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:
- Open a new Chime bank account using a referral link (here’s my Chime referral link).
- Make a direct deposit of $200 or more within 45 days of opening your account.
- 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.
When it comes to bank account bonuses, Chime is one of the easier banks out there and it’s one of the first banks I recommend for anyone new to the world of bank account bonuses. Here’s why:
- No Fees. Chime has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees or maintenance fees of any kind. Since it has no fees, this makes it a very easy bank account to manage.
- Bonus Terms Are Easy To Meet. The terms you have to meet to earn the Chime referral bonus are easy to meet, making this one of the easier bank account bonuses out there. The account requires a $200 direct deposit to earn the bonus, which at first glance might seem difficult. It used to be really easy because almost any ACH transfer from an external bank account worked to trigger the direct deposit requirement. These days, there are fewer options that work, but it’s still pretty easy to meet the direct deposit requirement.
- Bonus Posts Instantly (Or At Most, Within 2 Business Days). Some banks have a long waiting period before your bonus posts. Chime’s terms say your bonus will post within 2 business days of meeting the direct deposit requirement, but in my experience, the bonus almost always posts instantly.
- You Can Refer People With Your Referral Link. A big thing about Chime is that once you open a Chime account, you get your own Chime referral link. You’ll earn $100 for every person you refer to Chime and the person you refer will also earn $100 once they open a Chime account with your link and meet the bonus requirements. This makes Chime a very profitable bank account if you have people you can refer.
In this post, I’ll walk you through exactly what you need to do to earn the $100 Chime referral bonus, as well as provide some additional strategies to make your bonus go even further.
But first, some background about Chime before we get started.
What Is Chime Bank?
Chime is an online bank account that you can access through the Chime app or through the Chime website. The most important thing about Chime is that it has no fees. This includes no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fees, no maintenance fees, and even no overdraft fees.
Chime is a fintech company, which also means that it has a really good mobile app. Indeed, among bank mobile apps, I’d consider Chime one of the nicest and most intuitive banking apps out there.
Another interesting feature of Chime is how fast it posts transactions. Direct deposits and transfers into the account post 2 days early, which is nice since it means you get access to your money sooner.
In the past, I’ve used Chime as a bank account for all my gig economy earnings. All of my earnings went into my Chime bank account and it was nice that my earnings were deposited faster.
Chime Bank $100 Referral Bonus: Step-By-Step Directions
With that background out of the way, let’s look at how to earn the Chime referral bonus. The process should only take you a few minutes to complete, making this well worth your time – it’s $100 for just a few minutes of work.
Here are the step-by-step directions to earn your $100 Chime referral bonus.
1. Open Your Chime Account Using A Referral Link. To earn the $100 Chime referral bonus, first, you need to open a Chime account using a referral link. Here’s my referral link to open your Chime account. Opening a Chime account should only take you a few minutes.
2. Do A Direct Deposit Of $200 Or More Within 45 Days Of Account Opening. The next step is to do a direct deposit of $200 or more. If your employer allows you to change your direct deposit easily, then you can do it through your employer if you want to do it exactly as the terms require. My wife uses Gusto for her payroll, which makes it really easy to switch banks for direct deposits.
While the terms do say a direct deposit is required, in practice, there are a lot of ways to make Chime think you met this requirement, even if you don’t do a “real” direct deposit. In the past, an ACH transfer from almost any bank account would trigger the bonus, but unfortunately, it seems like Chime has tightened up this requirement a bit. Back when I did the bonus, I did an ACH transfer from Discover Bank, which instantly triggered the bonus. However, these days, most data points seem to show that Discover Bank does not work.
From my research, it seems like your best bet to trigger the direct deposit requirement is by doing an ACH push from a brokerage account. Example brokerage accounts that seem to work include Fidelity and Wealthfront. I would bet that other brokerages like Webull or SoFi Invest could work too (Robinhood could also potentially work). For whatever reason, brokerage account transfers often seem to confuse banks.
To use a brokerage account to trigger the bonus, you’ll of course need to open a brokerage account. Places like Fidelity, Wealthfront, Webull, or SoFi Invest let you do that for free. You’ll then need to move $200 into the brokerage account, link Chime to your brokerage account, then initiate a transfer from your brokerage account to Chime. You’ll be doing all of this in your brokerage account, not on the Chime website, so just be aware of that so you do it correctly. Some brokerages also have a waiting period between when you can move money into the account and move it into a different bank account, so keep that in mind so you don’t miss the time window.
Other than brokerage accounts, a lot of people have also mentioned using Astra, which is an interesting tool that lets you do transfers between different bank accounts. You can also label transactions, so if you use Astra, try labeling the transaction as “payroll.”
If the method you use works, the bonus should post very quickly (usually immediately). If you don’t see the bonus, that means your method didn’t work, so try again with something else. Don’t contact Chime to ask them about the bonus if you didn’t do a real direct deposit.
3. Once The Requirements Are Met, The Bonus Should Post Within 2 Business Days. Once you trigger the direct deposit requirement, the bonus should post either instantly or within 2 business days. If the bonus doesn’t post within 2 business days, try doing a transfer from another bank.
Remember, you need to do an ACH push into your Chime account to trigger the direct deposit requirement. This means logging into your non-Chime bank account, linking Chime to that account, and pushing the money into Chime all from that external account. You don’t do anything from the Chime interface when trying to meet the direct deposit requirement.
Pro-Tip: Refer Your Friends And Earn More Chime Referral Bonuses
When you open your Chime account, you also get your own referral link that you can use to refer other people to Chime. You can currently get $100 for every person that you refer to Chime, up to $1,000 per calendar year.
If you have a spouse or partner, you can refer them and have them follow the same process to earn the referral bonus. They’ll earn $100 for using your referral link and you’ll earn $100 for referring them.
Someone with a two-person household can currently earn $300 with just a few minutes of work. You get $100 for opening your account. Then you get $100 for referring your spouse or partner. And then your spouse or partner gets $100 for using your referral link. This makes Chime a very easy $300 net gain for a two-person household.
Chime is an easy bank account bonus that is a good introduction for beginners new to the world of bank account bonuses. Since it’s a completely free account, you don’t have to worry about managing the account or doing anything with it. I would typically recommend keeping your Chime account open forever so that you can use it for referring people.
The entire process to earn this bonus is really fast, so you should be able to earn your $100 Chime referral bonus with just a few minutes of work. You can open your Chime account and earn your bonus using my Chime referral link.
If you have two people, you’ll make $300 with just a few minutes of work. This makes this referral bonus well worth doing.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into the world of bank account bonuses, I wrote the Ultimate Guide To Bank Account Bonuses, which you should definitely check out. That post goes into a lot of detail about how bank account bonuses work and how you can take advantage of them.