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

Margarette BurnetteMarch 2, 2020

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Citibank and Wells Fargo are two of the nation’s largest megabanks — with thousands of branch locations, a full host of financial products and sizable ATM networks. Our head-to-head comparison will help you sort out the differences and decide which is best for you.

Snapshot comparison

Citibank

Wells Fargo

Checking accounts

Citibank Regular Checking (part of the Basic Banking package)

  • Monthly fee: $12 (See below for ways to waive this fee).

  • Minimum deposit to open: $0.

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

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

  • Minimum deposit to open: $25.

Savings accounts

Citi Savings

  • APY: 0.70%

  • Monthly fee: $4.50 (See below for ways to waive this fee).

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

  • APY: 0.01%.

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

Certificates of deposit

Citi CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.25%.

  • 5 year: 0.25%.

  • Minimum deposit to open: Generally ranges from $500 to $2,500, depending on location.

Wells Fargo CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.15%. Rates may vary by location.

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

  • Minimum deposit to open: $2,500 or $5,000, depending on the type of CD.

Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service

  • Overdraft fee: $34, maximum of 4 per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $10 per day.

  • ATMs: 60,000+ fee free.

  • Branches: About 700 in the U.S. and 1,800 overseas.

  • Customer service: 24/7 by phone.

  • Overdraft fee: $35, maximum of 3 per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12.50 per use.

  • ATMs: 13,000.

  • Branches: 5,400.

  • Customer service: 24/7 by phone.

Citi® Citi® Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
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Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
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Choose Citibank if:

  • You want to qualify for a checking or savings sign-up bonus of $200, $400, $500 or $700 (expires January 5, 2021).

  • You need wide-ranging ATM access.

  • You value a bank that operates internationally.

Choose Wells Fargo if:

  • Visiting a branch is important to you.

  • You want more ways to waive the basic checking fee, especially as a college student.

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.

Citibank vs. Wells Fargo: Basic checking accounts

Citibank Regular Checking

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Monthly fee

$12.

You must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Make one qualifying direct deposit and one bill payment per statement cycle.

  • Keep your balance above $1,500 (can include balance in eligible linked Citibank savings or money market accounts).

  • The owner of the account is 62 or older.

$10.

You must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Make 10 debit card purchases per month.

  • Make $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month.

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

  • Link a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Debit Card (available for college students).

  • The owner of the account is 17 to 24 years old.

Minimum deposit to open

$0.

$25.

APY

None.

None.

ATM fees and network

  • Access to 60,000 free ATMs.

  • $2.50 fee for each out of network ATM transaction.

  • Access to 13,000 free ATMs.

  • $2.50 fee for each out of network ATM transaction.

Sign-up bonus

$200 (expires 1/5/2021); our bonuses round-up explains how to qualify.

None.

Citibank’s and Wells Fargo’s checking accounts are standard for large, national banks. Pick Citibank if you want more ATM access.

» Explore other options with NerdWallet’s list of best checking accounts.

Citibank vs. Wells Fargo: Basic savings accounts

Citi Savings

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

APY

0.70% APY.

0.01% APY.

Monthly fee

$4.50.

You must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Keep an average monthly balance of $500.

  • Have a linked Citi checking account.

  • The owner of the account is 62 or older.

$5.

You must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Keep a minimum daily balance of $300.

  • Have a recurring auto-transfer from a linked account.

  • You are younger than 18 (19 in Alabama) and are the primary account holder.

Minimum deposit to open

$0.

$25.

Sign-up bonus

None.

None.

Citibank’s and Wells Fargo’s savings accounts are also standard for large banks — and that means earning almost no interest, unless you qualify for Citi's Accelerate account. To earn more money on your balance, consider putting at least some of your savings into an online bank. Check out NerdWallet’s best savings account tool and explore other options.

» Find solid rates on our list of best savings accounts.

Citibank vs. Wells Fargo: Certificates of deposit

Citibank

Wells Fargo

Minimum deposit to open

Generally ranges from $500 to $2,500, depending on location.

$2,500 or $5,000, depending on the type of CD. (Learn more details about Wells Fargo CD rates.)

APY on one-year term

0.25%.

0.15%. Rates may vary by location.

APY on three-year term

0.25%.

Not available online. Call or visit a branch for rates.

APY on five-year term

0.25%.

Not available online. Call or visit a branch for rates.

Rates may vary by location.

Like most comparable banks, Citibank and Wells Fargo have very low CD yields. You won’t lose money, but to find better options, use NerdWallet’s best CD rates tool.

» Find out where you'll get the best CD rates this month.

Citibank vs. Wells Fargo: Banking experience

Citibank

Wells Fargo

Branches

About 700 in the U.S. and 1,800 overseas.

5,400.

Banking apps (ratings from app store users)

  • 4.9 out of 5 stars for iPhone.

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars for Android.

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iPhone.

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars for Android.

Customer service

  • 24/7 by phone.

  • Live chat support also available.

  • Social media support also available.

  • 24/7 by phone.

  • Email support also available.

  • Social media support also available.

Big banks really shine when it comes to access, and you’ll find that with both Citibank and Wells Fargo. Choose Wells Fargo if domestic branches are important to you and Citibank if you’d like more options overseas. And keep in mind that Wells Fargo has been heavily fined in recent years for opening around 1.5 million bank accounts and over half a million credit card accounts without customer knowledge.

Citibank vs. Wells Fargo: Overdraft fees

Citibank

Wells Fargo

Overdraft fee

$34, maximum of 4 per day.

$35, maximum of 3 per day.

Overdraft protection transfer fee

$10 per day.

$12.50 per use.

Extended overdraft fee

None.

None.

Neither Citibank nor Wells Fargo is especially friendly to those who overdraw accounts. Their fees are in line with the national median, but if you tend to overdraw, check out these banks that don’t charge overdraft fees.

Almost evenly matched

Citibank and Wells Fargo share most of the perks and drawbacks of large, national banks. If having access to a branch and ATM network is most important to you, one of them might be a fit. Wells Fargo has more branches and Citi more ATMs overall, though Citi also has branches overseas.

If the traditional banking model of full service with high fees and low yields doesn’t seem too appealing, see NerdWallet’s list of best checking accounts for other options.

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