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What Exactly Is This ‘Savings Account’ Chase Bank Keeps Offering Me?

Two years ago, I made a major mistake: I opened a Chase Bank savings account.

I did so because the bank was offering a 90-day promotional 1.50% APY for depositing and maintaining a minimum balance of $25,000.

I intended to close the account after the 90-day period — when the rate dropped to a fraction of 1% — and I did.

But, ever since, I’ve gotten letters from Chase touting new “savings account” products.

At least in 2010, I knew I’d opened a real savings account.

Chase not only called it that but offered an initial interest rate and terms in the ballpark with identically titled accounts elsewhere.

But I’m not sure what Chase has been offering me since then.

The latest iteration is billed as a “Chase Savings(SM) account.”

The bank’s letter (addressed to “Our Neighbor”) says the savings account makes sense “(w)hether you’re saving for retirement or just need an account for an emergency fund.”

There’s a “Bonus Coupon” providing that, if I deposit at least $10,000, and keep it there for 90 days, I’ll get $150.

The letter also says the account must remain open for six months to avoid a forfeiture of the bonus.

And, oh, the APY is 0.01%!

Call me old-fashioned, or call me naïve, but I don’t consider this even remotely a savings account.

To me, a savings account should be more than a contractual piggy bank.

It should not only be a place to park money, it should also encourage putting additional money aside in the future.

And a 0.01% rate isn’t very encouraging — despite the $150 bonus.

I mean, even in the heyday of toaster giveaways, banks would offer you a lot more than that.

I think this Chase product is really a kind of custody account, allowing you to stash away cash — sort of an FDIC-insured mattress.

Or, perhaps, it’s a precursor of a negative interest rate account — one where I pay Chase for the privilege of having it.

But maybe the account is actually a 3% APY, 6-month CD with unorthodox interest payment and early withdrawal terms.

I’d consider opening a 6-month, $10,000 Chase CD, if I could do so online or over the phone.

But the letter says I must visit a branch and talk with a “banker” — and that’s too much trouble.

Besides, if I just ignore Chase, maybe it’ll stop bothering me with these offers.

Do you think?

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Comments (3)
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3 Existing Comments
  1. k said:
    on February 22nd at 09:23 pm

    If your coupon code is still available, I would appreciate it if you forward the coupon code to me.

    Thanks.

  2. Charles Rechlin said:
    on February 22nd at 09:40 pm

    k

    The coupon has my address on it, provides that the “original” copy must be presented in person to a specific branch in a specific nearby city, and states that “[b]ankers are prohibited from transferring offer to other customers or prospects. ” Chase has got it pretty well locked down to me, I’m afraid. Sorry.

  3. k said:
    on February 23rd at 12:06 pm

    Chase requires just the 16-digit coupon code number when opening an account. I am not asking for anything else. And I am not associated with Chase, and I assume you are not.