Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Which Is Best for You?

Both banks have similar offerings, but there are slight differences to know about before choosing between the two.
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Editor’s note: Some of the information on this page may be outdated as of the publication date. Bank of America and Wells Fargo, the second- and third-largest U.S. banks, respectively, offer similar flavors of traditional-style banking, packed with ATMs and branches. But there are some slight differences that you should know about if you’re deciding between the two.

Here’s a quick look at how Wells Fargo and Bank of America compare.

Snapshot comparison

Wells Fargo

Bank of America

Checking accounts

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

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

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25.

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

  • Monthly fee: $12 (See checking section below for ways to waive it).

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100.

Savings accounts

Wells Fargo Way2Save

  • APY: 0.01%.

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

Bank of America Advantage Savings

  • APY: 0.01%.

  • Monthly fee: $8 (See savings section below for ways to waive it).

Certificates of deposit

Wells Fargo CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.01%.

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

  • Minimum deposit: $2,500.

Bank of America CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.03%.

  • 5 year: 0.03%.

  • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service

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

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $0.

  • ATMs: More than 12,000.

  • Branches: About 4,900 in more than 35 states.

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

Bank of America details
  • Overdraft fee: $10, maximum of two per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12.

  • ATMs: 16,000.

  • Branches: About 4,100 in more than 35 states.

  • Customer service: Available by live chat, email and social media, and by phone Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. ET; Saturday - Sunday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET.

Wells Fargo Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®
NerdWallet rating 

at Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC

Choose Wells Fargo if:

  • You tend to have less than $500 in your savings account.

  • You prioritize 24/7 access to customer service.

Choose Bank of America if:

  • Your direct deposits total at least $250 in a month.

  • You want a larger ATM network.

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.

Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Basic checking accounts

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

Monthly fee

$10.

How to get it waived

You must meet one of the following requirements:

  • 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.

$12.

How to get it waived

You must meet one of the following requirements:

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

  • Make $250 in direct deposits per month.

  • Be enrolled in Preferred Rewards, which requires a minimum $20,000 average combined balance across bank accounts.

Minimum deposit to open

$25.

$100.

APY

None.

None.

ATM fees and network

  • More than 12,000 ATMs.

  • $2.50 fee at non-Wells Fargo ATMs, plus any fees from ATM owner.

  • About 16,000 ATMs.

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

Bonus offer

$200 (expires 07/15/2022); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

$100 (expires 06/30/2022); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

+ Click here for analysis of Wells Fargo and Bank of America's checking accounts

Neither checking account earns interest, but Wells Fargo's monthly fee is lower. If you plan to use direct deposit to avoid a monthly fee, note that the minimum deposit requirement at Wells Fargo is double that of Bank of America's. Be aware that other banks charge no monthly fees with no strings attached.

Both banks offer a cash bonus for opening a new account, but Wells Fargo's bonus is bigger.

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

Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Basic savings accounts

Wells Fargo Way2Save

Bank of America Advantage Savings

APY

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

Monthly fee

$5.

How to get it waived

You must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Keep an average balance of $300.

  • Set up a recurring auto transfer of at least $25 each period from a linked account.

  • Have an auto transfer of at least $1 on each business day from a linked checking account.

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

  • Have a primary account older who’s 24 years old or younger.

$8.

How to get it waived

You must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Keep a minimum daily balance of $500.

  • Link to the interest checking account, Advantage Relationship Banking®.

  • Be a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client.

  • Have an account owner who is under 25 and an eligible student.

  • Have an account owner who is under 18.

Minimum deposit to open

$25.

$100.

+ Click here for analysis of Wells Fargo and Bank of America's savings accounts

Both banks offer dismal savings rates that are lower than the national average. Bank of America’s interest rate can increase if you’re enrolled in Preferred Rewards, but that requires an average daily balance of $20,000 or more in qualifying accounts. And even if you do this, the rate is still extremely low compared with some other banks, especially online banks.

Both banks offer automated programs to boost your savings. Bank of America’s Keep the Change program rounds up your Bank of America debit card purchases to the nearest dollar, and deposits the difference automatically into your savings account. Wells Fargo’s Save As You Go program transfers $1 from your checking account to your savings account every time you make a non-recurring debit card purchase or pay a bill using the bank’s online bill pay.

» Want better interest rates for your savings? See our list of best savings accounts

Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Certificates of deposit

Wells Fargo

Bank of America

1-year APY

0.01% APY.

0.03% APY.

3-year APY

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

0.03% APY.

5-year APY

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

0.03% APY.

Minimum deposit

$2,500.

$1,000.

For more details:

See our post on Wells Fargo CD rates.

See our post on Bank of America CD rates.

Rates may vary by location.

+ Click here for analysis of Wells Fargo and Bank of America's CDs

Bank of America’s minimum deposit amount is lower than Wells Fargo's, but both banks have very low CD rates compared with national averages. Rates may also vary by ZIP code.

» Want to see how much more you can earn? Compare latest top CD rates

Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Banking experience

Wells Fargo

Bank of America

Branches

About 4,900 in more than 35 states and Washington, D.C.

About 4,100 in more than 35 states and Washington, D.C.

Banking apps (ratings from app store users)

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iPhone.

  • 4.6 for Android.

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iPhone.

  • 4.7 for Android.

Customer service

  • Available 24/7 by phone.

  • Social media support available.

  • Available by phone Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. ET, Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET.

  • Live chat support available.

  • Email support available.

  • Social media support available.

+ Click here for analysis of Wells Fargo and Bank of America's banking experience

Both banks cover a majority of states, though Wells Fargo has the edge over Bank of America when it comes to branch count.

Both have multiple ways to contact customer service. Unless you need 24/7 access to customer service like Wells Fargo offers, the two banks are roughly on par with each other.

Note: Wells Fargo paid several penalties to government regulators in the past few years due to a series of abusive practices. This included bank employees opening roughly 1.5 million bank accounts without customers’ consent.

Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Overdraft fees

Wells Fargo

Bank of America

Overdraft fee

$35, maximum of three per day.

$10, maximum of two per day.

Overdraft protection fee

$0 per transfer.

$12 per transfer.

Extended overdraft fee

None.

None.

+ Click here for analysis of Wells Fargo and Bank of America's overdraft fees

Overdraft fees are high at both banks. Other banks charge less, or have lower limits on the number of times you can overdraft per day. An increasing number of banks don't charge an overdraft fee at all.

Both banks offer overdraft protection but Wells Fargo doesn’t charge for these transfers; Bank of America charges $12 per instance.

Neither bank charges an extended overdraft fee, which is what banks can charge for having a negative account balance for a certain number of days.

Should you choose Wells Fargo or Bank of America?

Wells Fargo and Bank of America have similar offerings but slight differences in how to avoid fees that might tip either bank in your favor. If you’re looking for competitive interest rates on savings accounts and CDs, however, you’ll have to check elsewhere. You can find options at NerdWallet's best banks and credit unions.

Discover Bank logo
Learn More

Member FDIC

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Discover Bank logo
APY

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Alliant Credit Union logo
Learn More

Federally insured by the NCUA

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

Alliant Credit Union logo
APY

0.25%

Monthly fee

$0

Current logo
Learn More

Deposits are FDIC Insured

Current Account

Current logo
APY

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Chime logo
Learn More

Deposits are FDIC Insured

Chime Checking Account

Chime logo
APY

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Citibank, N.A. logo
Learn More

Member FDIC

Citi Priority Checking

Citibank, N.A. logo
APY

0.01%

Monthly fee

$30

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