Chase College Checking Review: Is It Right for Students?

chase college checking

Do you want an easy way to manage your money while you’re in college? The Chase College Checking account has features specifically for students like you.

But the account isn’t for every college student out there. You should think about your situation and what the account offers.

Read on to learn more.

Overview

When looking into the Chase College Checking account, you should consider the basics. The account is just for students, so it’s a great account for teens to get as their first bank account.

Managing the account is easy, so you can focus on your studies. But you do have to fulfill a few requirements to open the account, so it’s important to consider the various features.

That way, you can make sure you’ll even qualify for the Chase College Checking account. And you can determine if it’s the best college student bank account for you.

Who Is Eligible?

College students ages 17 to 24 are eligible for the account. You’ll need to show proof of your student status by sharing your college or university and the date you expect to graduate.

A transcript or acceptance letter can help you prove that you’re a student. Once you apply and receive an acceptance letter, you can start setting up your college finances so that you have everything you need.

If you’re 18 or older, you can open the account online using your ID, social security number, and contact information. Otherwise, you can open an account at a Chase branch with two forms of ID. 

Opening Deposit

Unlike some bank accounts, you don’t need any money to open a Chase College Checking account. This is nice if you need to use your money to pay for tuition or other college expenses.

However, it can help to put some money in the account when you open it. That way, you’ll have money ready to go when you need to pay for something online or with your debit card.

Online Billpay

When you go off to college, you may have a few expenses that you never had at home. You might need to pay for rent and utilities, and you may not want to use a check.

Luckily, you can use the online billpay option to cover those costs with your Check College Checking. Once you set up online banking, all you have to do is log into your account and pay your bills.

Text Banking

Chase checking accounts also come with text banking features. For one, you can receive text alerts regarding your activity. That way, you can keep an eye on your balance and any automatic payments you set up.

You can even transfer funds via text, which is nice if you also have a Chase savings account. And if your parent has a checking account and is on your account, they can transfer funds to you when you need extra money.

Mobile Check Deposit

If you decide to go to college out of state or otherwise far away, mobile check deposit will come in handy. If friends and family send you a check in the mail you can use your Chase app to deposit the money.

Then, you won’t have to find an ATM or a Chase branch to transfer the funds into your account. That’s also nice if you attend college in a small town without many banks or if you don’t have a car to get to a bank.

Send and Receive Money

Chase partners with Zelle to make it easy for you to send and receive money from family and friends. If you need to pay your roommate for food, for example, you can use Zelle to do so.

The service is completely free, and the transfer can happen that day. Then, you and your friends don’t have to wait a day or two for the money to clear.

Chase College Checking Account Fees

Unfortunately, like other Chase checking accounts, the college account comes with a few fees. But you can avoid some of the fees with proper money management.

Before you open your Chase College Checking account, consider the fees you might incur. Then, you can plan for them or figure out how to circumvent them.

These are some common fees you may have to pay as you use your college checking account.

Maintenance

For the first five years of your account, you won’t have any monthly maintenance fees. After that period ends, you may need to pay $6 a month for as long as you remain eligible for the account.

However, you can avoid the fee if you keep an average balance of at least $5,000 each day. Otherwise, you’ll need to receive at least one electronic deposit from payroll or the government.

This payment should occur through the Real Time Payment network or ACH network. It can also happen through a third-party service that uses MasterCard or Visa.

Non-Sufficient Funds

If your account ever has a low balance, you may have to pay a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee. When a transaction takes your account into the negative by more than $5, you’ll need to pay $34 per item.

The fee applies to up to three items per day. After five days of your balance being below $0, you’ll need to pay $15 a day. And you can’t get out of that fee if the balance is between $0 and -$5.

As a broke college student, you’ll need to be extra careful to keep your account balance above $. Then, you won’t have to worry about paying overdraft fees.

Non-Chase ATMs

Another thing to consider when going to college is if there will be a Chase bank nearby. If you need to get cash from another bank’s ATM, you’ll need to pay $2.50 each time you take out money.

And if you go on a study abroad trip, the fee will be $5. So be sure to consider if you need cash. Then, you can either find a Chase branch or withdraw more in one transaction to save money overall.

Currency Adjustment

Speaking of study abroad, you may need to withdraw money in a foreign currency. If so, you will need to pay a 3% fee for the currency adjustment.

The same is true if you use your debit card for purchases in another country. The fee may not sound like a lot, but it’s important to know before you head out of the country.

Of course, you don’t need to worry about this fee when studying domestically. But it’s worth noting if you have plans of studying abroad.

Card Replacement

As a college student, you’ll have a lot on your plate. And it can be easy to lose or forget something, including your debit card.

When that happens, you’ll need to pay Chase a $5 fee to replace the card. So make sure to keep track of your debit card and keep it safe so that you don’t need to pay that.

Fortunately, this isn’t going to be a recurring cost. But you will also need to take time out of your day to request a replacement card.

Why Use Chase College Checking

Despite all of the potential fees, the Chase College Checking account can be a good option. Before you write off the account or choose another bank, consider the benefits of opening a Chase account.

Even with the restrictions and potentially high fees, this account may be worth it for you. Be sure to consider all of the factors so that you can make sure it’s the right college student bank account for you.

Then, you can enjoy some of the advantages this account offers.

Plenty of Online Options

One of the best reasons to use the Chase College Checking account is that it offers a lot of online access. That’s nice for students who attend college far away from a Chase branch.

It’s also a good option if you don’t have a car and so won’t leave campus much. The same is true if you will have a busy schedule with classes, extracurricular activities, and a job or work-study program.

You can access your funds with your debit card, and you can transfer money or view your transactions anywhere. Then, you can save a lot of time during the week.

Affordable

Chase will waive the monthly maintenance fee of $6 for the first fives years you have the account. That period is long enough for most students, so you can put that money towards other college expenses.

Even if you do stay in school for five or six years, you can still make the account affordable. You can set up an electronic deposit each month to qualify for a waiver.

But if you don’t qualify for the waiver, the account is still relatively affordable. The monthly fee isn’t as high as some bank accounts, so you can still save a bit of money.

Low Deposit

Another advantage of opening a Chase College Checking account is that there’s no minimum deposit. That’s nice if you open the account early in college or before you start college.

You may not have a ton of extra money, so you don’t need to save up money just to open the account. Once you receive money from work or family, you can then put it in the account.

Other deposits also don’t have to be a certain amount. So you don’t need to wait weeks to save up enough money in cash to put into your Chase account.

Why Not Use Chase College Checking

The Chase College Check account is great. But there are some not-so-great things you should know before you open the account. Then, you can look at other bank accounts for students.

Be sure to compare the factors across accounts to decide if the cons of one are worth it. That way, you will have a safe place to put your money.

So what are the potential downsides of getting a Chase College Checking Account?

Not Long Term

Probably the most significant drawback to the account is the strict eligibility requirements. Once you turn 25, you won’t be able to use the account anymore, even if you’re still in school.

You’ll also need to give up the account when you graduate, even if you graduate before you turn 25. If you want to keep using the account, you will need to stay a part- or full-time student.

Still, after a certain point, you will have to open another account. Or you’ll need to pay the monthly maintenance fee if you keep the account for more than five years.

Hard to Find ATMs

While Chase has more than 16,000 ATMs, you may not have one near you. Be sure to consider where you attend college to learn if there will be a Chase bank close by.

If not, you will need to use another bank’s ATM to get cash. That may not sound like a huge con, but the ATM fees can add up, especially if you get cash regularly.

This may not be a huge deal if you rarely use cash. But if you like to use cash often, you’ll need to consider if it’s worth using a different bank’s ATM.

No Interest

Some checking accounts allow you to earn interest, but the Chase College Checking account isn’t one of them. While the interest may be small, it can add up over time.

If you want to take advantage of interest from letting your money sit in your account, look elsewhere. Then, you can find an account with the features you need but that will accumulate interest.

Interest-bearing checking accounts can be an excellent way to earn money over time. You’ll need to decide if the Chase account is worth not having that option.

Is the Chase College Checking Account for You?

The Chase College Checking account can be an excellent financial tool for students. It comes with a lot of benefits, like the ability to waive certain fees and access to online banking.

However, you may struggle to find a Chase ATM, and you’ll need to get a new account when you graduate. Be sure to consider the pros and cons before you open your account.

Do you want to learn more about money and college? Check out another post!

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