The Two Minute Review
Chase has achieved the highest score of all UK current accounts. Its 1% cashback offer is not something you usually see on a credit card and is simply game changing. It might not have branches, but its simple app and phone/app customer support mean it doesn’t slouch in the customer service department. There are however better switching offers out there such as First Direct if you want your rewards right away.
- 👀 1% cashback is unbeatable on a current account.
- 💰 5% interest on roundups and 2.1% on easy access saving pots.
- 🙂 Straightforward to open.
- 📱 Simple app experience with some nice budgeting features.
- 🏦 No branches.
- 🌱 JP Morgan are not the most ethical.
Ranked #1 of 25 personal current accounts in the UK.
What The Experts Say
“one to watch”
“(i)t’s easy passive income on your everyday spending”
“(A)s an overall package it’s right up there with the best of them, and is on course to become the best current account digital or otherwise.”
What Users Say
Each year the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) commissions an independent report that asks a thousand customers of each of the major UK banks how they feel about various aspects of the service they are getting. Chase is not yet included in the survey but we’ve still included the results for reference.
Click to see the full picture.
Chase has a Trustpilot rating of 4.1 but here at The Grade we like to dig a bit further.
When you exclude reviews the company has itself invited and look just at organic reviews, the average score is actually 2.8. In terms of organic Trustpilot rating this means Chase is number 2 out of the 25 personal banks/current accounts we review.
At the last check, Compare Banks had collected 55 reviews which gave Chase bank an average score of 4.4 out of 5.
Chase in a Nutshell?
Chase Bank is a US giant that is trying to get into the UK market by launching a digital-first “neo-bank”. This follows the likes of Starling and Monzo who are trying to take on the traditional high street banks through digital-only services. The combination of a startup mentality and the deep pockets of an established bank (JP Morgan ultimately backs it) have led to an awesome digital baking experience with industry-leading cashback.
The Sign-Up Process
There has previously been a “waiting room” for signing up to Chase meaning your application could be held for 2 weeks before it proceeds. However, this currently isn’t in operation.
The registering process is fairly painless and all done through their app. It involves a soft credit check and ID verification. Therefore you will need the following to meet the following
- Have a valid form of ID (Passport, Drivers License, EU National Identify Card)
- Be over 18
- Have a UK phone number
- Have a smartphone (iOS 14.1 or Android 8.1 and above with access to Google Pay)
When we registered we didn’t encounter any problems (except having to take a retake selfie a couple of times) and were approved within an hour.
What Do You Get With The Account?
- 1% cashback on what you spend in the first year.
- 2.1% AER on savings up to £250,000
- 5% interest on roundups.
- Fee-free international transactions and ATM withdrawals
- Mastercard’s exchange rates (roughly equal to the real mid-market rates)
- A Mastercard debit card
- In-app chat and phone support
- FSCS protection – meaning you’re insured up to £85,000
OK, so it’s worth talking a bit more about the cashback because it’s simply game-changing. There really isn’t anything else like this on a debit card right now. We’ve only seen these kinds of rates on Amex credit cards previously.
First, you have to open the app and click the option to start collecting cashback – once you’ve done this you then are eligible for cashback for one year.
Whenever you spend you get 1% of your total spending credited to the “Rewards” section of the app. You can then click “transfer” at any point and it will credit to your main account. We were a bit sceptical about how this would work at first, but the rewards balance goes up as soon as your payments clear and any time you hit transfer it credits to your account immediately.
Some things are excluded from cashback. Things like crypto and gambling are fairly obvious, but some things are more obscure such as buying antiques. A full list of exclusions can be found here.
With such great cash back you might be tempted to use this to make big purchases through the card – but do note you won’t get the protection of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act like you do with a credit card. This means Chase won’t have to cover you in the same way your credit card provider does if something goes wrong with the transaction.
What Is The Savings Rate Like?
With inflation going through the roof, 2.1% AER on savings might not seem like a huge amount, but at the time of writing, this is the best on the market and is good for savings up to £250,000.
You can easily create up to 10 savings accounts within the app and label them things like “holiday”, “car” etc and set targets for each one. It’s an “easy access” account so you can remove money at any time. Interest is calculated daily and can be removed monthly.
|Deposit||Yearly Interest Earned||Account Balance After A Year|
5% on Round-Ups
You can also get huge saving rates on “round-ups”. When switched on, each transaction you make is rounded up to the nearest pound and the difference is sent to your savings account. So if you bought a coffee for £3.60, this would be rounded to a fiver with 40p being sent to your round-up savings account where it would attract 5% interest.
5% is fantastic in today’s market, but the issue is it’s very hard to get put a lot of money into this round-up account as you can only save a maximum of 99p per transaction.
Are There Any Fees?
What’s The App Like?
Simple and straightforward. The layout is quite minimalist and clear. It’s kind of like a stripped-back version of Monzo. You can freeze your card, use their currency converter tool or set monthly budgets. As discussed above you can set monthly budget targets and transferring your cashback to your main account is simple as pie.
What’s International Banking like with this card?
- You get Mastercard’s exchange rate (usually about 2.5% above the real exchange rate).
- ATM withdrawals are free – however, they are limited to £700 when abroad which could be quite limiting for certain travellers, especially in countries that are cash orientated.
Disadvantages of this Account
- No branches.
- No cash or cheque deposits.
- No overdraft or loans.
- No joint accounts.
- The card is blank so you have to take out your phone whenever you want to check your card details.
- Owned by JP Morgan who does not have the most unblemished ethical banking record and invests in fossil fuel extraction.
We spend hours reading user comments to see what feedback people are giving. Here are some positive and critical comments that stood out to us:
Best savings rate, great cash back & excellent Fx when abroad
Excellent new digital bank account. 5% on round up savings, 1% cash back on everything and no exchange fees when abroad. Such a good offer from a reputable institution unlike so many fin tech start ups
Basically like Starling/Monzo but with cashback
Been using for a week now and so far it’s worked fine, nothing really to report. In terms of everyday use it is just like Starling or Monzo but you get cashback for the first year, plus that 5% on round-ups. The app is definitely more basic than its rivals but only took me a couple of hours to get used to it. You cannot set up direct debits (yet) and you cannot deposit cash or cheques, but I suspect most people reading this review have multiple accounts with different fintechs and high street banks that they can use to transfer money from, so this is not really an issue, imo. Even if you do not plan to use it as your main account, you might as well get it as a spending account just for the cashback.
The App and applying was simple, cashback good, debit card secure as does not show any details, so far so good
The App and applying was simple, cashback good, debit card secure as does not show any details, so far so good.
Couldn’t open online account via app.
Tried to open an account today, as directed, by using the app. Went through all the data screens, added my photo I’d. Waited 10 minutes, then got a message saying that Chase couldn’t open an account for me. No explanation given.
Paying in issues
Issue with transferring funds in to the account as other banks cannot verify the account details, so triggers fraud alerts. Frustrating
How Does It Compare Against The Competition – Can I do Better?
Chase is ranked #1 of 25 personal current accounts in the UK (click to see complete list)
Are there better current accounts on the market? We’re calling out the following accounts as excellent:
Chase has brought to the UK the kind of rewarding banking you normally only see in the states. We're hoping it starts a revolution on this side of the Atlantic. The digital experience is also first class and there is 24/7 customer support.
Remember to check out the Chase website for all the terms and conditions.
Currently if you switch to Nationwide they will give you £200, plus an interest free overdraft (credit check required). You can also get 5% interest on balances up to £1,500 for 12 months.
You need to set up 2 Direct Debits within 60 days. Check full conditions on the Nationwide site.