Chase bank announced it will start charging its former WAMU customers, a checking account service fee of $10, starting on February 8, 2011. The Chase Free Extra Checking account will be converted to Chase Total Checking (or Chase “Total Ripoff”).
To avoid the $10 monthly service fee, you have to meet one of the following criteria:
- Have at least one direct deposit of $500 or more each month
- Keep a minimum balance of $1,500 or more in your checking account
- Keep an average balance of $5,000 or more in combination of deposit accounts with Chase and/or investment accounts with Chase Investment Services Corp
- Pay $25 or more in qualifying account fees (not including the monthly service fee)
Yes, you’ll have to “work” for your free checking now. I still like the convenience of being able to deposit checks with their iPhone app.
If you’re unemployed, it can be challenging to meet any of these requirements, especially the one with direct deposit. Although California’s unemployment office is moving in the direction of delivering unemployment via debit cards instead of checks sometime this year.
What gives? Recently, the government started limiting certain banking fees, like overdraft charges. Now banks are looking for new ways to make money from us.
To say that I’m livid is an understatement. I’ve had this checking account for quite awhile. Before it was Chase, it was WAMU. Before WAMU, it was Cal-Fed. What can you expect in this economy?
Other major banks will soon follow this trend if they haven’t already.
Looks like I will have to take my money elsewhere, like a credit union or online bank. Time to explore other free checking options in the next post.
Check out these Totally Free Checking Accounts.