Charles Schwab Bank Review: Checking and Savings
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- Banking experience
- Overdraft fees
Overall institution rating
Charles Schwab may be known primarily as an investing platform, but it’s also a bank that offers online checking and savings accounts. And the checking account in particular is excellent; it pays interest and comes with an outstanding ATM policy.
Best for: Those who want free use of ATMs all over the world and no monthly fees and don’t need to deposit cash.
- Unlimited fee rebates at ATMs worldwide.
- No monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements on checking or savings.
- Free overdraft transfers from linked accounts.
- No way to deposit cash.
- Savings interest rate is low for an online bank.
4.0/5 NerdWallet rating
Charles Schwab’s High Yield Investor Savings® offers a relatively low annual percentage yield of 0.48%, but there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements associated with the account.
Still, most online banks pay more for savings.
» Want to compare rates? See our list of the best high-yield online savings accounts
5.0/5 NerdWallet rating
Schwab Bank has one of the best ATM fee reimbursement programs in the game, and the fact that it has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements is a big bonus.
The account earns 0.45% APY; it’s hard to find interest checking accounts with higher yields and no monthly fees or minimum requirements. But Schwab Bank pays a reasonable rate with no such requirements.
Schwab Bank checking offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, domestically and abroad. It also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, making it one of the best banks to use if you’re traveling out of the country.
» Want to see the competition? Check out our picks for the best online checking accounts
Charles Schwab Bank provides customer service through multiple avenues, including Twitter and chat support. The bank’s phone support is available from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. PT on weekends. Its Android and iOS apps are favorably rated by customers, but the user rating is much better for its iOS app than its Android version.
A major drawback to Schwab Bank is that it doesn’t accept cash deposits. To fund your accounts, you can set up direct deposit or transfer or wire money from an account at another institution or deposit a check via mobile check deposit. You can also convert your cash into a check and send it in by mail.
Charles Schwab Bank doesn’t charge overdraft fees. If you don’t have enough money in a backup account, Schwab Bank may deny the overdraft transaction, though you won’t be charged a fee.
If you overdraft, Schwab Bank may pull money from funds in your linked Schwab One brokerage account or your Schwab High Yield Investor Savings® account, free of charge, if you set them up as sources for funds.
Many banks have eliminated these kinds of penalties, but some banks charge overdraft fees that cost as much as $36 each and can do so as often as six times in a day.
How does Schwab Bank compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Online Savings Account
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at CIT Bank
NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.