Chase Bank
Chase Bank

Chase Bank Review UK: The Best Cashback Current Account?

Chase Bank is the consumer-focused side of JP Morgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the world. It is a well-known name in the US, with over 4,700 branches in the country. Now, they are entering the UK through their launch of the Chase UK digital current account which launched in September 2021.

I have been using the account as my primary spending card since the launch of the service in September. In this Chase UK review, we will consider what the bank offers that sets it apart from the likes of Monzo and Starling, the limitations and whether it can replace your current bank.

What does Chase Bank offer?

The bank has launched with a number of features in order to encourage you to use them including 1% cashback and a 5% savings rate on roundups.

1% cashback on everyday spends

Chase UK Rewards Screen
Chase UK Rewards screen

The headline feature of this account is 1% cashback on almost all of your everyday spending when paying with Chase. This is one of the best rates on the market for cashback on cards, especially as Chase is a debit card as opposed to credit, which usually has higher reward rates.

Cashback is paid directly to a separate part of the app which you can then transfer instantly to your main spending account. This is usually payable a couple of days after a purchase and it does show as pending instantly.

The cashback can be stacked with other discount offers such as those from the Blue Light Card or online cashback websites like Complete Savings.

As the cashback is on the card itself, instead of from a retailer, you can stack

Chase has unfortunately only said the cashback will last 12 months from when you activate the offer in the app. So you should assume it is a welcome offer that won’t be extended, however, it may be, or they may bring out a similar offer in the future.

Chase cashback exceptions

It’s worth noting that you can’t earn cashback on absolutely everything. Key exclusions include tax repayments, debt repayments, gambling, car purchases and university fees. In addition to most financial focused transactions such as cryptocurrency, cash withdrawals, prepaid account top-ups and money transfers. The full list of exclusions to cashback is available on the Chase website.

Chase Cashback Exclusions infographic
Chase UK Cashback Exclusions

5% interest on savings

Chase 5% interest on savings screen
Roundups screen in Chase App

While 5% interest on savings sounds very impressive, which I expect is why it was chosen, in reality, the amount you can earn is very limited.

This is because you can only add to the 5% account via rounding up your spending to the next whole pound. For example, if you spent £3.10 on lunch then you would get 90p added to your roundup account.

You then earn 5% AER on this rounded up account with no option to add money manually. However, you can withdraw any amount of cash from this account at any point and the interest is paid out monthly.

For individuals that find it difficult to save, this could be a great feature as it makes saving effortless in the background. The 5% interest is a good incentive to not remove the money as you cannot replace what you have withdrawn.

Overall, this is a nice bonus along with the 1% cashback on the Chase account. However, the actual amounts are highly restricted due to the restrictions of only allowing deposits via roundups.

1.5% easy access account

Chase in the UK has launched a 1.5% interest savings account which is accessed through the current account in the app.

This is the best rate available currently in the UK for an easy access savings account.

You can open up to 10 savings accounts with Chase that will earn interest at 1.5%.

The interest payments are calculated daily and paid monthly on the 1st.

Fee-free account (abroad and in the UK)

Chase does not have any services that incur fees on their current account, including spending abroad. This uses the Mastercard exchange (the same as Monzo or Starling).

They also have a handy currency converter in-app, which shows the latest rates from Mastercard along with the ECB rate markup so that you always know if Chase is providing you with the best deal.

This also means the bank does not charge for ATM cash withdrawals in the UK or abroad, and have generous limits of £500 daily with no monthly withdrawal limit of UK currency.

However, foreign withdrawals are restricted to the equivalent of £700 per month. So you may be better off sticking with the likes of Starling if you require lots of cash while on holiday, as they offer unlimited fee-free withdrawals with a limit of up to £300 per day.

Spending with Chase

The numberless Chase debit card

After going through the account creation process, you set your pin and request your physical Mastercard debit card. A nice touch of this process is that you can choose from a variety of options on how your name is displayed.

As mentioned, the card is completely numberless. With no account details (account number or sort code) and CVV details present. The only feature that identifies the card as different from another is the name on the front.

This results in a very sleek and clean looking debit card if that’s something that you care about. If you don’t, then it will probably just frustrate you not having the card details on the card.

I personally really appreciate the minimalist design that feels very clean. I can also easily distinguish the card from my others due to the smooth feeling.

Instead of being on the card, all the details are in the app with convenient options for copying it into your clipboard.

Apparently, this makes the card more secure. With Chase being able to give you a new number if a website was hacked that had your details, without needing to reissue your card.

Using Apple Pay, Google Pay and the rest

Chase card in Google Pay

Google Pay was not available at the launch of the new bank, however, it is now available and works flawlessly as expected.

Adding the Chase card to both Google and Apple Pay is easily achieved via the app.

Samsung Pay and Garmin Pay are unfortunately not supported. Although you can use a Curve Card as a workaround by adding the Chase card to Curve and then Curve to Samsung/Garmin Pay.

Direct debits

Chase in the UK now allows for setting direct debits in the app and you can even use them with multiple accounts (see below).

No cash or cheque deposits

Another key omission is no ability to deposit cash or cheques with Chase. I am hopeful that they introduce a service similar to Monzo in the future, where you can post cheques if you need to.

The Chase app

Multiple accounts

A feature of Chase that I haven’t seen elsewhere is the ability to create multiple accounts with separate account numbers and sort codes.

Creating a spending account screen
Chase create an account menu

You can simply set up new accounts in the Chase app which has its own account number and sort code which you can use to be paid into. You can also select to spend from this account using your card (or Google/Apple Pay).

For example, you can create a ‘Supermarket’ account which is designed for your food shop spending. Money can then be added to this from another bank account or between accounts in the Chase app. Before you go shopping, you can then select your ‘Supermarket’ account to be connected to your card and the payment will be taken from this account.

You can create up to 20 accounts in the Chase app at a time (including your main account), which should be plenty even for the most extreme budgeters.

It is expected that when direct debits are available with Chase, you will also be able to pay your bills using these separate accounts which will make these accounts far more useful.

There is no clever feature for spending from a certain account at a specific retailer or similar, which makes this tool very manual at the moment. So, if you do forget to switch the card, you will have to move the money around your accounts manually.

Tracking your spending & budgeting

Spending breakdown in Chase app by category and merchant
App spending reporting by Category and Merchant

The Chase app provides a good, although basic, spending analytics to help you track where your money is going.

You can look through your spending by months, categories and different retailers.

For categories, there are 14 different options to choose from that are Bills, Cash, Donations, Entertainment, Expenses, Family, Going out, Groceries, Health, Holidays, Shopping, Transfers, Transport and Other.

The app automatically categories each transaction which you can also change manually either for one transaction or for all future transactions at that retailer.

Custom categories are not currently possible with Chase and neither is splitting transactions into multiple categories. Such as if you wanted to split part of a supermarket shop into the Food category and another part into Health.

There is also no smart analytics for recurring subscriptions, unlike some other Fintech apps like Monzo which list all of these and when you can expect them to leave your account.

Overall, the budgeting system is good for the Chase app and how well it works for you is likely to depend on how you manage your money.

If you are extremely organised and use envelope budgeting, you may love how Chase has separate accounts in the app.

However, if you’d rather categorise transactions into custom categories and be able to split them into the same transaction afterwards, you may prefer a product such as Monzo Plus.

Managing your card

Card controls in the Chase app

Chase makes managing your card easy through the app with many customisable options.

You can select to disable and enable: contactless, chip & pin payments, cash withdrawals, card swipe payments and payments outside the UK.

The app also has the option of a gambling block which makes it easy to exclude yourself from being able to pay at betting shops and online casinos.

You can also ask to be resent a new card if yours is lost or stolen as well as just new card numbers if you wish for shopping online.

Is Chase any good?

How is the customer service?

Chase makes managing your card easy through the app with many customisable options.

You can select to disable and enable: contactless, chip & pin payments, cash withdrawals, card swipe payments and payments outside the UK.

The app also has the option of a gambling block which makes it easy to exclude yourself from being able to pay at betting shops and online casinos.

You can also ask to be resent a new card if yours is lost or stolen as well as just new card numbers if you wish for shopping online.

Is Chase safe?

As with any authorised bank in the UK, Chase is backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means that should Chase fail for whatever reason, you would get your money back up to £85,000.

Additionally, Chase UK is owned by JP Morgan Chase, the world’s largest bank by market capitalisation and the fifth largest in terms of total assets under management.

This makes me feel very confident that Chase UK are not at any serious risk of failing and even if they did, you should be covered by the FSCS.

Are there any additional charges?

Currently, the bank account is completely fee-free with no options to be charged for using the account.

As there is no overdraft, loan or credit card attached to the service then you cannot pay any interest.

Additionally, cash withdrawals are fee-free as is spending abroad with your Chase card.

Can Chase replace your everyday bank account?

Yes, now that direct debits have been launched, I think Chase is an excellent choice as a primary bank account.

While there are no options for any sort of finance such as an overdraft or loan, this may even be a benefit for others.

Overall, Chase is an excellent spending account. With the 1% cashback on almost all your card spending and the 5% roundups, the app can provide some nice extra cash.

This is how I currently use my Chase account, with Monzo for all of my direct debits at the start of the month, and then I transfer the rest into Chase which has been working well for me.

What do you think of the Chase bank account that’s launched in the UK? Is the 1% cashback and 5% interest on roundups enough to convince you to check it out, or are there too many drawbacks? Let me know in the comments!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *