Charles Schwab removes hard pulls for new banking and investment customers

Jul 19, 2020

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“Hard pulls,” the types of inquiries that show up on your credit report and cause your score to temporarily drop by a few points, usually only happen when you apply for a new credit line such as a credit card, mortgage or car loan. They’re much rarer when it comes to other financial products like checking or investment accounts. But historically there’s been one major exception: Charles Schwab performed a hard credit pull for customers opening checking or brokerage accounts.

Doctor of Credit is reporting that not only has Schwab stopped performing hard pulls for new checking and brokerage accounts, but the bank has even gone back and removed hard pulls from customers who’ve opened new accounts in the last two years (hard pulls normally fall off your credit report after two years).

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This is an incredibly consumer-friendly move and great news for frequent international travelers. The Charles Schwab Investor Checking account is quite popular among international travelers because it reimburses all your ATM fees worldwide. While I try to use my credit cards as much as possible while traveling, plenty of countries still use cash for a majority of transactions. It’s nice to be able to use any ATM I want without worrying about fees. The fee will initially be debited from the account along with your withdrawal but will be reimbursed when your statement closes at the end of the month.

Schwab is also quite popular among investors because its brokerage account and mutual funds charge among the lowest fees in the industry. Having a Schwab account is also a prerequisite for opening The American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab, which is my favorite of the many flavors of The Platinum Card® from American Express .

The Schwab Platinum card is nearly identical to the standard personal Amex Platinum. It offers all the same incredible perks, including a $200 annual airline incidental fee credit and $200 annual Uber credit, access to Amex Centurion lounges, Gold elite status with Marriott and Hilton, and much, much more.

Related: How to cash out points with the Amex Platinum for Schwab, and why you might want to

It also offers the ability to cash out Membership Rewards points into your linked Schwab brokerage account at a rate of 1.25 cents each. While that’s well below TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, it might be an attractive option if you find yourself sitting on too many points right now with no plans to travel for the foreseeable future. The Schwab Platinum is currently offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, and because it’s considered a different product, you can get it even if you have or have had the regular Amex Platinum before.

Bottom line

With low fees across the board and customer-friendly policies like unlimited ATM fee reimbursal, Schwab is a great bank for frequent travelers to consider. One of the biggest obstacles had been the hard pull required to open a checking or brokerage account with Schwab, which is why it’s incredibly exciting that this has now been removed. The fact that Schwab is even retroactively removing the hard pull from its customers’ credit reports makes me even happier to bank with such a friendly company.

Featured image by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy

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