Chase Total Checking review: Is it a good fit for your banking needs?

Woman checking bills while sitting on floor at homeImage: Woman checking bills while sitting on floor at home
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Chase Total Checking account at a glance

Physical locations Yes — more than 4,700 banking branches
Getting started Simple for individual accounts (online or in person). To add a joint owner, you’ll need to visit a Chase branch.
Monthly service fee Monthly service fee of $12 that can be waived if certain conditions are met
Overdraft fees None if overdrawn by $50 or less (fees start after that)
Other fees $3 for using an out-of-network ATM
How to deposit Direct deposit, mobile check deposits, cash and check deposits at physical branches or Chase DepositFriendly℠ ATMs
How to withdraw/pay Make transfers using online banking, Zelle, online bill pay, Chase mobile banking or Chase debit card, ATMs, paper checks
Notable feature Automatic transfers to a Chase savings account

Chase checking accounts offer access to an impressive number of physical bank branches and in-network ATMs, as well as the flexibility to open different types of Chase checking accounts as your needs change.

4 things to know about a Chase checking account

1. Multiple checking account options

With eight different types of checking accounts, available, you’ll be able to reevaluate your relationship with Chase, even if  your banking needs change.

  • Chase Total Checking — The most popular Chase checking account, according to the company
  • Chase Secure Banking — A checking account with no overdraft fees
  • Chase Premier Plus Checking — An interest-bearing checking with lower fees
  • Chase First Banking — A parent-owned account for children ages 6 to 17
  • Chase High School Checking — A parent co-owned account for students ages 13 to 17 at the time of account opening
  • Chase College Checking — For college students ages 17 to 24 at the time of account opening
  • Chase Sapphire Banking — A premium account with benefits such as lower fees, autosave and higher ATM withdrawal limits
  • Chase Private Client Checking — A premium account with priority service, discounted home loans and auto rates and a dedicated financial team

2. A full-service banking solution

In addition to checking accounts, Chase also offers savings accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, home equity loans, business banking and merchant services. Customers also can access investment services via parent company J.P. Morgan.

To put it simply, Chase is one of the largest financial institutions on the planet. Being able to handle all of your financial needs with one company can be a significant benefit.

3. A number of fees

The monthly service fee for the Chase checking account is $12. But you can get this fee waived if you meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have a total of $500 or more per month in direct deposits into this account
  • Have a beginning daily balance of $1,500 or more
  • Have an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in a combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other investment accounts

There are no overdraft fees if you’re overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the day. But if you’re overdrawn by more than $50, the overdraft fee is $34 per item, charged during overnight processing. You can be charged up to three insufficient funds fees per business day, for a total of $102 per day.

If you’re worried about keeping up with a bunch of fees and account requirements, you might want to look for a simpler checking account.

4. No interest checking

The Chase Total Checking account doesn’t offer interest. Chase Sapphire Checking and Chase Premier Plus Checking both pay interest, but they offer an APY that’s much lower than many other interest checking account options.

If you’re planning to keep a significant balance in your checking account, you may want to explore other options that pay higher interest rates.

How much money do you need to open a Chase bank account?

There’s currently no minimum balance to open a Chase checking account. But some accounts require you to maintain a minimum balance to avoid monthly fees.

Is Wells Fargo or Chase better for a checking account?

Chase and Wells Fargo are both national banks with brick-and-mortar locations throughout the country. If you’re looking for a wider range of checking account options, Chase might be your best choice.

But Wells Fargo offers two accounts with lower monthly fees, making this a more attractive option for some people.

Not sure if Chase is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Chime: While there are no physical locations, Chime offers checking with no initial deposit or minimum balance and no monthly service or overdraft fees.
  • SoFi: If you’re looking for interest checking, SoFi is a competitive option compared to the national average and has no monthly, overdraft or minimum balance fees.

About the author: Beth Deyo is a personal finance freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of South Florida. She is also a Certified Financial Planner™ with 14 years of wealth management experience. She … Read more.