Nobody likes overdraft fees. They can blindside you and cost you precious money for the fees that banks charge to overdraft. Thankfully, companies like Chime provide services like their “SpotMe” feature that helps to fight overdraft fees.
Chime is a startup bank that is based out of San Francisco. However, Chime is not your typical bank. Unlike traditional banks, Chime is a digital bank. Like a traditional bank, Chime still has your typical checking and savings accounts, along with a credit card. Instead of having brick-and-mortar locations, Chime is instead completely digital and practically everything is handled from the Chime app on your smartphone. If you’re still pretty traditional with your banking, you can still interact with your money at 90,000 retail ATM locations across the United States.
Chime separates themselves from traditional banks by only offering their customers one checking account, one savings account, and one secured credit card. Other banks will continually try to tie you up with a variety of different accounts, cards, and other services as they can. Oftentimes, this is not in your best interest and is instead the banks trying to get the most revenue possible out of you. With features like high-yield savings accounts, free mobile payments to friends and families, and a robust savings feature all in an easy-to-use app can make Chime a great way to manage your money from the palm of your hand.
While Chime is a great choice for people wanting to enjoy the benefits of embracing the new era of digital finances, there are some drawbacks to an online bank. Some are obvious, such as a lack of in-person branch locations to help you with serious bank issues that may not be easy to solve over the phone or online. In addition, the nature of online banks like Chime are such that they aren't always covered by other financial services. For instance, the bank verification vendor that Possible uses does not work with Chime accounts, making it impossible for us to serve customers with Chime accounts. Drawbacks such as these can be frustrating, and for some, aren't worth the convenience of an online bank.
If you live paycheck to paycheck like millions of other Americans, you know what it is like to always have your spending account teetering between negative and positive. Every day can consist of you checking your account balance and stressing over every small purchase or payment you make. If you get caught slipping and don’t have sufficient money in your bank account when you make a purchase, your account will run negative and your bank will charge you an overdraft fee as a result. Depending on your bank and your specific account, you could be charged anywhere from $30-$40 for going in the negative. Truly, overdrafting your account is not only extremely stressful and overwhelming but it can be very expensive as well!
To combat this, Chime created a product called “SpotMe.” After getting endless requests from customers, Chime decided to create SpotMe to directly combat its customers getting charged expensive overdrafting fees.
In short, SpotMe Chime gives you money to cover your account anytime you overdraft. To start, Chime gives you about a $20 cushion to cover any overdraft fee. After some time, this can be increased to roughly $100. For example, let’s say your account balance is at $5. Let’s say you go to get an overpriced cup of coffee and muffin and you pay $15. With this, your account balance would normally be $-10 meaning you spent $10 you didn’t have to begin with.
With a regular bank, you would be charged a large fee for dipping into the negative. However, with SpotMe Chime, Chime would front you $20 to cover this purchase. Your account would not show $-10 but would instead show $0 or $10 depending on how much Chime decides to direct deposit to you. Depending on how much you borrowed from Chime, your next payment into your account will be subtracted that amount.
As you can see, Chime SpotMe can be a great way to avoid overdrafting. Since not every bank has this, using Chime as a means to protect yourself against overdraft fees can be a great reason to switch to Chime. If you live paycheck to paycheck, using SpotMe could really end up saving you some money in the long run.
Chime SpotMe only works if you use Chime’s services. You cannot have access to Chime if you are using a different bank account or a different credit card. You will need to be using a Chime bank account as well as a Chime debit card, as SpotMe does not work with credit cards unfortunately.
As we mentioned, if your Chime account goes into the negative because of a debit card purchase, Chime will spot you the money to a certain extent. If you go $10 in the negative, Chime will spot you this $10 so you don’t overdraw your account and have to pay overdraft fees. Since you need to have an account that receives monthly deposits to even use SpotMe, Chime will take the amount advanced to you out of your next direct deposit.
For example, if you got $10 spotted to you, Chime will take $10 from your next paycheck or other direct deposit that contributes to your account. Initially, Chime will only spot you $20. While this might work for making smaller purchases, if you accidentally make a big purchase that overdraws your account or you make a few smaller purchases, you will be out of luck if the amount exceeds $20 withdrawn. Anything over this and you will be charged with overdraft fees.
As time goes on and Chime deems your account to be healthy through things like frequent direct deposits and spending activity, they can increase this $20 limit up to $100 dollars to give you a huge cushion when it comes to avoiding overdrafting your account.
Overall, Chime claims that their SpotMe feature has saved over $200 million in potential overdraft fees for their customers. Chances are, you could save some money too with SpotMe. However, while Chime’s SpotMe is a great feature, it has its own pair of drawbacks like everything else does. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of SpotMe so you can decide if using SpotMe is right for you.
Just using Chime and having a bank account with them will not necessarily make you eligible to use their SpotMe feature. However, it is not very difficult to qualify for and chances are you likely meet most or all of the qualifications needed to use SpotMe.
Like we mentioned earlier, you will need to have a Chime bank account and a Chime debit card to use SpotMe. This account from Chime will need to receive $500 a month or more. Anything less will not qualify you to use SpotMe. Other than that, there are essentially no other requirements. Pretty nice, right!
Again, your SpotMe limit will begin at $20. After time has passed for Chime to analyze your spending habits and direct deposit patterns, your SpotMe limit can increase to up to $100.
Banks are so complex and there are so many transactions and accounts that see activity every single day that there are always a number of issues that arise. Even though it is not the typical bank, some of these same issues still occur with Chime. While there are resounding reviews for Chime and for SpotMe, it does not come without negative reviews.
Chime overall has mixed reviews. Some user’s really like the simple and modern approach that Chime brings to banking. On the other hand, some people vehemently voice their anger towards Chime on the basis of account conflicts and poor customer service.
SpotMe on the other hand has pretty good reviews throughout. Users find it to be a great product that consistently helps them to save money over time. One user, Mary from Virginia, writes, “The Spot Me feature is phenomenal! As long as your direct deposits and paybacks are consistent your Spot Me will always be there to help.”
Here at Possible, we feel we have created a product that is superior to cash advance products like SpotMe for a variety of reasons. Our product is small installment loans of up to $500. We understand that life is full of surprises and your finances are no different. Unexpected payments and emergency expenses can arise in the blink of an eye and they can cost you more than the $100 that Chime might give you with SpotMe. If your application is approved, you can be getting the money you need within minutes.
However, we aren’t just a product that offers you more money than programs such as SpotMe. We are a product that builds value for our customers. We don’t want to see our customers fail, and we instead want to create value for them. We want to see our customers graduate out of debt, and as such our loans are easy to pay off and build your credit while you pay them off.
Payments are made weekly over the course of a month. If you are struggling to make a payment, you can extend your payment up to 29 days right within our app. Our loans are credit builder loans, and as you successfully make payments we report payments to Experian and TransUnion. Over time, this helps to build your credit history and improve your credit score as a result.
If you both need money and are looking to build your creditworthiness, Possible is the best route to go. If you are thinking about getting a loan with Possible, check out some more of our blogs or download our app today and get started!