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Chase College Checking Account Review – Good Banking Option for Students?

Our rating



  • thumbs-upMonthly maintenance fee is easy to waive
  • thumbs-upSolid account opening bonus with qualifying activities
  • thumbs-upExcellent mobile app with mobile check deposit
  • thumbs-upNo minimum opening deposit


  • thumbs-downStrict age and education eligibility requirements
  • thumbs-downNo yield on balances
  • thumbs-downGeographic gaps in Chase branch and ATM network

Chase College Checking is a low-cost, lightweight checking account for college students. It’s designed to streamline and simplify day-to-day spending so that student users can focus on what really matters: passing their classes, scoring coveted internships, and having amazing study abroad adventures.

Chase College Checking is pretty straightforward, but it does have some twists and turns worth explaining in detail. It also has a nice account opening bonus that’s a perennial contender for our monthly list of the best bank account bonuses available to U.S. consumers.

Here’s what you need to know about its features, upsides, downsides, and overall suitability.

Key Features of Chase College Checking

Before you apply for Chase College Checking, know what you’re getting into. These are the most important features of this account, starting with age- and education-based eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Students ages 18-24 with a Social Security Number can open an account online or at a Chase branch. Students with no Social Security number or who are 17-year-olds can only open an account at a branch.

Minimum Deposit Requirements

The minimum opening deposit is $0.

Transaction Limits

Once your account is open, there are no transaction limits or other restrictions on account activity, provided your balance remains positive and you adhere to the other terms and restrictions spelled out in the Chase College Checking Guide to Your Account.

Mobile Check Deposit

You can make check deposits from anywhere using Chase’s mobile app. You just need to take a photo of the front and back of your endorsed check and follow the simple instructions to complete the transaction.

Text Banking

This account comes with 24/7 text banking functionality. You can complete a variety of tasks, such as balance checks, using simple text commands.

Online Billpay

You can pay bills on a one-time or recurring basis using Chase College Checking’s online billpay feature. The functionality is built into Chase’s mobile app, so you can take care of business from just about anywhere, whenever the need strikes.

Send and Receive Money

Chase College Checking customers can send and receive money in moments using Chase QuickPay® with Zelle®.

Zelle® is available in more than 1,000 banking apps in the U.S. So you can send and receive money from almost anyone you know and trust who has a bank account in the U.S.

Track Your Money

Keep track of your money in the Chase Mobile® app. The app helps you manage your money.

Important Fees

Chase College Checking’s fees include:

  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: The $6 monthly maintenance fee is waived under any of the following conditions: for up to 5 years while you’re in college, when your account receives a direct deposit at least once in a monthly billing cycle, or you maintain a $5,000 ending day balance in your account.
  • Non-Chase ATM Fee: You may incur a fee for non-Chase ATM withdrawals, which may vary based on your location. See Chase’s website for a full list of potential fees.
  • NSF Fee: For NSF transactions that result in a negative balance of $5 or greater, there’s a $34-per-item fee, subject to a 3-item daily limit. If your account remains overdrawn for more than 5 consecutive days, there’s a $15 daily extended overdraft fee, even under the $5 negative balance threshold. For NSF debit card transactions to go through, you have to opt into Chase Debit Card Coverage.
  • Card Replacement Fee: If you lose your card, there’s a $5 card replacement fee.
  • Currency Adjustment Fee: When you make debit card transactions or ATM withdrawals in currencies other than U.S. dollars, you’re subject to a 3% currency adjustment fee. This accrues on top of any other international ATM fees and surcharges levied by Chase, local banks, and ATM operators.

Customer Support

Chase College Checking customers enjoy 24/7 support from Chase online and by phone.

Advantages of Chase College Checking

These are Chase College Checking’s top selling points.

  • Monthly Maintenance Fee Is Easy to Waive. Chase College Checking’s $6 monthly maintenance fee is pretty low by “adult” bank account standards, and it’s a snap to waive. If you can prove that you’re currently enrolled in college, you’re automatically eligible for a fee waiver for up to 5 years from your account opening date. Otherwise, all you have to do is accept a single direct deposit each month – a snap if your employer or government benefits provider offers direct deposit. You can maintain a daily minimum balance of $5,000 too, but that’s likely a heavier lift for cash-strapped students.
  • Solid Account Opening Bonus. This account’s $100 opening bonus is easy to snag. Just open your account, enroll in paperless statements, and make at least 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of your account opening date. That’s an average of 1 transaction every 6 days. Bear in mind that this offer expires 4/9/2020.
  • Mobile Check Deposit Capabilities. You can deposit checks on the go with Chase’s mobile check deposit feature. This is great news for account holders who don’t live, work, or study near a Chase ATM or branch.
  • Fee-Free Access to Approximately 15,000 ATMs and 4,700 Branches. You’re eligible for fee-free withdrawals at roughly 15,000 Chase-branded ATMs and 4,700 Chase branches nationwide.
  • No Minimum Balance Requirement. This account does not have a minimum opening balance requirement. That’s great news for frugal college students.
  • Text Banking Capabilities. Chase College Checking’s text banking function is super convenient. No longer do you have to find an ATM or branch, or log into your online account on public WiFi or LTE, to check balances or transfer funds.

Disadvantages of Chase College Checking

Consider these drawbacks before you apply for Chase College Checking.

  • Strict Eligibility Requirements. Chase College Checking has pretty strict eligibility requirements. You need to be between the ages of 17 and 24, and an active college student, to open your account. If you’re looking for a checking account that you can keep open for decades, look to a mainstream option, such as Capital One 360.
  • Chase ATMs Aren’t Available Everywhere. Chase has pretty good ATM coverage, but its machines aren’t ubiquitous, and they’re entirely absent in some states. If you live in a Chase-saturated area, you’ll love this account. Otherwise, look to an option that’s more prevalent in your neck of the woods.
  • Hefty International ATM Surcharge. If you’re studying abroad, traveling on a cultural exchange program, giving back on a mission trip, or doing anything else outside the United States as a student, prepare to pay more at foreign ATMs. Chase charges a big fee per withdrawal at non-Chase international ATMs – on top of whatever the ATM operators themselves charge.
  • No Yield on Deposits. Chase College Checking is a non-interest-bearing account type. If you’re looking for a high-yield checking account, look into an online bank alternative, such as Ally Bank or TIAA Bank.

Final Word

It’s never too early to start down a fiscally responsible path. Even high school students can get in on the action. Students aged 13 to 17 are eligible for Chase High School Checking, a similar product designed with adolescents in mind.

If you’re on a college track following high school graduation, it’s easy to switch to Chase College Checking when you’re ready. If you’re headed straight into the workforce, just wait until your 19th birthday and your Chase High School Checking account will automatically morph into a Chase checking account for adults. Either way, you’ll have a leg up on your less fiscally savvy peers.

Our rating



  • thumbs-upMonthly maintenance fee is easy to waive
  • thumbs-upSolid account opening bonus with qualifying activities
  • thumbs-upExcellent mobile app with mobile check deposit
  • thumbs-upNo minimum opening deposit


  • thumbs-downStrict age and education eligibility requirements
  • thumbs-downNo yield on balances
  • thumbs-downGeographic gaps in Chase branch and ATM network
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.