JP Morgan owns the largest consumer bank in the United States used by over 60 million households and wants to be a big hit here as well. Its Chase checking account is now launching in the UK and is packed with benefits and rewards. You don’t even have to leave your current bank to benefit from it.
Chase is a no-charge checking account that combines cash back rewards on your daily debit card spending, plus interest on your savings.
Customers can also use their debit card abroad without paying any fees, including cash withdrawals. Most banks charge additional fees when using cards abroad.
The new account is only available as an app on chase.co.uk, but it does offer UK-based customer support.
Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said Chase had “a lot of work to do.”
Unlike many checking accounts, you don’t need to drain your existing bank, pay a regular monthly amount, or set up direct debits.
Coles said, “Chase is offering 1% cashback on all your purchases, which is ahead of the competition, especially since it’s not capped.”
So if you put all of your expenses to the account and they add up to Â£ 10,000 over a year, you’ll get Â£ 100 back.
Coles said there was a big downside, however. “You only benefit from it for the first 12 months after opening your account.”
Chase also has an attractive overall savings rate, Coles added. “You can round off your spending to the nearest Â£ 1 and that money will automatically go into a separate jar, which pays 5%.”
It’s great for creating an accidental savings habit, Coles said. âThis pays more than the 3.4% of NatWest Digital Saver, which is the best regular savings account linked to a checking account. “
READ MORE: Lloyds Launches 0.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Again, there is a catch. This rate only lasts for one year.
If you’re still tempted, you should also check out Nationwide FlexDirect, Coles said. “He pays 2% for 12 months on anything in your checking account up to Â£ 1,500, while Chase only pays interest on his raid account.”
Nationwide is also offering a Â£ 100 bonus for new money changers, but you must change your existing account and transfer at least two active direct debits.
Chase does not offer overdraft, Coles said. “First Direct is good here, charging no interest on the first Â£ 250.”
Britons are notoriously slow to switch banks and new entrants are struggling to turn a profit when everyone expects free banking, but JP Morgan has the size and commitment to succeed, Coles added.
As with all UK registered banks, the first Â£ 85,000 of your money will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Another US banking giant, Goldman Sachs, entered the savings market three years ago offering a 1.5% above-market rate with easy access to its Marcus account.
Anna Bowes, co-founder of SavingsChampion.co.uk, said it has proven to be so popular that it has been overwhelmed by savers’ money and forced to cut rates.
Today, Marcus pays a solid but unspectacular 0.5%, which is inflated by a 12-month bonus of 0.1%.
Bowes said Chase’s rounded savings rate was likely to be low. “The publicity that Chase gets will be far more important than the interest its customers earn.”