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The Chase Total Checking® is the best Chase Bank checking option for most individuals as many convenient features make receiving or sending funds easy. It can also be easy to waive the monthly service fee and earn a signup bonus. Our Chase Total Checking review can help you decide if this checking account can help improve your finances.
What is Chase Total Checking?
Chase Total Checking® is the flagship personal checking product from Chase Bank with full-service local and online access.
Some of the key membership features include:
- Local access to over 4,700 branches and 15,000 ATMs
- Chase Online℠ Banking and online bill pay
- Chase Mobile Banking
- Zelle® quick money transfers
- Autosave automatic transfers to a linked Chase savings account
- Overdraft Assist℠ (no overdraft fees on insufficient balances below $50)
You can also order paper checks for an additional fee. While most merchants accept electronic or card payments these days, there are times when paying by check is the best way to avoid payment processing fees. For example, you might write a check to pay rent.
Another benefit for families is the ability to open a Chase First Banking℠ account for children from ages 6 to 17 years old. This child checking account is free and exclusive to parents with a Chase checking relationship. It makes family banking easy and allows youths to learn basic money skills. There are several valuable benefits that make Chase First Banking worth it.
This Chase Total Checking review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the signup bonus. Most brick-and-mortar banks offer new customers checking account bonuses. You may like the Total Checking signup bonus.
Though there was a combined $600 Chase bonus a while back, this is still a nice bonus.
New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when they Open an Account and set up a direct deposit. However, this offer expires on 10/18/2023 so you’ll want to open an account before then.
Monthly Service Fee
You may be wondering if you can get free checking with Chase. Total Checking customers will encounter a $12 monthly service fee, but there are several ways to waive it. Completing one of the monthly activities below brings the fee down to $0:
- Electronic deposits made into this account totaling $500 or more, such as payments from payroll providers or government benefit providers, by using (i) the ACH network, (ii) the Real Time Payment network, or (iii) third-party services that facilitate payments to your debit card using the Visa or Mastercard network
- A balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more in this account
- An average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying deposits and investments
Other Chase Total Checking Fees
Additional incidental fees you might pay include:
- Non-Chase ATMs: $3 within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ($5 elsewhere)
- Overdraft fee: $34 per transaction during our nightly processing beginning with the first transaction that overdraws your account balance by more than $50. Maximum of 3 fees per business ($102 daily maximum charge)
- Foreign transaction fees: 3%
- Domestic incoming wire transfers: $15 ($0 if the transfer was originally sent with the help of a Chase banker ($35 per wire) or using chase.com or Chase Mobile ($25 per wire))
- Consumer online FX international wire: $5 per transfer or $0 for balances above $5,000
- Other international wire transfers: $40 to $50 per transfer
- Stop payment: $30 per request
- Order for checks or supplies: Varies
- Money order (up to $1,000): $5
- Cashier’s check: $10
You can view an extensive list of account fees here.
The ability to visit local Chase branches and ATMs is an excellent perk and one reason why you might open a Chase Total Checking® account. But there are many situations when you want to access your banking details from home or while running errands without making a special trip to the bank.
You can quickly manage your account using the bank’s mobile app to check your account balance, transfer funds, and pay bills.
The online web platform is easy to use from a computer too.
If you tend to keep your ongoing account balance near $0, be sure to activate the Chase Overdraft Assist℠ feature to be more likely to avoid the pricey $34 overdraft fee. You won’t pay overdraft fees as long as your account isn’t overdrawn by more than $50 or you replenish your balance to be overdrawn by $50 or less before the end of the next business day.
It’s also possible to enable account alerts if you want to be notified when your balance goes below a certain amount or transactions post.
Phone support is available 24/7, or you can visit local Chase branches during business hours. You can also send secure messages within the Chase app or website for non-urgent matters. The response times are typically fast for digital correspondence.
Chase Total Checking Review: Pros and Cons
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a Chase Total Checking® account.
- Local and online banking access
- Zelle money transfers
- Can avoid overdraft fees on shortfalls smaller than $50
- Can request paper checks
- 24/7 customer support
The signup bonus is also a pro. New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when they Open an Account and set up a direct deposit. This offer expires on 10/18/2023.
- $12 monthly service fee (waivable to $0)
- Expensive overdraft fee
- Fees apply at non-Chase ATMs
- 3% foreign transaction fee
Chase Total Checking is one of the best Chase checking accounts.
Alternatives to Chase Total Checking
These other Chase checking products can be a better option for minimizing banking fees.
Chase Secure Banking
A Chase Secure Banking℠ has a non-waivable $4.95 monthly fee but doesn’t charge overdraft fees as transactions won’t process when there are insufficient funds. You also won’t pay for money orders or cashier’s checks.
Receiving your paycheck direct deposits up to two days earlier is also possible with Chase Secure Banking.
You can also enjoy a checking account bonus of $100 as a new Chase checking customer when you open a Chase Secure Banking℠ account with qualifying transactions. This offer expires on 10/18/2023.
Chase Private Client Checking
A Chase Private Client account is better if you have a high net worth or maintain a sizable cash cushion. This service waives ATM fees worldwide along with fees on many additional banking services like wire transfers and stop payments.
The monthly fee is $35 but can be reduced to $0 if you meet at least one of the following each statement period:
- Have an average beginning day balance of $150,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings, and other balances AND/OR
- Linking a Chase Platinum Business Checking℠ account.
Product terms are subject to change. For more information, please see a banker or visit chase.com/checking.
Additionally, enjoy up to a $3,000 bonus when you open a new Chase Private Client Checking℠ account with qualifying activities. The offer expires on 12/31/2023.
Related: Chase Private Client Review
Chase College Checking
The Chase College Checking℠ account is for students between the age of 17 and 24 and offers free banking. College students can enjoy similar banking benefits as Total Checking but not pay a service fee for up to five years during their study years. A waivable $6 monthly service fee applies after graduation or upon turning 25 years old (whichever occurs first).
In addition to free college checking, students can receive a $100 bonus by completing qualifying activities after opening an account. New Chase customers can get $100 when they open a Chase College Checking℠ account and complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of coupon enrollment. This offer expires on 10/18/2023. This is one of the best Chase College checking accounts.
Summary of Chase Total Checking Review
Opening a Chase Total Checking® is a good financial move when you want to build a relationship with Chase Bank and easily manage your spending money online, by app, or in person. Be sure you can regularly avoid the monthly service fee and overdraft fees. Otherwise, another checking account is better for your personal habits.