Chase Bank Review 2019

Are you in the market for a new checking account? Or perhaps you’re wondering where’s the best place to open your side hustle savings account?

chase bank reviewChoosing which bank to trust with your money is a major decision. With so many options at your disposal, it can be hard to figure out which financial institution is best suited to guard your funds for safekeeping.

Should you trust a traditional financial institution that’s been around for 100-plus years? Or should you bring your money to the digital era and take advantage of an online bank?

At the end of the day, the choice is yours—and yours alone. To help you make the best decision for your unique circumstances, we’re going to take a close look at Chase Bank and all that they have to offer.

An Overview of Chase Bank

Chase Bank is the U.S. commercial and consumer banking division of the multinational investment services giant JP Morgan Chase & Co, which formed in 2018.

As one of America’s largest banking institutions, Chase provides a wide range of financial services to nearly 50% of all U.S. households.

What Services Does Chase Bank Offer?

Some of Chase’s main areas of focus include:

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Mortgages
  • Business Banking
  • Personal Loans
  • Auto Loans
  • Payment Processing
  • Investment Advice

Here are some noteworthy facts about Chase to consider:

  • JP Morgan Chase & Co. manages over $2.6 trillion in assets worldwide and has over 250,000 employees.
  • Chase Bank has over 5,000 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs located across the U.S.
  • Chase is one of America’s oldest banks, which traces its roots back to The Bank of the Manhattan Company, founded in 1799.

Checking and Savings Accounts

chase bank logoIf you’re looking for a one-stop-shop where you can have traditional checking and savings accounts with easy access to ATMs and branches (in most areas), Chase should work for you.

The sheer scale of Chase is impressive, with over 5,000 branches, 16,000 ATMs, and over 250,000 employees worldwide.

And Chase’s wide range of financial services makes it easy for you to get a mortgage, business loan, or car loan—all under one roof.

If you’re an online banker, you’ll love Chase’s mobile app and website. The Chase Mobile app is one of the top-rated financial apps in the world, boasting a 4.8 rating out of 5, with over 1.8 million reviews.

Checking Accounts for High School and College Students

It’s pretty awesome that Chase offers accounts for both high school and college students.

High school students between the ages of 13 and 17 can enroll in Chase’s High School Checking program:

College students between the ages of 17 and 24 are eligible for Chase’s College Checking program. Keep in mind, though, that the High School checking account has no fee, but the College Checking carries a $6 monthly fee (which can be waived if you meet certain stipulations, like maintaining an average balance of $5,000).

Let’s hope these new Chase account holders are getting an early start down the path to financial independence!

Low-Interest Rates on Savings Accounts

If you’re a serious investor (which I hope you are by now since you’re reading this blog!) you probably want to look elsewhere to invest your money.

Let’s be honest: Chase savings offer an abysmal 0.01% interest rate. (I recommend Ally Bank or American Express Personal Savings for online savings).

Credit Cards

chase sapphire preferred credit card
  • earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Chase has a robust portfolio of credit card offerings and MillennialMoney highly recommends the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Their Ultimate Rewards program is a great way to earn free flights, hotels or rental cars, by simply using your Chase credit cards for everyday purchases.

Frequent Amazon shoppers will love Chase’s Amazon Rewards Cards. The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card offers 3% back on Whole Food purchases, 2% back on restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% back on other purchases.

What’s more, Amazon Prime members get 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. It’s a nice reward for folks who shop at either company frequently.

Pros and Cons of Chase

Pros

  • Big Bank Perks
  • Massive Reach
  • Convenient while Traveling in the US
  • Checking Accounts for High Schoolers
  • Checking Accounts for College Students
  • Top Notch Online Banking
  • Rewards Cards
  • Amazon Partnership
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Cons

  • Minimum Balance Requirements
  • Monthly Service Fees
  • ATM Fees
  • Only Located in 30 States
  • Low Interest Rates on Investments
  • High Overdraft & Late Fees

Are There any Fees with Chase Bank?

Yep, Chase has fees, and here they are:

  • Minimum Balance Fee
  • Monthly Service Fee
  • Out of Network ATM Fees
  • Overdraft Fees
  • Late Fees

I absolutely loathe bank fees. How big banks get away with charging you account maintenance fees—when they get to invest and profit from your hard-earned money—is beyond me. But I digress.

Here’s a brief summary of the fees each of Chase’s checking accounts charge—and what you can do to avoid them.

Minimum Balance Fee & Monthly Service Fee

If your Chase Total Checking account balance falls below $1,500 during the month, you’ll pay a $12 monthly service fee. This fee, however, can be avoided by having over $500 in direct deposits hit your account.

Further, if your Chase Premier Plus Checking Account falls below a $15,000 average daily balance, you’ll pay a $25 monthly service fee. Customers can avoid this fee by taking out a Chase mortgage and having payments automatically deducted from the account.

So, when Chase gets to make potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on your mortgage, they’ll wave the $25 monthly service fee. How nice of them!

Finally, Chase Sapphire Checking accounts require an average daily balance of $75,000 to avoid paying a $25 monthly service fee. Customers can avoid the monthly fee by having over $75,000 in assets across Chase products.

To be fair, Chase does offer it’s Sapphire Banking customers some perks for the high monthly fees, such as no worldwide ATM fees and commission-free trades through their J.P. Morgan YouInvest trading platform.

However, I highly doubt that those perks will outweigh the potentially thousands of dollars you can earn by investing the $75,000 on your own (check out this investment strategy post to learn more about my investment advice).

Out of Network ATM Fees

Chase charges high out-of-network ATM fees, with no reimbursement option.

So if you plan to travel throughout the U.S. or internationally and will need to use your debit card to withdraw cash, you’ll most likely have to pay a fee.

Overdraft and Late Fees

Chase charges $34 for overdrafts and around $39 for late credit card payments.

If you plan to bank with Chase and have a tendency to overdraft your account or struggle to pay your bills on time, you should definitely enroll in their Overdraft Protection service.

Where is Chase located?

Chase Bank is headquartered in Manhattan (no surprise there!) and has a physical presence in 30 states. The company’s main presence tends to be in the northeast. However, in recent years, Chase has been expanding throughout the U.S.

For example, in 2018, Chase opened its first retail branches in the Greater Boston and Greater Washington D.C., where they previously had no presence. Furthermore, Chase plans to add dozens of new branches across Georgia and Florida in the coming years.

Newcomers to Georgia and Florida who had previously banked with Chase in their prior states will no doubt welcome these new branches.

Is Chase Bank Right for You?

Personally, I like Chase for its convenience and wide range of services. In my experience, they’ve been very convenient for my checking and credit card accounts. I love their Ultimate Rewards portal in particular. It’s literally saved me tens of thousands of dollars on travel costs.

I don’t use them for investing or savings (I prefer services like Vanguard and Ally). While I don’t recommend taking out auto loans ever, if I were to need one, I would definitely inquire with my local Chase branch (or start the process online—which Chase has made very easy to do).

If you prefer to support your locally owned independent bank or one of the other big banks, that’s certainly your choice. I hope this review has helped make your decision easier.

Happy Banking!

Grant Sabatier

Creator of Millennial Money and Author of Financial Freedom (Penguin Random House). Dubbed "The Millennial Millionaire" by CNBC, Grant went from $2.26 to over $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. Grant has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, NPR, Money Magazine and many others. He uses Personal Capital to manage his money in 10 minutes a month.

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