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Chase Sapphire Bank Account Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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


Sign-up bonus


60,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you bring in $75,000 in qualifying deposits and investments

Monthly service fee

$25 or $0 w/ $75,000 or more in combined, qualifying deposits/investments

Foreign transaction fee

$0

Domestic wire transfer

$0

ATM fee

$0 for Chase ATMs; Chase refunds fees from non-Chase ATMs

Overdraft fee

$0 for up to four insufficient funds or returned item occurrences per 12 months

Online stock and ETF trades

$0

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 0.20% APY. That $75,000 could be easily earning 2.15% 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:

  1. Have your personal data on hand, including your Social Security number, driver’s license or state-issued ID email address and phone number.
  2. Visit the Chase website and click on “Next.”
  3. Fill out the form with your personal data and click on “Next.”
  4. Fund your account by using a debit card or making a transfer from another Chase account.

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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

APY

0.01%

0.01%
for less than $50,000; 0.02% for $50,000 to $99,000; 0.02% for $100,000 and more

0.01% for $0 to $4,999 and 0.05% for $5,000 or more

Min. balance required to waive fees

$75,000 in combined, eligible deposits and investments

$10,000

$25,000 in linked bank deposits or $50,000 in linked bank, brokerage and credit balances

Monthly service fee

$25

$25

$30

Foreign transaction fee

$0

3%

3%

Domestic wire transfer fee

$0

$0 for incoming; $30 for outgoing

$15 incoming; $30 outgoing

ATM fee

$0

$0 for BOA ATMs; $2.50 for non-BOA ATMs

$0

Overdraft fee

$0 for 4 within 12 months

$35

$35

Account perks

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 0.05% 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.

Are premium checking accounts ever worth it?

In general, premium checking accounts are for high-balance customers. You get most of the perks and benefits when your balance is high. If you meet that balance requirement via a brokerage account, that’s one thing. But if you just let that much cash sit in your account so your monthly fee is waived and you get special perks, consider parking it in an high-yield savings account instead.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Barri Segal
Barri Segal |

Barri Segal is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Barri here

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Review of Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Get rewarded for your spending with the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. The account earns unlimited 3% cash back earned from online or in-app purchases, but unlike most cashback programs, this one prevents you from enjoying your earned rewards immediately. The catch: You can only access and redeem your cashback rewards if your account is in good standing a year after registration. In addition, there is a $7.95 monthly fee, although it’s simple to get around the fee.

While you wait for your account registration anniversary, you can use this account’s other features to your advantage. For one, Green Dot Bank can get you your paycheck up to two days in advance through direct deposit. You can also use the 3%* APY Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account to stash and grow your money.

Green Dot doesn’t have any branch locations of its own, so it relies heavily on its app and participating stores to offer its services to customers. This makes it slightly tricky for users who need quick and easy ATM access.

Read on to learn more about the FDIC-insured Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account and its rewards requirements, fees and fine print.

How does the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account work?

 

The Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account’s biggest draw is the unlimited 3% cash back earned from online or in-app purchases. There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn, so long as you’re using your card for online and in-app purchases (there’s more on how Green Dot identifies those purchases in a section below)

Getting access to your cash back is a little trickier, however. While you’ll see the cash back earned on each purchase reflected almost immediately, you’ll have to wait for each anniversary of your account registration to redeem the funds. On each anniversary date, you can transfer your cash back rewards into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. Your registration date is the date you actually register your card no matter where you got it, either at a store or online.

On your registration anniversary, your account must be in good standing. This means it must have a positive balance and cannot be blocked or flagged for any reason. If you have a negative balance, you must bring it to a positive balance before you can redeem your rewards.

Depositing cash into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account is also a little unorthodox, as Green Dot doesn’t have any of its own branches or ATMs. To deposit cash, you need to visit a Green Dot participating retailer, including CVS pharmacies and Walmart stores. Cash deposits are free when you initiate the deposit on the Green Dot app and complete them at a retail store. You can also initiate a cash deposit by swiping your Green Dot debit card at a participating retailer, who may charge a cash deposit fee of their own.

As for withdrawals, you can locate free ATMs through the bank’s app. Otherwise, you’ll face an out-of-network ATM fee, in addition to a potential ATM owner surcharge.

Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account features

  • Earns unlimited 3% cash back on eligible online or in-app purchases
  • Get your paycheck up to two days earlier with ASAP Direct Deposit™
  • Links to 3%* APY Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account
  • No overdraft fees

Along with its competitive cash back rate, another big perk of banking with Green Dot Bank is that you can get your direct deposit paychecks up to two days in advance. Typically, employers deposit paychecks into employees’ banks two days before actual payday. So instead of letting your paycheck sit in the Automated Clearing House (ACH) limbo, where payments like these are processed, Green Dot deposits your paycheck on the same day the bank receives it. Exact timing and availability of your direct deposit will depend on when your employer submits your payment information and deposit verification.

Also included with the Green Dot app is the Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account. There is no fee, and the account earns 3%* APY on balances up to $10,000. Once you’ve redeemed your cash back rewards and deposited them into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account, you can then transfer those funds into your High-Yield Savings Account for better savings.

As you’ll read below, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account is rife with fees, depending on how you use your account and manage your money. But a certain perk of the account is its lack of overdraft fees. So when you make a purchase that your balance cannot cover, Green Dot will decline the transaction, but they won’t charge a fee like most other banks do.

Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account fees and fine print

Unlimited Cash Back fees
Unlimited Bank Account purchase — online $0
Unlimited Bank Account purchase — in store$1.95 or less
Monthly fee$7.95, waived when you spend $1,000 or more in the previous monthly period
Deposit cash with Green Dot app & participating locations$0
Direct deposit$0
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal$3 per transaction
Teller cash withdrawal$3 per transaction
Out-of-network ATM balance inquiry$0.50
Foreign transactions3% of total transaction amount
Paper checks (pack of 12 checks)$5.95

There are quite a few fees to keep an eye out for when you have a Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. For starters, note that there is a fee when you open the account in a store. You can easily avoid this fee by opening the account online instead.

The account charges a $7.95 monthly fee. This can be waived when you spend at least $1,000 in the previous monthly period. This excludes transactions like ACH payments or prepaid card purchases. This may be easier if you do much of your shopping online, since you’re more likely to reach the minimum balance. If you’re betting the cash back you earn will offset this monthly fee, you’d have to spend $3,180 in a year to earn enough to pay off a year’s worth of the monthly fee. Plus, you’d have to wait for each anniversary to take advantage of that cash back bonus.

It also helps to keep your account activity online. You can initiate the deposit through the Green Dot app then depositing cash at a participating retailer at no charge. However, if you want to deposit cash without the app by swiping the debit card at a participating retailer, then the retailer may charge a service fee for cash deposits. Note that direct deposits are free.

As for the fine print, there is some room for error when it comes to determining which purchases are eligible for the 3% cashback. Green Dot identifies online and in-app purchases through unique merchant category codes (MCC) and “other identifying information,” according to the Green Dot website.

However, Green Dot acknowledges that sometimes online or in-app merchants use an MCC that does not properly identify themselves as online or in-app. On Green Dot’s part, the bank states that it “does not determine which MCC a merchant chooses to classify itself as and has no way of changing a merchant’s identifying information.” So if merchant misidentification is the case, your purchase won’t register as online or in-app and won’t earn 3% cash back.

Cash back also does not apply to airline tickets or to products and services that are redeemable for cash, such as gift cards, online funding of accounts, credit card cash advances, P2P funding, prepaid cards, money orders and traveler’s checks.

Opening an Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

You can open an Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account either online or in-store at Green Dot participating retailers. When you open an account online, you’ll need to provide your full name, address, email address, phone number, Social Security number and date of birth. If you open an account in store, you’ll need to register your new debit card online or through the Green Dot app. There, you’ll need to provide your personal information.

Who is the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account best for?

The Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account seems to be a better option for those who aren’t chasing a quick reward. Green Dot requires you to wait a year after account registration to redeem your cash back rewards, which may not be much of a reward for some. It’s more of an added perk than a real primetime feature since you have to wait so long.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account may also be better for those who are tech savvy enough to manage their accounts largely online and in the app. Accounts are more easily opened and registered online and even cash deposits work best when done through the app.

That said, this account could be a potential hassle who want the ease and speed of ATM access. Green Dot requires you to visit a participating store to deposit cash, whether you use the app or not. For many, navigating a physical store just isn’t as convenient. When it comes to withdrawals, it may be difficult to find a free ATM nearby in order to avoid the out-of-network ATM fee.

In all, the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account seems to hold a lot of promise. But there’s a few hoops to jump through to earn rewards and use the account efficiently that detract from the eye-catching 3% cash back.

*Rate accurate as of August 21, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Reviews

Fitness Bank Savings Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Fitness Bank’s savings account option

Fitness Savings Account

This unconventional savings product offers customers the chance to earn an outstanding APY when they are physically active. The daily average number of steps you took in the previous month determines the APY you earn on your account balance. The table below outlines the five earning tiers that this bank currently offers:
APY Tiers*Minimum Balance to Earn APYSteps Required
0.50%$1000-4,999
1.25%$1005,000-7,499
1.75%$1007,500-9,999
2.50%$10010,000-12,499
3.00%$10012,500+

If you are a US citizen age 65 or older, you qualify for a different rate schedule:

APY Tiers*Minimum Balance to Earn APYSteps Required
1.25%$1000-4,999
1.75%$1005,000-7,499
2.50%$1007,500-9,999
3.00%$10010,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum daily balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, waived by maintaining the minimum daily balance.
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $40

These rates truly are outstanding if you live an active lifestyle. The first month, everyone gets highest APY regardless of number of steps they take. After that, your APY will be assigned based on your daily average number of steps over the course of the prior month. Needless to say, if you don’t live a very active lifestyle, or if you have a health condition that would prevent you from meeting the step requirements, this may not be the best account for you.

This bank charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t maintain a minimum average daily balance of $100. If you’re not confident you can maintain this minimum, you may want to look at a checking account rather than a savings account — keep in mind, however, that Fitness Bank only offers a savings account. If you meet the minimum balance requirement, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived.

This savings account does not come with an ATM card or checks. You are limited to six certain withdrawals and/or transactions per month, per Regulation D, which is enforced by the federal government, although banks do have some flexibility in allowing more than six per month in certain cases. At Fitness Bank, if you make more than six withdrawals per month you will be charged a $10 fee for each additional withdrawal.

If you want to go above and beyond achieving the highest APY available from this account, you can join one of Fitness Bank’s challenges. Every month, there is a step challenge where you can compete with all other participating Fitness Bank members to get the highest number of average daily steps. Top competitors will be awarded with prizes at the end of the month. You can also set up challenges just for your family or friend group, or for a group of employees participating in a workplace challenge.

How to get Fitness Bank’s savings account

Opening a savings account at Fitness Bank is a straightforward process. The bank boasts account setup will take you less than two minutes.

You’ll fill out a quick online application, supplying basic information like your name, address and Social Security number, along with documentation of your driver’s license or passport. Then you’ll need to provide funding information, namely your bank account number, credit card or debit card.

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How Fitness Bank’s savings account compares

This bank offers phenomenal rates. At the time of writing, they offer the highest savings account rate in the market — if you can rack up the steps needed to earn it. In addition, you will have to be comfortable doing your banking 100% online with this savings account. You will not receive a checkbook or ATM card – all of your withdrawals and deposits will be completed via electronic transfer. If you’d prefer ATM access or the ability to visit a physical branch, Fitness Bank is not the right match for you.

The minimum deposit required to open and maintain an account without incurring a monthly maintenance fee isn’t outrageous. But you can find savings accounts offering somewhat competitive rates without these requirements. And to repeat, you’ll have to meet the step requirements; if that challenge goes unfulfilled, the advantages of saving with Fitness Bank wane. Its rates get progressively less competitive the fewer steps you take.

Overall review of Fitness Bank’s banking products

This bank offers a unique financial product aimed at promoting wellness. Its minimum balance and deposit requirements are fairly average for the industry, as are its fees. While its offerings are fair and get more generous as you take more steps, you will likely find better rates elsewhere if you cannot realistically meet these specific fitness standards. If you can, though, you’re in for some of the best rates on the market.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here