My Love Affair with my Checking Account

Let me tell you a story. One weekend, I went to an Earth day festival. A national bank had set up a booth to try to get new customers. I started chatting with the man at the booth, and he tried to pitch me his bank.

I told him I will never change banks, because I have Charles Schwab and I am obsessed with it and I try to convert everyone I know.

The bank employee looked around and then pulled me to the side, whipped out his wallet, and showed me that he has Charles Schwab, too! It is the best bank!

I am going to share with you all the reasons why I love Charles Schwab for my checking account, but there are other options out there. Even though I am pretty passionately in love with my bank, it might not be right for you. But…it actually probably is. Here’s why:

-All of my banking is done online, and you can either scan checks in with the handy-dandy app and then they are automatically deposited for you, or you can mail in paper checks with the pre-paid, pre-addressed, pre-return-with-my-name–already-addressed envelopes that they provide for free.

-I can use any ATM pretty much worldwide and I get reimbursed for all of the fees. This year I have saved $105 in ATM fees…heheh. I have never paid for an ATM so the places where this is not covered must not be places I go!

-Checks are free.

-When you travel abroad you don’t have to pay any currency conversion fees (many banks charge a percentage of whatever it is you are withdrawing).

-There are no fees. Actually, I have paid one fee. That is because my debit card was stolen and I was going abroad in 3 days and I chose to pay $15 for Charles Schwab to rush Fed-Ex my new debit card. But, compared with other banks that charge you monthly fees just for the honor of them holding onto YOUR money for you…that is pretty good.

-I earn interest on my checking! It isn’t very much (.1%), but earning interest on checking is actually pretty rare. Most banks are charging you fees and you are getting nothing back in return. Some interest is better than no interest, and some interest is way better than paying someone else to make money off of what is yours!

The only thing that is somewhat intimidating about Charles Schwab is that when you open a checking account you also have to open a brokerage account (for investing). However, you don’t actually have to put any money into the brokerage account until you feel ready to commit (or ever, actually). I have had Charles Schwab for 4 years now and my brokerage account is still $0.00. And Charles Schwab still treats me like a VIP!

My sister told me that she and her husband were taken out to dinner by their Schwab financial advisor and he gave them free financial advice all night. Disclaimer: they only got the free dinner because my brother-in-law is friends with the advisor, but the financial advice is always free from Charles Schwab!

Here is how I feel when I use Charles Schwab: super financially savvy. Because I don’t pay for things that other suckers pay for. And that is the point of this blog.



  1. This is an excellent post. A takeaway for me is that it is important to fully shop banks before opening an account. It would be akin to trying on a pair of pants or test driving similar types of cars before settling on a brand. I bank with USAA and my parents bank with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and they both offer comparable services and customer service to Charles Schwab.


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