JPMorgan Chase Review: How America’s Biggest Bank Really Stacks Up
Not only is JPMorgan Chase one of the “Big Four” banks in America, but it’s ranked by S&P Global as the largest bank in the United States.
Chase got bad press back in 2014 after a security breach exposed the information of 89 million customers. But these days, nearly every bank has a few black marks on its resume. So you have to ask: Are the products and services worth the risk?
We’re here to give you an honest look at Chase Bank’s checking and savings features for individuals and small businesses, as well as its overall convenience and mobile banking features with this JPMorgan Chase Bank review.
JPMorgan Chase Bank Review: Pros and Cons
What we like:
- Chase is pretty much everywhere, which makes finding a branch or ATM easy.
- No overdraft fees for going less than $5 in the red on your account.
- Low opening deposit requirements for most accounts.
What we don’t like:
- Interest rates for basic checking and savings accounts are a pittance.
- They exposed 89 million customers’ info a few years back.
- $2.50 fee for using non-Chase ATMs.
Chase’s most popular checking account, the Chase Total Checking, is a non-interest bearing account that does not require a minimum opening deposit.
The account comes with a $12 monthly service fee, but you can get that fee waived by having one of the following each statement period:
- Direct deposit totaling $500 or more.
- Maintain a balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more.
- Maintain an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying deposits.
While you won’t earn interest on your money in the Chase Total Checking account, you can opt for Chase Premier Plus or Chase Sapphire checking accounts that do accrue interest. Both of them offer just 0.01% APY. Plus, they each come with a hefty $25 monthly fee unless you maintain a $15,000 or $75,000 opening balance each day, respectively.
The Chase Total Checking account has a $34 overdraft penalty. There’s a maximum of three per day. On the plus side, they won’t charge you the overdraft penalty for transactions that overdraw your account by $5 or less. Plus, if you set up overdraft protection, there’s no transaction fee. That’s kind of nice.
If you use ATMs a lot, be careful. Chase Total Checking will ding you $2.50 for any transaction in the U.S. that you do at a non-Chase ATM. The good news is there are 16,000 Chase ATMs out there, so you should be able to find one when you need it.
Read how Chase compared on our list of the best checking accounts. Chase also frequently offers bonuses when you open a new account. Check out the latest offers on this list of the best bank promotions.
You only need $25 for your opening deposit to get a Chase Savings Account, the bank’s most basic and most popular savings account.
The Chase Savings account has a $5 monthly service fee that’s waived if:
- You maintain a balance at the beginning of each day of $300 or more in this account.
- You have $25 or more in total Autosave or other repeating automatic transfers from your personal Chase checking account or Chase Liquid Card (available only through Chase.com or Chase Mobile).
- You have a Chase College Checking account linked to this account for overdraft protection.
- The account owner is younger than 18.
- You link the savings account to one of several other eligible accounts.
The Chase Savings accounts come with an autosave option that’s pretty cool. Using the mobile app, you can set your account to transfer a set amount of money every time you get paid, a little every day, or any set time and amount that you like. It puts your savings on autopilot.
The Chase Savings account is a place to stash some money for a rainy day, but if you’re looking to earn interest on your money, look elsewhere. The basic savings account only earns 0.01% APY, which is far below the national average.
You can get better interest rates with the Chase Premier Savings account. You’ll earn anywhere from 0.04% to 0.09% when you link your account to another select Chase account, depending on how much money you have saved. The more you have in there, the better your interest rate. However, you’ll get hit with a $25 monthly service fee unless you can keep a $15,000 minimum balance or you link to another Chase account.
If you’re looking for a CD, you can get one for as short as one month or up to 10 years with Chase. You’ll get locked into an interest rate based on the length of your term and the amount of your CD.
Longer isn’t always better: Chase’s six-month CD offers the best rate at 1.5% for $10,000 or more.
Small Business Banking
The Chase Total Business Checking account doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit, so that’s nice. It does have a $15 monthly maintenance fee that is reduced to $12 if you go with paperless statements and can be waived altogether if you keep a $1,500 minimum balance or link to another Chase account.
The business checking account comes with 100 free transactions and $5,000 of free cash deposits each month.
Chase has two business savings accounts: the Business Total Savings and Business Premier Savings. The Business Total Savings Account has a $10 monthly fee unless you maintain a $1,000 monthly balance or link other accounts. The Business Premier’s fee is $25 unless you can keep $25,000 in the account or link it to other accounts.
Expect to earn 0.01% to 0.04% for your business savings account. If you get the Relationship Rates for linking accounts, you could earn up to 0.11%, but that’s only if you’re saving $250,000 or more.
While this review doesn’t consider credit cards, we should note that Chase did make our list of the best banks for small businesses because of its credit card offerings.
As you might expect from a Big Four bank, Chase ranks pretty high on the convenience meter. With 16,000 ATMs and 4,900 branches, they’re pretty much everywhere.
They also have a dedicated 24/7 customer service line, but you need to be in one of the higher level accounts to have access to that perk.
You’ll find that they have online banking, a mobile app and many options for financial products, such as mortgages, auto loans and credit cards.
The Chase Mobile app gets a 4.8 out of 5 star rating from iPhone users and 4.4 out of 5 stars at the Google Play Store.
People comment on the app’s ease of use as well as some extra features like daily snapshots of your spending that make monitoring your accounts easy.
Some nice security features of the app include fingerprint and facial recognition, as well as the ability to lock and unlock your cards right from your phone. You can also monitor your credit score right from their app.
Our Bank Review Methodology
The Penny Hoarder’s editorial team considers more than 25 factors in its bank account reviews, including fees, minimum daily balance requirements, APYs, overdraft charges, ATM access, number of physical locations, customer service support access and mobile features.
To determine how we weigh each factor, The Penny Hoarder surveyed 1,500 people to find out what banking features matter most to you.
For example, we give top grades to banks that have low fees because our survey showed that this is the No. 1 thing you look for in a bank. Because more than 70% of you said you visited a physical bank branch last year, we consider the number of brick-and-mortar locations. But more than one-third of you use mobile apps for more than 75% of your banking, so digital features are also considered carefully.
Banks are graded across the following categories:
- Personal checking accounts
- Personal savings accounts
- Small-business banking
- Mobile banking
Credit card and loan products are not currently considered.
Tyler Omoth is a freelance writer covering topics from personal finance to career advice and even lawn care. His work has been featured on TopResume.com, Writersweekly.com and more. He is also the author of over 70 educational books for children and a proud parent of twin toddlers.