Chase Total Checking® is the bank’s beginner checking account that offers basic value without the special perks of premium accounts.
However, new account holders can earn a $225 checking bonus when they open a new account and set up direct deposit. Additionally, this Chase checking account features a monthly maintenance fee of $12 that is easy to get waived.
If you’re looking for a new checking account for your everyday banking needs, here’s everything you need to know about this popular Chase deposit account.
Secure application on issuer’s website.
Bonus: $225 for New Accounts
Monthly Fees: $12 monthly service fee with options to waive
Minimum Opening Balance: None
In-branch customer service in any of Chase’s nationwide locations
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
In this article
Benefits and Features
Big banks tend to charge a lot of fees, so any chance you can get to save money is a good one. The Chase Total Checking account does have a $12 monthly fee, but that fee can be waived in several ways. Plus, the checking account allows access to time-saving features like:
- Account management through the Chase Mobile App
- A network of 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,700 branch locations
- Chase QuickDeposit
- Online bill pay
- Chase QuickPay with Zelle
- Paperless statements
|Monthly Service Fee||$12|
|Minimum Daily Balance to Waive Monthly Fee||$1,500|
|Average Percentage Yield (APY)||N/A|
When you bank with one of the largest banks in the U.S., you get quick access to your cash from just about any location nationwide, as well as in-person service from one of its brick-and-mortar branches. Banking with Chase means you have access to 16,000 ATMs and over 4,700 branches.
Chase Total Checking is available online nationwide, except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
While Chase is generally considered a brick-and-mortar bank, it does have highly-rated apps for both iOS and Android users. You can use the Chase mobile app to manage your accounts, deposit checks remotely, find branches and ATMs and transfer money.
With any Chase checking account, customers can use the third-party payment service Zelle to request money and send payments to virtually anyone with a U.S. bank account, email address or phone number.
Chip and Cardless Technology
In addition to being able to use a debit card for purchases, customers can add the Chase debit card to their digital wallets for cardless transactions.
Chase Total Checking Bonus: $225
The main reason to consider getting a new Chase Total Checking account is its $225 welcome bonus. Bank account bonuses aren’t exactly rare, but some of them require you to jump through a lot of hoops.
For example, you may be required to make a certain number of debit card purchases, set up and use the bill pay feature or deposit a significant amount of money and keep it there for a few months. With this bonus, however, all you have to do is open an account and set up direct deposit to have your paycheck, pension or government-issued benefits deposited into your account to earn the $225 bonus.
The bonus promotion ends on January 19, 2022, but don’t worry if you miss out on this run. The bank has done several versions of the deal in the past — including one with a $300 bonus — and will likely continue to offer them in the future.
Just make sure to request a coupon by email or apply through the welcome bonus landing page to have the promotion added to your account.
Increase Your Checking Bonus With a Chase Credit Card Bonus
If you’re a credit card enthusiast, Chase offers some of the best credit cards across all categories. Its Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® are tough-to-beat cash-back credit cards, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® are top-of-class travel credit cards.
The bank also offers several co-branded credit cards with partners that include Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.
This bonus spending threshold fits easily into most household budgets, making it fairly simple to earn. Thus, pairing your $225 Chase Total Checking bonus with a second $200 Chase credit card bonus brings your earnings to $425 in promotional cash.
Chase Refer-a-Friend: Up to a $500 Referral Bonus
Once you’ve opened a new Chase checking account online or in-branch at a brick-and-mortar branch, you are eligible to participate in Chase’s Refer-a-Friend program. Earn $50 when a friend opens a qualifying Chase bank account, up to $500 each calendar year.
- Invite your friends to bank with Chase. Start by entering your information into this form above and Chase provides a link to share.
- Earn a $50 cash bonus for each friend who opens a qualifying checking or savings account with the link you send them (up to 10 referral bonuses per calendar year).
- Your friend gets rewarded too when they open an eligible Chase bank account and complete qualifying activities.
How to Waive the $12 Monthly Fee
While the minimum opening deposit balance is $0, most people want to know the minimum daily balance to waive the monthly fee. This Chase account comes with a $12 monthly service fee. However, you can get that fee waived in one of three ways:
- Have direct deposits totaling $500 or more in new money each monthly statement period
- Have a daily balance of at least $1,500 at the beginning of each day
- Have an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other accounts
Qualifying personal balances include Chase First Checking℠ accounts, personal Chase savings accounts (excluding Chase Premier Savings℠ and Chase Private Client Savings℠), CDs, certain Chase Retirement CDs and certain Chase Retirement Money Market Accounts.
How to Apply
If you’ve decided to apply for a new account online or at a local branch, make sure to apply through the $225 bonus promotional page or get a coupon code before you start the process.
You can apply for an account online. If you’re an existing Chase customer, you can log in to your online account, and the bank will pre-fill a lot of the application for you based on the information it already has about you.
If not, you’ll need to provide the following details:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Citizenship status
- Driver’s license or state ID
- Email address and phone number
Once your application has been approved, you’ll need to fund your account. If you’re opening it at a physical branch, you can use a personal check linked to another checking account or cash. If you’re processing the account online, you can link a debit card or checking account number to do a bank transfer, or you can use a non-Chase credit card to fund up to $500.
Note, however, that because of the nature of the transaction, using a credit card could be considered a cash advance by your card’s issuer. Cash advances come with fees and also start accruing interest immediately — often at a higher rate than the card’s regular purchase APR — so it’s best to avoid this option if possible.
Also, make sure to set up direct deposit on your new account so you can earn the $225 bonus. You’ll get the money within 10 business days of your first direct deposit posting to your account.
Is Chase Total Checking Worth the $12 Monthly Fee?
A Chase Total Checking account isn’t right for everyone. Therefore, it’s essential to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of getting one. For example, the bank makes it relatively easy to get the monthly service fee waived. But if your financial situation makes it hard to skip the fee every month, you may want to look for a checking account that’s truly free.
Also, it isn’t an interest-bearing account. While this isn’t uncommon for checking accounts, there are several credit unions and online banks that offer interest-bearing checking accounts.
You can get a Chase Savings account, which offers interest, but the annual percentage yield (APY) is a measly 0.01% — you can find rates upwards of 1.00% APY with several other banks and credit unions.
As an example, Axos Rewards Checking is an online-only checking account that offers customers a 1.00% APY. However with Axos Bank, you won’t have access to in-branch customer service, and the online bank generally does not offer checking bonus for new customers.
|Non-Chase ATM Transaction||$2.50|
|International ATM Withdrawal||$5|
|International Exchange Fee||3%|
|Overdraft / Insufficient Funds†||$34‡|
|Deposited Item Returned||$12|
|Incoming Wire Transfer||$15|
|Outgoing Domestic Wire||$35|
|Outgoing International Wire||$50|
† no fee if you’re overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day | ‡ insufficient Funds Fee per item during our nightly processing beginning with the first item that overdraws your account balance by more than $50 (maximum of 3 fees per business day, up to $102)
If you want to find lower checking account fees in general, you may want to examine online-only checking, but remember that online banks do not provide the in-person services that come with nationwide banks like Chase.
Maximize Your Checking With Chase Savings
If you’re not a Chase customer at all, now may be a good time to go all-in and apply for a Chase Savings℠ account along with your new checking account because both accounts complement one another.
The Chase Savings account is the bank’s basic and most popular savings account. If you have the cash reserves to waive the low $5 monthly fee, Chase Savings is a nice little savings account.
If you’re considering a savings account for the long haul, the Chase Savings account may ideal. Its APY is low — with $10,000 and a 0.01% APY, you’re looking at $1 in interest ever year. In contrast, many online banks offer high-yield savings accounts with APYs reaching up to 0.80% or higher. At that rate, your annual interest earnings would be $80. However, If you’re not too worried about maximizing your long-term interest income, Chase Savings can be well worth it.
One thing to consider before you apply for a Chase Savings account is its monthly service fee, which is $5. There are a few actions to get that fee waived including:
- Have a daily balance of at least $300 at the beginning of each day.
- Set up Autosave or other recurring automatic transfers of $25 or more each month from your personal Chase checking account.
- Have a Chase College Checking account linked to this account for overdraft protection.
- Be under 18 years old as the account owner.
- Link your Chase Checking account to a Chase Better Banking Checking, Chase Premier Checking, Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Sapphire Checking or Chase Private Client Checking account.
Is Chase Total Checking Right for You?
For the most part, the Chase Total Checking account doesn’t offer a lot of valuable features. It’s a basic checking account that requires you to jump through some hoops to get the monthly fee waived.
But if you can easily qualify to get that fee waived, this account can be worth it to have the benefits of a national bank with branch locations in nearly every state. Furthermore, this Chase account is worth considering because of the $225 bonus — it’s easy to qualify for, especially compared to a lot of other bank account bonuses.
However, it’s important to take some time to consider all of your options before you settle on a new checking account. Shop around and compare checking accounts from several banks and credit unions like Axos or SoFi and research features and fees to make sure you get the right fit.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s not recommended that you overdraft your checking account by more than $49.99. Chase charges a $34 insufficient fund fee per item during its nightly processing, beginning with the first item that overdraws an account balance by more than $50. There is a maximum of three insufficient funds fees per business day, resulting in a total of $102.
Total Checking allows you to deposit and withdraw funds for everyday transaction, including depositing checks, using ATMs, making purchases with its debit card and setting up direct deposits of your paychecks, pension payments or government-issued benefits. The account features a mobile app and a secure website that can both handle most any of your common banking needs, without an in-person trip to the bank.
No, Total Checking is not free. Chase charges a $12 monthly maintenance fee to use this deposit account. Bear in mind, the monthly fee can be waived by meeting one of several waiver-eligibility requirements.
To waive the monthly fee, you can either keep a daily minimum of $1,500 in the account or receive $500 in direct deposits to the account. You can also avoid paying the fee with a combined daily average of $5,000 across all your Chase accounts.
The withdrawal limits set by Chase Bank are the same for all checking account tiers, with the single exception of Chase High School Checking. The ATM limit is average compared to limits at other banks, but you can withdraw up to $3,000 from Chase’s new eATMs, which are accessible in-branch during bank hours. Chase’s debit purchase limit is somewhat lower than the average; more banks allow daily charges up to $5,000.
Chase Premier Plus Checking is best suited for people who like the idea of having multiple accounts with one bank and have the money or the mortgage relationship to be able to waive the account’s $25 monthly service fee. While Premier Plus Checking offers features and benefits that aren’t available with Total Checking, it does charge higher monthly service fee and also requires a higher minimum daily balance in order to waive its monthly service fee.