Chime vs. Bank of America – Which is Best for You?

As much as some traditional banks might not want to admit it, more and more people are making the switch from conventional banking to online banking. Why is that?

For some customers, they have found online banking to be a safer and better option than a conventional bank. Conventional banks have fees, and the possibility of becoming bankrupt and shutting down, and some have chosen to engage in fraudulent activity. As of this article, most online banks do not have fees, none have closed down, and no users have reported fraud.

In this article, we will compare Chime bank, one of the leading online banks, to a traditional bank, Bank of America, and declare which one is best for you, the customer. 

Which Has Better Signup Bonus Offer – Chime or Bank of America?

What is better than receiving free money from your new bank? Not much! Chime and Bank of America offer sign-up bonuses when you open an account with them.

Chime Bank offers a $100 referral bonus if you open a new account with them using a referral link. To earn the $100 referral bonus, these are the steps you need to take:

  1. Open a new Chime bank account using a referral link. 
  2. Make a direct deposit of $200 or more within 45 days of opening your account. 
  3. The $100 bonus is instantly posted to your Chime account or within two business days after the requirements are met.

In an attempt to gain more customers, Bank of America is offering new customers who open an account a $100 bonus. To earn the $100 new account bonus, these are the steps you need to take:

  1. Open a new Bank of America Advantage Banking online (personal checking accounts only).
  2. Set up an account, and make a qualifying direct of at least $1,000 into the account within 90 days of opening it. 
  3. You should receive the $100 within 60 days of meeting this requirement, but some customers have reported that it took longer than 60 days.

So if you were to need that sign-up bonus cash fast for some reason, then we recommend Chime over Bank of America.

Which Has Fewer/Lower Fees – Chime or Bank of America?

One of the reasons people are switching from traditional banks to online banks is because of the ridiculous fees that come with conventional banking. With traditional banking, if you cannot meet specific monthly requirements, they will charge you a fee for being unable to meet them. 

And this is where Bank of America fails to be the better choice. As a traditional bank, you can expect to be hit with fees if you do not meet their monthly requirements. It does not matter what sort of account you open (the minor account being the exception); fees are a genuine concern, especially for anyone who might be facing financial hardships.

The fees you might accrue are dependent on the account type you have and the requirements you miss. If you have one of their Advantage Plus accounts, you must have a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or a minimum of $250 for one qualifying direct deposit. You will be charged a $12 fee if you fail to meet these requirements. 

So if you have a rough month where your hours have been cut at work, or you have an emergency, like needing to replace a tire, for example, they can charge you another $12 for not meeting their expectations! Imagine being punished for falling on hard times by people who are supposed to help you with your financial goals! It does not feel good.

With Chime, you are not punished for falling into financial hardships. Chime does not charge a monthly service fee for any reason. Chime’s mission is to motivate its users to make wise money choices and increase their financial knowledge. 

In addition to not charging fees, Chime will reimburse its users for any fees Chime’s partnered banks might have charged them. Chime users also do not have to worry about overdraft fees, whereas Bank of America customers will have to worry about a $35 overdraft fee.

However, Chime users will have to worry about wire transfers and other fees. Chime does not charge foreign transaction fees, so if you travel frequently, you will not have to worry about fees running your trip!

If you have a Bank of America account, be prepared for fees, fees, and more fees! For out-of-network ATM withdrawals, they charge you a $2.50 fee if you are in the U.S. and a $5 fee if you are outside the U.S. So, if you are someone who enjoys travel, make sure you have enough money with you ahead of time to avoid being charged from ATM withdrawals.

So for this round, Chime beats Bank of America by miles. Chime has fewer fees and cares more about the financial well-being of its customers. 

Which Offers the Best Features/Rates – Chime or Bank of America?

Bank of America’s rates differ depending on the account type you have. Their interest rate is 0.01% for their standard savings account and is 0.04% for customers enrolled in their Preferred Rewards program. Offering a 0.03% interest rate to particular clients and not everyone seems a bit unfair, especially when a bank like Chime treats everyone equally.

Chime has a lot of great features, such as offering $55,000 or more fee-free ATMs in North America, direct deposit up to 2 days earlier, $100 free overdraft protection, and other typical digital-bank features. Chime offers a 0.5% on idle balances in connected savings accounts, which is not a massive difference to your financial help but is more than what Bank of America offers.

So even though it is not by much, Chime takes this round as well. We give Chime this round because they do not stipulate their interest rates- they treat all clients equally, showing their commitment to their clientele. 

Who Has Better Customer Service- Chime or Bank of America?

Speaking from personal experience, I would choose Chime as the winner of this round. When I had someone fraudulently open a Chime account using my information, their customer service responded quickly, and in under half an hour, the account was closed. Finding out about this account occurred after midnight, so their quick response and prompt closing of the account impressed me.

Setting aside my personal experience with Chime, Bank of America does not seem like they have good customer service. They have an overall consumer rating of 2.04 stars from 381 reviews from dissatisfied customers. Though it is still a better rating than Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (the worst-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes ever), a 2.04 rating is nothing to be proud of, especially when the customers are the ones giving the rating!

Among the complaints from the customers, Bank of America’s customer service is one of them. Many consumers have reported long wait times, lack of resolution, and rudeness from the customer service representative they spoke with on the phone or in person. These reviews span across their on-site and off-site services.

So though both banks offer their customers many methods for getting in contact with them, Chime wins this round for their friendly, fast, and reliable customer service.

Which is More Trustworthy – Chime or Bank of America?

One of the many reasons why more people are switching to online banks is because they doubt the trustworthiness of traditional banks. It is understandable why customers would feel that way. Traditional banks have been known to go bankrupt or engage in fraudulent activity, making people feel uneasy about who is safeguarding their money.

Bank of America does not come across as being very trustworthy. Customers have complained about credit card issues and fraudulent charges made to their accounts, showing that Bank of America does not seem concerned with their client’s problems. Also, as a traditional bank, they are more likely to shut down to bankruptcy or other issues.

On the other hand, Chime is less likely to shut down due to bankruptcy or other issues because it is an online bank. Chime is also a legitimate bank with FDIC-Insurance to cover deposits, making them on par with any traditional bank. The main difference is that they make their users’ financial health a better priority. They are also likely to be around long after all of us are gone, showing that they will have longevity, and there is safety in that.  

So in terms of trustworthiness, we would feel Chime is the safer guardian for our money.

The Winner of This Vs. Is-

No versus is complete until we announce a winner. So in the battle of Chime bank vs. Bank of America, we are happy to inform you that Chime bank is the winner! With their excellent sign-up bonus, their commitment to customer service, and other factors, we feel Chime is the better bank.

We hope this article offers you the advice you need in choosing the bank that is right for you and your banking needs.