Is Chime Available in Canada? Nope, But There Are Alternatives

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 20 Jul 2023

Chime mobile banking logo on the laptop screen on a desk

Have you ever heard of Chime? It’s a popular banking app in the United States that has gained quite a following. With its sleek design, user-friendly features, and no hidden fees, it’s no wonder that many Canadians have been eagerly awaiting its arrival north of the border. Unfortunately, Chime is not yet available in Canada. But don’t fret! We’ve got you covered with a list of Canadian alternatives that offer similar services and benefits. In this article, we’ll explore why Chime is not in Canada (yet), our favorite Canadian alternatives for savings accounts, chequing accounts, card payments, and personal loans, and wrap up with some final thoughts. So, let’s dive in!

What is Chime?

Chime is a mobile banking app that aims to make banking more accessible and hassle-free. It offers features like free chequing accounts, early access to direct deposits, automatic savings plans, and more. With its user-friendly interface and innovative features, Chime has gained significant popularity in the United States, attracting millions of users.

However, despite its success in the United States, Chime has not expanded its services to Canada just yet. This has left many Canadians wondering why they are unable to access the benefits and convenience that Chime offers. So why is Chime not available in Canada? Let’s take a closer look.

Why is Chime not available in Canada?

There are a few reasons why Chime has yet to make its way north. One of the main hurdles is the regulatory landscape. Canada has different banking regulations than the United States, which means that Chime would need to navigate a whole new set of rules and regulations to operate in Canada. This process can be time-consuming and complex, requiring Chime to establish partnerships with Canadian financial institutions and comply with various legal requirements.

Another factor is the competitive nature of the Canadian banking market. Canadian banks have been quick to adapt their own mobile banking apps and offer similar features to those found in Chime. These platforms often offer features such as free checking accounts, early access to direct deposits, and automatic savings plans, making them comparable to Chime.

With established financial institutions already offering comparable services, Chime would face stiff competition in the Canadian market. This poses a significant challenge for Chime in terms of market penetration and gaining a competitive edge.

Although faced with challenges, Chime has shown interest in expanding its services to Canada. To facilitate this expansion, Chime has established an office in Vancouver and plans to hire 100 employees there. Additionally, the company has legally incorporated in Canada, indicating its intention to launch its services in the country. While we anticipate Chime’s availability in Canada in the near future, there are currently excellent alternative options that you can begin using today.

Our Favourite Canadian Alternative to Chime For Savings Accounts: EQ Bank

When it comes to finding the perfect savings account in Canada, alternatives to Chime exist that offer similar benefits and convenience. One of our absolute favorites is EQ Bank. With its commitment to providing exceptional digital banking services, EQ Bank has become a go-to choice for many Canadians.

EQ Bank is among the best online banks in Canada and offers high-interest savings accounts with no monthly fees. This means that you can save your hard-earned money without worrying about additional charges eating into your savings. Plus, EQ Bank ensures that your money works for you by offering a competitive interest rate on your savings.

But what sets EQ Bank apart from other Canadian alternatives? One standout feature is the accessibility it provides. With EQ Bank, you have the freedom to access your funds at any time, from anywhere. Whether you’re at home or on the go, you can conveniently manage your savings through their user-friendly mobile banking app.

EQ Bank also understands that flexibility is key when it comes to personal finance. That’s why they offer a unique Savings Plus Account that combines the benefits of a savings account with the flexibility of a chequing account. This means you can enjoy the best of both worlds by earning interest on your savings while still having the convenience of writing cheques and making bill payments.

It’s important to note that while EQ Bank may not have all the bells and whistles of Chime, it offers a solid alternative for those seeking a user-friendly banking experience. With EQ Bank, you can trust that your money is in good hands as they are a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), providing you with peace of mind knowing that your deposits are protected.

So, if you’re a Canadian looking to save money and earn interest on your savings, EQ Bank is definitely worth considering. With its competitive interest rates, no monthly fees, and convenient digital banking services, EQ Bank is a great option to help you achieve your financial goals.

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Our Favourite Canadian Alternative to Chime For Chequing Accounts: National Bank of Canada

The National Bank of Canada (NBC) is a great alternative to Chime for chequing accounts in Canada for several reasons. First and foremost, the bank offers a Newcomers program specifically designed to assist immigrants coming to Canada. This offer provides invaluable support by giving access to a team available 7 days a week to answer immigration-related questions. 

Furthermore, the offer allows individuals to easily open a bank account online up to 90 days before their arrival in Canada, facilitating a smooth transition. Additionally, the Newcomers offer includes a National Bank Mastercard® credit card with no credit history required and no annual fee, making it an attractive option for newcomers to establish their financial footing.

In terms of money transferring fees, NBC provides cost-effective options. Transfers between NBC clients are free, ensuring seamless transactions within the bank’s network. For Interac e-Transfers, the fee is waived if the account has a monthly package such as The Modest® Chequing Account, which costs $10.95 per month but is free with an account balance of more than $3.000. However, if not for that, the fee for Interac e-Transfers is only $1.25 per transfer, making it an affordable choice for most users. International transfers through NBC incur a fee of $5.95 per transfer, offering a reasonable cost for sending money abroad.

The bank also provides a user-friendly mobile banking app, ensuring easy access to account information and transactions on the go. Furthermore, NBC offers additional perks like cash back rewards and discounts on select products and services. While NBC offers a great chequing account, we still recommend that you compare Canadian chequing accounts to find one that best suits your needs.

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Our Favourite Canadian Alternative to Chime For Card Payments: KOHO

If you’re looking for a Canadian alternative to Chime for your card payments, KOHO is an excellent choice. With its range of features and benefits, KOHO provides a convenient and secure way to manage your money.

One of the standout features of KOHO is its free Easy plan, which gives you access to a Virtual or Physical prepaid credit card. With this plan, you can earn 1% cash back on transportation and groceries, allowing you to save money on everyday expenses. Additionally, KOHO offers 0.5% interest on your spendable money, giving you a small return on your balance. The mobile app provided by KOHO allows you to track your spending habits and provides the ability to freeze your card if it gets stolen, ensuring peace of mind and security.

Moreover, KOHO goes beyond the basics with extra cashback rewards when shopping with their partners. This means that you can earn even more rewards on specific purchases, maximizing your savings potential.

For those who want additional benefits, KOHO offers a paid Everything plan priced at $19 per month. With the Everything plan, you gain access to KOHO’s Premium prepaid card, which provides numerous advantages. You can enjoy 2% cashback on groceries, eating & drinking, and transportation, and a remarkable 6% cashback on all bookings made through The plan also offers a 4% interest rate on your spendable money, allowing your balance to grow over time. Additionally, the Premium card has no foreign exchange fees, provides one free international ATM withdrawal per month, and enables real-time Interac e-Transfers.

Overall, KOHO offers a comprehensive package for Canadians seeking an alternative to Chime for card payments. With its range of benefits, including cashback rewards, interest on spendable money, and a user-friendly mobile app, KOHO provides a secure and convenient way to manage your finances.

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Our Favourite Canadian Alternative to Chime For Personal Loans: GoPeer

goPeer is a leading peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform in Canada, offering a fantastic alternative to Chime for personal loans. By connecting creditworthy Canadians seeking loans with everyday Canadians looking to invest, goPeer revolutionizes the lending landscape in the country.

One of the significant advantages of goPeer is its ability to offer better rates to borrowers compared to traditional lenders. This means that individuals can access personal loans at competitive rates, making it an attractive option for various needs, including home improvements, unexpected costs, vehicle expenses, medical bills, and major purchases. Additionally, goPeer allows borrowers to consolidate multiple types of debts, including credit card debt and medical debt, at lower rates than what they might be paying on a credit card.

With goPeer, borrowers can borrow up to $35,000 and enjoy rates starting from 8% APR. The platform also offers a convenient pre-qualification process that allows individuals to check their rates without impacting their credit score. Applying for a peer-to-peer loan through goPeer is fast and easy, with an online application that can be completed within minutes from the comfort of one’s home.

To be eligible for a goPeer loan, individuals must be 18 years or older, have a credit score of at least 600, possess a regular source of income exceeding $15,000 per year, hold a Canadian bank account, and have been a Canadian resident for at least three years. These requirements make goPeer accessible to a broad range of borrowers.

goPeer’s P2P lending platform offers Canadians a compelling alternative to traditional lenders like Chime. With competitive rates, a streamlined application process, and the support of fellow Canadians, goPeer empowers individuals to achieve their financial goals while fostering a sense of community and financial well-being. Nonetheless, we always recommend comparing personal loans in Canada to find a loan that best suits your needs.

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The Bottom Line

Although Chime is currently unavailable in Canada, there are several alternative options available that provide similar benefits and services. If you’re looking for a savings account, EQ Bank is a highly recommended choice. For a chequing account, the National Bank of Canada is a valid option. If you prefer card payments, KOHO is an excellent alternative, and if you’re in need of personal loans, goPeer can provide appealing options. Rest assured, there are choices that cater to all your requirements. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and compare financial products before making a decision. Consider factors such as fees, interest rates, convenience, and customer reviews to identify the best fit for your needs.

Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications