Chime Bank $100 Referral Bonus – Step By Step Guide

Image of Chime on a phone

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: 

  1. Open a new Chime bank account using a referral link (here’s my Chime referral link). 
  2. Make a direct deposit of $200 or more within 45 days of opening your account. 
  3. 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 are the main reasons why:

  • No Fees. Chime has no minimum balance requirement, as well as no monthly fees or maintenance fees. 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 pretty 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. However, the direct deposit requirement can be triggered via ACH transfers from most banks (more about this later in the post)
  • 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. 

With all that said, 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 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 referral bonus
A screenshot from Chime’s website listing their fees – which is no fees at all.

Chime is a fintech company, which also means that it has a good mobile app. Indeed, among banking apps, I’d consider Chime one of the nicest and most intuitive 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. Other banks have started to do this now too, but Chime was one of the pioneers of early deposits.

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 your Chime referral bonus. The process should only take you a few minutes to complete, making this well worth your time – after all, 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. Complete A Direct Deposit Of $200 Or More Within 45 Days Of Account Opening.  The next step is to complete a direct deposit of $200 or more within 45 days of opening your Chime account If your employer allows you to change your direct deposit for your paycheck easily, then I recommend doing that. My wife uses Gusto for her payroll, which makes it really easy for us to switch banks for direct deposits (we just log into the Gusto website and add whatever bank we want).

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 immediately trigger the bonus, but unfortunately, it seems like Chime has tightened up this requirement a little bit. Back when I did the bonus, I did an ACH transfer from Discover Bank, which instantly triggered the bonus. Some people online have said Discover still works but others have said it doesn’t. If you have a Discover Bank account already, I’d recommend doing an ACH push from Discover to your Chime account to see if it works. 

chime referral bonus
I earned my referral bonus by doing an ACH push from Discover Bank to Chime. The bonus posted instantly to my Chime account after completing the ACH push. Unfortunately, it seems like Discover Bank doesn’t work anymore to trigger the direct deposit requirement.

Another data point from Reddit suggests that doing an ACH push from Novo will trigger the direct deposit requirement. This is good because Novo is a business checking account that I personally use and recommend. Even better, Novo has a referral bonus too, so you can open a Novo account, earn the bonus from it, and use it to trigger the direct deposit requirement with Chime. Here’s a post I wrote about Novo and how to earn the referral bonus they offer: Novo Bank $40 Referral Bonus – Step By Step Guide

Finally, I’ve seen data points that say an ACH push from Wells Fargo works to trigger the bonus. Transfers from brokerage accounts may also work, so if you can do a transfer from Fidelity, Wealthfront, Webull, SoFi Invest, or other similar brokerage accounts, it can be worth a shot.

If the method you use works, the bonus should post very quickly (usually immediately after you complete the transfer). If you don’t see the bonus right away, that means your method likely didn’t work, so try again with something else.

Remember, do not 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. The majority of the time, it should post immediately. However, since the terms say it can take 2 business days, you might need to wait 2 business days to be sure. If you don’t see the bonus within that time frame, it means the method you used to trigger the direct deposit requirement didn’t work, so 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 then pushing the money into Chime 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. 

Final Thoughts 

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 highly recommend reading my Ultimate Guide To Bank Account Bonuses, which tells you everything you need to know about bank account bonuses and how they work.