Chase is one of the most recognizable names in banking. In fact, according to Chase, close to half of American households use at least one its financial products such as a credit card, personal bank account or Chase small business account. With over 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs, Chase offers convenient banking options to consider if you’re searching for a new checking account—especially your first checking account, or your first checking account in a while.
Right now, new Chase Secure Banking℠ customers can enjoy a $100 bonus when they open a new checking account with qualifying activities. And while the $4.95 monthly service fee means that your account won’t be free, it does feature several valuable benefits, including zero fees on most everyday transactions.
Secure application on issuer’s website.
Bonus: $100 for New Accounts
Monthly Fees: $4.95 monthly service fee with options to waive
Minimum Opening Balance: None
Debit card for teens and kids with digital tools to help teach good money habits
Monitor your account and identity with account alerts
Access to your free credit score
Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
Zero liability protection
Introducing Chase Secure Banking℠
Chase Bank first launched the new Chase Secure Banking checking account in the spring of 2019. The alternative-style checking account makes it easier for some customers to manage their money by removing certain features that might make it easier to overspend.
Chase Secure Banking customers do not have access to:
- Overdraft Protection
- Paper Checks
- Wire Transfers
Chase Bank designed the account to be a low-cost solution to help expand banking access to more consumers nationwide. It also replaced the Chase Liquid prepaid card the bank previously offered.
In particular, consumers who have had problems opening or keeping a checking account in the past, along with banking newcomers, may benefit from a Chase Secure Banking account.
Chase Secure Banking Bonus: $100
Everyone enjoys a little extra cash. But you will need to jump through a few hoops to qualify for the $100 bonus Chase Bank offers when you open a new Chase Secure Banking account. As long as you understand the rules upfront, earning the bonus shouldn’t be too difficult.
You can qualify for the $100 Chase Secure Banking bonus after you complete the following two steps:
- Open a new Chase Secure Banking account, either online or at a Chase branch. Your application for a new checking account will be subject to approval. Note: You’ll need a coupon to redeem the offer. And if you plan to open your account in person, you’ll need to request for a coupon to be sent to you via email.
- Complete at least 10 “qualifying transactions” within first 60 days after account opening (with an eligible coupon enrollment).
Chase Bank defines qualifying transactions as any of the following: debit card purchases, online bill payments, Zelle transactions, remote deposits (aka Chase QuickDeposits℠) and ACH credits. (Note: Direct deposit is not a qualifying transaction for this sign-up bonus offer.)
Bonus Eligibility Fine Print
The bonus offer contains some fine print regarding a few exclusions that could disqualify you from receiving the $100 bonus as well.
You will not be eligible for a new account bonus under any of the following conditions:
- You’re an existing Chase checking customer.
- You closed a Chase checking account within the past 90 days.
- You closed a Chase checking account with a negative balance anytime in the last three years.
- You received a new checking account bonus from Chase within the last two years.
- You’re an employee of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or one of its affiliates.
- The enrolled Chase Secure Banking account is restricted or closed at the time of bonus payout.
As long as none of the exclusions above apply to you, you will receive your $100 Chase Secure Banking bonus within 15 business days after completing the bank’s requirements above. It’s also worth noting that Chase Bank will count your new account bonus as interest and report it to the IRS via Form 1099-INT or Form 1042-S.
Chase Secure Banking Details, Benefits and Fees
The $100 new account bonus may be enough to pique your interest in a new Chase Secure Banking account. Yet this checking account comes with other perks and benefits (along with a few drawbacks) that you’ll want to consider as well when you’re comparing available options.
Monthly Service Fee
Opening a Chase Secure Banking account means that you must agree to a $4.95 monthly fee, which the bank will deduct from your account balance. Unlike some other checking accounts Chase Bank offers, there is no way to qualify for a fee waiver here. This makes your account more expensive than some other options may be, but also simple and predictable.
If you prefer a checking account with no monthly fee, it’s possible to find some options online or perhaps with a local credit union. However, if you’re looking for a nationwide bank with a large footprint of branch locations (more than 4,700 branches), the monthly fee isn’t bad.
No Fees at Chase ATMs
You can withdraw funds from your account anytime at a Chase ATM without incurring any fees. And with 16,000 Chase ATMs, it’s often easy to find free locations to access the cash in your checking account.
But if you use a non-Chase ATM, you may be charged fees by both Chase and the ATM network. Non-Chase ATM fees may apply for any of the following:
- Balance Inquiry
- Funds Transfer
Because of these fees, it’s important to confirm (either online or via phone at 1-800-935-9935) that there’s a Chase ATM and/or branch near you. Otherwise it could be costly to access your cash when you need it.
No Overdraft Protection
Depending upon how you feel about overdraft protection, the fact that the Chase Secure Banking account doesn’t offer it may appeal to you or turn you off accordingly. Yet the lack of overdraft protection can be a positive thing a few reasons.
- The account features zero overdraft fees.
- It’s more difficult to experience a negative account balance (and the problems that go along with that status).
Without overdraft protection services, Chase Bank will simply deny a transaction if you try to make a charge that’s larger than your available account balance. And while having a bank deny your transaction may be embarrassing, it’s better than the consequences of sending your checking account balance into the red.
Of course, there are a few circumstances where an overdraft might still be possible. For example, your debit card might be pre-authorized at the gas pump for one amount, but when the final charge goes through it could cost more than anticipated. Restaurant transactions where you don’t add a tip until after the initial payment authorization might also trigger an accidental overdraft of your account.
In such instances, you won’t have to worry about an added overdraft fee with this account. However, it’s still important to keep a close eye on the amount of money you have in your checking account at all times so that you don’t unintentionally overspend.
Send and Receive Money for Free
Another benefit of the Chase Secure Banking account is the option to send and receive money for free through Zelle®. To use Zelle, you must enroll your account. Both you and the other party must have a valid bank account based in the United States.
Chase Mobile App
As a Chase Secure Banking customer, you can download the Chase Mobile app for free. The app provides a user-friendly way to manage your checking account, featuring the ability to:
- Check your balance
- Deposit checks
- Pay bills
If your device doesn’t support the Chase Mobile App, there is also another option available to you. You can perform the same account functions above from most internet browsers via Chase Online℠.
In general, checking accounts aren’t known for their interest-earning potential. (Although some high-yield checking accounts do exist.) But the Chase Secure Banking account doesn’t earn any interest at all.
Of course, it isn’t unheard of for a bank not to offer you any compensation for the funds you store in your checking account. Yet it is a factor to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for different checking account options.
No Paper Checks
Another feature that the Chase Secure Banking account is missing is the ability to write paper checks. The lack of check-writing capability does make it less likely that customers will overdraft their accounts. It also means you won’t have any paper checks to track on your end. That being said, if you prefer a checking account that gives you the option to write checks, you may want to look at some different options.
Fee-Free Money Orders and Cashier’s Checks
Chase Secure Banking customers can enjoy no fees on both money orders and cashier’s checks. This is a good deal because with other accounts, like Chase Total Checking®, the fees for these services can range from $5 to $8 per request.
To purchase a money order or cashier’s check, you will need to visit a brick-and-mortar Chase branch. Make sure you have sufficient funds in your account, and be prepared to show your I.D. when you arrive.
As a Chase Secure Banking customer, you are eligible to participate in the Refer-a-Friend program. You can invite your friends to open an eligible Chase checking account using a special referral link you request online. You can earn $50 per referral who opens a qualifying account—up to a total of 10 times each calendar year.
Like the new account sign-up bonus, there are some restrictions with the Chase Refer-a-Friend program as well. For starters, your referral must open a new Chase Total Checking account for you to receive a $50 referral fee. The new customer will need to complete 10 qualifying activities (as listed above) as well. Finally, employees of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or any affiliates of the bank cannot participate.
Chase Savings Account Options
Chase Bank has several savings account options that may pair nicely with your checking account. And since the Chase Secure Banking account doesn’t offer any interest-bearing capability, adding on an interest-earning savings account probably does make good sense for many customers.
Here is a side-by-side look at the features of two popular Chase savings accounts—Chase Savings℠ and Chase Savings Premier℠.
|Features||Chase Savings℠||Chase Premier Savings℠|
|Monthly service fee||$5||$25|
|Monthly service fee waiver||Complete one of the following each month:|
—$300 minimum daily balance
—$25+ in autosave
—$25+ in automatic transfers link a Chase College Checking℠ account
—Account owner under 18 years old
—Link a Chase Better Banking® Checking, Chase Premier Checking℠, Chase Premier Plus Checking℠, Chase Sapphire℠ Checking, or Chase Private Client Checking℠ account
|Complete one of the following each month: |
—$15,000 minimum daily balance
—Link a Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ or a Chase Sapphire℠ Checking
|Higher Balance Increases Interest Rate (APY)||No||Yes|
|Higher Interest Rates with Linked Account||No||Yes, when you initiate at least five transactions per month from your eligible linked checking account|
Looking for a high-yield savings account option? Check out our list of High-Yield Savings Accounts.
If you’re in the market for a basic checking account, Chase Secure Banking makes for an option that’s worth considering. The limitations of this Chase bank account could serve you well if you’ve had difficulty managing a bank account successfully in the past (or if your ChexSystems or similar report makes it difficult to qualify for a new checking account). Plus, it’s more attractive than a number of the second chance checking account choices you might be considering as an alternative.
A Chase Secure Banking account provides you with the opportunity to establish a traditional banking relationship with a brick-and-mortar bank that you can visit in person (assuming there is a Chase Bank branch in your area). The account also provides access to many of the benefits of a traditional checking account, like the ability to accept a direct deposit from your employer, ATM usage, digital account management (online or through the Chase Mobile app) and the convenience of a debit card.
However, if you have a good banking track record or you want to access features that are excluded from this account (such as check-writing capability or wire transfers), you may want to review other attractive bank accounts with cash bonuses first. A different account (like Chase Total Checking or Citi Basic Banking Account) might suit you better.