Best. Checking Account. Ever.

When it comes to checking accounts, most people use either a) big bank because of its numerous locations and convenience or b) a credit union because they prefer the customer service, lower interest rates, and lower fees that you don’t receive at a national bank. I prefer option c) a Charles Schwab online checking account. Charles Schwab’s High Yield Investor Checking Account has completely changed the way I handle money.


Every ATM is Your ATM
The absolute best thing about this account is the ability to pull out cash from any ATM WORLDWIDE. This includes gas stations, liquor stores, corner markets, and swap meets, etc. You can even withdraw money oversees without worrying about foreign transaction fees. Schwab reimburses you monthly for any transaction fees you incur. This feature has changed the way I use cash. Now I don’t have to search for the nearest Chase or BofA whenever I need cash to avoid ATM fees. Even though most people use credit or debit cards for almost every purchase nowadays, sometimes cash is still needed. How many of you pull out a couple hundred bucks when you go to Vegas or vacation? Do you really want to carry $1k in cash next time you go to Cambodia? With this account, you wouldn’t have to. $20 ATM fee in a Las Vegas casino? No problem. I pull out just enough for what I need that day.

Rebate at the end of the month for ALL ATM Fees? Awesome
Rebate at the end of the month for ALL ATM Fees? Awesome
Motivated me to Start Investing
The best side benefit to opening this account is that a Schwab Brokerage Account is created and linked to your checking. While you’re not required to invest anything with Schwab, just the fact that this account is opened made me start thinking about investing. Even though my first investments with Schwab were crappy Certificate of Deposits, it did get me started. Now we have a few mutual funds at Schwab and Betterment that should offer a lot better returns than the CDs.
 
Better Service than a Traditional Bank
Who needs to go to a bank?
Who needs to go to a bank?

While people might be hesitant to use an online bank, I haven’t had any issues. How often do you actually need to step into a bank nowadays? Almost anything you need from a traditional bank you can do with Schwab over the phone, online, or through your smartphone or tablet. You can deposit checks on your phone, and you don’t need to go to a branch to pull out cash. You can call customer service 24/7 and  get connected to a live person quickly compared to when I used to bank at Bank of America. The one time I had an issue, they were helpful and were able to solve my problem fairly quickly. There are no hidden fees, no monthly minimums, and checks are free. You also get a little bit of interest on your loans which are comparable to savings accounts at the bigger banks.

The ATM-fee reimbursement feature alone is worth using Schwab as your primary checking account. When you add the top notch customer service to an account that doesn’t try to nickel and dime you with monthly fees or minimum balances, than you can see why I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the best checking account I’ve ever had.

*Click Here for More Information on Charles Schwab’s High Yield Investor Checking

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5 thoughts on “Best. Checking Account. Ever.

  1. Hi there – how do you handle moving cash into your account? I work jobs that pay in cash at times and I like to keep my cash in my bank account. Is there a way to do this?

    Love your blog by the way. Found it and am inspired. May even try moving to Cricket!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christina,

      Thanks for reading! Depositing cash is the one negative with this account. It’s usually not that big of a problem for me as I don’t need to deposit cash that often. However, I do have a secondary checking account with Chase for this very purpose. I keep an extremely low balance in that account just to keep it active, and anytime I deposit cash I just move all the funds to the Schwab account. I honestly could do without the account, but it’s nice to have in the event I get an influx of cash (over $100). Usually I just hold the cash and spend it before using my credit cards whenever I need to use money.

      In your case, I would definitely have a second account at a credit union or major bank. I know that the idea of two checking accounts might seem like overkill, but it’s totally worth it. The ability to pull cash out anywhere worldwide and getting reimbursed for fees is completely worth it.

      I hope you do try Cricket! It’s AT&T, but cheaper!

      Like

  2. Hey Vic,

    I just discovered your blog through the ynab blog. Love the site! I will actually be a dad myself in March and I’m enjoying reading your experiences on the transitions. Last week I’ve looked into Charles Schwab so I’m glad to hear that you like them. My wife is hesitant with online banking, but we are still considering it. Thanks for the info and keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thanks for checking out my blog! I love YNAB and appreciated the opportunity to have a guest post.

      I’ve done online banking for years starting with a Capital One 360 savings account, and I’ve never had any issues. Is there something specific that your wife is hesitant about? The only downside of an online checking account is the inability to deposit cash. If that’s a problem – I’d recommend Schwab as a second checking account. Being able to pull out cash from any ATM worldwide is such a great feature.

      Congrats on the upcoming baby! You’ll love it. I never thought I’d be that guy that loved being a dad, but it’s truly an amazing experience. I’d love to connect with you to discuss anything about fatherhood – reach out to me on Twitter and we can DM each other!

      Like

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