Charles Schwab Bank Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon

Pros:

  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates
  • No monthly fees
  • No amounts required in accounts
  • Offer investing products and advice

Cons:

  • Must link checking account to a brokerage
  • Low-interest rates
  • Opening savings account is not online
  • CDs have fees

What You Need to Know

Charles Schwab refunds any ATM fees acquired worldwide. Unlike other banks, there is no limit to the number of times your ATM fee can be refunded. If you make use of ATMs, this is an ideal benefit.

There are no monthly maintenance fees for Charles Schwab savings or checking accounts. The checking account does have a fee, but the fee is waived when you open the brokerage account. The brokerage account is a requirement for a Charles Schwab savings or checking account.

Charles Schwab does not have a set amount you must keep in their savings and checking accounts. You will earn interest on whatever amount you deposit with no monthly fees.

Charles Schwab has a wide variety of products to help you invest and trade. They offer accounts for trusts, college, retirement, small businesses, and IRA accounts. Their website offers tools and advice in these different areas. This can help ensure you open the right account for you.

When you open a Charles Schwab checking account, you have to open a Schwab One brokerage account. Opening this account waives the checking account fee. There isn't a required amount to keep in either account, but you must open both accounts.

The interest on their checking account is competitive with other banks for low account amounts. The interest on their savings account is slightly higher than typical banks. The savings account rates are significantly lower than other online banks.

To open a savings account, you must download an application, fill it out, and send it back to Charles Schwab. Other banks let you open a savings account all online. You can open a checking account with Charles Schwab online, but not a savings account.

Charles Schwab CDs have a fee. They charge a set amount based on the CD opened. There is also a fee to sell based on a broker-assisted fee. The interest rates for their CDs are competitive with other banks, but there are fees.

Cool Things

Schwab Brokerage Account

When you open a Charles Schwab checking account, you must open a Schwab One Brokerage account. This account makes it easy to trade stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. You also get brokerage education courses and investing information. You can manage this account through the app. If you do not open a Schwab checking account with the brokerage account, then $1,000 is required to open the account. Funds in this account are not FDIC insured.

Pledged Asset Line

This is a line of credit based on money you have invested in other Charles Schwab accounts. Money in retirement accounts is not counted toward the credit line. CDs, mutual funds, cash, and corporate bonds are some examples of accounts eligible for the line of credit. You can borrow from $100,000 up based on your investments. Call or visit a branch to find out more.

History

Charles Schwab Corporation was founded in 1971 by Charles R. Schwab. The original name was First Commander Corporation. In 1973 the name changed to Charles Schwab & Co. The company is one of the largest banks in the United States. They specialize in investments.

Starting in 1975 Charles Schwab opened almost 100 branches in a little more than ten years. They offered brokerage quotes anytime of the day. The company became known as "Americas Largest Discount Broker."

Charles Schwab was an investment bank until 2007. The High Yield Checking account was the first person bank account offered. The High Yield Savings account followed and was available in 2009.

Today Charles Schwab still offers investing opportunities. Credit cards, retirement accounts, savings account, and a checking account are now offered. They have over $3.4 trillion in client assets. Charles Schwab has over 1.6 million corporate retirement accounts. Their personal banking accounts are gaining in popularity at 1.2 million. The company is based in San Francisco, California.

Awards and Recognition

  • "The Civic 50" by Points of Light
  • Ranked 12th of "Top 50 Employers" by Careers & the disabled Magazine
  • "Best for Vets Employer" from Military Times EDGE
  • "Best Online Brokers" by Investor's Business Daily
  • "Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Full Service Brokerage Firms" by J.D. Power

Giving Back

Charles Schwab initiated a Pro Bono Challenge. Employees offered to help consult nonprofit organizations. They helped solve business challenges and helped them expand. The employees unpaid hours on this project valued over $400,000 each year.

Charles Schwab matches donations made through DonorsChoose.org. Through this website prekindergarten through 12th-grade teachers apply for grants. These grants go to help in their classrooms. Charles Schwab matches individual donations for these grants.

Charles Schwab is a partner with the Boys and Girls Club of America. They have provided BGCA with over $15 million in support. Over 3,000 Charles Schwab employees volunteer their time and knowledge to BGCA.

In 2016 Charles Schwab gave financial support to over 2,800 nonprofit organizations. Over $7 million is given each year to support these organizations. Employees donated another $3 million as gifts. Charles Schwab matched those gift contributions. These different charities and nonprofits are chosen by Charles Schwab employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Charles Schwab FDIC insured?

The savings account and checking account are. Other investment accounts may not be. Know if the account you are opening is FDIC insured before you open it.

How do I access my money?

Checks, debit card, ATMs, or by visiting a local branch. You will be reimbursed for any ATM fees you are charged. You can find a branch through their website.

Does Charles Schwab offer mobile banking?

Yes. Through the app, you can deposit checks, research investment opportunities, and trade. You can also view transaction history, pay bills, and see account balances. You can add your Schwab debit card to Apple Pay.

Is Charles Schwab free?

Yes. There are no monthly maintenance fees for their checking or savings accounts. There is no minimum balance required to keep in the accounts.

Is Charles Schwab a good bank?

There are no monthly maintenance fees for their savings or checking accounts. The interest rates offered for these accounts are slightly higher than other banks. However, much less than other online-only banks.

Is Charles Schwab secure online?

Yes. Charles Schwab has different security programs and technology for online safety. They limit the employees who can know personal information. They train those employees how to handle that information. The Charles Schwab checking and savings accounts are FDIC insured.

Does Charles Schwab offer competitive interest rates?

No. Their interest rates are higher than other banks but much lower than other online-only bank accounts.

Can I use Charles Schwab for my business accounts?

The checking and savings account are personal accounts. Charles Schwab does offer investment and retirement accounts for businesses. Other business accounts might be able to be set up. Contact a local branch for more information.

How is the online bank different from the online banking my bank offers?

There isn't a difference. The interest rates are lower than online-only accounts. Charles Schwab offers everything your bank offers online.

Do their checking accounts pay interest?

Yes. Their personal savings and checking account pay interest. Their interest rates are not as high as other online accounts, but they do earn interest.

How do I reach customer service?

By phone, chat, or visiting a local branch

Does Charles Schwab offer bill pay?

Yes. The Charles Schwab checking account offers bill pay. You can access free bill pay through the Charles Schwab website or the app.

Can I deposit cash?

Yes, at a local branch.

Can I sign up for direct deposit to this account?

Yes. Direct deposit can be set up between Charles Schwab accounts or from other bank accounts.

Bank Contact Information

Charles Schwab
Find a branch near you
866-855-9102

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