Wells Fargo Bank Review 2021

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Updated on Friday, October 1, 2021

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo is a big bank with a long history. It got its start in 1852 serving those who participated in the gold rush out West. Today, the bank serves over 65 million customers, with about 5,200 branches across the U.S.

While Wells Fargo stands out for its extensive branch network, the interest paid on its deposit accounts is nominal — especially when compared to the competition. Most accounts also have monthly fees, though these can be avoided in numerous ways. But if you’re jumping through hoops anyways, you might be better off exploring accounts with higher rates at other financial institutions.

Wells Fargo savings accounts 3.5 out of 5

Platinum Savings
  • APY:0.01%0.02%
  • Minimum opening balance: $25
  • Monthly fee: $12, but waivable

The Wells Fargo Platinum Savings account is best for those who keep a minimum of $3,500 in their savings. By maintaining this balance, you will be able to avoid the $12 monthly maintenance fee associated with the account.

In order to qualify for the bonus APY of 0.02%, this account must be linked to a Portfolio Checking account; otherwise, your savings will only earn 0.01% APY.

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Way2Save Savings
  • APY:0.01%
  • Minimum opening balance: $25
  • Monthly fee: $5

The biggest draw of the Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings account is its Save As You Go feature. With Save As You Go, every time there’s a non-recurring debit transaction on your checking account, $1 will be transferred to this account. A dollar will also be transferred every time you pay a bill using Wells Fargo Online Bill Pay.The minimum opening deposit on this account is $25. There is a $5 monthly service fee, but it is waivable by doing one of the following:

  • Maintaining a $300 minimum daily balance
  • Making at least one Save As You Go transfer per month
  • Making at least one $25 transfer from your Wells Fargo checking account per month
  • Establishing a transfer of at least $1 per business day from your linked checking account

The monthly fee will also be waived if the primary account holder is 24 years old or younger.

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on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

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For more options, check out our picks for the best savings accounts.

Wells Fargo checking accounts 2.5 out of 5

Preferred Checking
  • APY:0.01%
  • Minimum opening balance: $25
  • Monthly fee: $15
  • ATM access: Free access to 13,000+ in-network ATMs; one free out-of-network withdrawal each month, otherwise a $2.50 fee at domestic ATMs

The Wells Fargo Preferred Checking account is best for those who have a mortgage with Wells Fargo. When you have a linked Wells Fargo home mortgage, the monthly fee is waived. This fee can also be waived if you maintain a $10,000 minimum balance or have $1,000 in direct deposits per month. You need $25 to open this account, and a balance of at least $500 to earn any interest, though the current rate is a mere 0.01% APY.

Wells Fargo charges a $2.50 fee every time you use a domestic, out-of-network ATM, though with this account this fee will be waived once per month. When you access an international ATM, you will incur a $5 fee.

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on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Portfolio Checking
  • APY:0.01%
  • Minimum opening balance: $25
  • Monthly fee: $30
  • ATM access: No fees charged by Wells Fargo, including at out-of-network ATMS, though ATM owner fees may apply

The Wells Fargo Portfolio Checking account is best for those who hold sizable debts or investments with Wells Fargo. When you have this account, you will be offered increased rates on CDs and the Platinum Savings account, along with discounts on certain loan products. However, to avoid the $30 monthly fee on Portfolio Checking, you will need to hold at least:

  • $25,000 across Wells Fargo deposit accounts in your name or
  • $50,000 in any combination of qualifying linked banking, brokerage and credit balances in your name

Only 10% of your mortgage balance counts towards the fee waiver. You will need $25 to open this account. Wells Fargo will not charge any fees for this account when you use an out-of-network ATM. The ATM owner may still charge a fee though.

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on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

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Everyday Checking
  • APY: None
  • Minimum opening balance: $25
  • Monthly fee: $10
  • ATM access: Free access to 13,000+ in-network ATMs; $2.50 for out-of-network domestic ATMs (four free ATM withdrawals for Wells Fargo Campus Card? holders)

Everyday Checking is Wells Fargo’s student checking account. The $500 minimum balance needed to waive the account’s $10 monthly fee may seem steep for students, but the fee is also waived if the primary account holder is between 17 and 24. The fee can also be waived if the account is linked to Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card.

If you have the Wells Fargo Campus Card, you can get four free ATM withdrawals per month at out-of-network ATMs. Otherwise, you will pay a $2.50 fee at domestic, out-of-network ATMs and a $5 fee at international ATMs. This account pays no interest.

Clear Access Banking
  • APY: None
  • Minimum opening balance: $25
  • Monthly fee: $5
  • ATM access: Free access to 13,000+ in-network ATMs; $2.50 fee at domestic, out-of-network ATMs

The Clear Access Banking account can be used as a youth checking account. The $5 monthly fee associated with the account is waived if the primary account holder is between ages 13 and 24. However, the account also provides a pathway for those with a negative banking history to re-enter the traditional banking system.

This account pays no interest and comes with no check-writing abilities. Wells Fargo charges a $2.50 fee when you use domestic, out-of-network ATMs, and a $5 fee at international ATMs.


Compare Wells Fargo’s checking accounts to the best checking accounts currently offered.

Wells Fargo CDs 2 out of 5

TermAPYMinimum Deposit
3 months0.01% - 0.02%$2,500
6 months0.01% - 0.02%$2,500
1 year0.01% - 0.02%$2,500

While Wells Fargo offers certificates of deposit (CDs) with terms of up to 12 years, you can only apply for terms of three months, six months or one year online. The standard APY is 0.01%, regardless of your balance. However, those with a Portfolio by Wells Fargo checking account will qualify for a bonus APY of 0.02%.

The early withdrawal penalty for Wells Fargo CDs varies depending on the term length. For three-month CDs, the penalty is one month of interest, and for CDs with terms of six or 12 months, it is three months of interest. For terms over 12 months and up to 24 months, the penalty is six months of interest. CDs with terms over 24 months will incur an early withdrawal penalty of 12 months of interest.

Wells Fargo does not offer jumbo CDs or no-penalty CDs.

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on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

For more options, take a look at our roundup of the best CD rates available.

Customer experience at Wells Fargo

You can use Wells Fargo’s in-network ATMs surcharge-free, though the bank’s network isn’t particularly expansive with about 13,000-plus ATMs nationwide. The bank does have a footprint in most states, though, with about 5,200 branches in total across the nation.

If Wells Fargo does not have a physical presence in your state, you may want to reconsider, as you are likely to incur out-of-network ATM fees. Wells Fargo does not currently have a physical location in the following states:

  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

In addition to its branch locations, customers can access Wells Fargo through its app that comes with many common features, such as mobile check deposit. You can also use the app to sync your account with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™ or Samsung Pay. Wells Fargo also has a customer service line that you can call 24/7 for assistance.

Wells Fargo has a history of violating federal law and regulations. In fact, due to its history, the bank is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It has an average customer rating on BBB of just 1.08 out of 5 stars based on 341 customer reviews.