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Which Online Bank is Right for You?

If you’ve been looking for an online-only bank, then you’ve probably heard of Chime and Simple. These two financial institutions have become leaders in the banking industry and are excellent options if you’re looking for a simple, convenient banking option.

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While Chime and Simple are similar in many ways, there are a few key differentiators you’ll want to know about. Keep reading to learn how the two banks compare and contrast, and how to know what is the best online bank for you.

An Introduction to Chime Bank

Chime Bank was founded in 2013 in San Francisco, California. Chime is an online-only bank and doesn’t have any physical branches. Because of this, the bank is able to ditch the expensive fees that brick-and-mortar banks charge. It also offers a competitive APY on its free savings account and you’ll get access to over 60,000 nationwide ATMs.

Features

  • Checking account: You can open a Chime checking account with no money to get started. There are no minimum balance requirements and there’s no monthly maintenance fee or overdraft fees. And the account comes with a free Visa debit card.
  • High-yield savings account: Chime’s high-yield savings account comes with a generous 1.00% APY. And it offers two convenient automatic savings features. You can round up your Visa purchases to the nearest dollar and save that money or you can save a percentage of every paycheck.
  • Mobile banking options: Chime offers a free mobile app that you can use to transfer money to other Chime users. You can also pay your bills, deposit checks, and receive daily alerts about your account.
  • Overdraft protection: Chime offers free overdraft protection up to $100 for customers who set up a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more.
  • Security features: Chime offers robust security features including daily alerts about your account so you can keep an eye out for suspicious charges. When you log into the mobile app, Chime enables two-factor authentication. And you have the option to lock the app, which is useful if you lose your mobile phone.

Pros

  • Doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, or overdraft fees
  • Offers a competitive 1.00% APY on its saving account
  • Provides overdraft protection for up to $100
  • Comes with convenient mobile banking options
  • Robust security features to keep your account safe

Cons

  • Charges a $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee
  • No budgeting or money management tools
  • You must set up a monthly direct deposit of $500 to qualify for overdraft protection

Read Full Review: Chime Bank Review: Mobile Banking Without the Fees

An Introduction to Simple Bank

Sample Bank was founded in 2009 and is currently based in Portland, Oregon. Like Chime, Simple offers a free checking and high-yield savings account. And as a Simple customer, you’ll receive access to over 40,000 nationwide ATMs.

Features

  • Checking account: Simple provides an FDIC-insured checking account with zero fees and no minimum balance requirements. You’ll gain access to a free network of over 40,000 ATMs nationwide and Simple doesn’t charge fees for using an out-of-network ATM.
  • High-yield savings account: Simple offers a high-yield savings account with a 0.60% APY. And like Chime, there are two different automatic savings features. You can either choose to round-up your debit card transactions or save a percentage of your monthly income. Simple also offers a competitive, 12-month CD.  
  • Mobile banking options: Simple provides a mobile app that you can use to deposit checks, pay bills, and transfer money. And Simple also offers a free budgeting and money management tool that will help you track your spending and expenses.
  • Overdraft protection: Simple doesn’t provide any overdraft protection to its customers. Fortunately, it also doesn’t charge any overdraft fees. If you attempt to make a charge that will result in an overdraft, the transaction will simply fail. This could be a significant downside for some customers.
  • Security features: Simple provides real-time transaction alerts, two-factor authentication, and EMV chip security so your account will stay secure.

Pros

  • Doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, or overdraft fees
  • High-yield savings comes with 0.60% APY
  • No out-of-network ATM fees
  • Offers robust budgeting and money management tools

Cons

Chime vs. Simple: How Do The Banks Match Up?

Chime and SImple are both great online-only banking options. Both companies offer a free checking account and a high-yield savings account. And both offer digital banking tools and account security features.

But if you’re looking for a more robust option for managing your money, you might want to consider Simple. Unlike Chime, Simple offers budgeting and money management tools to help its customers track and manage their money more effectively.

And in addition to checking and savings, Simple also offers a 12-month CD and a personal loan for debt consolidation. Plus, Simple doesn’t charge any money if customers use an out-of-network ATM.

However, Chime’s savings account comes with a higher APY than what Simple offers. And Chime offers overdraft protection up to $100 so you don’t have to worry about your transactions getting declined.

But really, you can’t go wrong with either choice. It really just comes down to personal preference and what features are non-negotiable for you. Chime doesn’t have quite as many features as Simple, but it’s going to be the better choice if you regularly tend to run your account balance close to zero.

Whereas Simple is optimal for anyone who’s looking for a comprehensive money management solution. You can also use Simple to take out a personal loan or open a CD.

Bottom Line

And finally, if you hate having to visit a brick-and-mortar bank, then you should consider online-only banking. And both Chime and Simple are excellent options for you to pick from. Though there are similarities between the two, they are actually designed for different types of customers.

If you’re not sure what your financial needs are yet, it can help to seek out the advice of a certified financial planner. That person can evaluate where you’re at and help you come up with a plan for moving forward.

See also: Best Free Online Checking Accounts: No Opening Deposit Required

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