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Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Head-to-Head Comparison

Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
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Wells Fargo and Chase are both national banks that make it easy to have all your accounts under the same roof.

Both have below-average interest rates, though their breadth of services may make up for it. Each has thousands of ATMs, 24/7 customer service and a robust suite of online banking services.

Why choose Chase over Wells Fargo?

Why choose Chase over Wells Fargo?

    • Sign-up bonuses for basic checking and savings accounts
    • Larger ATM network
    • Lower minimums for certificates of deposit

Why choose Wells Fargo over Chase?

Why choose Wells Fargo over Chase?

    • More ways to get monthly checking account fee waived
    • More branches

Below is a detailed breakdown of how the banks compare when it comes to checking, savings, CDs, bank experience and overdraft fees.

Basic checking accounts

 Chase Total Checking®Wells Fargo Everyday Checking
Sign-up bonus$200 (expires Jan. 18, 2018); see how to qualify

No nationwide offers

Monthly fees$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 Chase accounts

$10, or $5 if primary account owner is age 17 to 24

  • Make 10 or more debit card purchases each month

  • Receive $500 or more in direct deposits each month

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

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

Minimum opening deposit$25

ATM network16,000 Chase ATMs13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs
ATM fee$2.50 for using out-of-network ATMs in the U.S.; $5 for ATM withdrawals abroad$2.50 per withdrawal for out-of-network ATMs in the U.S.; $5 per withdrawal for international out-of-network ATMs
Interest on balancesNoneNone

The Chase Total Checking® and Wells Fargo Everyday Checking accounts are comparable, including fees and breadth of ATM access, but Chase’s current bonus offer tips the scale in its favor. Both banks also offer premium checking accounts that earn interest but have higher minimum deposits.

At Chase:
Chase has two high-end checking accounts, Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ and Chase Premier Platinum Checking℠. Each earns a little bit of interest — 0.01% annual percentage yield — but come with higher monthly fees that are harder to get waived: $25 and $35, respectively. You do get some or all out-of-network ATM fees waived, depending on the account. The ATM operator may still charge a separate fee.

At Wells Fargo:
Wells Fargo has one interest-bearing account, Preferred Checking, with a $15 monthly fee. Its requirements are harder to get waived, too, and you earn interest — again, 0.01% APY — only if your balance is $500 or more.

Basic savings accounts

 Chase Savings℠Wells Fargo Ways2Save
Sign-up bonus$150 (expires Jan. 18, 2018); see how to qualify
None nationwide
Minimum opening deposit$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

  • Be younger than 18

  • Link to a premium Chase checking account


  • Have a daily balance of at least $300

  • Set up a recurring automatic transfer from a Wells Fargo checking account

  • Be younger than 18 (19 in Alabama)

Interest rate0.01% APY (effective as of 11/2/17; interest rates are variable and subject to change)0.01% APY
Minimum opening deposit$25$25

Chase has the edge because it has a savings bonus. Not counting that perk, having a $10,000 balance would earn you just $1 in interest over a year with either account. Both accounts have monthly fees that are easy to avoid.

At Chase:
In addition to a basic account, the bank offers Chase Premier Savings℠, which earns a slightly better rate, depending on where you live. But you have to have a daily balance of at least $15,000 to avoid the monthly fee of $25, or link the account to a premium Chase checking account. Top rates are barely higher than 0.05% APY.

At Wells Fargo:
The bank also has a premium offering, Wells Fargo Platinum Savings. You have to maintain a minimum daily balance of $3,500 to avoid a $12 monthly fee, and the top rate isn’t much over 0.05% APY.

» There are better rates elsewhere. Read our round-up of the best savings accounts to find what other banks and credit unions offer in your area.

Certificates of deposit

 ChaseWells Fargo
Minimum opening deposit$1,000$2,500
APY on 1-year CD0.02% for balances under $100,000; 0.05% above that
0.05% APY for standard CDs; 0.10% APY bonus rate for customers with special premium linked accounts
APY on 3-year CD0.15% for balances under $10,000; 0.35% from $10,000 to $99,999.99; 0.40% above thatNot available. 39-month Special CD rates are 0.50% for all balances, but require $5,000 minimum deposit
APY on 5-year CD0.35% for balances under $10,000; 0.55% from $10,000 to $99,999.99; 0.60% above thatNot available. 58-month Special CD rates are 1.06% for all balances
CD rates may vary by state. Those displayed above are based on ZIP codes in the state where each bank has its headquarters.

Chase’s minimum opening deposit is less than half of Wells Fargo’s requirement for a standard CD. But neither bank’s standard one-year certificate beats the federal national average, which is 0.28% APY. Meanwhile, some online banks, such as Ally Bank, have savings rates north of 1% for one-year CDs.

» Read NerdWallet’s full Ally Bank review to learn more about its rates for checking accounts, savings and CDs.

Bank experience

 ChaseWells Fargo

More than 6,000
WebsiteEasy to compare accounts side by side, detailed information on ATMs and branches, large online banking menuCan compare different accounts on the same page, easy to find information on ATMs and branches, large online banking menu
Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)4.7 out of 5 stars for iOS; 4.6 out of 5 for Android3.0 out of 5 stars for iOS; 4.3 out of 5 for Android
Customer serviceAvailable 24/7 by phone, email and social mediaAvailable 24/7 by phone, email and social media

As far as reach, Wells Fargo has more than 6,000 branches, compared with Chase’s 5,100 branches. But Wells Fargo suffers in customer experience because of the scandal in which employees opened more than 2 million unauthorized accounts. The bank has since taken steps to alter practices and reimburse customers.

» Does Wells Fargo owe you money? Read our article on the bank’s $110 million payout and find out if you’re owed cash.

Overdraft fees

 ChaseWells Fargo
Overdraft fee$34, maximum of three per day$35, maximum of three per day
Overdraft protection fee$0 per transfer$12.50 per transfer
Extended overdraft fee$15 each time your accounts stays overdrawn for five or more consecutive business daysNone

Neither bank is lenient on overdraft fees. Wells Fargo charges $35 per transaction when your account goes negative, up to three times per day. Chase’s fee is $34, up to three times per day. But Chase also charges an extended overdraft fee of $15 if your account remains in the red for five or more consecutive days. Wells Fargo doesn’t have this type of fee.

Both offer overdraft protection for moving money from a linked account to cover you. Wells Fargo charges $12.50 per transfer from savings or a line of credit, while Chase’s service, which offers transfers only from a linked savings account, is free.

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. However, if the low interest rates or hefty fees at these institutions don’t work for you, consider browsing NerdWallet’s list of best banks for checking and savings.

 Updated Nov. 6, 2017.