Beam & Chime Bank Review: Everything You Need To Know About These Mobile Banks

Updated: Feb 9


Natalie Applegate

Blog Contributor


What is a Chime Bank? As a mobile banking app, you can take online banking to a new level. With no overdraft fees up to $100, no hidden fees, and early direct deposit, Chime is taking charge in the mobile banking community.



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If you aren’t new to the world-wide-web or social media, you’ve probably seen advertisements for both Chime and Beam. If you’ve never heard of these, listen up! They might be your next best banking friend.


Both companies opt for a “banking made simple” style of approach, and both make many attractive promises. Wonder why so many people are making the switch from traditional banks to these new-age banking systems? Keep reading to discover more about both.



Chime Banking - What Is It?



According to their slogan, Chime is “banking made awesome.” But, let’s take a more in-depth look. Unlike traditional banks that you go to, Chime is mobile and online only. Unlike many private bankers, Chime does not charge a monthly fee.


There is no minimum deposit, the account can receive direct deposits, it supports pre-authorized withdrawals and interbank transfers, and last but not least, Chime is FDIC-insured.


What Chime aims to do is deplete the nuisances that people get with traditional banks such as ATM fees, overdraft fees, and monthly fees, by seriously simplifying things.


When you open an account with Chime, you get a checking account (or a spending account in Chime’s terms), a savings account, and a debit card. Chime is ideal for people who are looking to set up an online and mobile-only account with simple terms.


Features:


As mentioned previously, Chime is a very attractive mobile-banking system because there are no monthly fees attached to it. You also don’t have to put a required balance on it when you set your account up. Here are a few more features that Chime offers.


  • Users can receive cash rewards on certain bills and purchases

  • There are rewards through the app such as 10% off or $5 cashback when using certain companies that the company is sponsored by

  • Chime allows you to receive your pay up to 2 days earlier than other banks when you use direct deposit

  • There are no foreign transaction fees

  • Chime helps you save by rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar and depositing the money directly into savings


  • No overdraft fees - if you can’t cover a purchase your card will decline

  • ‘Split the bill’ is a feature in which Chime can send a text to someone with a link to pay you back via Venmo or Chime

  • You can transfer money between accounts, set up direct deposit, and find an ATM near you

  • The mobile app is easy to use and rated 4.8 stars on iOS and 4.3 stars on Android



Potential Negatives:


There is no ‘perfect’ bank, and Chime is no exception. This wouldn’t be a complete review without mentioning the cons of Chime.


First, depositing can be tricky. You’ll have to find a Green Dot loading location, and most of these places will charge a $4.95 deposit fee. Chime is great for online direct deposits, but is lacking in the ‘in person’ cash deposits.


You won’t get personal checks, so if you need to send a check, Chime will do it for you. This feature requires your account to be open for at least 30 days.


Out-of-network ATM fees can also be a pain. You will have access to over 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs, but Chime will charge a $2.50 fee for using other ATMs.


Chime also has yet to offer joint accounts. It is not the optimal choice for you if you want a joint account, or you are looking for a no-fee mobile banking account.




What You Need To Know About Beam



What is a Beam Bank? With no fees and free to use, Beam is an online bank paying high interest starting at a base rate APY of 1.5% with potential to earn as 7% each day.

Beam is another mobile-only banking system, but compared to Chime, it has its differences.


Beam is a relatively new company, and it’s the first high-interest mobile banking account. The company aims to eliminate the ‘invisible tax’ that big banks charge Americans.


This new bank pays 200x more interest than other mobile banks, it takes only a minute to set up your account, and you only have to deposit $1 to get your account up and running.



Features:


Beam has many features that make it perfect for online-banking-only users. The app was “made for millenials” and 99% of America that is in the working class. Check out the features below.

  • The free mobile app is easy to use, has a unique interface, and is available on both iOS and Android

  • All funds are insured through the FDIC

  • No monthly fees and no minimum balances

  • Unlimited fund transfer promise

  • A higher-than-average APY rate, to start with at 1.7% with the possibility to earn the “best possible rate”

  • Free in-app choices than can potentially help you earn an interest rate of 7% APY daily

Beam has a pretty solid team of experts that know how to bank, including ex-insiders from KKR, JPMorgan Chase, Facebook, and Google. They strive to make sure that you get your money and that big banks don’t.


Beam’s Negatives:


Beam also is not perfect, and many people have been disappointed about the bank not delivering promises. To earn higher than the 2%, you have to engage with Beam regularly.


That means taking time to refer friends and family, accept rewards, transfer regularly, etc. Another potential downside is transferring fees. While Beam doesn’t charge fees to have an account, you may incur fees from other banks while making transfers.


Highlights


Chime:

  • No Overdraft fees up to $100

  • FDIC Insured

  • Fee-free checking, savings, and debit card accounts

  • Access to over 38,000 ATMs

  • Savings APY of only 0.01%


Beam:

  • No minimum deposit

  • APY of 1.5% base rate up to 7%, but rates higher than 1.5% are difficult

  • FDIC Insured



Final Thoughts


For those of you in search of mobile-banking only accounts, both Chime and Beam make pretty excellent choices. They both have their unique pros and cons, but overall, you can expect them to be very trusting bank systems.


It’s crucial always to do your research first to avoid setting up a bank that doesn’t quite suit your needs.


Check out Chime’s website and information here and research more about Beam here.

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