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June 09, 2009


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I have had the Schwab Visa for a few months - the setup was slightly annoying, but enjoy the monthly 2% cash back deposits. One frustrating thing to note - I use Quicken to track my finances and my previous card would update transactions on a daily basis. This card only updates transactions at the end of your statement cycle (i.e. once a month). If you are not paying attention, you could be surprised when you get your bill.

I *finally* got the letter about the reductions in services to my Chase Freedom Visa yesterday. The changes don't go into effect until the end of July but I'm going to be about $15 shy of hitting $200 unless I go on a major buying spree. I'm curious to see how the revolving 3% bonus works out so I'm going to hold off on switching for now.

If the new plan lowers my monthly cashback percentage to under 2% or initiates an annual fee of any kind then it's off to sign up for the Schwab card.

As it has been stated before on several occasions FAI card services (the manager of the Schwab card) will only download into Quicken atomatically once a month. But you can still go to the schwab website and check your balance and transactions on a daily basis and manually enter them into Quicken. It's a bit of a pain but not as bad as some make it out.

As to how you can get to your cashback, I just received a "Check Card"/Debit Card from Schwab that is tied to my brokerage account. I can use it to withdraw money at an ATM (they reimburse the ATM transaction fees) or I can use it to buy stuff with it (I'd miss out on 2% as I'd rather use my Schwab cashback card to buy stuff) or I can use it at the grocery store and ask for cash back.

You can always just send them a cancelled check from your primary checking account and have an ACH set up to send the money over to your checking account directly.

Either way, it's not that complicated to get to your money.

Also, Schwab will send you checks if you want to write checks from your Schwab One account. That's a convenient way to pay a bill, including your monthly Schwab credit card bill.

Yes please keep us updated! Thanks FMF.

Just used my Schwab card overseas. For me that is one of the best benefits: no foreign exchange fee. Also used the Schwab One savings account debit card and was not hit with the 1% fee that most banks charge. FX rate was reasonable as well.

I'm thinking about getting the Schwab card. How long did it take to get yours? Reason I ask, I'm going to be spending nearly $7K to have my roof replaced in about 2 weeks. If it's going to take much longer than that to get the card, I'll put off the roof work.

Also, I noted that Schwab's CC processing is done in Delaware. What do you know about the CC laws there? I know after I opted out of credit card offers, the only offers I still got were ALL from Delaware. I heard many years ago that in Delaware, the CC companies could get away with stuff they couldn't elsewhere. I'll I've been able to find so far is that in DE, they can charge much higher interest rates, which doesn't bother me because I pay off my balance every month.

Robert --

It took me about two weeks to get my card.

Only being about to get transactions into Quicken once a month is lame and a total deal breaker. Also the fact that the rewards do not go directly to you but rather into your brokerage account means it's just one more step to get your money. Obviously, they are trying to get you to invest it with them.

Frank --

The Quicken issue isn't a big one for me.

And yes, I think they are trying to get people to invest with them. But I simply ignore that issue and keep with Vanguard.

Now that Schwab's own index funds have cheaper expense ratios than both Vanguard and Fidelity, seems a no-brainer to invest with them now:

S&P 500 Index Fund = 0.09%
Total Stock Market Index Fund = 0.09%
Small Cap Index Fund = 0.19%
Int'l Index Fund = 0.19%


One interesting note on the Schwab Visa. I am a married, graduate student. I called to ask for a credit limit increase from the $2500 they originally offered me. I was declined on the basis of a policy limiting graduate students to a credit limit of $2500 and wouldn't consider my wife's income. Had I known this going in, I would have had my wife apply for the card.

Something to be aware of I guess.

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