Competitive rates and seamless transition between banking and investing.Charles Schwab was founded as a brokerage firm in 1963, but the company didn’t extend into banking until 2003. And its investing priorities reign true today, with checking and savings accounts best positioned for customers looking to keep cash close to their portfolios.
What banking products does Charles Schwab offer?
- High Yield Investor Checking Account. Grow your cash, albeit slowly, with 0.4% APY on your account balance. You must open a Schwab One brokerage account, which protects you against overdrafts. Use your debit card to pay no fees on foreign transactions.
- High Yield Investor Savings Account. Expect an APY of 0.34%, with no initial minimum deposit required. It’s FDIC insured up to $250,000, and you can set it up for direct deposit.
How does Charles Schwab compare to other banks or services?Charles Schwab supports 358 branch locations nationwide, which is far fewer than banking industry giants like Wells Fargo or Bank of America. However, it ranks ninth for total number of domestic deposits. And because ATM use is free worldwide, it’s convenient to withdraw cash wherever you land.
Why should I open an account at Charles Schwab?Charles Schwab is a key player in the financial biz. It offers seamless connections between banking and investments for easy deposits, transfers and overdraft protection — and your finances safe under one roof.
Other benefits of its banking services include:
- Convenient for international travel. It’ll reimburse you for all ATM fees incurred, no matter what country you’re in. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees, ever.
- Good for investors. Schwab’s checking account comes with a fully separate brokerage account offering $4.95 online equity trades — and there’s no maintenance fees for either.
- Opening and maintaining an account is free. It’s rare to find an interest-bearing checking account that doesn’t cost a cent to maintain. With Schwab checking and savings, you don’t need to worry about getting hit with monthly charges.
What should I look out for?Charles Schwab is known for its brokerage and trading accounts, extending into banking only so far as two online accounts.
- Limited banking options. If you commit to banking with Charles Schwab, you’re locked into just one type of checking or savings account without much room to grow into a higher tier or change your mind about the features you need.
- Lengthy savings application. Unlike banks that offer instant account approval, to open a savings account with Schwab, you must complete a 16-page application and wait for confirmation about eligibility.
- User experience can be clunky. If you’re not interested in investing, your banking experience could be bogged down with brokerage accounts and information you don’t necessarily need.
Charles Schwab reviews and complaintsCharles Schwab isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but it earns a B+ rating overall from the BBB. Some 15 lengthy customer reviews average out to only one star, but 671 reviews on Charles Schwab‘s website average out to 4.5 stars.
You’ll find nearly 240 complaints about Schwab with the CFPB, some indicating banking errors or trouble with ATMs. But nearly all complaints show a timely response from Charles Schwab — a sign of general trustworthiness.
The FFIEC awards Charles Schwab “Outstanding” and “Satisfactory” ratings for its overall financial performance, and it’s financially backed by the FDIC.
In 2019, it ranked among the Top 50 companies on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list, where it also ranked first for innovation.
Charles Schwab customer service
Get help with your account by calling, visiting or logging in to Charles Schwab:
- Phone. Call 888-403-9000 to talk to a banking representative.
- Branch. Find a branch to visit an office near you.
- Live chat. Get answers 24/7 by talking with a rep online.
- Online account. Log in to your account to narrow down help specific to your questions.