Wells Fargo Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Wells Fargo offers a massive branch network and a solid checking account, but its savings rates are low.

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Overall bank rating

Wells Fargo

at Wells Fargo, Member FDIC

  • Checking

  • Savings

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Megabank Wells Fargo offers large networks of branches and ATMs and a variety of financial products. Monthly fees on basic bank accounts can be easily waived, but savings rates tend to be low. If you have a Wells Fargo mortgage or investment account — or a high enough bank balance — you could receive upgrades on interest rates and fee waivers.

 

Best for: Those who prefer access to branches, keep multiple accounts at the same bank and aren’t concerned with earning competitive interest rates.

Pros

  • 12,000 free ATMs and about 4,900 branches.
  • Easy to avoid monthly fees on some checking and savings accounts.
  • $200 sign-up bonus for checking

Cons

  • Better savings rates available elsewhere.
  • $35 overdraft fee can be charged three times daily.

Full review

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

at Wells Fargo, Member FDIC

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

at Wells Fargo, Member FDIC

Monthly Fee

$10.00

See Learn More for details on how to avoid the monthly service fee

Bonus

$200

See Learn More for eligibility requirements

Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking has a $10 monthly service fee that can be avoided in one of a couple ways, including keeping a $500 minimum daily balance or having $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits. Primary account owners who are 17-24 years old or customers who link the account to a Wells Fargo Campus ATM card or Campus Debit card can also avoid the fee. That said, other banks offer checking accounts with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

There’s no yield, so you won’t see your money grow with compound interest. Checking account holders can take advantage of approximately 12,000 Wells Fargo ATMs, which trails Chase and Bank of America’s networks of more than 16,000 ATMs.

Customers who do not have a Wells Fargo checking account can get a $200 bonus for opening a new Everyday Checking account (expires 12/31/2021). To earn the bonus, you need to open a checking account with a minimum of $25 and receive $1,000 or more in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of opening the account.

Wells Fargo says: The Wells Fargo Everyday Checking account monthly service fee is $10. Minimum opening deposit is $25. • The monthly service fee can be avoided with one of the following each fee period: • $500 minimum daily balance • $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits (A qualifying direct deposit is an ACH (Automated Clearing House) automatic electronic deposit of your salary, pension, Social Security, or other regular income into your bank account. Confirm with your employer or the agency or company making these payments that they use the ACH network.) (Transfers from one account to another, mobile deposits, or deposits made at a banking location, or ATM don't qualify.) • Primary account owner is 17-24 years old. (When the primary account owner reaches the age of 25, age can no longer be used to avoid the monthly service fee.) • Linked to a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card. (Wells Fargo Campus ATM and Campus Debit Cards are available for students of colleges and universities that participate in the Wells Fargo Campus Card℠ program. Campus cards are also available for faculty and staff at most participating colleges and universities.)

Eligibility Requirements: This offer is for new checking customers only. All Wells Fargo consumer checking accounts are eligible for this offer with the exception of checking accounts offered by Wells Fargo Private Bank. You must use your bonus offer code at account opening when you apply for a new eligible Wells Fargo checking account.

You are not eligible for this offer if: 1. You are a current owner of a Wells Fargo consumer checking account 2. You have received a bonus for opening a Wells Fargo consumer checking account within the past 12 months 3. You are a Wells Fargo employee

Bonus Requirements: (i) Open a new Wells Fargo consumer checking account with a minimum opening deposit of $25 by December 31, 2021. All account applications are subject to approval.

(ii) Within 90 calendar days of account opening (the “qualification period”), receive a total of $1,000 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your new checking account. A qualifying direct deposit is an ACH (Automated Clearing House) automatic electronic deposit of your salary, pension, Social Security, or other regular income into your bank account. Confirm with your employer or the agency or company making these payments that they use the ACH network. Transfers from one account to another, mobile deposits, or deposits made at a banking location or ATM don’t qualify as a direct deposit.

Bonus Payment: Once the 90-day qualification period has elapsed, we will determine if you have met the offer requirements, and will deposit any earned bonus into your new checking account within 30 days.

The new checking account must remain open throughout the 90-day qualification period and at the time we attempt to deposit any earned bonus payment. Please note that an account with a zero balance may be closed by us without prior notice, as further described in the Deposit Account Agreement.

You are responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes due on the bonus and we will report as income to the tax authorities if required by applicable law. Consult your tax advisor.

Additional Terms and Conditions: Offer expires December 31, 2021. However, offer may be discontinued or changed at any time prior to the expiration date without notice. Offer cannot be: Paid without a valid U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (Form W-9 for U.S. persons including a resident alien). Non-resident aliens, signing Form W-8 are not eligible for the offer. Combined with any other consumer deposit offer (limit one bonus per customer/account). Reproduced, purchased, sold, transferred, or traded.

The actions required to earn this bonus are separate and distinct from the options available to you to avoid any applicable monthly service fee for the checking account you opened.

Talk with a banker or see the “Consumer Account Fee and Information Schedule” and “Deposit Account Agreement” available at wellsfargo.com/depositdisclosures for complete checking account details, including the applicable monthly service fee and options to avoid it.

Wells Fargo Private Bank offers products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Member FDIC and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Wells Fargo’s Way2Save account has a $5 monthly fee, waived with a $300 minimum daily balance or a recurring savings transfer from checking to savings. The bank makes it easier to waive this fee than some other national banks, but there are many online banks that don't charge a fee at all. The 0.01% annual percentage yield is very low.

» Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts.

Wells Fargo CD

Wells Fargo CD

1.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.01%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Wells Fargo has very few standard CDs available online, and they come with a high $2,500 minimum deposit and low yields. There are also no term lengths above one-year available online. If you want to open a CD with a longer term, you have to call the bank or go to a branch. In general, you can find better rates elsewhere online.

» Want to see the best options? Here's our list of the highest CD rates and the banks that offer them.

Banking experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Wells Fargo offers extensive branch coverage. Its mobile banking apps offer check deposit, person-to-person payments and bill payments, and they're well-rated by app store users.

Customer service is available 24/7 by phone. It can also be reached through Facebook and Twitter.

Note that in the past few years Wells Fargo has been penalized by government regulators multiple times, including for the creation of unauthorized accounts for customers to meet sales targets, and then for charging unnecessary fees on mortgages and auto loans. The bank paid millions of dollars to affected consumers and made leadership changes in the wake of the scandals. As of the time of publication, the bank is under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for previous debit card usage requirements for customers to waive monthly fees.

Overdraft fees

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

Wells Fargo’s overdraft fee is $35, with a maximum of three fees per day. You can use your Wells Fargo savings account or line of credit as a backup source of funds, but there is a $12.50 transfer fee each time money is moved from savings to checking to cover an overdraft.

Wells Fargo checking accounts with direct deposit have a feature called “Overdraft Rewind,” which can erase fees for customers who receive direct deposits the day after overspending.

The bank also does not charge an extended overdraft fee for accounts that are in the red for several days in a row. Some large banks tack on these charges, also called continuous overdraft fees, to negative-balance accounts.

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

at Wells Fargo, Member FDIC

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

at Wells Fargo, Member FDIC

Monthly Fee

$10.00

See Learn More for details on how to avoid the monthly service fee

Bonus

$200

See Learn More for eligibility requirements

Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking has a $10 monthly service fee that can be avoided in one of a couple ways, including keeping a $500 minimum daily balance or having $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits. Primary account owners who are 17-24 years old or customers who link the account to a Wells Fargo Campus ATM card or Campus Debit card can also avoid the fee. That said, other banks offer checking accounts with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

There’s no yield, so you won’t see your money grow with compound interest. Checking account holders can take advantage of approximately 12,000 Wells Fargo ATMs, which trails Chase and Bank of America’s networks of more than 16,000 ATMs.

Customers who do not have a Wells Fargo checking account can get a $200 bonus for opening a new Everyday Checking account (expires 12/31/2021). To earn the bonus, you need to open a checking account with a minimum of $25 and receive $1,000 or more in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of opening the account.

Wells Fargo says: The Wells Fargo Everyday Checking account monthly service fee is $10. Minimum opening deposit is $25. • The monthly service fee can be avoided with one of the following each fee period: • $500 minimum daily balance • $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits (A qualifying direct deposit is an ACH (Automated Clearing House) automatic electronic deposit of your salary, pension, Social Security, or other regular income into your bank account. Confirm with your employer or the agency or company making these payments that they use the ACH network.) (Transfers from one account to another, mobile deposits, or deposits made at a banking location, or ATM don't qualify.) • Primary account owner is 17-24 years old. (When the primary account owner reaches the age of 25, age can no longer be used to avoid the monthly service fee.) • Linked to a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card. (Wells Fargo Campus ATM and Campus Debit Cards are available for students of colleges and universities that participate in the Wells Fargo Campus Card℠ program. Campus cards are also available for faculty and staff at most participating colleges and universities.)

Eligibility Requirements: This offer is for new checking customers only. All Wells Fargo consumer checking accounts are eligible for this offer with the exception of checking accounts offered by Wells Fargo Private Bank. You must use your bonus offer code at account opening when you apply for a new eligible Wells Fargo checking account.

You are not eligible for this offer if: 1. You are a current owner of a Wells Fargo consumer checking account 2. You have received a bonus for opening a Wells Fargo consumer checking account within the past 12 months 3. You are a Wells Fargo employee

Bonus Requirements: (i) Open a new Wells Fargo consumer checking account with a minimum opening deposit of $25 by December 31, 2021. All account applications are subject to approval.

(ii) Within 90 calendar days of account opening (the “qualification period”), receive a total of $1,000 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your new checking account. A qualifying direct deposit is an ACH (Automated Clearing House) automatic electronic deposit of your salary, pension, Social Security, or other regular income into your bank account. Confirm with your employer or the agency or company making these payments that they use the ACH network. Transfers from one account to another, mobile deposits, or deposits made at a banking location or ATM don’t qualify as a direct deposit.

Bonus Payment: Once the 90-day qualification period has elapsed, we will determine if you have met the offer requirements, and will deposit any earned bonus into your new checking account within 30 days.

The new checking account must remain open throughout the 90-day qualification period and at the time we attempt to deposit any earned bonus payment. Please note that an account with a zero balance may be closed by us without prior notice, as further described in the Deposit Account Agreement.

You are responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes due on the bonus and we will report as income to the tax authorities if required by applicable law. Consult your tax advisor.

Additional Terms and Conditions: Offer expires December 31, 2021. However, offer may be discontinued or changed at any time prior to the expiration date without notice. Offer cannot be: Paid without a valid U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (Form W-9 for U.S. persons including a resident alien). Non-resident aliens, signing Form W-8 are not eligible for the offer. Combined with any other consumer deposit offer (limit one bonus per customer/account). Reproduced, purchased, sold, transferred, or traded.

The actions required to earn this bonus are separate and distinct from the options available to you to avoid any applicable monthly service fee for the checking account you opened.

Talk with a banker or see the “Consumer Account Fee and Information Schedule” and “Deposit Account Agreement” available at wellsfargo.com/depositdisclosures for complete checking account details, including the applicable monthly service fee and options to avoid it.

Wells Fargo Private Bank offers products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Member FDIC and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

How does Wells Fargo compare?

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

0.40%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

0.40%

With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

Bonus

N/A

RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Frequently asked questions