is committed to the highest ethical standards and reviews services independently. Learn How We Make Money

Charles Schwab Review

Steven Hatzakis

Written by Steven Hatzakis
Edited by Jeff Anberg
Fact-checked by Joey Shadeck

May 02, 2024

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Charles Schwab is a highly trusted financial institution and multi-asset broker catering to U.S.-based and international forex traders.

Schwab enjoys a dominant position in the equities markets and delivers strong research and educational content across a vast range of securities. Its award-winning thinkorswim platform (acquired as part of its merger with TD Ameritrade) remains one of the best in the industry. That said, the broker’s forex offering is still largely limited to what is available on thinkorswim.

Charles Schwab
5/5 Stars Overall
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Trust Score: 99
  • Tradeable Symbols (Total): 40000

travel_explore Can I open an account with this broker?

Use our country selector tool to view available brokers in your country.

Charles Schwab pros & cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • Highly trusted, publicly traded (NYSE: SCHW), and holds trillions in assets.
  • Banking and brokerage services available under one universal login for all accounts.
  • Substantial multi-asset offering includes ETFs, stocks, options, futures, forex, and bonds.
  • Access to international exchanges in at least thirty countries.
  • Highly resourceful and knowledgeable staff, including licensed brokers that understand market dynamics.
  • High-quality content about investing and trading, including daily live-streamed webinars, Schwab Network, and CNBC global broadcasting.
  • Excellent fundamental research alongside technical analysis from in-house analysts and industry experts.
  • Powerful charting and analysis capabilities, hundreds of indicators, and algo trading via thinkScripts.

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • CFDs are not available at Schwab.
  • Certain website and platform features are not available for forex trading (i.e., the heatmap, global economic calendar, or research when looking up a currency pair symbol)
  • Forex-related resources are exclusive to thinkorswim and unavailable on Schwab’s standard web platform.
  • Schwab is no longer available to retail traders in Singapore (only available in Singapore for accredited investors).
  • Trading signals are not available at Schwab.

Overall Summary

Feature Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab
Overall Rating info 5/5 Stars
Trust Score info 99
Offering of Investments 5/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4/5 Stars
Platform & Tools 5/5 Stars
Research 4.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading 5/5 Stars
Education 4.5/5 Stars has been reviewing online forex brokers for over six years, and our reviews are the most cited in the industry. Each year, we collect thousands of data points and publish tens of thousands of words of research. Here's how we test.

Is Schwab safe?

Trust Score

Schwab is considered Highly Trusted, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. Schwab is publicly traded, operates a bank, and is authorised by five Tier-1 regulators (Highly Trusted), zero Tier-2 regulators (Trusted), zero Tier-3 regulator (Average Risk), and zero Tier-4 regulators (High Risk). Schwab is authorised by the following Tier-1 regulators: Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO), Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) . Learn more about Trust Score.

Feature Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab
Year Founded info 1971
Publicly Traded (Listed) info Yes
Bank info Yes
Tier-1 Licenses info 5
Tier-2 Licenses info 0
Tier-3 Licenses info 0
Tier-4 Licenses info 0

Offering of investments

In addition to forex trading on nearly 70 currency pairs from 11 underlying currencies, Schwab offers trading on U.S. regional stock exchanges and futures exchanges, including options trading. Like all US brokers that offer futures and stock trading, Schwab also offers cryptocurrency futures, ETFs, and trusts. Traders that open a Schwab Global account gain access to local markets in over 30 countries.

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Schwab clients.

Feature Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab
Forex Trading (Spot or CFDs) info Yes
Tradeable Symbols (Total) info 40000
Forex Pairs (Total) info 73
U.S. Stock Trading (Non CFD) info Yes
Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD) info Yes
Social Trading / Copy Trading info No
Cryptocurrency (Physical) info No
Cryptocurrency (Derivative) info Yes
Disclaimers Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents (except to Professional clients).

computerTrading stocks at Schwab

Interested in trading stocks with Schwab? Head over to and check out their Schwab review, which covers all things stock trading and U.S. equities.

Commissions and fees

Schwab’s lack of a minimum deposit requirement for its primary brokerage account types makes for a low barrier to entry for forex trading. Schwab offers a whopping 18 different financial account types; for this review, I focused on Schwab’s two account types that grant access to the thinkorswim platform and the ability to trade forex – Schwab One and Schwab Global.

Forex traders can access thinkorswim (and the ability to trade forex) via the Schwab One account. It's worth mentioning that all trades – including forex trades – are settled in U.S. dollars. It’s also worth noting that the smallest trade size allowed is 10,000 units, which means the minimum margin required to trade that much currency in USD would be $500 (based on 20:1 leverage). Learn more about trading with leverage.

Note: While you can trade international securities with a Schwab One account in U.S. dollars, if you want to place trades in a given international currency you'll need to actually call Schwab on the phone.

The Schwab Global account provides access to twelve international markets in their respective local currencies (conversion fees apply if funding with a different currency from the respective foreign market). These fees can vary from 0.2% to 1%, depending on your account balance size. The Schwab Global account might be more appropriate for people who trade a lot of international securities and are comfortable juggling multiple currencies or cash balances.

Trading costs: Schwab doesn’t charge commissions for forex trading; trading costs consist of the bid/ask spread across its available currency pairs. It’s worth noting that Schwab lists its overnight carry charges within the thinkorswim platform in a handy calculator, so you can estimate the cost of holding positions overnight.

Note: I haven’t yet been able to obtain updated average spread data from Schwab since the merger with TD Ameritrade.

Feature Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab
Minimum Deposit info $0
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard info 1.25 info
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active info 1.25 info
Active Trader or VIP Discounts info No
ACH or SEPA Transfers info Yes
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw) info No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw) info No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit) info No
Bank Wire (Deposit/Withdraw) info Yes

Mobile trading apps

Schwab offers two mobile trading apps: the Schwab Mobile app for banking and trading securities (such as futures, options, and other asset classes) and the mobile version of the thinkorswim platform. As a long-time user of both applications, I’ve found that Schwab provides some of the best mobile trading apps in the industry. Simply put, Schwab delivers a world-class mobile experience for traders.

App overview: Forex trading at Schwab is currently only available on thinkorswim. The thinkorswim mobile app is available for iOS on the Apple Store and for Android on Google Play, and has long been a reliable trading software suite for sophisticated investors across numerous markets and asset classes, including forex trading.

Charting: Perhaps my favorite aspect of thinkorswim is the platform’s impressive charting capabilities. Hundreds of indicators are available and traders using thinkorswim can add multiple indicators simultaneously. Another great feature (one I don’t often see on other platforms) is the ability to view a tick chart, which updates with each price tick, compared to candle charts which only show the open, high, low, and close prices. On the thinkorswim platform, you can even set the number of ticks to customize the time-frames or select other intervals and historical periods for analysis.

Feature Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab
Android App info Yes
Apple iOS App info Yes
Mobile Alerts - Basic Fields info Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields info 580
Watchlist Syncing info Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total) info 374
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total) info 24
Mobile Charting - Draw Trendlines info Yes
Mobile Charting - Multiple Time Frames info Yes
Mobile Economic Calendar info Yes

Other trading platforms

Schwab is a true multi-asset broker, offering an incredible range of products across two trading platforms (down from three, now that StreetSmart has been discontinued). While its flagship website and associated apps are available to any account holder for trading securities, only Schwab’s thinkorswim platform offers the ability to trade forex.

As a long-time user of both the desktop and web versions of thinkorswim, I can attest to the fact that it was a true leap in innovation for the industry when first released. Even with the advances in modern trading platforms over the years, thinkorswim remains one of the best on the market.

thinkorswim platform: Once you have a futures-approved account, you can trade forex on Schwab’s thinkorswim platform on desktop, web, and mobile. The desktop version of the application contains the largest number of features. Alongside its well-known advanced charting capabilities, thinkorswim delivers complex order types with advanced features such as “1st triggered all,” “1st triggers sequence,” or “Blast all” (the last of which, as the name implies, will trigger all orders). These allow for more complex manual trading strategies by staggering orders depending on your market expectations and outlook.

Watchlists are straightforward and there is a dedicated forex layout in the Trade tab, where you can customize the look and feel of the platform interface – though this does take some time to figure out. The active trader tab in thinkorswim has some nifty features, such as the ability to quickly cancel or reverse trades. I like the handy “Flatten” button, which closes all open positions for a specific symbol and cancels all related working orders.

Charting: thinkorswim stands out for its robust and versatile charting application which enables powerful technical analysis. For example, you can add more than five indicators at a time, compared to many other platforms that limit this feature (like the free version of TradingView). Thinkorswim also delivers access to hundreds of indicators; most platforms typically offer less than 100 studies.

Algorithmic trading: There are automated, indicator-driven trading strategies within thinkorswim that can be enabled. The platform supports custom strategies coded from scratch, or you can edit existing strategies using the thinkScript editor. Developer resources include Integrated learning materials and a thinkScript manual.

It’s worth noting that thinkorswim is not as robust for algo trading as other specialty platforms. For example, though you can manually place hypothetical trades using thinkBack, automated backtesting is not supported on thinkorswim. For deep backtesting capabilities, you are better off using popular algo trading platforms like MetaTrader 5 or TradingView. That said, thinkorswim can still be a great stepping stone for advanced traders who are ready for their first foray into automated trading strategies using algorithms.

Feature Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab
Virtual Trading (Demo) info Yes
Proprietary Platform info Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) info Yes
Web Platform info Yes
Social Trading / Copy Trading info No
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) info No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) info No
DupliTrade info No
ZuluTrade info No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total) info 374
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total) info 24
Charting - Trade From Chart info Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields info 580
View More

Market Research

Schwab has long been known for its comprehensive, high-quality financial market research content for U.S. and international markets, created by in-house staff and third-party analysts. Overall, Schwab is essentially unmatched when it comes to the sheer quantity of research content available. Unfortunately, Schwab falls short when it comes to forex-specific research content.

As with its educational offering, Schwab’s research is primarily focused on the stock market and economic news, only the latter of which applies to forex trading in a broad sense. Research specific to forex trading will be limited to the thinkorswim platform, which offers headlines from Dow Jones and Thomson Reuters alongside TV broadcasting from CNBC and the Schwab Network.

Under Schwab’s Ideas & Strategies section, for example, stocks and ETFs receive coverage along with recent analyst ratings from Morningstar and Argus – but there are no forex ideas or trading signals and the economic calendar is focused exclusively on the U.S. market. Likewise, its screeners are highly detailed and comprehensive but don’t yet include forex coverage.

If Schwab adds more content that is focused on currency pairs or forex-related technical and fundamental analysis, it will help fill a gap for forex traders in an otherwise powerful research offering.

Feature Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab
Daily Market Commentary info Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) info Yes
Autochartist info No
Trading Central (Recognia) info No
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs info No


There are many dimensions to Schwab’s educational offering. Schwab provides a tremendous amount of high-caliber educational content about financial markets. While not specifically designed for forex trading, much of Schwab’s educational resources apply to traders universally – regardless of the market. That said, there are some limitations that brought down Schwab’s score in this category.

Learning Center: The Schwab website contains a dedicated Learn section, which houses its courses, podcasts, the Onward Magazine, and Insights & Education Center. While courses are not forex-specific, there is content that can help you learn general skills applicable to trading any market. For example, there is a four-hour course on stock trading using technical analysis which teaches fundamentals that can easily be applied to forex trading.

One feature I like is that certain content in Schwab’s learning center gets tagged with applicable asset classes and categories, such as the “Order Types” article which is tagged for forex, futures, and options. There are hundreds of these types of articles across Schwab’s website and the educational content within the thinkorswim platform suite. Still, I would prefer to see content created primarily for forex-specific trading, as that would help fill the gap for this specific market in an otherwise exhaustive educational offering. The vast majority of Schwab’s educational content is focused on other primary markets with barely a dozen of forex-specific articles.

What I found to be the biggest value-add in the education category is the number of daily webinars Schwab holds as part of its Schwab Coaching webcasts. The webcasts are released on a rolling basis, akin to workshops that take place at industry conferences, and are archived on Schwab’s YouTube channel. Building out its articles and dedicated courses would help boost its already-solid Schwab Coaching and educational framework. Likewise, adding more forex content to the trading product coverage by coaches would round out its overall webcast offering.

Podcasts: Schwab's extensive selection of educational resources also extends to their fantastic network of podcasts. Traders can listen to the Choiceology podcast, the Financial Decoder podcast, WashingtonWISE, Giving with Impact, or the OnInvesting podcast. Each podcast series aims to provide specific financial knowledge about related markets (although some content is more personal-finance related).

Feature Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab
Education (Forex or CFDs) info Yes
Client Webinars info Yes
Client Webinars (Archived) info Yes
Videos - Beginner Trading Videos info Yes
Videos - Advanced Trading Videos info Yes
Investor Dictionary (Glossary) info Yes

Final thoughts

Schwab is a well-established global financial institution holding trillions in assets for millions of customers. I cannot overstate the quality of Schwab's educational resources nor the caliber of its highly informative support staff.

That said, Schwab’s forex offering is just taking off. Expanding the availability of forex beyond thinkorswim and integrating it across the Schwab website and platform will help level out its offering. Developing its forex-specific research and educational coverage will also grow its value to traders.

Despite not being as focused on forex as many of its competitors in the space, forex trading at Schwab is still appealing due to its phenomenal platform offering, competitive spreads, quality of support, and the safety of dealing with a highly trusted and established brokerage.

About Schwab

Founded in 1971 by founder and current Chairman Charles R. Schwab, the publicly-traded Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) today holds $8.5 trillion dollars in assets under management for more than 35 million customers, as per its latest annual report. In addition to holding regulatory status in the U.S. with both the SEC and CFTC, Schwab holds licenses with the FCA in the U.K. as well as Hong Kong and Singapore under its related international entities. Schwab also operates as a bank under its banking subsidiary.

Can you trade forex on thinkorswim?

Yes, forex trading is now available on thinkorswim at Schwab. If you were a TD Ameritrade client, your account should have migrated over to Schwab. If you are an existing Schwab customer, you can enable forex trading by receiving approval for trading futures on a brokerage account.

What are the fees to trade forex at Charles Schwab?

Forex trading at Schwab is currently commission-free, meaning that trading costs are derived from the spread (the difference between the bid/ask price) when you buy and sell currency on thinkorswim. These spreads, as with any broker, will vary depending on currency, market conditions, and execution quality.

2024 Review Methodology

At, our reviews of online forex brokers and their products and services are based on our collected data as well as the observations and qualified opinions of our expert researchers. Each year we publish tens of thousands of words of research on the top forex brokers and monitor dozens of international regulator agencies (read more about how we calculate Trust Score here).

Our research team conducts thorough testing on a wide range of features, products, services, and tools (collecting and validating thousands of data points in the process). We test all available trading platforms for each broker – whether they are proprietary or come from third-party providers – and evaluate them based on a host of data-driven variables.

We also take an in-depth look at each broker’s commissions and fees, such as bid/ask spreads – including the average spread data for some of the most popular forex currency pairs. We research other trading costs, such as inactivity or custody fees, minimum deposit requirements, VIP rebates and/or discounts, and a range of other important fee-based data points.

Some of the other important research categories that are factored into our testing include mobile trading accessibility and capability, availability of market research and educational content, and each broker’s overall Trust Score.

All content on is handwritten by a writer, fact-checked by a member of our research team, and edited and published by an editor. Generative AI tools are not a part of our content creation or product testing processes. Our ratings, rankings, and opinions are entirely our own, and the result of our extensive research and decades of collective experience covering the forex industry. Read our Generative AI policy to learn more.

Read our full explanation and accounting of our research and testing process to learn more about how we test.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Read more on forex trading risks.

Popular Forex Guides

More Forex Guides

Popular Forex Broker Reviews

Compare Charles Schwab Competitors

Select one or more of these brokers to compare against Charles Schwab.

Compare Brokers
Show all unfold_more

About the Editorial Team

Steven Hatzakis
Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. A forex industry expert and an active fintech and crypto researcher, Steven advises blockchain companies at the board level and holds a Series III license in the U.S. as a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA).

Jeff Anberg
Jeff Anberg

Jeff Anberg is a Staff Editor at Along with years of experience in media distribution at a global newsroom, Jeff has a versatile knowledge base encompassing the technology and financial markets. He is a long-time active investor and engages in research on emerging markets like cryptocurrency. Jeff holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature with a minor in Philosophy from San Francisco State University.

Joey Shadeck
Joey Shadeck

Joey Shadeck is the Content Strategist and Research Analyst for He holds dual degrees in Finance and Marketing from Oakland University, and has been an active trader and investor for close to ten years. An industry veteran, Joey obtains and verifies data, conducts research, and analyzes and validates our content.