Money inside a ripped jean pocket.

Dislike ATM Fees? Here’s How to Never Pay Them Again When Traveling

Out-of-network ATM fees cost travelers an average of $4.66 per transaction. That adds up quickly if you’re planning a summer US road trip or traveling internationally where you don’t have access to compatible ATMs. Luckily, there’s an easy solution that any American can use.

The Secret Is Out

Man whispering into a woman's ear.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Charles Schwab is notorious for offering brokerage services. But did you know you can open a checking account with them? Becoming the owner of a Schwab checking account and debit card grants you access to withdrawing fee-free money at over one million ATMs in 200+ countries.

Eligibility Requirements

Flag hanging in the front of a house.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

You must be an American citizen or resident to receive a Schwab debit card. Furthermore, you need to apply for a brokerage account before opening a checking account.

Minimum Balance Requirements

Man putting his wallet into his suit.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Schwab doesn’t have minimum balance requirements. That’s the case for both brokerage and checking accounts. So, if you enjoy the perks of a traditional bank, you can use your Schwab as a secondary account for the free ATM withdrawal benefits, funding your checking account when you travel.

Rebate Limits

Old man holding $100 bills.
Photo Credit: Irene via Adobe Stock.

Schwab offers unlimited rebates. So, you can use your debit card to withdraw your money as many times as you’d like throughout the month. As long as you use Schwab-compatible ATMs, you’ll receive a full rebate at the end of each month.

What’s the Catch?

Skeptical man.
Photo Credit: Alphaspirit via Adobe Stock.

You must use an ATM compatible with Schwab debit cards. ATMs with a Plus, Interlink, STAR, or MoneyPass network are safe to use. If you use an ATM outside of Schwab’s network partnerships, you must cover the ATM fee.

The Other Catch

Woman scratching her head.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Upon using a Schwab-compatible ATM, the fee will be removed from your account. Then, on the last business day of the month, Schwab will automatically deposit a rebate in your checking account for all the eligible ATM fees you accumulated in the past month.

Where You Can Use Your Schwab Card

Hands holding a globe.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Schwab has partnered with ATMs across the USA and in over 200 countries and territories. In most destinations, the majority of the ATMs you encounter will be compatible with their debit card.

Foreign Transaction Charges

Man with empty pockets.
Photo Credit: Deagreez via Adobe Stock.

The Schwab debit card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. No hidden charges here, folks.

Downsides Exist

Man shrugging.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

One of the biggest concerns people have with opening a Charles Schwab checking account is that Schwab doesn’t have in-person bank branches. They offer customers the option to do certain banking services through their brokerage branches, but the options are limited.

How You Can Use Your Schwab Card

Man holding a debit card.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Despite not having in-person bank branches, Schwab’s mobile app offers a robust choice of banking options. You can pay bills, wire money, and transfer money between your Schwab checking and brokerage account, among many others.

Seamless Trips

Traveler couple hugging each other.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Schwab doesn’t require its customers to notify them of their travel plans; their technology is (mostly) savvy enough to pick up on fraudulent transactions. So, you can hop around from exploring the Grand Canyon to driving to Las Vegas, using your debit card along the way with little worry about them blocking your account.

Sneaky ATM Fees

A person adding to a stack of coins.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

When using your Schwab debit card abroad (or any debit card, for that matter), always decline the ATMs currency conversion request. In almost all cases, having the ATM do so is more expensive than Schwab.

21 Pros and Cons of the Schwab Debit Card

Man with thumbs up and thumbs down.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Is your curiosity piqued about Schwab’s fee-free ATM withdrawals? While there are a lot of great things about Schwab’s debit card, it’s not all sunshine and roses. These are the factors you should weigh before biting the bullet.

21 Pros & Cons of the Schwab Debit Card

13 Things to Know Before Opening a Schwab Account

Man looking through a magnifying glass.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Opening a bank account with Schwab gets a little wonky, given they make their customers set up a brokerage account first. Here’s what you need to know about that process and more.

13 Things to Know Before Opening a Schwab Banking Account

8 Must-Knows About the Schwab Mobile App

Woman looking surprised at her phone.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Disclaimer: Your stomach might drop the first time you log into the Schwab app after making a withdrawal. The reason? Schwab sets up its checking account with a chart to show highs and lows as if it were a brokerage account. See how this looks like in advance and learn other nuances of the Schwab app.

8 Must-Knows About the Schwab Mobile App

21 Travel Bucket List Ideas for Retirees

Older couple in a Corvette.
Photo Credit: DisobeyArt via Adobe Stock.

With your Schwab card in hand, stay young at heart by exploring the world with these 21 must-see destinations during retirement.

21 Travel Bucket List Ideas for Retirees

Tourist Stereotypes

American holding an American flag and a brown suitcase.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Are you guilty of falling into these embarrassing American tourist stereotypes? Some are harmless, many are annoying, and a few are rude.

17 Embarrassing American Tourist Stereotypes

This article was produced and syndicated by A Piece of Travel.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top