Chase’s newest offering is its premium Sapphire Banking, which replaces its Premier Platinum checking option. Although the account requirements will remain basically the same, Sapphire Banking comes with a number of new-and-improved features and perks. For starters, Chase is sweetening the deal with a cushy sign-up bonus offer — 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points when new customers bring in $75,000 in qualifying deposits and investments and meet other requirements (more on those below).
To help you decide if a Chase Sapphire Bank account is a good option for your financial needs, we’re covering all you need to know in this review. Check out the handy chart below for an overview to see what Chase’s new banking solution has to offer. Then, we put this account up against its top competitors to see how its offerings compare.
Chase Sapphire Bank Account: At a glance
Chase Sapphire Bank Account Details
Monthly service fee
$25 or $0 w/ $75,000 or more in combined, qualifying deposits/investments
Foreign transaction fee
Domestic wire transfer
$0 for Chase ATMs; Chase refunds fees from non-Chase ATMs
$0 for up to four insufficient funds or returned item occurrences per 12 months
Online stock and ETF trades
The differences between Chase’s new Sapphire Banking checking account and its old Premier Platinum Checking include Sapphire Banking’s $0 ATM fees worldwide, 0% foreign transaction fees and $0 outgoing wire transfer fees. In addition, Sapphire Banking account holders receive free stock and ETF trades through JP Morgan’s new investing service, You Invest.
Besides no ATM fees and free, online investing, Sapphire Banking comes with a host of perks. You’ll get premier relationship rates when you link your checking to a Chase Premier savings account; access to experts who can help you with mortgage lending, banking, and small business needs; and a dedicated, 24/7 customer service line.
How to earn the sign-up bonus
Beginning in October, Chase Sapphire cardholders who open or upgrade to a Sapphire Banking account can receive 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points when they bring in $75,000 in qualifying deposits and investments. This bonus can be worth up to $900 when redeemed for eligible travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, depending on the Sapphire card you have. To receive the bonus, you need to keep the $75,000 in deposits or investments in your account for at least three months. You won’t receive the bonus until 45 days after the three months end.
You’ll also get fun perks like VIP access to entertainment and sports lounges, special seating and early ticket available for sports and entertainment events and $0 monthly service fee if you link your checking to a Chase Total Business Checking account. All of these add up to an account that packs a lot of value — if you don’t mind the $25 service fee each month when your average balance dips below a whopping $75,000.
Who the Chase Sapphire Bank account is best for
For narrow cases, Chase Sapphire Banking might make sense, according to Ken Tumin, editor in chief of DepositAccounts, a LendingTree subsidiary. The features are only worth it if you can avoid charges, especially the $25 monthly fee.
“It’s definitely not wise to maintain a deposit account balance of $75,000+ at Chase, however, because you can get much higher interest rates elsewhere, especially at internet banks. Even if you put $75,000 in a Chase Premier Savings account you’d earn only a 0.03% APY. That $75,000 could be easily earning 0.65% APY at one of several internet savings accounts. That’s a difference of about $111 per month,” said Tumin.
However, if a Sapphire Banking client maintains $75,000+ in a J.P. Morgan brokerage account, and that money is in stocks or ETFs, that can be a way to get the features and perks without an opportunity cost. Your J.P Morgan ETF would have the same return as one from another brokerage, Tuman said.
How to open a Chase Sapphire Banking account
If you previously had a Chase Premier Platinum account, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the new Chase Sapphire Banking account. You can open a new Chase Sapphire Banking account by visiting a local branch or sign up online; if you choose the latter, the application takes only a few minutes. Follow these steps to open a Chase Sapphire Banking account:
- Have your personal data on hand, including your Social Security number, driver’s license or state-issued ID email address and phone number.
- Visit the Chase website and click on “Next.”
- Fill out the form with your personal data and click on “Next.”
- Fund your account by using a debit card or making a transfer from another Chase account.
Chase Sapphire Banking vs. the competition
So how does Chase Sapphire Banking stack up against the competition? To find out, take a look at how it compares with Bank of America’s Interest account and Wells Fargo’s Portfolio account.
Chase Sapphire Banking vs. Bank of America Checking vs. Portfolio by Wells Fargo
Chase Sapphire Banking
Bank of America Interest Checking
Portfolio by Wells Fargo
0.01% for $0 to $4,999 and 0% for $5,000 or more
Min. balance required to waive fees
$75,000 in combined, eligible deposits and investments
$25,000 in linked bank deposits or $50,000 in linked bank, brokerage and credit balances
Monthly service fee
Foreign transaction fee
Domestic wire transfer fee
$0 for incoming; $30 for outgoing
$15 incoming; $30 outgoing
$0 for BOA ATMs; $2.50 for non-BOA ATMs
$0 for 4 within 12 months
Free, online investing; special rates when you link checking to savings; VIP access to sports and entertainment tickets, lounges and seating; dedicated 24/7 customer service
$0 maintenance fee for up to 4 savings accounts linked to your primary Interest Checking account; free standard checks; cash-back deals with BankAmeriDeals
Annual fee waiver on 1 home equity line of credit; interest rate discounts on loans; special credit card benefits, ATM reimbursements for non-Wells Fargo ATMs; bonus interest rates on qualifying savings products; access to online investing guidance from Wells Fargo Advisors
Chase Sapphire Banking vs. Bank of America Interest Checking
Bank of America’s Interest Checking account is closest to the Chase Sapphire Banking account, for comparison’s sake.
Although you’ll get a higher APY for higher balances with a Bank of America Interest Checking account, it goes only as high as 0.02%, which isn’t that much better than Chase Sapphire Banking’s APY of 0.01%. The biggest difference is that you need significantly less to qualify for free monthly maintenance from Bank of America than for Chase Sapphire Banking.
That said, Bank of America charges fees where Chase Sapphire Banking does not. The BofA account’s 3% foreign transaction fee, $35 overdraft fee, $30 fee for incoming domestic wires and $2.50 charge for using non-BOA ATMs can really add up. You don’t have to worry about any of those charges with the Chase Sapphire banking, unless you have more than four overdrafts in 12 months.
The winner depends largely on how much money you have to sock away, how often you plan to use the account internationally and also whether or not you’ll take advantage of Chase Sapphire’s additional perks.
Considering the fact that these are checking accounts and experts recommend you use credit cards when making purchases abroad, there’s no real tangible benefit to Chase Sapphire Banking’s 0% foreign transaction fee and no real threat from the fact that Bank of America’s Interest Checking comes with a 3% fee. But if you don’t want to use your debit card abroad, there are plenty of credit cards that are safer to use for international purchases and they don’t charge a foreign transaction fee.
If you don’t want to sock away $75,000 to avoid Chase’s monthly service fee and don’t care about the free investing perks that come with it, then the Bank of America Interest Checking account is probably the better bet — you can avoid the fee with far less money in the bank.
Chase vs. Portfolio by Wells Fargo
Another strong Chase Sapphire competitor is the Portfolio by Wells Fargo. Once again, comparing this mega-bank to Chase is a good way to gauge what’s out there in big-bank checking.
Wells Fargo offers a 0% APY on account balances in excess of $5,000, which beats Chase Sapphire by a country mile. Its qualifiers to waive the monthly maintenance fee are also cheaper: $25,000 in linked bank deposits or $50,000 in linked bank, brokerage and credit balances. But Wells Fargo charges a pesky 3% foreign transaction fee, plus $15 for incoming domestic wires and $30 for outgoing ones. And if you happen to overdraw your account, you won’t love the $35 overdraft fee.
Some of the perks are pretty nice with the Portfolio by Wells Fargo account, though. This includes an annual fee waiver on a home equity line of credit, interest rate discounts on loans and bonus rates on qualifying savings products. When push comes to shove, we would say that this account ties with the Chase Sapphire Banking account. Each has its pros and cons, but when you compare them they come out pretty even overall.