Chase Adds New $10 Monthly Fee to Free Checking (Formerly WaMu)

While catching up on snail mail after getting back from Thanksgiving, I found a letter from Chase Bank telling me that my Chase Fee Extra Checking account (formerly Washington Mutual Free Checking) will now be called Chase Total Checking as of February 8, 2011. Along with the new name comes – you guessed it! – a new $10 to $12 monthly service fee* unless I meet at least one of the following criteria each statement period:

  • At least one single direct deposit of $500 or more,
  • A minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more,
  • An average balance of $5,000 across all Chase deposit accounts (checking, savings, CDs) and/or investment accounts with Chase Investment Services Corp,
  • Pay $25 or more in qualifying account fees (not including this monthly service fee)

Back in April 2009, I reported that Chase was converting over WaMu Free Checking accounts and was keeping the important no monthly fees and no minimum balance feature. Well, that lasted about a year and a half.

I haven’t been using my Chase checking account very much recently, especially since their savings account basically pays no interest at all. As it stands, I’ll be subject to the $10 monthly fee. I don’t think I want the hassle of making online ACH transfers back and forth to simulate a direct deposit each month, so I’ll probably end up closing the account. WaMu was my primary bank for a few years, but I’ve learned not to get too attached to any single financial institution.

* According to the Terms & Conditions booklet, the monthly service fee is $10 for accounts opened in California, Oregon, or Washington. Otherwise, $12.

Comments

  1. I closed my account yesterday with no hassle. It took less than 10 minutes and they didn’t even ask why I was leaving.

  2. @Matt – How did you close it? Phone or is there an easy way online?

  3. I dropped by a branch.

  4. “Whoo hoo” – WaMu

    “rhyming expletive phrase” – RB

    I would qualify for free checking if I had a Chase checking account, but I’m happy with my always-FREE credit union account, and I would never sign up for a checking account that has potential monthly fees.

    Especially at a megabank.

  5. I recently switched from Chase (without closing my accounts) to California/Mitsubishi’s Union Bank because chase somehow got it in their head that it’s okay to charge $2 for online ACH transfers and limit ATM withdrawals monthly.

    If I wasn’t pissed enough already, it also occurred to me that any of these huge banks who took bailout money do not deserve my business.

    I kept the aforementioned checking and savings combo mostly idle because they gave me extra points on my Chase Freedom but now they’ve gone too far. I’m canceling my banking accounts and now use air miles cards.

  6. Which bank do you guys use as a main bank after you close the Chase?

    Thanks!

  7. For those of you that want to ACH back and forth to meet their requirements, be careful. Chase charges for external transfers out. I made the mistake once and was hit. Chase had really fallen from being a great bank in my mind 5 years ago, to terrible now.

  8. Sandy @ yesiamcheap says:

    I knew that this would happen. I was friendly with my local WAMU bank manager and when Chase took over WAMU he warned me that this would happen.

  9. argh… the only reason i kept my old wamu account alive is because of my safe deposit box. any recommendations for that? my main bank is now a credit union which doesn’t offer boxes.

  10. I also received the same. Which should be a better bank in CA? I need to go through a lot of hassle for changing the account information but that is worth rather than paying 10 bucks. Not sure what bank to go now? Any suggestions…

  11. I also got the same letter and I live in TX. I thought they will continue to honor WAMU’s TOS but doesn’t look like it. I do have both personal and bsuiness checking but don’t use it that much.I use it for the linked account and do deposit use for my tenants to deposit rental income. I am planning to keep it by putting $1500. WIth the current interest rate earns only $20-30 per year, i don’t things its a big deal now.

    I guess even the credit unions might start charging fees in coming years which are suppose to be members last resort. You never know.

  12. In the package I received, there’s a coupon of $100 if you deposit $10000 new money into the savings account, also a coupon of $15 if you transfer $100 from checking to savings automatically for 6 month. That will be roughly 2.25% APY. I probably will milk this for another 6 month then close the accounts.

  13. Chase is very interesting. I had a WaMu checking and 5% cd when Chase took over. They said they would grandfather both and honor both. At maturity, they did give me 5% on my cd although i had to go to a branch to get my money but that was ok. A couple of months ago they sent me an offer that they would give me $100 if I opened a second Chase account. I did. I double-checked at that time that they would still honor the WaMu benefits such as free cashier checks – and they exclaimed “no way!” Now, I get a notice that they are going to start charging a fee on my original WaMu checking but not my new Chase checking. So I immediately called on phone and closed the account. I told them why and he wasn’t concerned.

  14. I got the same letter and closed my account a few days ago. I was very frank about my issues with Chase (not just checking), so I hope they get a clue. It’ll be a long time before I do business with Chase again, and have avoided their credit card promo offers for years. Their poor customer service and gotchas just aren’t worth $100 or $200 in freebies.

    All other banks and credit card companies treat me like a human being, while Chase treats me like a criminal.

  15. I think thats mentally is with all banks.I felt the same way with BOA and close all my accounts and credit cards and only deal with Chase, ING and CU’s. As frugalers, we all hate to be treated like cheap squat and nobody really understand the meaning of frugal. THats the problem.

  16. @neena: one of the ways to avoid the monthly checking charge is to pay some amount in other monthly fees, including safe deposit boxes. I think the figure was pretty high, though, like $35/month.

    I’m closing Chase and opening a Schwab interest checking account; mailing the application and initial deposit check today. A few friends and co-workers have this account, which must be opened with a free brokerage account, and recommended it. The biggest drawback I see is no local branches, and deposits are made by pre-paid mail. All ATM fees are reimbursed monthly.

  17. I got the same letter from Chase last month and I called to cancel (after ACHing the money out of my account to one of my other banks). They were happy to close the account and did not make any pitch to try to keep my business.

    Some have said that Chase charged fees for outgoing ACH, but this was not the case with my account. I believe they dropped these fees sometime this year. My account was opened in WA; I don’t know if that makes any difference. This wasn’t my main account but I was a little sad to see it go because of the free ACH feature.

  18. eer, maybe it’s $25/month in other fees and Jonathan put that information right in the text of this post.

  19. If you wanted to, you can open a business account with them. I did this b/c i’m thinking of opening my own business sometime next year and they suggested I open it now so i can have a longer history. May Chase bankers even recommend it to anyone, even if they clean houses as a sole-proprietorship and all i have to do to main the free account is use their chase business credit once a month on any amount

  20. I agree with the other comments. I had a WaMu account for 16 years; it was my first checking account. When Chase took over, they slowly began removing my favorite features. When they took away the free wire transfers, I kept the account open but moved most of the balance to a free Schwab checking account. Once Chase added the fees I called up and closed the account. I am sad to see my WaMu account go.

  21. I went to the bank in Vancouver, WA and closed my checking account a few days ago. They asked me why. I told them I got a letter from Chase that said about the monthly fee. They told me they were sorry but it was not them; it was the government regulation. Really???

    I have used US Bank for 15 years and am happy with their bill pay. Recently I opened a Schwab checking and a Capital One interest checking. I used the Schwab and Capital One ATM cards in Italy with no problem. Capital One had a better currency exchange rate than Schwab. Capital One reimburses $10 a month for ATM fees but Schwab has no limit on ATM fee reimbursement.

  22. As alternatives for low-activity free checking accounts, I’m considering US Bank, Union Bank, or Bank of the West here in California, since those are the ones remaining with free checking accounts. Are there others? All I really need is somewhere to take checks for the occasional deposit, or if I need a big money order or something; USAA handles everything else a guy could wish for. Or maybe just skip the whole thing and go all-credit-union.

  23. I closed mine at a branch – no questions asked.

  24. Any suggestions for good bank with no minimum balance and give free check book in CA?

  25. @Randy. Thanks… If safe deposit fees count I’m covered. Now it’s $55 a year for the smallest box!! I should probably shop around.

  26. I don’t safe box fee is included. In their fine print, many fees are excluded to be considered for this and safe box fees one among them too. Check your fees explanation booklet.

  27. @ Randy

    I have a schwab investor checking account, but only use it to transfer small amounts to in order to avoid atm fees. I treat it more of an emergency for cash if I’m not near my primary brick and morter bank and need cash without getting hit with a fee.

    I’ve thought of making schwab my primary bank but feel the transfers might take to many days to clear and become available. I wouldn’t want to risk not being able to make payments on time or being able to transfer money to and from the account.

    I think I’ll slowly build up a balance in the account and see how it works out.

  28. “Chase Fee Extra Checking”
    …I see what you did there

  29. If you use other bank such as INGDIRECT for ACH pull or pull from/to chase checking account, you will not get charge from chase. Plus, it’s all free from ING side.

  30. I need to add a vote for credit unions. I haven’t had an account at a bank in about 10 years, but I maintain accounts at 4 credit unions. Not one of them charges a fee for checking accounts. In fact, my primary credit union pays 2% interest on my checking account if I meet a few requirements. (6 retail transactions and and ACH each month, I think is what it is.)

  31. Homer Simpson says:

    I saw this about a year ago and decided to do it:

    http://moveyourmoney.info/

    I now have NO credit card or deposit account with BOA, Chase, Citi, or Wells/Wachovia. In my case, I’m using a Credit Union for credit card/deposits
    and a small, local bank for checking and other deposits.

    I, too, was a long time Wamu customer.

  32. Closed my chase account in branch last week with no problems. Gonna miss the good old days of Wamu.

    Am now down to 2 checking accounts, a student checking account with BofA (that is sadly converting to a myaccess checking soon, but I have a small direct deposit every month, so it’ll still be free) and a Bank of the West free checking, that I opened because I wanted the free iPod, but I may keep around now in case BofA tries to make my life more complicated.

  33. dataisgold says:

    I recommend Schwab and Alliant Credit Union. Schwab refunds all ATM fees monthly so this is great! They give you free checks, and they have an easy to use Bill pay system.

  34. Any experience with DCU (Digital Credit Union)? Heard they are good/

  35. DCU is really good but recently they become more cost or profit oriented. I been with for almost 12 years. I have 2 checking account, savings, credit cards, business checkign and savings. ATM free in all points stattions. Free 50 checks per year and depending on your checking level you earn interest on the checking account. THeir website is really comparable to commerical banks and even have Iphone app for check deposits. Not many credit unions are uptodate on high tech services.

  36. Does anyone have any experience with using an online only checking (e.g., Ally or ING) as their main checking account? I know Ally provides free checks, a check card, .50% APY & no monthly fees. The things that keeps me away is having to mail them checks for deposit. I always feel more comfortable having a local branch for that.

  37. I received the same notice too. Anyone with direct deposits might want to call bank of America, who offer a free account with any amount of direct deposit.

  38. We have a Chase account that was originally with Wamu too. I didn’t notice a mail about this, but we just haven’t gotten it or I overlooked it. We have auto deposit for my paycheck and enough in our accounts so that the fee won’t apply to us.
    My wife and I both have separate negative experiences with Chase in the past so we should really switch away from them out of principal but we just haven’t bothered yet.

  39. I originally opened my WaMu account in Washington State, I live in Texas now and just received that letter and info booklet. I got on the phone with the branch in Abilene (we don’t even have a local Chase branch here in San Angelo). Victoria, the banker I talked to, told me these new rules are in direct response to the government’s new banking laws and that other banks will be doing the same thing soon, some without much advance notice. Of course she was quick to point out that Chase was being graceous by giving their customers an early heads up, as if that was going to make it any less annoying. I wanted to know if my grandfathered-in WaMu account was going to be affected by this as well as regular Chase accounts, it is! I’ll be subject to the monthly fee since I can’t meet those requirements.

    I only work part-time and babysit my grandkids on my days off so my daughter can work part-time too. I get paid twice a month and each of my two paychecks (direct deposit) will be under $500, combined they would meet the requirements but that is not part of the Chase deal. I guess I should have left my direct deposit to go into my other bank account and then do a one-time ACH transfer to Chase to simulate a direct deposit each month, but I don’t know if they would even allow me to do it that way, plus there are fees for that as well.

    WaMu was my bank for many years after I was burned by KeyBank (whom I was with for many years since the days they used to be Ranier Bank, then Security Pacific and finally Key Bank). When WaMu was bought out by Chase, they assured me that the rules for my account would remain the same as before. Eventhough I don’t have a local branch here in San Angelo, I decided to stay with them because of the no-fee account. I guess keeping promises is not part of Chase bank’s new years resolution because this is now coming to an end.

    So, now I have a decision to make. Do I stay with Chase and just suck it up and pay the fee? Or do I change my direct deposit to First Convenience Bank and close the Chase account? Chances are the other bank will end up doing the same thing as Chase and possibly at an even higher fee. I’ll have to think about that.

  40. Jonathan,

    Waiting for your reply on what bank is good after Chase-Wamu? Appreciate your reply

  41. There are lots of alternatives, but it depends on what you value most. Local branches? ATM access to deposit checks? Nationwide ATM access for cash withdrawals? High interest? I should write a longer post, but to start:

    - Local credit unions with branches + online savings account
    - Online checking accounts with ATM fee rebates (Fidelity, Schwab, ING, Ally)
    - Local/national credit unions with high interest “reward” checking accounts and ATM rebates.

  42. Homer Simpson says:

    “…we should really switch away from them out of principal but we just haven’t bothered yet.”

    It’s too bad. Inertia is one of the reasons they get away with treating us like crap.

    “Chances are the other bank will end up doing the same thing as Chase and possibly at an even higher fee. I’ll have to think about that.”

    You know what will increase the chances of others “doing the same thing”? If you don’t take your money elsewhere, other banks will figure it’s OK, since Chase (and others) haven’t lost any business because of the fees.

    I say, go to a bank/credit union that provides better service AND let Chase know WHY you are leaving. If enough of us would do that, they would ALL get that message.

  43. Most Chase customers won’t really be affected by this since the majority will have paychecks well over $500 which can be direct deposited. People like me, who live on small incomes for whatever reason and can’t meet any of the new requirements, are the only ones who are really impacted by this. Since there won’t likely be a mass exodus of customers and the few that will be leaving are the undesirable poor, Chase won’t care too much. I’m beginning to fall back into the same mindset as I was after the fiasco back in the mid 90s, when KeyBank basically robbed me of over $900. I did not use ANY bank for nearly two years after that, just paid everything strictly with cash or money order. I may end up doing that again.

  44. They should at least have an online version of the account like BofA. When BofA sent me a letter; I called them to close the account and they converted to an “Online only” account with ATM acess but no branch visits. Fine by me since I have never been to a branch in ages. Plus I use Wells Fargo for my everyday banking needs.

  45. John, that is how I was doing my banking with Chase since I moved down here to Texas, only way I can do is online banking and debit card.

  46. Oh, aarrgghh! Now I have to contact the govt and get my ‘check’ sent to a different bank. I’m thinking that requires a trip down to the local SS office. *Sigh* Plus change the four monthly electronic transfers.

  47. I think we are failing to see the bigger picture. This is what the banks HAVE to do in order to asborb the losses from the bad mortgages. I know there are a lot of “Bogleheads” here, but if you did invest in individual stocks, this might be a good indicator for JP Morgan Chase (stock symbol: JPM). Similarly, Bank of America (stock symbol: BAC) has incrementally dropped the interest rate on my checking account from over 2% (I had an old BofA Military Bank account with a higher rate) to .15% in less than a year. Oh, my free checks are gone too now (though the $15k minimum balance is still there. Hmm.). As a customer I am outraged. As a potential investor, I am interested. Long term, the major banks will not be able to maintain this poor level of service, but for the next couple years this is how they will make LOTS of money (to make up for losses on the numerous short sales and foreclosures). After that, they will woo us back again with promises of free checking for life*.

    *Life being the life of the promotion.

  48. Jonathan,

    You have mentioned “I don’t think I want the hassle of making online ACH transfers back and forth to simulate a direct deposit each month “. So if I don’t have a direct deposit from my employer, can I transfer money from my ING bank to Chase checking? Will that suffice? I checked with a Chase employee and he told that if I deposit money from ING to my Chase checking, it wil be a transfer and not a direct deposit. Can you explain a bit

  49. Hmmm… We have a Chase account but not via WaMu. We came in via BankOne, National Bank of Detroit before that. No fees. They sent a letter about a year ago saying there would be a monthly fee if the balance dropped below $500, but for us, the fee is waived … for no particular reason. Our account traces it roots back 35 years and three bank merger/buyouts.

  50. Hmm,

    I’m not a “Boglehead” just a minimum wage earning divorced woman who is trying to make ends meet on my own. Maybe it’s no big deal to someone like you, and you seem to think what the banks are doing is fair, but for me every dollar counts. Had Chase made the rule about the direct deposit of $500 to where it could have been cummulative, then I wouldn’t have a problem with it. But not everyone gets paid all of their monthly pay in one big check, some of us get paid weekly or twice a month. Others work several different jobs. So why is Chase punishing low income people? Their rules are not going to affect any upper middle class people or rich people, this is directed solely at low income people, knowing full well that most of them can’t meet those new requirements. They appear to be weeding out the undesirable accounts. And it is strictly retaliatory because the government stepped in to “help” people against unfair practices by the banks. I wish the government would leave well enough alone and quit sticking their nose into every nook and cranny of our lives. I pay nearly everything with my debit card and I have it set to decline the card if there isn’t enough money in the account to cover the purchase. I don’t use checks at all, so I don’t incurr any overdrafts. I don’t think it’s fair to charge $12 every month just to use the account. Some of the other banks are already starting to charge a monthly fee too but most are much lower than the $12 Chase is going to charge.

    I can only conclude that Chase would rather not do business with me and others like me.

  51. @Texicat – I agree, the $500 single deposit is different from some places that just require one direct deposit of any size.

    @JR – The employees will always tell you that. The question is whether their computerized systems can tell the difference between a direct deposit and an online transfer from an outside bank. For most banks, they can’t tell, and the only way to tell is via a human manually verifying. I can’t promise it will work, but if you really want to keep Chase, I might give it a try.

    Remember, you must initiate the transfer using the external bank. For example, you must start the transfer from the ING Direct website.

  52. @Jonathan and JR:

    I think if it is made to be a recurring automated transfer rather than a manual account transfer this might work. If you can set it up that way without running into trouble with the other bank then by all means go for it. For my situation that wouldn’t really work because I can’t count on my paychecks being exactly the same each time. I’m on hourly wages and my work schedule varies. There may also be a holiday when the business is closed or I might miss a few days being sick or my paycheck might be delayed for some reason. I could end up having a short paycheck or it might not be deposited in time for the scheduled transfer, then what? There are just too many variables for me that make it risky to set up an automatic transfer. That is why I have never taken advantage of Chase’s automatic bill pay.

    Some people here have stated that the new requirements are no big deal because they can just keep $1,500 in the account. I would never be able to build up that much, not when I barely earn enough to cover the bills. One has to have something left over to cover food and other household expenses. Again I emphasize, this is going to be an issue that won’t affect anybody but poor people who live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the opportunity to build up a reserve in the account.

    I have been with WaMu for over ten years and until Chase bought them out I was very satisfied with them. Now I feel like I’m no longer a welcome customer. It is just like it was with the old Ranier Bank. Once Security Pacific and then KeyBank took over, the customer service went downhill and the fees kept rising or new ones were being added on. In both cases I was made to feel that I was not really a valued customer but rather some pesky low-life they had to take because it came with the package of the merger. My impression with Chase is that they are trying to get rid of the former WaMu customers who don’t fit the ideal of Chase’s well-to-do customers. Chase has a very appropriate name, they are chasing people like me away.

  53. Texicat,

    If you really want to keep your chase account all you have to do is call or message the bank and ask them to convert the account into a regular “Chase Checking” account. With that account, all you have to do is use your debit card 5 times a month in order to maintain the account free of charge.
    Now, I wonder why Chase is not telling that to all those people going into the branches to close their accounts. I believe they might be trying to get rid of low revenue customers.
    I could move my direct deposit over, or maintain the high balance to keep my account free, but if we allow big banks to take this kind of measures and remain passive, all the other financial institutions will follow. I love chase’s iphone app and accurate way to post transactions, but I am going to take a stand. I am going to take my money elsewhere.
    Psd : CUs, USAA (checking open to anyone), Ingdirect, Schawb, and Fidelity are excellent choices to replace Chase as your bank.

  54. Texicat,

    If you decide to stay, make sure to order tons of free check books before you switch the account type.

  55. InterGalactic Hussy says:

    Texi-Cat,

    You are so right, they are chasing away specifically poor people. For my part, I hate thinking “there’s nothing I can do,” so I have a little revenge planned. On my last few visits, I might just accidentally lose total control of my bowels. Of course, I’ll be terribly embarrassed. But Chase deserves a perfume worthy of their policies.

  56. Matt Klein says:

    Chase is definitely weeding out their lower income customers. I went into a Chase Bank yesterday, having not yet received my letter in the mail, to ask if this would be happening to my. I came over from Wamu as well.

    The banker there said it was because because of all the recent banking law changes regarding overdraft fees.

    Translation: Since we can’t charge poor people excessive overdraft fees for writing one too many checks, we will be making them pay in a different way. Hopefully, they will just leave and we can focus on the people we care about.

  57. hmm said : “This is what the banks HAVE to do in order to asborb the losses from the bad mortgages.”

    Texicat said : “Victoria, the banker I talked to, told me these new rules are in direct response to the government’s new banking laws and that other banks will be doing the same thing soon,”

    Chase had $8.7 billion in PROFIT last year. In the first 3 quarters of 2010 they’ve already reported $11 billion in profits.

    So NO Chase does not have to charge people $10 / month because the evil government or because of all the bad mortgages. And if Chase has any bad mortgages then that is their OWN FAULT for lending that money in the first place.

    Blaming the government or bad mortgages are BS excuses.

    If they are tying to charge you $10/month for the courtesy of them keeping your money then I would not pay that. Theres other banks and credit unions out there offering free accounts.

  58. I think the theory that Chase no longer wants checking account with low balances since they can’t make easy money on overdraft charges anymore has merit. The low balance accounts had to be the most vulnerable to accidental overdrafts, and thus made lots of fees. Now that you can easily opt out, they no longer want this type of account.

    In that way, it is a reaction from the new “government” regulations against overdraft charges.

  59. Chase is “purging” all of us sorry low balance account holders… we are peanuts to Chase and therefore Chase wants us GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When you call to close your account, the clerk will be PLEASED TO SEE YOU GONE!!! best B.

  60. Jim,
    I do not consider the issue with mortgages a “BS excuse.” I live in Southern California where I see houses with WaMu mortgages selling for less than half of their remaining mortgage balances on a regular basis. It is true that JP Morgan Chase reported “profits” but it also true that they have to set aside a lot of money for expected losses from the bad mortgages.

    Lets look at a quote from last year’s JP Morgan annual report: “As expected, charge-offs in Home Lending continued to rise during 2009, and we added $5.2 billion in reserves to our portfolio. We anticipate that this portfolio will continue to lose money for the next three years (excluding
    reserve changes) as we work through a backlog of problem loans. The losses come not only from charge-offs but from the costs of managing delinquencies and foreclosures (though we were able to reduce the number
    of homes that we own from 12,700 in 2008 to 7,400 in 2009).”

    You can call them “profits” but it is likely that JP Morgan Chase will have to set the funds aside for expected loss from bad mortgages and for new reserve requirements. In chess, it is called a “pin” when you force one of the opponent’s pieces to stay put because moving the piece would expose a more valuable piece behind it. Those profits have been “pinned” by the bad mortgages and potential new reserve requirements. (Oh, and let’s not even start discussing the bank assets that should be written down but banks have not because they are allowed to use “significant judgment” when valuing their assets.)

    Now I agree with you that “…if Chase has any bad mortgages then that is their OWN FAULT for lending that money in the first place.” It is their fault (or a fault they accepted by taking over both Bear Stearns and WaMu), but that does not mean the losses just go away. The money has to come from somewhere. If someone does not want to be a Chase customer anymore because of these new checking requirements/fees that is fine. But please do not claim that the “…bad mortgages are BS excuses.”

  61. This is very obviously a we don’t want people who just have small accounts. The guy I talked to at Chase was very good at acting like they still wanted my business. So sad for him that maybe he did but obviously his employer really wants me to go elsewhere. Oh well, Chase, glad Boeing Credit Union is seeing the benefit of the 20k I’ve saved up. You certainly haven’t convinced me to put my money with you guys. And yes, I could leave 1500 in the checking account and not pay the fee. Or… I could keep my 1500 in my credit union’s saving account that gives me higher interest than you would if I put it in your savings, change banks for the checking account I direct deposit and deposit (I have two jobs, one only gives me checks) convenience that BECU does not offer me (not so good hours or locations for my needs and horrible iphone app), and not pay a monthly fee!

    Ah well, State Farm bank (yes, they have a bank, it’s an online one) allows me to deposit by phone or by scanning in my check to my computer. Really i only kept Chase for the convenience (more locations, better hours, and then an iphone app to use to deposit instead so location and hours wasn’t so important anyways). So I don’t even lose out on the functionality that I got through your iphone app which really is the only thing that had me warming up to you after you took over Wamu. And they only want a 100 dollar minimum fee (a lot more reasonable imho).

  62. quasilyon says:

    Is this legal. Can Chase do that?

  63. Newlyfrugal says:

    I am a former WAMU customer. WAMU gave 5% interest on CDs, in which I invested over $25k. At one point, I had over $60k at WAMU/Chase. When Chase took over, I watched the rates dwindle, so I moved my money elsewhere. Yes, I understand that dwindling rates occurred at every brick and mortar bank, not just Chase. I went to online Rewards Checking Accounts that paid 4.00% and then to brokerage firm investments.

    The only reason I kept Chase checking account (free holdover from Wamu) was because I have Chase Freedom Visa with exclusive benefits. This CC gives me better and more bonus points because I have a Chase checking account. I have used my CC religiously in the past five years, paid in full each month, and made Chase a lot of money in merchant fees. Now that Chase is charging $12 a month for my checking account, I can’t decide whether to do ACH transfer of $500 a month to Chase checking or to simply close it and lose the benefits on my CC.

    Since I have $500 in my Chase Online Savings (which pays .10% interest), I wonder if that would still allow me to have extra benefits on my CC. Maybe I could close my Chase checking account, and ask to link my CC to my Chase Online Savings account?

  64. Diana Diaz says:

    thank you for your blog. If not for that I wouldn’t know. I haven’t read anything from the bank in ages because I was just letting the account sit. Now I know I have to close out everuthing.

    interestingly, I heard that they are having mystery shopping done for Chase. What?? So that’s how they are paying for it??

  65. I think it is pretty clear to everyone that Chase’s plan was to retain all of the WaMu accounts initially by promising the same benefits, with plans all along of later reneging in hopes of minimizing the number of us who leave.

    Myself and a number of other family members and friends will be closing our accounts within the week.

    Now, to find a more suitable place than under the mattress…

  66. Karl Marxxx says:

    “It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
    Henry Ford
    WAKE UP AMERICANS, STOP EATING JUNKY FAST FOOD AND WATCHING CELEBRITY NEWS. WE ARE GETTING ROBBED BY THE EVIL CORPORATIONS AND THE SCUMBAG BIG BANKS. THEY HAVE THE GUTS TO GET BILLIONS IN BAILOUT MONEY, BUT THAN ROB THE MIDDLE, WORKING, AND POOR AMERICANS. MAYBE WE DESERVE IT, BECAUSE WE ARE BLINED BY THE SYSTEM AND THE CORPORATE MEDIA.

  67. As long as this madness does not spread to my free business checking, I’ll continue to have at least one account there.

    For those of you who can qualify with brokerage/deposits/loans for the fee waiver, Wells Fargo’s PMA is a pretty good deal.

  68. Newlyfrugal says:

    I did a trial transfer of .06 from my Ally Online Savings Account to my Chase checking account. It shows up as “ACH ALLY credit” on my Chase ledger.

    I do not like what Chase is doing, but I understand that they must earn money as a business. I cannot close my checking account because it is linked to my Chase CC with exclusive benefits. If I close the checking acccount, I lose the additional bonus points that I get for using the CC. Beginning in Feb 2011, I plan to set up a recurring payment of $500+ from my Ally Online Savings Account to my Chase checking account.

    I will leave the money in Chase checking for a week or so, then transfer to my Chase Online Savings account (pays .10% interest), and from there to my Rewards Checking Account at a community bank (pays 4.01% interest.) If this proves too troublesome, I will close the checking account, but I will try it for a few months.

  69. Open an account at your local credit union or local bank. Stop feeding the beast. Here’s how:

    1. Go to Bauer Financial to check ratings for credit unions or local banks in your area:

    http://www.bauerfinancial.com/btc_ratings.asp

    2. Pick credit union or local bank that are rated 4 stars or above, and pays interest on checking.

    3. Buy silver eagles or silver maple leaf coins to crash JP Morgan. If you haven’t heard about the campaign “Buy Silver, Crash JP Morgan” yet, please check Youtube or http://maxkeiser.com/

    By keeping the money local, within your area, you aren’t feeding the banksters outside your area or even outside your own country. When you use a local credit union or local bank, you keep the money circulating within your community, helping to provide loans to local businesses, instead of helping Wall Street execs (who buy your Congress and Fed) buying new private jets or mansions far away from your local community (e.g, Hamptons). My local credit union doesn’t have a fancy site or iPhone apps, but it pays 2% on checking. I used to have 3 accounts at Chase a while back…never more. Stop feeding the beasts!

  70. Here’s the Bauer Financial kink for credit union ratings, since the above is for local banks:

    http://www.bauerfinancial.com/btc_ratings.asp?q=cu

    Make sure you research well, get only 4 stars or above, and free accounts with minimum requirements (usually 12 retail transactions + 1 ACH). I use the 12 retail transactions to buy cheap canned goods for my emergency food stash. Some credit unions state an address that might seem further from your location, but that’s the HQ address as they usually have more branches that could be closer to you.

  71. Okay everyone. I contacted a attorney and waiting for a reply on a possible class action lawsuit. Legally, Chase is not allowed to do this to anyone that is grandfathered. The law states that any new changes whatsoever is not supposed to change to grandfathered accounts.

  72. anonEEmusYuk says:

    I don’t know what everyone is talking about. They are not charging fees for checking accounts.

    They are charging for checking accounts AND also reducing the benefits you have. Maybe people have missed this, let me explain.

    The Chase Free Extra Checking account had free money orders, official checks, travelers checks and counter checks.

    The $10 monthly service fee ($12 outside CA) will exclude these and “Standard fees… will apply beginning Feb 5, 2011.”

    Double whammy!

    Something else to make this a possible triple swift kick in the nuts…

    About 6 months ago Chase was hitting me up to upgrade my account to another account… some premium saying it was still free but offered all these extra perks etc. I declined. This other account is probably what in Feb will be one of the premium ones they will start charging $25 per month for (hey… free money orders, cashiers checks, etc). What might be the interesting part is I wonder if those who upgraded will be the ones to start paying $25 in Feb. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there is no downgrade option that isn’t a pain in the but for the customer (i.e. waiting period… change of account #s etc.). This of course implies that they KNEW what the supposed upgrade could mean for them later… which then implies that they are just another weasel bunch of crooks.

    Anyhow… I also bank at E*trade and I love them! Free checking/brokerage with zero atm fees… full reimbursement of any surcharges and a whole lot more.

    Personally, I don’t get to share in the earning of all the real estate Chase owns and capital from investments that a bank makes off all it’s consumers money and am therefore a “I pay you no monthly fees” kind of customer.

  73. elgordo123 says:

    I really liked being with Wamu, and then Chase, but since I got that letter, I’ll probably move to Wells Fargo. They charge $10 too, but it is waived if you transfer $25 into savings each month. Wamu used to do that, and I’d just transfer it back online.
    I left BofA for Wamu, but there is no way in heck I’m going back to BofA, too many bad memories.
    Maybe I’ll look around for a good Credit Union..

  74. John Hoinacki says:

    What would be considered a qualifying direct deposit? Can I just transfer monthly $500 from one bank to CHASE or would it have to be from an employer

  75. I started back when WAMU was Great Western. I now have a business account with Chase as well so it would make it a pain to move the accounts, plus they are close to my home and business which makes it convienient. I think most banks are headed in the same direction. I think it stinks what they are doing …

  76. WAMU! Why did you leave me!

  77. Yes, I will be closing my account as well at the end of January.

  78. I just received the notification today. I will be closing my checking account and my two credit accounts with Chase next week. I am currently a full time Grad. student and do not have a 1 time deposit of over $500 nor will I deposit the amount of money they require into their “negative” interest rate “savings” accounts. I have combined direct deposits of over $500 a month and relationships with ING and HSBC online because they actually pay some interest. The fact that I have a small income is temporary and it is unfortunate that a huge company will try and nickel and dime people when they are at a disadvantage. If the fee was 5.00 I would likely pay it. To go from 0-10 is pure craziness and completetly lacking any sensitivity to future potential clients in these difficult times. I will not pay Chase another cent. I know my FICO will be hurt but it will be temporary and worth it to get away from such an un-ethical, greedy company. It is ironic that Chase is griping about gov regulation when that same gov. sold them a banking network for mere pennies on the dollar. Jamie Dimon should feel some shame but I guess it is hard to feel shame when you are paid $30-40 million a year. Good luck to you sir. I hope your greed causes your company and its employees pain. I will finish my Grad. degree begin my life as an earner, and completely avoid any interaction with Chase or its affiliates. Greed is so smart!! Yeah Jaime Dimon, pat yourself on the back because you are sooo smart!!

  79. Ugly American says:

    If you don’t have much money, use a credit union.

    If you have enough money, use a brokerage.

    Banks simply take advantage of people who don’t know any better.

  80. I have emailed Chase to find out what they consider a “qualified” direct deposit. I have also emailed to find out if my account can be converted to the Chase Checking (5 debits a month make it free). We’ll see what the response is.

    I hate staying and encouraging this behavior, but I have a business account, and I don’t think “voting” by leaving will change anything. It is convenient for me. But if I have to incur the $10…I’m outta here. So we’ll see if one of these 2 options work.

  81. I would love to open up a credit union account. I had one when I was a college student and loved it! But since I travel and move around a lot, it is too difficult to use a credit union account as my main checking and savings – so I am stuck with a megabank right now (although I’ve never really had issues with Wells Fargo).

    I like that idea of opening a brokerage account, too – I wonder if they pay more interest than commercial banks… another thing to add to my to-do list…

  82. Just checked Chase’s website. Anyone considering switching to a college student checking account? Looks like the fee is waived if you are a student. Also, it looks like “Chase Checking” is only $6/month.

    I know, I got the thing in the mail that said $10/month for “total checking”… but that account does not show up on chase’s website, only “chase checking” for $6/month.

    I’m really annoyed because Chase is so convenient for me. I even started using their credit card only a few months ago, so I could do everything through one website… ugh, I don’t want to switch now!

  83. Ron Burgandy says:

    I second the class action suit. Keep people posted.

    Doesn’t seem like they should be able to take the “free” out of a “free checking account” that’s legally grandfathered.

    Some of us are self employed and do not have access to direct deposit.
    Seems all major banks now make this or spending money regularly on a check card a pre-requisite of not having fees.

    I too turned down “optional overdraft protection.” Their non-stop pestering on the issue bordered on harassment.

    I will be looking into credit unions and E*Trade.

  84. OK…I jimmy-rigged the system, for now…

    Just went into the branch and changed my account over to the Chase Checking, which doesn’t have a monthly fee if you use your debit card 5 X per month. It was a little bit of a hassle, and I lost all my online banking data (have to redo it), but I was able to keep my Continental OnePass debit card…the main point of staying with Chase, for now. They were able to change my debit card over to the new account.

    They cannot “convert” the account. They have to open a new account, so be prepared for that.

    I’m sure eventually they will even start charging on this type of account, but for now…it’ll do. This type of account will not be available after Feb…just a heads-up.

    I was told that transferring money from an external savings account will not show up as a direct deposit.

    FYI – There are definitely more changes coming, including NO MORE REWARDS CARDS from ANY bank debit card (credit cards are OK). Apparently this was part of the federal regulations that will start taking effect soon.

    I was also told that Chase is not the only one…all the banks are going to start charging for their accounts because they are trying to get people to commit to one bank, rather than having people spread their money over several banks. I was told that the Chase Checking that I switched to would “probably” not see the change for awhile. First those changes are hitting the WAMU accounts and new accounts after February.

    Hope this info helps everyone, particularly those who find it difficult to change banks right now.

  85. I received the letter about the new $12 monthly fee, and I’m really upset about this. It seems as though the lower income customers will be hit with fees.
    Why don’t they add a fee to customers that maintain balances of over $1500? This is a perfect example of how the poor get poorer. The poor are charged high fees and interest rates by banks like Chase and the rich, get a free ride on the dollars of the poor.
    This change goes into effect on 2/5/2011 in NY/NJ. By that time I will have found a new bank.
    Chase is exploiting the poor.

  86. I won’t repeat the crap Chase has done to us all but going into the branch and talking to them on the phone has changed. They have bcome rude and even laughed at me for getting upset about the new fee. I am sick of getting worked over by the banks. Didn’t we bail them out and now they need to charge us more. With no sarcasm, HOW DO WE MAKE THESE THINGS STOP? Me taking my money out and not saying something to whomever gives a crap at the top of the food chain does nothing. It’s not alot just me taking money out but if people assemble and do it that may make a difference.

    Just my 2 cents.

  87. InterGalactic Hussy says:

    You can get your revenge, consumer. Right after you switch all your important stuff to another bank, and clean out your Chase account, switch on the “overdraft protection” and go on a shopping spree. They should cover up to a hundred bucks normally–enough to get some tools or jewelry, something worthwhile. When they don’t get any further money from you, they’ll be kind enough to close your account for you.
    Hey, we’re powerless against megabanks, people, take your shots where you can!

  88. In a nutshell: We’ll give you $12 a mo. if you let us earn millions on your huge deposit. Yeah, thanks for nothing (as always). I’ll keep my money local from now on.

  89. I don’t think closing your account is the answer. I think that is the knee jerk reaction Chase wants. Chase is probably happy that you are closing that WAMU free checking for life, free checks for life account.

  90. I closed my Chase account exactly 3 days after I received that letter. I had actually opened an account with the bank across the street the day before I closed my Chase account, so that they couldn’t talk me into staying. It wasn’t even a difficult choice for me. The argument they gave me, was that most banks will probably employ this same fee for their services. I rebutted, that I understood. But if I could save $120 for the next year at least, then it’s worth it to me to save my money. I am poor. How does it make any sense for me to spend an extra $120 when I can get the same services across the street for free? What really irked me, was the GALL of the president who instituted the change, signing her name on the letter. As if, she felt it was absolute, DAMN any poor customers. Like her name is more important than customer loyalty. Chase hasn’t done anything to warrant more money from me. This fee makes absolutely no sense. The Branch Manager at my local Chase branch, didn’t even care, or look me in the eyes. She muttered to the Personal Banker attending to me, and turned her back and briskly walked away. If that’s their attitude, then GOOD. I’m glad to be away from them. It only confirmed that they didn’t care about me as a personal customer. The local bank across the street was friendly as heck. We sat and joked for about 30 minutes, and she gave me a nice gift for joining the bank. It feels really good to support a local bank, and not some uncaring giant institution like Chase, who only sees me as a MINION. I’m glad I changed.

  91. chaseblowsdogsforquarters says:

    I have a business and personal account with Chase.

    The business account must have an average ledger balance of $7500
    or end of day balance of $5000
    $35 in other Chase Fees
    or
    $15/mo service fee

    Personal
    direct deposit of $500 or more
    $25 in other Chase fees
    or
    $10/mo service fee

    They would be making $25/mo off of me. That’s $300 a year.

    I am on unemployment for the last year and don’t even GET $500/mo from that. How can I afford to pay Chase, who just posted RECORD PROFITS this quarter, fees so they can take my money and loan it out to someone else for 30% interest?!

    I went in to cancel my accounts and instead got a 20 minute shpeel about how Chase is better than other banks, and it’s free to talk to tellers there, and it’s not at other banks, and they realllly don’t want to lose me as a customer.

    HA.! Of course they don’t. They want that $300/yr for doing jack shit.

  92. Anyone know if there are any changes or new fees with the Savings account (former WaMu online savings)? I’m going to close my checking account now but it would still be nice to keep my savings account so I’m able to deposit checks and take out money at a local branch.

  93. I just closed my checking account and two credit accounts with Chase. I feel like I did my small part in sticking it to the man. I loved how the salesperson (I will never refer to someone working in a bank as a banker) took a very prepared and almost scripted posture when I identified the reason for closing the account. From Chase’s perspective the fees are “all the governments fault, services cant be free, WAMU accounts were a fluke, nothing should be free etc”…. I rebutted this person’s script with “the government basically gave you your branch network for pennies on the dollar, Chase bought the accounts and their agreements as is, and a lower fee would be reasonable as Jamie Dimon and the Chase board are hardly hurting for cash…” There was no rebuttal to this from the salesperson’s end. I am assuming if it is not on the script there is no response. I moved my relationships to a local credit union and will never do business with a big bank again. Maybe my FICO score will be hurt by closing the charge accounts but it will be well worth it to get out of their trap of endless greed. Overall, neither the branch nor the credit department really cared if I came or went. They were so indifferent it seemed like cancelling customer accounts has become a routine. I hope it has and I hope people continue to backlash against this.

  94. I actually called Chase twice and ripped the supervisors for this bullshit tactic. The institution is essentially charging the poor with unnecessary fees while those who are better off, (having $500 or more direct deposit and $1500 per day in their checking accounts) will not suffer the same fate.

    Unfortunately, I see this as a squeeze play by Chase to rid itself of those who aren’t making enough money to save. It’s a fucking piece of shit institution with unfair and unethical practices. I hope that a large number of people leave this garbage banking institution.

  95. I have closed my WaMu accounts that were with chase. I refuse be a customer paying all these fees. I had 3 WaMu accounts with them but I closed them all. Yes they have the most ATMs here in NYC and the most branches but I think they want to Hoodwink us all to keep them in operation. Chase gets paid from your employer each time there is a Direct Deposit, they get paid when you do online bill pay, they make money when you choose credit over debit and the list goes on and on. I hope customers move their accounts and they get hurt. Capital One Bank practically rewards you for everything you do. Writing checks, paying bills online, debit and credit transactions etc. I am now a Proud Capital one banker. Chase is chasing away their customers they never give the bank a better name. They certainly chased me away. :-)

  96. I actually signed up for WAMU free accounts AFTER Chase took them over and I was told point blank by a Chase employee that all of the accounts I opened (3 business and 2 personal) would always be free, even after the WAMU name went away. Isn’t that some kind of consumer fraud or breech of contract since it was a Chase employee that made that promise. The business banker that opened the accounts is still there and today admitted that he told me and others that, and is very upset that Chase did this. By the way, the monthly fees for business accounts are $15 which is absurd.

  97. Outrageous 120 a year for checking, yea right!!!
    Previous Washington Mutual Customer

    Went to chase today to cash my unemployment check. Was suckered into sitting down with a banker rather than going to teller window. Banker wanted to update my info saw that I was cashing my unemployment check (aka, no longer on direct deposit) and told me of my new 10 dollar monthly fee. Thanks Chase, get them while their down. Actually that checking is only good deal if you meat their criteria otherwise its a rip. Later Chase

  98. Michelle says:

    I just opened a chase account today, I really didn’t pay attention to the $12 fee a month until I came home and read the papers I received after opening a checking account. I am definetely closing it tomorrow, they will charge me $24 for closing it but I rather pay that then pay $12 a month. That’s a rip off! It’s $144 a year!

  99. Closed my account on Monday. I agree they want to shed some customers who may not be “worth it”. In two months when I make my last car payment, my account can have a daily minimum balance over $1500 for the first time in several years, but the last two months’ worth of them arbitrarily sticking their hands in my pocket means they are no longer my bank.

  100. Well I’ve heard about the fee, but thought i will b able to keep my account without getting charged. I did not want to change the bank and all the payments i was doing with this account for so long time… I was depositing checks from my work every month, then in April realized that i was charged 10$ for last 2 months. Chase representative told me that my over 1000$ checks were not direct deposits… That i have to make sure that they are really direct. So actually going to the branch and giving the checks to the Chase banker is not damn direct…Even though they gave me my 2×10$ back after i talked to the manager, I might leave this bank as many people did. this fee is not fair and it is just sad that is so much worse then the bank i had before- WaMu.

  101. Pacdog says:

    I’ll admit I’m slow and just noticed a $12 service fee on my Chase (Wamu) acct and I was livid! I called customer service and for the first time in my life was asked by a computer to enter my pin.. Well I never did and finally a nice chap came on the phone and I explained firstly I never give my pin to anyone more or less a computer voice on a phone and he agreed and helped me into my account w/o giving him my pin. Well he explained the new fee and what I needed to do (explained above many times) to get around this fee and I explained to him I was a WAMU and how Chase promised Us the fees would not change(I still have that letter). Anyways he waved both service fees they have charged so far and put a hold on next months fees and told me.. get this.. He said and I quote “Look sir I work here, but I would never keep my money here” He was a nice chap, but even he said he had heard enough WAMU customers cry foul. He did what he could and all fees were removed from my acct. Now I’m out of Chase! I will change my DD next week and move on. I’m sadden that a large Bank such as Chase lied to Us Wamu customers. They could of said up front We were screwed, but they told us not to worry and We were safe and Out accounts would not change in fees(I have the Letter) I guess I just read that letter wrong..

  102. I recently went in to Chase to close my savings and told was told by the rep I had to return again to officially close it down. I am being charged a $10 fee every month..going on the 3rd month. I guess I’m not meeting their requirements. The Economy is bad so money is going to be bad. I want to close my checking as well. While there, I get a visit from the bank manager while the rep is assisting me. The manager seemed very fake to me and not at all believable making it sound they can offer so much! I am going back to my old Credit Union..still I am hesitant to go into that bank and have to deal with those people to close up my accounts.. But I will get the courage to do so eventually!

  103. TexiCat says:

    I closed my account before February 8th. Had to make a special trip to Abilene to do that since they wouldn’t let me do it online or over the phone. I had already opened an account with First Convenience Bank. Like their name implies, they are very convenient. Open 7 days a week and till 7pm on weekdays. Locations in numerous places, including inside both Walmarts. And my paychecks which are drafted on a CHASE account arrive in the account two days sooner than they did when I had my checks deposited into the CHASE account.

    And to whoever it was a while back who said that CHASE checking is free as long as you make 5 debit transactions: that is incorrect, they charge a fee for the account as well. I had a regular CHASE checking account along with my grandfathered-in WaMu account, I closed the CHASE one first because of the fees, when they did the same to the former WaMu account I closed it too. I can take a hint and know when I’m no longer welcome. They can keep their big business and wealthy customer accounts. I’m with a smaller bank who still cares about ALL their customers, including the ones who barely keep any money in their accounts.

  104. TexiCat says:

    @Christie:

    I had both a WaMu and a CHASE checking account. The WaMu was totally free and the CHASE one required 5 debit transactions per statement period to be free. The CHASE account was the first one that was changed to be charged fees. I closed it. Then I got the letter that my WaMu account was also being subjected to the fee. So I closed it too.

    When I went to close my account, CHASE told me that other banks would be charging a fee soon too. It’s all crap! They just want to sucker you into staying with them so they can rake in the fees. I’ve been with a local Texas bank now for almost 2 years and they have yet to charge me any “maintenance” fees. All they require is a direct deposit (no matter what size) OR $100 daily balance. Now that is do-able even for a low-income person like me. I couldn’t be happier about finally saying good-bye to CHASE. WaMu was a great bank who cared about it’s customers, I’m sad they are no longer with us. The CHASE rep told me that the reason WaMu went bankrupt was because of things like the free checking. Yeah right! It was because of bad investments and high risk loans, the same things that got other banks in trouble too, not because they didn’t charge a fee for their checking accounts. I believe they will feed you the same scripted BS no matter what CHASE branch you go to, they are TOLD to say this, blame it all on WaMu, the economy and the government.

  105. Mint.com notified me via email that I was charged a $10 service fee. This was complete news to me but I Googled “$10 chase service fee” and this site popped up. I immediately called them and told them I understood the service fee, but I was $100 below their $1500 balance limit and had a $630-ish check I was going to deposit today. They still did not reverse the fee. I am washing my hands of them. I am disgusted and infuriated with them!!!

  106. cant believe this its so sad they took 12 bucks for not having a 500 dollar deposit so us little people who only get check deposit of 200 or so have to pay 12 buck when i can cash it for 1 dollar else were so 4 dollars in all what a rip off 12 dont seem like alot but i have a baby and that could buy her a bag of diapers or baby food so sad how greedy everyone is getting this last few years

  107. 10? 12 dollar fees? Chase is charging me 15 dollars a month to have a business checking account. I don’t make a lot with my sole proprietor woodcraft shop. I’m an artist. These fools think I’m going to stick around they’re nuts. I’ll be moving to another location soon and my banking is going to change too. :) Suck it CHASE!!!

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