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This article was last updated Sep 24, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
The Chase Liquid® is a prepaid card that has few fees and can provide benefit for those who live in one of the 23 states with Chase branches. Once you make a $25 deposit to open your account, you can use this card for a variety of actions from making purchases to depositing checks and withdrawing cash.
However, the Chase Liquid® really only makes sense for residents in one of the 23 states mentioned below that currently have a qualifying checking account with Chase — this allows the $4.95 monthly fee to be waived. Otherwise, you’ll pay a fee for a prepaid card when there are alternative $0 monthly service fee options available.
In this review, we’ll discuss who can open a Chase Liquid®, how the card works, and how it stacks up to the competition.
In this article
Where Chase Liquid® is available
Unfortunately, not everyone can open the Chase Liquid®. You need to reside in a state with a Chase branch to open the card.
If you live in one of these states, you can open the Chase Liquid®:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
How the Chase Liquid® works
The Chase Liquid® has relatively few fees, and many of the common fees associated with a prepaid card can be waived if certain requirements are met. There are no inactivity fees, no fees to open, load or reload your card, and there are no overdraft fees. However, there are some fees you may incur with your card.
Below, we list what some of those fees are, as well as potential ways you can avoid the fees:
|Type of fee||Cost||How to avoid the fee|
|Monthly fee||$4.95 monthly fee||Link your card to a qualifying Chase checking account*|
|ATM withdrawal or transfer fee||$2.50||Use a Chase ATM|
|Rush card replacement request||$5||Request standard shipping|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%||N/A|
|Deposited item returned/cashed check returned||$12 per item||N/A|
*Qualifying accounts include Chase Premier Plus CheckingSM, Chase SapphireSM Checking, Chase Private Client CheckingSM, Chase Premier CheckingSM and Chase Better Banking® Checking. Note: these accounts typically require a large amount of money.
Purchases and withdrawals
You can use your Chase Liquid® to make purchases nearly everywhere Visa® debit cards are accepted, pay bills, send and receive money via Chase QuickPay® with Zelle®, and withdraw cash at more than 16,000 Chase ATMs and 5,100 branches.
To reload money onto your Chase Liquid®, you have several convenient options:
- Direct deposit via your paycheck, government benefits check or tax refund
- Visit one of 16,000 Chase ATMs or 5,100 branches nationwide to deposit cash or checks
- Deposit checks from a mobile device with Chase QuickDepositSM
- Transfer funds from your checking or savings account
Other services and security
The Chase Liquid® comes with a variety of features that include:
- $0 fraud liability: If you notify Chase promptly, you may not incur the cost of unauthorized charges. Refer to your account agreement for details.
- Chip-card technology: This provides an added level of security when using your card.
- FDIC insured funds: Money you deposit into your account is FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
- Account alerts: You can set up text or email alerts for a wide range of actions that include low balance warnings, account activity, and payments.
Compare it to Bluebird by American Express
When you compare the Chase Liquid® to the Bluebird by American Express, there is a clear winner — the Bluebird by American Express. The Bluebird by American Express has a $0 annual fee and 8,000 more fee-free ATMs where you can withdraw cash. Plus, you can apply for the card in nearly every state (excluding Vermont), as compared to the Chase Liquid®, which restricts cardholders to those residing in the 23 states with Chase branches.
Additionally, the Bluebird by American Express provides cardholders with membership benefits that include a roadside assistance hotline, shopping, dining, and other discounts with Amex Offers, access to Amex experiences in select cities and more (terms apply). The Chase Liquid® lacks any of these perks, making the Bluebird by American Express a comprehensive card offering with minimal fees and wider reach.
Here’s a comparison of the main features of each card:
|Chase Liquid®||Bluebird by American Express|
|Annual / Monthly Fee||$4.95 monthly fee ($0 if linked to a qualifying Chase checking account)||$0|
|Card opening fee||$0||$0 online; up to $5 at retail locations|
|Fee-free ATM locations||16,000 Chase ATMs||24,000 MoneyPass® ATMs|
|Third-party ATM fee||$2.50||$2.50|
|Can anyone apply, regardless of residence?||No, must live in one of 23 states with a Chase branch||All U.S. states (except Vermont), Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands|
If you live in one of the 23 states mentioned earlier and have an eligible Chase checking account, then the Chase Liquid® is a decent prepaid card. You can use your card for payments and purchases to simplify your day to day transactions. However, if you don’t reside in one of the 23 states or lack the eligible Chase checking account, the Bluebird by American Express is a better option, with its $0 annual/monthly fee and wide range of cardholder perks.
If you’re looking to build credit, this card isn’t a good option, since prepaid cards do not report to the credit bureaus. You should instead consider secured cards, which can help you build credit when used responsibly.