5. The main limitation is the fact that you can only do each deal once and each deal is limited. I imagine the good deals will fly off the shelves whilst the average deals will stick around for ages. They might also start not allowing gift card purchases, which is something a lot of amex deals include in their fine print.
The most important fee to worry about is the account maintenance fee which is $5 if you don’t make any purchases within 180 days. This could easily be avoidable by purchasing a low value item (e.g Amazon $0.5 gift card) but it’s something I imagine a lot of people will forget about.
I think I’ll give this card a go, there doesn’t seem to be an early account termination fee and there is no hard pull. If I don’t find the card useful I can always cancel it so I don’t need to worry about the account maintenance fee. Hopefully this is a way of unloading small value gift cards.
- This page contains a referral link to Chime. If you sign up using our referral link and add $50 to your account you will receive a $10 bonus, we will also receive a $10 bonus. We appreciate you using our links when possible. Click here to use our link.