Chase Checking Account Review: Fees, Options

Spencer TierneySeptember 21, 2020
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Chase Chase Total Checking®
NerdWallet rating 

at Chase, Member FDIC

Chase checking accounts offer solid access to financial services both in person and online.

There are various accounts to suit different needs, and fees are on par with those of other national banks.

Chase checking accounts

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Chase Total Checking®

Chase Premier Plus Checking℠

Chase Sapphire℠ Checking

Monthly fees

$12

  • Have $500 or more in monthly direct deposits.

  • Maintain a $1,500 beginning day balance.

  • Keep at least $5,000 across Chase accounts.

$25

  • Maintain a balance of $15,000 or more across linked Chase accounts.

  • Have a linked qualifying Chase first mortgage from Chase enrolled in automatic payments from the account.

$25

  • Maintain a balance of $75,000 or more across linked Chase accounts.

Minimum opening deposit

$0

$0

$0

Interest on balances

No

Yes 0.01% APY (effective 6/12/2020; rates are variable and subject to change)

Yes 0.01% APY (effective 10/2/2020; rates are variable and subject to change)

ATM fees

$2.50 fee at non-Chase ATMs in the U.S.

Four free ATM withdrawals per statement period at non-Chase ATMs. (ATM owner fees may still apply.) The $2.50 fee applies to any additional withdrawals.

No ATM fees worldwide

Overdraft fees

$34, up to 3 per day

Chase Sapphire℠ Checking doesn’t charge for up to four overdrafts within 12 months

Sign-up bonus

$200; see how to qualify (expires 1/20/2021)

$300; see how to qualify (expires 1/20/2021)

N/A

How Chase checking account fees compare

Chase checking account fees and services are similar to those of other national banks. The $12 monthly fee for Chase Total Checking® is also what Citibank and Bank of America charge for full-service checking. And two of the most common ways to waive monthly fees are having direct deposits or keeping at least $1,500 as a daily balance. However, some other banks also let you avoid it by making transactions on your account, or by having a lower direct deposit minimum than Chase allows. And Wells Fargo’s basic option is slightly cheaper at $10.

Many online banks have no monthly fees.

Chase also offers student checking for high school and college students with services similar to Chase Total Checking®. The high school account is free, and the college account charges a $6 monthly fee, which can be avoided fairly easily.

Chase tends to charge more fees for checking than online banks do. Here's how it stacks up to two popular online options.

Benefits for all Chase checking accounts

  • Free access to nearly 4,900 branches and 16,000 ATMs: This network reaches about 35 states and is one of the largest in the U.S.

  • Chase online and mobile banking: Check balances and pay bills, and set up alerts via text and email. The app also has a mobile check deposit feature.

  • Chase QuickPay with Zelle: This person-to-person service lets you send money online to friends and family, even if they’re at other banks. It’s free, and money can arrive within minutes.

  • Chase debit card with chip technology: This chip helps protect your card information from being skimmed, or copied, at ATMs or store checkouts.

  • Cardless ATM access: Chase lets you withdraw cash at its ATMs with just your smartphone. Open your mobile wallet app (for example, Apple Pay), select your Chase debit card (or add it if you haven’t yet), tap the phone to the cardless symbol on the ATM and enter your PIN.

  • Long customer support hours: The phone line includes an automated menu, but it can be easy to navigate and you can talk to a real person from 8 a.m. to midnight ET on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on weekends.

Additional benefits for high-end Chase checking

Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ users get free personal checks, cashier’s checks and money orders and aren’t charged by Chase for using an out-of-network ATM four times per month. Chase Sapphire℠ Checking customers are reimbursed for all ATM fees worldwide.

But Chase’s higher-end checking accounts also require much higher minimum balances to waive the monthly fee, compared with basic Chase checking accounts. If you can’t meet them, the additional benefits that come with those accounts might not be worth paying $25 a month, or $300 a year.

Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ requires a $15,000 balance across linked Chase accounts to avoid this fee. This is lower than the $50,000 required by Bank of America’s Platinum Preferred Rewards account and Portfolio by Wells Fargo to avoid monthly fees. Out of all these accounts, Chase Sapphire℠ Checking requires the highest average balance: $75,000 across qualifying accounts.

Similar to the high-end Chase checking accounts, the premium Bank of America and Wells Fargo accounts offer some free use of out-of-network ATMs, and complimentary services and products including check orders and more.

At $25, the Portfolio by Wells Fargo monthly fee is the same as that of Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ and Chase Sapphire℠ Checking if you don’t meet minimum balance requirements.

» Want to see more? Check out some of NerdWallet's favorite checking accounts

What's next?

Chase checking accounts are generally a solid bet if you have easy access to their ATMs and can avoid the monthly fees.

If you’re not in the Chase branch network, can’t avoid the monthly fees or are looking to earn interest on your checking, check out NerdWallet’s best credit unions and top online banks. Or see how other national banks compare.

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