Chase Bank Review: Is a Big Bank Right for You?

The mega bank offers a mega menu of services but is it right for you?

Chase Bank is a global banking powerhouse that claims to serve almost half of the U.S. population. Chase bank is a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which has over $2.6 trillion in assets. Chase has branches in cities across the U.S., and you can work with Chase entirely online. Read our in-depth review to see if Chase Bank is right for you.

What We Like
  • Free checking available from a megabank (with fee waivers)

  • Almost 4,900 Chase-owned branches and 16,000 ATMs in the U.S.

  • Broad selection of bank accounts and credit cards

What We Don't Like
  • Unimpressive interest rates for savings accounts and CDs

  • Potential monthly fees if you don’t qualify for a waiver

  • Limited branch presence outside of metropolitan areas

Who Is Chase Bank Best For?

Chase Bank may be attractive to those who prefer dealing with the resources of a megabank. The products and services available may appeal to anybody who wants to:

  • Use a free checking account—assuming you qualify for a waiver—with online bill pay, a debit card, and paper checks.
  • Minimize bank relationships (and passwords) by opening credit cards and checking accounts at the same institution.
  • Bank in person or use ATMs frequently.
  • Earn rewards for using a credit card.

What Does Chase Bank Offer?

Given the bank’s size, it’s not surprising that Chase Bank has a broad offering of products and services for both individuals and businesses. 

  • Savings accounts
  • Checking accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Credit cards

Chase Savings

The Chase Savings account pays a small amount of interest, but the APY is unimpressive. As of Feb. 24, 2020, the account pays 0.01% APY, while the best high-yield savings accounts elsewhere pay more than 2.00%. This account has a $5 monthly fee, but you can qualify for a fee waiver if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Keep your balance above $300 at the beginning of each day.
  • Save at least $25 per month from a personal Chase checking account or Chase Liquid card.
  • Link a Chase College Checking account, and use the savings account for overdraft protection.
  • You are under the age of 18.
  • Link this account to specific premium Chase checking accounts.

Chase savings accounts allow for six withdrawals per month. No matter what type of withdrawal you make, including withdrawals from a teller or ATM, each transaction counts against your limit. After using up your six withdrawals, you pay $5 for each subsequent withdrawal in the month. 

The Chase withdrawal limit is more stringent than what’s required by Regulation D limits under federal law (which doesn’t restrict certain withdrawals such as ATM and branch withdrawals).

Chase Premier Savings

The Chase Premier Savings account allows you to earn slightly more than the standard Chase Savings account, but the difference is small. To earn higher rates, you must keep a sizable balance in a Chase Premier Plus Checking or Chase Sapphire Checking account—and complete at least five transactions per month in those accounts.

Chase Premier Savings has a $25 monthly maintenance charge, but you might qualify for a waiver if you do one of the following: 

  • Keep at least $15,000 in the account.
  • Open a linked Chase Premier Plus Checking or Chase Sapphire Checking account.

Like the standard Chase Savings account above, withdrawal limits apply.

Chase Total Checking

Chase Total Checking is, according to Chase, the bank’s most popular checking account. With online bill pay and access through a mobile app, this account can easily satisfy the day-to-day checking needs of most people. Key features include:

  • Mobile check deposit
  • ATM check deposit
  • Paper checks
  • Zelle transfers to friends and family

The Total Checking account has a monthly fee of $12, but you can qualify for a waiver by meeting any of the following requirements:

  • Receive direct deposits of at least $500 per month into your account (including ACH transfers from other banks).
  • Keep at least $1,500 in your account.
  • Keep at least $5,000 combined in eligible linked accounts and Total Checking.

If this is your primary checking account, it can work as a free checking account (assuming you earn at least $500 monthly and set up direct deposit).

Chase Premier Plus Checking

The Chase Premier Plus Checking account pays a small amount of interest and provides a few freebies each month. But the interest earnings are negligible at 0.01% APY. If you really want to earn interest in a checking account, you’re probably better off with a high-interest checking account from an online bank.

This account might be appealing to those who have a substantial relationship with Chase. To avoid the $25 monthly fee, you need to meet one of these criteria:

  • Keep your daily balance at $15,000 or higher in qualifying Chase Bank accounts.
  • Have a qualifying Chase mortgage that you pay from your Chase account.

Chase Premier Plus Checking has all of the features of Total Checking. Plus, you receive a few perks, including the highlights below:

  • Four foreign ATM withdrawal fees waived per month (the ATM owner may charge fees, and Chase may charge extra when using a currency besides U.S. dollars)
  • Free basic personal checks, counter checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks
  • Potential monthly fee waivers on additional Chase checking and savings accounts
  • Free or discounted safe deposit boxes

Chase Sapphire Checking

Chase Sapphire Checking offers additional benefits, but the hurdle for banking fee-free is higher. In addition to 24/7 customer support and higher ATM and debit card limits, this account includes:

  • No ATM fees worldwide. Chase does not charge foreign ATM fees with this account, and you receive rebates on fees imposed by ATM owners, as well.
  • Interest on your balance
  • No wire transfer or stop payment fees
  • Four free overdrafts per year
  • Other perks and discounts on additional Chase services

To qualify for a waiver of the $25 monthly fee, you must keep an average balance of $75,000 in eligible accounts or investments with Chase.

Chase Secure Checking

Chase Secure Checking is a no-frills account that may be appealing if you’re just getting on your feet financially. There are no paper checks with this account, but you can pay bills through online bill pay or with your debit card.

  • No minimum deposit required
  • No overdraft fees
  • $4.95 monthly fee

Chase College Checking

Chase College Checking is Chase Bank’s version of student checking. This account is designed for customers who open an account between the ages of 17 and 24. Although there’s a $6 monthly maintenance fee, there are several ways to qualify for a waiver:

  • Be enrolled in college (up to five years)
  • Have a monthly direct deposit into the account
  • Keep an average daily balance of at least $5,000

If you link a Chase Savings account to this one for overdrafts, you’ll pay no monthly fees on the savings account. 

This account might be an easy and affordable option for college students who spend their time studying, as opposed to earning income. 

Chase High School Checking

Want to help your children learn about managing a budget and saving money? The Chase High School checking account is available to kids between the ages of 13 and 17 and has no monthly fee. A parent or guardian with an eligible Chase Bank checking account must be a co-owner on the account, and the account converts to a Total Checking account when the child reaches age 19.

Certificates of Deposit

Chase Bank CDs require $1,000 to open, and you can choose a term ranging from one month to 10 years. Given that Chase Bank is a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, it’s not surprising that rates are somewhat low. To maximize your rate, be sure to qualify for a “relationship rate” with a linked checking account and a purchase of at least $10,000.

These CDs are available for terms of 21, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 60, 84, and 120 months.

Chase Bank CD Rates as of March 19, 2020
Term $0-$9,999.99 $10K-$24,999.99
1- 2- or 3-Month 0.02% 0.02%
6-Month 0.10% 0.20%
9-Month 0.10% 0.20%
12-Month 0.02% 0.02%
15-Month 0.05% 0.15%
18-Month 0.10% 0.20%
21- to 120-Month* 0.10% 0.20%

Like most banks and credit unions, Chase Bank charges early withdrawal penalties on CDS that vary with term length. If you cash out before the CD matures, Chase deducts the penalty, which reduces the amount you receive.

Credit Cards

Chase Bank has a rich lineup of credit cards. Whether you’re building up travel points, pursuing cash back, consolidating debt, or running a business, you have numerous options to choose from. Several highlights include:

Travel Rewards Cards

Cash-Back Credit Cards

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Business Credit Cards

Other Financial Products From Chase Bank

Chase Bank has a broad range of additional products and services:

  • Auto loans
  • Purchase mortgages
  • Refinance mortgages
  • Home equity loans
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
  • IRAs
  • Self-directed trading
  • Managed investment portfolios
  • Financial advisers
  • Private banking
  • Business loans
  • Business checking accounts

Chase Bank Customer Service

Chase Bank earns high marks in customer satisfaction, in part due to customer service. The J.D. Power 2019 U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study shows Chase Bank in first place, which isn’t surprising, given Chase’s resources. It makes sense that the bank would invest in technology, training, and staff to help clients keep their assets at Chase.

Customer service is available by phone seven days per week from 6 a.m. to midnight Eastern time. Business accounts and private client relationships have 24/7 access.

How to Bank With Chase Bank

To open an account, visit Chase.com or go into a branch to open an account. If you have questions, call 1-800-935-9935. You’ll need to provide personal information when opening an account, which is normal (and required by law) for any financial institution in the U.S.

The Bottom Line

Benefits

Chase Bank has the resources to offer a wide range of choices for businesses and consumers. If you earn at least $500 per month, there’s a good chance that you can use a checking account at Chase Bank with no monthly fee. You can also choose from a variety of credit cards that help you make the most of your spending. Chase Bank’s technology makes it easy to manage your accounts, and you can move money to other banks (if, say, you want to earn more interest) at no charge. Plus, you have access to branches in major metropolitan areas.

Drawbacks

Like many brick-and-mortar banks, Chase Bank pays miserable rates on savings accounts, CDs, and interest-bearing checking accounts. Plus, you could pay monthly fees on your bank accounts that add up to more than you earn in interest. If you keep more than a few thousand dollars in a savings account, it probably makes sense to open an online bank account elsewhere and keep your savings there.

Article Sources

  1. Chase Bank. "About Chase Bank." Accessed Feb. 27, 2020.

  2. Chase Bank. "Savings Account." Accessed Feb. 27, 2020.

  3. Chase Bank. "Chase Certificates of Deposit Interest Rates." Accessed March 19, 2020.

  4. J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study." Accessed Feb. 27, 2020.