Advertiser Disclosure

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

Banking, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Wells Fargo and Citibank, two of the nation’s largest megabanks, have thousands of branch locations, a full array 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

  • Monthly fee: $12 (How to waive it)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0

  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

  • Monthly fee $10 (How to waive it)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Savings accounts
    Citi Savings

  • Interest rate: 0.04-0.06%
  • Monthly fee: $4.50 (How to waive it)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Wells Fargo Way2Save

  • Interest rate: 0.01%
  • Monthly fee: $5 (How to waive it)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Certificates of deposit
    Citibank CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.25%
  • 5 years: 0.80%
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000

  • Wells Fargo CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.10%
  • 58-month: 1.01% ($1,000 deposit required)
  • Minimum deposit: $2,500
  • 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, chat, email and social media

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

    • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12.50 per use

    • ATMs: 13,000

    • Branches: 6,000+

    • Customer service: 24/7 by phone and email and 7 days a week on social media

    Choose Citibank if:

    Choose Citibank if:

    • You need wide-ranging ATM access
    • You value a bank that operates internationally
    • You’re willing to link accounts to save on fees

    Choose Wells Fargo if:

    Choose Wells Fargo if:

    • Visiting a branch is important to you
    • You’d like to start a basic savings account with a low opening deposit
    • You can deposit more to receive higher CD rates

     

    Here’s an in-depth look at how Citibank and Wells Fargo compare.

    Basic checking accounts

     Citibank Regular CheckingWells 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:

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

    • Make $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month

    • Make 10 debit card purchases per month

    • Have a linked Wells Fargo Campus ATM™ or Campus Debit Card (for college students)

    • The fee will be reduced to $5 if the primary account owner is 17 to 24 years old

    Minimum opening deposit$0$25
    InterestNoneNone


    ATM network60,000 ATMs13,000 ATMs
    Out-of-network ATM fee$2.50$2.50
    » Explore other options with NerdWallet’s list of best checking accounts
    Citibank’s and Wells Fargo’s checking accounts are standard for large, national banks. Pick Citibank if you’re concerned about avoiding the monthly fee — it’s slightly easier to dodge — or ATM access.

     

    Basic savings accounts

     Citibank Basic SavingsWells Fargo
    Way2Save
    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 an minimum daily balance of $300
    • Have a recurring auto-transfer from a linked account at least once per month
    • You are younger than 18 (19 in Alabama) and are the primary account holder


    Interest rate0.04-0.06% APY0.01% APY
    Minimum opening deposit$100$25

    Automatic transfer from linked checkingYesYes
    » Find rates well above 1% on our list of best savings accounts
    Citibank’s and Wells Fargo’s savings accounts are also standard for large banks — and that means earning almost no interest. 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.

     

    Certificates of deposit

     CitibankWells Fargo
    Minimum deposit$1,000$2,500
    APY on one-year term0.25%0.10%
    APY on three-year term0.70%0.80% ($5,000 deposit required, 39-month term)
    APY on five-year term0.80%1.01% ($5,000 deposit required, 58-month term)
    » Find out where you'll get the best CD rates this month
    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.

     

    Bank experience

     CitibankWells Fargo
    BranchesAbout 700 in the U.S. and 1,800 overseas6,000+
    Banking apps (ratings from app store users)4.8 out of 5 stars for iPhone; 4 stars for Android
    3.9 out of 5 stars for iPhone; 4.3 for Android
    Customer service24/7 by phone, chat, email and social media24/7 by phone and email and 7 days a week on social media
    Big banks really shine when it comes to accessibility, 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 was recently fined for opening around 1.5 million bank accounts and over half a million credit card accounts without customer knowledge.

     

    Overdraft fees

     CitibankWells Fargo
    Overdraft fee$34, maximum of 4 per day$35, maximum of 4 per day
    Overdraft protection transfer fee$10 per day$12.50 per use
    Extended overdraft feeNoneNone
    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.

    Updated April 6, 2018.