Chase Checking Account Review: Fees, Options

Chase checking accounts don’t require a minimum deposit to open, but keeping a certain balance can help you avoid a monthly fee on some accounts.
Spencer Tierney
By Spencer Tierney 
Updated
Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn

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Chase Total Checking®
NerdWallet rating 

at Chase, Member FDIC

Chase is one of the largest banks in the U.S. and one of the best national banks. Chase checking accounts offer solid access to financial services both in person and online, and some accounts offer a sign-up bonus.

Chase offers various accounts to suit different needs, and fees are on par with those at other national banks. Here’s a look at key Chase checking accounts and their features, fees and requirements, including the Chase Disney debit card.

Chase checking accounts

Here’s a quick look at the features of Chase checking accounts: fees, minimum balance requirements and more.

Chase Total Checking®

Monthly fee: $12; to waive, meet a minimum balance requirement of $1,500 at the beginning of each day or have at least $500 in monthly direct deposits or keep at least $5,000 across Chase accounts.

Minimum opening deposit: $0.

Interest on balances: No.

ATM fees: $3 fee at non-Chase ATMs in the U.S., plus any fees from the ATM owner.

Overdraft fees: $34 per overdraft, charged up to 3 times per day. No charge when account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the day.

Sign-up bonus: $300 (expires 04/17/2024); our bank bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

Chase Secure Banking℠

Monthly fee: $4.95.

Minimum opening deposit: $0.

Interest on balances: No.

ATM fees: $3 fee at non-Chase ATMs in the U.S., plus any fees from the ATM owner.

Overdraft fees: None.

Sign-up bonus: $100 (expires 04/17/2024); our bank bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

Chase Premier Plus Checking℠

Monthly fee: $25; to waive, meet a minimum balance requirement of $15,000 or more across linked Chase accounts at the beginning of each day or enroll the account for automatic payments to a linked qualifying Chase first mortgage or be a current U.S. Armed Forces member or veteran.

Minimum opening deposit: $0.

Interest on balances: 0.01% APY (effective 02/14/2024; rates are variable and subject to change).

ATM fees: Four free ATM withdrawals per statement period at non-Chase ATMs (ATM owner fees may still apply.) The $3 fee applies to any additional withdrawals.

Overdraft fees: $34 per overdraft, charged up to 3 times per day. No charge when account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the day.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Chase Sapphire℠ Checking

Monthly fee: $25; to waive, meet a minimum average balance requirement of $75,000 or more across linked Chase accounts at the beginning of each day.

Minimum opening deposit: $0.

Interest on balances: 0.01% APY (effective 02/14/2024; rates are variable and subject to change).

ATM fees: No ATM fees worldwide.

Overdraft fees: No charge on overdrafts on the first four business days during current and previous 12 statement periods; after that, $34 per overdraft, charged up to 3 times per day. No charge when account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the day.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Chase direct deposit requirements for checking accounts

Chase doesn’t require direct deposits in order to open or to have a checking account. But one way to avoid the $12 Chase monthly service fee for the Total Checking account is to have at least $500 in monthly electronic deposits. You can meet this minimum by receiving electronic deposits including payments from government benefit providers or payroll providers using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system, the FedNow Service network, the Real-Time Payment (RTP) network or third-party services for payments to your debit card using the Visa or Mastercard networks.

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 Bank of America charges for a similar checking account (Wells Fargo's basic option is slightly cheaper at $10). Some other banks have a lower direct deposit minimum than Chase requires to have the monthly fee waived.

Other banks also let you avoid fees in other ways, such as making transactions on your account, while others, like many online banks, charge 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.

Want to compare the best of the best?

The best checking accounts let you earn interest and pay no monthly fees.

Frequently asked questions about Chase checking accounts

Here are answers to some common questions about checking accounts at Chase.

What fees do Chase checking accounts have?

Chase Total Checking®, the bank’s basic checking account, has a monthly fee of $12, though you can get it waived by meeting one of a few requirements. Other fees include $3 for each use of a non-Chase ATM in the U.S., and $34 for overdrafts, charged up to 3 times a day (though there's no charge when the account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the day). Scroll down to see other Chase checking fees.

Does Chase have a free checking account?

Almost all Chase checking accounts carry a monthly fee. However, there are ways to get the fee waived on most accounts, such as by keeping a certain balance in the account or setting up direct deposit.

Chase does offer two checking accounts with no monthly fee. The accounts are for children: Chase First Banking and Chase High School Checking.

What is the Chase checking account minimum balance requirement?

There is no minimum balance required to have a Chase checking account, but keeping a certain balance is one way to avoid a monthly fee on some accounts — for example, the $12 monthly fee for Chase Total Checking® is waived if you maintain a $1,500 balance at the beginning of each day.

What is the Chase direct deposit requirement for checking accounts?

Chase doesn’t require direct deposits in order to open or to have a checking account. But for some accounts, one way to avoid the monthly service fee is to meet a minimum requirement of received electronic deposits. For example, Total Checking account holders can have the $12 Chase monthly service fee waived by receiving at least $500 in monthly electronic deposits.

» RELATED: Learn about Chase checking account bonuses

Benefits for all Chase checking accounts

Free access to more than 4,700 branches and more than 15,000 ATMs: This network reaches 49 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.

Zelle: This person-to-person payment service lets you send money online to friends and family, even if they use a different bank. It’s free, and money often arrives within minutes. (Learn more about Zelle.)

Chase debit card with liability protection: If you report unauthorized activity on your card right away, you’ll get reimbursed for the fraudulent charges.

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’s easy to navigate and you can talk to a real person from 8 a.m. to midnight ET on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on weekends.

Another Chase checking account perk: the Chase Disney debit card

The free Chase Disney Visa debit card is available to Chase checking account members (excluding Chase First Banking, Chase High School Checking and Chase Secure Banking accounts), and it grants customers additional perks and savings on Disney theme parks, cruises, retail and live entertainment purchases. Disney debit card holders also gain access to limited time offers, and the card comes in a variety of designs, including Disney and Star Wars characters.

Chase premium checking accounts

How Chase premium checking accounts compare

Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ requires a $15,000 balance across linked Chase accounts to avoid the monthly fee. This is lower than the $20,000 required by Bank of America’s Gold 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 wire transfers 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.

Additional benefits for premium Chase checking accounts

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 (fees from the ATM owner or operator may still apply). 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.

» LEARN: Find out more about what premium checking offers

Is a Chase checking account the right choice?

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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NerdWallet rating 

4.5

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SoFi Checking and Savings

at SoFi Bank, N.A., Member FDIC

APY

4.60%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$300

Earn up to $300 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

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