If you have been reviewing your Chase Bank statement, you may have noticed a new $12 service charge. Chase's new fee policy has taken effect, and it applies to both new and existing checking accounts. If you do get hit with the fee, be sure to call and ask for a refund. Banks will usually give at least one refund when you're hit with a new fee. They become less accommodating when you get hit the second time.
If you have a Chase checking account other than the Chase Total Checking or the College Checking, there are fewer options to avoid the monthly fee. For the Chase Premier Checking accounts, you'll have to maintain a large balance at Chase to avoid a $25 monthly fee. For the Chase Total Checking, here are the ways that you can avoid monthly fees (any one of the following will do):
- With a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more (two or more direct deposits that add up to $500 or more do not qualify), OR
- $1,500 minimum daily balance
- average daily balance of $5,000 or more in linked deposit/investment accounts
Otherwise, a $12 monthly service fee applies. Chase used to waive monthly fees for direct deposit of any size or when you made five or more debit-card purchases in a month. Refer to Chase's fee disclosure (link at bottom of checking page) for other fees to watch out for. Some noteworthy ones include:
- $2.50 for using non-Chase ATMs (not including fee from other bank)
- $15 incoming domestic wire transfer fee ($30 outgoing)
- $25 if account is closed within 90 days
We are likely to see some new fees this year as I described in this forum thread.
Larger Chase Checking Account Bonuses
If you're not a Chase customer, the new Chase checking account bonuses may have caught your eye. The bonuses are becoming larger, but beware that it's harder now to avoid monthly fees. Perhaps Chase has decided that this a profitable strategy.
Chase has long offered a $100 bonus for a new checking account with direct deposit. Every now and then you could find a $125 bonus online. Now, the $125 bonus is much more common. I just updated my March $125 Chase checking bonus post with the new promotional page link. The latest $125 bonus is scheduled to last until 5/16/2011 10/7/2011.
In the past Chase sometimes mailed targeted $150 checking account bonus offers. The $150 offer is now starting to appear online. Here's a link to one that's scheduled to last until 7/15/2011, 10/31/2011 1/15/2012 (Hat tip to iBankDesign). This bonus requires direct deposit, and it has essentially the same small print as the $125 offer.
Chase Credit Card Bonuses
In addition to larger checking account bonuses, we have been seeing larger credit card bonuses. Since the interchange fees that banks get from merchants won't be affected by the new debit card regulation, we will probably see more banks pushing their credit cards.
In February I reviewed a $150 bonus for the Chase Freedom card and a $250 bonus for the Chase Sapphire card.
Other Bank Bonuses
To find other bonus deals at other banks, please refer to the bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus blog posts. There are also additional bonuses listed in the checking account deals forum and in the credit card deals forum.