So first of all I have to say I’m not sponsored by Schwab in any way (although I should get on that, I rep them pretty hard) but I am a true convert.
1. Their checking account
– they reimburse your ATM fees AND foreign transaction fees
– they give you free checks
– you can put cash in the brokerage account and use it as overdraft protection without any finance charges
-you can deposit checks by taking a picture on your iPhone (next blog entry might be about why I love iPhones)
– no minimum balance and no fees for going below a certain balance
– they pay you interest on your balance (0.20%, which is almost as much as Wells Fargo gives you on savings)
– no nickel and diming. They are primarily a brokerage company and that is their main source of revenue. Randomly and sneaking charging you fees is not a priority of theirs (unlike some banks, or I guess almost all banks).
– you can’t deposit cash (workaround is to get a cashiers check at any bank and deposit the check)
– only a few branches in new York, or anywhere (which they make up for by reimbursing your ATM fees)
2. Their customer service
This almost went under the checking account bullet but it is a notable point on it’s own. The first time I tried to sign up for an account, they called me because I hadn’t completed the online application and wanted to make sure I didn’t have any questions. (I had to tell them the reason I couldn’t sign up was because I hadn’t had a valid state ID in three years.)
I went with someone open an account at a branch and they said they usually call when they notice the balance is getting low. And then they actually did when it happened!
Because I’m in finances and listen to Telegram forex signals often, I had to get a special letter saying I worked in finances to open a brokerage account. I also went down to the branch and spoke to someone who helped me open an account. He said he would email me when it was open and send me a document to help transfer funds in. When I got back to my office, an email was sitting in my inbox with the transfer form and the next day I received a phone call letting me know the account was open.
I was having trouble getting mobile check deposit service on my phone. I quickly emailed my guy (I guess he’s my guy now) and within 48 hours, they had the service up and running.
The bottom line
What it boils down to with Charles Schwab is that they treat you like a person, no matter how much money you have in your account. They have found a way to bring stellar customer service, in the financial sector, to the masses. I have a total of $134 in my checking account and my questions and emails are answered within 24 hours. When you visit a branch, you sit with a banker in his or her office and they look you in the face when they speak to you. You actually walk out of there feeling like someone is taking care of you and your money.