Chase Bank Review - Everything You Need to Know
America's largest bank offers in-person nationwide service
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Who is Chase Bank Best For?
Chase Bank is a subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase, a massive financial institution with more than $2.5 trillion in assets and a history that dates back to 1799. This financial behemoth offers something for everyone, including personal and business banking, credit cards, loans, and investments. This bank is ideal for those who want:
- Access to in-person banking at more than 5,100 locations in 26 states
- Access to 16,000 Chase-owned ATMs around the country
- The ability to handle all of their financial needs at one bank
- Excellent online and mobile banking tools and apps
One of America’s largest banks
Large presence with a huge network of branches and ATMs
Accounts that cater to nearly any banking need
Credit cards offer easy-to-earn rewards
Competitive mortgage rates
High fees on most accounts (compared to online banks)
Poor interest rates on checking and savings
Mixed customer service reviews
Low CD interest rates
Types of Accounts
offers so many accounts that we can’t cover them all here. Follow along for details on some of Chase’s most popular accounts and a shorter summary of other consumer accounts.
- Chase Total Checking
- Chase Sapphire Checking
- Chase Premier Plus Checking
- Chase Savings
- Chase Premier Savings
- Chase Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
- Credit Cards
- Mortgages and Other Loans
- Other Accounts
Chase Total Checking
The most popular checking account at Chase is Total Checking. The account includes everything you would expect from a major bank checking product, including branch and ATM banking, online banking, and mobile banking. The account does not offer any interest.
Like most large banks, the account charges a monthly fee that you can avoid with certain activity. You can avoid the $12 per month fee if you meet one of these criteria:
- $500 or more in monthly direct deposits
- $1,500 minimum daily balance
- $5,000 average beginning daily balance across all eligible Chase accounts
This is pretty much your standard checking account. No interest, high fees (though most are avoidable), and access to everything you would expect online including bill pay, mobile check deposits, and transfers to accounts at Chase and elsewhere. One standout feature at Chase — in nearly all checking and savings accounts — is Zelle. This network allows you to send payments instantly to anyone with a participating account.
Chase Premier Plus Checking
Premier Plus Checking is the main interest-bearing checking account offered by Chase Bank. Don’t jump up and down about rates, however. You’ll get a measly 0.01% interest rate. That is the lowest interest rate a bank can offer without adding another decimal place to the rate.
The account charges a $25 monthly fee unless you have a combined average daily balance of $15,000 or more across eligible accounts (which include investments) or a linked mortgage at Chase. If you do qualify, the account offers some useful benefits including:
- Free checks
- Up to four monthly ATM reimbursements
- A free safe deposit box when available
- Fee waivers on a handful of other occasionally used services
Chase Sapphire Checking
Following the success of the hugely popular Sapphire credit cards, Chase’s Sapphire Checking is a newer account in the Chase checking lineup. This premium checking account comes with a host of benefits, but it comes with a higher $25 monthly fee unless you meet the requirements to get that fee waived.
Waiving the fee requires a massive $75,000 in combined average daily account balances across eligible accounts at Chase. If you qualify, you’ll get:
- Free ATM access worldwide
- Reimbursement of other bank’s ATM fees
- Interest (though at the current 0.01% APY it’s pretty much worthless)
- Fee waivers for a handful of other banking services.
This account makes the most sense if you also have your savings and investments at Chase. Otherwise, the $25 fee is a bit steep for a checking account that does what many online checking accounts at other banks do for free.
The basic savings account at Chase costs $5 per month, which is waived with a $300 beginning daily balance. Interest rates are pitiful for a savings account, though, at just 0.01%. With that rate, this really isn't worthwhile for anyone as you can get 200x that rate or more — and no fees — at top online banks.
Chase Premier Savings
To take your savings up a (small) notch, Chase Premier Savings costs $25 per month, waived with an average beginning daily balance of $15,000 or more or with a linked Premier Plus Checking or Sapphire Checking account.
While interest rates are better than the standard savings account, they are still pretty bad. Standard rates are just 0.01%. Premier Relationship Rates range from 0.04% to 0.09%. Even if you get the best rate Chase offers, you can still get about 20x better from a free account at an online-only bank.
Chase Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
Chase CDs are available with an opening deposit of $1,000 or more. Rates start at 0.02% for a 1-month CD, but the best rates currently offered are for 21-month CDs. The current rates are as followed:
|Certificates of Deposit|
|CD Term||$0 - $9,999.99||$10K - $99,999.99||$100K - $250K+|
Unless you're looking to exclusively bank at Chase, it's wise to look elsewhere for a CD or savings account. You can easily get 2% or more with a standard savings account at a major online bank — and that also means you don't have to lock away your funds for a set amount of time like you do with a CD.
If there is one place that Chase excels over every other bank in the country, it is their credit card lineup. Chase credit cards include the popular and lucrative Chase Sapphire Preferred and ultra-premium Chase Sapphire Reserve. Only American Express comes close to offering cards as good as what you can get at Chase.
Here is a quick list of major cards offered by Chase:
- Chase Freedom: Earn 5% on rotating bonus categories and 1% everywhere else with no annual fee
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no annual fee
- Chase Slate: Low interest, no annual fee, and a great balance transfer offer
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points with every purchase including 2x points per dollar at restaurants and travel companies. Redeem through the Chase portal at 1.25 cents per dollar or transfer to a partner for even more value. The card charges a $95 per year annual fee, waived the first year.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: This premium card includes airport lounge access, 3x points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases, 1.5 cents per point when redeeming at Chase, and the same list of transfer partners as the Sapphire Preferred card. It costs $450 per year, but you get a ton of value from it when used well.
Chase also offers co-branded cards with United, Southwest, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, Marriott, Hyatt, Disney, IHG, Starbucks, Amazon, and AARP. This list does not include business cards, which are also great at Chase. If you own a small business, be sure to check out the Ink line of credit cards.
You don’t need a checking or savings account at Chase to use its popular lineup of credit cards. As long as you pay them off in full each month before the due date, you’ll never pay interest and the rewards add up fast. Chase is a leader in travel and cashback rewards cards, among others.
Mortgages and Other Loans
As a massive bank, Chase offers just about every type of loan you can think of. That includes a wide range of mortgages and home equity loans, auto loans, and business loans.
Mortgage rates are competitive with nationwide offerings, as are auto loans. Keep in mind that linking a mortgage to Chase checking or savings accounts may qualify you for fee waivers. If you want all of your banking under one roof, getting a mortgage and your other accounts all at Chase is fairly easy and straightforward.
Chase offers an auto buying service through a relationship with TrueCar, which makes it easy to buy a car with a good price and get a car loan through a simple process.
The investment banking arm of Chase, JP Morgan, is well-known in the world of Wall Street. Chase added a new investment product targeted at regular consumers in 2018 that is certainly worth considering.
JP Morgan is a full-service investment offering that includes retirement accounts, taxable investment accounts, investment advising, and more. High net worth individuals may qualify for Private Client, which gives you better customer service and advising access for both banking and investing products.
The most exciting offering is You Invest by JP Morgan, which offers 100 commission-free trades for stocks and ETFs in your first year and a rock-bottom $2.95 trade fee thereafter. While it is not quite as cheap as Robinhood (free investing), it is cheaper than any other major brokerage. Relationship pricing gives you 100 trades per year. Premier pricing gives you free investing if you are a Private Client or Sapphire Banking customer. Managed portfolios (robo-advising) is planned to launch in 2019.
Chase also offers full-service banking for businesses of all sizes. You can also find prepaid cards at Chase.
Additional checking and savings products are available as well, including accounts designed for military families, students, minors under 18, and several other less popular accounts for specific use cases. Because Chase is so big, it really does have something for everyone.
Banking with Chase
Chase is a part of a small group of mega nationwide banks. This list includes competitors Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, and US Bank. Of this list of banks, Chase is arguably the best. While it doesn’t have quite the largest branch footprint, its combination of accounts, customer service, and rockstar credit cards put it at the top of the pack.
Here is a list of useful features and important information across the Chase account spectrum:
- Online and mobile banking: Log in via your computer or smartphone to access features like transfers (to and from Chase and other banks), online bill pay, and other common online banking features. Chase tends to lead the market in online technology and offers great online and mobile banking experiences.
- Digital wallets: Chase debit and credit cards support major digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Chase also offers its own Chase Pay digital wallet if you prefer that over the default for your device.
- Mobile deposits: Snap a quick picture of a check to put it in the bank. That saves a trip to the ATM or branch and enables you to use Chase as an online-only bank if you choose.
- Zelle: Chase is a member of the Zelle network, which includes a number of popular banks around the country. You can send funds to other Zelle-compatible banking customers instantly. If you send to anyone outside of the Zelle network, it works like a regular ACH transfer and should arrive within a few business days.
About Chase Bank
Chase Bank is one of the oldest banks in the US and has an interesting history on its journey to become part of the largest financial institution in America. Nearly half of all Americans have some banking, credit card, or lending relationship with Chase.
Chase claims over 5,100 branches and 16,000 ATMs. Led by influential CEO Jamie Dimon and headquartered in New York, this bank is a powerhouse. In fact, the original subsidiary (The Manhattan Company) was founded in 1799 by the third vice president of the United States, Aaron Burr.
Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, Chase and its subsidiaries have operated under names including Chase National Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, J.P. Morgan & Co., Bank One Corporation, and Washington Mutual, among others.
The bank, like its peers, has attracted its fair share of controversies over the years as well. These days, however, it's regarded as one of the most respected financial companies in the world.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Chase is a great bank with a wide range of offerings that should meet the needs of virtually any American banking customer. Thanks to a diverse array of accounts, Chase makes it very easy to handle all of your banking needs under one roof. Odds are the bank also has a location near you, making it a convenient choice if you're looking for in-person banking.
Poor interest rates and high fees on checking and savings accounts may make you think twice about using Chase as your primary bank. Also, if you aren't concerned with doing all of your banking under one roof, it's wise to look elsewhere for CDs as Chase's rates are lackluster.