Charles Schwab Bank Review: Checking and Savings Accounts

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Updated on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Charles Schwab Bank’s checking account

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking

This account pays interest and offers a host of benefits for customers.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited anywhere in the world
  • Overdraft fee: $25 non-sufficient funds fee if insufficient funds are in the account and no action is taken. Overdrafts are not allowed, so NSF items are not paid; however, customers are notified and are allowed to make additional deposits or use a linked account, such as a SchwabOne brokerage account or a checking/savings account, to make a no-fee overdraft protection transfer.

To get a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account, customers must first open a Schwab One brokerage account and then link it to the checking account. However, there are no requirements to fund the Schwab One brokerage account, so it’s not a significant hurdle.

The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account pays a flat rate on deposits of all sizes, with no tiers but no minimums, either. Charles Schwab Bank charges zero ATM fees on any withdrawals anywhere in the world, and will pay unlimited ATM rebates on a global basis as well.

Other features of the Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking account include the following:

  • Schwab Mobile Deposit, which allows remote, app-based deposits from anywhere
  • Free bill pay on Schwab Mobile and Schwab.com
  • Free standard checks
  • Free Schwab Bank Visa Platinum debit card
  • FDIC insurance (up to $250,000)
  • Ability to link Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Microsoft Wallet

The checking account does not allow overdrafts, and charges a fee when drafts are presented that would overdraw the account; however, Charles Schwab Bank sends out emails to customers indicating they may be overdrawn, allowing them a chance to deposit or transfer funds to cover the deficit. Customers can also use their Schwab One brokerage or savings accounts to cover any overdrafts.

How to get Charles Schwab Bank’s checking account

The easiest way to get the Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking account is to apply online. You can also call (800)-540-6718 or download an application from the website and mail it back in. You are required to open a Schwab One brokerage account to gain access to a checking account. To complete the online application, you’ll need your Social Security number and your employer’s name and address, if applicable.

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How Charles Schwab Bank’s checking account compares

Although Charles Schwab Bank only offers one checking account, it packs in a lot of features that may appeal to customers in that single wrapper. The account carries no fees or minimum balance requirements. It pays a higher-than-average rate on a national basis and on balances of all sizes; however, the rate does fall short of the best available checking account rates. The standout feature of the Schwab Bank High Yield Checking account is the ATM fee structure. Charles Schwab Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees, which is common among many high-quality banks, but it also offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, even overseas, which is an unusual benefit. This can make the checking account an attractive option for international travelers.

Charles Schwab Bank’s savings account

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Savings

This account pays a flat interest rate on all balances and offers a great ATM fee schedule.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: unlimited ATM fees worldwide
  • Overdraft fee: $25 non-sufficient funds fee if insufficient funds are in the account and no action is taken. Overdrafts are not allowed, so NSF items are not paid; however, customers are notified and are allowed to make additional deposits or use a linked account, such as a SchwabOne brokerage account or a checking/savings account, to make a no-fee overdraft protection transfer.

The Schwab High Yield Savings Account pays the same APY regardless of account balance, with no minimums. The account has the same attractive ATM fee structure as the checking account, meaning Charles Schwab Bank will never charge you an ATM fee. Even better, the bank will rebate any ATM charges you incur from third-party operators anywhere in the world. As with the checking account, the savings account gives you access to Schwab Mobile Deposit, allowing you to use the bank’s app to make a deposit from anywhere. You can also sign up for direct deposit into this account.

The savings account does not allow overdrafts, just like the checking account. Charles Schwab Bank notifies customers in the event they may be overdrawn, allowing them a chance to cover the deficit with additional funds. Customers can also use their Schwab One brokerage or checking accounts to cover any overdrafts.

Additionally, since this is a savings account covered by Federal Reserve Regulation D, you can make no more than six certain withdrawals per the monthly statement cycle from your account to any other account you have at Charles Schwab Bank, Schwab brokerage or another financial institution, or to a third party. The limits don’t apply to cash withdrawals from your account at an ATM.

How to get Charles Schwab Bank’s savings account

Unlike with the Schwab Bank High Yield Checking account, customers cannot open a Schwab Bank High Yield Savings account online. You must download an application and mail it back in or call (800)-540-6718 to open a savings account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Charles Schwab Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Charles Schwab Bank’s savings account compares

Charles Schwab Bank’s savings account ranks high compared to other accounts simply because of its ATM rebate policy, which is unlimited worldwide. The account also pays an APY that is well above the national average savings account rate; however, you can still get much higher rates from the banks with the highest savings account rates in the country. Still, Charles Schwab Bank’s savings account has no account minimums or fees, which keeps it competitive.

Overall review of Charles Schwab Bank’s banking products

Charles Schwab Bank has a very limited product line, but its features are outstanding. Both the checking and savings account offered at the bank charge no ATM fees, and even more impressively, they rebate any ATM fees incurred anywhere in the world. This can make the Charles Schwab Bank accounts ideal for those who travel overseas frequently. Both accounts have no fees and no account minimums, and they also pay above-average interest rates.

You can find higher interest rates at the highest paying institutions in the country, but it might be hard to find a bank with the strong online and mobile capabilities of Charles Schwab Bank, which also pays interest, has no fees, offers unlimited ATM rebates and links to a brokerage account free of charge.

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