On a forum recently, a group of guys were explaining how they move money between their US accounts and their foreign accounts for living expenses. Although they all agree that SCHWAB ATM is the best choice for ATM card use, they all refer to having a "regular checking account".
I know a lot of guys who simply write checks to themselves and deposit them in their respective dollar accounts in the Philippines each month or whenever it's needed. Of course you have to wait about 30 days for the check to clear if done this way but it avoids any bank transfer fees entirely. Always best to keep a decent cash float when using this method to avoid running low on money completely. In other words, think ahead.
SCHWAB IS A CHECKING ACCOUNT. All the benefits of a "regular checking account", plus the benefits of refunded ATM fees. I don't understand why multiple checking accounts would be needed.
Look at the Schwab Benefits List:
No minimum balance requirements
No monthly service charges
No ATM fees. ALL ATM FEES FROM EVERY COUNTRY ARE REFUNDED.
Thailand: almost $6 USD for every ATM withdrawl. REFUNDED BY SCHWAB.
Philippines: More than $4 USD for every ATM withdrawal. REFUNDED BY SCHWAB.
Free standard checks and a Visa® Platinum debit card once the account has been funded.
Free online bill pay on Schwab.com and Schwab Mobile
Competitive interest rate
FDIC Insurance up to $250,000
If you are a US Resident and living as an expat or traveling abroad often, you need a Schwab account.