Wells Fargo Bank Review: Checking, Savings, & CD Rates

Banking
Updated: 29th Sep 2021
Written by Justin Estes
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Wells Fargo is one of the oldest banks in America. They offer everything from checking accounts and savings accounts to investment management and mortgage lending.

Chances are you probably drove by a Wells Fargo branch sometime recently because they have over 5,000 across the United States.

Today, we will discuss how Wells Fargo operates and what accounts they offer to help you decide if they would be a good match for your personal finances.

What Is Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo is a large bank founded in 1852 that has grown to become the fourth-largest bank in America.

However, in the mid-2010s, Wells Fargo was beset by many customer data scandals that have led to many upgrades and changes in both leadership and banking technology.

Today, Wells Fargo offers plenty of customer incentives and transparency initiatives to improve its image and regain consumer confidence.

What Does Wells Fargo Offer?

Wells Fargo offers a plethora of consumer financial products, including some of the best checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards.

Along with various banking solutions, Wells Fargo offers the Wells Fargo mobile app where customers can pay bills online, schedule transfers, and have access to mobile check deposits.

Wells Fargo Checking Accounts

Wells Fargo offers a variety of checking accounts ranging from student checking to their premier portfolio checking account.

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25
  • Monthly Fee: $10
  • Fee Waivers: 10 or more monthly debit card purchases, have $500 or more in monthly qualifying deposits, keeping a $1,500 minimum daily balance, being under 25 years old, being a college student, and linking a Wells Fargo campus debit or ATM card.

The Wells Fargo everyday checking account is its flagship checking account that appeals to most consumers.

Features include Overdraft Rewind, which enables customers that overdraft their account to reverse overdrafts by depositing an ACH deposit that covers the overdraft by 9 a.m. the next business day.

Account holders earn interest with the Everyday Checking account at 0.01% APY. all checking accounts with Wells Fargo include zero liability protection, which reimburses any reported unauthorized card transactions.

Clear Access BankingSM

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25
  • Monthly Fee: $5
  • Fee Waivers: Be under 25 years old.

The Clear Access BankingSM account from Wells Fargo is an excellent resource for customers who do not want to pay overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees and for teens who are 13 to16 years old that want a bank account with an adult as the co-owner.

While there are no NSF or overdraft fees for the Clear Access BankingSM account, it is possible to generate a negative balance which may incur additional fees.

It’s important to note that this account does not allow check writing, so you may want to utilize a different Wells Fargo checking account if you need access to checks.

Wells Fargo Preferred Checking

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25
  • Monthly Fee: $15
  • Fee Waivers: Combined eligible balances of $10,000 or more across Wells Fargo Accounts, monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more, or linked to a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

The Wells Fargo Preferred Checking account is the introductory interest-bearing checking account offered by Wells Fargo.

All balances in the Preferred Checking account earn interest over time; however, it’s important to remember that the $15 monthly fee may eat into any returns generated by the interest payments.

Customers can waive the $15 monthly fee by maintaining a $10,000 minimum deposit balance between their Wells Fargo deposit account, receive qualifying direct deposits of $1,000 or more every month, or they can link a Wells Fargo mortgage to the checking account.

Portfolio by Wells Fargo®

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25
  • Monthly Fee: $25
  • Fee Waivers: Combined eligible balances of $20,000 or more across Wells Fargo Accounts.

Wells Fargo offers relationship-based banking for clients with a variety of accounts with the bank. The Portfolio account is an interest-bearing checking account that helps customers link various benefits across different Wells Fargo accounts.

Account holders have access to 24/7 phone support, and the $25 monthly service fee can be waived if you have a combined balance of $20,000 or more in eligible Wells Fargo deposit accounts.

Other benefits of the Portfolio account include reimbursement of non-Wells Fargo ATM fees, interest rate discounts on new loans, annual relationship bonuses for customers who have the Wells Fargo Propel World American Express® card, and a platinum debit card.

Wells Fargo Student Checking

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25
  • Monthly Fee: $5
  • Fee Waivers: Be under 25 years old.

Opening a bank account and developing financial discipline helps students stay on track financially as they mature into adults.

The Wells Fargo College and Teen Student Checking account offer an easy and convenient banking solution for 13 to 24-year-olds.

The monthly $5 service fee is waived until the primary account holder turns 25 years old. Students can choose between the Clear Access BankingSM account if they want overdraft protection or the Everyday Checking Account, which can help college students receive added benefits with their Campus Card.

Wells Fargo Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo Way2Save® Savings

  • APY: 0.01%
  • Monthly Fees: $5
  • Fee Waivers: Schedule automatic savings transfers or keep a $300 minimum daily balance.

The Wells Fargo Way2Save® savings account is a powerful savings tool that helps customers boost their savings habits, prevent overdraft fees, and earn interest.

Customers can open a Way2Save® savings account with a minimum deposit of $25, and they can waive the $5 monthly maintenance fee by maintaining a $300 minimum daily balance.

Wells Fargo offers Save as You Go an automatic $1 transfer from a Wells Fargo checking account to your savings account with qualifying debit card purchases.

Customers can also use the Way2Save® savings accounts as an overdraft protection tool. Customers can activate an automatic transfer from your Way2Save® savings into your checking account to cover an overdraft.

Wells Fargo Platinum Savings

  • APY: 0.01%
  • Monthly Fees: $12
  • Fee Waivers: Maintain a $3,500 minimum daily balance.

The Wells Fargo Platinum savings account is a hybrid between a savings account and a money market account.

Customers can earn interest with the Platinum savings account, but they also receive check-writing privileges limited to 6 withdrawals per month.

Deposits generate 0.03% APY, which can increase to 0.06% by connecting a Wells Fargo Prime checking or portfolio checking account. Note that the higher rate will disappear if you close the associate checking account.

Wells Fargo CD Rates

TermAPY
3 Month:0.01%
6 Month:0.01%
1 Year:0.01%

Wells Fargo offers various certificate of deposit options, all with a $2,500 opening minimum deposit. Terms range from 3 months to 1 year.

Rates for all CD balances start at 0.01% APY. Customers who qualify for a bonus pay can have their rates go up to 0.02%.

*Rates as of May 30th, 2021

>> More: Best CD Rates

Other Financial Products Offered by Wells Fargo

  • Credit Cards: Wells Fargo offers many different credit cards, including cash back cards, co-branded cards, and travel rewards credit cards.
  • Debit Cards: account holders with Wells Fargo receive complimentary debit cards for their checking accounts.
  • Mortgages: Wells Fargo allows customers to take out a mortgage on a new home or refinance their current Mortgage.
  • Student Loans: Wells Fargo has an extensive lending arm which includes student loans to help Finance College.
  • Personal Loans: Personal loans offer flexible cash flow at lower interest rates than credit cards. Wells Fargo has many options for personal loans for borrowers who want to finance a large project.

Wells Fargo Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very accessible with over 13,000 free ATMs in more than 5,000 branches.
  • Monthly fees on many checking and savings accounts are easy to avoid.
  • Robust selection of student banking options.

Cons:

  • Among the lowest APY rates on standard savings accounts.
  • A hefty overdraft fee of $35 can be charged multiple times in a day.
  • Limited CD terms.

Wells Fargo Bank Review: Fees, Customer Support, & Experience

Banking Experience

Wells Fargo offers a robust banking experience for all of its customers, both in-person and online.

Not only does Wells Fargo have more physical bank branches than most of its competitors, but it has an easy-to-use digital banking solution with its mobile app and online website.

Customer Support

Wells Fargo has 24/7 customer service available. If you want to chat with somebody on the phone, you can reach Wells Fargo at 1-800-869-3557, You can contact Wells Fargo over social media on Twitter and Facebook, or you can use the online chat feature on the Wells Fargo website.

Wells Fargo Banking Fees

Many of Wells Fargo’s account maintenance fees can be waived. However, it’s important to note that they charge $35 for overdraft fees which can be charged up to three times in one day.

Customers who are worried about paying overdraft fees may want to consider The Clear Access BankingSM account because it does not charge any overdraft for non-sufficient funds fees.

Instead, it declines the transaction altogether.

How Does Wells Fargo Compare?

Wells Fargo is one of the biggest banks in the country, so it’s essential to compare it to similarly sized financial institutions to ensure that you choose a bank that fits your financial needs.

#1. Wells Fargo vs. Chase Bank

Although Wells Fargo and Chase Bank are similar sizes, Wells Fargo is much more accessible to average everyday customers.

They have many more branches and offer a wider selection of checking account options.

Chase does not have any second-chance checking options like the Wells Fargo opportunity checking account, so customers who worry about overdraft fees should go with Wells Fargo.

However, customers who want the best rewards credit cards may prefer Chase because they have some of the best cash back and rewards credit cards on the market.

#2. Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

Bank of America and Wells Fargo are neck-and-neck when it comes to account options, accessibility, and customer service.

Bank of America has higher limits for daily debit and ATM withdrawals, but Wells Fargo has more branches, so this decision ultimately results in whichever bank is more convenient.

#3. TD Bank vs. Wells Fargo

TD Bank offers a variety of checking accounts and savings accounts like Wells Fargo. However, many of their account fees are not able to be waived.

TD Bank also only has branches on the east coast of the United States, so West Coast and Midwest customers can only bank online.

Wells Fargo has branches all over the country, and many more ATMs than TD Bank does.

Ultimately, some customers may prefer the accounts and offers at TD Bank, but Wells Fargo is much more Geographically accessible.

#4. Wells Fargo vs. Capital One

Wells Fargo has more physical branches than almost any other bank. Capital One is primarily online and has very few physical branches.

Both Banks offer strong small businesses, but Capital One has higher-yielding small business credit cards with unlimited free transactions.

Customers who prefer an in-person banking experience should opt for Wells Fargo since most states have many local branches.

However, customers who are comfortable banking primarily online and want powerful rewards credit cards may prefer Capital One’s offerings.

Wells Fargo Bank Review: FAQs

Is Wells Fargo FDIC Insured?

Yes. Account holders have all of their accounts insured up to $250,000.

Is TD Bank Better than Wells Fargo?

TD Bank is a better choice for customers who want the most options for bank accounts, especially seniors who have access to a 60 Plus checking account designed exclusively for them.

However, Wells Fargo has many more physical branches and higher-yielding reward credit cards for customers who want to earn the most rewards on their spending.

How Do I Contact Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo has online chat capabilities, in-person branches, and customer service available over the phone.

How Do I Open a Wells Fargo Bank Account?

Prospective customers can open an account online on the Wells Fargo website or in person at a local Wells Fargo branch. It’s important to note that students under 18 years old must open their accounts in person.

Bottom Line: Wells Fargo Bank Review

Since Wells Fargo is one of the biggest banks in America, it offers a wide array of financial products that can accommodate most financial situations.

Customers who want a centralized banking solution where they can manage their checking accounts, loans, and credit cards will enjoy the integrated nature of the Wells Fargo online banking platform.

However, customers who value High yielding savings accounts or plenty of rewards credit card options may prefer other Banks like Chase.

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Justin Estes
Justin Estes
Justin is an experienced personal finance writer, blogger, and author. His background in accounting and finance led to a passion for helping people make the most of their money and matching them with financial products that enhance their lifestyle. When he's not working, he enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and drinking coffee.