The Ultimate Guide to Chase Personal Checking Accounts [Types & Benefits]

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Many people I know (myself included) are Chase loyalists.

Chase is a solid financial institution – and beyond their portfolio of banking products, they excel in offering a superb collection of rewards-earning credit cards that rival the competition.

But when it comes to banking, you could probably open a checking account with any of a dozen nearby banks. You may want to consider Chase, however, for the long-term value a Chase relationship can provide.

The whole financial package offered by Chase leverages your ability to manage your finances economically. It also allows you to earn valuable rewards with their credit cards and collect cash bonuses for opening new accounts and referring friends.

We’re going to focus on personal checking accounts here because it’s the perfect place to start a relationship with Chase.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • Why you’d want a personal Chase checking account
  • The types of checking accounts available
  • Special checking accounts designed for students and military members
  • The best personal Chase credit cards
  • How to earn Chase cash bonuses

Let’s get started with an overview of Chase personal checking options and see which may be right for you.

Benefits of a Chase Personal Checking Account

When deciding on a bank to open a personal checking account with, you might want to consider the whole package and what the relationship can do for you in the future. Selecting Chase can be a prudent financial move for a lot of reasons.

Why you should consider building a long-term relationship with Chase:

  • Accessibility (5,000 branches and 16,000 ATMs)
  • FDIC insured
  • Ability to make mobile deposits
  • Online banking
  • Additional mobile banking tools and account alerts
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Use Chase QuickPay and Zelle to pay bills or for peer-to-peer payments
  • Paperless statements
  • Special account discounts and benefits for military members
  • Special accounts for students
  • Ability to link business checking and personal checking accounts
  • Higher interest rates and fee waivers for relationship customers
  • Strong rewards-earning credit card offerings

Bottom Line: Chase offers all the convenience, technology, and security you would expect from any solid financial institution. Above and beyond that is their superb industry-leading portfolio of rewards-earning credit cards. 

Chase account tools
The benefits of having a Chase checking account are many. Image courtesy of Chase.

Types of Chase Personal Checking Accounts

An obvious place to begin establishing a financial relationship with Chase would be to open a Chase checking account.

You’ll have several options depending on your financial situation and preferences. If you’re a student or a military member, you’ll find special accounts that are tailored specifically to your needs.

Let’s take a look at the checking account options available at Chase.

Chase checking
Chase has a checking account to fit any financial situation. Image courtesy of Chase.

Chase Total Checking®

The most popular Chase checking account is Chase Total Checking®.

Minimum Deposit to Open: $0

Monthly Service Fee: $12

Waiving the Monthly Service Fee:

  • Have $500 in direct deposits each statement period, OR
  • Have a balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more, OR
  • Have an average daily balance each day of $5,000 or more (combined) in linked qualifying accounts

Chase Premier Plus Checking℠

Minimum Deposit to Open: $0

Monthly Service Fee: $25

Waiving the Monthly Service Fee: 

  • Maintain an average beginning day balance of $15,000 or more in any combination of this account with linked qualifying Chase checking, saving and other balances.

Additional Benefits Over the Chase Total Checking Account:

  • Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ earns interest
  • Fees are waived for counter checks, money orders, and cashiers checks
  • Monthly service fee waived for linked Chase personal savings account
  • Monthly service fee waived for up to 2 additional Chase Premier Plus checking accounts
  • Free Chase design checks

Hot Tip: A Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ account can work well as a family account. For example, it is possible to have 1 joint account plus 2 individual accounts all under one Chase Premier Plus checking, and none will incur a monthly service fee when a qualifying requirement is met.

Chase sapphire banking
Take your banking to a whole new level with a Chase Sapphire checking account. Image courtesy of Chase.

Chase Sapphire℠ Checking

Those who have large resources held in Chase checking, savings, and investment accounts can eliminate banking and associated transaction fees with the Chase Sapphire Checking account.

You can also enjoy the benefits of Chase Sapphire Checking by simply paying the monthly service fee. Let’s see if the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Checking outweigh the requirements.

Minimum Deposit to Open: $0

Monthly Service Fee: $25

Waiving the Monthly Service Fee: 

  • Keep an average beginning day balance of  $75,000 in combined qualifying Chase accounts and investments

Additional Benefits Over the Chase Premier Plus Checking Account:

  • No Chase ATM fees worldwide
  • ATM fees charged by the ATM owner will be reimbursed
  • No fees for insufficient funds or returned items (subject to limits)
  • No foreign exchange rate fees
  • No monthly service fees on up to 9 linked Chase accounts
  • Free safety deposit box
  • Commission-free online stock and EFT trades

You don’t need heavy financial resources deposited with Chase to benefit from the Sapphire Checking account.

Even with a $25 monthly service fee, you may realize savings if you frequently use non-Chase ATMs, travel internationally, or have several family checking accounts that currently incur monthly fees.

You can open a Chase Sapphire Checking account online or visit a Chase branch; you can also upgrade an existing Chase checking account.

Hot Tip: If you plan to open a Chase Sapphire℠ Checking account, be sure you check for special sign-up offers, like extra Ultimate Rewards Points!

Chase College Checking℠

Students have specific banking needs. Being busy and on-the-go means digital banking services and easy access to their money are probably priorities.

Chase’s student checking account does all that plus eliminates monthly fees and provides the tools a student needs to become more financially savvy.

Let’s take a look at the features of a Chase College Checking℠ account.

Minimum Deposit to Open: $25

Monthly Service Fee: $0 for students ages 17-24 with valid student ID. A fee of $6 per month applies once the student has graduated or turns 25.

Waive the Service Fee After Graduation: 

  • Have a direct deposit to the account, OR
  • Keep an average ending day balance of $5,000 or more

Benefits of College Checking:

  • Chase QuickPay with Zelle – Pay just about anyone at anytime
  • Online bill pay – Manage and pay your bills from your phone or computer
  • Chase QuickDeposit – Deposit checks with your phone
  • No monthly service fee – Students ages 17-24 with valid ID pay no monthly fee for up to 5 years
  • Cardless ATM access using your mobile wallet – You don’t need a physical card to get funds at the ATM

With no fees during the college years, Chase College Checking℠ is an economical way for students to manage their money. After graduation, a direct deposited paycheck waives the monthly fee.

Bottom Line: Geared toward the tech-savvy student who wants to build banking experience and learn how to manage their money, the Chase College Checking℠ account could be a great solution.

Chase High School Checking

The not-quite-ready for college set can still learn how to start managing money with a Chase High School Checking account.

Students ages 14-17 can qualify for this special student checking account with their parent/guardian as a co-owner.

Minimum Deposit to Open: $25

Monthly Service Fee: $6

Waiving the Service Fee:

  • A direct deposit is made to the account each statement period, OR
  • The account is linked to a qualifying personal parent/guardian checking account, OR
  • The account has an average ending day balance of $5,000

Hot Tip: Non-U.S. students may also qualify to open a High School or College Checking account with proper ID, a residence address (U.S. or foreign), account opening funds, and their passport. 

Navy Helicopter
Military members can save hundreds of dollars annually with Chase Military Banking. Image courtesy of Navy Mass Communication Specialist Anaid Banuelos Rodriguez.

Chase Checking for Military Members

The Chase Premier Plus Checking account with Chase Military Banking benefits delivers a customized checking account tailored specifically to the needs of military members.

Who Qualifies? 

All active, reserve, or National Guard members and veterans with valid military ID qualify for the following core benefits:

  • No monthly service fee (normally $25)
  • Free 3 x 5 safety deposit box
  • Fees waived on 4 non-Chase ATM transaction each statement period
  • No fees for counter checks, money orders, or cashiers checks
  • No monthly service fees on up to 2 additional checking accounts
  • No monthly service fees on savings accounts
  • No monthly service fees on Chase Liquid pre-paid cards

Military members who choose to direct deposit their paychecks receive these additional benefits:

  • Fees waived on all non-Chase ATM transactions
  • No Chase fee on wire transfers (incoming and outgoing)
  • No exchange rate transaction fees at international ATMs or when using debit card for non-USD transactions

If you’re a military member, Chase Military Banking benefits could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Hot Tip: Chase’s Survivor Program eliminates the debt on mortgages, loans, credit cards, and more for those military members who have been killed in combat or lost their lives due to military service. To learn more about this program, contact Chase at 877-469-0110.

Chase Private Client Banking

For those special clients who carry a $250,000 or more total balance in qualifying Chase accounts, the benefits are many.

Chase Private Clients receive access to special Chase products, priority services, and investment advice. They also receive fee waivers on their accounts and other elite benefits.

If you want to learn more, we’ve created an ultimate guide to Chase Private Client banking.

Family Travel Venice
The rewards earned on a Chase credit card can help fund that family vacation. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

The Best Chase Personal Credit Cards

A rewards-earning Chase personal credit card can be a great complement to your personal Chase checking and savings accounts.

Whether you want a card that earns rewards on everyday purchases or you’re looking to earn rewards on those travel purchases, Chase credit cards can do it all.

When it comes time to redeem your rewards, you’ll have a lot of choices. First, even their cash-back credit cards earn rewards that can be redeemed for travel.

Additionally, you’ll find travel statement credits, lounge access, and more travel value at redemption time with premium Chase credit cards.

You can also earn a great sign-up bonus when meeting minimum initial spending after card approval.

Here are some of the most popular and rewarding Chase personal credit cards:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card which has a 60,000 point bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia. The bonus alone could get you multiple round-trip flights or hotel stays.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Consider this premium card if you want to get into a lot of airport lounges. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $450 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you 3% cash-back on all purchases in your first year (up to $20,000 spent), then 1.5% on all purchases after that. Just know that you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.

Earning Cash Bonuses With Chase

Chase New Account Bonuses

We can all use some extra cash, and fortunately Chase often rewards its new customers with cash bonuses! When opening a Chase checking and/or savings account, you could be on your way to earning several hundred dollars.

The amount varies, but when you’re ready to open a Chase account, you’ll want to check to find which bonuses are being offered.

Bonuses for Student Accounts

New account bonuses for student checking may or may not be offered when you’re ready to open an account.

When you’re ready, check here to see if a bonus is currently being offered for a new student checking account.

Make Money by Referring Friends

Have a current Chase checking or savings account and need a little cash?

Just refer your friends (and family) — when they open an account with Chase, you’ll receive a $50 cash bonus. You can refer up to 10 friends per year for a total of $500 extra cash in your account.

To get started, copy your unique referral URL link generated when you access the refer a friend page and share via social media or email.

You can also request Chase to send your friend a personal email invitation (but it can take several days). Your friend must use either link to apply for their account to ensure you receive your bonus.

Hot Tip: New account and referral bonuses are considered interest, so they are taxable income. You will receive a 1099 form from Chase at the end of the calendar year for the amount of the bonus. 

Final Thoughts

I’m obviously a Chase fan, but it’s a valid love affair. I have several Chase checking accounts, savings accounts, an auto loan, previous mortgages, and a large collection of their credit cards. I definitely value the long-term relationship I’ve built with Chase, including my extended credit history with them.

My bias is also fueled by the thousands of dollars in travel I earn every year with Chase Ultimate Rewards points and statement credits. The travel perks of lounge access and the 50% more value I receive when redeeming points with my Chase Sapphire Reserve® add plenty of additional awesomeness!

The bottom line, of course, is whether Chase can add as much value for you.

I think you’ll find that the whole package of what Chase can do, starting with one of their personal checking accounts, is worth considering a relationship with an institution that offers so much.

 


FAQ

What is the best Chase checking account?

Your budget and your personal financial situation will determine which checking account is the best for you.

The most popular Chase checking account is the Total Checking account because the monthly service fee is waived if you have just 1 direct deposit of $500 or more during each statement period.

If you are a military member or college student, you’ll find tremendous value with Chase College Checking or Chase Premier Plus Checking account with Military Banking benefits.

Both accounts eliminate any monthly service fees with qualifying ID.

How much does Chase give you for opening an account?

New account bonuses can vary. At times, they have offered as much as $500 for opening both a checking and savings account.

Before opening an account, you can check the Chase.com website to see if there is a current offer.

And don’t forget that once you have a Chase checking or savings account, you can refer friends and earn even more cash bonuses.

Can I open a Chase checking account online?

Yes, you can open a Chase checking account online. Just go to Chase.com and click on “open an account” to begin.

Prior to opening an account, you’ll want to review the types of checking accounts available and select one that meets your budget and financial requirements.

You’ll also want to see if there are any cash bonuses offered for signing up for a new account. If there are, you can still open the account online by following the associated bonus link.

You can also request a bonus coupon to take with you into a Chase branch to open the account and receive the bonus.

How does Chase refer a friend work?

If you have a current Chase checking or savings account, you can refer friends to open an account and receive a cash bonus.

Refer-a-friend bonuses can change, but at some points you could refer up to 10 friends per 12-month period and earn $50 for each friend who opens an account.

To refer a friend, you can go to Chase.com/referafriend/catchall and input your information to receive a unique URL link. You can use this link to invite friends on social media or send it in an email.

You can also have Chase send an email to your friend, but it can take a few days to arrive.

Your friends must use the special link in order for you to receive the bonus, which will be deposited into your account within 10 days after your friend opens the qualifying account.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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