The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

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General Mackevili
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The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by General Mackevili » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:40 am

Image

Yes, I know I said the "best." Get over it, LoL.

I've heard about this card before and finally got around to signing up while I'm back in the States.

It's a Charles Schwab brokerage and banking account.

I opened one with only $50 cash and there's no minimum balance requirement.

It's actually 2 separate accounts: 1 brokerage and 1 banking/checking account. I opened both at the same time.

Trading stocks on the NYSE costs only $8 if done online.

Also, any amount of money up to $250,000 in your "checking account" is FDIC insured.

There are no charges at all for the bank account or the brokerage account. You DO need to deposit at least $1 into the checking account to trigger them to send you a Visa card, which takes about a week.

It's all truly free.

No membership charges.

No charges for the Visa card.

No foreign transaction charges.

And the best part! THERE ARE NO FEES AT ALL TO WITHDRAW CASH FROM ANY ATM'S WORLDWIDE! !

You can use ANY ATM around the world and they charge you NOTHING. They even pay the ATM fees for you! That's crazy! ! ! No more hunting around Cambodia for a Canadia Bank ATM to avoid ATM charges.

So, if you want to withdraw $100 from your account at any ATM in the world that takes Visa, your account is only deducted $100, total.

That's as good as it gets for expats! !
http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/ban ... count_faqs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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wackyjacky
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by wackyjacky » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:49 am

I've got a similar acct with First Republic. It aint free if you keep <$3500 in it though.
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by giblet » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:54 am

I've got this account and it's great. They often send me $30 a month to make up for the fees I pay at banks in Cambodia. I worry Schwab is going to go broke eventually because of these accounts.
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by HotRecruiter » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:08 am

Do they have an office in Cambodia? Can you open one overseas?
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General Mackevili
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by General Mackevili » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:24 am

giblet wrote: I worry Schwab is going to go broke eventually because of these accounts.
I know, right?

I can only imagine that the "typical" account holder that uses it has big money in their brokerage account and this is more of a courtesy card so their investment clients park their money with them too.
HotRecruiter wrote:Do they have an office in Cambodia? Can you open one overseas?
You can open it online.

The "catch" is you need to fund the checking account with at least $1 to get the Visa card.

I am almost certain I've seen what looks like a Charles Schwab office at the Cambodiana Hotel from the road, or right near there. However, Google cannot confirm.
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General Mackevili
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by General Mackevili » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:25 am

wackyjacky wrote:I've got a similar acct with First Republic. It aint free if you keep <$3500 in it though.
I don't even have that much freed up cash lying around. Image
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by frank lee bent » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:56 am

do they launder opium money like HSBC?
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by General Mackevili » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:57 am

frank lee bent wrote:do they launder opium money like HSBC?
I haven't tried yet.
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by Cam Nivag » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:33 pm

giblet wrote:I've got this account and it's great. They often send me $30 a month to make up for the fees I pay at banks in Cambodia. I worry Schwab is going to go broke eventually because of these accounts.
I have this card too. They really do reimburse any ATM fee, even if you go to a strip club in Las Vegas where the ATM charges you a $75 fee to withdraw $500. I've gotten those reimbursed. Also, the card is great for withdrawing small amounts in multiple transactions so you can get small bills.

Or if you are in a country and you only need $20 more in local money to get you to the airport, you can go to the ATM and withdraw $20 in local currency, and when the machine asks if you approve the $6 ATM fee to withdraw $20, you can chuckle and click "yes."

There is a downside to the card though. Their fraud detection system is overly sensitive and they often block your card if you go to a weird country or withdraw more than normal. Then you have to call them and have them unlock it. It helps to let them know in advance when you are traveling to weird countries, but even then, they sometimes just block the card.
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Re: The BEST Bank Account For American Expats

Post by giblet » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:08 pm

Good point. They block my card ALL OF THE TIME even though I have told them I live in Cambodia. Recently I was in a bank in Siem Reap and a tourist was going mental yelling at the bank staff. His Khmer companion was standing there, mortified. The guy was waving a card around and I could see the Schwab logo so I took him aside and told him that the problem was almost definitely on Schwab's end and he'd need to have a nice long chat with them before they would activate the card again.
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