Now here’s a well-rounded checking account you’ll want to take advantage of. Here’s our review of Chase Total Checking®.
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The Total Checking is the checking account Chase is pushing as their best all-around option. If you’re looking for a solid, well-balanced checking account, this one delivers on a number of fronts. And because of Chase’s wide footprint, it’s a good option for people in different parts of the country.
In this article, I’ll cover what Chase Total Checking is, what it offers, some of its pros and cons, and how it stacks up against the competition.
What Is Chase Total Checking®?
Chase Total Checking® is marketed as being easy to use, and it delivers. With this checking account, you get access to Chase’s large footprint of 16,000 ATMs and almost more than 4,700 branches.
Along with this, you get access to Chase Deposit Friendly ATMs which allow for easy deposits, and it comes with a Chase debit card that features chip technology for maximum protection.
Chase Total Checking® Features
- Chase QuickDeposit – Using the mobile app, it’s easy to deposit a check in a matter of seconds directly to your Chase Total Checking account.
- Online Bill Pay – It’s easy to set up bills through Chase’s website and make electronic (or check) payments for your bills, all in one place.
- Chase QuickPay with Zelle® – Using QuickPay, you can send and receive money to and from other people with a few clicks in your mobile app–without the use of cards or checks.
- Paperless statements – You’ll have access to up to 7 years of online statements with Chase, so you’ll never have to worry about finding that missing transaction at tax time again.
- Account alerts – I love this feature. Chase lets you set up fairly detailed account alerts so you always know what’s going on inside your account. This protects you against misuse and fraud.
- Text banking – If you need to check a balance or your transaction history quickly and on the spot, simply send a text, and Chase’s text banking will respond with the information you need.
With the Total Checking account, you’ll pay a $12 monthly service fee. This fee can be waived, however, if you meet specific criteria. There are a few ways to reduce the service fee to $0:
- You can direct deposit, totaling $500 per month.
- Have your balance at the beginning of each day exceed $1,500.
- Have an average beginning daily balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of linked qualifying deposits/investments and this account.
Other fees you should be mindful of are a $3 non-Chase ATM fee and a $34 overdraft fee. You can see all the terms and conditions here.
The process for signing up is super simple and can be done quickly online.
New Chase checking customers can qualify for a $225 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up your first direct deposit within 90 days of account opening.
Chase takes security seriously, and it’s no different with their Total Checking. Here are two security features you’ll find useful.
Real-Time Fraud Monitoring
Chase is known for having some of the best security features integrated into its checking accounts and credit card accounts. With Total Checking, you gain access to Chase’s Real-Time Fraud Monitoring. This is a threat prevention feature where Chase monitors your debit card to help prevent unauthorized purchases and more.
Staying up-to-date on all of your purchases and monitoring the usage of your debit card for withdrawals is one of the best ways to ensure that you are fully protected. With Chase’s Total Checking, you will be able to sign-up for account alerts in order to safeguard your account.
As with any checking account in today’s mobile age, it’s important to have ease of access with your favorite mobile devices. Chase makes things easy with its industry-leading mobile app. On the app, you can manage your accounts, deposit checks with mobile deposit, transfer money around, and more.
You’ll also be able to do a variety of different everyday banking tasks, including checking your balance, looking at your transaction history, and paying bills with Chase QuickPay with Zelle. I personally love Chase’s mobile app. It’s got all the features I need and it’s got a clean and easy-to-use interface.
When it comes to banking, one of the major things you’ll need to consider is the level of customer service you get. Let’s face it, we’ve probably all had terrible experiences with a bank. And for me, if someone’s handling my money, I want them to be prompt and courteous.
Now it’s going to depend on your specific need and who you get on the line (nothing is ever perfect), but overall, Chase attempts to provide industry-leading customer service. Not only are they accessible 24/7 via phone, but you can walk into a branch any time you want (during business hours of course).
With so many banks going online-only now, it’s nice to at least have the option of working with someone face-to-face if you’d like. And keep in mind, there are more than 4.700 branches nationwide, so you’ll be hard-pressed to NOT find one in your area.
Pros and Cons
Accessibility — Not only do you gain access to 16,000 ATMs, but you can visit any one of its more than 4,700 branches.
Technology — Between their website and mobile app experience, Chase is attempting to lead the way with technology. Both platforms are easy to use.
Maintenance fee — While you can avoid the $12 maintenance fee each month, you really have to keep an eye on your balances to make sure you meet the requirements. In an age where places like Ally offer no-fee banking, it’s hard to swallow a potential $12 fee.
Overdraft fee — There is a $34 overdraft fee, which maxes out at a total of $102 per day. To avoid the fee, you need to make a deposit or transfer money to your account covering the overdraft prior to the end of the current business day. Again, I find it hard to accept a $34 overdraft fee in today’s day and age.
Foreign transaction fee — If you use your debit card out of the country it’s subject to a 3% foreign transaction fee. You’ll also pay a $5 charge to withdraw cash from an ATM out of the country. While I don’t recommend using debit internationally, if you do, be mindful of the extra fees.
Alternatives To Chase Total Checking
Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account
The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account is easily one of the best alternatives to the Total Checking account. With Schwab, you’re getting a lot of benefits that Chase fails to deliver on.
For one, it’s a more-preferred option for travelers because it comes with a debit card you can use worldwide with unlimited ATM fee rebates. Regardless of where you go and how high the ATM fees are, Schwab will cover the fees in full.
Along with this, it comes without account minimums. Therefore, there’s no worrying about having to keep your checking account over the $1,500 threshold to avoid monthly service charges. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about making deposits or maintaining a combined $5,000, like you would with Chase.
Schwab also tends to lean as the preferred option for those that want the highest level of customer service as Schwab has dedicated account specialists that you can speak with.
Pros and Cons
Zero ATM fees – You’ll get reimbursed for ATM fees.
No minimums – You don’t need to worry about minimum balances since there’s no service charge.
Less accessibility – Schwab doesn’t have nearly as many branches as Chase, so if in-person is important, you should be aware of this.
Requires a brokerage account – You’ll need to have a brokerage account with Schwab to qualify for the checking account.
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account
The Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account is another great option for those that want to consider alternatives to the Chase Total Checking. With Wells Fargo, you have a lower maintenance fee – $10. In addition, it’s much easier to get the fee waived–you just need to use your debit card on a minimum of 10 purchases throughout each statement period.
Pros and Cons
Lower fees – Wells Fargo Everyday Checking comes with lower monthly fees by $2. Likewise, it’s easier to get the fees waived.
Branch access – Wells Fargo has over 8,000 branches nationwide, which makes it one of the larger banks. So, if you’re someone that values face-to-face interaction for banking, Wells Fargo would be a good option.
No free checks – Although few of us use paper checks these days, they’re nice to have for certain things (I just had to pay my plumber with a check, for example). Wells Fargo doesn’t give you free checks–you have to order and pay for them, which is a bummer.
Who Is Chase Total Checking For?
Chase Total Checking is one of the best all-around checking accounts that you can find, despite some of the downsides (like the monthly fee). Chase is a major bank that has a significant worldwide footprint.
Not only do you get access to more than 4,700 branches, but you can deposit money at their many ATMs or through the app. Chase has invested a lot of resources into creating a feature-rich mobile app, which makes it convenient to bank with.
Chase provides industry-leading security features that should offer you peace of mind knowing that your money is safe and secure. Not only does Chase hold the second-highest rating in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power, but it’s fully FDIC-insured. Also, your debit card comes with chip technology which makes your card more secure.
It’s a good option for those that travel a lot within the United States, as you will have access to a significant number of Chase branches and ATMs. It’s not for those that travel outside of the country, though, because the cost to use foreign ATMs can add up at $5 per withdrawal. It’s also not for those not planning on being able to hit the minimum threshold to avoid the monthly service fee of $12.
Because of Chase’s nationwide support, excellent mobile app, and mobile payment technology, it makes for a very convenient bank to maintain a checking account.
Overall, Chase Total Checking is one of the contenders you should be considering if you want a checking account that’s going to give you a good balance of features and security.
While the monthly service fee isn’t ideal, it can be avoided in multiple ways. If you want a bank that has one of the largest footprints and one that is going to give you a variety of ways to bank conveniently, it’s certainly a great option to consider.
When you combine the benefits of banking with Chase with their generous sign-up bonus, it makes for one of the most attractive checking accounts to open right now.