I see this recommended a lot here. As I understand it, we open a Schwab brokerage account and then get an associated checking account and debit card. Two questions:
Are there any fees for the checking account, or minimum balances for the two accounts?
Does anyone know if Schwab will handle wire transfers to European banks from the checking account? If so, what are the fees?
We had a Chase account that charged $40 for wire transfers and monthly checking account fees, so we closed it. Then we learned that our credit union, which is now our exclusive bank, does not do wire transfers. there are times when it would be nice to be able to do this. For example, my husband will be competing in a Masters rowing event at Lake Bled in September, and we will stay there 4 nights. Almost all of the lodging at Bled is under the control of the rowing association, and reservations must be secured with a deposit into the specific hotel's account by wire transfer. So I had to scramble and find a place outside of the association lists that does not require a wire transfer deposit. I did manage, but it was a hassle.
In the past few trips to Germany, the Dolomites, and the UK I have found places we really wanted to stay but which required deposit by wire transfer. In each case I explained why I could not do that ( my bank, Insaid, lives in the dark ages). And in each case they took pity on me and let us book "on trust" with no deposit. But the booking form for the Bled race association was pitiless and allowed no exceptions.
Next year we are going back to Switzerland and I will be looking for apartments. And I bet one or two of the ones I like will require a wire transfer for the deposit. So I would like to have a bank account that can be used for that.