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At A Glance

Charles Schwab Corporation was founded in 1971 in California by Charles Schwab himself. Charles Schwab Bank is the banking division of the corporation which today is one of the largest brokerage firms in the United States and is ranked 13th on the list of largest banks in the US. This corporation boasts a total of $3.72 trillion in client assets and over 12 million brokerage accounts. Charles Schwab bank is predominantly an online bank offering customer service around the clock and in person service for investors at local branches. Its 345 branches can be found across 46 states and across the seas in Puerto-Rico and London.

Schwab operates in four main divisions: investing, wealth management, banking, and trading. Under the banking umbrella, Schwab bank offers a full range of products and services, including deposit accounts, lending, and investing.

Mission Statement: “A modern approach to investing and retirement”
Charles Schwab’s was built on the foundation of putting their clients first; championing their every goal and showing them how to take ownership of their financial future.


  • Unlimited ATM fee refund
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Attractive yields on checking account
  • No account fees or minimums
  • Free overdraft transfers
  • Financial Management Tools
  • FDIC Insured
  • Low interest rates
  • Branch locations are primarily for investors
  • Limited options for day-to-day banking products
  • Difficult to make cash deposits

Types of Products & Services

As Charles Schwab is primarily a brokerage house the firm provides a wide variety of brokerage and investment accounts. In fact, the firm ranks as the third-best brokerage firm in the U.S. As a full-service investment firm Schwab bank offers services and technology to everyone from self-directed active traders to beginners who require the guidance of a financial advisor. The firm has a wide variety of platforms from which to choose, as well as full banking capabilities. Schwab bank also offers trust accounts, Traditional and Roth IRAs, and other types of retirement accounts, as well.

Brokerage Account

Trading Accounts

Retirement IRAs

Trust & Estates

Schwab One Trading Brokerage Account

Charles Schwab bank requires you to open a Schwab trading account when you open a checking account, although you are under no obligations to use it, the brokerage account does yield some interesting perks and features:

  • $4.95 per online equity trade
  • No account maintenance fees
  • Buy and sell investment stocks, such as: options, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and more
  • Easily manage your account and trading from Schwab.com and the Schwab mobile app
  • Get insights, helpful screening and planning tools, plus investing strategy education from Schwab.com
  • 24/7 access to our call center and teams

Schwab Global Account

This trading account is designed for U.S. investors seeking to trade in international markets in their local currencies. Trading accounts at Charles Schwab offer you $4.95 on all of your online equity trades, the best trading platforms and tools, as well as support from trading specialists. With a qualifying deposit of $100,000 (cash or securities) you can get 500 commission-free online equity and options trades that are good for 2 years.

  • No account or trade minimum
  • No account fees
  • Get real-time quoted during trading hours
  • View multi-currency statement reporting
  • Trade ADRsand FOTCsin U.S. dollars
  • Trader education and expert insights
  • Speak with a Global Investing Services specialist anytime between 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday and 5:30 p.m. ET Friday


Opening an IRA account allows you to plan for your future by investing your funds and saving for retirement in the best possible way. Schwab bank offers multiple types of IRAs each with their own unique perk:

  • Traditional IRA: entitled to the current tax-year deduction, but will have to pay taxes when you take money out for retirement
  • Roth IRA: Entitled to tax benefits at a later time; when you take out your retirement savings tax-free
  • Rollover IRA: this type of IRA allows you to roll over your plan from a former employer and continue saving for your retirement
  • Inherited IRA: If you have inherited an IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan account then you can open this type of account to continue managing the funds
  • Custodial IRA: this account is specific to those who may have a child with earned income. It allows you to invest their income until they come of age where it will then be transferred into their name in preparation for their retirement

Trust & Estates

Charles Schwab bank is fully equipped to help estate planning. With the aid of their advisors they help customers streamline the process of consolidating assets, buying and selling securities, managing cash flow to cover expenses and pay taxes, and more. Depending on each individual client situation, estate planning can be done through a Trust account, Estate account and/or Schwab Charitable account.

Schwab One Trust Account: Allows you to plan ahead and simplify the management and protection of your assets. This Trust account has all the same perks as the Brokerage One account.

  • No monthly fee
  • There is No minimum opening balance requirement if you hold a Schwab checking account or set up a recurring deposit of $100 per month
  • $4.95 per online trade

Schwab One Estate Account: Gives you the flexibility to manage and distribute an estate’s assets, including consolidating assets and accessing cash to pay taxes or cover expenses. Plus, the account entitles you to all the benefits and perks of the Brokerage One account. The Schwab estate account is pre-dominantly designed for account executors or court-appointed admins of the estate.

  • No monthly fee
  • There is No minimum opening balance requirement if you hold a Schwab checking account or set up a recurring deposit of $100 per month
  • $4.95 per online trade

Additionally, an advisor will help you:

  • Quickly distribute assets to beneficiaries
  • Transfer titles to heirs
  • Decide how assets are invested

Schwab Charitable Account: The Charitable account provides an easy way to give back to a charity of your choice by helping you structure your donations as a tax-smart investment solution of a donor-advised account.

  • Minimum of $5,000 for a core account; $250,000 for a professionally-managed account
  • Realize same-year tax benefits if you itemize
  • Potentially eliminate capital gains tax on the contribution of appreciated non-cash assets and securities
  • Make your donations when it is convenient and meets your charitable goals
  • Manage your giving online

Below we explore some of the many offerings of Charles Schwab under its banking arm of the corporation:

Checking Account

Savings Account

Personal Loans

Credit Cards

High Yield Investor Checking Account

it only takes a matter of minutes to open a checking account online with Schwab bank. The catch to this account is that it requires you to first open (or already have) a Schwab One Brokerage account. No minimum deposit is required in either account, and you don’t actually ever have to use the brokerage account.

The account also includes the following features:

  • Earns 0.31% APY
  • Schwab Mobile Deposit, which allows remote deposits from anywhere
  • Bill Payments and Free standard checks
  • FDIC insurance (up to $250,000)
  • Ability to link Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Microsoft Wallet

High Yield Investor Savings Account

to open a savings account at Schwab Bank you must first download the application form and then mail it back to Schwab. This might take longer than the usual opening of accounts, but there are no fees and no minimums required.  This account earns a modest interest rate and gives you access to a debit card for withdrawals and purchase within the U.S and while travelling.

The account also includes the following features:

  • Earn 0.34% APY
  • No monthly maintenance fees or foreign transaction fees
  • No minimum initial deposit
  • No ongoing balance requirement
  • Unlimited ATM refunds

Personal Loans

Schwab bank partners with Quicken Loans for home purchase loans, mortgage refinancing, and second mortgages. There are two types of loans offered by the bank: Jumbo loans and Confirming loans. The online website for Charles Schwab as well as the mobile app, offer links to a mortgage calculator and insight articles to help customers plan more accurately for their future investments.

Credit Cards

Charles Schwab also offers its customers two credit card options that are only eligible for clients with existing Schwab accounts. Schwab partners with American Express in order to offer you some interesting perks:

Schwab Investor Card:

  • Earn $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days
  • No annual fee
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers during the first 6 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back automatically on purchases

American Express Platinum Card:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus reward points after spending $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days
  • Receive $100 statement credit if your combined Schwab holdings equal $250,000 or get a $200 statement credit for holdings equal to $1,000,000
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent
  • Get $15 Uber credit each month and $20 in December
  • Earn 5X points on flights and hotels
  • Access to American Express Global Lounges when travelling
  • Receive up to $200 in statement credits per year for travel incidental
  • Get a statement credit every 4 years for TSA Pre

Banking Features

Account fees: Charles Schwab bank charges fees for certain banking transactions which are competitive with other online banks:

  • Outgoing wire transfer: $25
  • Request a cashier’s check: $10 per check
  • Insufficient funds fees: $25 per item, with a maximum of four items per day
  • Returned deposit: $5 each
  • Rush delivery for a new debit card: $15 or more

Security: At Schwab bank, security is a number one priority. The company uses industry-standard security features to prevent cyber-attacks or potential information theft. In addition, Schwab offers voice ID recognition for their customers to access their accounts as well as a two-factor authentication option that requires a unique code every time you login.

Customer Service: Charles Schwab provides customer service through multiple avenues, including Twitter and 24/7 chat support via their app or website. 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. You can also visit a local branch if its nearby for in-person support, although the branches aren’t always equipped to handle all the day-to-day banking, Schwab employees are there to help get you the help you need.

About Charles Schwab Bank

Charles Schwab founded The Charles Schwab Corporation almost 50 years ago, back in 1971, headquartered in San Francisco. Originally, the corporation began as a discount brokerage firm, that has since evolved to provide full range of banking services, investment services and technology. As one of the largest brokerage firms in the United States, Schwab offers top of the line products to its customers from an electronic trading platform to trade financial assets including common stocks, preferred stocks, futures contracts, exchange-traded funds, options, mutual funds, and fixed income investments, to margin lending, and cash management services, as well as services through registered investment advisers.

This investment firm is the #1 custodian for independent advisors, and a leader in asset management and retirement planning. Located across 46 states, Charles Schwab offers its customers a better, more modern way to build and manage their wealth.

The Bottom Line

Often household names for investment brokerages are overlooked for banking products and services options. While Charles Schwab options are limited the checking and savings accounts pack quite the perks. This bank is good for those who are agile with banking online, travel often, don’t need to make frequent cash deposits and are looking for high-yield checking or savings account.

If your goals are more long-term, you may want to look at other online options that offer CDs and money markets, for higher APY rates.