Chase Liquid Prepaid Card Review: Is It Really Legit?

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Chase prepaid cardPrepaid cards have a reputation for promising convenience, but hitting consumers with surprising fees.

So is the new prepaid card from Chase any different?

The answer is yes. Unlike some other prepaid cards that disguise a card’s true cost with a complex fee structure, what Chase does is something very transparent – they charge a single fee which covers just about everything you can think of. It’s not quite as good of a deal as the Serve prepaid card from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner), but it probably deserves the title of being second best.

Here’s a quick rundown of what the prepaid Chase Liquid card will cost…

fees for Chase liquid vs. competition

So as you see, the $4.95 monthly fee isn’t always going to be cheaper. However, when you consider the fact that you can avoid paying reload fees, ATM fees, etc… the amount you pay at the end of the month will likely be cheaper. That being said, it may (or may not) be the best prepaid card, depending on your specific circumstances.Here’s a more detailed review of the pros and cons for Liquid:

The advantages?

  • You can load cash for free – With many prepaid debit cards, you have to buy a GreenDot MoneyPak. Those cost up to $4.95 each and can only be used once, to load up to $500 (so basically, you’re forking over 1 percent or more in fees). The nice thing about the Chase prepaid card is that you can load it up with cash for free at Chase ATMs and bank branches.
  • Chase has tons of locations – A lot of people say being “too big to fail” is a bad thing. Well I beg to differ. If you have a prepaid card, you actually want a national bank with a bazillion locations. There are more than 17,500 Chase ATMs and more than 5,000 branches. Translation? Plenty of places to load your card or withdraw cash.
  • Use for purchases anywhere Visa is accepted – As much as I love American Express, it is true that Visa is accepted at more places.
  • No charge for customer service – The fact that I even have to mention this as a noteworthy benefit doesn’t even feel right, because it’s something everyone should offer. But unfortunately they don’t, at least when it comes to prepaid cards. Some prepaid cards give you a certain number of free customer service calls per month and then start charging you. However the Chase Liquid card provides unlimited calls to customer service for free.

The disadvantages?

  • $59 per year is less than some other prepaid cards, but not cheap It’s like having the best house in a bad neighborhood. Sure, $59 is good on a relative basis, but when you consider that there are secured cards for bad credit that cost less, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to go the prepaid route (especially if you want to build your credit).
  • It’s worthless for building credit – Another reason that secured cards are a better idea is because they can help you build credit. I mean let’s be honest here… do you want to continue paying $59/year for the rest of your life just to have a Chase prepaid debit card? Or would you rather build your history and get a no-annual-fee Chase credit card?
  • A few cards are close competitors – Going back to the prepaid Serve card from American Express, it offers free valuable benefits like purchase protection (qualifying purchases are protected for 90 days from theft or accidental damage). Another competitor is the US Bank Contour Card – if their banks are in your area, that card has a monthly fee of $4. Last but not least, PNC and Regions both offer prepaid Visa cards for around $60/year, but since they’re regionally focused, they’re not always a viable alternative.

The verdict?

At the end of the day, Chase has created a very good product here. Even though it may not always be the cheapest, at least it’s one of the most transparent… that’s a word you rarely hear associated with these types of cards! However the one from AmEx is still a cut above…

But if you want to build credit…

…you will have to get a credit card. Don’t think you qualify for any? Well, try out the form below to find out in 60 seconds.

Last updated June 10, 2014


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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

32 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Carter July 7, 2014 at 10:23AM

    I attempted to sign up for the Chase liquid account and i was told that i needed to physically walk into a branch in order to obtain a card. fine …no problem…except despite one of the main features of the product being widely available and having”tons of locations” as stated above….I live in the greater Philadelphia area and was unable to find a location even after speaking with a customer service representative. I live in Wilmington just outside of Philly….one of the most populated areas on the east coast….and There is literally no chase branch location within 50 miles?????? no thanks.

  2. patty June 14, 2014 at 1:20AM

    this card is terrible if you owe money for a car or something they will take your money an there nothing you can do about it i end up closing this card

  3. Sarah April 26, 2014 at 5:05PM

    I won’t tell you anything new, but it is the same with everything in life.
    You would think experience showes us anything, but alas.
    Feel free to disagree but the world changes rapidly, and we have no control over it.
    E.g., If only Obama had any balls to put Putin to his place, but it seems like it’s never happening, welcome third world war.
    A very deep post, thanks!

  4. kerry April 2, 2014 at 1:49PM

    Just opened my chase liquid account. I went in to open a regular checking account.. my rep did all the checks on me and said oh something from transunion popped up I asked what that would be about. She asked if I have ever taken out any loans before I told her Noo. She told me I should call trans union and get my repoet.. its going to hr about 15 business days.. but I was hoping someone here could give me some advise on what transunion looks for. Does it have to do with just loans or other things.. I.ehhospital bills, past bank account, cell phone bills. I’m honestly new to all this.. being a grown up is tough lol.

  5. Eileen March 13, 2014 at 6:52AM

    I love my Liquid card. I use it as my spending money/vacation fund. Anytime I get “extra” money (second job, overtime, using coupons), I load it to this card and when I want something extra, I just withdraw the cash. It allows me to save for the little extras in life without feeling like I’m dipping into “household” money targeted for bills and without the dreaded walk to the mail that credit cards give. I do have a credit card, but prefer to use cash.

  6. Mystry March 5, 2014 at 9:55AM

    Seems ok unless you are in the midwest, NO ATMS or branches. This would make the free atm thing void in my area as there are no Chase branded ATMS there.

  7. DyTheGemini February 20, 2014 at 5:43PM

    Interestingly enough, verification is done through ChexSystems prior to opening a Chase Liquid card. What Chase does for verification is what every other bank does: tries to sell you a package of products. So I didn’t qualify to open a Chase checking account due to negative info maintained by ChexSystems. No big deal. I have a checking account with another major bank that I am very satisfied with. However, I was able to get the Chase Liquid card. After 60 days with no activity/deposits, Chase closed the Liquid card which I am all to happy about. I am especially happy because I am no longer being charged the pesky $4.95 monthly fee to have this card. Personally, I feel a little slighted by Chase. I have an auto loan with Chase which started at around back in late 2010 at around $20k and is now down to a little over $7k. I am assuming that I wasn’t “valued” enough to waive a $4.95 charge given the fact that I have been paying on my car loan for years. In terms of prepaid cards, unless you already have a Chase checking account Liquid Card is simply another way for Chase to profit an additional $59.40 per year! There are better cards out there.

  8. Shateri Stokes February 13, 2014 at 10:00PM

    Actually…..u can still get the chase liquid card even if u have bad credit….I have thee worse credit and I have one….u just can’t get a checking account bt everyone is able to get a liquid card

  9. Shelly October 24, 2013 at 3:34PM

    I’ve continued to do research on these prepaid cards. So far I’ve concluded that the Bluebird loadable Amex card is by far the best “deal” of all the cards but the Chase liquid is the best “accepted everywhere” deal so far of all because its a VISA. The Bluebird card has lots of really great features like subaccounts (really love that feature)and preauthorized Bluebird checks. Also, I used their customer service today which was prompt and professional. It took 3 minutes (I timed it) for funds to show up from a load I did from my regular debit account to my Bluebird account and it was fee free. The Bluebird mobile ap works great too. The major bummer is that its American Express so even though this card is basically free of all fees it would be tricky to make this a person’s one and only piece of plastic because its not accepted everywhere. I have not found a VISA loadable card that is totally free.

    So, with Chase, there is a $4.95 fee but it covers almost EVERYTHING, its predictable and by “investing” in this one fee, a person can rest assured that the card will be accepted just about everywhere. I have not found another reloadable card with a VISA or MASTERCARD logo that protects the user from hidden fees the way the Chase liquid does nor the level of flexibility that Chase liquid card offers. Also, it took a little over 24 hours for the test bank check I wrote myself and loaded via the mobile ap to be verified as funds available.

    The best possible option of all is for a person or couple to try to keep their finances in order and have a standard (hopefully free) checking account with normal debit card attached, but if that is not possible, If I had to dump my entire paycheck into a prepaid card account, the Chase Liquid is one I would feel the least nervous using.

  10. Shelly October 21, 2013 at 10:14PM

    I opened a Chase liquid account today. The card is really snazzy looking. ;)The rep said that this is what they offer people who try to get a Chase checking account but show up on Chexsystems. He was surprised to hear that people are “turned down” for the account elsewhere because he said there is little risk to Chase with these acconts.

    I went home with the temporary card and tried the Android mobile ap and it worked AWESOME. I wrote myself a check for 5 dollars, snapped the pics and in minutes in was on my Chase Liquid limit. I am using the card for budgeting, not like primary account.

    To be totally clear, setting up this account was MUCH more like signing up for a bank checking account than setting up a prepaid card at a register. The customer service was OUTSTANDING. The rep walked me through the ways this card is different than others. I’m really liking the sheer number of atms where I can deposit or withdraw funds. Apparently every CVS has Chase atms in addition to all the local branches. It would cost me WAY more in gas to drive ONCE all the way to “Wal Mart” to “load” than the monthly fee on this and its a VISA so it will be accepted almost everywhere. Its worth it to me to pay the $5 a month for the ease and “normalcy” I experienced and anticipate in the future.

    And again, you go home with a glossy Chase folder full of info fitted with the business card and personal phone extension of a local Chase rep who is happy to assist in any way in the future. The first $100 of any check deposit will be honored “immediately.” It can’t be compared to standing in line at a drug store to “load” money via a “Money Pak.” The process is more classy and the card looks pretty swank too. :)

  11. tcrawford September 27, 2013 at 10:36AM

    I first off all would like to say, those saying you have to pass chexsystems is incorrect. I am in chexsystems and I have a liquid card. I’ve had netspend since 2004, abd this one is by far a better deal all the way around. I can go to atm and deposit my husband’s check with no problems. Our joint tax return went to this card with no problems and he isn’t on the account. I love this card,I only wish they would allow a second joint card so he can have one.

    • KRA October 14, 2013 at 1:02PM

      To all those who claim that Chase does not run a chexsystems report for their Liquid card, they do. The difference is that based on how old the chexsystems reporting is, and if there is any money due,or fraud alleged, they may still offer you a Liquid card. If you know your past, and still got a Liquid card, be happy about it, and I would not brag about it. Chase corporate has been known to close Liquid accounts at their discretion based on Chexsystems, and EWR reporting.

  12. Cindy September 16, 2013 at 10:28AM

    How soon do you receive your direct deposit on this card?

    • MM September 21, 2013 at 4:39PM

      I receive my direct deposits from my work the night before. So, I get paid on Tuesdays, technically. It goes into my account by 11pm on Monday. From my Amazon Payment account, my direct deposits go in the following evening. I think it depends on the company and the amount. My work’s payroll is Chase so that may be why it’s so fast for me.

  13. SK September 14, 2013 at 3:20PM

    NEVER in my life have I had more problems or worse customer service with a bank than I had within the 6 weeks I had the Liquid card. I specifically opened this account because the bank was within walking distance of my house and it would be easy to deposit cash to pay my bills online instead of having to drive 5 miles in L.A. traffic to the nearest Wells Fargo, where I have had a checking account for the last 25 years. I mentioned this to the woman who opened my account and she never told me that Chase would honor some transactions but not others. Of the 4 bills that I paid in August, only 3 went through. Unfortunately, the one that was rejected was a credit card. I was not contacted that this payment would not be made, and only found out when I checked my account several days later and saw that it hadn’t cleared, by which time my credit card payment was overdue. I contacted Visa and was told that the bank didn’t honor the payment, and I was subsequently slapped with a late fee. I immediately called Chase, and spoke to several different people, all with different answers as to why this transaction had been rejected. One person told me they didn’t do “ACH” payments (again–I was never informed of this when I opened the account). Another said I didn’t have enough money in my account (I absolutely did!). Another said how sorry she was and promised to reimburse my account the late fee I was being charged. Several days later, still no reimbursement. Over the next 10 days I called back every few days (at this point it was more the principle of the thing than the money) and got the same apology and promise from 4 other customer service reps including “Andre”, a supervisor. The last woman I spoke to said she would take care of it “immediately” and it would show up in my account in 2-3 hours!

    Then I got an email saying they were going after my credit card company over a dispute in the same amount as the (rejected) payment I had made. I called to tell them they were making a mistake, that there WAS no dispute, and that I owned THEM money (and it was CHASE’S fault) and to put a stop on that dispute. To shorten this lengthy story–I talked to no less than 9 people in the following 3 days trying to straighten out the mess, including a few who didn’t understand enough English to know what the Hell I was talking about (one of them put me on hold and never came back to the phone when I asked to talk to a supervisor). Realizing I couldn’t trust them to handle my money, I finally had enough and told them to close my account. In order to do this, I was asked several “security questions”, one of which was about an address I lived at in 1989, which was so long ago, I’d forgotten about it, and have NO idea where they got that information. VERY disconcerting.

    The icing on this frustrating, stressful cake–I got 2 letters from them on the same day basically saying that they “investigated” my “claim” and decided that they were in the right and the matter was closed.

    • Aber an Fitch September 18, 2013 at 2:15PM

      NO PREPAID CARDS ALLOW ACH

  14. GG August 10, 2013 at 1:17PM

    I made a $200 online transfer of funds from my non-Chase bank to this card on 8/7. My bank debited the money on 8/7. On 8/9 Chase Liquid posted the money. I cannot access the money until 8/14. I was on the phone with (finally) a senior person (1 hour, 12 minutes) with my Funds Availability Policy online asking why they were holding the money from 8/9 to 8/14. The rep acknowledged that they received the money on 8/9 but put a “hold” on it. The Policy says that for deposits $200 or less the funds are available “ON the first business day after. . . .” That would be 8/12. The rep said that it is an “internal” policy to hold the funds two business days. This is how she calculates the “two business days”: received the money 8/9, put a hold on the funds 8/9, first business day is 8/12, second business day is 8/13, funds available after midnight 8/14. That is not ON the first, or even second business day.

    She would not review the language of the policy with me despite my polite repeated requests to “help me understand this.” Her final advice was for me to travel to a branch and sit down with a bank representative.

    I intend to make that trip to a branch on 8/ 14 – to cancel this ridiculous excuse for a financial instrument and withdraw my funds. It’s back to carrying a ton of cash.

  15. KC June 25, 2013 at 11:45PM

    Tried getting one and Chase said they had to run you through ChexSystems and pull a credit report. I had spoken to customer service in great length before driving 50+ miles to open and they told me that I needed identification to show who I am. That was NOT the case at all. I admit that I have bad credit and bad ChexSystems because of my divorce. Because of that I was DENIED when I was assured that all I needed was ID. Bunch of BS!!!

    • Aber an Fitch September 18, 2013 at 2:14PM

      thats cuz The customer service rep cant tell you “NO U ARENT GOING TO BE APPROVED’ the only way the rep can know is if they apply for you, online it says ‘subject to approval’

  16. Melissa May 24, 2013 at 5:41PM

    We are still new to it, but so far the Chase Liquid card is outstanding for all the reasons listed by the author and the commenters who left positive feedback. I have only one problem with it…this stupid 24-hour hold on cash deposited at Chase ATMs…yes, I said CASH. Checks? A hold makes sense for checks. But we unfortunately were left penniless one night after depositing all our cash at a drive-up ATM at a local Chase Bank branch when we actually ended up needing it….all because of this stupid 24-hour “hold” placed on it. Is this due to using a drive-through ATM vs. a walk-up or bank teller? We haven’t had had any issues like overspending the balance, having a $0 balance, or not keeping enough money on the card to cover the $5 monthly fee. We always have at least $10-$20 loaded. We also check our cash for authenticity and have not deposited any counterfeit bills…unless they were good enough to trick two people with thorough training in identifying such nonsense. Sooo…do they NOT trust their electronic.bill readers on these ATMs to accurately identify each bill deposited and properly calculate the total? Or do they do this hold hodgepodge on all ATM deposits regardless of the ATM being walk-up or drive-through? I guess we will just use the tellers from now on…or ask them about this whole thing. Or, umm, maybe review the stipulations that came with the card when we signed up…haha…that sounds like a good idea! I still give the Liquid a 5/5 rating. Woohoo! Screw GreenDot/AmEx/etc. & their whole “pay each time you load your damn card” situation.

    • Todd June 4, 2013 at 2:15PM

      “we unfortunately were left penniless one night after depositing all our cash at a drive-up ATM at a local Chase Bank branch when we actually ended up needing it”

      Why not always keep some cash out and pay in cash instead of using any debit or credit card?

  17. Brandon Hines April 17, 2013 at 11:31AM

    Do you get paid 2 days early like netspend

  18. Lincoln February 28, 2013 at 10:00PM

    I had a great experience opening a chase liquid account, I have had issues with other bank and I owe money so I wasn’t able to open a regular account, but was offered an access account as well (second chance checking). I chose the liquid account because I don’t use online bill pay or have the need for any checks. I have had all the prepaid cards, and none of them compare to the chase liquid. Also the banker I opened the account with said they upgrade your account to a traditional checking after about a year and that’s for both the access account and liquid account. Also I would like to especially say that it is way better than bluebird because you can actually pay bills by phone, and never have to ask a cashier if they take American express!

  19. Shanna February 3, 2013 at 2:19PM

    I don’t recommend the American express.. You can not have any government checks (IRS) refund deposited to it.. Also the have a $5000 a month deposit limit.

    • bobbie September 29, 2013 at 9:00PM

      I don’t know why everyone keeps saying you have to go thru chex systems no you don’t! This is the best prepaid card I have. If I deposit cash my money is available right away if I do quick deposit with a check its available the following day. No fees unless you go to atm outside of chase. I had my tax refund direct deposited my paychecks. I love it

  20. Jaamee beer January 31, 2013 at 7:06AM

    Chase liquid is a rip off it’s not a pre paid! You have to pass check systems n such. It’s just a
    Checking account that they can charge you for.

  21. doug lane December 1, 2012 at 10:26AM

    The monthly fee on the chase card will be waived if you have a chase checking account

  22. Terry November 17, 2012 at 4:22PM

    I have the AMEX Bluebird Card. They don’t allow direct deposit of Government salary or benefits. I am a Government employee and can’t direct deposit my pay to that card so it sucks for me. I am going to apply for a Chase Liquid card and see what happens. I can at least direct deposit my govt paycheck to that card.

    • Jaamee beer January 31, 2013 at 7:07AM

      Blue bird does allow I have gov ben

  23. Armando October 19, 2012 at 6:12PM

    Its not what they say myles and another person on chexxsystems got denied so thier still per screening so basically thier trying to get the business they lost in a new model via unregulated prepaid but not giving everyone a chance to really have an account ..it’s fine if you can open accounts in banks and aren’t on check systems but I’m disappointed ..because this should be an opportunity for peoplenwho also had problems be able to get on track and thats how thier paiting it woth the publicity ..its a lie .. They do a full credit report and check systems so for that ifnyou qualify just get a regular account and regualr credit card ….on the contrary the new Amex express. Bluebird approved me immediately and I can even open up to 4 sub accounts for family members and still can deposit checks at a ATM us bank and other and or do an electronic scan and still have all the features and help …chase doing thier sneaky things again theirs always an agenda and trust me I’m sure they see with the no regulation potential of prepaid and are trying to come as “heros” but not serving those who really need it’..Amex bluebird 5 stars guys … all the way

  24. Jay September 16, 2012 at 3:32AM

    I like Chase pp card, it’s convenient to go to any Chase bank and deposit or withdraw money without the fee. I had the Netspend card which was a hassle going to a money gram location, filling out the money gram form, standing in line, and paying that extra fee. Chase prepaid card is great for people who don’t want to deal with bank fees on a checking account.

    • Aber an Fitch September 18, 2013 at 2:14PM

      i agree! :)

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