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Charles Schwab Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Nov. 16, 2018
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions
Charles Schwab Banking Review
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
4.0 NerdWallet rating

Where Charles Schwab Bank shines:

  • Unlimited fee rebates at ATMs worldwide.
  • Attractive yields on interest checking.
  • No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements.
  • Free overdraft transfers from linked accounts.

Where Charles Schwab Bank falls short:

  • Pulls a hard credit inquiry when you apply for a new account.
  • Difficult to deposit cash.

Where Charles Schwab Bank shines:

  • Unlimited fee rebates at ATMs worldwide.
  • Attractive yields on interest checking.
  • No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements.
  • Free overdraft transfers from linked accounts.

Where Charles Schwab Bank falls short:

  • Pulls a hard credit inquiry when you apply for a new account.
  • Difficult to deposit cash.

Where Charles Schwab Bank shines:

  • Unlimited fee rebates at ATMs worldwide.
  • Attractive yields on interest checking.
  • No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements.
  • Free overdraft transfers from linked accounts.

Where Charles Schwab Bank falls short:

  • Pulls a hard credit inquiry when you apply for a new account.
  • Difficult to deposit cash.

 

The bottom line

Schwab Bank

at Schwab Bank,

Member, FDIC

Charles Schwab may be known primarily as an investing platform, but it is also a bank that offers online checking accounts, savings accounts and certificates of deposit. And they’re each pretty darn good.

Best if: You want a stellar interest checking account and you don’t need to deposit cash often.


Read on for more information about Charles Schwab’s checking, savings, certificates of deposit, ATM reimbursements and more.

Checking

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Schwab has one of the best ATM fee reimbursement programs in the game, and the fact it has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements is a big bonus.

More upsides:

Earns 0.35% APY: It’s hard to find interest checking accounts that don’t have monthly fees or minimum requirements, but Schwab Bank offers one.

Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, domestically and abroad.

A brokerage account: You’ll get a Schwab One brokerage account at the same time you open the checking account. You’re not under any obligation to use the brokerage account, but if you want to learn more, take a look at our Charles Schwab investing review.

A downside:

Credit check: The bank will do a hard inquiry on your credit when you apply for a new Schwab account. (Find out what a hard inquiry is and why it matters.)

» Compare rewards checking: Browse NerdWallet’s recommendations of checking accounts that offer rewards or interest.

How does Schwab Bank compare?

Schwab Bank

High Yield Investor Checking®

NerdWallet Rating

APY

0.35%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

ATM reimbursements

10,000+ ATMs

Chime

Spending Account

NerdWallet Rating

at Chime,

Member, FDIC

APY

N/A

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

No overdraft/NSF fees

10,000+ ATMs

Simple

Fee-Free Checking Account

NerdWallet Rating

at Simple,

Member, FDIC

APY

0.01%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No overdraft/NSF fees

No Monthly Fee

10,000+ ATMs

Not for you? Read more bank reviews

Savings

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Charles Schwab’s High Yield Investor savings account isn’t flashy. With its low rates, you could see your money grow more quickly elsewhere.

The upside: No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

The downside: Relatively low APY of 0.45%.

» Looking for higher savings rates? Explore NerdWallet’s best high yield savings accounts.

Certificates of deposit

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Charles Schwab offers certificates of deposit with terms that typically range from one month to 10 years and come with top-notch interest rates.

An upside: APYs extend to over 3%, outshining many competitors.

A downside: Requires a minimum balance of $1,000; some online banks offer CDs with no minimum balance.

» Compare APYs and minimum opening deposits: Check our list of top CDs for this month.

Bank experience

4.0 NerdWallet rating

An upside: Charles Schwab provides customer service through multiple avenues, including Twitter and 24/7 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.

A downside: Difficult to deposit cash. You’ll have to convert your cash into a money order or check and send it in via mail or mobile check deposit.

Overdraft fees

3.0 NerdWallet rating

An upside: Free overdraft transfers. When you overdraft, Schwab may pull money from funds in your linked Schwab One brokerage account or your Schwab savings account, free of charge, if you set them up as sources for funds. An overdraft line of credit is also available to customers who qualify.

A downside: Nonsufficient funds fees. If you don’t have enough money in a backup account, Schwab may deny the overdraft transaction, and you could be hit with a $25 nonsufficient funds fee up to four times a day — that’s $100.

Schwab Bank

at Schwab Bank,

Member, FDIC

» Ready for high yield checking? Charles Schwab is a good choice if you want to earn a decent rate on your checking account and don’t need to deposit cash often. The lack of fees or minimum balances and the perk of unlimited ATM reimbursements mean you’ll be able to bank without worrying about running up avoidable charges. High CD rates and multiple customer service channels also give Schwab a boost in our ratings. Be careful of nonsufficient funds fees, and Charles Schwab Bank should provide a smooth banking experience.


Ratings methodology

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, bank 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.