Charles Schwab Bank

Charles Schwab Bank is by far the best American bank for nomads and others who travel internationally, primarily thanks to their negative fee debit card linked to their High-Yield Investor Checking account. What do I mean by negative fees? Well, that means Schwab won’t charge you any, and they will even refund you certain fees imposed by other banks.


  • No fees for using the debit card in the US or abroad, both at POS, online, and in ATMs.
  • No foreign transaction fees or currency markups, you get the wholesale Visa rate.
  • No fees for checks (if you still use those).
  • Mobile check deposit, perfect for those who need to deposit checks while traveling.
  • Decent online bank and mobile apps.
  • Willing to FedEx/overnight a debit card to you wherever you are, as long as you pay postage.
  • No minimum balance requirement to get benefits or waive fees.

Things to note:

  • When opening an account, Schwab will perform a hard inquiry of your credit score. Only relevant for those struggling to build credit or churning & burning credit cards for points.
  • In order to open and maintain an account you need a US address, SSN (or ITIN), and a state ID card or driver’s license.
  • If you are attempting to open an account from abroad, remember to use a US VPN. If you forget, they will require you to physically visit an office to open the account. Ouch!

Sign up for Charles Schwab Bank here


Last updated: January 09, 2017