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7 best online banks like Chime

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Updated: January 03, 2024

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Chime is one of the most popular fintech companies that's known for its lack of fees and ease-of-use. However, it's not always the best banking choice if you want higher interest rates, cash-back rewards, or more in-depth banking features.

Thankfully, there are numerous online banks like Chime you can consider if you're on the market for a new bank.

Best Chime alternatives

Our list of online banks like Chime is broken down by the “best” bank for various categories as well as our overall favorite option. Think about the banking features that are most important to you or what Chime's missing and then pick a bank that suits your needs.

Best overall: Ally

Why we chose Ally: In our opinion, Ally is the most comprehensive alternative to Chime you can use. This online bank has low fees and an excellent high-yield savings account that pays more than Chime. It also offers a competitive money market account. And unlike Chime, Ally's checking account pays up to 0.25% interest.

We also like Ally over Chime if you want more investing features. It offers both self-directed trading that's commission-free for stocks and ETFs. You can also trade bonds, options, and mutual funds. And for passive investors, there's Ally's robo-advisor service.

Pros

Pros

  • High savings account APY

  • Numerous investing features and other banking features

  • Minimal fees just like Chime

Cons

Cons

  • Fairly low interest rate on checking account versus other Chime alternatives

Best for small balances: Varo

Why we chose Varo: Chime's savings account currently pays 2.00% APY. But with Varo's online savings account, you start out with 3.00% APY. And you can earn an astonishing 5% APY on balances under $5,000 if you get direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 per month and have an open Varo Bank account as well.

The APY from Varo is tough to beat, and it's an excellent Chime alternative if you have under $5,000 in cash. Plus, Varo lets you earn up to 6% cash back if you shop with your Varo debit or credit card. And like Chime, you can use Varo's secured Visa card to improve your credit score without paying annual fees or interest. Throw in its $100 cash advance feature and free withdrawals from 55,000+ AllPoint ATMs, it's clear why Varo is one of the best banks like Chime there is.

Pros

Pros

  • No minimum account balance requirements like Chime

  • Earn cash-back rewards with your Varo card

  • Earn an impressive 5% APY if you meet qualifying deposit terms

Cons

Cons

  • Varo is best for account balances under $5,000

Best rewards checking account: Axos Bank

Why we chose Axos: This Chime alternative is best known for its array of fee-free checking accounts. But the reason Axos made this list is for its Rewards Checking account. This account pays up to 3.30% APY and has zero monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Your base APY starts at 0.40% for having monthly direct deposits of at least $1,500. From there, you increase your interest rate by trying other Axos products like Axos Invest or adding loan payments.

Axos also has a decent high-yield savings account and both active and managed investing options. The other online checking accounts it offers are also compelling, especially if you're trying to avoid bank fees or want to open a checking account for your teenager.

Pros

Pros

  • A full-service online bank with checking, saving, MMA, and investing products

  • A flexible rewards checking account and other useful checking accounts

  • Low-fee just like Chime

Cons

Cons

  • Reaching 3.30% APY with your Rewards Checking account takes a few steps

Best for automatic saving and investing: Acorns

Why we chose Acorns: While you may be familiar with Acorns for their "round up" savings app, they now offer the Mighty Oak debit card. This debit card is an all-digital banking tool that offers a nice 3.00% APY on their checking account and a 5.00% APY on a savings account. What's more, there are some solid investing tools to help you save even more, like automatically investing a portion of every paycheck.

The Acorns Mighty Oak debit card is also a great banking option because there are no minimum balance requirements, no overdraft fees, and a huge network of fee-free ATMs.

Pros

Pros

  • Competitive APYs on checking and savings accounts

  • No minimum balance requirements

  • Easy, automated investing options

Cons

Cons

  • Primarily an investing platform

Best for crypto fans: Juno

Why we chose Juno: As crypto investing continues to gain an audience, it's no surprise many online banks are jumping on the bandwagon. And with Juno, you can easily trade popular cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum with funds right from your bank account.

But Juno isn't just a crypto banking solution. It currently pays up to 5% APY on cash deposits and 5% cash back at five of your favorite brands.

Like Chime, Juno doesn't charge monthly account fees either, and you don't pay foreign transaction fees or withdrawal fees.

Pros

Pros

  • Easily buy cryptocurrencies from the app

  • Earn passive crypto rewards

  • Earn up to 5% APY

Cons

Cons

  • You only earn cash back on up to $3,000 in annual spending

Best for entrepreneurs: Novo

Why we chose Novo: If you're a small business owner, freelancer, or entrepreneur, online banks like Chime are useful since you save on banking fees. And with business banks like Novo, you don't have to sacrifice features to stay low-fee.

With Novo's Business Checking account, you can easily send invoices, track income and expenses, and set money aside for taxes and payroll. But its invoicing capabilities are the main selling point. Novo integrates with Stripe, PayPal, and Square and also lets you accept ACH and check payments.

And if you sign up with Stripe through Novo, you get up to $20,000 in fee-free processing to sweeten the deal. Novo also lets you send unlimited free transactions within the U.S. and works with Wise for international transfers.

Pros

Pros

  • Offers flexible payment terms

  • Robust invoice tools

  • Numerous bonuses from Novo partners like Stripe

  • No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

  • Integrates with business tools like Quickbooks and Xero

Cons

Cons

  • You can't make cash deposits

  • No business savings account

Novo disclosure - Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; Member FDIC.

Best for teens: Current

Why we chose current: Current is an excellent alternative to Chime as a standalone banking option, as it lets you earn 4% APY on up to $6,000. In fact, our Editor and Chief here at Investor Junkie uses Current for this reason, and it's an excellent, no-fee account to hold your emergency fund or idle cash.

However, Current is also excellent for teens since it lets them learn to spend and save with its Visa debit card. With this account, parents can easily transfer money into their teen's account for allowances or chore payments. And parents can block certain merchants and set spending limits so there isn't any reckless spending.

Teens can also enable features like round-ups to automatically move money into savings after each purchase. Overall, it's an excellent, fee-free account that can help teens learn more about managing finances. And Current's 4% APY for its savings pods is extremely competitive.

Pros

Pros

  • No account fees

  • No minimum balance or spending requirements

  • Excellent parental controls for teen accounts

  • Current also offers crypto investing and cash-back rewards for its regular account

Cons

Cons

  • No credit building tool

  • You don't earn interest on cash balances over $6,000

How to choose the best Chime alternative

Consider fees

Chime is an excellent option for storing your cash because it doesn't charge any monthly fees or overdraft fees. You don't pay foreign transaction fees either and get 60,000+ fee-free ATMs. When you look for an alternative to Chime, make sure you find one with as few fees as possible or banks where the annual membership fee make sense for the rewards.

Think about balance and spending requirements

Another perk of Chime is that there's no minimum balance requirement. You don't have to spend a certain amount of money per month to unlock the best perks either.

In contrast, some online banks have opening requirements or require receiving direct deposits to earn rewards. And banks like Aspiration require spending $1,000 per month to earn the most interest on your Spend & Save account.

Consider rewards & sign-up bonuses

Chime has had numerous sign up bonuses and referral bonuses since its inception. Many online banks offer similar promos, and you can often get $500 to $150 or even more for opening and funding a new account. If you're on the fence between two Chime alternatives, these bonuses often help break a tie.

Look for extra banking features

One benefit of Chime is that you have three account options: a checking account, the Chime Credit Builder, and a savings account. But you don't have access to investing features or many retirement tools. This makes Chime useful for using a low-fee checking or savings account but a poor choice if you want a full-service bank.

Options like Ally Bank and Axos are some of the best online banks like Chime because they have enough features to support your financial growth. Decide which banking features are most important to you and then pick a bank that supports your needs.

Methodology

When picking the best online banks like Chime, we considered factors like monthly fees, minimum deposits, interest rates, cash-back rewards, and other banking features. We also looked for banks that suit specific types of customers best, like those with smaller balances or those who like crypto.

The companies that made our list didn't influence our rankings in any way. Note that there are plenty of other quality options that didn't make our list that you can consider as well. However, the names above are all excellent online-only banks and are our favorite Chime alternatives right now.

Chime disclosure - Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.1Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Checking Account into your savings account.^Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.

About our author

Tom Blake
Tom Blake, Staff Writer

Tom Blake is a personal finance blogger. His work has featured in Business Insider, Frugal Rules, MoneyCrashers, and a number of other financial blogs. When he’s not in Canada Tom lives as a digital nomad, writing from locales like Colombia and Dubai. You can connect with Tom at his blog This Online World.

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