In today’s digital world, having a checking account is not just a luxury, but a necessity. As a leading financial institution, Chase, a division of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A, offers a variety of checking accounts to suit different needs.
This guide will provide an overview of how to open a Chase checking account, detail the available account types, and explain their associated benefits and costs.
The Basics of Opening a Chase Checking Account
Opening a Chase checking account is a simple and streamlined process. It’s designed to be accessible whether you prefer to handle your banking online or in-person. With over 4,700 branches, JPMorgan Chase Co. has made it possible to open an account virtually anywhere in the U.S.
When preparing to open your account, you’ll need to have certain information on hand. This includes your Social Security Number or Tax ID number, which is a basic requirement for any financial transactions in the U.S. You’ll also need a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Chase uses this information to verify your identity, ensuring your financial safety and security.
In addition to the above, you’ll also need to provide personal contact information. This includes your address, email, and phone number. This is so Chase can contact you about account information, and so they can send you important banking documents.
For new customers under the age of 18, a parent or guardian will need to co-own the account. This is standard practice at many financial institutions. It ensures that there’s an adult associated with the account who can manage the account responsibly.
Choosing the Right Chase Checking Account for You
Choosing a bank account is a critical decision, and Chase offers a variety of options, each with its own features, benefits, and costs. These include Chase Total Checking®, Chase Secure Banking℠, Chase Premier Plus Checking℠, and Chase Student Checking. It’s essential to review each option and choose one that fits your lifestyle and financial goals.
Chase Total Checking®
Chase Total Checking® is the most popular checking account offered by Chase. With access to over 15,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches, it offers a range of features including Chase Overdraft Assist℠, Zero Liability Protection for unauthorized debit card transactions.
Additionally, you’ll have the ability to manage your money on the go with the Chase Mobile® app. You can deposit checks, pay bills, and transfer money virtually anywhere, which makes it an excellent option for everyday banking needs.
The monthly service fee for this account is $12, which can be waived if you meet specific requirements such as maintaining a minimum balance, direct deposit, or holding a combination of qualifying Chase accounts.
Chase Secure Banking℠
Chase Secure Banking℠ is designed to help you manage your money without worrying about maintaining a minimum balance or unexpected overdraft fees. With a monthly service fee of $4.95, you can enjoy features like early direct deposit, paying bills, and cashing checks. It also allows you to send money and access Chase’s extensive network of ATMs and branches, all from the Chase Mobile app.
One significant advantage of this account is the absence of overdraft fees. This account enables you to spend only what you have, thus promoting responsible spending habits. Other benefits include no fees on money orders, cashier’s checks, and when using the Chase Online Bill Pay.
Chase Premier Plus Checking℠
The Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ is a premium checking account that not only gives you the standard benefits of online bill pay and mobile banking through the Chase Mobile app but also earns you interest on your balance. You’ll have access to 15,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches, Chase ATMs, and a Chase debit card with chip technology.
This account comes with a $25 monthly service fee that can be waived under specific conditions. These include maintaining a qualifying average balance, having a linked qualifying Chase mortgage, or for current U.S. service members and veterans with a qualifying military ID.
Additional perks include no fee for the first four non-Chase ATM transactions, Chase design checks, and no monthly service fees on up to two additional linked Chase checking and personal savings accounts.
How to Open a Chase Checking Account Step-by-Step
Whether you choose to open a Chase account online or in-person, the process is simple and hassle-free.
Opening an Account Online
To open a Chase checking account online, follow these steps:
- Visit the Chase website and select the ‘Open an account’ option.
- Select the type of account you wish to open.
- Click ‘Open account’ and fill in your personal information.
- Review the Deposit Account Agreement and other disclosures.
- Fund your new Chase bank account.
- Submit your application.
You should receive an email confirmation, and your debit card and account details should arrive by mail within 7-10 business days.
Opening an Account In-Person
If you prefer to open a Chase checking account in person, follow these steps:
- Visit a Chase branch. You can use the ‘Branch/ATM locator’ on the Chase website or Chase Mobile app to find a branch near you.
- A Chase representative will guide you through the process, help you understand the various account options, and complete the application form.
- Review the Deposit Account Agreement and other disclosures.
- Fund your new account.
- You will receive a temporary debit card immediately and your permanent debit card will be mailed to you.
The in-person option offers the advantage of personalized assistance from a Chase representative who can answer any questions you might have and ensure a smooth application process.
Understanding Chase’s Monthly Account Fees
Understanding the monthly service fees associated with your checking account is crucial to managing your money effectively. Most accounts come with different fees, depending on the account type.
For instance, the Chase Total Checking account has a $12 monthly service fee. However, this can be waived under certain conditions. These include a direct deposit totaling $500 or more. It can also be waived by maintaining a beginning day balance of $1,500 or more. Alternatively, an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more across qualifying accounts can also waive the fee.
The Chase Secure Banking account is a bit different. It has a $4.95 monthly service fee with no waiver option. On the other hand, the Chase Premier Plus Checking account has a $25 monthly service fee. But, this fee can be waived. You can do this by meeting certain balance requirements or having linked accounts.
Understanding Minimum Balance Requirements for Chase Checking Accounts
Chase checking accounts have different minimum balance requirements, which can influence the account’s cost. The Chase Total Checking account, for example, requires a daily beginning balance of $1,500 or more to avoid the monthly service fee.
For the Chase Premier Plus Checking account, an average beginning day balance of $15,000 or more in any combination of linked qualifying accounts or a linked Chase mortgage can help avoid the monthly service fee.
The Chase Secure Banking account, however, does not require a minimum balance, making it an attractive option for those looking for a low-cost, simple checking account.
Perks and Drawbacks of Chase Checking Accounts
The checking accounts offered by Chase come with several perks, such as access to a broad ATM and branch network, excellent customer service, and a highly-rated mobile app for easy access to your money. Furthermore, accounts like the Chase Total Checking and Chase Premier Plus Checking offer additional benefits like earning interest and waiving the monthly service fee under specific conditions.
However, these accounts also have some drawbacks. Monthly service fees, unless waived, and ATM fees for non-Chase ATMs can add to your banking costs. Furthermore, the interest rates offered on these accounts are typically lower than those offered by online banks.
Is a Chase checking account right for you?
Choosing the right checking account depends on your personal financial needs and lifestyle. If you value in-person banking, broad ATM and branch access, and a comprehensive mobile banking experience, a Chase checking account could be a good fit. However, if you’re looking for high-interest rates or zero fees, you might want to explore other financial institutions.
It’s essential to consider the different features, benefits, and costs associated with each account type. Make sure to read the fine print and understand the terms of the Deposit Account Agreement before opening a new account. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or someone looking for secure banking, Chase has a variety of options to help you manage your money effectively.