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How To Close Charles Schwab Account


How to cancel Charles Schwab account. Close and transfer Charles Schwab trading account/stocks/investing portfolio/money/funds online to another broker.



Overview of Closing a Schwab Brokerage Account


If you’ve decided that it’s time to close your Schwab investment account (hopefully because you no longer need the account and not because you’ve given up on the world of securities trading), there are several methods to do so. The first step is to contact the broker, and Schwab provides several avenues for this.


Submitting Your Request on the Website


When you’re ready to close your Schwab account, you need to notify the broker, preferably in writing. One way to do this is to logon to Schwab’s website and send a message using the online messaging system. This can be found by going to ‘Service’ in the top menu and choosing ‘Message Center’ in the drop-down menu. A new page will appear with three selections in a row of tabs. Click on ‘Messages’ and ‘Compose New Message’ will appear as a link on the page. Click on this link and a pop-up window will appear with information already pre-populated.

One data point is the account number, and if you have more than one account, they will all appear in a drop-down menu. Make sure you choose the one you want to close. Type your message and click on ‘Send’ when you’re finished. You can also attach a file if you need to, although the messaging form says that messages with attachments take more time to process.

If you don’t want to compose a message, you can use the broker’s on-line chat function instead. It is available on the website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To find it, simply go to the messaging area we just looked at. A link that says ‘Live Chat’ will appear in the right-hand side of the screen. A pop-up window will appear and a Schwab representative will be able to take your request in real time.


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Visiting a Local Branch


If you don’t like to type or simply prefer in-person communication, Schwab operates a network of over 300 brick-and-mortar locations throughout America. They are scattered throughout most states. Many smaller towns have a Schwab location. Franklin, Tennessee, for example, has one. The disadvantage of choosing this option is that none of the branch locations are open 24/7, a luxury that is available with other choices.


Using the Schwab Mobile App


If you’re too busy to visit one of the broker’s local offices, but have your mobile device handy, there are several Schwab apps that can be used to communicate with the company. Android, Apple, and Kindle Fire devices can all download a Schwab app for free. Visiting schwab.com using a mobile browser will also produce the broker’s mobile web site.

After logging into the app or website, there are several customer options that can be selected. One is a messaging area where you can send a message to a company associate. Another is a list of phone numbers. You can tap on one of them, and your smartphone should automatically dial the number. There is also a branch locator on the app.


Submitting a Closure Request Via Fax


If you still live in the 1990’s, and don’t yet have a smartphone, but your fax machine is still in top shape, you can write out an account closure request and send it to Schwab using the lovely dial tone that is so nostalgic. Conveniently, Schwab offers a toll-free fax number (1-888-526-7252), so choosing this method won’t cost a dime.


Charles Schwab vs Competitors


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
TD Ameritrade $6.95 $49.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Firstrade $2.95 $9.95 $2.95 + $0.50 per contract $0 $0
Ally Invest $4.95 $9.95 $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0



Snail Mail


Schwab also accepts correspondence the very old fashioned way, through snail mail. Obviously, this will be the slowest option. Each state has its own mailing address, so you need to find the correct address to send your letter to. To do so, just click on ‘Service’ at the top of the website, and then choose ‘Contact Us.’ Next you will see a drop-down menu with all 50 states. Select your state of address, and the correct mailing address will then appear. There is a standard mailing address and an overnight address if your closure is urgent. Most states are instructed to send documents to either Florida or El Paso.

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
Orlando Operations Center
P.O. Box 628291
Orlando, FL 32862-8291

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
El Paso Operations Center
P.O. Box 982600
El Paso, TX 79998-2600


Phone Service


Another available option is simply to call the broker over the phone and request your account be closed. This is not necessarily the best option, as you may want a written record of your request. The broker has agents on the phone around the clock. A representative can be reached at 1-800-435-9050. Clients outside the U.S. can dial +1-317-596-4501.


Closing a Charles Schwab Account via Transfer


One very effective way to close a Schwab brokerage account without contacting the broker is simply to transfer the account to another firm. Doing so will automatically close the account. You don’t need to contact Schwab to start the move. To use the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACAT), simply go to the broker you wish to open an account with. Most firms today have a convenient online transfer form. You simply need to open a new account, then login, find the broker’s e-form, and start the transfer from that end. You’ll need your Schwab account number and the name on the account. This process takes a couple of weeks to finish, so be sure to take a break from trading during this time.


How To Close Charles Schwab Account Recap


Closing a Schwab account isn’t that complicated. There are several methods available to you, and you can select the avenue that is most convenient. Before submitting your closure request, it is recommended to sell all securities in your account and move the cash out. This produces a zero balance, so Schwab doesn’t have to be concerned with any remaining balance.






How To Close OptionsXpress by Charles Schwab Account


If you have an optionsXpress by Charles Schwab account and you want to close it, the process is fairly painless. You simply need to contact the firm and ask them to close your account. A company associate can be reached by phone at 1-888-280-8020 during the week from 9 o'clock in the morning until 8 in the evening, EST.

The broker's website also has an on-line chat service where you can submit your request. The chat service opens an hour earlier than phone service. Unfortunately, optionsXpress does not have any weekend hours. It does have an internal messaging system on its website, if you prefer to e-mail your request. The broker will also accept fax and snail mail communications.

The optionsXpress website has an on-line form to transfer an account to itself, but there is no form to transfer from optionsXpress to another brokerage house. To complete such a transfer, you will need to contact the broker you wish to transfer to and begin the transfer process there.

Closing a regular brokerage account at optionsXpress costs nothing. The broker does, however, impose a $50 termination fee for IRA's. This is competitive with other firms. Merrill Edge, for example, charges $49.95.


optionsXpress also charges a fee to transfer an account. The charge applies to both a regular brokerage account and an IRA. The charge is $60. It applies only to a full account transfer. A partial transfer is free.

For example, you could transfer some assets in an IRA, and leave just $200 in it to avoid both the full transfer fee and IRA closeout fee. Transferring everything in the account except $200 would cost nothing.

Before closing or transferring an OX account, you might want to first decide what you're going to do with the securities in your account, if you have any. For transfers, leaving securities in the account is perfectly acceptable. Be sure not to do any trading in the account during the transfer process.


Updated on 10/20/2017.




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