Sign Up, Referral Bonus – Forbes Advisor

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Chime® is a fintech company that says it was founded on the idea that basic banking services should be “helpful, easy and free.” The company’s flagship offering is a mobile-first online checking account that comes with a Visa debit card, fee-free access to tens of thousands of ATMs and no monthly service fees.

Chime welcomes new account holders and relies on its existing customers to help bring them in. You can earn a $100 welcome bonus if you have a family member or friend who can make the introduction, and that person can collect a similar referral bonus.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, NA; Members FDIC. Deposits are insured up to $250,000.

How Can You Earn a Chime Sign-Up Bonus?

Pocketing a Chime sign-up bonus takes just a few steps. To qualify, you must:

  • Open a new Chime account through a referral link
  • Receive a relatively small direct deposit into your account
  • Activate your debit card

Here is the current cash bonus offer available to new Chime customers. Details are accurate as of Sept. 1, 2022.

Chime Promotion for 2022

Chime Checking Account: Earn Up to $100

Chime focuses on providing low-cost basic banking services through its mobile app. With a Chime Checking account, you pay $0 in monthly maintenance fees, and there are no late fees or minimum balance requirements.

  • What is the offer? Open a new Chime account through a referral link provided by a relative or friend, then receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more within the first 45 days, and you’ll earn $100. The person referring you to Chime may receive a $100 referral bonus as a reward.
  • What is considered a direct deposit? Chime defines a “qualified direct deposit” as any single deposit of $200 or more from an employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer or benefits payer deposited directly into your account via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system. The company also counts any $200 deposit from a gig economy payer using what’s called an original credit transaction—a payment made directly to a debit or credit card. But these deposits do not qualify: ACH transfers from other banks; peer-to-peer payments through services like PayPal or Venmo; mobile check deposits¹; and one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds.
  • When do you receive your bonus? Chime says your reward will be deposited into your account within two business days after you meet all conditions of the promotion.
  • Is there a time limit on the offer? According to a referral link shared online, the new account must be opened by Dec. 31, 2022.

What Else Should You Know About Chime Bonus Offers?

Chime Is a Fintech Company, Not a Bank

Chime is a fintech company that offers its services exclusively through a mobile app. If you prefer to do all your banking via your smartphone, Chime may be a good fit.

But if you want in-person service, check-writing privileges and the ability to take out a mortgage or auto loan where you bank, Chime may not be for you. You’ll want to supplement Chime with an account at a traditional bank—or do all your banking somewhere else.

While it doesn’t have branch locations, Chime does offer a broad network of more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs at stores including Walgreens, 7-Eleven, CVS and Target. It also boasts that it’s able to offer customers access to direct-deposited paychecks up to two days early².

Your Chime Bonus May Be Taxable

Bank account welcome bonuses are generally considered taxable interest income and are reported to the IRS. Chime will report any credit greater than $10, including your welcome bonus, to the IRS on a form 1099-INT.

Chime’s Referral Bonus Includes an Overdraft Protection Offer

If you’re a Chime account holder and you refer a new customer, you can earn not only a $100 referral bonus but also a Chime $10 sign-up bonus of sorts.

You’ll score a temporary increase in overdraft protection through the company’s “SpotMe®”³ service. SpotMe is an optional feature that initially allows you to overdraw your Chime account by up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals.

Over time, your SpotMe coverage can be boosted to $200 or more based on your account history. When you refer a friend who signs up with Chime, your SpotMe limit grows by $10.

Chime Sign-Up Bonuses Are for New Customers

To receive a Chime new account bonus, you must not have previously opened a Chime checking account.

Bottom Line

Chime’s mobile-first, low-fee banking solution is designed for customers who need a bank account and want to manage it exclusively through a mobile app. The current Chime welcome bonus provides a modest incentive to open a Chime account. If you’re looking for a more traditional bank account and a bigger bonus, take a look at our list of the best bank bonuses.

¹Mobile Check Deposit eligibility is determined by Chime in its sole discretion and may be granted based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member’s direct deposit enrollment status.
²Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. Chime generally makes these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to two days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
³Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on the member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.

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