Photo: Chase Liquid
After a long wait, Chase’s new reloadable card, Chase Liquid, is now available at all 5,500 of its nationwide branches, the company announced on Tuesday. Aside from charging a flat monthly fee of $4.95, consumers won’t be hit with much else, not even basic fees for replacing lost cards, receiving account alerts, withdrawing cash or calling customer service. The bank will charge $2 for using out-of-network ATMs, however.
Chase is marketing Liquid as an alternative to traditional checking accounts, the way most prepaid cards are branded. But as a new report from Card Hub points out, the Liquid card doesn’t much in the way of an automatic online bill pay option, so this idea is pretty much pointless.
The other issue, as we reported back in May, is that the company is desperate to make up for lost overdraft revenue, so more fees could be added to Liquid down the line, despite the fact that this card primarily cards targets low-income consumers who probably can’t cover the costs.
That said, prepaid cards can help people manage their spending on a tight budget, and after speaking with credit card comparison site NerdWallet, BI’s Mandi Woodruff found the card is cheaper to use than a Chase checking account. What’s more, “its presence in low-income communities can counteract usurious prepaid cards and payday loans,” she said.