Chase Checking Account Review: Fees, Options

Spencer TierneyFebruary 21, 2019

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Chase Total Checking®

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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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.

Wells Fargo’s basic option is slightly cheaper at $10, with four main ways to waive it, including 10 debit card purchases or payments monthly. Many online banks, however, have no monthly fees.

Chase also offers student checking for high school and college students with similar services 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 30 states and is one of the biggest 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 EMV chip: 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 (e.g., 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 between 7 a.m. and 12 a.m. ET daily.

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.

Chase’s higher-end checking has much tougher requirements for waiving the monthly fee. 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.

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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