Posted by William Charles on September 15, 2014
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on September 15th, 2014 | by William Charles


Charles Schwab $100 High Yield Checking Account Bonus (No Monthly Fees, No International ATM Withdrawal Fees + ATM Fee Reimbursements)

Update: There is now a better bonus with no $10,000 requirement.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $100
  • Availability: Nationwide 
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: Must add $10,000 in funds
  • Hard/soft pull: Hard, Equifa
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Early account termination fee: Bonus clawed back if account closed within one year or dips below $10,000 account balance
  • Expiration date: None listed 

The Offer

  • Charles Schwab is offering you a $100 sign up deposit when you’re referred by an existing member (apparently the existing member does not receive anything, but I’ve been unable to confirm this) and deposit $10,000 in funds.

The Fine Print

  • Make qualifying net deposits of at least $10,000 within 45 days of account opening
  • Open to new clients who do not have a Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. brokerage account and who open a retail brokerage account and enroll in the offer
  • Bonus will be awarded after approximately one week after the net deposits of $10,000 are received
  • You must maintain the net deposits for a period of one year, otherwise the bonus may be clawed back
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Charles Schwab does not charge any monthly fees and as such do not have a direct deposit requirement or account balance requirement to keep the account fee free. You’ll need to keep $10,000 invested with Charles Schwab, otherwise the bonus might be clawed back.

They also refund all ATM fees (including international withdrawals) and do not charge any forex fees on international ATM withdrawals either. This makes it one of the most attractive options for international travelers wanting to withdraw cash.

Our Verdict

When considering that you need to hold $10,000 with Charles Schwab, remember that this can include investment accounts as well. The $100 bonus will basically cover the interest you’d lose out on not having the money with another bank with a higher interest rate (even though it’s called a high yield checking account, it only comes with an 0.10% APR).

The main downfall to this bank/bonus is that it requires a hard pull on your credit report. I wouldn’t really recommend this account unless you do a lot of international travel and even then you might be better off just forgetting about the bonus and keeping your money in an account that actually has a high interest rate. You can find a complete list of bank account bonuses by clicking here.

Hat tip to frequent flyer university, where you can find a referral link for this offer if it interests you

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I can confirm the referrer does not get anything.


Still worth the hard pull, IMO, even without the bonus. The checking account really is a standout. Besides refunded ATM fees, receiving wires is free (both domestic and international!), and sending them is much cheaper than with the big banks. Customer service is excellent, and their exchange rates when withdrawing money overseas in foreign currency can’t be beat. I love Charles Schwab, and I can’t wait to see what product(s) they put out together with AmEx.


+1 on the forex fees.


Incoming wires: Domestic wires only (Schwab Bank does not accept wires in foreign
currency or from banks outside the U.S. and its territories).

Direct quote from


All the incoming international wires have been free for me thus far, and I get 2-3 per month for work. Outgoing aren’t free, but the fee is considerably smaller than the big banks.


[…] looks perfect and there is also a $100 bonus attached to this account! There is a downside though, a hard pull is done on your Equifax credit report when you open this […]


SCHWAB has a serious problem with the ATM VISA fees as I was OVERCHARGED in Canada and after 2 weeks SCHWAB remains confused.

Recently I was in Canada where the VISA exchange rate was .723.
Canadian bank erroneously converted my Canadian withdrawal to US dollars…even though I withdrew Canadian money from ATM. SCHWAB could NOTY detect the HIDDEN fees even though I have a NO FOREIGN transition ATM card. Schwa did reimburse the ATM fees partially…….as there was a $3 Canadian ATM fee….but again the Canadian Bank CIBC converted into US dollars adding a 4% service fee.

CIBC ripped me off of 4% fee and SCHWAB was INCAPABLE of detecting it. SCHWAB reimbursed me the fees but WILL never KNOW how to PREVENT ATM overcharges!

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