Chase Sapphire: New checking account offers credit card-like benefits

Chase Sapphire: New checking account offers credit card-like benefits

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A recent study by finance company Northwestern Mutual shows that the average American now has $ 38,000 in debt, excluding mortgages. Buzz60's Sean Dowling has more.
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Benefits and rewards normally associated with credit cards, such as: VIP events at major events are now available in a checking account offered by the country's largest bank.

JPMorgan Chase doubles its popular Sapphire credit card loyalty program by launching a premium checking account called Sapphire Banking.

The new checking account offers customers a minimum of $ 75,000 access to sapphire lounges at concerts and sporting events, as well as an early crack in tickets before they go public and the opportunity to buy premium seats.

Customers will also benefit from waived fees and get commission-free online businesses from US-listed stocks and exchange-traded funds on JPMorgan's new digital investment platform You Invest.

It is not uncommon for banks to seek to attract new check customers with things like fee waivers, cash back offers, toll-free ATMs, airline miles and sign-up bonuses. But it is unusual for them to offer VIP treatment at events for clients who are not premium credit card holders.

"The new aspect brings non-banking benefits to the relationship outside of credit cards," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at BankRate.com. "Access to concerts and lounges – that's the new part."

The trend is for banks to build a deeper multi-product relationship with their customers, especially millennials, who come into their prime earnings years when using financial services from banks such as loans, investments and credit cards, says Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards.com ,

"The reward is to keep the customer at the bank," he says.

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To this end, JPMorgan Chase said existing Sapphire credit card holders could earn 60,000 Ultimate Reward points in October, which tells CNBC that they have a value of approximately $ 900 when they contribute $ 75,000 in deposits and investments, or open or upgrade Sapphire Bank details.

The high minimum balance must be maintained for 90 days so that customers can receive the bonus points. In 2016, the bank made a big leap with the introduction of the Sapphire Reserve card, with a bonus of 100,000 points.

"We believe we can transfer the same great loyalty we've built with the Sapphire card to a Sapphire bank account," said Thasunda Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, in a statement.

Still, some personal finance professionals warn that bank customers should pay more attention to their cash to achieve a competitive return, rather than just sitting idle to save an ATM fee or increase their chances of getting a ticket to the big game.

"It's easy to be distracted with offers of seemingly glamorous benefits," said Kimberly Palmer, banking and credit card expert at NerdWallet, an online personal finance website.

She points out that if you do not really need $ 75,000 in an account that gives you easy access to your cash, you'd probably benefit from getting at least part of that amount public, either through a retirement account or a brokerage account , "

Stock investments, of course, offer the opportunity to earn higher returns.

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