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Charles Schwab & Co. started as an investment brokerage firm in the early 1970s, and that’s still its specialty. However, in 2000 it launched Charles Schwab Bank to offer basic banking services like checking accounts, savings accounts and loans.
Charles Schwab has branches around the country where customers can get in-person support for their banking and investment needs. The Charles Schwab Bank deposit accounts do a great job keeping fees low and offering free ATM access, but they don’t pay much in terms of interest.
The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Savings account doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement, so you can open one with any amount of money. It also doesn’t charge a fee, regardless of how low your balance is. This savings account comes with a debit card, which lets you make free withdrawals from any ATM in the world (notably, Charles Schwab Bank will refund any fees charged by the ATM owner). You can also access your account by mobile app, but only if you have a Charles Schwab brokerage account.
However, since this is a savings account, Regulation D limits do apply — as such, you can only make six of certain transactions, like bill payments or debit card purchases. If you exceed these monthly limits, Charles Schwab Bank could close your account or convert it into another type of account, like checking. However, these rules do not apply to ATM withdrawals, so you can make as many of these as you want per month.
The Schwab High Yield Investor Savings account earns interest on all balances and the rate is always the same. But despite being called “high yield,” this account doesn’t pay that high of an interest rate.
This account could be worth using if you invest with Charles Schwab and want to keep some of your uninvested cash in a savings account, which you can easily access thanks to the free, global ATM access. However, if you’re looking to grow your savings by earning interest, you’d likely be better with one of the top options on the market today.
Charles Schwab Bank also offers a checking account for its brokerage account customers. You must have a linked Schwab One brokerage account to open this checking account. However, you can open them at the same time and there are no fees, minimum balance or minimum trade requirements to launch a brokerage account.
There’s also no minimum deposit required to open a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account, and it won’t charge a monthly fee, regardless of your account balance. This account earns a moderate interest rate on all balances. It also comes with a debit card for making purchases, though you won’t earn cash back on your spending. This account also comes with a mobile app for account management, mobile deposits and mobile pay.
In terms of ATM access, this account is excellent. Though Charles Schwab Bank doesn’t have its own ATMs, you can make free withdrawals from any ATM in the world. Charles Schwab Bank will refund any ATM fees and doesn’t charge a fee for converting your dollars into other currencies for international withdrawals.
However, if you overdraft your account, Charles Schwab Bank won’t cover the overdraft. Instead, it denies the transaction and charges a nonsufficient funds fee (NSF fee) of $25 per transaction, up to $100 per day maximum. However, you can link to other Charles Schwab checking, savings and brokerage accounts to cover overdrafts using those balances — and Charles Schwab Bank won’t charge a fee for doing so.
This account could be useful for those who want a free checking account that also offers excellent free ATM access, especially for international withdrawals. On the other hand, if you’re trying to earn interest on your checking account too, you might be better off with some of these excellent options. They also keep fees low while paying respectable interest rates.
Charles Schwab Bank doesn’t offer its own line of CDs. Through its brokerage service, customers can compare and purchase CDs from other banks for a transaction fee (online it’s $1 per $1,000 CDs, with a $10 minimum and $250 maximum fee). If you’d prefer to skip this transaction fee and buy a CD directly from a bank, we’ve ranked the very best CD rates on the market today to help you decide.
Charles Schwab Bank uses the same branches as the Charles Schwab financial network, which are nationwide. You can visit these professionals to handle your banking needs, like depositing checks, as well as reviewing your investments and financial plan. You can also get help by live chat or by phone.
Charles Schwab Bank doesn’t have its own ATMs; instead, they allow their customers to access any ATM in the world for free by refunding any charges from the ATM owner. However, the one downside of this system is that there is no way to directly deposit cash.
If you have a Charles Schwab Bank account, you can access it through their website. Through one login, you can see all your accounts in one place, including your investment accounts. They also offer a mobile app (provided you have an existing brokerage account), which allows you to manage accounts, deposit checks and transfer funds to other people.
Customer reviews of Charles Schwab Bank have been mostly positive, with an average score of 4 out of 5 stars on DepositAccounts.com. Positive reviews expressed pleasure with the ease-of-use of the website and mobile app, the effectiveness of Charles Schwab Bank’s phone customer service to solve problems and happiness with the global ATM network. Negative reviews seemed to focus on specific problems, like a customer who unexpectedly had their account closed or a debit card withdrawal denied, which could have skewed their review. Overall, though, most reviewers seemed satisfied with Charles Schwab Bank.