Published on August 27th, 2018 | by Chuck114
[Live] Chase Launching ‘Sapphire Banking’ on August 27th [No Sign Up Bonus Initially, Bonus To Come Later In 2018]
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.
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.