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What is Chase Bank UK? Why Martin Lewis recommended JP Morgan brand’s digital debit card - what are the perks?

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis said Chase Bank UK’s card offers the best deal for Brits travelling on holiday abroad this summer

The largest number of Brits since before the Covid pandemic will be travelling abroad this summer.

While thousands more people travelling off to foreign climes for sun, sand and sea has led to major airport disruption, most holidaymakers are expected to get abroad without too much hassle.

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Those who do will no doubt be spending money in the countries they are visiting, but using foreign currency can often involve a minefield of high fees.

Martin Lewis has provided several tips for the best ways to manage your holiday money, and has also recommended using little-known Chase Bank - a new UK digital bank - when spending money on foreign shores.

Martin Lewis has recommended Chase Bank to UK holidaymakers travelling abroad in summer 2022 (image: Adobe)

So what is Chase Bank - and why did Martin Lewis recommend it to holidaymakers on his ITV show?

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Chase Bank UK?

Chase Bank is a banking brand owned by global investment banking and financial services giant JP Morgan.

While it’s not a household name here in the UK, the brand has been around in the US since 1877.

In September 2021, Chase Bank moved into the UK market for the first time in the form of a digital-only retail bank.

Chase Bank is a well-established brand in the US (image: Adobe)

Chase Bank UK has since gained around half a million customers and has received around $10 billion (£8 billion) in deposits, according to Computer Weekly.

It currently offers two types of account to UK customers - a current account and a savers account.

What products does Chase Bank offer?

Chase Bank UK’s two types of account offer these key features:

Current account:

  • No fees and worldwide coverage (so long as wherever you’re spending money accepts Mastercard)
  • Zero fees when the card is used abroad, plus no fees and what Chase calls a “transparent exchange rate” when you withdraw cash on foreign soil
  • 1% cashback for 12 months on everyday purchases, like groceries, travel, meals, entertainment, fashion, homeware, electronics, as well as flights and holidays, whether you’re in the UK or abroad (subject to terms and conditions)
  • A feature that allows you to round up purchases to the nearest £1 and save the difference in an account that receives gross interest of 4.89% (5% AER) each month. This account can be accessed at any time and is automatically transferred across to your main account after 12 months
  • Spend tracking features
  • Free extra accounts
JP Morgan owns Chase Bank, which has only recently been launched in the UK (image: Adobe)

This account also provides users with a numberless debit card made out of recycled plastic.

It means none of your details can be seen if you lose your physical card or have it stolen.

Instead, all of the usual card information is stored in the Chase Bank app.

The cards can also be frozen and unfrozen at a moment’s notice, and can also have new details generated as an anti-fraud measure, all via the app.

Savers account:

  • Savings that can be accessed at any time without fees or loss of interest
  • The ability to open up to 10 accounts, all of which will have interest applied at the same rate 
  • 1.5% AER interest for an unlimited period, with savings updated monthly
  • A savings goal feature that allows you to set targets for different goods and services, such as saving up for a house

Both types of account receive 24/7 support either over the phone or through secure in-app messaging.

However, Chase Bank UK doesn’t have any physical branches.

When it launched in 2021, Chase signalled an intention to also offer investment accounts and lending products at some point in the future.

Why has Martin Lewis recommended Chase Bank UK?

Speaking during an hour-long special edition of The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV on 24 May, Martin Lewis singled out Chase’s debit card for praise.

He also mentioned the Halifax Credit Card and the Barclaycard Rewards Credit Card as other good options for holidaymakers.

Mr Lewis said using these cards would mean you’re not “paying to pay” when you go abroad, and said Chase was especially good as it allows you to get some money back through cashback.

“Normally if you spend abroad your bank gets a near-perfect rate and adds 3%. All three of these cards do not [do that],” Mr Lewis said.

“You can withdraw cash for free from all three, but the limits on the Barclays and Halifax cards are bigger. Chase will give you one percent cashback as well.

“They are all good. Which has got the most green [boxes]? It’s Chase, but all three are good - it’s mix and match.”

Martin Lewis is warning millions of households to brace for a “very bleak winter” (Phoot: ITV)

Since this show, Mr Lewis has said Chase’s cashback beats Halifax’s offering if you’re likely to spend more than £2,000 both at home and abroad over the next 12 months.

But a major caveat has been that - while it’s easier to get a Chase card as it only requires an ID check rather than a full credit check - you might have to wait for three weeks before you receive your card.

He added that it remains to be seen whether Chase’s superior offer is a loss-leading method of getting new customers.

Other cards recommended by Martin Lewis include Virgin Money’s and Starling’s debit cards, and the Santander Zero, Nationwide and 118 118 Money credit cards.

However, these offer less in cashback than the Chase, Halifax and Barclaycard cards.