Chase Premier Plus Checking Review: Is It a Good Checking Account?

Chase Premier Plus Checking Review: Is It a Good Checking Account?

While there are better options at other major banks, Chase Premier Plus Checking is an acceptable option for anyone who can get the monthly service fee waived.
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Editor's Rating

3.5

Good for

  • People who maintain combined bank balances of $15,000 or more
  • Homeowners with an active Chase mortgage
  • Families that plan on opening multiple checking accounts

Bad for

  • People who want a low-cost, low-balance checking account
  • Users who don't need comprehensive brick-and-mortar services
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While there are better options at other national banks, Chase Premier Plus Checking is an acceptable checking account for anyone who can get the monthly service fee waived. Chase Bank waives the monthly maintenance fee for account holders who maintain an average daily balance of $15,000 in qualifying linked deposits and investments, as well as for account holders that use their Premier Plus Checking account to make payments on a linked Chase mortgage. People determined to bank with Chase may want to look at Chase Total Checking if they find the fees and minimums too high with Chase Premier Plus Checking.

Chase Premier Plus Checking Review: Is It Worth Opening?

Ultimately, most people will find that Chase Premier Plus Checking isn't as cost-effective as Chase Total Checking, and its features don't quite measure up to the benefits of Premier Platinum Checking. Occupying something of an awkward middle ground between Chase's most basic and most comprehensive checking choices, the account is suitable only in the few situations where you can waive the monthly fee. These include making Chase mortgage payments from the account and maintaining at least $15,000 in your Chase accounts each day of the month.

But even for people who meet these conditions, Premier Plus Checking is outperformed by more affordable alternatives at banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America, which offer more features for less in monthly fees. Unless you're hoping to use the Premier Plus Checking account as a way to waive the monthly fees on additional Chase accounts, you'd likely find a better checking option elsewhere. While the sign-up bonus is hard to match, even $300 means little if you can't avoid paying the $25 fee each month you have the account.

Chase Premier Plus Checking Account Features

Opening a Chase Premier Plus Checking account for the first time and setting up direct deposit to the account will earn a $300 sign-up bonus. This is a relatively unusual benefit with checking accounts, although you will find similar sign-up incentives for credit cards. This bonus will remain available until July 16, 2018.

Chase Premier Plus Checking – Key Features

  • $300 sign-up bonus for new customers
  • Earns 0.01% APY on all balances
  • No monthly fees on linked Chase savings accounts, Chase Liquid Cards and up to two additional linked Chase Premier Plus Checking Accounts
  • No Chase fee on 4 non-Chase ATM transactions each statement period
  • Free personal checks, money orders and cashier's checks
  • Free use of 3" x 5" safe deposit box and 20% discount on larger sizes

The principal advantage of signing up for Chase Premier Plus Checking as opposed to Total Checking is the larger sign-up bonus. Otherwise, the benefits you receive are only useful in a limited set of circumstances. Currently, the interest rate on Chase Premier Plus Checking is marginal, at 0.01% APY, and it hardly justifies the $25 monthly fee, which is more than double that of Chase Total Checking.

People looking to open multiple accounts at one bank should also consider Chase Premier Plus Checking for the option to waive monthly fees on many other Chase accounts. Having one Premier Plus account allows you to avoid maintenance fees on any savings options and up to two more Premier Plus Checking accounts. Depending on how many other accounts you decide to open, this feature may end up saving you monthly fees overall.

The remaining benefits of Chase Premier Plus Checking are fairly minor. If you aren't interested in small additions to your banking experience, features like free checks and a 3' x 5' deposit box won't be a big factor in deciding which checking account to open.

Chase Premier Plus Checking Fees and Limits

With a monthly maintenance fee of $25, Chase Premier Plus Checking is one of Chase's costlier bank accounts. Additionally, the absence of a direct deposit waiver makes it a little harder to avoid the monthly fee.

Chase Premier Plus Checking – Major Fees

  • Monthly Maintenance : $25
  • International ATM Withdrawal : $5.00
  • Overdraft/Insufficient Funds : $34
  • Deposited Item Returned : $12
  • Outgoing Domestic Wire : $35
  • Non-Chase ATM Transaction : $2.50
  • International Exchange Fee : 3%
  • Extended Overdraft : $15
  • Incoming Wire Transfer : $15
  • Outgoing International Wire : $50

Waiving the Chase Premier Plus Checking monthly fee requires a combined daily average of $15,000 in your Chase accounts. Because one of the account's features is to waive the fees on all savings accounts and up to two more Premier Plus checking accounts, avoiding the fee may not be so difficult if you open multiple Chase accounts. The one other way of avoiding the monthly fee is to link automatic payments on a Chase mortgage to your Premier Plus Checking account.

The other account fees you'll find with Chase Premier Plus Checking are exactly the same for all levels of Chase checking accounts, including the less-expensive Chase Total Checking account. The same holds true for the daily limits on ATM cash withdrawals and debit purchases.

Chase Daily Spending Limits
Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit$500
Daily In-Branch eATM Limit$3,000
Daily Debit Card Purchase Limit$3,000

Chase's ATM limit of $500 applies to standard ATMs on the street and at third-party merchants, but the bank's new eATMs allow you to withdraw up to $3,000 each day. The only drawback is that all eATMs are located inside Chase branches, so they're only accessible while banks are open. Chase's debit purchase limit is somewhat lower than the average; typical limits go up to $5,000, even on entry-level checking options.

How Does Chase Premier Plus Checking Compare to Other Options?

We looked at Chase Premier Plus Checking in comparison to similar offerings at Chase's biggest competitors and found that it falls behind in a few key areas, including monthly fee waiver conditions and withdrawal limits. For our analysis of other Chase products, you can look at our review of Chase Bank as a whole.

Chase Premier Plus Checking vs. Bank of America Interest Checking

Bank of America Interest Checking costs the same in monthly fees as Chase Premier Plus Checking, but it requires a smaller minimum balance in order to waive the fee, making it a more affordable option overall.

Chase Premier Plus CheckingBank of America Interest Checking
  • + Lower opening balance
  • + Lower and fewer overdraft fees
  • - Higher direct deposit waiver
  • - Lower ATM and debit purchase limits
  • + Lower direct deposit waiver
  • + Higher ATM and debit purchase limits
  • + More incidental fee waivers
  • - Higher overdraft fees

To waive Bank of America's monthly $25 fee on Interest Checking, you'll need to keep a total daily average of $10,000 in your Bank of America accounts during the month. This is more manageable than Chase's $15,000 requirement, and the several advantages you receive with Bank of America Interest Checking make this a case of getting more for less. This includes several fee waivers and higher limits on ATM withdrawals and debit spending.

Chase Premier Plus Checking vs. Wells Fargo Preferred Checking

Chase Premier Plus Checking also comes up short against Wells Fargo Preferred Checking, the mid-level checking account offered by Wells Fargo Bank. Chase's account costs $10 more per month in maintenance fees, and also requires a higher minimum balance each day to waive the fee.

Chase Premier Plus CheckingWells Fargo Preferred Checking
  • + Lower opening deposit required
  • + Fewer daily overdraft charges
  • - Extended overdraft fee
  • - Higher monthly maintenance fee
  • + Lower monthly fees
  • + Direct deposit fee waiver available
  • - Higher opening deposit
  • - No interest earned on balances under $500

Most importantly, Wells Fargo Preferred Checking allows you to waive the fee with $1,000 in monthly direct deposits, a feature not available on Chase Premier Plus Checking. Even if you don't get direct deposits, the other waiver option at Wells Fargo is a $10,000 daily average balance —still better than the $15,000 required for Chase Premier Plus Checking.

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