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Charles Schwab???


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Here's more info on joining SDFCU that I posted earlier this year.   Also that thread on banking is very informative for new expats. 


That said, financial regulations change often and one should always follow-up with various institutions for the latest scoop. 

Buena suerte!

  On 2/5/2017 at 2:57 PM, Floradude said:

How does one apply to the State Dept. Federal Credit Union?

I am assuming you do not have to work for the State Dept.

What I would like is a checking account and a credit card.

Got to www.sdfcu.org  

Hit the green Join button.

You will go to the Become a Member page.  One choice is Become a Member  or Overseas Applicant.  I applied several months ago using my US address.  Their site says you cannot apply online if you live overseas; you have to call them.  

In any case you need to belong to an associated group....there's a drop down menu on the next page.....there are a lot of associated organizations...maybe you belong to one???    I did not, so I joined the American Consumer Council because it had the cheapest membership fee ($15 USD for lifetime).  

BTW...I had a lot of q.'s for SDFCU and I emailed them and they are very quick to answer.  

You have to open a savings account first....you only need to 5 bucks in it, I think.  Then you can open a checking account (after their approval).  I also got a cc from them.  

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I've been with Schwab for 10 years, and for the past 3 yrs full-timer in MX .  They do everything they say they will, all ATM fees refunded monthly.  I do maintain investment accounts and their Investor Checking.  I can deposit my USD checks into my CI Banco bank, no problema, in 48 hrs, pesos are credited. But I use the ATMs at Banamex, Banorte also, no problems.  Schwab knows I'm in at Lakeside 11 months/year, tho I do have a US address but no documents ever go there, everything comes in my email inboxes.  All the features you'd ever want, Intl Wire Transfers, Bill Pay, etc... IMO, they're the best.

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry to resurrect the thread, but has anyone else had ridiculous problems with their Schwab card? I recently obtained one and spent the last three days trying to activate it and set a PIN. Their system was effectively locked over the weekend, it didn't recognize my card yesterday, and today it stated my security number (which is on back of the damn thing) wasn't correct. Their operator is now sending a temporary PIN in the mail but I'm not getting the warm and fuzzies about dealing with this kind of stuff on a regular basis. Once it's operational - presuming it's ever operational - should I anticipate further problems or has it been pretty reliable for those using it? I'd rather pay ATM fees than have my life consumed by this type of stuff.

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The other nice thing about Schwab is that if you want to make a largish transfer of pesos to your MX bank, Scchwabs FOREX desk will go into the marhets and make a peso purchase for you at a MUCH better rate thqn you can get here, and wire it to your MX bank. Very nice perk. Wire fee was waived on my first transfer. $25 US after that. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/27/2017 at 4:21 PM, elisabeth said:

Schwab also has an international account for those living overseas; it has separate rules. You must open it with $25K, I think, and I don't know if that can be mainly in a brokerage account or if it has to be in the checking account.  This is one of the sticking points for me (in the decision about whether to move), as I do not want my relationship with my bank to depend on the falsehood of maintaining a US address.

I have a Schwab International Account, it is great, but it does limit what kind of brokerage investments you can make.  No problem!  Moving to MX has been my best investment especially with the peso devaluation in the last few years.  You do NOT have to maintain a US address with this account.  My official address is my address here, I do not have another address in the USA.  They get that there are expats living internationally.  Very good phone customer service, no ATM fees, good website.

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I have used ATM cards from Mexican banks for 17 years and never had a problem.

We also have an international account with Schwab and do not have a US address but only HSCB and Santander accept the foregn cards, neither Bancomer or Banamex will give you money on a schwab card.



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