I have written quite a few posts on checking accounts recently, including specific account reviews and promotions and general topics such as checking account fees. A majority of those accounts discussed so far in my articles was regular checking accounts that don’t give account owners much other than those traditional functions like paying bills and making purchases with an associated debit/check card. Normally, as I mentioned in my previous articles, these accounts require a monthly minimum account balance or a certain number of transactions (either debit card transactions or direct deposit) to avoid account fees. Today, I am going to talk about another type of checking account that lets owners earn return for money kept in the account. This type of checking account is call interest checking account and the one I am going to discuss is Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account.
As an interest bearing checking account, the biggest difference between Schwab checking account is, of course, that the latter lets account owner earn interests for the account balance. Currently, the rate is set at 0.15% APY for any balance, which doesn’t seem to be very exciting if you are looking for returns (in that case a traditional savings account will serve you better). However, considering that what you get is a checking account that gives you all the flexibilities of how to use the account (savings accounts normally don’t allow more than six withdrawals per month) and, at the same time, pays you for the money you have in the account, it’s a better option than a traditional checking account.
And as I mentioned before, most checking accounts do require some conditions be met to avoid monthly account fees these days, but that’s not the case for the Schwab Bank High Yield Checking Account, which has no monthly service fee and no account minimum balance. But that’s not all. As a customer, you will also get
- Free standard checks and Visa Platinum debit card
- Free online bill pay
- Unlimited ATM fee rebate from any ATM
- Schwab mobile deposit
- FDIC insurance up to $250,000
It’s not new that banks don’t charge ATM fees for using their own ATMs and there are banks also refund fees charged by other ATM operators to a limit such as up to 5 withdrawals per month. That’s not the case for Schwab Bank which refunds unlimited ATM fees, as long as they are fees charged for using the ATM.
While these features sound quite appealing, there’s, however, one catch (as you can imagine from the word “Investor” in the account name): You can only get a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account after you open a Schwab One brokerage account. There’s no way you can get the checking account only without having a Schwab brokerage account first. However, since the Schwab One brokerage account also has no minimum initial balance requirement and no monthly fee, it’s still doable, right?