Beware: New Fees on Chase Checking Accounts
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
One of Chase's best deals last year was the 25,000 mile sign-up bonus on Personal and Business checking accounts. All you had to do was either utilize direct deposits or use your check cards 5 times a month to avoid fees.
No longer. You now need to have one of the following to avoid monthly fees:
Chase Premier Checking (what most Continental debit card checking accounts were opened as):
Maintain an average daily balance of $15,000 or more in linked deposits7/investments, otherwise a $25 monthly Service Fee
However it looks like you can downgrade to a: Chase Total Checking account which has no fees if you:
Have a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more
OR, maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance
OR, maintain an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in linked deposits/investments
Otherwise, a $12 Monthly Service Fee applies ($10 in CA/WA/OR).
Maintain an average daily balance of $7,500 or more
or Minimum daily balance of $5,000
or Maintain a Chase personal checking account
or Purchase $1,000 a month on your business credit card
or Pay $50 or more in fees
I actually use both personal and business checking accounts and it looks like if I downgrade my personal account to the Total Chase Checking, it will also exempt me from business checking fees. Although, I have to say Chase has been pretty shady lately. I noticed a random $25 a month "invoicing" fee showing up on my accounts and I had to call to get it removed. Lo and behold the next month the fee was back in both accounts and the Chase reps brushed it off saying, "usually false charges happen again even after we turn them off." Really??
I like Chase's coverage in NYC and other major cities like LA, so it works pretty well for me. I'm not sure other banks are much better, so I may just stay with Chase (sleeping with one eye open, of course).
I personally use mint.com and they alert me anytime I get a fee. This service allows me to keep a better handle on any suspect charges.