Chase Liquid: Is It A Good Prepaid Card?

Chase Liquid: Is It A Good Prepaid Card?

The Chase Liquid® Card is the prepaid debit card offered by Chase Bank. Compared to other prepaid debit options, the Chase Liquid® Card stands out as a good choice for people trying to avoid additional fees for basic tasks like reloading the card with cash and making withdrawals. In addition, the Visa network that accepts the Chase Liquid® Card is larger than the Amex network that most other prepaid debit cards use, making the Chase Liquid® Card a more convenient payment method than its competitors.

Is the Chase Liquid® Card a Good Prepaid Debit Card?

On the whole, the Chase Liquid® Card offers cheaper and more accessible service for customers who live and work near Chase locations.

Good For…Bad For…
  • People located in Chase's service areas
  • Customers trying to minimize account fees
  • Existing Chase bank account-holders
  • People located outside urban areas
  • People who want to avoid a flat monthly fee
  • Customers who need check-writing

While there are competing prepaid cards that don't charge any monthly fee, those cards tend to rely on physical networks that aren't as widespread as Chase Bank's nationwide branch locations and ATMs. The Chase Liquid® Card allows you access to your money through any Chase ATM or branch, and it can be used as a debit payment method with any merchant that participates in the Visa network. However, the Chase Liquid® Card lacks the check-writing capability of other prepaid cards like BlueBird, so if you make frequent payments by check, it may not be the ideal solution for you.

Cardholders with the Chase Liquid® Card also gain access to Chase QuickPay, the same money transfer service available with Chase checking accounts. This allows for free person-to-person (P2P) transfers between Chase Liquid® Cards and any regular bank accounts at Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and several other major banks. Other prepaid debit cards are much more limited in their P2P options, making Chase Liquid the most convenient prepaid card to use alongside a typical checking account.

Fees and Limits on the Chase Liquid® Card

The Chase Liquid® Card comes with a $4.95 monthly service fee and must be opened in person at a local Chase branch, with a minimum initial load of $25.

Chase Liquid – Fees and Limits

  • Minimum Initial Load: $25
  • Monthly Service Fee: $4.95
  • Cash Loading Fee: $0
  • Cash Withdrawal Fee: $0
  • Non-Network ATM Fee: $2.50
  • Declined Transaction Fee: $0
  • Deposited Item Returned Fee: $12
  • Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit: $500
  • Daily Debit Purchase Limit: $3,000
  • Monthly Cash Deposit Limit: $4,000

People who already own a Chase checking account do not have to pay the monthly fee, yet another feature that makes the card especially good for use with an existing Chase bank account. As long as you stick to using Chase's own ATMs and branch locations, the Chase Liquid® Card won't cost you any fees to load or withdraw money. Each non-network ATM transaction, including balance inquiries, will cost you $2.50. Since it's fairly common to see loading and withdrawal charges on other prepaid debit cards, the Chase Liquid® Card's fees represent one of the better deals you can find outside of the standard debit cards you get with regular checking accounts.

The $4,000 monthly limit on deposits only applies to direct cash loading, meaning that you can load an unlimited amount of money through other channels like direct deposit and transfers from a Chase checking or savings account. In any case, $4,000 is high enough for most prepaid card users to use the Chase Liquid® Card without worry. As for withdrawals, the ATM cash limit of $500 and debit limit of $3,000 are the same daily limits imposed on regular Chase accounts, so there's no disadvantage to using the Chase Liquid® Card as opposed to those options.

The Chase Liquid® Card Compared to Other Options

While you'll notice that more traditional bank products like checking accounts and savings accounts tend to be fairly similar wherever you look, prepaid debit cards are newer and have fewer regulations around them. This has led to a more diverse market of options, so we compared the Chase Liquid® Card with other available cards to find out where it stands.

The Chase Liquid® Card vs. Bluebird by American Express

Bluebird by American Express is WalMart's prepaid debit card program, serviced through WalMart retail stores and the MoneyPass ATM network. This makes Bluebird by American Express as widely available as the Chase Liquid® Card, but in different regions: while Chase tends to focus its branches and ATMs in major cities and metropolitan areas, Bluebird by American Express is easier to access in suburbs and other places WalMart operates. If you find yourself deciding between these two cards, it may be best to start by checking how close you live and work to either a WalMart store or a Chase branch. If both are available, the Bluebird by American Express will likely be the better choice, since it comes with zero monthly fees.

The Chase Liquid® Card vs. NetSpend

NetSpend is one of the longest-running prepaid debit programs, and accordingly it operates one of the largest networks available. However, it costs $3.95 each time you reload your card, making it far less affordable than the Chase Liquid® Card on a day-to-day basis. NetSpend also charges $2.50 on each ATM cash withdrawal and $1.00 each time you get declined at an ATM. While the card offers some rewards perks at certain merchants, the list of incidental fees on NetSpend mean that the Chase Liquid® Card is a simpler and more hassle-free experience.

The Chase Liquid® Card vs. RushCard

RushCard made the news in October 2015 for a disastrous service outage that led to thousands of customers being locked out of their accounts and unable to access their money for weeks. One year on, the RushCard costs $3.95 to $9.95 to activate and up to $7.95 each month. You can reduce the monthly fee to $5.95 with direct deposits to the account, or you can opt for the "pay-as-you-go" plan: no monthly fees in exchange for a $1.00 fee on each debit purchase, up to $10 a month. If you plan to use your debit card more than six times a month, the Chase Liquid® Card is the more cost-effective option; however, not all customers may have a Chase branch close to their location.

Chris Moon

Chris is a Product Manager for ValuePenguin with years of experience in addressing critical questions about mortgages and homeowners insurance. He spends his time evaluating insurance providers and policy features to understand where consumers might find the most cost-effective coverage. Chris has contributed insights to the New York Times and many other publications.