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Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

 

  • No Annual Fee, No Interest
  • No credit checks
  • No minimum security deposit
  • Security deposit can be used to pay off balance
  • Requires opening a Chime "Spending Account" and direct deposit $200 within 365 days
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus


Pros Cons
No Annual Fee Have to open Chime "spending account" and set up direct deposit
No Credit Checks Have to direct deposit $200 within 365 days to open secured credit card
No minimum security depost Have to pay in full each month
Security deposit can be used to pay off balance Credit Ulitization is not reported to credit bureaus because you have to pay in full
Reports to 3 major credit bureaus  


Chime Secured Visa Does Not Check Your Credit

The Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card (issued by either Bancorp or Stride Bank) is a unique secured credit card that does not check your credit (no hard inquiries), has no annual fee, does not require a minimum deposit and even allows you to use your security deposit to pay your bill. You do have to opens a Chime saving account (which they call "spending account") and direct deposit $200 within 365 days before you can open a Chime Secured Visa.

Chime started off as a modern Fintech savings account which does not do any credit check or chexsystem checks. Hence, Chime is a great company to open a savings account for those who with bad credit and have a record with chexsystems. Because the Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card does not do any credit checks, it is a great vehicle for those of you who do not want another hard inquiry.


How Does Chime Secured Work?

To get started with Chime, you first have to open a "Spending Account" with them. This is essentially their online banking account. Furthermore, you also need to have set up a Qualifying direct deposit with them of at least $200 within the last 365 days. A qualifying direct deposit includes direct deposit that is made by your employer, payroll provider, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit. Bank ACH transfers, Pay Friends transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, and cash loads or deposits are not qualifying direct deposits.

If you meet the above criteria, then you are eligible to get a Chime Secured Credit Card. To do so, you have set up a "credit builder account". You can then add money to your Credit Builder Account, will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder card. This means that you can spend up to this amount on your card. The unique feature of the Chimes Secured Card is that you can use this is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month. If you do use the money in the "credit builder account" to pay your Chime Secured Visa, then you have to transfer money from your spending account the next month.


Unique Benefits

As we mentioned earlier, Chime's unique feature is that you can actually use your "security deposit" (which you transfer from your "spending" to your "credit building" account to pay off your bills). Once you "use up" your security deposit, you have to transfer more money to your credit building account to use the secured card.

Move My Pay - Chime has a feature called "Move My Pay" which lets you set an amount that you will transfer to your "credit building account" after you receive your direct deposit every month. This automates the process and helps you control how much you can spend on your secured credit card each month.

Safer Credit Building Feature - To pay off your bills automatically from the money you transferred from your spending account, you have to use the "safer credit building" feature to automatically to this. You can manually pay off your bills but I suggest you use this feature to autopay your bills. I also have to mention that you can pay your bills from another bank. But since Chime allows you to use your money in the credit building account to do so, why should you tie up that money as a deposit? There is just no reason to.

The most important feature of the Chime Secured Visa is that there is no credit checks and hence no hard inquiry. As long as you meet the criteria above, then you can get this card.


How Does Chime Compare With Other Secured Credit Cards

Card Annual Fee APR Credit Limit Credit Checks
Chime $0 N.A. - Pay in full No min or max No Credit Checks
Applied Bank $48 9.99% $200-$5,000 No Credit Checks
OpenSky $35 17.39% $200-$3,000 No Credit Checks
First Progress Platinum Prestige $49 9.99% 200-$2,000 No Credit Check
Self Secured $25 15.94% Min $100 No Credit Check


I will have to start off this section by highlighting the fact that Chime is different from regular secured credit cards in a fundamental way. And that is that you can use your security deposit to pay your bill. You then simply have to "top up" your security deposit in your "credit builder account" to use it the following month. There is also no minimum amount that you have to deposit in your "credit builder account" unlike other secured credit cards. Because of the way Chime works, they do not report credit utilization ration unlike regular secured credit cards.

Nevertheless, despite this fundamental difference, Chime has one feature that a couple of other credit cards have. And that is Chime does not perform any credit checks. They do not perform any hard inquiry on your credit report and they explicitly say so. There are a couple of secured credit cards that do not perform any credit checks. They are Opensky Secured Visa and First Progress. However, unlike Chime, they have annual fees. And they work like a traditional security credit card as far as the security deposit goes.

So at this moment, Chime is the only secured credit card we know that has both no annual fee and no credit checks.


Pros and Advantages: What We Like About Chime Secured

  • No Credit Checks and No Annual Fee - As we mentioned above, there are a couple of no credit checks secured credit cards available to consumers. However, they come with an annual fee. What makes Chime stand out is the fact that they do not perform any credit checks and there is no annual fee on the card.

  • No minimum security deposit required - There is no minimum security deposit required. Though you need to deposit at least $200 in your "spending account" (which is Chime's savings account) and have an eligible direct deposit, there is no minimum amount that you need to transfer to your "credit builder account". In contrast, most secured credit cards require a minimum of at least $200 or $300 in security deposits.

  • Can Use Security Deposit to pay monthly bill - This is probably the only secured credit card that allows you to do this. It means that you have to "top up" your "credit builder account" periodically but at the same time, you do not tie up any cash as security deposit. You can set up autopay from your "credit building account" with their "Safer Credit Building" feature

  • Automatically transfer a fixed amount from spending to credit building account after direct deposit - You can set up your account so that each month or with each direct deposit, your spending will transfer a certain amount to your credit building account to use for your Secured Visa. This feature is called "Move My Pay".

  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus - Chime reports to TransUnion, Equifax and Experian so rebuilders will definitely benefit from using the Chime Secured Visa.

  • Have to Pay in Full Every Month - Chime Secured Visa does not charge any interest rate. But it also means you have to pay in full every month. This is actually a good thing as it prevents rebuilders from carrying a balance and getting into more trouble with their finances.


Cons and Disadvantages

  • Chime does not report credit utilization ratio - Because you can actually use your "security deposit" in your "credit builder account", Chime does not report credit utilization to the credit bureaus. Instead, they simply report like a no pre-set limit card.

  • Does Not Graduate to Unsecured Card - Chime (at this moment) does not have any unsecured credit cards so this secured card will never graduate.


Chime Secured Visa is Unique and on our recommended list

The Chime Secured Visa Credit Card is one of the rare secured credit cards (along with Opensky and First Progress) that does not perform any credit checks. All you need is to opens a "spending account" with Chime and set up a direct deposit with them. Once you have direct deposited $200 within the last year 365 days, you can then open a Chimes Secured Visa by transferring money from your "spending account" to a "credit builder account". Chime calls this "availablity to spend" feature. This money that is transferred acts as a security deposit for your secured credit card.

However, what sets the Chime Secured Visa apart is that you can use the money (deposit) in your "credit building account" (which you have transferred from your "spending account") to pay your balance. Once you pay off your balance, you simply have to top it up again an amount you will likely use the next month. Chime also has a feature called "Move My Pay" which automatically moves a certain amount after your direct deposit to your "credit building account". The advantage of this arrangement is that your "security deposit" isn't really tied up. In this aspect, it is more flexible than a traditional secured credit card and works more like a prepaid credit card. However, unlike a prepaid credit card, your payment is reported to the three major credit bureaus. However, you do have to pay your bills in full every month (that is what we at askmrcreditcard.com recommends anyway).

If you are looking to rebuild your credit but dislike the idea of putting down a security deposit which cannot be used to pay off your balance, then the Chime Secured Visa will be just the card for you because though it is a secured credit card, it works more like a prepaid credit card in that you put up a "security deposit" for each billing cycle. I would definitely recommend the Chime Secured Visa to rebuilders. The only requirements is that you have to set up a Chimes savings account and have direct deposit to that account. That mean require some changes of direct deposit and opening a new bank account. But if you are willing to do this, then the Chime Secured Visa is a secured credit card that I highly recommend.


How to Apply?

To get a Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa, you first have to open a Chimes savings account (they call it spending account). You have to provide your name, email address, date of birth, mobile number, physical address and then a password to create your Chimes account. You can then proceed to open your spending account. Below is a screenshot of the account opening forms and pages.

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