Charles Schwab has served investors in America for four decades. It also has a banking arm that provides a checking account. You can open a checking account even if you don’t have an investor account with the firm, but it may not be worthwhile to have one without the other. While the Charles Schwab checking account does offer some interesting perks, its offerings are more similar to traditional banks than the low-maintenance-high-return options from online banks.
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Charles Schwab Checking Features
The checking account from Charles Schwab is a mixed bag. Whether you love it or hate it may depend on the specific features you need to make your banking experience an excellent one.
Paying interest on checking accounts is an offer that online banks popularized. Charles Schwab has chosen to get in on this action, but the APY isn’t particularly impressive. It pays 0.03%.
One way it makes up for its brick-and-mortar APY is to eliminate Charles Schwab checking account minimums and service fees. In fact, there aren’t even foreign transaction fees, and you have access to ATM fee reimbursement worldwide.
If transactions require more than your account balance can support, it may pull from other linked accounts to cover them at no extra charge. However, if there are no backup accounts, you may face a $25 overdraft fee for up to four daily transactions.
The Charles Swaab Checking Account Mobile App
The Charles Schwab checking account does have a decent app that is easy to use. You can use the app to manage multiple accounts with the bank and to move money around.
When traveling, you can notify the bank to ensure it does not flag charges outside of your usual area as suspicious. You can also lock or unlock your cards.
Charles Schwab Checking Account Recommendations
The checking account receives glowing reviews from most finance blogs, but customers are less enthusiastic. At the time of writing this review, the bank had 555 reviews on WalletHub and had a rating of 3.6 stars. In the most recent reviews, the checking account product was overwhelmingly represented by negative ratings.
Most of the complaints were not related to the bank’s product offerings. Instead, customers seemed displeased with the verification process and some issues related to the use of their accounts while abroad.
In spite of these complaints, if you are already a happy Charles Schwab investor, opening a checking account with the company makes sense. The lower APR may also matter a lot less to you if you plan to invest in the stock market to take advantage of an expected 10% ROI.
However, if you need a checking account for regular use or you are in the market for a new primary checking account, look elsewhere. Banks that have more competitive checking account products include Ally and Capital One.
In conclusion, the Charles Schwab checking account offers a mixed package of features. While it pays a modest 0.03% APY, it compensates by eliminating minimums and service fees, also providing ATM fee reimbursement worldwide. The mobile app is user-friendly, and it offers security features for travelers, allowing card locking and transaction notifications. Reviews are mixed, with positive feedback from finance blogs but less enthusiasm from some customers who encountered issues with the verification process and account usage abroad.
For existing Charles Schwab investors, this checking account might make sense, especially if you plan to leverage the expected 10% ROI from stock market investments. However, if you seek a primary checking account or a more competitive option, it’s advisable to explore other banks like Ally and Capital One that offer more appealing checking account products.
Certificates of deposit
Lines of credit
American Express cards
Nerdwallet and several other review sites mentioned that depositing money into this account is harder than most. This is somewhat true, but there are several options:
Set up direct deposits.
Wire money from another account.
Transfer money from a brokerage account.
Mail a check to the bank using a postage-paid envelope.
Use the app to take a photo of the check and deposit it remotely.
Most investment companies now offer checking accounts to their clients. Depending on your investment needs or preferences, Betterment, eTrade and TD Ameritrade are competitors worth looking into.
Choosing the right checking account can have a big impact on how you access money. It can even impact how you travel or make big financial decisions.
Choosing the right checking account can have a big impact on how you access money. It can even impact how you travel or make big financial decisions. Would you like access to more reviews of checking, savings and investment accounts to help you make more informed decisions? Find this and more at BankingMash.com.