What Is Finn by Chase?
Finn by Chase is the bank’s mobile-only checking and savings account for iPhones (6S and higher) that provides all the features of full-fledged bank accounts while incorporating budgeting tools and automated savings.
When the banking platform launched in July 2018, it was seen as Chase’s move to acquire Millennial consumers looking for a non-traditional banking experience that focuses on a fluid mobile experience that doesn’t require paper checks or visits to a branch office.
The new product from Chase is basically like a bank within a bank, which is an interesting thing because today’s personal finance world is made up of non-bank banking apps and big banks. Finn represents a merging of the two worlds.
How does it work? Which features are most important to consumers like you? How does Finn rate against competing banking apps?
Those are the questions that we’re going to analyze in this review. Once we’ve worked through each of these topics, we’ll finish up with a section on the pros and cons of Finn, as well as who we think might be a good fit for the banking app.
Pro tip: New Finn by Chase customers are eligible for a $100 cash bonus if they use the app regularly for six months and don’t have a pre-existing Chase checking account.
How Does Finn by Chase Work?
If you are a Chase customer, you’ll go to the Finn page and click the “Apply” button. At that point, Finn will ask you if you have an iPhone 6S or newer. Then, you’ll be asked to sign into your Chase account.
What’s interesting about this is that you’ll have to fill out an application for Finn even if you already have a bank account with Chase. They’re treating Finn as if it were an entirely new product. Thankfully, though, Chase will import all of your information. You’ll have to click through two pages before your application is complete.
If your application is accepted, you’ll get a Finn account that you can access from your iPhone and your web browser. In the event that you lose your phone, Chase says, you can access your Finn account from your laptop, desktop or tablet.
According to Finn’s FAQ page, you get a debit card with your account but it will take up to 10 days for your card to arrive.
There are two main things that can make or break your ability to get a Finn account. First, Finn isn’t available in every state. Second, Finn doesn’t offer joint accounts. If you have an existing Chase account with your partner, parent or spouse, they won’t be able to share your Finn account.
Pro tip: You can choose one of several emojis to label your transaction (more on that later).
Finn by Chase Features
As we mentioned earlier in our review, Finn by Chase provides a checking and savings account, as well as automatic savings and budgeting.
Basically, Finn combines many of the tools you could get from separate apps into one platform that allows you to enjoy the freedom of online banking while keeping track of your finances and tucking some money away for a rainy day.
Your budgeting screen implements a circle chart split up into several different categories like groceries and utilities.
The interface reminds of similar charts in apps like Clarity Money and Empower. One of the useful menu items you have is to switch from a monthly to a weekly view and vice versa. It’s not the most powerful budgeting tool we’ve seen but it does provide you a snapshot of where your money is going.
In our opinion, it’s a decent budgeting tool for someone who doesn’t have a wide variety of expenses. However, if you’re a family with payments going to many different places on a daily basis, the basic interface may be a little too basic.
The automatic savings feature you have actually has several different options within it.
First, you can set up recurring savings deposits of whichever amount you choose.
The second option you have is to institute a round-up savings plan, in which every transaction you make with your checking account will be rounded up and the different sent to your savings account. For example, if you spend $18.37 at Target, Finn will send $0.63 to your savings account.
Your third choice is to send money to your savings account every time you spend money at a certain store and your fourth choice is to save money based on certain transactions you make and the emoticons you choose. For example, you could tell Finn to save $10 every time you choose a sad-face emoji for a particular transaction.
You can also set up recurring savings when you spend a certain amount of money in a particular spending category or location.
The idea behind this multi-faceted approach is that most of us are bad at saving. So, Finn provides simple – and in some cases, fun – ways to identify the type of savings automation that best fits your personality or your spending habits.
In addition to what we listed above, Finn allows you to make mobile deposits by taking pictures of the front and back of your checks. This feature already existed within the Chase banking app. As someone who uses Chase’s app to deposit checks, I can tell you that it’s very convenient and have had no issues with any of the dozens of checks I’ve deposited.
Now, just because I haven’t had any negative experiences with Chase mobile doesn’t guarantee that you won’t either.
In addition to this, a crucial feature to this banking app is that you can reach Finn customer service by phone call or chat. We think this is important because many tech startups offering mobile banking don’t have phone numbers to call; you’re limited to emails or chat.
In some cases, opening a chat window can connect you with a customer service rep within seconds but that’s not always the case. The same goes for email.
So, in this sense, Finn offers the advantage of being able to call and talk with a real person if you’re having issues with Finn or you just want to ask some questions.
Pro tip: You can do direct deposits with Finn, their FAQ page says.
Finn by Chase Fees and Transaction Limits
While Chase isn’t going to charge you a monthly fee to use your account, there, according to the terms and conditions, certain situations in which Chase will charge you a fee:
- Out-of-network ATM fee: $2.50
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Rush shipping for debit card replacement: $5
These are the most relevant fees you’ll encounter.
Finn accounts have four specific spending limits:
- Purchases: $3,000
- ATM withdrawals from Chase branches: $3,000
- Non-branch Chase ATM withdrawals: $1,000
- Non-Chase ATM withdrawals: $500
Now, this could pose a problem if you make rent or mortgage payments from your checking account if you live in an expensive city like New York or San Francisco. Chase’s fine print, however, notes that you can request a different purchase limit that’s subject to approval.
How Finn Compares to Other Chase Bank Accounts
What makes Finn unique among Chase’s other bank accounts is that it doesn’t make you meet any requirements in order to get a fee-free checking account.
For example, Chase’s “Total Checking” will waive the $12 monthly fee if you can do one of the following, according to their website:
- Have direct deposits of at least $500 a month
- Have $1,500 in your checking account every day
- Have a combined balance of $5,000 in all you Chase accounts
The Chase account that’s most like Finn is their College Checking. The monthly fee is $6 but is waived for up to five years if you make a direct deposit of any amount each month or you have an average daily balance of $5,000.
Chase’s other checking accounts require a daily balance of at least $15,000: Premier Plus and Premier Platinum.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of Finn by Chase
Based on our research, we believe that Finn by Chase’s strengths are that it has no monthly fees, you can make mobile deposits and you get a $100 bonus for signing up for the account and meet the requirements.
The other big advantage is that you have a phone number you can call to resolve any problems you might have with your account.
There are two main downsides to the app, in our opinion.
First, at the time of publishing, it is only available on iPhone 6S's and higher.
Second, Finn doesn’t really provide something that you can’t get anywhere else. For example, if you prefer to use a purely online bank and want to avoid a big bank like Chase, you can piece together a trio of apps to cover your checking, automatic savings and budgeting.
In our opinion, Finn is a feature-rich mobile banking platform that combines the simplicity of today’s fintech apps with the customer support of a big bank. It’s a good fit for someone who wants to shed the traditional banking format and explore mobile banking while knowing that an established, popular bank is backing your accounts.