Current vs Chime: Which is Better for You?

Thanks to the power of digital banking, many consumers have never set foot inside a brick-and-mortar bank thanks to Current and Chime.

Current vs Chime, who is the winner?

Using financial technology companies like Chime Bank and Current are growing extremely popular as more and more Americans are becoming fed up with the status quo of national banks. This is primarily due to overdraft fees, ATM fees, and interest rates that many see as outrageous.

In this post, we’ll look at both Chime and Current to see which one is best for you.

We’ll try to provide you with the information you need to choose for yourself between Current and Chime — I have both accounts, and I believe they’re both trustworthy and far safer/better banks than traditional old-school banks – however, I like Chime for a few reasons that I’ll go through below.

Best for Rates: Current or Chime?

In our opinion, Current wins this category. Chime offers 1.50% APY¹ on idle balances in connected savings accounts, whereas Current offers 4.00% APY with its Savings Pods.

With Current Interest, you can grow your money and earn a 4.00% Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) by keeping a balance of at least $0.01 in a Savings Pod. The APY is the amount of money paid by Current that you will earn over the course of 12 calendar months.

In the end, 1.50% with Chime isn’t much to write home about compared with the 4.00% APY that Current offers.

There are no restrictions to move money in and out of a Current Savings Pod. There are also no transfer restrictions or penalties associated with moving money in or out of a Savings Pod, either.

Plus, All of your Current funds, including funds held in Savings Pods, are FDIC-insured up to a total of $250,000 through its partner bank Choice Financial Group.

In terms of features/rates, they’re comparable — both provide 55,000+ fee-free ATMs in North America, $200 free overdraft protection, 2-days early direct deposits, and other typical digital bank perks such as mobile check deposits.*

Best for Fees – Current or Chime?

We’d say this category is more or less a draw — In reality, both Current and Chime are “no-fee” low-cost financial technology companies, although they do have costs — it’s simply not the same ones that traditional banks charge just for keeping insufficient funds in their accounts or simply because you have a bank account.

Chime and Current do not charge minimum interest charges or monthly fees, although they do have costs — it’s simply that the costs are for specialized services or items that aren’t required by most individuals. Wire Transfers, Foreign Payments, and international transactions/ATM-withdrawals are just a few examples of what they offer.

For these categories, the differences are minor: Chime has no foreign transaction fees, whereas Current charges a few percentages if you use your debit card outside of the United States.

This means that in the end, they’re equal, but Current is superior. This is because they are essentially identical save for the foreign transaction fee, which they have in common as otherwise, they are both no-fee with the exception of specialized services like wire transfers.

Current
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit requirement: $0

Best Sign Up Bonus Offer – Current or Chime?

One topic that we have to discuss is which app makes you money for being a new member?

Chime is a free online bank that offers a $100 referral bonus if you open a new Chime account using a referral link. To earn the $100 referral bonus, you need to do the following: 

  1. Open a new Chime bank account using a referral link (here’s my Chime referral link). 
  2. Make a direct deposit of $200 or more within 45 days of opening your account. 
  3. The $100 bonus posts to your Chime account within 2 business days of meeting the requirements, but typically posts instantly once the requirements are met.

Current is offering a $1 sign up bonus which you can find for searching for a promotional code online. However, $1 is nothing to really brag about.

Chime obviously has the better sign up bonus.

Chime
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit requirement: $0

Best Trustworthy Online Bank – Current or Chime Bank?

We aren’t concerned about keeping any cash in either Current Bank or Chime, since we don’t think either bank will go bankrupt anytime soon or ever. As they don’t engage in dangerous activities that most financial institutions participate in, we don’t anticipate either to go bankrupt.

Chime is a larger and seems to have better customer service than Current, and both are safe banks that have FDIC insurance to protect your money. However, if we had to choose a winner, we’d go with Chime because they’re bigger and appear to offer greater customer support than Current does.

Chime
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit requirement: $0

Best Socially Responsible Bank – Current or Chime?

A bank is socially responsible for two reasons: it cares about the future, and banking consumers are increasingly preoccupied with social impact.

Neither Chime Bank nor Current Bank stands out as socially responsible banks in 2022.

Green banks are socially responsible and eco-friendly. To find an eco-friendly bank, look for socially responsible banks such as Aspiration, Capital One, Spring Bank, and Ando.

Banks that include the environment in their efforts are, by definition, socially responsible which include socially and environmentally aware banks such as Mascoma Bank, Frontier Bank, or Sunrise Banks.

($150 bonus for new accounts)
Want free money?
5.0

Want to get spotted a $150 for free? Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $150 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

Best Bank for Freelancers – Current or Chime?

Freelancers now have more options than ever when it comes to banks where they can manage their money and grow their businesses.

When you’re working as a freelancer or entrepreneur, it can be difficult to keep your finances in order. A business checking account will help you stay organized and make managing your money easier. You can’t be using PayPal or Venmo anymore, it’s time to level up.

If you’re looking for a new business checking account, there are several banks that offer accounts designed specifically for freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Chime doesn’t offer a business banking account but it does offer a free checking account with no monthly fees and no overdraft fees.

This account is designed specifically for freelancers and entrepreneurs because it comes with no monthly fees or minimum balance limits.

Like Chime, Current is free to open with no monthly fees. 

You’ll also get access to different kinds of savings plans that let you earn interest on your money or give you quick access to cash without any withdrawal limits. And if you want to withdraw your funds for free, there’s an option available where you can do just that. 

Current Banking also has mobile banking and online check deposit services so managing your finances is easier than ever before.

Both are pretty good banks for the average side hustler making $200 a day but there are better specifically designed banks for freelancers that offer payroll processing and other features.

Related: Should You Open A Charles Schwab Business Checking Account?

What Advantages does Current have over Chime?

Get more when you save with Current. Get savings with interest and earn 4.00% APY to maximize every dollar.

With Current Savings Pods, you can organize your savings goals while making money on your cash. The more you put in, the more you’ll make. It’s that simple.

Chime’s High Yield Savings only offers 1.50%¹ compared to Current’s 4.00 APY. This is important if you want the best return on your savings.

Current
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit requirement: $0

What Advantages does Chime have over Current?

As an employee, there will be a lot of times where you need money today.

But which app offers you a payroll advance or other similar features?

With Chime, you can get spotted up to $200 at any time with its no-fee overdraft service called SpotMe. The app will spot you up to $200 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals with no overdraft fees. It’s a perfect way to get access up to $200, just for signing up.*

Best for overdraft protection
Want to get spotted a $200 for free?
5.0

Simply sign up for Chime, and the free banking app will lend you cash for free, you just relax while it will spot you up to $200 any time. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

Banks like Chime and Banks like Current?

What about other competitors? What are other banks like Chime? What are other banks like Current?

 Below, review the top 5 Chime and Current alternatives you should consider.

CIT Bank

CIT Bank is one of the best banks like Chime and Current because they let you open a money market account with just $100 to get started.

Forget about monthly fees or minimum balance requirements when using this bank because there are none – ever. You can also manage your finances with ease because CIT Bank has an app that lets you check your balance and transfer funds from anywhere you are.

Experience a convenient and secure all-digital way to grow and access your money. Earn a competitive interest rate of 0.45% APY. Easily pay people and bills, with no monthly fees. Plus, it allows for free online and mobile check deposit.

CIT Bank
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit requirement: $100

Empower

Empower is a bank designed to be a one-stop shop for today’s generation – no matter what the future throws at you, they’ll help guide you. By downloading the app and using it, people can get up to $250 in cash advances when needed, as well as saving for their future.

They’ll provide a cash advance on your next paycheck up to $250 directly to your account. There’s no application or credit check required and there are never any hidden fees, interest rates or credit risk – just pay them back automatically when you receive another direct deposit from your payroll.

Best for instant cash advance
Empower
5.0

You can count on them to have your back and get a cash advance up to $250 directly to your account. No applications, no interest or late fees, no credit checks or credit risk. You just pay them back automatically when you receive your next direct deposit. There’s no catch. It’s that simple.

Other banks to consider that similar to Chime and Current:

Chime vs Current: Who Wins?

When it comes down to it, the differences between Chime and Current are minimal. To be frank, there isn’t much of a difference since they both offer basically the same benefits. Neither have monthly fees or overdraft fees nor foreign transaction fees so the only major difference is that Current offers a higher interest rate on their savings account than Chime does.

The only feature Chime offers that Current doesn’t is the ability to spot yourself up to $200* on any debit card purchase or cash withdrawal which you can take advantage of without paying an overdraft fee.

The good thing about both Chime and Current is that they’re online banks and as such, there’s no need to deal with account maintenance fees. While that’s one less fee to worry about, you’ll still want to make sure that you don’t go into overdraft or end up paying transaction fees if you pick the wrong bank for your needs.

The bottom line is both Chime and Current are good banks with great features; however, if we had to pick one winner, we’d go with Current because they offer a better savings rate than Chime does. And if you’re going to have a bank account for a long time, it’s best to go with the one that will save you more money in the long run.

Current
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit requirement: $0

¹The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of August 25th, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

*Chime 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 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 Condition.

^Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

^ Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

Related