Author Topic: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?  (Read 2270 times)

Offline Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am

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What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« on: September 07, 2015, 09:03:55 AM »
http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/banking_lending
I was just browsing around on their website above link just to check it out.
Here http://tinyurl.com/o33q32k it says:
Before you start, be sure to have this information with you for each applicant:
* U.S. permanent resident address
* Social Security number or Tax ID
*Driver's license number, state, and expiration date
*Employer's name and mailing address (if you have an employer)
*If you are not a U.S. resident, visit our Global site http://tinyurl.com/nl3sk5d

I'm not a U.S. permanent resident and or have a U.S. permanent address. I don't even have a U.S. driver license.
So, it may be difficult for me to apply for a Charles Schwab account.
I also noticed, they now do not deal or issue credit cards, but just ATM debit cards with a Visa Logo, which one has to have a linked Brokerage Account even with an ATM O balance in the account and they can not really say what the foreign conversion fee rates are or if any at all.
And they charge a $25 fee for international money wire transfers. So, there's no avoiding fees for money wire transfers!

It seems that we're still better off just doing what we've been doing all there years in the Philippines and just write out our U.S. personal checks for deposit into our RP local bank's USD account, no fees no nothing for deposit, but just to wait 25 days for our check to clear and post into our RP local bank's USD account. I really do not find any advantages to having a Charles Schwab account, unless someone can convince me otherwise.
Also some with HSBC accounts, swears by them, that it's the best banking system for expats, but that's another topic on it's own!     
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 09:25:46 AM by Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am »
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
"It's always a matter of money"!
"Do on to others as they would do on to You, but do it first"!
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Offline suzukig1

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2015, 01:24:48 PM »
The ATM card is very useful when I travel.  Otherwise, the USD check deposit method for obtaining funds in the Phl is fine.

I have a U.S. Fidelity account but I still use a U.S. address on that account.  I have an ATM card that reimburses all ATM fees.  (The exchange rate I get is slightly better, but insignificantly so, than the exchange rate I get changing USD to pesos at BPI.)  You cannot open a U.S. Fidelity account without a U.S. address.  The same as Schwab.  At Fidelity you can open an international account if you live outside the U.S. but you don't get an ATM card and you cannot buy U.S. mutual funds.

Offline chimellie

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 09:35:44 PM »
I just opened a checking account with Schwab. From what I heard, they give good exchange rate when using their debit card, they will reimburse ATM fees. 

Offline hoz

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2018, 08:59:33 PM »
Of you don't have a US addy, or can't access one it won't work for you. I do and it does. I like the fact I can access money immediately, not 25 days from now. So far they have refunded all bank charge fees, no fee for "foreign" transactions and whatever the exchange rate between banks is at the moment of the transaction is what you get.

Offline Lee2

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 05:43:31 AM »
I was told recently that they swamp you with snail mail after opening the account, is that true? and if true, does the heavy mail continue on? I tried to open an account with CS about a year ago by walking into one of their offices but they refused to use a po box for a mailing address, I already have a Fidelity account which also works when in the Philippines and also reimburses all fees and when I used the atm card at HSBC (since it has a Visa logo on it) there were no fees and I was able to take out p40,000 at one shot, so does the Charles Schwab atm card also have a visa logo on it? and if so, then you guys might wish to try it at HSBC (if available to you), to be able to withdraw the larger amount at one time.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline hoz

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 01:43:45 PM »
Well, since it is a checking account I got the usual welcome pkg with some checks a checkbook, the atm card and literature of rules and regs. They do send a month;y statement but I haven't noticed a bunch of junk mail from them. In fact, they have an opt out  online no paperwork button but I haven't signed up for it. I like the monthly statements.

Offline suzukig1

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2018, 02:40:00 PM »
Of you don't have a US addy, or can't access one it won't work for you. I do and it does. I like the fact I can access money immediately, not 25 days from now. So far they have refunded all bank charge fees, no fee for "foreign" transactions and whatever the exchange rate between banks is at the moment of the transaction is what you get.

If you don't live in the U.S. you can open an international Schwab account.  You can trade U.S. stocks and ETFs but you don't have access to buying U.S. mutual funds.  If you are a U.S. citizen you will still get the Schwab Visa debit card and check writing but none of the other banking functions like e.g. bill pay.

I have a Schwab international account using my PHL address.  They send my Visa debit card to my PHL address.  You can have everything done electronically so no mail other than your debit card and blank checks comes to you through the mail.

Offline chimellie

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2018, 01:32:56 AM »
I mailed my application out a week ago from Connecticut to Florida office, hope to get the debit card by April 24 b4 my trip to Cebu.

I will test it out in Cebu and get back to you guys about the ATM fee and the exchange rate .

Offline chimellie

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2018, 07:05:49 PM »
I made a withdraw at a bank in the US test it out and they refunded me the fee. But when I was in Cebu I made a withdraw with BDO bank, BDO bank didn't list the ATM fee even though they charged me a fee so Charles Schwab didn't refund me.

Offline Lee2

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 07:44:02 PM »
I made a withdraw at a bank in the US test it out and they refunded me the fee. But when I was in Cebu I made a withdraw with BDO bank, BDO bank didn't list the ATM fee even though they charged me a fee so Charles Schwab didn't refund me.
Contact CS and let them know, then they will likely refund the fee, that is what they have done for everyone I know who uses their atm card when that happens but possibly the circumstances you encountered might be different.

I use a Fidelity Visa ATM card most of the time when there and they always reimbursed all the fees at any machine I had used, but nowadays I usually use BPI machines since they are all over, yet prefer to use the HSBC machine but it is across the street from Ayala since they give p40,000 at a time and BPI only p20,000 at a time, so sort of a pain to get to HSBC since Cebu City put up a fence in the median a couple of years ago, so now I have to walk to the corner to cross and then back to the corner to go back to Ayala, solved part of that by having the taxi drop me off at HSBC and then walked to Ayala, yet still a fairly long walk out in the hot sun for me when I am supposed to stay out of the sun because of my health and the medicines I take.   
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline JoeLP

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 07:45:47 PM »
I made a withdraw at a bank in the US test it out and they refunded me the fee. But when I was in Cebu I made a withdraw with BDO bank, BDO bank didn't list the ATM fee even though they charged me a fee so Charles Schwab didn't refund me.
That sucks.  Seems like something like that could/would happen when banks from difference countries with different systems/standards are communicating with each other.  Wonder if there's a fix.
In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

Offline BudM

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2018, 08:44:13 PM »
I think hiring a personal assistant could help you guys in easing up on keeping track of all this stuff for what card will do what and what card won't and where it will and where it won't along with the fees, rules and regulations and all that complicated crap.  Me?  No need for a PA.  I just keep it simple.
Whatever floats your boat.

Offline Lee2

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2018, 09:16:09 PM »
I think hiring a personal assistant could help you guys in easing up on keeping track of all this stuff for what card will do what and what card won't and where it will and where it won't along with the fees, rules and regulations and all that complicated crap.  Me?  No need for a PA.  I just keep it simple.
I like to keep it simple too Bud, that is why I closed most of our other accounts and opened the Fidelity account and would have opened a Charles Schwab account too if only they would have allowed me to use my PO Box for credit checks and all mailing, like I do for all my other accounts.

No one way is the right way for everyone yet it seems to be easier for those of us with 401k or other investment type accounts to keep them in the same place as we bank, and especially when CS and Fidelity reimburse ATM fees, thus even when in the US we use the closest ATM machine rather than going to look for one from the bank we use or used to use.

Also I have read that CS will even open accounts online for people who live in other countries as long as they have a US mailing address.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline suzukig1

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2018, 10:40:05 PM »
I like to keep it simple too Bud, that is why I closed most of our other accounts and opened the Fidelity account and would have opened a Charles Schwab account too if only they would have allowed me to use my PO Box for credit checks and all mailing, like I do for all my other accounts.

No one way is the right way for everyone yet it seems to be easier for those of us with 401k or other investment type accounts to keep them in the same place as we bank, and especially when CS and Fidelity reimburse ATM fees, thus even when in the US we use the closest ATM machine rather than going to look for one from the bank we use or used to use.

Also I have read that CS will even open accounts online for people who live in other countries as long as they have a US mailing address.

For Schwab you don't even need a US mailing address.  I opened my Schwab account from the PHL online using my PHL address and subsequently mailed in the signed application form.  It's an international Schwab account and not a US account.  If you are a US citizen you still get the Schwab Visa debit card and check writing but you don't get any of the other banking features like mobile deposit, bill pay, etc. 

Also, you don't have access to US mutual funds if you live outside of the US.  US mutual funds are registered for sale only in the US.  US brokers are worried about violating other country's securities laws if they sell US mutual funds to someone that lives outside of the US.

Offline Lee2

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Re: What's all the hype about a Charles Schwab account?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 11:00:56 PM »
For Schwab you don't even need a US mailing address.  I opened my Schwab account from the PHL online using my PHL address and subsequently mailed in the signed application form.  It's an international Schwab account and not a US account.  If you are a US citizen you still get the Schwab Visa debit card and check writing but you don't get any of the other banking features like mobile deposit, bill pay, etc. 
That is great news, thank you for posting about it.

Some people on forums, not you, seem to think that information posted is only directed at them and their lifestyle, it is for those who can and want to use it and others of course do not have to use the information and continue on with how they prefer to do things, such as I believe Schwab is only for the US, I believe Fidelity may also be for other countries but probably have different rules for its use based on those other countries, or may not even be the same company in those other countries, I do not know, if anyone from other countries know, please post about it or start another topic about what companies offer free atm use from your country?

:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

 


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