Chase Bank UK review

Can this new digital current account compete with Starling and Monzo?

I’ve been using the new account from Chase Bank for a few months now which means I can take you through my initial thoughts.

My video review

Watch this review from my YouTube channel when the account launched in September 2021 to hear my thoughts on the account as well as a chance to see the card and the app in action.

What is Chase Bank UK?

Chase Bank is the retail banking arm of global finance giants JP Morgan Chase. It’s one of the biggest banks in the USA, and in September 2021 it finally launched a UK current account (it was meant to arrive in the Spring!).

What does Chase Bank offer?

As I’ll detail below, the big selling points for the Chase Bank UK current account are:

  • £20 for joining and for referring friends
  • 1% cashback on spending for a year
  • 1.5% interest on up to £250,000
  • 5% interest on round-up savings
  • Fee-free spending abroad
  • Advanced app functionality

£20 refer-a-friend offer

New Chase users can earn £20 by using a referral code (qkRw2Eim) when signing up with this link and then depositing £20 into the account within 30 days.

Those with an account can also earn £20 by getting friends to join up, with a maximum of 20 referrals earning money, meaning you might be able to make £400.

Here’s more on how both offers work.

1% cashback on spending

The big draw for this account is the 1% cashback you earn on most of your everyday spending. This rate is much better than most on the market, though some specialist cards can beat it in specific circumstances (e.g. 1.25% at John Lewis or 1.5% at Amazon with their own cards – more details here).

Sadly the cashback is only for 12 months – starting when you activate the offer in the app. You’ve got to assume it’s just a welcome offer that won’t be extended – though you never know!

It takes a few days for the cashback to come through but when it does you can instantly transfer it to your account – there’s no waiting as you do with some Amex cards or payout thresholds like with some store specific reward cards.

You won’t be able to earn cashback on everything. In fact there’s a long list of exclusions. The key ones include tax payments, debt repayments, cash withdrawals, funding accounts and prepaid cards (eg Revolut), money transfers and savings bonds.

There are also some large purchases ruled out, such as car purchases (and even servicing or repairs), student fees and estate agent fees.

1.5% interest on savings

This was added to the account on 28 March 2022, and offers 1.5% interest on savings. Read full details in my news article from when this was launched.

The money is fully protected (up to £85,000) by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).

5% interest on round up savings

This sounds exciting, but you won’t be able to put a huge amount of cash into this separate pot. The money can only be added via round-ups on your purchases (details on this below).

Effectively this means the most you can ‘deposit’ is 99p each time you use your debit card. In reality it’ll be much less. Potentially just a few pence.

Let’s say you use your debit card 30 times a month, the most you’ll add to the account will be £29.70. Over a year this would earn you less than a tenner.

To open this account you need to select “add” on the home page and choose “Save your spare change” account.

After 12 months the money will be moved out of the separate account (though you can withdraw it earlier if you wish).

Fee-free spending

As with most digital banks, you can also use your debit card abroad for purchases or ATM withdrawals without any charges. Factor in the cashback and this now becomes the number one card to use overseas.

Andy’s YouTube

Watch new videos every week on the Andy Clever Cash channel, plus a regular live Q&A

The Chase debit card

Once your account is approved you can request your physical debit card and set your PIN in the app (though you’ll need to go to an ATM if you want to change it again). You can also choose how you want your name to appear on the card.

Looks-wise it’s actually pretty slick. A deep navy blue and quite minimalist. But it’s still just a card so it’s not a reason to chose this account. You can see what it looks like in my video above. The card is also made from recyclable material.

The card itself is a Mastercard which means it should be accepted pretty much anywhere.

It’s numberless

When it does arrive you’ll notice there are no other details on there. No sort code. No account number. No long card number. Not those three CVV digits you use to verify purchases. There’s not even a space to sign the card.

Instead all those details are on the app (apart from the signature, obviously). Chase says this is a security measure, but I find it a little annoying. I’d much rather they just put these on the back of the card (something Starling does) as well as in the app.

Though if it was an either / or I much prefer being able to copy the details from the app to paste – though that only works if I’m shopping on my phone rather than my desktop.

Using Apple Pay, Google Pay and Curve

You can quickly add the card to Apple Pay from within the app.

I was also able to add the card to my Curve account even before I had received the physical version. I simply grabbed the details from the Chase app.

It’s not yet available on Google or Samsung Pay, though you could sign up to Curve and then add your Curve card to your phone as a way around this.

I’ve used both Apple and Curve to make purchases and it’s been fine. This includes filling up on petrol where the payment is pre-authorised before you’ve actually started using it. Though I only put £30 into the tank, the payment initially tracked at £50, but a few days later corrected itself.

The Chase App

Despite its long history in America, the Chase UK app is much closer to what you’d see from Starling and Monzo than the traditional UK high street banks.

It’s all quite clear and simple. It doesn’t take too many clicks to find what you want (an issue I sometimes have with Starling).

Here are some of the key features:

Multiple accounts

You can add as many extra current accounts to your app as you wish. This is effectively a similar device to Monzo’s Pots or Starling’s Spaces.

You can rename them, useful if you want to use this feature for specific saving goals or budgeting. It’s easy to transfer money between these accounts in the app.

These come with their own account number and sort code. So you could potentially use these to have an account for your salary to be paid into, and a different one set aside for paying your rent or bills (I’ll talk more about Direct Debits in a moment).

Each account can be linked to your debit card as and when you wish. This is a great feature for anyone putting specific cash into a different sub-account, though it has to be done in advance (I’d love a “back in time” feature as you get with Chip). And you’ll need to remember to switch back to your main pot after.

Round-ups

A feature more and more banks are offering now. Every time you spend money, Chase can round-up to the nearest pound and move that excess amount to a separate savings pot. For the first year you’ll earn 5% AER on the amount saved this way.

So if you spend £1.80, that would mean 20p would be moved over. It’s actually an effective way of moving more money into savings each month, though I much prefer the auto-savings AI you find with Plum.

As mentioned you need to open up a separate “Spare change” account from the app’s landing page.

Managing your card

It’s very easy to access your debit card from the app – it’s at the top of the home screen. You can quickly see the card details and PIN. You are able to freeze the card temporarily or order a replacement.

You can also set up new details for your physical card if you’re worried they’ve been compromised online – though there’s a limit to how often you can do this.

It’s possible to turn on and off things like contactless, chip & PIN, cash withdrawals, gambling transactions and overseas payments in the card controls.

Andy’s podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

Copy and paste account details

As I mentioned it’s easy to select your card details to input into a website for payment to add your card to Curve.

You can also do this with the account details of all the current accounts you have. However this option isn’t as slick as with Starling as you can only share all the details (via messages, email, WhatsApp etc) rather than copy just the account number or just the sort code. The way around this is to copy them once you’ve added them to a text.

Track your spending

Within each current account you’ll see a chart showing your total spending and money in and out for each month.

On the app home page you’ll find a more detailed analysis with your spending broken down by category, again month by month. However this will be across all your current accounts.

You can change the category if you think the automatically selected one isn’t right. I had to move a few things around, but the options are pretty decent:

  • Bills
  • Cash
  • Donations
  • Entertainment
  • Expenses
  • Family
  • Going out
  • Health
  • Holidays
  • Other
  • Shopping
  • Transfers
  • Transport

Direct Debits

This might be a weird feature to explicitly mention you can use, but for the first six months you couldn’t set them up with Chase! However since 4 March 2022 you’ve been able to do this.

Other features

  • 24/7 in-app support
  • The Chase app supports Face ID

What’s missing

There are a handful of ‘normal’ banking services which Chase doesn’t offer.

No cash or cheque deposits

There’s no way to pay in cash or a cheque direct to your Chase account. In reality this is only going to be a minor frustration as I’d always recommend you have more than one current account, and that one of those lets you do those things!

Is Chase any good?

Andy’s analysis

I quite like the app. It’s simple enough to find everything and has enough going on to make it better than most banks. But I’d still say Monzo and Starling have much better interfaces and features.

However, the main reason everyone should be getting this account is the 1% cashback for a year. It’s easy passive income on your everyday spending that could well add up to £100 or more.

And the addition of the 1.5% savings account means this is a must-have for most savers.

I wouldn’t use it as your main account though. The lack of Direct Debits at launch was is a big reason for this (now available), but I also think it’s better to use this just for spending and saving.

Rather than have your salary sent here, only transfer across your ‘spare money’. This is really just any cash you have that isn’t already earmarked for paying bills (put this in a Santander 123 Lite account) or going into savings (find the best rates here).

Not only will you earn the cashback on that spending, you’ll have the added benefit of the spending analysis feature – helping you see where you might actually be overspending.

Monzo vs Starling vs Chase

Find out which digital bank is best in my comprehensive analysis and comparison

Best digital bank

How to sign up to Chase

The account is digital-only, meaning you need a phone and the Chase app to open and manage your account. There are no branches, and I doubt there will be.

You must be 18 years old or over and a UK resident only. You also need to pay your tax in the UK.

You can join this by downloading the app. Don’t forget to use a promo code to earn £20. You need to enter the usual personal details and there’s a digital ID verification. The latter involves taking a selfie and uploading a photo of your driving licence or passport.

Once you’ve done this Chase will perform a soft credit check (this means the search won’t appear on your credit report). It took a few hours for my account to be verified, though I know for some it was almost instant.

42 thoughts on “Chase Bank UK review

  1. I have tried to set up an account and its taken two days for verify now? Is this normal? It does say there has been a high volume of applications so could take 7 days.

  2. Interesting review. Thanks for posting.

    My personal opinion would be DO NOT use Chase UK Bank!

    Every time you try to make a payment, you have to go through 100 security steps. After you’ve done so, they STILL don’t approve your transfer! They send you a SMS to ring them. You then have to spend at least HALF AN HOUR on the phone to have the honour of being able to get through to their staff.

    These staff are based in the third world and incompetent.

    It’s only after jumping through several further hoops that they finally allow you to make your transaction.

    I have other bank accounts but not ONE other one has anything like this degree of annoyance.

    I’ve wasted HOURS of my time hanging onto to their call waiting system to get my simple transactions approved.

    Chase do everything possible to maximise inconvenience for customers and make their lives a misery.

    App is rubbish too, in a hundred ways. For example, it logs you out after just 60 seconds of non-use, so you constantly have to login and start again. Not a single other bank I use has an app that logs you out so readily.

    No web banking, no branch facilities, can’t transact via the Post Office, absolute nothing. This is the Lidl of bank accounts.

    Many other people online are just bigging it up to get their £20 free referral cash.

  3. I’d there a Monthy payment fee

    1. No, there are no fees with this account

  4. When I try and transfer from my HSBC account I get a warning that the payee details can’t be verified so there is a rsik my money will be lost? Can you explain this to me? Is this to do with non-acceptance of CHAPS, and is it safe? I have 30k I want to transfer to savings on Chase, but obvioulsy don’t want any risk. Thanks for any advice

    1. I saw this, and have no problem with the account. To be on the safe side I started by transferring £10 which went through instantly. The rest of my intended savings went straight through. Excellent app.

      1. Very helpful, thanks

    2. same here with rbs so i moved 1 pound to make sure .hope that helps

      1. Very helpful, thanks

  5. does this work on google pay now ?

    1. Yes it does

  6. Does anyone know the overseas ATM withdrawal limit?
    Thanks

  7. I tried to open a joint account and was informed i had to apply at a Chase Bank branch.
    How do i get a joint account. ?

    1. There are no branches in the UK, so you must somehow have been speaking to American support

      1. Support staff are in Edinburgh.

      2. I messaged them through the app about a joint account and they don’t offer one at the moment.

  8. Andy’s review (very clear and thorough IMO) implies that one can run the Chase app on more than one device. I have an Apple iPhone and a Microsoft PC. Given the two different op systems, how does downloading the app and using it on the two machines work in practice?

    1. I have an iphone and an ipad. I wondered how I would manage if I lost my phone, so I downloaded the app onto my ipad. Good idea? Not really….
      When I tried to use the app on the ipad it wanted to send me a secure code…on my phone!
      So, don’t lose your phone.

  9. A feature I particularly like is the ability to set up multiple spending accounts all of which have different account numbers. This allows you to have a “ghost” account to use only for giving the details to others to send you transfers. Once the transfer is made I immediately move the funds into my “real” account and in this way I never have to disclose the details of an account with any funds in it. Just peace of mind.

  10. Does anyone know if Chase works to wire funds to Crytpo exchange such as kraken?

  11. It’s not relevant to Chase, but relevant to one part of the article and it’s an important thing. If you use Curve you lose the section 75 protection. They offer their own protection, but nevertheless I think it worth mentioning it, because section 75 is a law, while Curve protection is a “company policy”, a feature in my understanding.
    Also, there is a mistake or not complete information in the same article: “In the same way as PayPal or Amazon, 3rd party purchases using Curve are not a direct purchase from the user’s original card, so the purchases are not covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.”. It’s true when it comes to 3rd party purchases with these companies, but in the case of PayPay it’s not true if you use Paypal Credit for the purchase. In that case you’re protected by section 75.

  12. Hello; I realise that accounts under this bank are protected by the FSCS scheme up to £85k. But realistically, what’s the chance of this bank going under? I have £350k to put into savings for a year before completing on the purchase of a new build house. I’d rather put it all into one savings account, rather than spreading it across multiple accounts. But if the risk is real, obviously I’d rather spread it about. Thanks for your thoughts..

    1. They are literally on every street corner in the US. As common as Starbucks. Hundreds of thousands of them. Arguably the biggest bank in America today. It’s JP Morgan. Something would have to go drastically wrong for them to “go under”.

  13. Hi, it says that real estate agent fees are excluded from cashback. Just to clarify, does this mean rent payments?

  14. Be aware Chase does not accept CHAPS payments, any CHAPS transfers get lost in the purgatory of JP Morgans payment system and takes days to refund.

  15. I’d been holding off getting this account as I’m not big on these app-only things but the 1.5% savings account makes it a must-have right now. One thing to bear in mind, looking ahead. As far as I can see Chase isn’t signed up to the Current Account Switch Service. So, when Chase ceases to be such an attractive option, it doesn’t seem you’ll be able to use the account as switching fodder – always handy to have something waiting in the wings to snaffle new switching offers when the opportunity arises.

    1. Great point Chris. Yes I’d keep this as an additional account rather than a main account, so if you left it’d just be a case of withdrawing the money

      1. If you did want to withdraw later on, is there a withdraw daily limit?
        I had a look and I couldn’t easily see this anywhere.

  16. does this have free overdraft facility ?

    1. No, best ones for overdrafts are First Direct (£250 at 0%) and Nationwide FlexDirect (0% for one year)

  17. Yucando Navarrete March 22, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Andy,
    Do you know how ethical Chase Bank is?
    I guess, being from JP Morgan will have a toll on it?

    1. Great question. You’re right, its parent bank is one of the worst!

  18. Chase are now offering the facility to set up direct debits on their UK current account. I received an email on 4th March 2022 advising. Been using the account since its launch last year and have found the customer service good and have not experienced any issues using the account so far.

  19. Hi Andy,

    Great video, really interesting debit card!

    I know they don’t provide cashback on spending for Government payments such as Self Assessment, however, is there an option to use a Curve Card with the Chase card as the Underlying card for 1% cashback on Self Assessment payments?

    Joe

  20. Been using this for two months, generally good, easy to navigate and almost instant spend notifications.
    Problem I’ve encountered was registering the card with Airtime Rewards. Whilst it works with online transactions, using the physical (numberless) card results in no tracking, as you and the merchant can only see the last four digits of the card, which is printed on your receipt.
    The app card details are ‘virtual’ not the same as the hidden card numbers.
    Was worth a try, I suppose.

    1. Thank Colin, useful to know

  21. Derek Thomas Guyan-Dickémann December 16, 2021 at 11:35 am

    Hi I like this app too but you can’t have it on another device, unfortunately

    1. Good point, though hopefully most people are ok with that. Though if you lost your phone…

    2. I have the app working on iPhone and iPad…so yes you can..!!

  22. No Google Pay. This is a must for a mobile digital bank

    1. Using Curve is a way around this in the short term

  23. It’s a fantastic account particularly for those who struggle being approved for cashback credit cards such as the Amex everyday account, would highly recommend to anyone, I plan on using it for all of my shopping/meals out/fuel this year and I am going to use the cashback towards paying my £20 Road tax 😂. Cheers Andy brilliant blog!

    PS definitely register the card for airtime rewards for cashback on cashback.

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