When shopping around for a bank, it’s important to find a financial institution you can trust. I know many of the top banks across the country can seem like they offer identical services, but each has slight distinctions — understanding more about each bank’s services and requirements could end up saving you money in fees and account balance minimums.
JPMorgan Chase is currently the largest bank in the country and has many great features and incentives worth considering. But is Chase a good banking choice for you? I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about America’s top bank to help you make a more informed decision.
JPMorgan Chase is currently the largest bank in the United States in terms of consolidated assets. This FDIC-insured bank is one of the world’s oldest and most trusted financial institutions, beginning in 1799 as The Manhattan Company. Fans of the musical Hamilton might be interested in knowing that Aaron Burr, the political adversary who challenged and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, was the founder of The Manhattan Company.
Today, JPMorgan Chase has $2.6 trillion client assets under management, 100+ global markets, and over 250,000 employees. The U.S. consumer and commercial branch of JPMorgan Chase, Chase Bank, has over 4,910 bank locations across the country in a total of 33 states. Most of the bank’s locations can be found in New York, California, Texas, Illinois, and Florida.
Chase Bank offers a variety of financial services including personal checking and savings accounts, business and commercial banking, credit cards auto loans, home loans, investment management, CDs, home equity services, and prepaid cards. Although Chase is not located in every state, you can open an account online from anywhere in the U.S.
Chase Bank checking and savings accounts
Chase Bank has a large selection of checking and savings accounts to choose from split into three main categories: everyday banking, kids & students, and premium. You can apply for an account in person at a Chase bank or by visiting them at www.chase.com.
To set up a bank account, you’ll need to provide some personal information, including your Social Security number and Driver’s License information.
Chase checking accounts
The current Chase everyday accounts include:
Chase Total Checking - Best basic level Chase checking account for anyone living in a location with a Chase bank branch.
Chase Secure Banking - Best for anyone looking for a basic checking account with overdraft protection.
Chase Premier Plus Checking - Best for anyone carrying mid-to-high average daily balances looking for basic checking with a few extra services.
The current Chase kids & student accounts include:
Chase First Banking - Basic parent-owned account for kids 6 years and older.
Chase High School Checking - Best for kids 13 to 17 years old.
Chase College Checking - Best for college students aged 17 to 24 years old.
The current Chase premium accounts include:
Chase Sapphire Banking - Best for high earners looking for additional Chase credit cards and investing perks.
Chase Private Client - Best for anyone interested in personalized Chase investing services.
What I love about Chase’s checking accounts is the large selection available for all ages and income levels. I like that almost all of the student accounts have waived monthly service fees, and Chase offers clear ways to waive fees on most of their other accounts.
Chase savings accounts
Chase also offers two different savings account options for its customers.
The current Chase savings accounts include:
Chase Savings - Designed as a savings account for low to mid-level earners.
Chase Premier Savings - Best for high-earners who already have a Chase Premier Checking or Sapphire Banking account.
I was a little disappointed to find that Chase only offers two savings accounts, and really, only one that most people will be approved for. The basic Chase Savings account does not have an impressive interest rate either — clocking in at just 0.01% APY, a very low rate for some a top-level bank.
Overall, Chase’s checking accounts are more impressive than its saving accounts, so I would recommend securing a high yield savings account elsewhere.
Chase Bank does have free checking and savings accounts for kids and college students. They also offer several ways to waive monthly fees for both everyday and premier checking accounts. While Chase offers a better selection than many competing national banks, I do wish there was a free monthly checking account for low-income earners who simply need basic checking.
What I do like about Chase’s checking accounts is that there is no minimum deposit requirement to open an account — a feature not all big banks offer. However, there are many hidden fees you’ll want to look out for.
Each Chase checking and savings account has its deposit requirements, monthly fees, benefits, and qualification criteria, which I’ll walk you through below.
Checking Account Type
Minimum Deposit Amount
Chase Total Checking
$1,500/day, $5,000mo or $500/mo direct deposits
Chase Secure Banking
no way to waive fees
Chase Premier Plus Checking
$15,000/mo or enroll mortgage in Autopay
Chase First Banking
Chase High School Banking
Chase College Banking
$5,000/mo or monthly direct deposits
Chase Sapphire Banking
Chase Bank Features
Chase Bank offers a variety of features that set them apart from national competitors. Below are the most notable features to explore:
High sign up bonuses
Chase offers significant bank account bonuses to new customers and is often running checking offers and promotions throughout the year. At press time, through 11/23/2020, Chase is offering up to $500 in signup bonuses for a new checking account and new savings account customers.
New Chase checking customers can earn $200 cash back if you open a Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit transactions in its checking bonus offer.
New Chase Savings account holders can earn $200 cash back through its savings offer if you deposit $15,000 or more within 20 business days of account opening, and maintain an average $15,000 balance for a 90-day statement period.
Earn a $500 bonus amount if you open both of the above and follow the qualifying activities.
While this particular bonus offer has an expiration date, Chase frequently runs similar sign-up bonus promotions, so if you miss this one, you’re not completely out of luck.
Easy to use the website and mobile app
Banks need to have a digital presence to thrive these days, but that doesn’t mean that all digital banking apps and platforms run smoothly.
I like that Chase’s mobile app and website are intuitive, quick to navigate, and offer all of the features you could need from a digital bank. These digital tools make it easy to conduct banking transactions from anywhere, especially if you live in a state that does not have a Chase branch.
Easy to avoid monthly fees
While I wish Chase Bank did offer a base checking account with no monthly fee, they do make it easy to avoid monthly charges. First of all, if you’re a child or high school student, this monthly fee is automatically waived. I also like that students with a Chase College Checking account simply need to receive direct deposit each month, with no pay amount specified.
As for the basic checking accounts, I’m glad Chase only requires a $500 direct deposit amount to avoid the fee in its Total Checking option. Many comparable banks require $1,500 or more, which might be hard for some Americans to meet. I also like that the Premier Checking Account allows you to waive the monthly fee if you’re already a Chase mortgage customer enrolled in AutoPay.
Chase has a large number of checking accounts — 8 in total — that allow you to find the account that best matches your financial lifestyle. This also leaves you room to grow with Chase over time and upgrade to accounts that might better match your needs in the future.
Having dedicated high school and college student accounts with no or easily avoidable fees is also a big win in my book.
Who is Chase Bank best for?
New York, California, Florida, and Illinois residents
Chase offers a large selection of branches in these states, making it easy to find a brick-and-mortar location to visit if you need service. Having a Chase nearby (and all across your state) can also make managing ATM fees easier.
Existing Chase customers
Chase Bank often offers incentives to its existing customers. For instance, mortgage customers enrolled in Autopay can open a Chase Premier Checking account with no monthly fee. If you’re already a Chase loan, credit card, or investing customer, it’s worth looking into the offers available to switch to Chase’s banking services.
The last thing a high school or college student should have to worry about is being charged additional fees to keep their money secured. Chase offers plans designed to help students take control of their money, without charging outrageous monthly fees or requiring high deposit amounts.
Who shouldn’t use CitiBank?
Anyone without direct deposit
If you aren’t currently paid by direct deposit, you can still use Chase Bank, but you’ll likely be locked into paying a monthly fee for checking services. Since there are so many free national, local, and online checking accounts on the marketplace, I would recommend turning to another banking establishment if you won’t receive monthly direct deposits.
Anyone looking for a high-yield savings account
Chase Bank shines when it comes to checking account options, but is lacking in the savings account department. With an annual APY of only 0.01% for its base savings account, I can’t imagine recommending this account to anyone looking to accrue interest on their money.
Chase Bank pros and cons
Now that you know a little bit more about Chase Bank and what it has to offer, I’ll walk you through a few specific pros and cons to consider before making a banking decision.
Rewards and bonuses. I know I talked specifically about Chase’s signup bonuses, but the perks continue if you’re a Chase credit card holder or loan customer. If you already have a financial relationship with Chase, there’s likely a checking account option designed to help you earn more rewards or rack up additional bonuses.
Standalone savings accounts. While I don’t love Chase Bank’s savings account options, they do allow you to open standalone savings accounts, without obligating you to become a checking account customer. This might be a consideration if you need a savings account and nothing more.
No minimum deposit requirements. Unlike many national banks, Chase does not require minimum deposits to open checking accounts, which is a major bonus.
Overdraft Protections. Although I don’t love Chase’s overdraft charges, I am glad that this bank offers overdraft protections that allow customers to link accounts and draw on funds in existing accounts to protect them from overdraft fees.
Monthly Fees. I wish Chase had a free checking account option for customers who aren’t students, but I will note that the fees are relatively easy to waive. If you can’t waive these fees, they are on the high side when compared to other national banks.
Poor savings account options. Chase only offers two savings accounts compared to its eight checking account options. Not only does this feel like a missed opportunity, but most Americans will likely only qualify for the base savings account, which won’t earn you nearly anything in terms or interest or perks.
Hidden fees. On the downside, Chase Bank does have hidden fees to look out for, such as overdraft fees and ATM fees. While most banks charge overdraft fees, Chase’s $34 per transaction (up to four per day) can add up if you don’t realize your account is overdrawn. Likewise, Chase has a $2.50 ATM fee for non-Chase ATMs.
Chase Bank vs. competitors
Now, I’ll show you how Chase Bank compares to some of its top competitors.
Chase Bank vs. Bank of America
Bank of America is one of Chase Bank’s oldest rivals. Both are national financial competitors offering accounts that may seem rather similar at first glance. However, there are some key differences you should be aware of.
Bank of America requires a minimum deposit of $100 to open a standard checking or savings account and also has slightly fewer branch locations in the U.S. than Chase Bank. Bank of America also charges a lower monthly fee than Chase and offers more ways to waive this fee.
Bank of America also offers higher interest rates on its base savings account (0.03% APY vs Chase Bank’s 0.01%). However, Bank of America does not have the sign-up bonuses Chase Bank offers.
Citibank is another top name in the banking world and is a top competitor of Chase Bank. There are a few significant distinctions to understand between these two banks.
Both Chase Bank and Citibank offer a large selection of checking accounts, however, unlike Chase Bank, Citibank’s diverse selection mostly applies to higher-income and investing customers. Citibank also has a much smaller physical presence across the U.S., with only 700 physical branches.
However, in terms of savings accounts, Citibank blows Chase Bank out of the water. Citibank offers a high-yield 0.70% APY savings account option that makes Chase’s savings accounts forgettable.
Here’s a closer look at how these three banks stack up against one another:
$0 - $25
$34 per transaction (3 transactions per day)
Bank of America
$35 per transaction (4 transactions per day)
$4.50 - $30
0.04% - 0.70%
$34 per transaction (4 transactions per day)
Can I open a Chase Bank account online?
Yes, you can open a Chase Bank checking or savings account online by visiting www.chase.com.
Does Chase charge for having an account?
Chase charges monthly fees on some of their accounts. You can avoid these fees by meeting specific direct deposit or balance requirements, being an existing Chase mortgage customer enrolled in AutoPay, or if you’re a high school student. Requirements vary across banking plans.
Does Chase require a minimum balance?
While Chase Bank’s checking and saving accounts do not have minimum balance requirements, obtaining a certain balance can waive monthly fees.
Can I open a Chase Bank account with an SSN?
Typically Chase Bank will require you to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) when opening a checking or savings account, however, you can use your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead.
The bottom line
Chase Bank has deep historical ties in the United States and has been providing banking services for centuries. Chase has a large selection of banks and ATMs across the country, but they are not located in every state. Chase does provide access to cutting-edge digital banking tools, which might make up for its lack of presence in some states.
Chase Bank might be the right fit for you if you’re already an existing Chase customer or if you like options when it comes to choosing a checking account. However, if you’re looking to earn interest or want a free checking account, I would consider researching local and online banking options first.