Chase Bank Review: Combining Online And Local Banking
Chase Bank has plenty of local branches and ATMs, but they also provide a full suite of online banking tools and services to help with all your lending needs.
- Local options
- Mobile banking
- Military members
Banking online makes life a little easier. You can transfer money to friends, check your balance, and pay bills…all before you even get out of bed in the morning.
Chase Bank has all the tools you need to bank from wherever you are. If you maintain a certain balance, you can even get checking with no service fees. It’s an affordable, feature-rich banking option that can cover all your banking needs.
If you’re in the market for a new checking account, there are a few reasons to consider making Chase your new banking home.
What is Chase Bank?
Tracing Chase’s history is a little like looking at your own family tree. The company now known as J.P. Morgan Chase began all the way back in 1799 as a lender called The Manhattan Company. A series of acquisitions and transitions led to the 2000 merger of J.P. Morgan and Chase Manhattan, forming the large corporate lender you see today.
Chase Bank is a full-service financial institution with both an online and local presence. The company continues to add branches and is known as one of the Big Four banks. Its market dominance means it has a large selection of financial offerings, including checking, saving, investments, loans, and credit cards.
How does Chase Bank work?
There are two ways to sign up for an account with Chase Bank. You can visit one of the 4,700 branches located around the globe, or you can join online. If you’d prefer to apply in person, you can use the branch locator to find one near you. When applying at a branch, make sure you take identification and account numbers for at least one other account you hold, whether it’s banking, a loan, or a credit or debit card.
To get a Chase Bank checking account online, go to Chase.com and click on “Not enrolled? Sign up now”, which is beneath the “Sign in” button.
Before you start the process, gather your Social Security Number and your current bank account information. You’ll need both to sign up.
Once you have that, scroll down on the above page to provide your Social Security Number and account information. In the account information field, you can enter the number for any of the following:
- Checking or savings account.
- Investment account.
- Credit or debit card number.
- Auto loan or lease account numbers.
- Mortgage account number.
- Or an application number if you’re currently applying for one of those account types.
An important note before you continue. You can’t come back to this page to make any changes if your application is denied due to a misentered number. So be sure you double-check your information before continuing.
Once you’ve input your information, Chase Bank will verify your identity and take you to the next stage of the application process.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’ll just have to transfer some money over in time to either pay your monthly fee or to meet the minimum balance requirements (more on this below).
Pricing for Chase Bank
You have multiple checking options with Chase Bank. To help you compare, here’s the breakdown of their standard checking accounts.
Chase Total Checking® Chase Secure Banking℠ Premier Plus Checking℠ Chase Sapphire℠ Banking Chase Private Client Checking℠ Chase First Banking℠ (ages 6-17) Chase College Checking℠ (ages 17-24)
Monthly service fee $12, or $0 with ways to waive $4.95 $25 or $0 with minimum balanc $25 or $0 with minimum balance $35 or $0 with minimum balance $0 $6 or $0 while in college
Fees waived at non-Chase ATMs No No Yes (up to four times per statement period) No ATM fees worldwide No ATM fees worldwide No No
Autosave Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Fee-free money orders and cashier checks No Yes Yes No No No No
Minimum daily balance requirements
Chase Total Checking®
If you want the monthly Chase Total Checking® fee waived, you’ll need to maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500, or an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in combination of this account and a linked qualifying deposits/investments, or have at least $500 in qualifying electronic deposits (such as payroll providers or government benefit providers) made into the account.
Chase Secure Banking℠
Unfortunately, you cannot waive the $4.95 monthly fee with the Chase Secure Banking℠ account.
Chase Premier Plus Checking℠
For Premier Plus Checking℠, you’ll need an average daily balance of at least $15,000, but this can be distributed across all your Chase accounts, including checking and savings. If you don’t have that balance, Chase will waive service fees if you have your Chase mortgage automatically deducted from your Chase account.
Chase Sapphire℠ Banking
Chase Sapphire℠ Banking requires an average daily balance of $75,000 to waive the monthly service fee. If you have other Chase accounts linked to your checking, your balances on those accounts may count toward this $75,000 minimum.
Chase Private Client Checking℠
Chase Private Client Checking℠ requires a $150,000 minimum daily balance in all your linked deposit and/or investment accounts to qualify for the waived service fee. If you have a linked business checking account, the fee may also be waived.
Chase First Banking℠
If you opt for a Chase First Banking℠ account, you’re in luck! It’s the only account on this list without a monthly fee to worry about.
Chase College Checking℠
Chase College Checking℠ waives the $6 monthly service fee for up to five years while you’re in college. The fee will also be waived if you have at least one electronic going into your account each month or if you maintain a balance of $5,000 or more.
Chase Bank features
Chase is a big name in banking, but there are plenty of lenders that have both an online and local presence. Here are some of Chase Bank’s top features.
Chase Total Checking®
Chase Total Checking® is the most popular account type. You’ll get a full suite of features, including overdraft protection, access to free withdrawals at Chase ATMs, mobile banking, and online bill pay. As long as you meet the minimum requirements, you won’t pay a monthly service fee with this account.
Chase Secure Banking℠
If you tend to keep a lower account balance or you don’t have at least $500 in monthly electronic deposits, the Chase Secure Banking℠ account will be the best account for you. There is a monthly service charge, but it’s only $4.95. You’ll get all the basic banking features, including bill pay and mobile banking.
Chase Premier Plus Checking℠
This account has a few perks that you won’t get with standard accounts. Unless you can keep a $15,000 balance or you have a mortgage through Chase Bank, you’ll have to pay $25 a month, though. The biggest benefit of this account is that you can use non-Chase ATMs up to four times per statement period without Chase charging you for it.
Chase Sapphire℠ Banking
Chase Sapphire℠ Banking replaced Chase’s previous offering, Chase Premier Platinum, but it has the same benefits and requirements. For those who can keep a minimum daily balance of at least $75,000, this account provides fewer fees and higher daily deposit and purchase maximums.
With a Chase Sapphire℠ Banking account, you get a dedicated 24/7 banking line, free personal design checks, and exclusive access to entertainment and sports events. You’ll also get fee-free ATM access worldwide with this account.
Chase Private Client Checking℠
You’ll get V.I.P. service with Chase Private Client Checking℠, which requires a minimum $150,000 daily balance. This account comes with the same perks as Chase Sapphire℠ Banking, but you’ll also get a dedicated business banking advisor.
Accounts for minors
If you’re still in school or you have children over the age of five, there are two accounts for younger children to take note of. Chase College Checking℠ is for adults ages 17 to 24. This account is designed to get students started building credit and managing money. Chase First Banking℠ lets you set your children (ages six and older) up with an account and start teaching them good financial habits.
Local and online options
One of the best things about Chase is that you get access to both local and online banking options. If you want to walk into a branch and speak to a human representative, you can. But you can also bank from home or while on the go using the mobile app.
Another great feature of a bank with a huge brick-and-mortar presence is that you get easy ATM access. Often with online banking, that can be a bit of a downside. Chase Bank has 16,000 ATMs located across the globe, giving you easy access to withdraw cash whether you’re at home or traveling.
Easy-to-use mobile app
The Chase mobile app lets you manage your account from your iOS or Android device. You can view up to two years of transactions and up to seven years of account statements, block transactions on your card if you’ve misplaced it, send and receive money, make bill payments, and more.
Free debit card
Once your account is approved, you’ll get a debit card within three to five days. Chase also offers a Disney-themed debit card for its Chase Total Checking® and Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ account holders.
As long as you have a mobile device with a camera and the Chase mobile app, you can deposit checks in just a few steps. Snap a picture of the front and back of your check, type in the amount, and the check will be deposited.
Chase often has special offers to new customers, like a $100 bonus for new customers who sign up for a Chase College Checking℠ account, for example. To earn this specific bonus, you’ll need to successfully open an account and complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of coupon enrollment.
With your Chase account, you’ll get customizable alerts for your account activity. You’ll be alerted by text or email if your account drops below the limit you choose. You can also set alerts to notify you of large transactions or even every single payment that comes through your account.
No service fees
As long as you maintain a minimum daily balance or meet deposit requirements, you can enjoy service fee-free checking. With Chase Total Checking®, you’ll only need to keep daily balance of at least $1,500 in checking or have at least $500 in combined electronic deposits going into your account each statement period.
If you set up Chase Savings℠, you can have money automatically sent to your savings account with a few simple steps. Best of all, you won’t pay service fees on your savings account as long as you have at least $25 a month going into it. You can set it up to transfer a fixed amount on a regular schedule or a portion of every deposit.
Chase offers several options when it comes to overdrafts. You can link a savings account that will kick in to cover any shortages in checking. But standard overdraft protection takes care of overdrafts by either paying them or returning them for a fee of $34. That same protection applies to your Chase debit card.
Military banking benefits
Current military members and veterans can take advantage of Chase Military Banking, which waives the monthly service fee and minimum balance requirements. You can also rent a 3” x 5” or smaller safe deposit box for free, enjoy four fee-free non-Chase ATM transactions per month, and request money orders and cashier’s checks or present counter checks with no fees.
My experience researching Chase Bank
At first, Chase’s checking account offerings were a little overwhelming. There are three separate sections: Everyday, Kids & Students, and Premium. It felt a little complicated.
But really, for most of us, the options under Everyday are going to be all we’ll need to pay attention to. And Chase Total Checking® is the most popular for a reason. Unless you have $15,000 to put into your checking and savings account (if so, lucky you!), the balance requirements of Chase Total Checking® are the best way to get fee-free checking. Just $500 in monthly electronic deposits would get me there, even if I had a month where my balance dropped below $1,500.
Other than monthly fees, picking an account is pretty straightforward. But I’d recommend deciding which one you want before you sign up. I’d also recommend taking a look at the ATM locator to see how many Chase ATMs are in your area before choosing. The Premier Plus Checking account will let you withdraw from non-ATMs up to four times per statement period but with the others, you’ll pay a fee for that. Chase also doesn’t reimburse the fees the teller’s parent bank charges.
For me, the closest ATM is 18 miles away. Considering there are two ATMs within 10 miles of my house for my current bank, I obviously wouldn’t be compelled to switch. I was surprised there are so few Chase ATMs near me.
If you do most of your banking online and you rarely get cash, this may not matter much. I know I rarely get cash, and being able to deposit checks remotely takes away any need for a local branch. Chase Bank’s mobile and online offerings make it attractive even if you never intend to bank at a local branch.
Who is Chase Bank best for?
Even with all the online banking options now available, some people simply prefer walking into a bank and talking to someone. Chase has 4,700 branches around the globe, and you can check their ATM and branch locator to make sure there’s one near you before you sign up.
Chase Bank can be a one-stop shop for all your banking needs. In addition to checking, you can get savings, credit cards, auto and home loans, and investments. You can even do your business banking through Chase. If there are balance requirements, some accounts factor your balances across all accounts into those minimums.
Those with children
Chase’s youth accounts make it perfect for parents. Once your child reaches the age of six, you can set up a Chase First Banking℠ account, complete with a debit card. You’ll then be able to use the online app to teach your child how to manage money.
Who shouldn’t use Chase Bank?
If you regularly keep a low bank balance, it might be worth pricing alternatives. You’ll pay a monthly service fee unless you can keep a minimum daily balance. If you have at least $500 in electronic deposits each month, though, Chase Total Checking® will be fee-free for you.
Unless you qualify for one of Chase’s high-balance accounts, you’ll pay fees at non-Chase ATMs outside the U.S. If you regularly cross international borders, research the availability of Chase ATM locations in the areas you frequent.
Pros & cons
- Wide range of options — Chase’s range of offerings means you can do all your banking with them.
- Prominent local presence — In many areas of the U.S., you’ll find at least one nearby local branch to do in-person banking.
- Family-friendly options — Chase has an account type for everyone in the family, starting as young as age six.
- Balance requirements — If you want freedom from monthly service fees, you’ll have to meet the minimum balance requirements.
- Low interest rates — You won’t earn interest on your checking account balances and their savings interest is lower than some competitors.
- ATM fees — When you bank online, you rely on ATMs for cash, and Chase charges fees for non-Chase ATMs on its most popular accounts.
Chase Bank vs. their competitors
Bank Service fees Other fees Unique features
Chase $0-$35 monthly, depending on account and balance Insufficient funds: $34 Child-friendly accounts, branches and ATMs across the U.S.
NorthOne Bank $10 monthly Insufficient funds: $25, domestic wires: $15 Business management tools to make expensing and bookkeeping easy
Bank Novo $0 Insufficient funds: $27 Free incoming wires
If you run a small business or do freelance work, NorthOne Bank is geared toward your needs. You’ll get unlimited banking transactions for a flat monthly service fee of $10. There are no extra fees for deposits, transfers, or purchases, although there is a $15 fee for domestic wires.
Since NorthOne Bank is a business account, its most useful tools are geared toward managing business finances. Each purchase using your debit card or direct payments will be categorized automatically for easy expensing at tax time. You can also connect your NorthOne Bank account to your business’s payment processor to save time.
For easy online banking, there’s Novo, a fee-free option geared toward small business owners and freelancers. You’ll save significantly on fees with Novo, which has no fees whatsoever unless you have an insufficient funds transaction. In that case, you’ll pay $27, which is still less than Chase Bank. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use Novo for personal accounts, though.
Novo does require that you deposit $50 to open your account, but beyond that, there’s no minimum monthly balance. You’ll get all the usual banking tools, as well as compatibility with the top business solutions, including QuickBooks, Shopify, and Stripe.
Chase Bank is a well-known lender with a heavy brick-and-mortar presence. If you prefer in-person banking, it’s definitely one to consider, but its mobile offerings also make it competitive. Compare the monthly service fees to what you could get with competitors before signing up and make sure it’s the best option for you.