About ChimpChange

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff

If you’re looking to wire money directly to or from your bank account, you’re really only limited to services like Western Union and MoneyGram, or through your bank. The problem is that, regardless of which option you choose (and the amount of money involved), you could spend a lot in fees during the process.

To disrupt this trend, ChimpChange promises to provide a digital banking platform where customers can easily and reliably send, spend, and manage their money for less. This involves two parts: 1) an iOS or Android app and 2) a prepaid MasterCard, which are linked. What does this accomplish?

Using ChimpChange’s app, we’re told you’ll be able to send money in real time to other ChimpChange users, as well as to anyone with a cell phone, while “managing your money on the go.” Then, with ChimpChange’s MasterCard, you’ll be able to make in-store and online purchases almost anywhere in the world—and even withdraw from any ATM with a MoneyPass logo.

In a nutshell, ChimpChange promises to help you send payments and do all your daily transactional banking from a single app—for less than a traditional bank.

Given this, ChimpChange claims they’re out to disrupt the banking industry, based on lower fees and simplicity. But is ChimpChange a good option for everyone? Are there other options competing in the same space? Will it really help you save money?

In order to make sure you have all the information you need, there are several big concepts to tackle, which we’ll walk you through here. To begin, let’s take a closer look at how ChimpChange works.

Funding Your ChimpChange Account & Checking Your Balance

Step 1: Download the App & Activate Your Card

To set up you ChimpChange account, the first thing you’ll need to do is download the iOS or Android app. Then, you’ll be required to enter your personal details, accept the terms, and enter the 5-digit verification code sent to you via SMS.

Once your ChimpChange app has been activated, you’ll also need to activate your MasterCard. First, log back into your app, go to the Settings screen, select Activate Card, and then enter the last 4 digits of your card, as well as your entire social security number.

Note: According to the company, this is required by law as part of the US Patriot Act. However, ChimpChange never sees or stores this information.

Step 2: Verify Your Bank Account

Although the exact steps you’ll need to take here depend on the banking institution, you’ll basically need to transfer funds from your bank account to your ChimpChange account (which is why it’s called a prepaid card). But first, you’ll need to link and verify your bank account before you can load your ChimpChange account with funds.

To do this, you’ll need to go to the Transfer Funds section of your online bank account and add an external account. Here, you’ll enter the routing and account numbers found on the back of your ChimpChange card.

Over the next 2-3 days, your bank will make two small deposits into your ChimpChange account. Once they post, you’ll need to log back into your bank account, enter the amounts to complete verification, and you’re all set.

If you choose, you can also link your ChimpChange account with a PayPal account.

Step 3: Load (or Unload) Your ChimpChange Card

Now that you have a way to fund your ChimpChange account, it’s time to transfer money, which you should be able to quickly accomplish by logging into your online bank account.

Step 4: Sending & Receiving Money

After loading, you’ll need to log into your ChimpChange app by entering your cell number and password, your 4-digit PIN, or Touch ID, select the Send Money Icon. Then, touch the Send To field to open your contacts and choose the person you want to send money to, and enter how much you’d like to send in the Amount field. You can include a memo if you like.

ChimpChange AppWe’re told that sending money through the ChimpChange app is as easy as a few taps.

Finally, you’ll be shown a confirmation page. Once you’re ready to go, select Confirm to send your funds, and you’ll receive a receipt for the transaction via email.

Unloading money from ChimpChange back to your bank account works much the same way, just in reverse.

Alright, so we’ve covered ChimpChange’s ease of use. Now let’s cover their other claim to fame: lower cost.

What Are ChimpChange’s Fees & Eligibility Criteria?

How Much Does a ChimpChange Account Cost?

Signing up for a ChimpChange account is completely free, doesn’t require a credit check, and comes with no minimum balance requirement. You also won’t be subject to any monthly fees as long as you spend, withdraw, or load money at least once every 60 days.

If you don’t use your card at least once every 2 months, you’ll be charged a $4.95 inactivity fee per month. ChimpChange claims they’ll send you a reminder before this occurs.

Other potential fees include being charged $1.50 each time you withdraw money through a bank teller, and $1.95 every time you withdraw money from an ATM that doesn’t display the MoneyPass logo. You’ll even be charged $0.50 for checking your balance at an ATM!

Important note: Also, keep in mind that if you load funds at 7-11, CVS, K-Mart, Rite Aid, Walgreens, or Walmart, they will charge you an additional fee of $4.95. To avoid loading fees altogether, you can complete a form and hand it to your employer in order to have funds direct deposited to your ChimpChange account.

For a more complete look at potential fees, be sure to check out ChimpChange’s Pricing page. The good news is that for every fee, the company seems to go the extra mile and provide suggestions on how to minimize or avoid them.

Does ChimpChange Have Strict Eligibility Criteria?

All ChimpChange accounts are offered through Eagle Bank and Trust Company of Missouri or Central Bank of Kansas City. In order to qualify for one, you’ll have to be aged 18 or older, with a US SSN and a US residential address. However, ChimpChange accounts are not available to residents of CT, NH, RI, or VT.

When loading your ChimpChange card, you’ll only be able to transfer up to $2,500 each time, with a maximum of 2 loads per day. Daily withdrawals max out at $1,000, while you can make up to $1,500 in purchases per day. The account maximum is $10,000.

Have other pricing or eligibility questions? ChimpChange’s customer service department can be reached at 855-HICHIMP (855-442-4467).

How do ChimpChange’s fees compare to other methods of transferring money?

Does ChimpChange Have Any Competition?

Until very recently, there’s no doubt that traditional banks were sticking it to their customers when it came to transferring money. After all, according to MyBankTracker, these fees can reach as high as $30 to send money, and up to $20 to receive it.

However, this increasingly isn’t the case anymore. What do we mean? Likely to keep their customers happy (and to respond to competition like ChimpChange), many larger banks no longer charge fees to transfer money from one bank to another.

Perhaps the best-known example of this is Chase’s QuickPay, although there are increasingly popular options like TD Bank’s Person-to-Person Payment, Wells Fargo’s Sure Pay, Bank of America’s send money service, and more. And if you’re looking to move outside of traditional banks you have even more options, including well-known services like PayPal, as well as up-and-comers like Google Wallet, Square Cash, Venmo, and many more.

Obviously, if you’re just looking for a mobile banking app or for a prepaid debit card (which might not offer all the same features as ChimpChange), you’ve got even more options.

The point? ChimpChange has a lot of competition vying for your business.

Who Founded ChimpChange? Is the Company Getting Good Reviews?

ChimpChange is the brainchild of 34-year old Australian Ash Shilkin, who claims he first had a vision of “zapping money to each other using [a] wristwatch” back when he was 14, which eventually led him to the company’s creation.

Prior to founding ChimpChange, Ash worked within the climate industry, first as CFO of CO2 Australia and then as Director of Yonderr.com. Today, he’s based out of Los Angeles, CA.

Despite being in business since 2011, there were few online customer reviews for the ChimpChange service at the time of our review. We found one detailed writeup in The Sydney Morning Herald back in April 2015, which is outdated, with little feedback elsewhere.

ChimpChange’s iOS and Android apps had well over 1,000 reviews, however, with 3.5 and 3.8-star ratings, respectively. There, most users seemed to be pleased with the app’s ease of use.

On the other hand, common complaints cited declined transactions (even with money in the account), inactivity fees if you don’t use the card regularly, and less-than stellar customer support (specifically, long wait times for replies, even in emergency situations).

Should You Open a ChimpChange Account?

Considering everything we’ve covered so far, let’s walk through this last part, step by step:

Exactly What Is ChimpChange?

Here at HighYa, we enjoy helping you clear away the hype, so that you can take a fresh look at a product through the lens of what you need (instead of what a company’s marketing department wants you to believe). From this perspective, ChimpChange is basically just a prepaid debit card with a fairly useful (at least according to most customers) app.

ChimpChange Pros & Cons

Outside of their app, the biggest difference between most other prepaid debit cards is that with ChimpChange, you’ll be subject to very few fees, which could save you a ton of money if used on a regular basis.

However, with ChimpChange, we think you might experience many of the same downsides as traditional prepaid debit cards. Like what? Here are a few examples:

  • If you already have a checking account (which you’ll need in order to fund your ChimpChange account), it’s very likely that you already have a debit card. So, for point of sale purchases, you’ll likely be able to use it at just as many retail locations—without having to transfer money beforehand.
  • Speaking of which, like many other prepaid debit cards, it can take a couple days for transferred funds from your bank to show up in your ChimpChange account. So, if you’re relying on it as your primary payment method and you quickly run out, you could be short on money for an uncomfortable period of time.
  • If you have an account with one of the larger banks, they very likely offer a low- or- no-fee service that allows you to transfer money between individuals, or even businesses, which means you won’t have to create yet another new account or download another app.

Other Important ChimpChange Considerations

Are there any other important aspects about ChimpChange you should keep in mind? Outside of everything we’ve discussed so far, one of ChimpChange’s main claimed benefits is that they can make “transactional banking” much easier, which typically references handling day-to-day finances.

However, we’d have to wonder how easy it would be to consistently pay bills through your ChimpChange account. After all, you’d still have to transfer money from your primary bank account to make sure there are adequate funds, which seems like it’s only complicating the process by adding another step (not to mention that the transfer process can take days). On the other hand, by knowing exactly what’s in your account at any time, ChimpChange might make a useful budgeting tool.

Instead, we think ChimpChange might work best for someone who frequently transfers money to other individuals (at least once every couple months, in order to avoid fees). Also, if you’re a US resident and plan on going overseas for a short, ChimpChange might offer a relatively easy solution for avoiding many associated bank fees.

Do you use ChimpChange? If so, for what? What do you like and dislike? Tell us your opinions by writing a review below!

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25 Consumer Reviews for ChimpChange

Average Consumer Rating: 1.7
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 3 3 star: 0 2 star: 1 1 star:  19
Bottom Line: 24% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 25
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  • Just started

    • California,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just started using ChimpChange a few months back and I haven't had a problem yet. The other mobile banking I use is Chime, and to get an account with Simple is not as simple all.

    In all, I think ChimpChange is pretty cool so far. I have not received my card, and that was like a week ago. So yes, I would recommend ChimpChange to a friend. They are better than Simple online banking.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Updated review

    Update

    • Ohio,
    • Aug 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    After multiple attempts to call customer service, and being put into endless callback loops, I finally got through to customer service and they told me my account was frozen because "the Mastercard notified them two weeks ago that the number was compromised," however, they never even attempted to notify me by mail, email, or phone, they just canceled the card. Now, at my request, they are sending me a new card, but I had to ask for it, and now it will be over three weeks that I will be unable to access my money. I'm relieved they aren't insolvent, but I still can't trust them. I won't deposit any more money in this account.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Previous review
    • Aug 15, 2018

    I'm not going to use it anymore

    I've been locked out a couple of times over the last year, and a few times it has been declined, even though the funds were in the account. Overall it was OK, but today it was declined, I went to check my balance on the app and it said my device needed to be verified. This was the same device I have had the app on for a year, but it never sent the verification code via SMS. I've resent and tried it all day, but no luck. I have received SMS from ChimpChange, so they definitely have my correct card and online I am able to verify I have funds, but the card is declined and the app won't let me in. I have now stopped my direct deposit into the card, hopefully I can get my money out and be done.

    (read moreread less...)

  • Disappointed customer

    • New Jersey,
    • Aug 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've had an ongoing problem with ChimpChange for over a week now. I've called and called and called and can never seem to get in touch with anyone ever. I've had my account blocked for the past week since I told them I lost my card, and now I can't reach anyone to be able to take care of this. I've been on hold today alone for the past 5 hours, this is ridiculous. Never again will I use this service and I can promise you one thing, I will never let anyone I know use this garbage either.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Scam, do not buy

    • Richmond, TX,
    • Jul 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    So I was trying to deposit personal checks into my account which they said they could open a minor account to do so, then I turn around and talk to someone and they tell me that it's not possible on this card type. This was AFTER I tried depositing my checks, so instead I ended up going to the bank to cash them, then when I did get ahold of someone else, they say that it was going to deposit and that it was pending. But. when I looked in the account it didn’t show anything at all. I had told them if it was pending to just cancel it because I cashed them and the entire time, the checks were posted but they somehow managed to take the money themselves and the bank I went to cash them at, the original bank, is now trying to press charges.

    Als, ChimpChange has locked me out and deleted my account because I called and they said the account was “not found,” then they had me on hold for over an hour just to hang up. I have a 1-year-old son and I’m trying to make ends meet with the bank to see if the four checks I tried depositing here and see if I can just pay them that back. I have a life to live and a son to raise, jail is not my thing. I’ve NEVER gone through anything like this until I opened up THIS account in particular. I’d give no stars if possible.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    No access to my money

    • Nevada,
    • Jul 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It has been an anxiety roller coaster ride on steroids. The card declined my purchase, and then froze my account and blocked my access to my account. It has been over a week and I finally got a live person on the phone. After seven disconnects, five beat around the bush emails and late charges on a bill I was to pay, plus loss of customers! I was told I could get into my account, which is when I found multiple declines from who knows what companies as there was no company information. The denials were staggering. I wasn't allowed to spend my money, only allowed to view my information. I can't get through to them again to find out if I'm charged or the declines or not. I have sent countless varied emails and set up an appointment for another day as they had no available agents. It's my money and they're messing up. Even if I had authorized the unknown attempts to get money from my card, they are denied.

    I want to know where my money is and what they have to say to explain my additional fees due to the denied attempts to pay bills and generate my customers. Do not chance the Chimp Change. Even those past purchases I did authorize on my first deposit are nowhere to be found in history. They are not honest, and they avoid their customers regardless of the customers being in dire need of help! Run fast!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Don't use this card

    • Victorville, CA,
    • Jun 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I lost my card and they ordered me a new one 15 days ago, but I still haven't gotten my new card. I have been on the phone with this company for the last three days only to be transferred to someone else and being put on hold for another hour and then being disconnected before anyone answers. I am on hold right now on my other phone, and as of now, it's been one hour and eight minutes and still no answer. I have gone on the mobile app and transferred all my money off of this card, which will take another 2 to 3 days, but at least I won't have to deal with these people anymore. My opinion is, don't use this card.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Below one star

    • Dunsmuir, CA,
    • Feb 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This prepaid card is a joke. I was on vacation and got locked out because I took money out at an ATM and then wouldn't work to pay for room and I have not been able to get my balance sent back. I will post negative feedback every day on Facebook to tell how lousy it is.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    SCAM. They took my money.

    • Detroit, MI,
    • Feb 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received several advertisements inviting me to have my tax refund deposited into a ChimpChange account, so I signed up. After I got the card, I tried to set up direct deposit, but it got rejected. I've never had this happen before, so when I researched it, turns out they needed a bank statement to verify that this is my account. ChimpChange refused to provide me with any type of statement and told me I could just log into theirs if I want to see my bank account. I explain to them what I needed, and they said they don't have the capability to give me a bank statement.

    It just left a bad taste in my mouth, but my tax refund is coming, so I left the accounts it until the IRS deposited the funds. A few hours after my refund was deposited, they locked my account up and wouldn't let me use the card. I called in to find out what the problem was, and he told me that it was due to the fact that I only had a tax refund on the account and no direct deposit activity. Furthermore, they wanted to confirm my identity. Again. I mentioned the fact that I had called support before, trying to get direct deposit to work, but they refused to provide me with any type of documentation that the account was mine, so I had no choice but to only have my tax return on this card. Support didn't care about that, they just wanted me to send in more documents regarding my identity, including my tax return and my driver's license.

    I immediately sent in my tax return and my driver's license, and they didn't respond. I asked again if they would unlock my account, and they told me I needed to send in my documents. I sent the documents again, and they still didn't respond.

    So now they have several thousand dollars of mine locked up in an account that I cannot touch. They won't provide me documentation of the existence of the account, they won't accept direct deposits, and they refused to answer my support request.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    No problems

    • Tampa, FL,
    • Feb 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've had no problems with ChimpChange thus far. I ordered my card last summer and had never loaded it with funds. My account was not closed, nor was I charged any fees. I started direct deposit with this card (not the whole check but just a percentage), and the money was deposited on time (I never believe or expect any prepaid card to deposit "early" so I have no surprises). I've been able to use the card and access my funds all over town.

    My only complaint is that I used the card at the gas pump and it's holding $75 until the purchase of $25 in gas is complete. That's on me; that is typical of a prepaid card and for some reason, I thought ChimpChange was an actual bank, not a prepaid card. The additional held funds will be released in a few days, and I'll be fine.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 3 people found this review helpful

    ChimpChange

    I ordered a card from ChimpChange, and I didn't upload any money on it. When I went to log in one day to check it out, they closed my account and they also closed all my family's accounts. Also, this company is nothing but a joke. Stay away. Do not order this card; they like to steal your money anyways.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Feb 26, 2018

      Mr.Roads

      Sounds like people that are having problems are just too stupid for your own good. Get some common sense and then reapply, you shouldn't have any problems. First of all, you should always verify your identity first, at least go load a few dollars at a MoneyPass center to make sure everything is working. Now, there are problems even before sending your whole tax check to them, that's just you being idiotic. You deserve what you get. If your not smart enough to figure that one out. Dumb as a rock LOL.

      This is another fool. They closed your account when you never even used it, logged in one day, and it was closed. If you never used it then, of course, they will close it. So giving one-star and saying "no they will take your money anyway," well you're an idiot. Really, you just told us that you never used it and that it got closed, so how do you know they take your money? You are a real smart one, I tell you. If I was them, I would do a stupid check before issuing a card if the person's just plain dumb as a rock like you and this is just another knucklehead. I wouldn't even waste my time sending you a card. Y'all are a disgrace to the human race, just dumb as rocks. God, I swear, smh.

      I'm outta here, but just to say that I've verified my identity, got my card activated it via the app, although I've never linked a bank account I load money at Walgreens and CVS Money Pass locations and have never had a problem. I've sent money, spent money with ease, I never link my personal bank account to anything just for security issues but you can load this card for 4.95 at Walgreens and CVS. It is an awesome card with no fees as long as you use it, even to just buy something for a dollar every few months. I use this when I sign up for things and don't want people to have my real debit card number. It works out great for me, hope some smart people will leave feedback. I don't care about chump change as a company but I do hate when people leave idiotic bad reviews because they are too stupid to set up and use a simple prepaid app or debit card.

      Thanks for your time.

      Sincerely, R Roads

    • Feb 28, 2018

      Wg

      Mr. Roads what a rude thing to say. You are talking like that but you don't understand.

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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    They keep your money away from you.

    I am ultimately disappointed with this whole ChimpChange experience.

    I still cannot access my money! This is "bull," and I believe against the law to keep people from their money for more than two days and it has been longer than that.

    I promise you I will spread the word about how horrible I was treated and how horrible ChimpChange's policy is.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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