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Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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More Checking Account Fees at Chase, But Bonuses Are Larger


Chase Manhattan Bank

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.

  Tags: Chase Manhattan Bank, checking account

Related Posts

Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
I opened a $100 bonus account about eight months ago and got dinged $6 last month by Chase for not paying attention to their changes (thought it was a totally free account).  They refused to refund/waive the fee for a first time offense.  I pomptly closed the checking account and one of their credit cards that had a $60 annual fee.

Comment #2 by mrvirgo posted on
I had a Washington Mutual free for life checking whose forever status was "guaranteed" by Chase as long as it met their purpose. When I got the $12 fee notice, I linked my 50K at  5% for 5 years CD (opened with WaMu)  to my now not-so-free Chase checking.  So the account remains free as long as I have the CD. The minute it matures, I am finished with Chase---the bank that gives you nothing but grief and bombards  you with a ton of junk mail.  My credit card with them is long closed I am happy to say.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Beware of their sneaky fees, and there are many.  If they catch you with one, they will not waive it.  We are done with them as they are notoriously consumer-unfriendly.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
I too had a wamu free account that they started charging for.  I never received the notice about it.  I went into a branch and spoke to a rude manager , who refused to refund anything. So I closed my account too.

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Run, don't walk, away from Chase. They are ratcheting up the fees to the point where any reward you see is one you will have paid for, and then some. I've been closing my Chase accounts and credit cards one by one by one ... Just think, if they paid Jamie Dimon "only" $10 million instead of $21 million, maybe they could give their customers a fair shake. I hope this prompts everyone to take a closer look at their smaller local banks and credit unions. That's where my business is going.

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Although poster #6 is rather belligerent, I will confess that I sometimes find it useful to be one of the zillion plus customers of a megabank like Chase. Basically, I like the fact that when I need to do something that might not stand up to 100% strict scrutiny, like depositing a third party check, I can stick it in their auto-scanning ATM and it will get deposited for me without a second thought (since no human is involved in the transaction, I suppose I should say without a first thought too!)

At a smaller bank I would actually have to go to a teller that cared, and they would look at the checks I was depositing, and possibly stop me if one of them were made out to someone else. At Chase, I stick it in the ATM, and it gets deposited and no one is the wiser. Also, I've found that their tellers don't care (they're just a number, too, at megamegamegalopolisbank) so I can even deposit third party checks through them without anyone batting an eye. Again, this is about the only use I have for them. But occasionally it's worth having.

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
I still bank with Chase, they have the fastest ACH system around and no holds on the funds like Ally does. Bill pay is almost immediately paid and no wait or scheduling needed.

Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
I have a couple accounts at Chase and rarely visit a branch.  Everything I do is online or through their nifty ATMs.  However, on my last visit to a branch the banker I spoke with was so condescending and rude that I'm ready to leave.  I'm the easiest customer to service!  All electronic, no complaints, no unique requests.  It made me angry, especially since she talked to me as if I were some incompetent fool and I'm a fairly well-educated corporate finance professional.  Ugh.  The thought of untangling all my electronic payments / bill pay is the only thing holding me back...

Comment #12 by emdtech posted on
Hey Big Picture (I think that is what you go by):

It sounds like you work for Chase (albeit not an elegant spokesperson). Let get a few facts together for you:

Chase does not a have a good reputation for customer service and has changed the “rules” quite often on their accounts – Credit cards, checking accounts etc. They may or may not correct customer issues even if you are a good customer with a fair amount of assets with them.

Not everyone go to Starbucks as you indicate. So your reference to free spending Americans does not hold weight as an argument (unless it is with yourself).

Banks are notorious for “bait and switch” approach to marketing to the general public. They are looking to make money anyway possible. You pay the new fee, they like you a lot.

Do you know how many banking executives (major banks like Chase, BoA etc.) have gone to jail for the mortgage melt down over the 2008 – 2011 time frame for the fraud they committed? ZERO

Lastly, your reference to “out of date credit union” – I belong to Alliant CU in Chicago, Ill. It is a great CU with a great customer service team (and management that cares). They have a free checking account also that pays 1.10% yield interest and they also have other products like savings, CD and even ATM access (wow, such a great feature for a CU from the Stone Age).

I really do not need to tell you anything about banks or Credit Unions - you “know all”.



Comment #13 by biscuit barrel (anonymous) posted on
biscuit barrel
I've recently switched from Chase to a local credit union (, and only wish I had done it even sooner. I'm getting a better rate on my savings account, and no longer have to put up with ridiculous fees being chucked at me left and right.

Comment #14 by Sree posted on
I was a Wamu driven chase customer for a long time, once they started slapping the monthly fees, closed all of my business with chase. I am not sure what would be the problem of having a local credit union as the primary financial firm for each of us? With their shared branching network, online banking and the HUGE ATM network across the country, what I am going to get more at a commercial bank by paying huge fees for silly mistakes(even for no mistakes too).. please share your opinion

Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
The only thing I have with Chase are my cash-back credit cards.  I am happy with them.  I have had to contact Chase on a couple of occasions and I do agree with the posters who say that they are pretty customer unfriendly.  I had a free checking account years ago with them, but it wasn't worth it.  There were too many things I had to do to avoid a fee.  So unless Chase starts charging me for my credit cards or stops paying me cash back, I'll stay with them for my credit cards only.

Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Wow! This “defense” of Chase by the poster above is really amazing. Did you, guys, know that this scam bank makes billions in profit from food stamps (!), manipulate the commodity markets, pay peanuts in tax, etc, etc, etc? They and other Too Big Too Fail brought the economy to its knees with their greed and outright fraud. Has a single banker been prosecuted?

We, ordinary tax-paying folks, bailed them out and, I guess, now they are saying thank you by charging us fees and paying themselves bonuses. Although I can afford to meet the Chase requirements for “free” checking, I moved my accounts elsewhere. The local banks don’t have access to free money from the FED; they actually have to work, make real loans to SBs, not just milk the FED/taxpayer. If you, guys, want to see any recovery you better start supporting the local banks. I agree $12 a month is not a lot of money, but it is twelve more than many folks now refuse to pay to TBTF banks. And rightly so!  

Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous #15, regarding those cash-back credit cards, I got a letter from Chase the other day informing me that there would no longer be any rewards if I did not also have a Chase checking account. That's fine. Very happy now with my cash-back PenFed card. Chase card will be closed, because I am sure an annual fee is coming next.

Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on

Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on

Comment #20 by Small Banks (anonymous) posted on
Small Banks
Ever since I learned about reward checking accounts, I always feel jipped by the big banks. The small banks are still able to give away free checking and high interest rates. Why can't Chase? @ 'the big picture' Chase could offer their accounts for free if they wanted to, but they are using the legislation as an excuse. I have taken their bonuses, but that is it. I no longer deal with Chase nor will I so long as they charge $12 a month for a checking account. 

Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon received a 2010 equity bonus worth $17 million, the biggest for a big name Wall Streeter so far this year

Read more:

The fight over debit card swipe fees got a few notches hotter this week when Senator **** Durbin sent an open letter to Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase bank. Dimon is leading a lobbying effort to kill Durbin’s amendment limiting swipe fees, calling it “idiotic.”


Comment #22 by Dan (anonymous) posted on
Can I avoid the $10/month fee by doing an ACH transfer from another bank account every month, for more than $500?  Or does it *have* to be a direct deposit from my employer?

There are actually a couple of features of Chase's checking account that I would like, namely their remote deposit and direct person-person payments...

Comment #23 by abc123 posted on
When I banked with Chase, an Ally ach transfer fufilled the direct deposit requirement. 

Comment #24 by Watchful Eye (anonymous) posted on
Watchful Eye
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 JPMorgan Chase new business model is raise fees for checking and soon will include basic savings accounts.  The bank will soon raise credit card fees and rates, as Bank of America announced on April 26…JPM will follow.  But, yet, the payout bonuses are at record levels for 2010.  The fees and other punishing charges customers pay feeds to the bonus pool.  Best approach to avoid fees or reduce fees is to look for a local bank that needs to increase is customer  base.  Or a credit union, which tend to charge less fees or no fees for similar accounts and services.  The big four banks are in a good position to raise fees because of the number of customers and their wide reach to of branches.  If you manage your account on-line (majority), no reason to remain with any of the big four banks.  Find a local bank or credit union, with limited branches for the few times needed to visit a branch. 

Comment #25 by Watchful Eye (anonymous) posted on
Watchful Eye

 Direct deposit and ACH transfers are two separate banking type transactions.  You are required to set-up a direct deposit, which usually is from an employer.  Note:  The $10 fee will be reviewed July 2011 – a possible increase?   

Comment #26 by lou posted on
I wish everyone would boycott this bank and all the other mega banks out there. Until we deny them our business, they will have no incentive to pay decent rates on their deposit accounts to their customers. Pretty soon if we are not careful, there will be a few banks controlling all the deposits in the US. We will see what kind of customer service you will receive then. Seeing the above comments, Americans are too dumb to see the handwriting on the wall.

Comment #27 by Mark (anonymous) posted on
Most customers of Chase seem to have the same negative experience - here is an additional reason why I'll be banking elsewhere:  J. P Morgan, of J.P. Morgan Chase, was one of the original conspirators/bankers who secretly formed the Federal Reserve. If you think Chase Bank is ripping you off, the Federal Reserve is doing it in the amounts of trillions.



Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Chase has requirements for their bonuses that they don't include when you open the account... you won't find out about them until later, when you read through the fine print on the documents accompanying the origination papers... they look like ads, but they're actually additional requirements.  Be warned.

Comment #30 by Hal (anonymous) posted on
Except for a very serious incident with Bank of America two years ago (As Johnny Carson used to say, “May the fleas of a thousand camels crawl up their noses!”) that got the Comptroller of Currency involved, I have had no real problems with “big” banks.  Over the past years, I’ve made over a thousand dollars in bonuses opening and closing Chase checking and saving accounts.  Our local Chase branch acts just like that, a local branch that knows us by sight and takes care of us.  And on-line has been good as well.  Last year I called in to close my Chase Freedom card and they gave me a $50.00 credit to keep it open!  Again, big banks can be really bad, but so far we’ve been quite happy with Chase.

Comment #31 by lou posted on
I find it interesting a thread from April is still receiving comments.  Chase, BoA, Wells, Citi are essentially to-big-to-fail mega banks who pay virtually nothing for deposits because they control such a big share of the market. Consequently, they have eliminated any competition in the marketplace. They may pay bonuses from time to time, but that doesn't nearly compensate for their absymal deposit rates and their poor customer service. These banks should be broken up. I personally would not allow them to own branches across state lines. These banks do many things, but they do not pay competitive deposit rates or make loans to small busineses and consumers. They have really ceased to be banks a long time ago.

Comment #32 by mariafalter posted on
I've seen a $200 bonus mail offer in the mail for opening a checking account.

Comment #33 by Anonymous posted on
I recently went on a vacation. Arriving at the hotel in the wee hours of the morning. As I attempted to use My Chase Visa debit card to hold the hotel with more than enough in my bank my card was declined!! I called a Chase banker and he said the funds were in the account but not available for a few more hours due to a Maintenance the company runs. Hello I was with small children and had not the ability to put them in the hotel with my own money I could not access!! Very frustrating. Needless to say I will be moving on from Chase.

Comment #34 by Anonymous posted on
I opened a checking account with the $200 bonus offer and no problems so far. I just changed my direct deposit to have $250 of my bi-weekly payroll deposited to the new account. The person at the branch knew I was opening the account just to get the bonus, so she did not try to offer me any additional products/services. I'm happy with my rewards checking account at the local credit union, so I don't plan to use the Chase account at all.  I will just close it once I have fulfilled the offer rules (by the way, in threee months I will save $100 initial deposit $1,500 direct deposit  $200 bonus = $1,800 = my next property tax installment.  so not a bad deal at all.)  

Comment #35 by Anonymous posted on
Chase is closing these cking accts *i would love to know how many * before the six months goes by and taking the bonus 125 back. be warned...they are MEASURING .... their PROFIT LOSS PREVENTION DEPARTMENT sent me a letter of closure just 5 months into it. My usage was straight no abuse no negative issues whatsoever none...but,,,i was not a fee payer they made nothing...but the mess it caused me ...redirecting and settling the direct deposits I had put into the account to meet their no fee criteria proved to be a hardship since I closed the bank account they were going Chase...not good corp.

Comment #36 by Anonymous posted on
Doing essentially the same thing as Anonymous #34, put $1500 in there to start so I can get my $200 and meet their offer criteria based on minimum daily balance.  Just going to let it sit for 6 months and close out with $1700.  Annualized rate of return is 28.44% - heck of a lot better than my 0.80% HSBC online account! 

Anonymous #35's comments do have me slightly concerned though...will have to keep an eye out for that. 

Comment #37 by Anonymous posted on
chase is the worst bank ever.

Comment #38 by Anonymous posted on
I opened an accout with Chase simply for the bonus payout. While I'm meeting the term agreement I monitor them as a bank. I have a couple other banking accounts I did the same thing with and I remainded with them. This will not be the case with Chase. First thing they did on the opening bonus was charge me 56.00 INTEREST. I still don't know how they pulled this off although one of their bankers said she had never seen them do that. I've had several communications with them in person and via email, about how, why and by whose authority could they do this. On top of it all, the final comment from them was since it was a new year they could not do anything. Never mind this whole thing started in November and could have been resolved in a day. In the end I recieved a statement from them calling it interest income and federal tax withheld. Originally I asked if this was the case and after two months and not the same answer I get this statement. If you as a Chase patron write someone a check and they go to your bank to cash it, Chase charges them. Doesn't matter to them that you have an account they want the recipient to have one. They wanted to charge a friend 6.00 on 500.00. Personally seems to me with Chase it's all about the money. No pun intended. I take my money out of their institution as soon as its direct deposited and disperse it to my other bank accounts. As soon as my agreement is  complete I will close the account. In addition I will pay attention the the mother company of all transactions I have in the future. I will do my absolute best to avoid Chase and all its many subs. It wasn't the money it was how they handled the situation. There is to much compeitition out there to put up with poor service.

Comment #39 by Disgusted (anonymous) posted on
In the process of closing my chase checking and savings account. Besides the obviuos reasons, I've had more problems with chase these last couple of years then I' ve ever had in the 10 years I was with WAMU. Besides, there's no way I can trust a "so called" bank when they charge me fees without notifing me or informing me they were going to start doing so. I'm boycotting these guys myself and all are invited to join me. They're thieves in my eyes....Is it legal to guarantee something ( free existing checking accounts when they took over WAMU in this case) and then not upholding it, especially without any notification of the renigh? Some input on this would be appreciated. I'd love to charge chase some fees of my own.

Comment #40 by Anonymous posted on

Comment #41 by Anonymous posted on
What happened to the gold old days? You put your money in a bank & they paid  decent5 interest without  all the "reward qualifications". Checking a/cs were free & they appreciated their customers & gave you a toaster oven for opening a new account. Now banks suck...especially CHASE. They rip you off! I closed all my Chase accounts. Too bad I have my mortgage from WAMU with them...I would close that too if it was as easy as closing a checking a/c.