When you think of major banking chains, Chase Bank is probably high up on your list.
Not only is JPMorgan Chase one of the “Big Four” banks in America, it’s ranked by S&P Global as the largest bank in the United States.
But how does it stack up overall, for you, the consumer?
Chase offers customers a variety of financial services, from bank accounts to mortgages to small business loans. The bank’s generous with new-user sign-up bonuses, too. And, there are many, many physical branches and ATMs you can access nationwide.
But we won’t lie: Sometimes it feels like a game of Operation and you have to watch every move to avoid the shock of extra fees.
Here’s our Chase bank review, and everything you need to know about its different accounts and offers.
Chase Bank at a Glance
JP Morgan Chase Bank (commonly referred to as Chase Bank or just Chase) serves nearly half of American households.
Chase Manhattan Bank merged with J.P. Morgan & Co. in 2000. Today, there are 4,700 Chase branches and 16,000 Chase ATMs around the country. The popular financial institution boasts numerous client offerings, and customers can bank in person, online or through a mobile app.
Chase got bad press back in 2014 after a security breach exposed the information of 76 million customers. Since then, the bank has made big strides to tighten up security and curb fraud across accounts.
Here’s an honest look at Chase Bank’s checking and savings features for individuals and small businesses, as well as its overall convenience and mobile banking features.
Chase Bank Review: Pros and Cons
Overall, here’s a quick-hit list of what’s good and not so good with this bank.
Chase Bank Pros
- Chase is pretty much everywhere, which makes finding a branch or ATM easy.
- There’s a low opening deposit requirement for most accounts.
- For lower-tier accounts, the requirements to avoid the monthly maintenance fee are pretty straightforward.
Chase Bank Cons
- There’s no interest on checking accounts.
- Interest rates for basic savings accounts are a pittance.
- There are monthly maintenance fees, though they can (sometimes) be waived.
- You could get hit with a $34 insufficient funds fee if you overdraft your account.
- There’s a $2.50 fee for using non-Chase ATMs.
Here’s a look at Chase’s individual accounts.
Chase Checking Accounts
Here’s a breakdown of Chase Bank’s three main checking accounts. With all three, you’ll have access to:
- Chase Online Banking, Online Bill Pay and Chase Mobile Banking,
- Automatics transfers to a Chase savings account,
- A Chase debit card and
- Chase First Banking, a checking account for you and your child that also comes with a debit card.
Chase Total Checking
Chase’s most popular checking account, Chase Total Checking, is a non-interest bearing account that does not require a minimum opening deposit.
The account comes with a $12 monthly service fee, but you can get that fee waived by having one of the following each statement period:
- Direct deposit totaling $500 or more.
- Maintain a balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more.
- Maintain an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying deposits.
One plus is this account offers overdraft protection. But, other service charges abound: You’ll pay a fee to use non-Chase ATMs, link to another Chase checking account, and for any counter checks, money orders and cashier’s checks.
Chase Secure Banking
Unlike Chase Total Checking and Chase Premier Plus Checking (more on that in a second), this account charges a fixed $4.95 fee per month. That’s right: No daily balances or regular transfers will eliminate the monthly fee for this account.
Chase Secure Banking offers overdraft services in that it will decline a transaction if you don’t have the money in your account (versus Chase fronting you the money and charging you a fee later). If you’re a compulsive spender who needs a virtual hand slap every time you want to spend money you don’t have, this could be a useful service for you.
Aside from counter checks, fees are waived for money orders and cashier’s checks.
Chase Premier Plus Checking
This account comes with a $25 or $0 monthly fee. To waive it, you need:
- An average daily balance of $15,000 or more in this account or other linked, qualifying Chase accounts.
- Or, a linked Chase first mortgage and be enrolled in automatic payments from your Chase account.
You’ll qualify for overdraft services, waived check fees and 50% off designed checks. You can also have up to two Chase Premier Plus checking accounts linked with no monthly service fees, and non-Chase ATM surcharge fees are waived four times per statement cycle.
A general note for all account holders: If you use ATMs a lot, be careful. Chase will ding you $2.50 for any transaction in the U.S. that you do at a non-Chase ATM (outside of the four reimbursements you get with the Chase Premier Plus account). The good news is there are tens of thousands of Chase ATMs out there, so you should be able to find one when you need it.
Chase Bank Premium Checking Accounts
Cash is king. And if you have a lot of it, it’s worth looking into Chase’s premium checking accounts: Chase Sapphire and Chase Private Client. Customers are entitled to benefits such as:
- No ATM fees — at Chase-branded ATMs or not — worldwide.
- Designed checks.
- Dedicated 24/7 banking service line.
- Fewer or no fees compared to other accounts, and more.
Here’s how they each break down.
Chase Sapphire Banking
The monthly service fee for the Chase Sapphire checking account is $25 a month. However, it can be waived with an average daily balance of $75,000 in qualifying Chase accounts.
Chase Private Client Checking
The fee for this account is $35 a month — unless you have an average beginning day balance of $150,000 or more and linked qualifying investments/deposits, or a linked Chase Platinum Business checking account.
Chase Savings Accounts
You only need $25 for your opening deposit to get a Chase Savings Account, the bank’s most basic and most popular savings account.
The Chase Savings account has a $5 monthly service fee that’s waived if:
- You maintain a balance at the beginning of each day of $300 or more in this account.
- You have $25 or more in total Autosave or other repeating automatic transfers from your personal Chase checking account or Chase Liquid Card (available only through Chase.com or Chase Mobile).
- You have a Chase College Checking account linked to this account for overdraft protection.
- The account owner is younger than 18.
- You link the savings account to one of several other eligible accounts.
The Chase Savings accounts come with an autosave option that’s pretty cool. Using the mobile app, you can set your account to transfer a set amount of money every time you get paid, a little every day, or any set time and amount that you like. It puts your savings on autopilot.
The Chase Savings account is a place to stash some money for a rainy day, but if you’re looking to earn interest on your money, look elsewhere. The basic savings account only earns 0.01%* APY, which is below the national average.
Chase Premier Savings
This account comes with a $25 monthly service fee that’s waived if:
- A balance of $15,000 or more in this account, or
- When it’s linked to a qualifying Chase bank account.
You can get slightly better interest rates with the Chase Premier Savings account. You’ll earn anywhere from 0.02% to 0.05%* when you link your account to another select Chase account, depending on how much money you have saved. The more you have in there, the better your interest rate. (But remember, you’ll get hit with a $25 monthly service fee unless you can keep a $15,000 minimum balance or you link to another Chase account.)
Also, for both savings accounts, you’re limited to six withdrawals and transfers per monthly statement period. Otherwise, you’ll be hit with a $5 charge.
Chase Certificate of Deposit (CD)
If you’re looking for a CD, you can get one for as short as one month or up to 10 years with Chase. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open one.
You’ll get locked into an interest rate based on the length of your term and the amount of your CD. These rates vary from 0.02% to 0.05%*, and depend on both how much money you save and the length of your CD term. Right now, an amount between $10K and $24,999.99 will earn 0.05% on a 12-month term.
*Rates are effective as of June 28, 2021.
Chase Small, Medium and Large Business Banking
If you need a checking account for your small business, Chase has options to serve you here, too.
Chase Business Complete Banking
The Chase Total Business Checking account is a good starter account for your small business. It comes with 20 no-fee transactions and $5,000 of free cash deposits per statement cycle.
This account has a $15 monthly maintenance fee that’s nixed completely if you keep a $2,000 minimum balance, make $2K worth of purchases with your Chase Ink business card, receive $2K worth of eligible transactions or link to a Chase Private Client checking account.
Check out our current list of bank promotions for a chance to gain a monetary bonus when signing up for a new bank account.
Chase has two other business savings accounts:
Chase Performance Business Checking
This one is good for mid-sized businesses. It comes with 250 no-fee transactions and $20,000 of free cash deposits per statement cycle.
There’s a $30 monthly fee, but that’s waived when you have $35,000 or more in qualifying Chase accounts.
Chase Platinum Business Checking
This account’s best for larger businesses. You get 500 fee-free transactions and $25,000 monthly cash deposits per statement cycle.
There’s a $95 per-month fee that’s waived if you have $100,000 or more in qualifying business deposit and investment balances.
Chase Bank Offers
This bank regularly has sign-up bonuses for new users. Here are current Chase offers:
- Get up to $500 a year — $50 per friend — when you refer others to sign up for a qualifying Chase bank account.
- New Chase customers can earn $100 with a Chase College checking account when they complete qualifying activities.
Read the fine print and follow the guidelines to redeem these offers. Again, Chase offers promotions a fair amount throughout the calendar year, so keep an eye out.
As you might expect from a Big Four bank, Chase ranks pretty high on the convenience meter. With 16,000 ATMs and 4,900 branches, they’re pretty much everywhere.
They also have a dedicated 24/7 customer service line, but you need to be in one of the higher level accounts to have access to that perk.
You’ll find that they have online banking, a mobile app and many options for financial products, such as mortgages, auto loans and credit cards.
Getty ImagesThe Chase Mobile app gets a 4.8 out of 5 star rating from iPhone users and 4.4 out of 5 stars at the Google Play Store.
People comment on the app’s ease of use as well as some extra features like daily snapshots of your spending that make monitoring your accounts easy.
Some nice security features of the app include fingerprint and facial recognition, as well as the ability to lock and unlock your cards right from your phone. You can also monitor your credit score right from their app.
Is Chase Bank Right for You?
Chase is a good option for you if you like having access to a physical branch and prefer to satisfy all your banking needs at one institution. Chase bank accounts are available for a wide range of clientele — college students, small business owners and mega-savers, to name a few — with varying perks, which also makes it a solid choice.
If you don’t mind monthly fees (or are diligent about avoiding them) and like the idea of banking with a well-known name in the industry, Chase Bank could be right for you.
Our Bank Review Methodology
The Penny Hoarder’s editorial team considers more than 25 factors in its bank account reviews, including fees, minimum daily balance requirements, APYs, overdraft charges, ATM access, number of physical locations, customer service support access and mobile features.
To determine how we weigh each factor, The Penny Hoarder surveyed 1,500 people to find out what banking features matter most to you.
For example, we give top grades to banks that have low fees because our survey showed that this is the No. 1 thing you look for in a bank. Because more than 70% of you said you visited a physical bank branch last year, we consider the number of brick-and-mortar locations. But more than one-third of you use mobile apps for more than 75% of your banking, so digital features are also considered carefully.
Banks are graded across the following categories:
- Personal checking accounts
- Personal savings accounts
- Small-business banking
- Mobile banking
Credit card and loan products are not currently considered.
Veteran writers Tyler Omoth and Kathleen Garvin are contributors to The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.