Avoiding Chase Bank Checking Account Monthly Fees
In the last few months we have been learning of the new monthly fees at Chase Bank and the new rules that make avoiding them harder. The easiest way to avoid monthly maintenance fees at Chase is to switch to internet banks, community banks or credit unions which offer real free checking accounts. Don't forget that the vast majority of reward checking accounts are also free checking accounts. However, in my last post on Chase Bank, several readers noted some reasons why they still want to keep their Chase checking accounts. One reader praised Chase's ACH system and bill pay:
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.
Another reader mentioned Chase QuickPay and QuickDeposit:
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...
In addition to those who like some of Chase Bank's services, there's also the issue of the extra work that's required to switch banks. One reader lamented the reason he hasn't switched:
The thought of untangling all my electronic payments / bill pay is the only thing holding me back
For those staying with Chase, you will have to be more careful to avoid fees. As I mentioned in my last post, Chase's new fee policy has taken effect, and it applies to both new and existing checking accounts. This change was also noted in this Sunday USA Today article.
Easy Alternative to Direct Deposit
Customers used to be able to avoid the monthly service charge by having direct deposit of any amount. Now customers need to have monthly direct deposit of at least $500. One direct deposit must be at least $500. Multiple smaller direct deposits that add up to over $500 don't qualify. The USA Today article described how this affected one person:
Amilivia, a part-time worker at Target, receives several direct deposits to her account each month that together total more than $500. But under Chase's new rules, that didn't matter.
A question that readers have asked is whether the direct deposit really needs to be a direct deposit from an employer. Will an ACH transfer initiated at another bank qualify? A friend has confirmed that he was able to avoid the $12 monthly fee by initiating a $510 ACH transfer from his Discover Bank savings account. He said he added an extra $10 to make it look less suspicious, but I doubt that's necessary. I can't say if this will always work, but Chase does appear to have a history of allowing ACH transfers to meet the direct deposit requirements. One reader commented in the last post that Ally ACH transfers were used to fulfill the direct deposit requirement at Chase.
So if you want to avoid Chase Bank's monthly fees, the ACH transfer option appears to work at least for now. This will require that you have another bank account where it's easy to initiate ACH transfers. The savings accounts at Discover Bank and Ally Bank are both good options. They have no monthly fees, and they make it easy to initiate ACH transfers. In addition, they pay interest with rates much higher than what you can get with a Chase savings account. One advantage of Ally over Discover is that Ally also offers a free interest checking account. If you open this checking account, you may quickly find that you don't really need that Chase checking account after all.
Definitely a hit or miss propostion - an emphatic miss according to this CS rep last January:
Date: 01-28-2011 16:45:33
From: Chase Online
Subject: Re: Account Inquiry
Thank you for contacting the Internet Service Center. I
can certainly understand your concern in regards to the
Direct Deposit on your account. I sincerely apologize for
In response to your inquiry, please be advised that the
ACH credit from an external account is not considered a
Direct Deposit. Please note that Direct Deposit comes from
your place of employment, or pension, or government.
External account are account that you transfers between
accounts that you are signers on.
Again, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may
be experiencing at this time. Please be assured that we
value you as a customer and wish for your experience with
Chase to be one of satisfaction and ease.
If you have any questions or require further assistance,
please e-mail us via the Secure Message Center or contact
our Internet Service Center at 1-877-242-7372.
Loretta Veronica Moore
Internet Service Center
I have been doing banking for over 40 years and never have I ever had to pay for a check for withdrawing funds. Clearly, Chase doesn't give a **** about customers anymore and I've closed my accounts with them.
you: I forgot. One more thing (sorry): One way to avoid the $12 monthly service fee on the new Chase Total Checking is to have a minimum $500 direct deposit each month. The fine print says that it must be an ACH credit and may include payroll, pension, Social Security, etc. This implies that it does not HAVE TO be payroll, pension, Social Security, etc. but ANY ACH credit to the account. Am I reading this correctly?
Lillian: Yes that is correct.
you: So I can have $500 or more transferred from my online Discover Bank savings account to my Chase Total Checking monthly and avoid all service fees?
Lillian: You can do so as long as it is a direct deposit.
you: What other type of deposit would it be other than a direct deposit? If it is an ACH credit to my account, isn't that a direct deposit? Please clarify.
Lillian: Yes it would be direct deposit if coming as ACH.
you: Thank you for all your help as I contemplate what to do now that my Basic Checking account is being changed.
Lillian: You're very welcome! It was my pleasure assisting you today.
FNBO (online payment account)
ING (online payment account)
Justice Federal CU
Sandy Spring Bank
All outside initiated ACHs are direct deposits, since all direct deposits come as ACHs but the sub code that is embedded in the ACH either makes it direct deposit or just transfer from one account to another using the ACH.
Be careful when dealing with CSR, they all have a variation of their understanding of ACH, but not the real inside working of the ACHs.
I used to work in a banking call center, and I overheard all kinds of false info being given out from the reps around me. Many reps -- especially newer ones -- just shoot from the hip when answering questions that they don't actually know the answers to. It's pretty ridiculous.
Why hasn't *every* bank gotten in on remote deposit? I don't know... it gets more deposits into their hands faster, and makes customers happy. Seem like a win-win.
Please see this Web page:
PPD - Prearranged Payment & Deposit Entry
The key, I should think, is that is says that the direct deposit MAY include and not MUST include payroll, pension, etc. The transfer from my Discover online savings account to my Chase checking account is currently listed as a "PPD" transaction on my Chase checking statement.
The direct deposit MUST be an ACH credit, and PPD identifies it as such on my checking account statement.
With this information in hand, I cannot see how Chase can argue with this method as a means to avoid the monthly service fee.
This is the original terms and condition from Chase, you may talk to ACH and she or he may say anything to you since you agree that info not to be binding due to this disclosure:
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY. BY ACCESSING THIS WEBSITE YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BELOW. THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. ANY CHANGES WILL BE INCORPORATED INTO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS POSTED TO THIS WEBSITE FROM TIME TO TIME. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, PLEASE DO NOT ACCESS THIS WEBSITE.
Unauthorized use of JPMorgan Chase's Websites and systems, including but not limited to unauthorized entry into JPMorgan Chase's systems, misuse of passwords, or misuse of any information posted to a site, is strictly prohibited.
You acknowledge that JPMorgan Chase may disclose and transfer any information that you provide through this Website to (i) any company within the JPMorgan Chase group, its affiliates agents or information providers; (ii) to any other person or entity with your consent; or (iii) if we have a right or duty to disclose or are permitted or compelled to so disclose such information by law. You consent to the transmission, transfer or processing of such information to, or through, any country in the world, as we deem necessary or appropriate (including to countries outside the EEA), and by using and providing information through this Website you agree to such transfers. Use of this Website may be monitored, tracked and recorded. Anyone using this Website expressly consents to such monitoring, tracking and recording.
The works of authorship contained in the chase.com Website (the "Website"), including but not limited to all design, text, sound recordings and images, are owned, except as otherwise expressly stated, by JPMorgan Chase & Co. or one of its subsidiaries, ("JPMorgan Chase"). Except as otherwise expressly stated herein, they may not be copied, transmitted, displayed, performed, distributed (for compensation or otherwise), licensed, altered, framed, stored for subsequent use or otherwise used in whole or in part in any manner without Chase's prior written consent, except to the extent permitted by the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 U.S.C. § 107), as amended, and then, only with notices of JPMorgan Chase's proprietary rights provided that you may download information and print out hard copies for your personal use, so long as you do not remove any copyright or other notice as may be contained in information, as downloaded.
Chase is the marketing name for the retail financial services activities of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its subsidiaries and affiliates in the United States. "Chase," "JPMorgan," "JPMorgan Chase," the JPMorgan Chase logo and the Octagon Symbol are trademarks of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Other featured words or symbols, used to identify the source of goods and services, may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Web Content and Materials
The information on this Website is for information purposes only. It is believed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase does not warrant its completeness, timeliness or accuracy. The information on the Website is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase of JPMorgan Chase stock, any other security or any financial instrument.
The jpmorgan.com Website and the jpmorganchase.com Website contain separate terms and conditions, which are in addition to these terms and conditions. In the event of a conflict, the additional terms and conditions will govern for those sections or pages. In addition, certain portions or pages of this Website are subject to additional disclosures and disclaimers. In the event of a conflict between those disclosures and disclaimers, and these terms and conditions, the additional disclosures and disclaimers will govern for those portions or pages.
You agree that (i) you will not engage in any activities related to the Website that are contrary to applicable law, regulation or the terms of any agreements you may have with JPMorgan Chase, and (ii) in circumstances where locations of the Website require identification for process, you will establish commercially reasonable security procedures and controls to limit access to your password or other identifying information to authorized individuals.
JPMORGAN CHASE OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAY DISCONTINUE OR MAKE CHANGES IN THE INFORMATION, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES DESCRIBED HEREIN AT ANY TIME WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE TO YOU AND WITHOUT ANY LIABILITY TO YOU. ANY DATED INFORMATION IS PUBLISHED AS OF ITS DATE ONLY, AND JPMORGAN CHASE DOES NOT UNDERTAKE ANY OBLIGATION OR RESPONSIBILITY TO UPDATE OR AMEND ANY SUCH INFORMATION. JPMORGAN CHASE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO TERMINATE ANY OR ALL WEBSITE OFFERINGS OR TRANSMISSIONS WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE TO THE USER. FURTHERMORE, BY OFFERING THIS WEBSITE AND INFORMATION, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES VIA THIS WEBSITE, NO DISTRIBUTION OR SOLICITATION IS MADE BY JPMORGAN CHASE TO ANY PERSON TO USE THE WEBSITE OR SUCH INFORMATION, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IN JURISDICTIONS WHERE THE PROVISION OF THE WEBSITE AND SUCH INFORMATION, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IS PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Potential Disruption of Service
Access to the Website may from time to time be unavailable, delayed, limited or slowed due to, among other things:
Links to non-JPMorgan Chase Websites are provided solely as pointers to information on topics that may be useful to the Websites, and JPMorgan Chase has no control over the content on such non-JPMorgan Chase Websites. If you choose to link to a Website not controlled by JPMorgan Chase, JPMorgan Chase makes no warranties, either express or implied, concerning the content of such site, including the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability thereof for any particular purpose, nor does Chase warrant that such site or content is free from any claims of copyright, trademark or other infringement of the rights of third parties or that such site or content is devoid of viruses or other contamination. JPMorgan Chase does not guarantee the authenticity of documents on the Internet. Links to non-JPMorgan Chase sites do not imply any endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, products, information or services offered at such sites, or any representation regarding the content at such sites.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF HUMAN AND MECHANICAL ERROR AS WELL AS OTHER FACTORS, THE WEBSITE (INCLUDING ALL INFORMATION AND MATERIALS CONTAINED ON THE WEBSITE) IS PROVIDED "AS IS" "AS AVAILABLE". JPMORGAN CHASE AND THIRD PARTY DATA PROVIDERS ARE NOT PROVIDING ANY WARRANTIES AND REPRESENTATIONS REGARDING THE WEBSITE. JPMORGAN CHASE AND THIRD PARTY DATA PROVIDERS DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND REPRESENTATIONS OF ANY KIND WITH REGARD TO THE WEBSITE, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS, FREEDOM FROM VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL CODE, OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. FURTHER, JPMORGAN CHASE WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DELAY, DIFFICULTY IN USE, INACCURACY OF INFORMATION, COMPUTER VIRUSES, MALICIOUS CODE OR OTHER DEFECT IN THIS WEBSITE, OR FOR THE INCOMPATIBILITY BETWEEN THIS WEBSITE AND FILES AND THE USER'S BROWSER OR OTHER SITE ACCESSING PROGRAM. NOR WILL JPMORGAN CHASE BE LIABLE FOR ANY OTHER PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED BY THE USER DUE TO CAUSES BEYOND JPMORGAN CHASE'S CONTROL. NO LICENSE TO THE USER IS IMPLIED IN THESE DISCLAIMERS.
JPMORGAN CHASE AND THIRD PARTY DATA PROVIDERS DO NOT WARRANT THE ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, OR COMPLETENESS OF THE INFORMATION AND MATERIALS CONTAINED ON THE WEBSITE AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN THE MATERIALS AND INFORMATION. FURTHERMORE, JPMORGAN CHASE AND ITS AFFILIATES WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DELAY, DIFFICULTY IN USE, COMPUTER VIRUSES, MALICIOUS CODE, OR OTHER DEFECT IN WEBSITE, ANY INCOMPATIBILITY BETWEEN THE WEBSITE AND THE USER'S FILES AND THE USER'S BROWSER OR OTHER SITE ACCESSING PROGRAM, OR ANY OTHER PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED BY THE USER DUE TO CAUSES BEYOND JPMORGAN CHASE AND ITS AFFILIATES' CONTROL. NO LICENSE TO THE USER IS IMPLIED IN THESE DISCLAIMERS. NOTHING HEREIN SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS LIMITING OR REDUCING JPMORGAN CHASE'S RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS TO CLIENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL JPMORGAN CHASE BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOST PROFITS, LOST OPPORTUNITY OR ANY INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF ANY USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE WEBSITE OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER JPMORGAN CHASE HAS BEEN APPRISED OF THE LIKELIHOOD OF SUCH DAMAGES OCCURRING AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, WARRANTY, TORT, (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE.
Enforceability and Governing Law
In the event any of the terms or provisions of these Terms and Conditions shall be held to be unenforceable, the remaining terms and provisions shall be unimpaired and the unenforceable term or provision shall be replaced by such enforceable term or provision as comes closest to the intention underlying the unenforceable term or provision. These Terms and Conditions shall be subject to any other agreements you have entered into with JPMorgan Chase. The user's access to and use of the chase.com Website, and the terms of this disclaimer are governed by the laws of the State of New York.
JPMorgan Chase is licensed under U.S. Patent Numbers 5,910,988 and 6,032,137
Rev. January 2011 "
In other words you don't count as a being and they can do what ever they please.
It's great until you have a problem. As I did recently. Chase said 1 bisiness day for a payment, I scheduled for one week in advance, payee says received late (1 day after due date, 1 week and 1 day after it was sent). I called payee, they said it was an electronic payment received when they said it was (1 week later than should have been). I submitted an inquiry with Chase for this payment, indicating that I was charged late fee, etc., and all they did was to say they checked their system, and the payment was sent when scheduled, gave me some internal tracking number, and that's that. No attempt to contact the payee or offer to refund the late fee or anything else -- which is what I'm used to with bill pays provided by CheckFree. So I'm not using Chase bill pay any longer. (I did get the payee to refund the late fee, which they did as a "one-time courtesy to me", which is not at all a satisfactory outcome to me.)
You nailed it, but somehow I feel your post will mainly fall on deaf ears!
WORST. BANK. EVER.
All externally initiated (sourced from another financial institution) electronic funds transfers are accepted by the receiving institution as a Direct Deposit AKA "Pre-Authorized Credit".
By definition, this means the funds need no verification, since they've already been authorized by the sender.
ANY & ALL pre-authorized credits are "Direct Deposits", period.
However, the receiver may choose not to count non-payroll or non- government payments as meeting their unique definition, but that doesn't change the fact that those payments are still indeed direct deposits.
Another way of looking at it, is that all direct deposits are not necessarily valid to meet the subjective criteria made up by the institution offering the supposedly "free" checking account-
I would simply try it and see if it works.
If not, dump them.
They don't deserve your money/business anyway.
DON'T BANK AT CHASE
If you can afford it, fees are easily avoided by leaving a minimum balance of $1500 in the basic checking account. That's forfeiting about a dollar and a half a month in interest you could earn elsewhere. Before taxes! :-)
And Chase has enough promotions of $100, $150 or $200 for checking and savings accounts which you can avail yourself of if you were of such a mind.
Are you sure about waiving the checking account fee for an automatic monthly transfer to savings? Their website has no mention of this. It says the savings account fee is waived, but doesn't say the same for the checking account fee. Could it be the recent changes took away that benefit?
I wasn't agreeing with their business practices or customer relations policies, just stating that I like them for what I use them for. For my purposes, they deliver what I need at a cost that's acceptable.
I'm not here to judge, just to utilize.
branch that several times, hasn't done any good. I'm looking elsewhere.