Chime vs. Current: Compare These Fee-Free Overdraft Apps For Up To $200

Overdraft Apps » App Reviews » Chime vs. Current: Compare These Fee-Free Overdraft Apps For Up To $200

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The main difference between Chime and Current is the amount of monthly direct deposits required to access overdrafts. Current requires $500 or more in qualifying direct deposits over a 30-day period. Chime requires $200 or more over a 34-day period. 

Chime and Current both cap their fee-free overdrafts at $200, and both apps come with no hidden fees and offer early paycheck access. So which one should you choose? Let’s peel apart the differences – including revealing the new feature one app has debuted that can get you up to $500 in extra cash when you need it.

Get to Know the Chime app

Chime is the most popular mobile banking app in America (with 20 million users and counting!).

More than a place to park your money, Chime comes with the SpotMe feature, which provides immediate access to up to $200 in overdrafts (once you qualify) – with zero overdraft fees.2

Your initial overdraft limit is likely closer to $20 (which is still enough to grab lunch or a last-minute gift). If you need more cash, you can increase your overdraft limit up to $200 based on your account activity and history. 

The SpotMe feature stands out since you’re not just limited to debit card purchases. Outside of tapping your card at the shops or local bar, you can also withdraw cash at an ATM, even if your balance is below zero.

Chime’s checking account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance fees. Instead, Chime mostly makes money by collecting swipe fees from Visa when you pay with your Chime debit card (don’t worry, they can afford it).

🤓 Overdraft Apps Tip: Need more ways to cover urgent expenses? Chime members are automatically enrolled in early direct deposits so you can cash out your wages as soon as they land (up to two days earlier than some traditional banks).3

Get up to $200 in no-fee overdrafts >>> Sign up with Chime in less than 2 minutes 👈

Product NameSpotMe
Overdraft LimitUp to $200
Qualifying Direct Deposit$200
Fee-Free ATM Network60,000+
FeesNo membership, annual or monthly fees.

Get to Know the Current app

Current offers two ways to access cash.

1). Use Current overdrafts to access up to $200 in overdraft protection on debit card purchases without charging you overdraft fees. 4 

To access the overdraft feature, you need to apply to the Overdrive program with an eligible account. 

Once the feature is activated, whenever you swipe your card without enough funds to pay, your Current account will become overdrawn without charging you fees. That way you can cover your share of dinner or grab takeaway on the way home without being stung by overdraft fees.

Current overdraft is perfect for any type of “oops” moment when you’re short on cash or need extra funds in a pinch.

2). Use the Paycheck Advance service for no-interest cash advances for up to $500 (NEW)

Until recently (January 2024) Current focused on banking features and didn’t have a cash advance product.

The new Paycheck Advance feature means payday is only a tap away.

You can qualify for a Current cash advance with direct deposits set to a Current account (no credit check required). Like most cash advance apps, you won’t get access to the full $500 (Current claims advances start at $50) but you can increase your advance limit with the consistency and amount of your direct deposit.

Current’s Paycheck Advance is best suited when you have a larger purchase coming up and need more funds to bridge the gap.  

Qualifying direct deposits for overdrafts and cash advances are $500. This is a fair bit higher than Chime’s $200, so you’ll need to factor in your regular income to make sure Current is right for you.

Despite this, Current is the only app offering overdrafts and cash advances, which makes it pretty darn handy.

Like Chime, there are no fees for using either feature. That means no membership fees, minimum balance fees or ATM fees at over 40,000 in-network ATMs around the United States. 

Get up to $200 whenever you need it >>> Get the Current app 👈

Product NameFee-Free Overdraft
Overdraft Limit$200
Qualifying Direct Deposit$500
Fee-Free ATM Network40,000+
FeesNo membership, annual or monthly fees.

What Makes Chime and Current Similar?

Both Chime and Current focus on offering mobile banking solutions without the traditional overdraft fees

Fee-free overdrafts up to $200 are the most obvious similarity, but it’s not the only common link.

Here’s what makes these popular cash advance apps similar:

  • No Overdraft Fees: Unlike many banks that charge hefty overdraft penalties, Chime and Current come with  fee-free overdrafts. Your overdraft amount is automatically repaid when your next direct deposit lands.
  • Focus on Accessibility: Both apps provide a safety net for small overdrafts without making you jump through hoops. Both Chime and Current accept Government benefits and other forms of income, so you don’t need a consistent 9-5 to qualify.
  • Checking Account: Fee-free overdrafts are the most valuable feature, but both apps offer a personal checking account to manage your daily expenses.
  • Early Paycheck Access: Both apps can ping your phone the moment your paycheck is available. Cash out up to two days early without paying fees for the convenience.
  • Saving Accounts: Both apps offer a high-yield savings account to help grow your money with automatic deposits by rounding up the change on purchases (e.g. if you spend $0.75 the app will round up to the nearest dollar and deposit $0.25 in your savings account).
  • Credit Building Help: Dealing with low credit? Chime and Current have tools for that. Both apps offer a credit card option. Chime has the wordy ‘Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa Card’. Current has the Build Card. A history of on-time card repayments may improve your credit score.

Chime’s SpotMe and Current’s overdraft features offer a buffer zone to avoid getting hit with overdraft fees.

Both overdraft options require you to pass eligibility checks which are based on your direct deposit history, account activity, and other risk-based factors.

Try Current and Start Borrowing Cash 🤑

Chime vs. Current: What are the Differences?

Here’s a breakdown of some key differences between the Chime and Current apps.

Initial Overdraft Coverage:

  • Chime: Offers SpotMe, which can spot you up to $200 but starts at $20.
  • Current: Provides up to $200 with a slightly larger initial overdraft buffer of $25

Savings Account Interest:

  • Chime: Offers a standard 2.00% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) on their savings account.
  • Current: Provides a tiered interest system. You can earn a 4.00% APY on up to $6,000, but the rate drops for larger balances.

Qualifying Direct Deposits:

  • Chime: Requires regular deposits of at least $200 each month to maintain access to fee-free overdrafts.
  • Current: Similar requirements, but monthly direct deposits increase to $500, which may be tougher for some people to hit.

Checking Accounts:

  • Chime: Only offers one checking account option with 24/7 mobile banking and no minimum balance or monthly fees.
  • Current: Offers a checking account for adults and a Teen Banking account if you want to start instilling financial management lessons in your kids.

Investing Options:

  • Chime: No investing products available through the Chime app. If you want to try your hand at investing, you’ll need to check out other apps.
  • Current: Buy and sell crypto without trading fees so you can use your savings and start investing with as little as $1.

Pros and Cons Compared

Chime ProsChime Cons
✓ Up to $200 in fee-free overdrafts✗ Requires bank account for access
✓ 60,000+ Fee-free ATMs
✓ No minimum balance or hidden fees
✓ Lower qualifying direct deposits

Learn More >>> Read our full Chime app review

Current ProsCurrent Cons
✓ Up to $200 in fee-free overdrafts✗ Requires bank account for access
✓ 40,000+ Fee-free ATMs✗ Higher qualifying direct deposits
✓ No minimum balance or hidden fees
✓ Crypto investing features

Learn More >>> Read our full Current app review

Chime vs Current: Which Cash Advance App is Better?

Picking between Chime and Current isn’t as simple as choosing the app with the highest overdraft limit – since they both max out at two hundred bucks.

The right banking solution will depend on your specific needs outside of fee-free overdrafts.

For instance, Current’s $500 qualifying direct deposits may be harder to hit than Chime’s $200 qualifying direct deposits.

If you want deposit accounts with fewer fees, a consistent APY applied to your entire savings balance and more available customer service, Chime is likely the better bet.

Current offers some features that Chime doesn’t, which are worth thinking about. Crypto investing and teen banking might make Current the more appealing app.

“I want to try Current’s extra features” 🙋“I want fewer fees with Chime” 🙋🏼

Whatever app you choose, make sure the features and fees match your needs so you can access the cash you need without any unnecessary extras.

Looking to Up Your Financial Game? Try Our Latest Guides:

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Alexander Porter
  1. As of February 13, 2024. Offers may change and may not be available to all users. Eligibity requirements apply. See KashKick's Terms of Service for full details.
  2. 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 and Visa debit card activation. 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 conditions.
  3. 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.
  4. Current is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group, Member FDIC, and Cross River Bank, Member FDIC.

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