I love Charles; no, not Charles Jourdan or Charles David, although I do love what they both do with shoes. The Charles I love is Charles Schwab, and not because of the brokerage services, although those are nice too, but because of the BANK.
I have written about this wonderful bank before in a previous post, but today they impressed me so much I had to write an updated rave about their services. Not only does their high yield investor checking account come with no monthly fees while offering free checks, free bill pay, high interest, and no fee ATM transactions (including foreign ATM transactions) with no minimum balance or direct deposit requirement, but they also do NOT charge a foreign transaction fee on international transactions! And to top off those wonderful services, I found out today, when I called them to tell them I am leaving for a trip to the UK and Greece, they have toll free in country numbers overseas! So if I need to call them in case of an emergency (like having my check card stolen) I don't have to dial collect from overseas, I can call a local toll free number in the countries I am going to be traveling to, just like a local! Their security is also very commendable because they wanted the exact dates and locations of my travel so that anything outside those dates or areas would be flagged for fraud.
I also love it that every time I have ever called this bank, pleasant American voice answers the phone without a written script or a fake American name. Outsourcing may be good for some things, but I like keeping my money with a bank who keeps the source of customer service at home where the money is. There are few things more frustrating than repeating my name four times, my account number three times, and then needing to talk to a manager to get information on a questionable transaction because my question is not covered in a written script.
The best companies keep customer service as their priority and I love it when a BANK does that, especially since it is keeping my money; as I said, "I love Charles"!