Chase Bank Review

Chase Bank, headquartered in Manhattan, New York, is the banking arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which has $2.6 trillion in assets and offers financial services worldwide. The bank says it serves half of the households in the United States, made possible because customers can easily access their services through more than 5,000 branch locations, 16,000 ATMs, an online platform, a mobile app and multiple points for support services, including social media channels like Twitter.

Customers looking for an institution with long-term stability may find it interesting that Chase links its history back to when Aaron Burr founded The Manhattan Company on September 1, 1799, at 40 Wall Street.

While Chase is a large bank, their interest rates across products are some of the lowest in the industry.

Chase Bank at a glance

Pros
  • 5,000+ branches and 16,000 ATMs
  • Fees on basic checking can be avoided and there are several account options to choose from
  • Personal banking benefits for qualifying military members
Cons
  • Low interest rates on checking and savings accounts
  • Heavy on fees
  • $1,000 minimum balance on CDs

 

 

What’s interesting about Chase Bank

Chase has been around a long time. As one of the largest banks in the U.S., it is a recognized brand and a good choice for customers who want to bank with a large institution. The bank offers multiple options for checking and savings accounts. Chase Bank offers a wide range of products, including car loans, business loans, mortgages, home-equity lines of credit and investment advice. It’s easy to access Chase because they have thousands of branch locations and ATMs, a large online presence and 24/7 support.

Things to consider

While the bank offers several types of accounts, they usually come with fees that can be avoided but that require extra work for the customer. For the basic checking account, the bank charges a $2.50 fee for using non-Chase ATMs. Chase offers a lot of account perks, but with lower-than-average interest rates, customers won’t see their money grow as quickly as they might elsewhere.

Checking and savings accounts

Chase offers three types of checking accounts, all with monthly maintenance fees that can be avoided. These accounts are: Chase Total Checking, which does not earn interest and charges ATM fees; Chase Premier Plus Checking, which earns interest and has limited fees waived at non-Chase ATMs; and Chase Sapphire Checking, which earns interest, waives ATM fees worldwide and has a dedicated 24/7 service line for cardholders.

Chase offers two types of savings accounts: Chase Savings, which has a $5 monthly service fee that can be waived with a $300 daily balance, and Chase Premier Savings, which has a $25 monthly service fee that can be waived with a $15,000 balance.

Rates on checking and savings accounts are low compared to Chase’s competitors. However, the bank offers higher “relationship rates” to customers who link accounts, such as their checking account with their savings accounts, or a certificate of deposit (CD) with a checking account.

Money market accounts

Chase Bank does not offer a money market account. Some of the banks with the best money market accounts currently available include BBVA, with a $10,000 minimum deposit for a 1.50% APY interest rate — the highest out there. BMO Harris is another option, with a $5,000 minimum deposit for 2.05% APY, which is considered a high yield. Sallie Mae is also worth considering, as its money market account has a $0 minimum deposit and a competitive interest rate, which requires no minimum balance or fees.

CDs

CDs are available from Chase Bank in 1-month to 120-month term lengths and require a minimum of $1,000 investment. Customers can earn more money with long-term CDs and can get a higher interest rate with Chase’s “relationship rate boost” when they link their CD to their Chase personal checking account. CDs can be accessed at physical branch locations, as well as online and via smart devices. Customers opening a CD with a deposit of more than $100,000 must visit a branch location to complete the transaction.

Credit cards

Chase has a full array of credit cards with offers that are considered among the best on the market. Chase usually makes sure a customer has a good or excellent credit rating before issuing a card. Several Chase cards are travel-related.  Most feature cash back rewards, bonus offers and other perks. Chase cardholders get free credit scores, access to Chase’s Ultimate Rewards programs and 24/7 account access through the Chase Mobile app.

The most popular cards are the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, which has no annual fee and unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, and the Chase Freedom Card, which offers cash back on every purchase, plus the ability to earn 5% cash back up to $1,500 in bonus categories.

The Chase Slate card is also popular due to its 0% intro APR for 15 months from the account opening on balances and transfers, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a $95 annual fee and 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, and the ability to earn 2x points on travel and restaurants.

There is also the Chase Sapphire Reserve, with a $450 annual fee, 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months and 3x points on travel and dining.

Chase Bank credit card interest rates are comparable to those of other banks.

Personal loans

Although Chase Bank is one of the most established and reputable banks in the nation, it does not offer personal loans to even those with amazing credit. If your credit is less than perfect but still fair, try securing a personal loan through Prosper. With interest rates as low as 6.95% (less than a credit card), it becomes easier to secure the funds you need for a wedding, debt consolidation, travel and more. Be aware that Prosper does charge origination fees depending on the amount you borrow, however, as it will be taken out of the loan amount.

Mortgage loans

Fortunately, Chase Bank does offer mortgage loans to prospective homebuyers. The rates it offers are comparable, as well. With 15-year fixed mortgage rates as low as 2.875%, it can make homeownership a reality. However, like many banks, these rates are generally only accessible with excellent credit profiles. But if you already bank with Chase Bank, then securing a mortgage with it will be much more convenient.

Chase Bank mortgage refinance

This bank offers mortgage refinance products along with its standard mortgage products, but you’ll need an excellent credit score to qualify. If you do, you’ll get a really low refi rate and a ton of different term options to choose from. This bank’s mortgage refinance products are likely out of reach for people with good or fair credit, though.

Home equity loans and HELOCs

Chase Bank offers home equity loans and HELOCs, so you have the option to choose between a lump sum loan and a line of credit. As with Chase Bank’s other products, though, if you want to take advantage of their home equity products, you’ll need a strong credit profile to qualify. Chase’s home equity products currently have rates that range from 5.00% APY to nearly 8% depending on a number of factors, including the amount you’re borrowing or given access to on credit.

Car loans

When it comes to Chase Bank car loans, the interest rate on your auto loan will depend on the make, model and year of the car you want to finance, as well as your credit rating and the amount you want to borrow. However, Chase Bank has created a new car-buying product called Chase Auto Preferred that connects car shoppers with a concierge at a dealership to better help customers with the car buying experience. This is only available in beta stages in Arizona, but is expected to expand into other states and dealerships. Chase Bank also provides a handy auto loan calculator on its website to help customers get a better picture of what their rates might be.

The final word

Chase Bank is one of the largest banks in the country, offering more services than many of its competitors. In addition to checking and savings accounts, CDs and credit cards, Chase Bank provides mortgages, auto loans and one of the broadest selections of credit cards in the industry. While savings interest rates tend to be low and some fees are high, Chase has a good basic checking account. Customers with less-than-stellar credit may not find Chase’s credit cards accessible. However, for customers with good credit who like the convenience of having all their accounts linked, and who feel more secure banking with a large institution, Chase’s offerings may be a good option.