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Chase College Checking account review

Enjoy a $100 signup bonus and no monthly fee if enrolled in school — but the perks stop there.

finder.com’s rating: 3.2 / 5.0

★★★★★

Students between the ages of 17 and 24 can open the Chase College Checking account and take advantage of a $100 signup bonus and no monthly maintenance fees as long as you’re in school. But unlike other student accounts, this one doesn’t earn interest and you won’t find any tools to help you better manage your money.

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$6 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APYN/A
Fee$6 per month
To waive the feeHave any ONE of the following:
• College enrollment for up to five years
• OR a direct deposit made to this account (Direct deposits can be an ACH credit, payroll, pension or government benefits such as Social Security)
• OR an average ending day balance of $5,000 or more in this account
Minimum deposit to open$0
Intro or bonus offerNew Chase customers can get a $100 signup bonus when they complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of account opening.
ATMs16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$3
Foreign transaction fee3%
Overdraft fee$34
Nonsufficient funds fee$34
Learn moreApply now

Review by


Sarah George is a personal finance writer at Finder who’s spent the last four years wielding her digital pen on all things banking and insurance. Her know-how has been featured in such publications as CBS, CNET and Reviews.com, and she was a panelist in Finder’s 2020 money-saving webinar. Sarah earned an English education degree and is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance.

Expert review

The Chase College Checking account is best for college students between the ages of 17 and 24. It has a $100 sign-up bonus and no monthly maintenance fee as long as you’re actively enrolled in college. This account works best if you’re a fan of Chase and already have accounts with the bank or a bank location close to you.

Yet while the $100 sign-up bonus may lure you in, you can get far more benefit than with this account if you choose a student checking account that earns interest.

The Chase College Checking account also isn’t ideal for students who plan to study abroad because there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee and out-of-network international ATMs have a $5 withdrawal fee. You may want to check out other options before settling on a student checking account.

How do I open a Chase College Checking account?

Opening a Chase College Checking account can be done online or at a branch. However, if you’re age 17, you’ll need to apply at a bank location rather than online. For online applications:

  1. Select Apply now.
  2. From the Chase website, click Checking accounts.
  3. Click the Students tab.
  4. Click Open now next to Chase College Checking.
  5. Fill in your personal information including your name, address and Social Security number.
  6. Proceed through each step and enter all required information, then click Next.
  7. Review and submit your application and make your initial deposit.

Eligibility

To qualify for the Chase College Checking account, you’ll need to meet these requirements:

  • Between the ages of 17 and 24
  • Enrolled in a college or university

Required information

When applying for this checking account, be prepared to provide:

  • Name and contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of student status, including your college or university name, acceptance letter, transcript or student ID
  • Income information
  • Government-issued ID
  • Passport and Student INS I-20, ICE I-20 or DS-2019 form for foreign students
  • Permanent address, which can be in the US or abroad if you’re not a US citizen

The benefits of the Chase College Checking account

As the top US bank, Chase offers the security, services and customer support that you’d expect. This account, geared for students, sports standard features like free online bill pay, a Visa debit card, a user-friendly app and these perks.

  • No minimum deposit requirements. Open this account with as little as $0.
  • Signup bonus. Get a $100 signup bonus as a new customer when you complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of enrolling in the signup bonus.
  • Budgeting and financial tools. If you have both a checking account and credit card, you can use the budget feature in Chase’s app. Set up your monthly expenses and payments, then track your spending throughout the month. Plus, set up text or email notifications to get alerts about your account balance, payments and other transactions in real time.
  • Perks for linked savings. Link a Chase Savings account for overdraft protection and avoid the monthly service fee while it’s linked to your College Checking account.
  • Extensive ATM network. This account comes with access to the largest bank-owned ATM network with over 16,000 ATMs across the country.

Where does Chase have branches?

Chase has branches in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, DC
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What to look out for

Despite having convenient deposit methods and an attractive sign-up bonus, the Chase College Checking account has these drawbacks.

  • Monthly fee. This account has a $6 monthly fee unless you get direct deposits, have a $5,000 minimum daily balance or are between the ages of 17 and 24 and can prove you’re enrolled in school.
  • 17-year-olds must open at a branch. The youngest people who qualify for this account will need to go in person to open it. Only those ages 18 and over can apply online.
  • Out-of-network ATM fees. You’ll be charged $3 in the US, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands per inquiry, transfer or withdrawal at non-Chase ATMs — not including fees from the ATM owner.
  • Account conversion. Once you graduate, your account converts to a traditional checking account with different requirements and fees.

If you’re looking for a standard Chase account with a signup bonus, Chase Total Checking comes with a $12 monthly fee that can be waived.

However, if you want an account with financial planning tools, consider the PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking, which comes with a Spend account as well as a short-term and long-term savings accounts. These come free for six years along with free ATM reimbursements and a financial learning hub.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to earn on the money in your account, consider Juno which lets you park your traditional cash and invest in crypto in the same account. You can spend both standard funds and crypto at any time, earning on balances up to $50,000.

Case study: Dawn’s experience – April 2019

profile pic

Dawn Daniels
Associate Editor

Chase branches are everywhere in major cities, and their in-person customer service has always been stellar. But calling customer service when you can’t get to a branch leaves a lot to be desired. Last time I needed a new debit card, it took me over four months to get one — the bank sent me a card in the mail with no PIN and refused to send a PIN or give me one over the phone. I couldn’t get a working card until I was able to visit a branch.

I moved to a city shortly after, so it made sense to keep my Chase card. But if I ever move back to an area with no local branches, I’ll switch banks to avoid hours on the phone getting transferred between customer service agents.

Compare with other checking accounts

Check out other checking accounts with minimal fees, low opening deposits and budgeting and financial tools. Select Go to site when you find an account that suits your needs.

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Offer
Chime Checking account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Checking account
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Get rid of monthly fees with this financial app offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Essential Checking
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Pay $0 monthly and overdraft fees, and get reimbursed for domestic ATM fees. No opening deposit or minimum balance requirement. Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit.
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
$0 per month
$0
3.75% on balances of $0+
2.50% on balances of $0 to
Get up to $250 when you open a new account or switch your direct deposit to SoFi checking and savings. In order to qualify for the $250 bonus, you must have $5,000+ in qualifying direct deposits within a month, and to qualify for $50, you must deposit $1,000 to $4,999.99. This offer is available until Jan 31, 2023
Earn 3.75% APY, which is 14X the national average. Get your paycheck up to 2 days early, and earn up to 15% cash back. When you open Sofi, you also get its high-interest savings account that earns APY.
Current
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Current
$0 per month
$0
4.00% on balances of $0.01 to $2,000
You and your friend will receive $50 bonuses once they open a Current Account through your invite link, or applies your referral code, and receives a qualifying direct deposit of at least $200 within 45 days of account opening.
Earn 4% APY on the first $2,000 in each savings pods. Also get budgeting tools, early direct deposit and up to 15x cashback points. All with no monthly fee or opening deposit requirement.
Varo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Varo
$0 per month
$0
5.00% on balances of $0 to $5,000
3.00% on balances of $5,000+
Earn $30 bonuses every time a friend signs up for an account and spends at least $20 within 30 days
A digital account with a $0 monthly fee, access to 55,000+ free Allpoint ATMs and no minimum balance required. This account gives you access to an optional savings account with yields as high as 5% APY.
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How to deposit or withdraw my money

Using one of the Big Four banks means that you’re set on accessing your money when you need it.

Deposits

Deposit money at your convenience using a variety of options.

  • ATMs. Find one of the 16,000 Chase ATMs near you for a fee-free deposit.
  • Branches. Visit one of Chase’s 4,700 in-person locations to deposit money via a teller.
  • Online transfers. Go through your online account to transfer money from an external account to this one.
  • Mobile deposits. Use Chase’s QuickDeposit to snap a picture of a check and deposit into your account at the touch of a button.
  • Withdrawals

    The most common ways to use money from your checking account is through your debit card or online transfers.

    • Debit card. Use your debit card in stores or anytime you make a purchase to withdraw directly from your checking account.
    • In person. Go in person to a bank location or ATM to get cash from your account.
    • Online transfer. Use a bank transfer to send money somewhere else, or use Zelle for fee-free, instant payments to your friends and family.

    How to contact Chase about my checking account

    Chase has nearly 5,000 branches and a number of dedicated customer service lines to offer support.

    • Phone. Existing customers can call support at 1-800-935-9935 to speak with a representative.
    • Email customer support by logging into your online account and sending a secure message.
    • Mail. Send your physical mail to National Bank By Mail, P.O. Box 6185, Westerville, OH 43086.
    • Social media. Tweet @ChaseSupport on Twitter or message the bank on Facebook or Instagram to answer your customer support questions.

    Checking account ratings

    ★★★★★ — Excellent

    ★★★★★ — Good

    ★★★★★ — Average

    ★★★★★ — Subpar

    ★★★★★ — Poor

    We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

    Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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