- Certificates of deposit
- Customer experience
- Overdraft fees
Overall institution rating
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.
Penalty for CFPB settlement: NerdWallet deducted 0.5 star from Wells Fargo’s overall rating due to a consumer banking-related settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For more information about this penalty, see our methodology page. For more details on the CFPB action, see this article about the Wells Fargo fines.
- Large branch network.
- Large, free, nationwide ATM network.
- 24/7 customer service by phone.
- Expensive overdraft fee.
- Low rates on some savings accounts and CDs.
- Monthly fees (though some are avoidable).
4.0/5 NerdWallet rating
Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking has a $10 monthly service fee that can be avoided in one of a few ways, including keeping a $500 minimum daily balance or having $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits each month. 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.
Checking account holders can take advantage of approximately 11,000 Wells Fargo ATMs. This trails Chase and Bank of America’s networks of about 15,000 ATMs each.
» Want a more competitive account? See our list of the best checking accounts
3.5/5 NerdWallet rating
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 0.15% annual percentage yield is very low.
» Want to see more options? Compare NerdWallet’s best savings accounts
Certificates of deposit
1.0/5 NerdWallet rating
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. Compare with NerdWallet's list of the best CD rates.
» Learn more about Wells Fargo CD rates
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 social media channels.
Wells Fargo earns high marks in this category. However, note that NerdWallet deducted 0.5 star from Wells Fargo’s overall rating due to a CFPB settlement. In addition to the nearly $4 billion in fines levied by the CFPB in December 2022, 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.
» Interested in more from this bank? Check out the best Wells Fargo credit cards
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 personal checking and savings accounts include a feature called Extra Day Grace Period. The feature gives customers who have overdrawn their account one business day to deposit enough money to cover the overdrawn amount and have the overdraft fee waived. The deposits must be made by midnight E.T. the business day following the day the overdrafts occurred.
The bank also does not charge an extended overdraft fee for accounts that are in the red for several days in a row. Some banks tack on these charges, also called continuous overdraft fees, to negative-balance accounts.
» Want more details? Read our in-depth coverage of Wells Fargo's overdraft fees and policies
How does Wells Fargo compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at SoFi Bank, N.A.
at CIT Bank
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
Wells Fargo is comparable to other national banks in that it has similar features: large ATM and branch networks, low savings rates and high overdraft fees. It can be convenient to bank at Wells Fargo, especially if you have a mortgage or other account there. Wells Fargo also has a history of multiple settlements with regulators over opening 1.5 million unauthorized bank accounts, along with charging customers fees in those fake accounts.
Both national banks have similar offerings, though Chase has more ATMs and a free overdraft program for linked savings transfers. Wells Fargo and Chase have about the same number of branches. See more on our Chase vs. Wells Fargo comparison.
You can open an account online on Wells Fargo’s website or at a branch. You’ll need the following: your Social Security number, ID, and the minimum amount of money to open the account, such as $25 for the basic checking and savings options. For an online application, you also need the details to another bank account for transferring money.