Today, Chase is one of the top credit card issuers in the U.S. Its evolution was driven in part by a string of mergers, with Chase growing through various acquisitions involving a number of banks over the years.
The latter half of the 20th century saw a number of mergers that would lead to Chase's eventual lofty position. In 1955, Chase Manhattan Bank was established through the merger of Chase National Bank and the Bank of the Manhattan Company. At the time, members of the Rockefeller family still had a strong influence on Chase National. Chase Manhattan Bank would become the largest U.S. bank of the day.
Fast forward a number of years, and 1984 witnessed Chase Manhattan Corp. buy Lincoln First Bank, with most of what was Lincoln First Bank then operated as Chase Lincoln First.
The Chemical Banking Corporation purchased Chase Manhattan in 1996 with a stock-for-stock transaction, but kept the Chase name. Their subsidiary banks would be joined later in the year.
In December 2000, the Chase Manhattan Corporation would unite with J.P. Morgan & Co. to be renamed JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Two years later, Chase would pay $8 billion for a portion of Providian.
Most recently, JPMorgan Chase purchased Bank One for $76 billion on July 1, 2004. Bank One itself had undergone a merger in its recent history, with Bank One buying First USA in 1997 for $23 billion.