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.
Apr 18, 2022

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Overall bank rating

Wells Fargo
  • Checking

  • Savings

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Megabank Wells Fargo offers a large network of branches, many 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 high enough balance across eligible accounts, you could receive upgrades on interest rates (but they’re still lower than the national average).

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.

Cons

  • Low APY on standard savings account.
  • $35 overdraft fee can be charged three times daily.

Full review

Best Bank or Credit Union for Branch Access

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Checking

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$10.00
Waived with direct deposit or $500 minimum balance

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.

Checking account holders can take advantage of approximately 12,000 Wells Fargo ATMs, which trails Chase and Bank of America’s networks of about 16,000 ATMs.

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings
Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.01%
With $0.01 min. balance for APY

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

CD

Member FDIC

1.0

/5
 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 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 2021, the bank is under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for previous debit card usage requirements for customers to waive monthly fees.

» Interested in more from this bank? Check out the best Wells Fargo credit cards

Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Unlike an increasing number of banks that have reduced or eliminated overdraft fees completely, Wells Fargo charges an overdraft fee of $35, with a maximum of three fees per day. You can opt to use your Wells Fargo savings account, credit card or line of credit as a backup source of funds. There is no transfer fee when money is moved from those options 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. Unlike overdraft protection, you don’t have to opt in to Overdraft Rewind. It’s an automatic feature but it’s limited — it will only help if you've overdrawn your account just before payday, for example.

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.

Best Bank or Credit Union for Branch Access

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Checking

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$10.00
Waived with direct deposit or $500 minimum balance

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.

Checking account holders can take advantage of approximately 12,000 Wells Fargo ATMs, which trails Chase and Bank of America’s networks of about 16,000 ATMs.

How does Wells Fargo compare?

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.60%

With $0 min. balance for APY

APY

0.60%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

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