Chase has a long history of checking and savings account bonuses. The deals have improved over the years, and now there’s one that pays up to $400 for new customers. To get the first $200 requires opening a Chase Total Checking Account and setting up direct deposit. To get the second $200 requires opening a new Chase Savings Account, depositing at least $15,000 in new money, and maintaining a $15,000 balance for 90 days. Here's the link to the Chase promotions page. This promo instructs you to print the promotions page with the coupon code and to take it to your local Chase branch. The promo is scheduled to end on 7/15/2014, but these promos often end early. Thanks to DA member Hustler for posting on this promo in the DA forum. Below is the small print of the offer:
Bonus/Account Information: The checking offer is not available to existing Chase checking customers, those with fiduciary accounts, or those whose accounts have been closed within 90 days or closed with a negative balance. To receive the $200 checking bonus: 1) Open a new Chase Total Checking account, which is subject to approval. 2) Deposit $100 or more within 10 business days of account opening; AND 3) Have your direct deposit made to this account within 60 days of account opening. Your direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government. After you have completed all the above requirements, we’ll deposit the bonus in your new account within 10 business days. The bonus cannot be used as the opening deposit. To receive the $200 savings bonus: 1) Open a new Chase Savings account, which is subject to approval. 2) Deposit a total of $15,000 or more in new money into the new savings account within 10 business days of account opening; AND 3) Maintain at least a $15,000 balance for 90 days from the date of deposit. The new money cannot be funds held by Chase or its affiliates. After you have completed all the above requirements, we’ll deposit the bonus in your new account within 10 business days. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY), for Chase Savings effective as of 5/12/14, is 0.01% for all balances in all states. Interest rates are variable and subject to change. Additionally, fees may reduce earnings on the account. You can receive only one new checking and one savings account opening related bonus per calendar year. Bonuses are considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT.
History of Bonus Payouts
Chase does have a good reputation at honoring the bonuses. According to my poll that asked whether Chase paid you the bonus as promised, 86% of the readers who took the poll said that Chase paid as promised and no call was required. This is based on 152 readers who took the poll. If you have experience with past Chase promotions and you haven’t taken the poll, it’s still active. Just click here to take it.
Will an ACH Transfer Count as a Direct Deposit?
The $200 checking account bonus requires direct deposit, and according to the small print "Your direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government." In addition, direct deposit can be used to avoid a monthly service fee. For those who don’t receive their pay via direct deposit, an ACH transfer may be used. However, this should be considered a "Your Miles May Vary" (YMMV) option. I wrote about this back in 2011. I’ve seen recent reports saying that transfers from banks like Ally and USAA did not work. However, I’ve also seen reports that said transfers from places like Navy Federal Credit Union did work. If you have received Chase bonuses in the past by using ACH transfers instead of direct deposits, please leave a comment.
Is a $200 Bonus Worth a $15K Deposit?
Anytime there’s a bonus for depositing a certain amount of money, you should determine how much interest will be lost. The Chase Savings Account essentially pays no interest. So you’ll lose out at least 90 days of interest for a $15,000 balance. If you kept that $15,000 in an internet savings account that was paying 1%, you’ll miss out on about $37.50 in interest over those 90 days. So a $200 bonus is a good deal in this interest rate environment.
Another thing that can hurt a bonus is an account that has fees, and as you would expect, these Chase accounts have potential monthly services. These can be avoided if you’re careful.
The Chase Total Checking has no monthly service fee when you do any one of the following each statement period:
- Have monthly direct deposits totaling $500 or more made to this account; OR
- Keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more in your checking account; OR
- Keep an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances.
Otherwise a $12 Monthly Service Fee will apply in most states ($10 Monthly Service Fee for CA, OR and WA).
Chase Savings has no monthly service fee when you do at least one of the following:
- Keep the minimum daily balance of $300 or more in your savings account; OR
- Have at least one repeating automatic transfer from your Chase checking account of $25 or more each month. One-time transfers do not qualify; OR
- Have a linked Chase Premier Plus Checking or a Chase Premier Platinum Checking account.
Otherwise a $4 Monthly Service Fee applies in most states ($5 for accounts opened in CA, FL, GA, ID, NV, OR and WA).