Chase Bank offers several ways for basic personal checking account members to avoid Chase checking account monthly maintenance fees.
I had a conversation with my Chase banker today in regards to avoiding the monthly maintenance fees on my Chase checking account, now that I no longer have a direct deposit going to that account.
This conversation took place at a Chase Bank in Wisconsin, and the following information about avoiding Chase Bank checking monthly maintenance fees is based on that conversation, as it’s important to note that Chase Bank account details could possibly vary between different states.
Grandfather Clause for Older Chase Checking Accounts
Chase Bank has now replaced their basic Chase Checking account with the Chase Total Checking account, which is their new basic personal checking account.
I have the older Chase Checking account, which was known as Chase Free Checking with Direct Deposit when I opened the account, and is currently titled Chase Checking as of more recently.
Apparently, Chase Bank has grandfathered the older Chase Checking account and is maintaining the same requirements to avoid monthly maintenance fees for older account members.
If you have an older Chase Checking account, you can choose to maintain your account as long as you like, and you will still be subject to the original requirements to avoid your monthly maintenance fee.
However, if you choose, you can transfer your original Chase Checking account over to a new Chase Total Checking account, and you will then be subject to the new requirements to avoid monthly maintenance fees.
So older Chase Checking account members have the option of remaining within the grandfather clause or transferring over their old Chase Checking account into a new Chase Total Checking account package.
Chase Checking Versus Chase Total Checking
The older Chase Checking account and newer Chase Total Checking account have 3 important differences in their requirements to avoid monthly maintenance fees:
1. The older Chase Checking account allows you to avoid monthly fees by making 5 or more debit card purchases each month.
2. The new Chase Total Checking account allows you to avoid monthly fees by maintaining a $1,500 minimum balance or $5,000 or more in linked deposits/investments.
3. The older Chase Checking account monthly fee is only $6, while the new Chase Total Checking account monthly maintenance fee is $12.
Both Chase personal checking accounts offer the direct deposit option to avoid monthly banking fees as well.
For the direct deposit, you must have at least 1 direct deposit of $500 or more post to your account each month (2 or more direct deposits that add up to $500 or more do not qualify).
The Chase Total Checking account also has no monthly fee if you’ve paid other Chase checking-related fees of at least $25 in the same month, but that’s not really a viable option for avoiding monthly fees in the long term, as the overall goal is to avoid banking fees altogether.
Chase Checking – Monthly Maintenance Fee Requirements
To avoid the monthly maintenance fees for older Chase Checking accounts, you must do 1 of the following:
- Have a Monthly Direct Deposit of $500 or More (this was recently updated to the $500 amount)
- Make 5 or More Debit Card Purchases Each Month
Otherwise, there is a $6 monthly maintenance fee for the older Chase Checking account.
Chase Total Checking – Monthly Maintenance Fee Requirements
To avoid the monthly maintenance fees for new Chase Total Checking accounts, you must do 1 of the following:
- Have a Monthly Direct Deposit of $500 or More
- Maintain a $1,500 Minimum Daily Balance
- Maintain an Average Daily Balance of $5,000 or More in Linked Deposits/Investments
- You Must Have Paid Other Chase Checking-Related Fees of at Least $25 within the Same Month
Otherwise, there is a $12 monthly maintenance fee for the Chase Total Checking account ($10 monthly service fee in CA, OR, and WA).
Should You Update Your Chase Checking Account to a Chase Total Checking Account?
If you have an older Chase Checking account, you may either remain under the grandfather clause or you can transfer your account over to a new Chase Total Checking account.
However, once you switch from Chase Checking to Chase Total Checking, you can never go back to your old account benefits.
If you plan to avoid the monthly maintenance fee either way, whether by direct deposit or an alternative option, then the difference between the amount of the fee being $6 or $12 doesn’t really matter.
If a direct deposit isn’t an option, then the main question becomes whether you would prefer to make 5 debit card purchases per month or if you would rather maintain a minimum account balance of $1,500 (or $5,000 in total Chase deposits/investments).
My Chase banker pointed out to me that it’s pretty easy to make small debit card purchases like single iTunes song purchases or on simple everyday spending, but I personally prefer to use my Chase 5% Cash Rebate Credit Card for all of my card purchases, plus I don’t necessarily like the idea of having to make purchases just to meet requirements.
It would be nice to simply keep $1,500 or more in my account to avoid the monthly fee, but then that money wouldn’t be earning any interest, and I’m already doing that to Avoid Monthly Fees on My Bank of America Checking Account.
I could always close my Chase Bank account, but I live conveniently close to 2 Chase Bank branches for cashing checks, and I also use this account for various payments and account transfers, so it would all require additional organization and time to complete.
The best option for you depends on your spending habits and the average balance that you like to maintain as well as other factors.
If you are planning on opening a new Chase personal checking account, make sure that you review these Chase Bank Checking Account Bonuses for the latest cash bonus rewards from Chase Bank.
If Chase banking details vary in your state or for your Chase checking accounts, please feel free to leave additional details in the comments section below this article for the benefit of other Chase customers.