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Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account Review: Rare, Lucrative Perks for Travelers

Review Updated
Kailey Hagen
Matt Frankel, CFP®
By: Kailey Hagen and Matt Frankel, CFP®

Our Banking Experts

Eric McWhinnie
Check IconFact Checked Eric McWhinnie
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield. APYs are subject to change at any time without notice.

The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account takes a unique approach to attracting customers, relying more on its unique travel perks than a high APY. These perks, including unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide and no foreign transaction fees, make it a top choice for frequent travelers.

Ratings Methodology
Rates as of May 21, 2024
Award Icon 2024 Award Winner

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.75 out of 5 stars.
4.75/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.75 out of 5 stars.
4.75/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
0.45%
Min. To Earn APY
$0.01
  • Competitive APY
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide
  • Great customer service
  • Free linked investment account with checking account
  • Higher APY available at other financial institutions
  • Physical locations for investment services

This free checking account is available to Schwab brokerage customers. Schwab offers unlimited domestic and international ATM reimbursements. Schwab also doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee (which can be 1% to 3% of transaction cost). In addition, there is no minimum deposit requirement and no minimum balance requirements.

Checking account comparison

We recommend comparing checking account options to ensure the account you're selecting is the best fit for you. To make your search easier, here's a short list of standout accounts.

Account APY Promotion Next Steps
0%
Min. to earn: N/A
Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month (see details when you click 'Open Account')
0.40% (up to 3.30%)
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. To earn the full APY, account holders must do all of the following: Receive monthly direct deposits totaling more than $1,500; make 10 transactions a month with your Axos debit card, or sign up for Axos's Personal Finance Manager; maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Self Directed Trading Account; and use your Rewards Checking account to make your full monthly Axos Bank consumer mortgage, personal, or auto loan payment.
Min. to earn: Monthly direct deposits totaling at least $1,500
Use the promo code AXOS300 when you apply for a Rewards Checking account by June 30th, 2024. Then have qualifying direct deposits to earn up to a $300 bonus!
0.50%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. You can earn the maximum savings APY by having Direct Deposit (no minimum amount required) or by making $5,000 or more in Qualifying Deposits every 30 days. See SoFi Checking and Savings rate sheet at: https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
Min. to earn: $0
Cash bonus up to $300 with direct deposit set up (see details when you click 'Open Account')

Full Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account review

Top perks

Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements: The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account doesn't have a network of surcharge-free ATMs, but that's OK because the bank will reimburse you for ATM fees you incur anywhere in the world. Few banks do this, at least on an unlimited basis, so Schwab’s unlimited international ATM fee reimbursements make this account one of the top choices for frequent travelers who value having easy access to their cash.

No foreign transaction fees: $0 foreign transaction fees are a rarity for banking accounts, making this a standout feature.

Free checks: The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account offers free standard wallet and duplicate check styles to account holders -- a somewhat rare benefit. And the free check writing benefit is unlimited. 

Outstanding customer service: Charles Schwab Bank received the highest score in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Direct Banking Satisfaction Study for its excellent customer service and has received this honor for the past five years in a row. That might not seem like a big deal, especially if you rarely contact your bank, but when you run into problems or questions about your account, quality customer support is invaluable.

Save and invest in one place: When you open a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account, you’ll also open a Schwab One® brokerage account. You'll have a single login for both accounts, so you can quickly transfer funds from one account to the other.

Access your funds wherever you go: Schwab Bank's mobile app lets you transfer funds, remotely deposit checks, pay bills, view your transaction history, lock your debit card, and set up alerts to track your account activity. These features make it easy for you to manage your money even if you don't live near a Charles Schwab branch location.

FDIC insured: Finally, Charles Schwab checking accounts are covered by the same FDIC insurance as traditional bank accounts. This protects your funds up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution, in the event of a bank failure.

What could be improved

Low APY: While Schwab Bank's 0.45% APY is above-average for checking accounts, it still falls a little behind some of the best checking accounts. Those who are hoping to grow their money quickly may want to consider a different high-yield checking account or a high-yield savings account.

Fees

Fees Monthly Maintenance ATM Withdrawal Overdraft Stop Payment Insufficient Funds
Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking® Account $0 $0 (unlimited fee reimbursements) $0 when funds are available from a linked Schwab savings or brokerage account $0 $25 per item, up to a maximum of $100 per day
Source: Schwab Bank

How to access your money

Here's a closer look at how you can deposit and withdraw funds from your Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account.

Deposit options

You can deposit money into your Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account using any of the following methods:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Transfer from linked Schwab One® brokerage account
  • Mailed check
  • Mobile-deposited check

Note that if you choose to fund your account via wire transfer, the bank you're transferring funds from may charge you an outgoing wire transfer fee. Check with your bank to see what it charges for this. If you'd rather avoid this fee, stick to the other deposit methods listed here.

Withdrawal options

Use any of the following methods to withdraw money from your Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Check withdrawal
  • ATM cash withdrawal
  • Point-of-sale withdrawal

If the ATM you use charges fees, Schwab Bank will reimburse you for them at the end of the month. In the meantime, you'll have a reduced balance, so plan accordingly to avoid overdrawing your account. However, it's important to note that Schwab's account is one of very few checking accounts to offer unlimited reimbursement, so this can be an attractive feature for people who regularly need to get cash.

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking is right for you if:

The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account is a smart choice if you’ve already invested with Schwab and like the idea of managing your money all in one place. It's also a great fit for the world traveler who wants to avoid common checking account fees.

This account’s APY isn't the highest, but it's around the national average. Plus, with all of its convenient mobile and online tools, as well as its exceptional customer service, the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account has plenty of appeal.

Compare savings rates

Make sure you're getting the best account for you by comparing savings rates and promotions. Here are some of our favorite high-yield savings accounts to consider.

Account APY Promotion Next Steps
up to 4.60%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. You can earn the maximum APY by having Direct Deposit (no minimum amount required) or by making $5,000 or more in Qualifying Deposits every 30 days. See SoFi Checking and Savings rate sheet at: https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
Min. to earn: $0
New customers can earn up to a $300 bonus with qualifying direct deposits!
5.00% APY for balances of $5,000 or more
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. 5.00% APY for balances of $5,000 or more; otherwise, 0.25% APY
Min. to earn: $100 to open account, $5,000 for max APY
N/A
5.25%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. To ensure you keep getting the highest rate at UFB, you'll need to keep an eye on their rates. Occasionally, the bank launches new accounts with higher rates. Existing accounts need to contact the bank to request being moved to one of these new accounts.
Min. to earn: $0
N/A

Keep reading about Charles Schwab:

Our checking account methodology

At The Motley Fool Ascent, we rate checking accounts on a five-star scale (1 = poor, 5 = best). We evaluate all checking accounts across four main criteria: brand and reputation, APY and rewards, fees and minimum requirements, and perks.

Our scores are weighted as:

  • Brand and reputation: 40%
  • APY and rewards: 30%
  • Fees and minimums: 15%
  • Other perks: 15%

Learn more about how The Motley Fool Ascent rates bank accounts.

FAQs

  • The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking earns a lower APY than other interest-earning checking accounts available. 

  • Schwab offers the bankaccount slug=charles-schwab-high-yield-investor-checking field=offer_name] and the Schwab Bank Investor Savings Account. Neither is a particularly high-yield account, but they can still be convenient financial tools, especially for existing Schwab customers.

Our Banking Experts