Charles Schwab Bank offers a totally free checking account that has no requirements or other strings attached. Schwab Bank is an online only account; they do not have any branches. Everything is done either online or through their phone app. They also have the option of mailing checks to them for deposits, but checks can also be deposited with the phone app, so I've never used this feature. Schwab gives you free checks when you open an account and you can order additional checks if you run out. You also earn interest on your checking account balance, although the rate has fallen since I started using Schwab. However, most banks don't pay any interest on checking accounts so it's better than nothing. Customer service at Schwab is fantastic, and everyone who I've talked to has been very helpful and knowledgeable. I believe that all of their customer service reps are based in the US as well.
On March 26, 2016, on Saturday at 1:03 pm, I talked to a Charles Schwab customer service representative. I called to see why my check card could not be activated by phone. After answering all the identity questions from this representative (address, social security number, and finally drivers license number) she looked into my accounts. What had happened was that a card (from an old account that I closed) had been sent and this is why I could not activate it. After my question was answered, this rep proceeded to ask me if I was employed, what colleges I have attended, and what jobs I had worked at. Then she asked if I were going on vacation! I actually thought she was going to ask me what my net worth was! She then proceeded to insult me and say ‘I don’t know why you are activating a check card with only this amount of money in your account’. My friend dealt with either this same woman or one like her 2 years ago. He contacted Charles Schwab with a question concerning his account. She asked him why he was withdrawing money from his account and THEN asked him what he was doing with it!! And 2 years ago, after the way he was treated, I decided NOT to use Schwab as my primary bank and closed ALL my accounts except for one checking and brokerage account. Today 4/13/2016 I closed the last remaining accounts.
I complained to Charles Schwab customer service by their online email. I received a response that basically stated that someone would call me. On 4/13/2016 a male, who did not give his name, called me and claimed he had listen to the tape concerning the incident in question and said this was further verification for my identity, which is a lie. HE DID NOT LISTEN TO THE TAPE because he would have known that my identity had been verified and the female rep immediately pulled up my account information. This guy was raising his voice at me and justifying what this female customer service representative was asking. I had to yell at him to be quiet because I could not get a word in edge-wise and finally hung up on him. My identity was already verified and she was just being nosy. Charles Schwab never knew where I worked or what colleges I attended so this information was not used to verify anything. A nosy customer service representative could easily be tempted to commit fraud or theft with account holders. A terrible bank indeed and after 6 years of banking with them, it is over.
My overall experience with Charles Schwab has been a positive one. I had an IRA with Charles Schwab Bank for several years. Their website made it relatively easy to manage my money and know what was going on with it. When I needed to cash out my IRA, I was able to do so without a lot of fuss and hassle. While I had the IRA, I appreciated being able to reduce paper waste by getting all of my updates through my email and their website. All in all, I would recommend Charles Schwab Bank to anyone who is looking for someplace to start an IRA. I have not used them for banking or any other services, but I would imagine they would be just as professional and their website would be just as easy to use.
I am not a fan of banks in general. They are, however, sometimes very handy. I opened an account with Charles Schwab when I was planning to travel through Central America for six months, and it worked out beautifully. What I love most about this bank is that they reimburse for all ATM fees! I could withdraw from anywhere in the world I could locate an ATM with no hassle, and every fee was returned to me at the end of the month. Another great thing that must be noted is their superior customer service. I have never spent more than a few moments on hold, and the person on the other end is always quite pleasant and helpful. It's also a pretty nice bonus that there is no minimum for my checking account, and there are never overdraft fees, since the card will simply be declined if there are not enough funds. That aspect in particular saved my behind once. I can't stand when a debit card will allow you to overdraw, and then charges you a ridiculously high fee on top of that, making it harder to get your head above water again.
The only downside to this bank is that deposits can only be made through the mail, unless you have another account somewhere from which you can transfer. That is what I do. It may be an extra step, but it isn't a big deal to me.
I've used a Charles Schwab checking account for several years now. Schwab is a little different from other major banks in that there are no branches and everything is handled online. With internet banking and mobile banking being so efficient and commonplace there really aren't many problems created by not having branches. Checks can be deposited through the mobile app. Cash can be deposited via ATM but it's not something I've done personally. Schwab offers paid interest which most checking accounts do not have, although the rate is low. Where Schwab really shines is their customer service. Any time that I've called in I talked to a very friendly and helpful customer service rep who was based in the US. Their customer service stands out among all companies, not just banks. Schwab also offers free checks and you are reimbursed for any ATM fees, so you can use any ATM. All in all, Schwab offers a great product although it is slightly different from what some people may be accustomed to.
I have been using Charles Schwab Bank for over 4 years and have no complaints. The customer service is by far the best of any bank I've dealt with. They refund any ATM fees that other banks charge for using their ATM machine. You never have to worry about getting charged if you can't find a branch in your area. Anytime I have had a problem with questionable charges, they have refunded the charges immediately while they investigated. I love this bank and the great service they provide. I think the fact that they are not a huge bank, they take more care of their customers and make them feel valued. I Highly recommend if you are looking for a new bank.
Charles Schwab is the best online bank that you can find. If you are a traveler then it is an absolute must have. They refund all of your ATM fees world wide so you never have to worry about finding the right ATM. I have had to use their customer service twice and both times they gave me excellent service and got things taken care of very quickly. I really can't see any reason to use any other bank than them. They also have very cheap rates on international transfers where you can send money to foreign bank accounts for only $25. That is almost half of what some other banks will charge in the US. If you are looking for the easiest bank that also has the lowest fees they are the one for you.
I have had Charles Schwab for almost a decade now, and have never ran into any trouble with them. They have not ever charged me unexpected fees or fines. When I did need to get in touch, I think the customer service over the phone was pretty good. It didn't take very long to get through to a specialist, and I was very happy with his assistance. He was intelligent and very polite, so it was very easy to work with him to get my online banking set up. I have also had an appointment with a banker at one of their physical branches, this visit was not as helpful as I thought because it took a long while for the consultant to understand and promised to look into the questions I've asked, but without definitive answers while I was physically there. She was, however, also very pleasant to work with, and it was not entirely her fault that she did not know the answers immediately. Overall, Charles Schwab has been very easy to work with.
I come from a history of working in banking from several large banks(through mergers, though never working for Schwab) that I won't name. Charles Schwab really offers extremely valuable services to it's clients, and practices a very honest business in a industry plagued with corruption.
Working in the industry, I've seen first hand how these mega-corporations suck money out of their customer's pockets. From overdraft feesand schemes to cause more overdraft fees through selective processing of the order of transactions that post. Typically, banks would process the larger transactions first, and if you have an abundance of smaller transactions they would process those last, causing you to incur a fee for each of the small transactions, sometimes totaling your overdraft fees to well into hundreds of dollars...when if the reverse was true you would only have one or two fees. Schwab does none of that. I've also never had an overdraft fee with Schwab, ever.
Any ATM in the US (And maybe world-wide, I'm not sure) is free. They reimburse you at the end of every month(Yes, even those $8.00 casino ATM fees)
They also do free overdraft transfers from savings to checking, where some banks charge $5-15.00 just to transfer your own money to cover your transactions.
The only negative is the lack of physical branches. But, in a world where everything is done through the internet or smartphones, who really needs physical branches. I've only ever had to walk into a Schwab office once, and that was because I needed to deposit a check that wouldn't deposit through the mobile app, one of those money gram money orders that are printed really lightly.
Overall, though, my absolute favorite benefit of banking with them is when I make a check deposit. If I deposit a check through the mobile app during normal business hours(and sometimes even 7pm), my money is available most times within 20-30 minutes. No holds, no wait times. It's there.
The product I have is the Brokerage Account/Checking Account linked together, you get those benefits by linking the accounts. It's well worth it, people.
Pull your money from those money-sucking mega-corporation banks and move it here, it will be well taken care of and you'll be happy time and time again that you did it. (Coming from someone that used to work for those big banks.)
I'm done now, didn't really mean to write a novel. Ha.
Charles Schwab Bank is by far one of the premiere banks out there. The checking account has no hidden fees and, most importantly, allows access to your money wherever you are. No longer do you have to search out the closest branch of your bank Charles Schwab waives any ATM fee, anywhere, at any time. In addition to the excellent access to my money at any ATM, the customer services is top notch. Quick access, no annoying telephone menus, all based in America. You're going to be treated like an investment customer as the bank is actually just an extension of the brokerage and it shows. Add to the positives that they pay interest on the basic checking accounts, and it seems like a no-brainer. Some may miss being able to deposit cash in a branch, but if you can get past that, you can't do better than Schwab.
This bank was hands down the best bank I have ever dealt with. For the past 4 years I have had an account with this bank and have had no problems whatsoever. I even got my girlfriend to switch her account and be done with Bank of America
Up until recently that is...
First transactions were not posting to my online ledger as fast as I remember them usually doing so. On top of that bill payments through the online system were also not showing up. Calls to customer service to inquire did nothing.
Then came the hammer....
I had an unauthorized transaction from a company I deal with for roughly $400.00. Without going into too many details, this bank did practically nothing! What the company did was charged my debit card I had used to pay a bill once without my ok. While fighting with this company I called Schwab because I was getting nowhere.
After explaining this to Schwab, they attempted to issue a stop payment but were unable to do so because they explained it was a pending payment. They then proceeded to try and contact the company and were blown off. They then came back and told me they would do whatever they can to solve the situation which is where there help stopped.
I had a car payment go through and a personal check which thankfully were covered (my account went into the red because of this). Direct deposits went in a few days later, and none of my current bills were being paid. After finding out from my insurance company and 2 credit cards (which hit me with late & returned fees) I called Schwab. She told me they froze my bank account. The rep then tried to tell me I was told this was happening which is not true. According to her any dispute on any transaction and they freeze all activity except deposits for 10 days!?!
She then was basically telling me I was irresponsible and my account was overdrawn (of course it was because of an unauthorized charge!!!)
This bank was great 4 years ago, but when you run into trouble, forget it!
I have been with Charles Schwab Bank since 2008, at the time I was unsure what difficulty I would encounter banking with a satellite bank with scattered brick & motor structure to go to, after 3 years I can say I am more than pleased with this bank.
Over 3 years, I have never had to dispute a charge, all ATM reimbursements have been correctly and timely added back to my checking account on the 1st of the following month. The interest rate has dropped from 2% to .25% in the same time, but remians competitive in the market place. All postmarked envelopes to mail checks to the bank's Reno, NV location have come and are delivered in a timely fashion.
Customer service has been great, I call and I get a human from the U.S., no transfering around and waiting. They have answered any questions I may have. The website is easy to navigate and simple to use. I have expanded into brokeragetrading and opening a Schwab IRA through my expireience with the Bank.
I highly recommend this bank if you are looking for great service and competitive marketplace banking products, but those inetrested need to have a level of comfort with online banking.
The checking and savings accounts that Charles Schwab offers are excellent. There are even free atm withdrawals when traveling internationally. The bank saves its users many dollars in expensive international ATM withdrawals by offering this for its account holders. I really felt the customer service was exceptional. I was educated about different accounts such as a trading account as well. The team working at the Schwab bank are very competent and the web application is outstanding as well. I could not be happier with my current banking accounts. The web application on the banks website is quick and easy to discern. The page is aesthetically pleasing which shows Schwab really cares about its customers by providing the best quality of services compared to other banks.
Having read some of the reviews on this site and others about the banking services provided by Charles Schwab Bank and got the right amount information and decided to sign up. For starters, because of the type of account I created (Joint Tenants) I had to mail in my application. The account was setup within a week (during the hoilday I must say which was pretty impressive). Once the account was setup I needed to phone the customer services department and I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that a human actually answered the phone (can't remember the US City she referenced). But the experience with the customer service representatives was by far the best I've encountered since using online banks! While its been a short amount of time, this journey is off to an excellent start!
Over a year ago, I decided to start investing money into a Roth IRA. My brother who also has one referred me to Charles Schwab bank. So far, I've been very happy with them - their customer service is responsive, professional, and very polite every time I have had any issues. Moreover, they have a website and a nifty mobile app that allows me to manage my investments in a reasonably streamlined fashion. Moreover, they also dutifully notify you on the website, or by e-mail, if something is wrong with your account. For example, one time I purchased stock and forgot to transfer the money to buy it from my bank account, and not too long after that I got plenty of notifications from them so that I could remedy the issue. I would highly suggest Schwab to anyone I know who wants to begin investing.
I recently switched to Schwab bank from TD Bank for my reimbursed ATM fee needs when traveling internationally and have been impressed so far. Customer service has been great. ACH transfers are quick but there is a 3 business day hold before the funds become available. I even received a personal call and letter thanking me for my business and telling me to call if I had any issues. The only thing I did not like was they did a hard pull in order to open the account.
I have had Charles Schwab for nearly 8 years now. They are strictly an online bank that can be contacted around the world 24 hours a day. An experience I had with them recently was when I ended up having someone attempt to steal my card information while abroad. Although my card was immediately frozen I received and SMS message to my phone as well as an email. I was given all the information about why the card was frozen and what could be done to return it to use. I called Schwab immediately and I was informed that someone in Nigeria had tried to make a charge to my card. I am not sure how these people came into this information but I was given sufficient information that I felt safe using the card. They assured me that as soon as I was ready a new card could be sent to my address. Thanks for the safety.
I initially chose to use internet banking at Schwab as I already have an investment account with the firm. Since they offer interest in the money deposited in the account, I thought it was a no brainer to open a checking account at Schwab. The web interface is very intuitive and easy to use. If you also have an investment account, transferring money between the two is very easy and quick. Schwab also offers a mobile app so one can manage the accounts on the go. The mobile app is streamlined so it is also very easy to access the functionalities that are offered on the web page version. In my experience, I had no trouble transferring money from my Schwab account to or from an account at another bank. If I ever have a question, I can use the web chat or call them; agents at Schwab are always responsive and knowledgeable. Overall, I am very happy with the internet banking option offered at Schwab.
I signed up for a Charles Schwab checking and savings account about five years ago. I am telling you it is one of the best decisions I've ever made.
First, their customer service is world class. If you need to call someone and get a live person, your wait time is usuallyunder one minute. The customer service representatives are always friendly and truly show a willingness to want to help you. They also have a top notch smartphone app where you can deposit checks, pay bills, and check balances. What I also love is there is no monthly fee for their checking and savings account. What is most amazing about Charles Schwab checking accounts though is the debit card. Do you know you can go to any ATM in the world, and no matter what the withdrawal fee is, Schwab will pay the fees in full at the end of the month? Its true. You could actually go to Las Vegas, for example, withdrawal money from the casino ATMS which have very stiff fees, and Schwab will pay your fees, guaranteed. There is no reason not to sign up for a Schwab checking and savings account.
NOT SINCE I HAD AN ACCOUNT WITH CHEMICAL BANK OF NY, BANK IN THE EARLY 90'S BEFORE THAT AWFUL, CORRUPT CHASE BANK MERGED WITH THEM, HAVE I HAD AS GREAT AN EXPERIENCE WITH A BANK. CITI SUCKS, CHASE SUCKS, BOFA SUCKS, INDEPENDENCE (NOW SOVEREIGN) SUCKS, TD SUCKS (COMMERCE WAS OK BEFORE THE MERGER BUT STILL SUCKED) ALL OF THEM SUCK BUT CHARLES SCHWAB IS THE BEST NON BRICK AND MORTAR BANK. GREAT SERVICE, QUICK, GREAT WEBSITE, COOL EASY USER FRIENDLY APP., CHECKING, SAVINGS, INVESTMENTS ALL IN ONE! LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOOOOOVE IT! HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE.
I have been using Charles Schwab bank since 2008 and have had nothing but good experiences. You can open a savings or checking account with no minimum balance, and there is no monthly fee. You can withdraw money from any ATM and at the end of the month they will refund any ATM fees you have paid for that month. Unless there is a branch near you, you either have to have direct deposit or mail in your checks in order to deposit them, though. They offer free checks so when you run out of checks you don't have to pay for more. I have called their customer service line many times since I have been a customer, and they are always very friendly and helpful, and I have never had to wait on hold to talk to anyone. Late last year somehow my account was compromised and $600 in fraudulent charges were made against my account, and when I reported it they were very quick to cancel my card, send me a new one, and refund me the money. I am very happy with this bank and will definitely continue to use them in the future. I have recommended them to friends and family as well.
I recently opened my first checking account with Schwab, and am already highly impressed! The service reps have been very helpful (a rarity theses days). The perks are what really make it worthwhile:
unlimited free ATM access anywhere free VISA debit card NO maintainence fees unlimited free checks unlimted free check depositing (by prepaid mail or smartphone) easy-to-navigate website Although mailing in a check does mean it won't be credited to your account instantly, the last few I have sent in have all been cleared within 5 business days from the day of mailing, and judging that it takes about 3 days to reach their headquarted from where I live, that's not too bad. The only other con is that the interest rate is 0.1% APY, but since you don't get much more from savings accounts these days, this isn't much of a factor.
Since I have never had a checking account soley in my name before, at least a dozen different banks denied me based upon a lack of credit history before I found Schwab. If you're looking for a free convenient checking account and don't have a credit history, this is a great choice for you!
One more thing... just because they are an online bank doesn't mean they don't have physical branches. I just found one about 3 miles away from my house in Providence, RI.
Zero monthly fees, zero balance required! Unlimmited Atm reimbursments, free bill pay, and it comes with a brokerage account for trading and investing, excelent service. It has an award winning android and iphone investing app. Their webpage is full of financial information about investing and tools to help you be financially in good shape. I would definitely recommend this bank! It is a strong and powerfull 5 star Bank.
I was first introduced to Charles Schwab Bank since using their brokerage services, and adding a scwab bank checking account. I love the mobile banking app that allows me to deposit checks via my iphone / camera and reimburses me for any ATM fees incurred ! The online bill pay features are easy to use. I love not ever having to write a check (even though Schwab provides the checks for FREE) and never having to mail in a deposit (by using the Schwab bank app to deposit checks). I cannot think of a single way Schwab could may my banking experience any more useful - except one gripe, they do not really offer a business checking account - this really is for personal use only. Overall though I would highly recommend the Charles Schwab Bank - I really do think it is great.
I have been banking with Schwab since 12/2009. I opened an account when I received an internationally traded stock. Many investment banks in the US do not do their own international transactions, and customers end up paying a higher premium to a middle-man. Banking with my checking account has been a great experience. The ATM refund is convenient, and the interest is appreciated; it's low, but other banks aren't offering any better. There are no random or regular fees charged to my checking. The customer service is excellent! I have suffered economic hardships recently, and any other bank would have added to my troubles. Schwab helped.
You give Schwab Bank a C- grade for capitalization since their equity is $7.67 billion. Yet 98% of their customers have Schwab Brokerage accounts where the equity is $2.4 trillion. Hence, you should have given Schwab an A+++ capitalization rating. Since the Fed capitalization is negative if their puny assets were marked to the market and since the Fed has backed itself into a corner with money printing, and given our massive federal/state/municipal/corporate debt levels plus unfunded entitlements, we are facing financial disaster. In my opinion Schwab Bank is the safest place to weather the oncoming storm.
I am a client, but I haven't used it (mobile deposit) yet. Just wanted to point out that it is available.
It is a 5 star organization. Not great rates. Great people. The rates used to be great... back when their plain jane checking was paying 4%.
Please note in advance that this review applies to the Charles Schwab High Yield Checking Account, which I opened in conjunction with Schwab's Brokerage Account. Both accounts were free to open and do not require a minimum balance.
I recently opened an account with Charles Schwab as I will be spending a significant amount of time abroad and was attracted to the fact that the bank charges no transaction fees and reimburses all ATM fees. Opening the account was a breeze, despite my having a very short credit history. The process of verifying my identity on the phone was a pleasant (actually!) and quick experience, and I have been nothing short of impressed by the promptness of the bank's customer service (usually, a person comes on the line within 3 seconds when calling during business hours).
My one complaint would be the time it takes for checks to post and become available (just about a week), but perhaps that may be explained by the fact that my account is still new. While the bank does not have any brick and mortar branches (with the exception, I believe, of Reno, NV), the option of depositing checks with a smartphone obviates much of the inconvenience occasioned by the lack of branches.
Overall, I would recommend this bank to any of my friends looking for a banking experience with perks that sometimes seem too-good-to-be-true.
I started an account with this bank in order to do some basic investing. I didn't have much to invest but wanted to get my feet wet with the stock market. Overall, I have been pleased with my experience. Though the website can be a little difficult to navigate, they have great customer service with the online chat feature. The workers can answer any question. I am also pleased with the account fees, as they are some of the lowest around. The setup of the online account viewing is also convenient and easy to navigate. It is also great that they have an app.
This bank has been very helpful in the past. I accidentally made an incorrect transaction and the bank was able to reverse the transaction within days. It only took one phone call to customer service, where they were very helpful. This bank has great rates and very low fees. Even though it is an online account, they make sure to provide everything needed to make deposits easy.
I had high hopes for moving all of my banking into Charles Schwab Bank because of the higher rates. I set everything up and then got to the point of depositing my funds from my old bank and they would not electronically transfer from my current bank. I would think that a bank that existed solely online would be able to get funds from any bank, but this wasn't the case so I needed to shut down my account. I was frustrated and I will probably never try this again with Charles Schwab.
I have a company account with Charles Schwab with about $5,000 stuck with them now. I have been trying to get it transferred to Vanguard, with strong push back from CS.
In order to transfer, I made an online request with Vanguard, and also received a Form from them which I filled and sent back to Vanguard, authorizing the transfer from CS to Vanguard - the Vanguard Form has a field for a CS Account Number - could not find any Account Number in any of the correspondence from CS, so called CS and after a spending about an hour, was told by a CS representative that my SSN was my Account Number, and that is what I need to provide in the Form from the new Firm.
I sent over the completed and signed papers to Vanguard, and hear back from them that CS has rejected the Transfer on the grounds that the Account Number provided is "Incorrect".
I called CS again, and NOW they tell me that I have to fill up a CS Form to effect the Transfer. I start getting irritated, and the rep says "hold on, let me see if I can do something," and I tell him to buzz off and send me the Form, and that I do not want to have anything to do with them again.
NEVER EVER recommending this piece of shit company to anyone again.
I wish Government did a better job of governing the 1% rather than the Internet strangling bill they are straddling!
I have been using Schwab for awhile now and they are just great! I love the way they post items - in order of purchase, timely - even on Sundays some items get processed. I just love it! Works great for me and there Bill Pay is the Best I have ever seen! You won't be disappointed if you decide to go with Schwab! They are the way to go!
Recently switched from CitiBank - oh my goodness what a difference. Everyone seems informed, helpful, professional and able to assist with any reasonable issue. They answer the phone rapidly, staff their call center with knowledgeable reps (presumably in the US) and are truly a pleasure to bank with.
Oh, I did i mention none of those BS fees that CitiBank felt compelled to charge at every possible occasion.