Chase Isn't Charging You A Fee, They're Rewarding You

Reached for comment about ex-WaMu “free checking” accounts becoming new Chase “fee checking” accounts, a Chase spokesperson told Consumerist, “What we’re trying to do is reward customers for giving us more of their business, in terms of multiple accounts, or deeper business, in terms of balances or direct deposits.” I then asked him if they were also trying to get rid of less profitable customers.

The new accounts will have a $12 monthly fee unless customers do one of the following:

  • have one direct deposit of $500 or more
  • keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500
  • keep an average balance of $5,000 or more in a several deposit and/or investment accounts or
  • incur $25 in qualifying fees per month

“No, we would like to keep all customers,” said the Chase spokesperson, ever dauntless. “We’re trying to offer a range of choices for customers so that customers can take advantage of all the benefits of Chase, the convenience and value of Chase.”

I pointed out a recent survey on TheRaddonReport*, which said that the number one reason that would cause customers to leave a bank was if their free checking was mucked with.

With research like this out there, isn’t Chase aware that adding on restrictions to peoples’ free checking is going to make them to hit the door?

The Chase spokesperson responded in a human voice, “We’re offering ways for consumers to take advantage of Chase’s network of 60,000 employees, 51,000 branches and 15,000 ATMs without paying a monthly fee.”

I asked if the recent regulation that has limited the number of fees banks can charge has made it important for banks to either establish new revenue streams or get rid of customers who aren’t paying for themselves.

The spokesperson paused and made a few false starts before replying, “We continue to offer ways for customers to take advantage of doing business with Chase.”

And if you feel that instead Chase is taking advantage of doing business with you, there’s always your local credit union or an online checking account.

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Updated: Chase Kills “Free Checking” For Ex-WaMu Customers

* Hat tip to commenter Mac-Phisto!