Editorial Review

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
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    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.

Pros

  • 13,000 free ATMs and about 5,400 branches.

  • Easy to avoid monthly fees on some checking and savings accounts.

Cons

  • 0.01% APY on standard savings account; better rates available elsewhere.

  • $35 overdraft fee can be charged three times daily.

Full review

Best Bank for Branch Access

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $1 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 Everyday Checking

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$10.00

Waived with direct deposit or $1500 minimum balance

Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking has a $10 monthly fee that can be avoided in one of several ways: making 10 debit payments, $500 in direct deposits or by keeping a minimum daily balance of $1,500 each month. College students 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 over 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs, which trails Chase’s and Bank of America’s 16,000-ATM networks.

Wells Fargo CD

Wells Fargo CD

1.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.15%

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 are well-rated by app store users.

Customer service is available 24/7 by phone, and also can 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 scandal.

Overdraft fees

3.0

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.

Best Bank for Branch Access

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $1 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 Everyday Checking

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$10.00

Waived with direct deposit or $1500 minimum balance

Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking has a $10 monthly fee that can be avoided in one of several ways: making 10 debit payments, $500 in direct deposits or by keeping a minimum daily balance of $1,500 each month. College students 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 over 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs, which trails Chase’s and Bank of America’s 16,000-ATM networks.

Wells Fargo CD

Wells Fargo CD

1.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.15%

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.

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 are well-rated by app store users.

Customer service is available 24/7 by phone, and also can 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 scandal.

3.0

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.

How does Wells Fargo compare?

APY

1.30%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

1.30%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

1.30%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

$500

Requirements to qualify

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.