Chase Total Checking account review
A no-frills checking account with all of the benefits of banking with Chase.
finder.com’s rating: 2.8 / 5.0
If you’re looking for a simple checking account with a low monthly service fee, the Chase Total Checking account may be a good fit. You’ll have access to Chase’s vast network of ATMs, mobile app for on-the-go bill payments and deposits, account alerts and even options to waive the monthly fee. Chase only has branches in 29 states, however, and this basic checking account won’t earn interest.
$12 per month
Minimum deposit to open
|Fee||$12 per month|
|To waive the fee||Do any ONE of the following: |
• Set up monthly direct deposits of $500 or more
• OR have a $1,500 balance or more each morning
• OR have a combined balance of $5,000 or more in your Total Checking account and any other linked qualifying Chase accounts or investments
|Minimum deposit to open||$0|
|ATMs||Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide|
|ATM transaction fee||$0|
|Out-of-network ATM fee||$2.50 in the US, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands; outside the US, it's $5 per withdrawal and $2.50 per transfer or inquiry|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%|
|Nonsufficient funds fee||$34|
Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.
The Chase Total Checking account is best for those looking for a checking account with a low monthly service charge that’s easily avoidable. But you’ll want to avoid it if you plan to travel or else you’ll pay 3% on foreign transaction fees.
How do I open a Chase Total Checking account?
You can open a Chase Total Checking account at a branch or online through the following steps:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- From the Chase site, click Checking accounts.
- Click Open account under Chase Total Checking.
- Fill in your personal information including your name, address and Social Security number, then click Next.
- Once your application is complete, you’ll need to fund the account.
- After your opening deposit has been made, you can submit your application.
The only eligibility requirement for the Chase Total Checking account to make a $25 deposit to open the account, you’ll need to present government-issued identification, but as long as you have a permanent address, you should be able to open an account.
- Date of birth
- Government-issued ID
- Social security number — or passport for foreign applicants
- Income information
Compare Chase Total Checking to similar accounts
We gathered a quick comparison of Chase Total Checking and similar accounts to help you decide which one is best for you. To keep looking, select “Compare accounts” to compare even more checking accounts.
Compare even more checking accounts
What are the benefits of Chase Total Checking?
- Visa debit. The account comes with a Chase Visa debit card with chip technology.
- Convenient deposits. You can deposit money at branches, ATMs, by mail, online or through its app using Chase QuickDeposit.
- Security. Chase holds the highest possible ratings by all three major ratings agencies. It’s also FDIC-insured, meaning that deposits up to $250,000 are covered by FDIC deposit insurance.
- Bill pay. Make one-time or recurring payments for free when you make this account the primary account for online bill payment.
- Nationwide support. Chase has more than 4,700 branch locations and offers 24/7 customer service. You can also get in touch by email, mail and Twitter, or find FAQs on the Chase site.
- Account alerts. Get alerts when there is a charge, refund or other transaction on your account. This service is available via text, email and push notifications.
- Text banking. This feature allows you to check account balances, view credit card bills and more — all from your phone.
- Mobile payments. Use the Chase mobile app to send money to friends and family through QuickPay with Zelle.
Chase ATM network and fees
This account comes with a Chase Visa debit card, giving you access to Chase’s massive network of over 16,000 ATMs. Transactions at these ATMs are free, but if you use an ATM from another bank, you’ll be charged the following fees:
- $2.50 in the US, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands; outside the US, it's $5 per withdrawal and $2.50 per transfer or inquiry — plus fees from the ATM owner.
- Opening deposit requirement. This account requires a $0 minimum deposit to open.
- Monthly service charge. The Chase Total Checking account comes with a monthly service charge of $12, which is waived if you meet any of the following conditions:
- Have direct deposits into the account totaling $500 or more per month.
- Have a balance of $1,500 or more at the beginning of each statement period.
- Have an average balance of $5,000 or more at the beginning of each statement period, which includes qualifying linked deposits and investments.
- Insufficient funds fees. You’re charged $34 for each debit card purchase that overdraws your account, with a maximum of three per day. However, this fee doesn’t apply if any of these conditions are true:
- Your account balance at the end of the business day is overdrawn by $5 or less.
- The purchase was for $5 or less, even if your end-of-day balance is overdrawn.
- You made a withdrawal at an ATM.
- Extended overdraft fees. You’ll incur a $15 fee each time your account is overdrawn at least five business days in a row.
- Miscellaneous fees. These other fees could eat away at your funds if you’re not careful.
- Stop payment: $30 per request
- Non-ATM cash: $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
- Additional statement copy: $6 per paper statement
- Blank page of three personal checks: $2 per page
- Money order: $5 each
- Cashier’s check: $8 each
- Wire transfer fees. Both domestic and international wire transfers also incur additional fees.
- Incoming wire transfer: $15
- Outgoing domestic wire transfer: $35
- Outgoing domestic online wire transfer: $25
- Outgoing international wire transfer: $50
- Outgoing international online wire transfer: $40
- Outgoing international online wire transfer in a foreign currency: $40 for amounts less than $5,000; free for amounts of $5,000 or more
- Limited availability. Although Chase has more than 4,700 branches, it only operates in 28 states and Washington, DC. However, an online account can be opened nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
- Chase Premier Plus Checking. Comes with higher balance requirements but also offers great perks and features.
- Chase Sapphire Checking. This premium checking account has a high balance requirement to waive the $25 monthly service fee, but has almost no other fees and earns interest at 0.01% APY.
- Chase College Checking. Designed for the needs and expenses of college students and comes with a $6 monthly service fee that can be waived for up to five years while you’re in school.
- Chase High School Checking. Geared toward students between the ages 13 and 17, this checking account helps develop responsible financial behavior in teenagers. Its $6 monthly service fee is waived if you meet certain requirements.
- Business checking accounts. Various business checking accounts like the Chase Business Complete Banking account, are designed to help businesses handle cash flow.
- Merchant services. Chase offers products that allow businesses to accept payments online, in store or on the go.
- Business credit cards. Chase’s selection ofbusiness credit cards help companies cover expenses and earn rewards in the process.
- Business lending. Lines of credit, term loans, SBA financing and more are available to help businesses finance large purchases and other operating expenses.
What should I look out for?
If you prefer an interest-bearing checking account or one with no foreign transaction fee, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when looking for a checking account.
What states have Chase branches?
How much do I need to open an account?
This account requires a minimum deposit of $0, due when you open the account.
What other checking options does Chase offer?
Chase also offers a few other checking accounts:
Does this bank offer business services?
Yes. Chase also offers a number of options for businesses, including:
Frequently asked 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.