Chase Launches Sapphire Banking, Replacing Premier Platinum Checking Accounts

Aug 22, 2018

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Chase is bringing its vaunted Sapphire branding to checking accounts. Starting on August 27, Chase Premier Platinum Checking customers will be automatically transitioned to Sapphire Banking accounts, and Sapphire Banking will be open for new customers as well. Unfortunately, no incentives — such as bonus Ultimate Rewards points — are being offered to new checking account customers at this time, though that’s coming soon.

The Premier Platinum checking option will be no more; Sapphire Banking is replacing it and will carry the same eligibility requirements. It’s one step down from the bank’s top-tier Chase Private Client program, which requires at least $250,000 in qualifying deposits and investments parked with Chase. These include up to nine personal checking accounts with Chase (excluding Chase Private Client accounts), personal Chase savings accounts, Chase Liquid Cards, CDs, certain Chase Retirement CDs, certain Chase Retirement Money Market Accounts and prior end-of-month balances for investment and annuity products offered by Chase and JP Morgan.

If you have an existing Premier Platinum account, you’ll keep the same account number, checks, ATM/debit card, PIN and limits when you’re transitioned to a Sapphire Banking account.

Here’s a comparison of the benefits and costs of the old Premier Platinum checking versus the new Sapphire Banking:

Premier Platinum Sapphire Banking
Monthly Service Fee $35 in NY, NJ and CT
$25 elsewhere
$25 in all markets
Fee Waiver Requirement $75,000 in combined monthly balances $75,000 in combined monthly balances
Non-Chase ATM Fees $0 Chase fee,
ATM owner fee charged
$0 Chase fee,
ATM owner fee waived
Exchange Rate Fee For ATM Withdrawals and Debit Card Purchases in Foreign Currencies 3% of withdrawal amount $0
Domestic Wire Transfer Fee $35 in branch
$25 online

Free Online Stock and ETF Trades

No Yes

Access to Special Experiences

No Yes

The main benefits of holding a Sapphire Banking checking account are no ATM fees worldwide, no fees for foreign exchange adjustments on ATM withdrawals or debit card purchases and no fees on outgoing wire transfers. Sapphire Banking customers will also get unlimited free stock and ETF trades through You Invest, a recently launched digital investing service from JP Morgan.

There’s a monthly service fee of $25 for Sapphire Banking, but if you maintain an average balance of $75,000 in qualifying deposits and investments, the fee will be waived. According to Chase’s terms and conditions, qualifying deposits and investments include your checking account and up to nine personal checking accounts, personal savings accounts, Liquid cards, CDs, certain retirement CDs, certain retirement money market accounts and investment and annuity products offered by JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and agencies. Exceptions to the above that don’t qualify include Chase Private Client checking and savings accounts and balances in certain retirement plan investment accounts, such as Money Purchase Pension and Profit Sharing Plans.

As for how the Sapphire branding fits in, Sapphire Banking customers will get access to special experiences, including access to lounges at concerts and sporting events, as well as early ticket sales and special seating for a variety of events.

According to Chase, there won’t be a sign-up offer for Sapphire Banking at this time, but we’re happy to report that a points offer will be coming soon. That will definitely make opening an account even sweeter, so keep an eye out for that — we’ll share details when they’re available.

Overall, Sapphire Banking is an upgrade from Premier Platinum, and the lack of ATM fees and foreign exchange fees are good benefits for international travelers, though if you don’t have $75,000 assets to waive the monthly fee, it would be hard to justify spending $300 a year for a checking account.

Featured image courtesy of James Leynse / Corbis / Getty Images.

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