During my year of world travel, I managed to avoid paying a single ATM fee.
That’s right… no surcharges or extra charges. Not once.
How did I do this?
Well, I have a debit card that gives me unlimited ATM fee rebates. This essentially allowed me to use any ATM on planet earth without paying a fee.
My goal with this blog post is to give you a quick review of my experience with the Schwab High Yield Investor Checking debit card and tell you how you can get your own debit card with unlimited ATM fee rebates.
Schwab Investor Checking Debit Card Review
Between January 2018 and February 2020, I withdrew $5,915.22 from 77 different ATMs around the world. If I didn’t have the Schwab Investor Checking debit card with unlimited ATM fee rebates, I would have been charged an additional $193.90 in ATM fees.
While that may not seem like a lot of money to some people, just think of it like this. Without ATM fee rebates, I would have essentially been throwing $3 in the trash every single time I withdrew $100 from the ATM.
More precisely, I avoided 3.28% in ATM surcharges over the course of 2 years of world travel.
How Do ATM Fee Rebates Work?
When you have a debit card with ATM fee rebates, all fees incurred when withdrawing money from any ATM are reimbursed to your checking account at the end of each month.
Specifically with the Schwab Investor Checking debit card, I see a single lump sum deposit into my checking account within the last two days of each month that I incur any ATM fees.
Similarly, all Schwab debit card users see an ATMREBATE deposit equal to the sum of the ATM surcharges from that month.
So for example, during the month of August 2019, I took out a total of $411.22 from ATMs in Vietnam. As you can see from my online transactions above, Charles Schwab reimbursed me $23.81 on August 30. That’s an average of a $6 fee per ATM transaction that I would have had to spend if I wasn’t getting reimbursed.
As you would imagine, these ATM fees add up overtime, and that was definitely the case for me.
How to Get a Schwab Investor Checking Debit Card
First and foremost, I should point out that the official name of the debit card is the Schwab Bank Visa Platinum Debit Card. On the other hand, the name of the associated checking account is the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account.
You’ll need to open a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account to get a Schwab Bank Visa Platinum Debit Card. You can do that here:
If you’re comfortable with online banking, you may never go back to traditional banking after opening a checking account with Schwab.
With a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account, the following is true:
- Unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide
- No monthly fee
- No service fees
- $0 account minimum
- No foreign transaction fees
Even if this checking account didn’t have unlimited ATM fee rebates, it’d still be a fantastic option since it has no account minimum and no foreign transaction fees.
Either way, I encourage you to sign up for an account before your next trip. Actually, if you’re reading this and don’t plan on traveling anytime soon, you should still get this debit card to avoid ATM fees domestically.
As always, if you have any questions about ATM fee rebates, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below. And for my fellow travelers out there, go here for additional doses of my best budget travel tips.