Chime Credit Builder Review

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments we receive from our advertising partners. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

The Chime Credit Builder Card is an easy-to-use, virtually fee-free secured charge card designed to help you build credit. Though its features are different from what you’re probably used to, they’re tailored for consumers who want a straightforward way to improve their credit scores.

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card

Overall Rating
2.5
Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) N/A
Annual Fee $0
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.2
for Fees
3.6
for Rewards
2.2
for Credit
3.7

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

If you're a Chime customer who wants to build credit but avoid credit card debt, this might be a great card to consider. The card is structured unlike any other secured card and may take some getting used to. Once you understand how it works, it’s a great fit if you need a simple way to build credit. 

The card is not a good fit for consumers who want to earn rewards or bonuses for new cardholders, as it doesn’t offer any rewards or bonuses.

How Does This Card Work?

Any Chime customer with at least one direct deposit of $200 to their Chime Spending account in the past 365 days is eligible. To use the card, you need to transfer money from a Chime Spending account into a secured account linked to your Chime Credit Builder card. You can send up to $10,000 to your Chime secured account. 

Your secured account balance is your “credit limit.” Each time you make a purchase, Chime sets aside money from your secured account to cover the purchase and your available funds decrease.

The Chime Credit Builder card is a charge card, not a credit card. Charge cards require you to pay your balance in full each month, whereas credit cards allow you to carry a balance month to month. 

When your bill is due, you can choose to pay the balance in full via manual payments from any bank account, or use Chime’s Safer Credit Building feature, which automatically pays your balance with the funds in your secured account.  

If you fail to pay your balance by 5 p.m. Eastern time the next business day after your due date, Chime will put your account into default. If this happens, Chime will use funds from your secured account to pay the balance and may suspend your card account.

Compared to other secured credit cards, the Chime Credit Builder is unique because it does not charge an interest rate or any late fees. Its lack of rewards is a drawback, since leading secured cards such as the Discover it Secured offer cash back on purchases.

Chime Credit Builder Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Lack of fees

  • No credit check required

  • Relatively safe way to build credit

  • Reports to the three credit bureaus

Cons
  • Can't carry a balance 

  • Doesn't offer rewards or a welcome bonus

  • Need to use with a Chime Spending Account 

Pros Explained

  • Lack of fees: You won't pay any interest with this account and the only fee is a $2.50 charge for out-of-network ATM withdrawals, which is easy to avoid. 
  • No credit check required: This card may be easier to get if you don't have good credit, and you also won't see a temporary hit to your score from a credit inquiry
  • Relatively safe way to build credit: It’s easier to avoid debt with this card since you have a secured account you can use to pay off your entire balance. 
  • Reports to the three credit bureaus: Chime will report your payment information, amount past due, current balance, and account age to each of the three credit bureaus.

Cons Explained

  • Can't carry a balance: This card is meant for building credit, not for financing purchases. 
  • Doesn't offer rewards or a welcome bonus: If you're looking to earn rewards or earn a welcome bonus, you'll need to look elsewhere. There are a few secured cards with rewards, but not many. 
  • Need to use with a Chime Spending account: The Chime Credit Builder card is only available if you have a Chime Spending account

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

The Chime Credit Builder card will help you build credit safely simply because it’s a charge card. You have to pay off your balance each month, which means paying on time and paying your balance in full are mandatory. And because of that, your score should go up simply by using the card each month.

However, once you move beyond the Chime Credit Builder to unsecured cards, you likely won’t have the same protections. The typical credit card allows you to choose between making the minimum payment each month, paying off part of your balance, or paying it in full. Also, unsecured cards tend to charge a fee if you pay late. 

So, to get the most out of the Chime Credit Builder, you’ll need to carry the habits it teaches you to other cards: Pay your balance in full each month and on time.

If you open a new card, consider keeping the Chime Credit Builder card open and using it from time to time. It'll help you establish a longer credit history which helps build your credit score, and since there's no annual fee, there's no cost involved. 

Chime Credit Builder's Other Features

  • Free premium metal card if you use your card to make 40 purchases within 60 days

Customer Experience

You can reach Chime’s customer service by email or via phone from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central (Monday through Friday) or 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central on Saturday and Sunday.

Security Features

Chime uses industry-standard security protocols, such as two-factor and fingerprint authentication. If you ever lose your card or someone steals it, you can shut your card off in the app to prevent anyone from using it. 

Chime Credit Builder's Fees 

One of the best things about the Chime Credit Builder card is that it's virtually free to use. There are none of the common fees that other secured cards charge, such as annual fees, interest charges, or even late fees (since you can't pay late).

Next Steps
For Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card
Compare This Card
See how this card stacks up to the competition
CURRENT CARD
Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card
overall rating
2.5
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) N/A
Annual Fee $0
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Chime. "Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card Agreement." Accessed June 7, 2021. 

  2. Chime. "Mobile Only Feature." Accessed June 7, 2021.

  3. Chime. "Go Metal With Your Credit." Accessed June 7, 2021.

  4. Chime. "Help." Accessed June 7, 2021.