Chase Total Checking Review: Strong Option for Everyday Banking Needs

Chase Total Checking Review: Strong Option for Everyday Banking Needs

While fairly similar to its competitors, Chase differentiates itself with generous bonuses for new customers and the option of consolidating your credit cards, loans and deposits in one place.

Good for

  • Strong sign-up bonuses for new customers
  • People with regular direct deposit
  • Existing Chase credit card customers

Bad for

  • Earning interest on savings deposits and CDs
  • Premium and high-yield checking accounts
  • People located far from major cities

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

Chase Total Checking is the most popular checking option among the five different checking accounts that Chase provides. This account stands out as one of the best all-around options available at a major national bank. Chase's online banking tools and nationwide network of brick-and-mortar locations help make Chase Total Checking a comprehensive and convenient option for people in most areas.

Review: Is the Chase Total Checking Account Worth It?

So long as you live in one of Chase's many service areas, the Chase Total Checking is a strong choice for meeting everyday banking needs. This checking account delivers reliable and convenient access to your money for a minimal amount of fees. There are no excessively high balance requirements, and the monthly fee is easily avoided with either direct deposits or a reasonable minimum balance. If you don't really need extra bank services beyond the usual deposits, withdrawals and transfers, Chase Total Checking is a decent choice among brick-and-mortar banks.

While Chase Total Checking doesn't earn any interest on the balance, most checking accounts at this price point do not earn interest. Some places offer premium checking accounts that do earn interest, but their rates are usually too low to make up for the higher fees and minimums. For the highest rates on deposit accounts, you should start by examining online savings options.

Chase Total Checking Account Features

When you open a Chase Total Checking account for the first time and set up at least one direct deposit to the account, you receive $200 in that account as a sign-up bonus. Though the bonus is officially set to expire by October 15, 2018, Chase has extended this deadline in the past.

Chase Total Checking – Key Features

  • $200 sign-up bonus for new customers
  • Branch locations and ATMs in 30 states
  • Mobile banking app for check deposits, bill pay and account history
  • Free P2P transfers through Chase QuickPay

Chase also provides extensive options through its mobile app. These tools cover everyday banking tasks like checking your balance, transferring funds, paying bills and depositing checks. Combined with Chase's physical network, the app further expands your choices for when and where you do your banking. Everything you can do with your account through the app is also possible by computer through Chase's website.

In addition, Chase offers free person-to-person (P2P) transfers in and out of your Total Checking account with Chase QuickPay. This is an easy way to transfer money directly between individual checking accounts, as long as both accounts are part of the clearXchange network. Together, the seven large banks that participate in this payment network serve over 250 million customers, so you'll probably find at least a few friends and family members already linked to QuickPay.

Chase Total Checking Fees and Limits

Excluding the Chase High School and Chase College Checking accounts, Total Checking comes with the lowest maintenance fees and lowest waiver requirements of any Chase checking product.

Chase Total Checking – Major Fees

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

To waive the monthly fee, you can either keep a daily minimum of $1,500 in the account or receive $500 in direct deposits to the account. You can also avoid paying the fee with a combined daily average of $5,000 across all your Chase accounts. If you want to find lower checking account fees in general, you may want to examine online-only checking, but remember that online banks do not provide the in-person services that come with accounts like Chase Total Checking.

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

The withdrawal limits set by Chase Bank are the same for all checking account tiers, with the single exception of Chase High School Checking. The ATM limit is average compared to limits at other banks, but you can withdraw up to $3,000 from Chase's new eATMs, which are accessible inside branches during bank hours. Chase's debit purchase limit is somewhat lower than the average; more banks allow daily charges up to $5,000.

How Does Chase Total Checking Compare to Other Options?

We looked at Chase Total Checking in comparison to Chase's other accounts as well as similar offerings at Chase's biggest competitors. For the most part, Total Checking comes out as a reasonable compromise between account features and service fees.

Chase Total Checking vs. Chase Premier Accounts

While the Chase Premier Plus Checking and Premier Platinum Checking accounts come with features that aren't available with Total Checking, these accounts charge higher monthly fees and also require higher minimum balances in order to waive those fees. Like most banks, Chase keeps other account fees fairly similar for all its accounts, although Chase gives its premium checking options fewer fee waivers than its competitors.

Chase Total Checking vs. Bank of America Core Checking

While Bank of America's standard Core Checking account allows you to withdraw more from ATMs and spend more on your debit card each day, it comes with a $5 monthly paper statement fee and higher overdraft fees which you can avoid with a Chase Total Checking account. The deciding factor for most people will probably be the monthly fee waiver: you only need $250 to waive the fees on Core Checking, while Chase requires $500.

Chase Total CheckingBank of America Core Checking
  • + Lower monthly charges
  • + Lower and fewer overdraft fees
  • - Higher direct deposit waiver
  • - Stricter ATM and debit purchase limits
  • + Lower direct deposit waiver
  • + Higher ATM and debit purchase limits
  • - Monthly paper statement fee
  • - Higher overdraft fees

Chase Total Checking vs. Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

It's easier to reduce monthly fees with Wells Fargo's standard checking option, Everyday Checking, than with Chase Total Checking. While it charges a $1 monthly paper statement fee, Everyday Checking still costs less each month, with a $10 maintenance fee as opposed to Chase's $12. Additionally, Wells Fargo customers can waive the fee simply by using their debit cards on at least 10 purchases during the statement period, an easy goal for most consumers.

Chase Total CheckingWells Fargo Everyday Checking
  • + Higher ATM and debit purchase limits
  • + Lower fees for online wire transfers
  • - Extended overdraft fee
  • - Higher monthly maintenance fee
  • + Lower monthly fees
  • + Monthly fee waived with 10 debit card charges
  • - Stricter ATM and debit purchase limits
  • - Monthly paper statement fee

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