Posted by Chuck on August 27, 2018
Checking Accounts

Published on August 27th, 2018 | by Chuck

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[Live] Chase Launching ‘Sapphire Banking’ on August 27th [No Sign Up Bonus Initially, Bonus To Come Later In 2018]

Update #3: 60,000 bonus coming in October has been confirmed by Chase. 

Update #2: Now Live. We’ll put up a formal review sometime later.

Update: Chase is now confirming that Sapphire Banking will be launched. They have also publicly stated that there will be no sign up bonus initially but later this year they will offer Ultimate Rewards points as a sign up bonus. Previous rumors indicated that this sign up bonus would be:

  • 50,000 points signup bonus (Ultimate Rewards, presumably) when depositing $75k for 90 days
  • 10,000 points annual bonus when holding a checking account and credit card
  • 75,000 points bonus + $500 back when taking out a Chase mortgage

It’s not clear if this structure is still the one Chase plans to use, or if it will be different. In any case I wouldn’t recommend signing up on launch, instead wait for a sign up bonus to become available.Sapphire Banking customers will also get access to sports and entertainment events that Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders currently get.

Original post below:

We’ve discussed the survey and rumor of a new Sapphire Banking soon to be launched by Chase, and the bank is now educating their bankers with details of the new service which has an August 27th launch date.

The new banking experience is for high-worth individuals, a lite version of Chase Private Client. Private Client banking is for those who have or plan to have $250k+ while Chase Sapphire Banking is for those above $100k and under $250k. Deposits and investments all count toward the $100k or $250 threshold.

[An interesting difference is that Private Clients includes those who “have the intent and ability” to bring $250k while Sapphire Banking is likely only for those who actually deposit $100k in funds, at least to get started.]

In fact, Chase Sapphire Banking is strikingly similar to an existing Chase product called Chase Premier Platinum Checking (PDF). Both have a monthly fee of $25 and a requirement of $75k in funds to waive it. Both waive overdraft fees, wire fees, and stop payment fees. The Platinum waives fees for ordering checks, money orders, and returned items, and also offers a free safe deposit box. Presumably, Sapphire Banking will have all these as well.

Both banking products waive ATM fees, though the Sapphire Banking product goes beyond and waives even the fee coming from the ATM operator – a nice perk. Sapphire Banking offers no exchange rate adjustment on debit card purchases (not sure if foreign ATM withdrawals will have a foreign exchange fee – Private Clients do not have that fee).

Sapphire Banking is essentially reinventing the Premier Platinum tier into a full banking relationship by leveraging the valuable ‘Sapphire’ branding.

Existing Premier Platinum checking accounts will be upgraded to Sapphire Checking on August 27th, the day the new banking experience rolls out public.

There’ll also be some investment perks, as Chase tries gaining a stronger position in the ’emerging affluents’ wealth. The initial survey spoke of free trades, so that might be one of the perks. Update: Seems they are rolling out free trades for many tiers of Chase banking. Sapphire Banking will get free unlimited trades.

Our Verdict

Leaving $75k-$100k sitting earning no interest doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Best would be if it would be possible to buy low-few index funds with Chase – a lot of us do something similar with Bank of America and Merrill Edge to get relationship banking status there. A reader notes that all Vanguard funds are fee-free with Chase investment banking, so it might be possible to buy simple indexes like VTI through the Chase system and get relationship status that way.

Not terrible if you value the perks and relationship, but certainly not a silver bullet. I’m always a bit worried about banking with Chase since that seems to increase shutdown risk.

A big downer in all this news is that the information given to Chase bankers thus far does not indicate any sort of signup bonus for the account: based on the initial survey, we were hoping for a 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points signup bonus, plus an annual 10,000 points bonus. We do see Chase willing to hand out $300 for opening an ordinary checking account, maybe we can still hope for a signup bonus on this new Sapphire Banking product.

Big thanks to reader D. for always sending in great information.



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Kyle
Kyle

Absolutely worthless if there’s no rewards points offered. Basically they offer what most smaller banks do for someone with $5-10k

Pretty FI for a White Guy
Pretty FI for a White Guy

Precisely. And I can’t imagine people with $75k to keep liquid are too worried about incurring many overdraft fees of $25.

Jim
Jim

I disagree. I think many folks with $75k liquid got that way because they like to save money, and not waste it on unnecessary items like bank fees. Read: The Millionaire Next Door for more information on what a typical wealthy individual does and looks like.

Tom
Tom

And 99% of those same folks who happen to have $75k liquid have also likely never paid an overdraft fee in many years due to the exact reasons that you outlined above.

Seth
Seth

This is exactly right…nor cc feeds of any kind, paid off months, scrutinize the fees in ETF’s/Mutal Funds, Trading, all of it.

Snorlax
Snorlax

There’s MUCH better products for that though.

robertw
robertw

Correct. Pretty ridiculous. I have not had an overdraft in more than 30 years. With the technology we have today are people at higher incomes bouncing checks all over the place?

Max
Max

Hmm. Your analysis is fair and neutral, except it sorta bothers me that this will be picked up by the blogs as a big deal. It’s not. I almost feel the headline should be “Chase is cynically trying to use the Sapphire name to create some buzz but is actually doing nothing at all other than rebranding.” Or something a little more succinct. “Chase does Sapphire rebrand, no substance.”

Zach
Zach

100% agree, this is no an exciting offer even with a 50k sign up bonus. Need a lot more.

TJ
TJ

“Chase changes Premier Checking account name to Sapphire Banking”

CJS415
CJS415

You are spot on Max. Thanks for the info Doc, but Sapphire banking doesn’t really benefit the user.

Rick
Rick

Feels like Chase is trying to compete with BoA’s Preferred Rewards program. Unfortunately from what we know now it falls a bit short.

Tom
Tom

“a bit short”…. understatement of the day.

Kane
Kane

Can you explain please?

Tom
Tom

Google “Bank of America Preferred Rewards” …. pretty straightforward, doesn’t really require any explanation at all.

calwatch
calwatch

DOC has also covered Premium Rewards in the past. It is the gold standard out of the big bank programs for the mass affluent.

Calvin
Calvin

I am not sure but i think J.P.Morgan hv no relationship with Morgan Stanley?

Davy
Davy

Exactly. Morgan stanley is a very different company than JP Morgan.

Sam
Sam

Am I the only one confused about why he’s talking about Morgan Stanley?

K
K

He’s saying invest the money in low risk products rather than park them in zero interest banking account.

Tom
Tom

Nah, he has his wires crossed.

Alex
Alex

So no 1.25/1.5 cash out option for UR then huh? That’s disappointing, as last year’s survey mentioned it.

Santiago
Santiago

This is what I am also very interested in as well as a signup bonus would be nice as well

Blue
Blue

That’s a pile of doo-doo compared to BOAs program.

Ray
Ray

People who “value the perks and relationship,” what are some examples such of the actual value you get out of holding $250k+ at Chase (or Citi for the matter) instead of just putting that money into high interest savings or low cost money market funds that actually pay yield? I’m kind of confused why banks even offer special products for high wealth customers, it seems like they don’t bring any value to the customers and are just an expensive (opportunity cost) status symbol.

Eric
Eric

I like CitiGold, and hold a lot of funds there. Foreign ATM transactions are much like Schwab, with refunded fees and excellent exchange rates. Online equity trades are $4.95 for me, so not as good as BofA, but still very tolerable. Furthermore, while I normally decline all of their investment management services, some opportunities they give are pretty good. For example, ~3 years ago I was offered a structured note, wherein I loan them some amount of money, and that money then tracks the S&P 500, but my downside is capped to 30% of principle.

These “relationship banking” things are useless is you treat them as a checking/savings account purely. However, they’re pretty good if you take advantage of everything they have to offer, while also pushing away the BS 1.5-2% AUM fees they’ll try to sign you up for.

yikes
yikes

uhh – google structured note fees and you’ll see that those products are one of the largest rip-off / high fee products banks offer.

paxton powell
paxton powell

Eric, can you let me know if you can access Citibank stock research through your citigold account. I would like to know specifically individual stock reports like GW, PFE or VZ as examples. Thanks.

Gerry
Gerry

I suppose if you’re looking for bonus points or upfront cash it may make sense in the short run – but the best overall checking account I’ve ever been able to find is Charles Schwab Investment checking. No ATM fees, no foreign transaction fees, they’ll refund ATM fees charged by other banks, no minimum balance. The list goes on. Currently they throw in $100 cash opening bonus, if you use the code REFER when you sign up. If anyone knows of a better all around deal, I’d sure like to know about it. This seems to be a great deal that’s not mentioned much and is hiding in plain sight. The runner up is Capital One 360 checking – the difference being they don’t refund ATM fees charged by other banks.

Joshua
Joshua

I opened a Schwab account for exactly those reasons as well as investing. I also made the rookie investing mistake by investing $20,000 in January only to have the market correct itself in February. I thought the stock market would jump for a year or two due to tax cuts. I now learned rich people are/were pumping the market because savings interest rates are so low, it forced them to invest their money, now they are pulling slightly back. My ETF YTD return is 3.1%.

I don’t have much to complain about Schwab.

Mike M.
Mike M.

The market is back to its Jan highs as of this moment.

I don’t disagree with your assessment of wealthy people and institutions putting more money into FI though.

Snorlax
Snorlax

How’s the market going down a “rookie investing mistake?”

It would only be a “rookie investing mistake” if you weren’t investing for the long haul.

robertw
robertw

Markets go up, markets go down. If the market jumped like you thought it would be mere luck but you would think it is business acumen. I know many wizards of wall street who got lucky here and there and thought they knew something. Most stocks on the way up to the huge prices you see often and many times got sliced in half or more along the way. CNBC writes articles like what if you put $1000.00 in Amazon 15 years ago what would you have? Scam articles like that to entice suckers. Those who try to time have to be correct twice. When to buy and when to sell.

Kevin A
Kevin A

there is no investment mistake here… infact, a mistake is to hold out and time the market. You say this because it went down, what if it surged 10% in Feb and you didn’t invest like what happened most of 2017, that would be a mistake. Time IN the market beats timing the market always in the long haul. 10 years from now this blip of a correction will not even be noticeable.

Gerald
Gerald

Schwab is great if you have a child living abroad. It allows free access to ATMs all over the world.

Snorlax
Snorlax

People talk about Charles Schwab all the time. Fidelity cash management might be a tad better though because you can hold your cash in money market index funds and it acts the same as if you hold your cash in FDIC sweep. As of a few days ago they have free wire transfers too.

robertw
robertw

Correct. I use Fidelity. I didnt know they now offer free wires?

Ray
Ray

I was trying to get this to work since I recently had to use Fidelity for my 401(k) and I also took advantage of the Fidelity $200 sign up bonus that was available for a short while. Can you use a money market fund as your core position in the cash management account? I can’t even figure out how to purchase shares in a money market fund in my cash management account. It seems like when people talk about doing this in Fidelity, they use a money market fund as their core position in their brokerage account and somehow they’re able to use the brokerage account as a checking account?

GradCashGrab

I like Schwab and keep my IRA rollover in there. I haven’t been able to get my $100 bonus, but people say if I bother to call up, they will credit it.

KJP
KJP

tl;dr – you don’t have to keep $250,000 cash to be a private client – you can use JP Morgan as your brokerage and elect low fee funds

A couple of years ago when the CSR first came out and you could still recon being over 5/24 by being Private Client, I consolidated my various retirement accounts over to Chase so I could get the card. JP Morgan is the brokerage firm associated with Chase. I was able to transfer almost all of my various mutual funds directly over to JP Morgan so the only thing that changed was who was holding the funds. There was one mutual fund that was specific to my prior 401(k) that had to be sold and transferred as cash. But I then had the choice to invest in just about any mutual fund, stock, etc. that I wanted. I now have a bunch of Vanguard funds in there that only have minimal fees. I keep minimal cash in my checking account but the banking perks of being a Private Client are great, as Chuck mentions above. They reimburse pretty much any fee associated with banking (although you should always get a receipt from an atm that charges a fee so you can show your banker and get the charge taken off manually if it doesn’t come off automatically). I keep my checking account active but open and close savings accounts to get the bonus every year which more than makes up for the minimal interest the checking account earns. JP Morgan also reimbursed me for any fees the other brokerage firm charged to transfer my money out.

Flip
Flip

Does anyone know if they will do what Citi does for its 1st and 2nd tier clients? For example, I get 975 TYPoints a month if I had Citi gold, direct deposit, etc etc. And Citi golds received a $100 annual fee reduction for their Citi Prestige card. Thanks.

Credit
Credit

Hey as others have said you are confusing jp Morgan with Morgan Stanley. But since you brought it up can you review the Morgan Stanley amex credit card and specifically what options there are in order to not lose too much on advisory fees or brokerage commission but still get the amex card. How about free?

Tom
Tom

Just read the article that he already linked to…

Credit
Credit

Yes. I had cursorily read that article before. .35% fee on an index fund is large. It’s fine if you are planning to keep the card for only one year. But what about long term? Are there other options? I am just looking for crowd intelligence.

Tom
Tom

But you only need to maintain a $5000 balance I believe, not $100,000 …. so it’s really not all that expensive considering the 60,000 MR you will be earning…

Lrdx
Lrdx

Access Investing is not an index fund, rather a robo advisor. They invest in a mix of mutual funds and ETFs, automatically rebalance, tax loss, harvesting, usual stuff. You compare it to Wealthfront and Betterment (both start at 0.25% fee) – it’s more expensive, but 0.35% vs 0.04% more expensive.

Matt
Matt

I don’t understand how Chase thinks this is going to get people to switch. As others have mentioned, it’s just a rebranding of their Premium checking into Sapphire. I’m not going to upgrade my account or move money over for benefits that I already have elsewhere.

If Chase really wants people to increase their business with them, they need to make it worthwhile. A signup bonus would be interesting, but a lasting relationship bonus on credit card spend would be more enticing. I miss the old days of getting 10% bonus on Freedom rewards for being a Chase checking member.

Patrick
Patrick

All Vanguard funds are no fee at Chase/JPM.

As are many other funds.

Tom
Tom

What is the standard fee for regular stock purchases? Is it still $9.99 per trade? Do they even have a trading platform or is it all web-based?

DrGForce
DrGForce

All web-based and it’s $5/trade

DrGForce
DrGForce

To clarify: only the Investor Share Class Vanguard mutual funds are available at Chase with no fee—not the Admiral share class. Still, the investor share class funds are cheap. You can of course by the Vanguard ETFs for $5/trade and those have the same expenses as the Admiral Share class mutual funds. You can see a full list of the all the mutual funds available at Chase Self-Directed Brokerage Account here: http://chase.com/sdimutualfunds

In addition with Fidelity slashing the expense ratios of their index funds last week, this too could also be a good option since they are available as well. Since they are merging there index fund share classes in November, it remains to be seen how this will availability in Chase’s self-directed brokerage accounts.

slut
slut

That’s how it is everywhere. Even so the vanguard ETFs have the same cost basis as the admiral shares. Very little reason to bother with the mutual funds at this point.

Vy
Vy

So…this banking product has absolutely nothing to do with CSP and CSR?
What a letdown.

Judy Jones
Judy Jones

Even if they gave a CSR with no annual fee it would still not compare with the 2-2.5% interest you can get all over the place right now, or 5% on lower amounts, not to mention Bank Bonuses for moving funds around.

Tom
Tom

Nobody with half a brain is going to leave the funds in a Chase savings or checking account, LOL. As already discussed above, there are a multitude of free or low cost index funds that you can invest the funds in (or any stock, for that matter).

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