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Wells Fargo Bank Review 2022

Published August 2022 by Matthew Goldberg

AT A GLANCE
3.4

Bankrate Score

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Digital Leader

Large Branch Network

Wells Fargo may be a good fit if you’re looking for a large network of branches and ATM access is important to you.

  • Checking
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    4.6
  • Savings
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    2.7
  • CDs
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    2.5
  • MMAs
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    2.1
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    UFB Direct

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    2.85 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Bask Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    2.75 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    2.65 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Overall

    3.4

    Bankrate Score

    Wells Fargo is a big bank with the second most branches in the U.S. and locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C, as of June 2022. But the bank has also faced heavy scrutiny by regulators in recent years for opening fake accounts and other offenses. While you won’t find attractive yields here, Wells Fargo’s checking account scores highly in our analysis.

    What we like

    • Fees on checking accounts can easily be avoided.

    • Wells Fargo eliminated non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees and offers Clear Access Banking, which has no overdraft fees.

    • Wells Fargo offers early direct deposit.

    What we don't

    • Yields on certificates of deposit and savings accounts are low, like many big banks.

    • There is an out-of-network ATM fee of $2.50 for checking account customers.

    • The money market account has a steeper monthly fee if a specified balance isn’t maintained.

    • Wells Fargo still charges a $35 fee for overdrafting your account on most of its checking accounts.

    Checking accounts

    4.6

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    SoFi

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    2.00 % APY

    $ 0

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking account requires $25 to open an account. A $10 fee applies to accounts with a minimum monthly balance of less than $500.

    You can also waive the monthly fee by:


    • Having at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits during the statement cycle.

    • The primary owner of the account is between 17 and 24 years old.

    • Having a Campus ATM card from Wells Fargo or a Wells Fargo Campus debit card.


    Another checking option is the Clear Access Banking account for teens and students. The account’s $5 monthly fee is waived for 13- to 24-year-olds. The account doesn’t have overdraft fees, but it also doesn’t have check-writing privileges.

    What we like

    • An Everyday Checking account can be opened with only $25.

    • The monthly fee is avoidable with $500 or more in monthly direct deposits.

    • In early 2022, Wells Fargo announced it was eliminating non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees.

    What we don't

    • The balance required to waive the monthly maintenance fee on the Everyday Checking account is $500. A direct deposit is another way to avoid the $10 monthly fee.

    • Wells Fargo’s Prime Checking account earns interest, but it requires at least $20,000 across linked accounts to avoid its $25 monthly fee.

    • Clear Access Banking is an account that doesn’t have check-writing privileges.

    Savings accounts

    2.7

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    UFB Direct

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    2.85 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Wells Fargo’s Way2Save savings account has a $25 initial deposit requirement and has a $5 monthly service fee.

    A few ways to avoid the fee are by:


    • Keeping at least $300 in this savings account.

    • Having one recurring transfer of at least $25 from your Wells Fargo checking account automatically transferred into your Way2Save Savings account.

    • Being under 25 years old and the primary person on the account.


    Unfortunately, the account’s APY is much lower than the national average.

    What we like

    • Just $25 is needed to open an account.

    • An ATM card is available.

    • A $25 recurring transfer from your linked Wells Fargo checking to the Way2Save Savings Account waives the monthly fee on the savings account. You could also keep at least $300 in your Way2Save account to avoid paying the monthly maintenance fee.

    • Wells Fargo offers My Savings Plan, which helps you create and follow your plan to save.

    What we don't

    • Higher APYs are available at other banks and credit unions.

    • There are options to waive the monthly maintenance fee, but other banks offer higher APYs and lower or no minimum balance requirements.

    CD rates

    2.5

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Synchrony Bank

    Member FDIC

    CD

    3.50 % APY

    15mo

    Term

    $ 0

    Min. deposit

    Wells Fargo offers three terms of CDs online, though it may offer more in certain markets.

    Earned interest can be paid out prior to maturity, but there is a penalty for withdrawing principal funds early. For example, you would be penalized six months of interest for an early withdrawal on a CD with a term more than 12 months and as long as 24 months.

    At the time of Bankrate’s review, there was a bonus rate for having a Prime Checking account, Premier checking account or a Private Bank Interest Checking account linked to your CD.

    What we like

    • Wells Fargo’s relationship APYs offer an opportunity for slightly higher CD yields.

    • Wells Fargo offers IRA CDs.

    What we don't

    • Yields are low compared to what other banks offer.

    • Few CD terms are offered online.

    • Many online banks have lower minimum deposit requirements.

    Money market accounts

    2.1

    Bankrate Score

    The Platinum Savings account offers check-writing privileges. It has a comparatively low yield and a $12 monthly fee applies unless a minimum monthly balance of $3,500 is maintained.

    What we like

    • Minimum opening deposit is only $25.

    • The account has check-writing privileges.

    What we don't

    • A $3,500 minimum daily balance is required to avoid the $12 monthly service fee.

    • You can find higher yields at many online banks.

    Bank experience

    The Wells Fargo mobile app earns solid praise from reviewers, earning a 4.8 score in the Apple App Store and 4.7 stars on Google Play.

    And while Wells Fargo offers progressive digital banking, with more than  4,800 branches, customers can also take advantage of in-person banking in most states.

    There are also plenty of ATM locations, with 12,000 ATMs to choose from.

    About Wells Fargo

    Founded in 1852 as a bank and express delivery company, Wells Fargo offers a full range of banking services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, mortgages and other loans.

    In 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Wells Fargo $100 million for the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized accounts. The violation forced the bank to amend its approaches to sales, such as by sending an email confirmation to customers after the opening of a deposit account.

    With branches and ATMs in 39 states, Wells Fargo may be a good fit if you value nearly nationwide access to your accounts. The bulk of its 4,824 branches are in California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. He uses his banking and financial services experience to help readers with personal finance. Nearly his entire career has either been as a reporter or working in financial services, in banking and insurance. He’s been in financial services for more than a decade. His banking career includes being a banker in New York City. His reporting career includes working as a staff reporter at two daily newspapers. He earned his first newspaper bylines in 1998. His writing has been honored by both the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. His writing has also been featured online on MSN, the Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle, the Omaha World-Herald, The Kansas City Star, the Arizona Daily Star, and appeared in Sports Illustrated On Campus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Buffalo News and other publications. Matthew’s radio experience includes being a weekly panelist on the SportsWriter’s show on WGEM AM ESPN 1440 in Quincy, Illinois. He was also an occasional co-host and call-in guest on WGEM SportsCenter. He’s also been a guest on other stations throughout the country. Matthew is currently a member of the Board of Governors at the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW), which is the world's largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists. He chairs the organization's training committee and is on the finance committee. He has previously served on conference planning committees and has been a Best in Business contest judge for the organization. Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and an MBA at William Paterson University. Media mentions CNBC CNBC Acorns + CNBC WGN Radio 720 in Chicago 1080 KRLD Dallas-Fort Worth