The popular Chime online banking app is currently offering a $100 sign up bonus for new accounts, when using this referral link here.
It’s one of the highest bank bonuses around when compared to other online banking apps – many of which offer $50 bank referral bonus money, or if you’re lucky it’s a $75 bonus.
Needless to say, it’s just one of the many reasons driving people from all walks of life to join Chime, including myself! But I quickly encountered a problem when it came to qualifying for the Chime bank referral bonus of $100.
I suspect others may also run into this same issue, so I wrote this detailed guide to help you get around it, as I did. It’s pretty simple to do and only takes a few minutes to set-up and get your $100 bonus.
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What is Chime Bank
Chime is a leading online financial technology company that partners with The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank N.A. to offer you a checking and savings account. When you join Chime and deposit money into your Chime account, your money is FDIC insured and protected, making it a safe banking option.
As with many other online banking apps, some of Chime’s perks include: a fee-free checking account, fee-free overdraft protection, a high annual percentage yield savings account, and a credit builder option to increase your FICO score.
- Fee-Free Checking Account – You can open a Chime checking account for free and do all your banking on the go via your mobile phone. There’s no minimum balance required, no monthly account fees, and no international transaction fees.
- 60,000+ Fee-Free ATM Network – With Chime, you have access to over 60,000+ Nationwide ATMs available to you free of charge at partner locations. That’s more than the top three national banks combined. However, if using an out-of-network ATM, you will be charged $2.50 per transaction.
- Fee-Free Overdraft Protection – With Chime’s SpotMe feature, you don’t have to pay fees for certain transactions that overdraw your account. Chime will spot you up to $200 depending on your account activity and history, as well as other risk factors.
- High Yield Savings Account – With inflation being at the highest levels we’ve seen in 20 years, it’s nice to make a little extra on saved money. Chime’s free savings account currently offers you 0.50% APY, nearly 8x the national average, on all your saved money.
- Chime Credit Builder – With the Chime secured Visa® Credit Card you’ll be able to safely build your credit using your own money. You pay no annual fees, no interest, and there is no credit check performed in order to apply. This feature can be unlocked once you complete a direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime checking account. Members see an increase of 30 points on average.
- Early Paycheck Direct Deposit – Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit. No need to wait for your money or risk your paycheck getting lost in the mail. Early paycheck is available for free to Chime Checking account members.
- Send and Receive Money – You can now do peer-to-peer money transfers to both Chime members and non-Chime members. And as you may have already guessed, it’s completely free to do. You can pay your friends or family members to their personal bank accounts or to their Chime account, and never pay instant cash-out fees.
Chime does not operate like a traditional bank. There are no physical locations, which is one way Chime is able to keep their operating costs low. They pass along these savings to you. Additionally, according to Chime, there is no impact to your credit score when applying for an account.
Chime $100 Referral Sign Up Bonus
In order to get the Chime bank referral bonus, you need to sign up using a referral link. Sign up using this special invite link to get tagged for the bank bonus reward. You’ll receive $100 once you complete the necessary qualification requirements.
Qualify for Chime Bank Referral Bonus
Below are the 2 qualifying actions needed in order to get your Chime referral bonus.
- You must sign up using a unique referral link. You can use my Chime referral link here.
- You must make a direct deposit of $200 or more within 45 calendar days of opening the account.
Once you complete these actions, the referral reward will generally be provided within two business days. At first glance, it doesn’t seem too hard to qualify for the Chime $100 bonus.
But if you’re like me and don’t have an employer to do a direct deposit, or if you simply don’t want to go through the hassle of changing your current paycheck direct deposit, then this could pose a roadblock for you.
What Counts as a Direct Deposit for Chime
Initially, I was a bit bummed that this requirement would stand between me and a free $100 bill. That is, until I looked further into what counts as a direct deposit for Chime.
According to Chime:
“A qualifying direct deposit is a direct deposit from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT).”
Many banks, not only Chime, require a direct deposit in order to receive the sign up bonus. In general, these types of payments come in on a regular basis, and it helps to ensure that the bank is receiving a steady stream of money.
Here is what Chime deems a non-qualifying direct deposit:
“Bank ACH transfers, Pay Friends transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.”
Though in my Chime bank referral bonus experience, I discovered that an ACH deposit from an unsuspecting mobile grocery app was enough to trigger the Chime sign up bonus.
Ibotta Counts as a Chime Direct Deposit
Ibotta is one of the most frequently used grocery shopping rewards app in the United States. To-date, more than 35 million people have downloaded the app. As an avid user of the app, I’ve earned over $4,650 in cash back rewards in under two years with Ibotta.
Recently, Ibotta rolled out a bank account option as a deposit method for cash back rewards earned. On a whim, I decided to link my Chime Checking account to my Ibotta grocery savings app. I initiated a direct deposit transfer from Ibotta to Chime in the amount of $204.39, and it qualified me for the $100 Chime bank referral bonus.
While I was hoping this method would work, I didn’t actually expect it to happen. So it was a true surprise to say the least. Though in all reality, the Ibotta app may have fallen under the ‘gig app' category for accepted ACH transfers due to their refer-and-earn program. Either way, now that I’ve confirmed that Ibotta qualifies as a Chime direct deposit, I’ll share with you how to set this up yourself.
Ibotta Chime Bank Referral Bonus Setup
Below, I’ve outlined the simple steps needed in order to get your $100 Chime sign-up bonus using Ibotta. Both apps are free to use, so you won’t spend a penny on this setup process!
Sign Up for a Free Ibotta Account
- Download the free Ibotta mobile app or browser extension
- Enter Promo Code KSHAGVC to receive upwards of $20 in free cash
- Find and add offers to your shopping list from over 1,000 retailers
- Do your regular grocery shopping as usual
- Scan your receipts
- Earn Ibotta cash back rewards on all eligible offers
Per Chime bank referral bonus requirements, you’ll need to do a direct deposit of $200 or more to qualify for the bonus. While my Ibotta promo code KSHAGVC will help you get your initial free money, you’ll still need to get up to $200 in cash back rewards before initiating a transfer to Chime.
In this free Ibotta guide, I outline eight ways to make money with Ibotta. Feel free to use it to quickly reach your $200.
Ibotta Withdraw to Chime Bank Account
Below is the procedure for how to link your Chime bank account to Ibotta to withdraw your cash back earnings.
- Go to the Ibotta app on your mobile device
- Tap on the Account tab
- Select the “Withdraw cash” option
- Select the Add new bank account link
- Search for Chime bank using the search bar
- Add your Chime bank checking account number and routing number
Once you’ve connected your checking account, you can go back and select it to cash out your Ibotta earnings. Remember to cash out a minimum of $200 to your Chime bank for this to work properly.
After completing the above steps, I received my $100 Chime bank referral bonus within 2 days. This direct deposit also unlocked the Chime Credit Builder feature for increasing your credit score. So if that’s a feature you’d want to take advantage of, then definitely make sure to complete a qualified direct deposit within 45 days of signing up to Chime.
Other Gig Apps that May Work
With a bit of trial and error, I just so happened to discover that the Ibotta grocery app qualifies as a Chime Direct Deposit. But you don’t have to go the same route as I did.
Chime specifies that gig app ACH deposits qualify for the $100 Chime bonus. So, if you want to make some spare cash outside of your main job, then you can sign up for a gig app and use that for your Chime direct deposit transfer.
- Field Agent – Field Agent is a gig economy app that will pay you to complete small tasks within your area. As an agent, you’ll be able to reserve and complete tasks such as doing a mystery shop, completing surveys, conducting an audit or trying out a new product.
- Observa – Observa is a gig app that will pay you to make observations of products at various store locations including Stop & Shop, Whole Foods, and Target. You’ll have between 2 – 5 hours to complete an observation once you accept it. As soon as your observation is validated, your earnings will instantly be sent to your PayPal account.
- InstaCart – InstaCart is a gig app that will pay you to shop for others. With the InstaCart app, you’ll be able to find grocery orders needing to be fulfilled and dropped off with customers in the area. Simply choose which orders you want to fulfill and get paid to shop and deliver those items.
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Refer Friends to Earn More FREE Money
So now that you’ve earned your $100 Chime sign up bonus, how about sharing the news with family and friends and getting paid for it? It’s a perfect way to make a little extra money with very little effort.
Within your Chime mobile banking app, you’ll find a special referral link unique to you. You can use this link to invite others to join you on Chime. Each time someone uses your referral link to sign up, you’ll earn $100 and your friend will also earn $100 in free money. It’s a win-win situation!
Chime will give you up to $1,000 in free referral bonus money to earn each year.
If you have a spouse or partner, you can quickly earn $300 in bank bonuses. Your first $100 will be allotted to you when you use my invite link and you meet the bank bonus requirements.
Then use your referral link to have your spouse sign up. They’ll earn $100 in the process and you’ll also be awarded $100 for a total of $300. Invite more people for up to $1,000 in Chime bank bonus rewards.
Other Bank Referral Bonus Promotions
If you enjoy nabbing bank referral bonuses as much as I do, then you may also enjoy these other sign up offers as well. I've grabbed them all and have earned thousands of dollars in rewards to date. The Chime bank referral bonus is not the only one out there!
- Upgrade – This fintech banking app offers member benefits such as no monthly fees, 2% cash back rewards, and above average APY on your money. They have a $50 referral bonus offer that doesn’t require you to do a direct deposit.
- SoFi – This fintech company is by far my favorite of them all. They offer early paycheck deposits, free checking and savings accounts, and high APYs on my savings with SoFi Plus. SoFi referral bonuses range from $15 – $300 in free welcome bonus offers
- Varo – This fintech company offers many of the same features of other similar online banking apps. In addition to no monthly maintenance fees on your checking account, they also offer up to $250 in advance money with Varo Advance. Currently, you’ll earn a $30 sign up bonus when you spend $20 within 30 days of opening an account.
- Netspend – is primarily known for its prepaid debit card, but very few people are aware of their 5% high yield savings account. The only way to unlock this is to sign up for a Netspend prepaid card. I have one solely for purposes of accessing the high yield account. They currently offer a $40 cash sign up bonus.
Some people make upwards of $20,000 per year in bank bonuses by simply moving around their money. Chime is just one bank bonus worth checking out. And with the method I shared with you in this step-by-step guide, you’ll even save money on your groceries while earning your bank bonus with Chime!
The $100 Chime Bank Referral Bonus is a limited-time offer. Take advantage of it now before they change up the bonus., Or worse…. They do away with it completely.
- What is Chime Bank
- Chime $100 Referral Sign Up Bonus
- Qualify for Chime Bank Referral Bonus
- Ibotta Counts as a Chime Direct Deposit
- Ibotta Chime Bank Referral Bonus Setup
- Refer Friends to Earn More FREE Money
- Other Bank Referral Bonus Promotions
- Final Thoughts
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