Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Which Is Best for You?

Jun 17, 2022

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Wells Fargo and Chase are two of the largest U.S. banks, and they make it convenient to bank in person, with many ATMs and branches. Keep in mind that the interest rates both banks pay are low compared with other banks.

Here’s a quick look at how they stack up against each other:

Snapshot comparison

Chase

Wells Fargo

Checking accounts

Chase Total Checking®

  • Monthly fee $12. (See below for three ways to waive it.)

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

  • Monthly fee: $10. (See below for four ways to waive it.)

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25.

Savings accounts

Chase Savings℠

  • APY: 0.01% (effective 9/14/20; rates are variable and subject to change).

  • Monthly fee: $5. (See below for five ways to waive it.)

Wells Fargo Way2Save

  • APY: 0.01%.

  • Monthly fee: $5. (See below for five ways to waive it.)

Certificates of deposit

Chase interest rates on CDs

  • 1 year: 0.01% APY.

  • 5-year: 0.01% APY.

  • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

Wells Fargo interest rates on CDs

  • 1 year: 0.01% APY for standard CDs.

  • 5-year: No standard rates available online beyond one-year terms. Call or visit a branch for rates.

  • Minimum deposit: $2,500.

Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service

  • Overdraft fee: $34, maximum of three per day. No charge if account is overdrawn by $50 or less at end of day. Customers can also avoid an overdraft fee if the account balance is overdrawn more than $50 but is brought down to being overdrawn by $50 or less by the end of the next business day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $0 per transfer.

  • ATMs: 16,000.

  • Branches: More than 4,700.

  • Customer service: Available via email and Twitter, and by phone (7 a.m.-12 a.m. ET daily).

  • Overdraft fee: $35, maximum of three per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $0 per transfer.

  • ATMs: About 12,000.

  • Branches: 4,900.

  • Customer service: Available via social media and 24/7 by phone.

Chase Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 

at Chase, Member FDIC

Wells Fargo Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Choose Chase if:

  • You want a larger ATM network.

  • You prefer lower minimums for certificates of deposit.

  • You want a more lenient overdraft policy.

Choose Wells Fargo if:

  • You prefer lower monthly checking fees that are slightly easier to waive.

Or go with an alternative

Unlike these brick-and-mortars, online banks don’t have thousands of branches. But they do have excellent annual percentage yields, or APYs, that make your savings grow faster. And fees tend to be low or nonexistent.

Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Basic checking accounts

Chase Total Checking®

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Monthly fee

$12.

  • Receive $500 or more in direct deposits each month.

  • Keep a daily balance of at least $1,500.

  • Have a daily balance of at least $5,000 spread across qualifying Chase accounts.

$10.

  • Keep a daily balance of at least $500.

  • Receive $500 or more in qualifying direct deposits each month.

  • Have a primary account owner who is 17-24 years old.

  • Link a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Debit Card.

Minimum deposit to open

$0.

$25.

APY

None.

None.

ATM fees and network

  • 16,000 Chase ATMs.

  • $2.50 for using out-of-network ATMs in the U.S., plus any fees from ATM owner.

  • About 12,000 Wells Fargo ATMs.

  • $2.50 per withdrawal for out-of-network ATMs in the U.S., plus any fees from ATM owner.

Sign-up bonus

$200 (expires 10/19/2022); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

None.

The Chase Total Checking® and Wells Fargo Everyday Checking accounts are comparable, with large ATM networks and many branches. Both banks also offer premium checking accounts that earn interest — but not much. But if you want a cash bonus, Chase is the winner.

» See more options on our list of best checking accounts or check out Chase checking account bonuses

Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Basic savings accounts

Chase Savings℠

Wells Fargo Ways2Save

APY

0.01% (effective 9/14/20; rates are variable and subject to change).

0.01%.

Monthly fee

$5.

  • Have a daily balance of at least $300.

  • Set up an automatic transfer of at least $25 a month from a Chase checking account.

  • Link to a premium Chase checking account.

  • Link to a Chase College Checking℠ account.

  • Fee waived for those younger than 18.

$5.

  • Have a daily balance of at least $300.

  • Have at least one Save As You Go transfer from a linked Wells Fargo checking account.

  • Set up a recurring automatic transfer of at least $25 from a Wells Fargo checking account.

  • Set up an automatic transfer of at least $1 each business day from a linked Wells Fargo checking account.

  • Fee waived for those 24 and younger.

Minimum deposit to open

$0.

$25.

Both accounts have monthly fees, but they are easy to avoid. However, Wells Fargo’s account has a more generous age limit for waiving the fee. Wells Fargo requires $25 to open an account, but Chase’s $0 opening deposit requirement is helpful if you’re starting out with just a few dollars.

Neither account pays much interest. For savings options with higher yields, read NerdWallet’s list of best savings rates.

» Looking for higher rates? Explore NerdWallet's list of top online savings accounts

Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Certificates of deposit

Chase

Wells Fargo

1-Year APY

0.01% standard rate.

0.01% standard rate.

3-Year APY

0.01%.

None online. Call or visit branches for rates.

5-Year APY

0.01%.

None online. Call or visit branches for rates.

Minimum deposit to open

$1,000.

$2,500.

For more details:

See our coverage of Chase CD rates.

See our coverage of Wells Fargo CD rates.

Rates may vary by location.

Chase requires less than half the amount Wells Fargo does to open a standard CD, but neither bank offers high APYs. You can find one-year rates at online banks higher than 1.30% APY.

» To compare, see the latest top CD rates

Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Banking experience

Chase

Wells Fargo

Branches

More than 4,700.

4,900.

Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS.

  • 4.4 out of 5 stars for Android.

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS.

  • 4.6 out of 5 stars for Android.

Customer service

  • Available by phone (7 a.m.-12 a.m. ET, daily).

  • Email support available.

  • Social media support available.

  • Available 24/7 by phone.

  • Social media support available.

Wells Fargo has slightly more branches than Chase, but in general, their methods of customer support and mobile app ratings are similar.

In 2017, Wells Fargo settled a lawsuit over employees opening more than 2 million unauthorized accounts. The bank has since taken steps to alter practices and reimburse customers.

Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Overdraft fees

Chase

Wells Fargo

Overdraft fee

$34, maximum of three per day. No charge if account is overdrawn by $50 or less at end of day. Also no overdraft fee if the account balance is overdrawn more than $50 but the customer brings the balance down to being overdrawn by $50 or less by the end of the next business day.

$35, maximum of three per day.

Overdraft protection fee

$0 per transfer.

$0 per transfer.

Extended overdraft fee

None.

None.

Both banks charge overdraft fees, but Chase is slightly more lenient: It doesn’t charge an overdraft fee when your account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the day. Customers can also avoid an overdraft fee if the account balance is overdrawn more than $50 but is brought down to being overdrawn by $50 or less by the end of the next business day. Both banks offer overdraft protection from a linked savings account for free.

» Want to learn more? Read about Wells Fargo overdraft fees and policies.

Big banks, small rates

If you’re seeking the broad reach and expansive product selection of a national bank, you’ll find those at Wells Fargo or Chase. For similar banks, see our roundup of best national banks. If the low interest rates or hefty fees at these institutions don’t work for you, however, check out other top bank options such as credit unions or online banks.

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