Chase — America’s largest bank — offers a wide range of accounts and services. Customers have access to one of the country’s largest branch networks and 16,000 ATMs nationwide.
The bank stands out for its highly rated mobile app and features that meet the needs of its digitally savvy clientele. In Bankrate’s latest review of its deposit products, Chase’s checking accounts received a higher score than the rest of its account offerings for consumers.
Chase checking accounts
In addition to its business accounts and private client banking, Chase offers several different consumer checking options.
Customers who open a Chase Total Checking account pay a lower monthly fee than account holders who opt for a Premier Plus or Sapphire checking account. The Premier Plus and Sapphire checking accounts, however, offer more benefits.
Premier Plus account holders can use out-of-network ATMs four times per statement period without getting hit with a fee from the bank (although there could be a fee from the ATM owner or network). The account also provides an opportunity to earn interest. With a Sapphire checking account, you’ll earn interest, pay no fee for using a non-Chase ATM (unless the owner or network charges a fee) and get access to a 24/7 service line.
Chase also offers Secure Banking, a checkless account geared toward consumers outside of the traditional banking system who are interested in opening a regular account.
|Account name||APY||Minimum deposit||Monthly fee|
|Chase Total Checking||None||$0||$12|
|Chase Premier Plus Checking||0.01%||$0||$25|
|Chase Sapphire Checking||0.01%||$0||$25|
|Chase Secure Checking||None||$0||$4.95|
Besides its standard consumer checking accounts, Chase offers a high school checking option for ages 13 to 17 and a college checking option for students ages 17 to 24.
Chase checking account fees
Bank fees overall are on the rise. Most of Chase’s consumer checking accounts have monthly fees, but they’re fairly easy to waive. With the Total Checking account, for example, there’s a $12 monthly service fee that can be waived by having a $500 monthly direct deposit, a $1,500 balance at the beginning of each day or an average beginning daily balance of $5,000 in the checking account and linked qualifying deposit or investment accounts.
Monthly fees for both the Chase Premier Plus Checking and Chase Sapphire Checking accounts are $25. Charges for the former can be waived by having an average beginning day balance of $15,000 or by linking a qualifying Chase first mortgage (enrolled in automatic payments). The monthly fee is also waived for military members. For Chase Sapphire Checking, you can avoid a monthly fee by maintaining an average beginning day balance of $75,000 or more in the account or in combination with eligible linked accounts.
The ATM fee for using a non-Chase ATM in the United States is $2.50 per transaction. For international withdrawals, the fee is $5 and for international transfers or inquiries, the ATM fee is $2.50. Sapphire Checking customers pay no ATM fees for using non-Chase Bank ATMs. Premier Plus Checking customers get four ATM fees waived per month.
The overdraft fee at Chase is $34 per item. At most, customers can get hit with three overdraft fees per day. Chase’s Secure Banking account charges no overdraft fees. The only fee account holders are responsible for paying is a monthly fee of $4.95.
Other fees may apply in certain cases for other accounts. The fee for sending wire transfers domestically, for instance, is $35 a pop. The cost for incoming wire transfers is $15 per transfer (or $0 if the transfer was sent online, through the Chase mobile app or with the help of a Chase banker).
Chase checking account promotions and bonuses
Chase is one of multiple banks consistently offering free cash to new deposit account holders. The bank currently offers a couple of checking account bonuses for new customers who open a Chase Total Checking account or a Premier Plus Checking account.
It’s possible to qualify for a bonus by opening an account online or in a branch. You’ll need the coupon emailed to you from the bank’s website and you’ll need to either set up direct deposit (for the Total Checking account) or have a direct deposit made within 90 days when opening the Chase Premier Plus Checking account. The bonus should arrive within 10 business days of meeting the qualifications.
You’re not eligible for a bonus if you’ve had a Chase checking account within the past 90 days or had an account closed with a negative balance. The bank limits customers to one bonus per account and states that you can only earn a bonus for opening a new account every two years from the date you signed up.
Alternatives to Chase checking accounts
Consumers questioning whether Chase is the right bank for them have many options. There are other big banks offering similar accounts.
If you’re looking to earn a higher yield as a checking account customer and you don’t mind having limited or no access to branches, you’re better off going with an online or challenger bank. For some of the best interest checking accounts, it’s possible to earn more than 1 percent APY.
A credit union could also be worth considering if you meet membership requirements. A few credit unions made the cut on Bankrate’s list of the best banks for checking accounts.