July 11, 2022
Build your credit

The Chime Credit Card vs. The Cleo Credit Builder Card: Which Is Better?

Which is the best card for building your credit score?

So you wanna unf*ck your credit score? We’re here for it. 

Like, literally, we have a secured credit card for that.

If you’re reading this it means you’re deciding between the Chime Credit Builder and the Cleo Credit Builder Card*. You’re looking at other cards behind our back? That’s fine. We’re FINE.  

Seriously, we would always advise doing thorough research and shopping around to find the best option for you when it comes to fixing your financial health. We want you to have the best experience for whatever your specific money needs are. 

Here we’re gonna explain what each card does, laying out their similarities and differences, so you can work out which is best for you: the Cleo Credit Builder Card or the Chime Credit Builder. 

The main differences come with each card’s fees and features. But let’s start with the basics they have in common. 

They’re both secured cards 🔒

This is how both cards work, and how they can help you build credit. 

When you think of a traditional credit card, you’re probably thinking of an unsecured card. An unsecured credit card is a bank offering you a line of credit that’s not backed by anything. This means:

🥴 Banks have to be really picky about who they give credit to.

🥴 It’s ridiculously easy to spend more than you can afford to spend and end up in debt.

So you’re spending money that isn’t yours. If you can’t pay it back, this could ruin your credit score. 

A secured card, on the other hand, is a type of card where you add money to a security deposit ahead of time. That money becomes your credit limit and then you can spend that money throughout the month.

Usually, because you can only spend up to your credit limit, which is the money you’ve added to your security deposit, this means: 

🧐Banks are more chilled about who gets one.

🧐It’s much more difficult to spend money you don’t have.

In our humble opinion, this makes it better to build your credit history over time than a card that doesn’t have a security deposit - and therefore no limit to your drunken Amazon impulse buys.

They’re also ‘Secure’ as in ~they’re very safe~, too, but we’ll get to that further down. 

So to summarize, with both cards:

🔔💙You add money to your security deposit 

🔔💙Spend wherever visa is accepted 

🔔💙Enable auto repayment - because making payments on time is what helps builds your credit score 

🔔💙Your payment history is reported to the credit people. They think you’re great. You fall in love with your credit score. It’s happily ever after all around. 

⚖️ The verdict? It’s a tie - both Cleo and Chime are set up to help you work on your credit. It’s the rest of the features that set them apart. 

How do you qualify?

For the Cleo Credit Builder Card: 

💙 There are no credit checks.

💙 The minimal balance is $1

💙 You just have to connect your existing bank account to Cleo and pass a basic identity check.

For the Chime Credit Builder:

🔔There are no credit checks.

🔔There’s no minimum balance.

🔔With Chime, you have to create and connect a Chime Online Checking Account, and Chime recommends having your paychecks attached to this account. 

⚖️ The verdict? Cleo wins in terms of ease for this one, given you can just connect to your existing bank account. 

Are Cleo and Chime both safe?

The short answer is: yes. 


At Cleo:

💙 We never store or access your banking login details

💙We use world-class security practices 

💙We have a $250,000 security pledge

💙We use the same level of encryption as your bank

At Chime:

Chime takes your security seriously, too. Check out the details of their security, privacy, and protection measures here

⚖️ The verdict? It’s a tie - both are super safe. 

Fees and Pricing


🔔 Chime is free, making its money by taking a portion of transaction fees. 


💙 We offer a completely free version of our app and ask for a membership fee to access premium features. Once you subscribe to our Credit Builder tier you can apply for the Credit Builder Card. 

⚖️ The verdict?  If you're willing to open a bank account with Chime, then Chime looks to be the better option in terms of price.


What we think really sets Cleo apart is everything else that comes with using Cleo



💙 To apply for the Credit Builder Card, you sign up for a Cleo Builder account. The fee is $14.99 a month, which is $179.88 a year. 

This also includes access to a ton of special features, including our cash advance feature**, to help you escape the payday lending cycle and improve your financial health. If you’re a Cleo Builder Subscriber, we can spot you up to $120**.

If you’re someone who overdrafts regularly, then you can avoid those overdrafts using the cash advance feature.  Statistically, if you overdraft once, you’ll overdraft two more times. 

This can add up to $100s in fees to the bank. If you avoid overdrafting three times in a year with the cash advance feature, you’ve already made your membership fee back.

We’re not done yet. Cleo Builder also gives you access to:

💙 Managing your monthly ins and outs, categorizing your spends (which you can then alter), helping you set spending limits and create a personalized budget. 

💙 Roast mode, if you need to be held accountable for your terrible spending habits. With this, Cleo throws harsh burns about how much you’ve spent and how little you’ve saved in the last few days, weeks, months, and year.

💙 Alternatively, if what you actually need is encouragement, hype mode is for you. Instead of burns, Cleo looks at your money wins and throws all the good vibes at you that you can handle. 

💙 The Know Your Bills 🚀 feature helps you get on top of bills and cathartically shoot them into space (not literally, sorry). 

💙 Cashback rewards** (get money back when you spend at some of your fave stores)

💙 Weekly Cleo quizzes with cash prizes provide even more opportunities to save some cash.  


🔔 Instead of charging you an overdraft fee, Chime allows you to overdraft up to $200 with no fees.

⚖️ The verdict? OK, so Chime allows you to overdraft up to $200, but Cleo can spot you up to $120 withhaving to overdraft. That keeps your balance positive and gives you a bit more control. 

You also get all the cool features we mentioned above. 

Obviously, we think Cleo is pretty great for her own unique reasons

But we try not to be biased. (In fact, we’re so unbiased we even made an article on the best apps of 2022 and put Cleo at the very end - humble queen). 

Enjoy this post? Give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference. Big love. Cleo 💙

*The Credit Builder Card is issued by WebBank, Member FDIC pursuant to a license from Visa USA Inc. Access to the Card is subject to approval.

**Cash advance and cashback rewards are a feature of the Cleo Builder Subscription and not a feature of the Cleo Credit Builder Card.

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Michael will get you through a hangover

Things are tough right now and turns out, pandemics don’t spare your finances. On a mission to help where we can, we made Random Acts of Relief. Long story short – Michael gifted some money to someone in need and left this truly iconic note alongside it. We did what anyone with an aching desire for words of affirmation right now would do and hit him up for MORE.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

signing up takes
2 minutes

Talking to Cleo and seeing a breakdown of your money.