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Banking

This Chase checking account comes with a $200 sign-up bonus and easy ways to waive the monthly fee

CNBC Select reviews the Chase Total Checking Account, which offers the second highest bonus offer on our list.

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It can be a drag to open a new checking account with all the work you have to do to update direct deposit and set up all your autopayments. But more and more banks make it worth your while by offering new customers a bonus once they open an account and meet certain requirements.

The Chase Total Checking® account offers a $200 bonus for new customers and a top-rated mobile app that makes banking easy. With both physical and online banking options, you can tailor your experience to your needs. Chase Total Checking ranks on our list of best checking account bonuses of 2021 because, in addition to the signing bonus, there is no minimum balance requirement to open a new account.

Note that the bonus applies only to new Chase customers. If you currently have a checking account with Chase, have received a Chase account-opening related bonus in the past two years and/or have closed an account within 90 days or closed an account with a negative balance, you won't be eligible for the bonus.

To make your search easier, CNBC Select reviewed the Chase Total Checking account. We considered APY, access to cash, perks and fees. (Read more about our methodology below.)

Chase Total Checking Review

Chase Total Checking®

On Chase's secure site
  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $12, with options to waive

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $0

  • Minimum balance

    $1,500 daily balance to avoid monthly maintenance fee

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Free ATM network

    16,000 Chase ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    $34 (max of 3 overdraft fees per day)

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

APY

The APY for this account is 0%. You will not earn interest on the money you have in this checking account. The average APY for interest checking accounts is low across the board, and many traditional banks don't pay out interest on their checking accounts.

Access to your cash

Users can withdraw cash for free at over 16,000 Chase ATMs around the country or visit the 4,700 branches nationwide.

Daily withdrawal limits cap at $500 for non-Chase ATMs ($1,000 for Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), $1,000 for Chase ATMs and $3,000 for in-person withdrawals at the bank. Debit card users are limited to $3,000 in daily purchases.

Perks

There is no minimum deposit for you to open an account, but there is a $12-per-month maintenance fee unless you meet the requirements to waive it (we explain more below).

New account holders can earn a $200 bonus, valid through April 14, 2021, when they set up direct deposit within 90 days of account opening and keep the new account open for at least six months. (Chase deposits the bonus into your account within 10 business days. If you close the account within six months of opening it, Chase will deduct the bonus amount at closing.)

You can send and receive money with Zelle and deposit checks through the mobile app. Chase uses 128-bit encryption technology to protect your username, password and other personal account information when you're using the site or apps

Fees

There is a monthly service fee of $12, but you may qualify for a fee waiver when you meet one of the following requirements:

  • Receive electronic deposits (including employer direct deposits or government benefit providers) totaling $500 or more
  • Maintain a daily balance of $1,500 or more
  • Maintain an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other accounts

Non-Chase ATM transactions also come with fees: Withdrawals, inquiries and transfers cost $2.50 within the U.S., Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. International fees differ slightly, at $5 per withdrawal and $2.50 for any transfers or inquiries (not including fees from the ATM servicer).

Chase charges a $34 insufficient fund fee (for transactions exceeding $5 over your balance) and a $34 returned transactions fee when account holders opt in to Chase Debit Card Coverage This feature gives Chase permission to approve and pay for your everyday debit card transactions when you don't have enough money available. You'll have until the end of the business day/cutoff time to transfer or deposit enough money to avoid an Insufficient Funds Fee on these transactions. There's a three-per-day maximum for these fees (totaling $102), and they don't apply to withdrawals made at an ATM.

Unless you opt in to Chase Debit Card Coverage, transactions will automatically be declined when there are insufficient funds available, and you will not be charged a fee.

Wire transfers can incur various charges depending on the terms of the transfer. Here are the charges for each:

  • Domestic or international incoming wire transfers: Chase charges a $15-per-transfer fee that can be waived if the transfer was originally sent with the help of a Chase banker or using Chase.com or Chase Mobile, in addition to any processing fees from other financial institutions.
  • Domestic wire transfers out of your account: Chase charges a $35-per-transfer fee when you use the help of a banker. That fee is reduced to $25 when you use chase.com or Chase mobile.
  • Transfers from your account to an international account: Chase charges a $50-per-transfer-fee when you use the help of a banker and $40 per transfer when you make the wire transfer online or from Chase mobile.
  • Wire transfer from your checking account to a bank outside the U.S. in a foreign currency: Chase charges a $5-per-transfer fee that is waived for transactions equal to $5,000 or more.

Bottom line

The Chase Total Checking® account offers the second highest bonus offer on our list, behind the PNC Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select account which currently offers new customers a $300 bonus once they meet certain requirements.

Our methodology

To determine which checking accounts provide the best place to deposit your money and earn a bonus, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. checking accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including major credit unions. We narrowed down our rankings by only considering checking accounts that have bonuses available to new applicants.

While the accounts we chose in this article all have bonus offers, we also compared each checking account on a range of features, including:

  • Reasonable bonus requirements
  • Available nationwide
  • Physical branch locations and/or online accessibility
  • Large ATM network
  • FDIC or NCUA insured up to $250,000

All of the accounts included on this list are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insured up to $250,000. This insurance protects and reimburses you up to your balance and the legal limit in the event your bank or credit union fails.

The rates and fee structures for checking accounts are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the prime rate.

Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your checking account. To open an account, some banks and institutions may require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.