Will WaMu customers accept Chase?

What about free checking?

For the typical WaMu retail customer, free checking was an important feature. Chase has free checking also, as long as you have a direct deposit check or at least five debit card purchases during each statement period. Otherwise you'll pay a fee of $6 per month. The Chase Free Checking or Chase Checking, as it's known, has no minimum balance requirement and comes with free online bill pay, e-mail alerts, online check images, online statements, and a Visa Check Card.

There are three other checking options; the cheapest one requires a minimum balance of $1,500 to waive the monthly service fee, or a combined average balance of $5,000 across your other Chase accounts.

Chase may disappoint on yields

The one area where Chase may disappoint is in yields on deposit accounts. For now, at least, they're keeping WaMu's offer of 5 percent on a 12-month CD. But, generally, Chase yields are less enticing than WaMu's.

Chase CD specials
Terms (months)APY
WaMu online CDs
Terms (months)APY

Chase's money market account yields are awful. Balances up to $9,999 earn an annual percentage yield, or APY, of 0.2 percent. Balances of $10,000 or more receive 0.4 percent. The national average for money market yields is 0.7 percent, according to Bankrate surveys.

Celent's Ellis says customers may not bolt just because of lower yields.

"In these days of uncertainty, who wants to go shopping for a bank? You may be trading the devil you know for the devil you don't know. I think the attrition of clients will be fairly small."

Chase customers who like the free checking and other Chase services can easily tap into better CD yields by perusing Bankrate's high-yield database.


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