Charles Schwab High-Yield Investor Checking Account Review

Charles Schwab Bank

Schwab Bank’s Investor Checking account is our top pick among the best checking accounts. Charles Schwab is a full-service banking and investment institution backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to protect your money. Its Investor Checking Account offers a higher interest rate on your money than other checking accounts — regardless of the account balance.

CNET Money expert Aaron Hurd likes that Charles Schwab Bank reimburses ATM fees worldwide and doesn’t charge foreign currency conversion fees on ATM withdrawals.

What we like

  • Interest-earning checking account 
  • Linked to Schwab One Brokerage account to transfer funds to your investing account
  • No monthly service or overdraft fees
  • No minimum account balance requirement
  • Unlimited fee reimbursements for cash withdrawals

What we don’t like

  • Limited physical branches for in-person assistance
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements are only for cash withdrawals, not for balance inquiries, point-of-sale transactions or international ATM withdrawals

The Schwab Bank Investor Checking doubles as a checking and brokerage account with a few perks and minimal fees.

APY Up to 3.30%
Minimum balance $0
Monthly fee $0
Overdraft fee $0
Foreign transaction fee None

What is the Schwab Bank Investor Checking account?

The Schwab Bank Investor Checking account currently offers a 0.45% annual percentage yield. It doesn’t charge monthly account fees or overdraft fees, which helps you keep more money in your pocket. 

We also like that the account doesn’t have minimum deposit or balance requirements. And if you’re looking to invest, your account is linked to a Schwab brokerage account to make transferring money painless. 

Online checking accounts tend to offer better perks than traditional checking accounts, but depositing cash into an online account can be tough. However, we like that Schwab Bank offers several ways to deposit money, including mobile deposit, transfers from another bank, direct deposits, mailed checks or wire transfers. Free checks and online bill pay are also available. But if you have frequent cash deposits, you may consider having a second checking account or another option to deposit cash. Customers note that cash deposits have to be converted to a money order or cashier’s check to be deposited. 

We like that Schwab has 24/7 customer service, like one of our other top online banks, Ally, despite not having many physical branches nationwide. It also ranks number one in the J.D. Power 2023 Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study

Who the Schwab Bank Investor Checking account is best for 

Schwab’s checking account is a good overall fit for most people, especially considering it has few fees and gives you the chance to earn interest on your deposits. The account may also be a good way to get a kickstart with investing since it’s linked to a brokerage account. If you already have a brokerage account or another bank account with Schwab, this checking account can help you stash all of it in one place. 

Schwab’s checking account is a good overall fit for most customers, especially with its few fees and the chance to earn interest on your deposits. However, since its physical locations are limited, you may consider other options if you prefer in-person assistance.

How Schwab’s checking account compares

Other top checking account picks have similar features and perks, including no monthly fees. But there are a few differences worth considering, especially if you prefer to have a physical branch nearby or want to earn more on your deposits. 

APY Branch access Overdraft fee Minimum deposit Monthly fee
Schwab  0.45% No (Over 300 brokerage branches) None $0 $0
Axos 3.30% No None $50 $0
NBKC 1.75% Limited (four branches) None $0 $0
Quontic 1.10% No None $0 $0
SoFi 0.50% No None $0 $0
Information as of March 20, 2024.
Axos’ Rewards Checking account has banking, borrowing and investing requirements to earn this rate. However, even if you only meet certain rate requirements, you’ll still earn interest on your deposits. 

How to open a checking account at Schwab 

You can open an account online, by calling 888-403-900 or by mailing in a printed application. If you open an account online, here’s what you should expect. 

1. You can choose between opening an individual or joint checking account. 
2. You’ll submit your personal information, including your email address, phone number and Social Security number. 
3. Schwab will ask you to complete a security check with an access code to confirm your identity and set up your online account information. 
4. Then you’ll complete the setup and create an online account, and make your initial deposit.

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