Chase Review

A customer-first bank with a solid reputation for excellent customer service ​
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Mark Lambert

By Mark Lambert Contributing Writer

Mark Lambert worked for over a decade as a computing technology trainer in remote communities throughout Asia and the Pacific. Now a freelance writer and journalist with a keen interest in where technology is taking us, Mark has road-tested and reviewed a wide range of technology products — from smart home security cameras to WiFi routers. In his spare time, Mark is an avid sci-fi geek and home improvement enthusiast.

Chase Review

One of the U.S.’s largest banks, Chase has retained a commitment to a brick-and-mortar presence across the nation, while many banks are increasingly focusing on online services. The major draw of Chase as a banking option is simple: It offers convenience, accessibility, and a strong customer service ethos. If you’re looking for personalized banking consultations, a robust online banking system, and a strong presence across the U.S. (and the world), Chase is in a good position to meet your expectations.

Chase’s service-oriented approach does come with a downside, however. While its products are highly competitive from a monthly fee and support standpoint, Chase is less competitive when it comes to interest rates, especially compared with online banks consistently offering much higher interest rates. If you’re seeking the best possible return on your savings, Chase may not be your ideal option.

Pros
Cons
Excellent customer service
Physical infrastructure of branches and ATMs
Comprehensive and intuitive online and mobile banking services
Lower interest rates than many other banks

The Claim

Chase claims it’s a customer-first bank: Its technology, infrastructure, and customer service policies are all geared toward giving customers a more flexible and responsive banking experience.

Is it true?

For the most part, we believe Chase’s claims are well founded. While all commercial banks will, of course, claim a commitment to customer satisfaction, Chase stands out for building its brand and reputation on a foundation of “being here to help.” From the front page of its website to the promotional literature you pick up at any of its many branches, Chase makes a selling point of empowering its customers.

This claim rests on three overarching principles:

Chase undeniably delivers against the first two of these claims. Chase is one of the most accessible banking services in the U.S., with over 16,000 ATMs across the nation. Moreover, its customer service is renowned, having earned the top spot in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Online Banking Satisfaction Study. Chase is fast, efficient, and comprehensive when it comes to keeping its account holders happy.

However, while Chase certainly offers an extensive menu of banking services, many of its incentives and rewards are skewed to favor new customers. This is by no means a critical failing, and in fact is true of many banks and their promotional offerings, but it’s nevertheless a factor that should weigh into your banking decisions.

What Chase Offers

Chase Total Checking

A highly accessible banking product, a Chase Total Checking account is particularly suited to first-time Chase customers, with ongoing sign-up promotions and a new account holder bonus offer of $200. This account incurs a $12 monthly fee, but Chase waives this fee if your average daily balance exceeds $1,500. No minimum balance is required to open this account.

Pros
Cons
Excellent financial incentives for new customers
Non-Chase ATM fee $2.50 per transaction

Chase Premier Plus Checking

The Chase Premier Plus Checking account maintains a zero minimum balance requirement, but offers an APY of 0.01% in exchange for a monthly fee of $25. The fee, however, is waived if the account holder’s average daily balance exceeds $15,000 in a given month. Non-network ATM transactions are free for the first four transactions, after which a fee of $2.50 per transaction applies.

Pros
Cons
New account holders may receive a $300 cash bonus
Similarly tiered accounts offer a higher APY

Chase Sapphire Checking

Like the Chase Premier Plus account, Sapphire banking requires a zero minimum bank balance to open and attracts a fee of $25 per month. Chase waives this fee if the account holder’s daily average account balance exceeds $75,000. The APY remains at 0.01%, but no additional non-Chase ATM fees apply, both within the U.S. and abroad. Adding to this account’s appeal for traveling customers, no foreign exchange rate adjustment fees apply to ATM withdrawals or purchases placed on a debit card while abroad.

Pros
Cons
Good choice for those who regularly travel abroad
Savings over $75,000 get a more favorable APY in an investment account

Chase Savings

The obvious selling point of the Chase Savings account is its highly competitive monthly fee of just $5, which is waived if the account holder’s daily balance exceeds $300, or if the account is linked to one of several Chase checking accounts. An APY of 0.01% applies.

Pros
Cons
Sound option for new savers or others seeking a second account
Low daily balance requirement of $300
APY is much lower than what’s available at other banks

Chase Premier Savings

The primary difference between this account and the standard Chase savings account is that it delivers a higher APY, with interest rates increasing, depending on the amount deposited. For customers seeking to deposit more substantial sums, this factor alone could more than offset the $25 per month service fee (which Chase waives if daily savings exceed $15,000).

Pros
Cons
Ideal for those seeking interest with access to premium services and funds accessibility
Can enhance savings potential—autosave app assists with regular periodic saving
Online banking service or specialized investment account yield higher returns

Chase Certificate of Deposit

A Chase Certificate of Deposit (CD) can deliver a 1.75% APY (depending on the amount and term), significantly more than the bank’s savings and checking account options. To open a Chase CD, you need an existing Chase Checking account. You’ll also need a minimum deposit amount of $1,000. If you opt to withdraw your funds prior to the agreed term, a penalty applies. For this reason, a CD is better suited to customers seeking to lock away a portion of their savings in exchange for a better interest rate return.

Pros
Cons
Guaranteed rates, ensuring known return on investment
Short and long-term options for a potential increase on return
Reduced funds withdrawal control and penalties apply with early withdraw

Product Overview

  • In business since: 1799
  • J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Online Banking Satisfaction Study score: 4/5
  • FDIC-insured: Yes
  • States served: 36
  • Number of locations: nearly 5,000
  • Pros: Highly accessible service, customer-first focus, wide range of banking products
  • Cons: Mobile banking restrictions, services add to the cost

Features

Checking
Fees waived with average daily balances
Savings
APY can increase based on saving account type
CDs
Guaranteed rates, short and long-term options

Information accurate as of December 10, 2019.

Highly accessible service

Chase has over 16,000 ATM locations across the U.S., and if you’re looking for a banking service consultation, you’ll have no trouble accessing individualized attention from one of nearly 5,000 branches nationwide. This brick-and-mortar infrastructure is backed with mature and intuitive online and mobile banking services.

Customer-first focus

Creating a positive customer experience is undoubtedly one of Chase’s guiding philosophies and chief selling points. In part, this is simply a function of its continued commitment to maintaining physical branches and a large banking workforce. Chase’s customer support and financial advisory services are notable, particularly when many banks are migrating to a leaner customer service model.

Wide range of banking products

While you can find more tailored investment or savings accounts at other banks, Chase stands out as a bank with a robust account offering for anyone from first-time savers to customers with established savings seeking premium accessibility services. Chase is particularly strong on accounts with low or zero minimum open requirements.

Possible drawbacks

Mobile banking imposes some restrictions

Chase’s mobile banking service is an excellent product for ease of use. It’s one of the few mobile banking facilities that feel as easy to use as conventional brick-and-mortar banking services. However, Chase imposes some frustrating limitations. The daily mobile check deposit limit is $2,000. While this is fine for most users, it may limit the service’s usefulness for some small business owners.

Services come at a cost

Chase is a customer-service oriented bank, but all that added convenience and support come at a cost. Chase can’t offer the competitive interest rates that a leaner online bank can. With many of its accounts set at an APY of 0.01%, the majority of Chase’s banking products aren’t geared toward offering competitive interest rates. If you’re seeking highly competitive returns, other banks, especially many up and coming online banks, may offer better products.

The Competition

Chase Ally Bank Capital One Discover
J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Online Banking Satisfaction Study score
4/5 N/A 4/5 N/A
Minimum checking requirement*
$1,500 with Total Checking $15,000 with Premier Plus Checking $75,000 with Sapphire Checking $0 $0 $0
Minimum savings requirement*
$300 with Chase Savings $15,000 with Chase Premier Savings $0 $0 $0
Maximum savings account APY
0.11% 1.70% 1.80% 1.70%
One-year CD APY
0.05% 2.00% 2.10% 2.00%
Monthly maintenance fees
$5-$25 or $0 with minimum account requirements $0 $0 $0
24/7 customer service
Number of states served
36 50 50 50
Number of locations
Nearly 5,000 0 (online only) over 600 0 (online only)
Check rates Check rates Check rates Check rates

*Minimum required balance to waive monthly fees (if applicable)

Information accurate as of December 10, 2019.

Chase FAQ

How much money do I need to start a Chase bank account?

Most Chase bank accounts require a zero minimum deposit. However, monthly fees on most accounts are waived if you can maintain a minimum savings threshold.

How many Chase branches are available?

Nationwide, Chase has nearly 5,000 physical branches, making the bank one of the most physically accessible banking services within the U.S. There are also close to 200 Chase branches situated in countries outside of the U.S. Chase’s international presence makes the bank a great choice if you travel frequently and value the added banking security of local branch availability.

Why would I choose Chase over an online bank?

Chase is a customer-service-focused bank. While its interest rates are lower than those you find offered through online banking services from other financial institutions, Chase offers several value-added services. For example, an extensive network of ATMs throughout the U.S. ensures customers’ savings are conveniently accessible. Furthermore, a wide variety of personalized banking services is available through the bank’s well-staffed physical facilities across most of the nation. If you value added customer support and convenience, Chase more than earns a place on your shortlist.

The Bottom Line

Chase is an excellent option if you value customer service, seek plenty of value-adding services to enhance your account options, and regularly use online or mobile banking services. However, if you’re mainly seeking competitive interest rates, other banks offer products that out-compete Chase, like Ally Bank.