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Wells Fargo Bank Review | Fees, Features, and Factors to Consider

Wells Fargo Review
Wells Fargo Review

From financing California Gold Rush expeditions to operating a stagecoach supply service on the frontier, Wells Fargo has lengthy been an iconic American model.

The financial institution’s emblem and colours nonetheless nod to this historical past, however the firm has grown right into a complete international chief within the monetary providers business.

Based mostly in San Francisco, Wells Fargo now serves greater than 70 million clients in 35 nations around the globe.

Shopper banking clients in america encounter Wells Fargo via its Sioux Falls, S.D.-based subsidiary Wells Fargo Financial institution, NA, which has greater than 5,000 branches in 39 states.

As one of many “Huge 4” American banks, Wells Fargo presents strong safety inside a large and ever-growing secure of providers.

Let’s take a better take a look at the accounts and providers Wells Fargo provides to see how the financial institution competes.

Wells Fargo Accounts and Providers

Wells Fargo LogoWells Fargo divides its providers into three classes: Group Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth/Brokerage/Retirement.

This breakdown might assist executives and shareholders, however banking clients often care extra about the best way particular accounts and loans work.

Under, we’ll take a look at particular person merchandise no matter the place they match into Wells Fargo’s company construction.

First, we’ll give attention to core merchandise you’d use each day, then department out into extra peripheral wants.

Wells Fargo Checking Accounts

With Wells Fargo as your on a regular basis financial institution, you’d most certainly use one of many financial institution’s 5 checking accounts:

  • On a regular basis Checking: An account designed primarily for school college students and youthful adults.
  • Most popular Checking: A primary account whose stability can earn a small quantity of curiosity.
  • Portfolio Checking: An interest-earning account designed for patrons with bigger balances.
  • Teen Checking: A parent-supervised account for 13- to 17-year-olds.
  • Alternative Checking: An account for individuals rebuilding their credit score.

Most of those accounts require $25 to open. Most require month-to-month upkeep charges you possibly can waive by assembly one among a number of circumstances.

On a regular basis Checking

Clients age 17 to 24 won’t be charged this account’s $10 payment. Different account holders can keep away from the $10 charge by:

  • posting 10 or extra debit card transactions.
  • receiving at the least $500 in qualifying direct deposits. (A paycheck or Social Safety cost can be a qualifying direct deposit; transferring cash from one other account wouldn’t.)
  • maintaining a $1,500 stability.
  • linking the account to a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card.

Wells Fargo expenses $35 per overdraft not more than 3 times per day. The financial institution provides a number of overdraft safety choices we’ll get into under.

Most popular Checking

Account holders will probably be topic to $15 in month-to-month charges until they:

  • obtain $1,000 in qualifying direct deposits.
  • keep $10,000 in balances throughout their Wells Fargo accounts.
  • hyperlink the account to a Wells Fargo mortgage account.

Accounts with at the very least $500 will earn a small quantity of curiosity on the stability. Although charges might change, it’s often within the neighborhood of zero.01 %.

Portfolio Checking

This account’s $30 charge could be waived when account holders:

  • have $25,000 in linked Wells Fargo accounts.
  • have $50,000 in Wells Fargo brokerage or mortgage balances.

Balances of $50,000 or extra can earn round zero.05 %. Whereas greater than another charges of return on checking balances, this fee stays considerably decrease than a high-yield on-line financial savings account fee.

Teen Checking

This account doesn’t cost a month-to-month payment. Mother and father can set limits on how a lot 13- to 17-year-old (18 in Alabama) account holders can deposit or withdraw.

The financial institution expenses Teen Checking account holders a decrease overdraft charge of $15 not more than twice a day.

Alternative Checking

Solely clients who don’t qualify for an additional Wells Fargo account shall be thought-about for this checking account, which fees a $10 month-to-month charge until the account holder:

  • Posts 10 or extra debit card transactions.
  • receives a minimum of $500 in qualifying direct deposits.
  • retains a $1,500 stability.

You’d have to go to a department in individual to use for an Alternative Checking account.

Overdraft Safety Choices

Wells Fargo costs $35 per overdraft whether or not it outcomes from a verify, ATM withdrawal, debit, or credit score transaction. However you’ll be able to hyperlink your checking account to a financial savings account or a bank card to keep away from overdrafting your checking account.

Every time the financial institution mechanically transfers cash into checking to cowl an overdraft, you’ll be charged a charge of $12.50. The charge could possibly be greater in case you’re utilizing a bank card account to cowl balances.

Wells Fargo Financial savings Accounts

Wells Fargo clients have entry to 2 financial savings account choices in addition to certificates of deposit (CDs).

Way2Save Financial savings

This financial savings account requires a $25 minimal stability and has a $5 month-to-month charge which you’ll be able to keep away from by:

  • sustaining a stability of $300.
  • sustaining a daily schedule of digital deposits.
  • being 18 or youthful (19 or youthful in Alabama).

You’ll earn a low annual rate of interest round zero.01 %, which is considerably decrease than a high-yield financial savings account. In the event you’re planning to go away your cash in financial savings for curiosity progress, this account gained’t assist as a lot.

Nevertheless, benefits embrace the power to hyperlink your account to a Wells Fargo checking account to keep away from overdraft charges.

You may as well arrange mechanically recurring deposits, resembling $1 from checking each time you employ your debit card.

This type of interconnectedness between accounts may help you get monetary savings with out making some extent of doing so.

Platinum Financial savings

Wells Fargo’s Platinum Financial savings account rewards clients who’ve greater balances with higher financial savings charges. The financial institution gives specials with charges approaching zero.three % for balances over $100,000.

A price of zero.three % soars above zero.01 %, nevertheless it’s nonetheless only a fraction of what you might discover elsewhere.

Wells Fargo Fastened Price CDs

A certificates of deposit from Wells Fargo unlocks greater rates of interest in your financial savings. In return, you’ll agree to go away your cash alone for the CD’s time period.

Typically, you’d want a minimum of $2,500 to open a CD account with Wells Fargo. The financial institution doesn’t cost charges until you withdraw early, through which case it is best to anticipate to pay at the very least a proportion of the curiosity already gained.

Like most giant, full-service banks, Wells Fargo’s CDs gained’t impress you with their commonplace rates of interest.

Yow will discover particular, promotional charges to get you nearer to 2 %. However once more, you will discover higher charges with an internet financial institution like CIT Financial institution.

Wells Fargo Step Price CDs

Wells Fargo distinguishes itself a bit of by providing a step-rate CD. Your fee would improve, often by a quarter-point proportion of curiosity, each six months.

Sometimes, charges begin decrease than an ordinary CD’s charges and finish the time period with a higher-than-standard price.

However you’ll all the time earn on the present rate of interest. The growing charges don’t improve your earnings throughout earlier, decrease, durations of curiosity.

Wells Fargo Lending Providers

Wells Fargo offers all kinds of loans. Let’s take a look at some generally used merchandise.

House Loans

On-line mortgage brokers like Rocket Mortgage and PrimeLending have modified the best way individuals get house loans, making it attainable to see mortgage gives and get recommendation with out visiting a department.

Wells Fargo, a historic, nationwide chief in mortgage originations, has upgraded its mortgage software expertise, too. The financial institution now offers on-line instruments and step-by-step steerage whenever you apply on-line.

Because the financial institution has hundreds of branches, you may as well apply in individual.

What hasn’t modified is the financial institution’s vast number of mortgage merchandise, which embrace:

  • New purchases: Candidates in quite a lot of life levels can discover a well-fitted mortgage, together with down funds as little as three % for first-time house consumers.
  • Refinances: The financial institution has all kinds of phrases in the event you’re trying to get into a brand new mortgage to mirror monetary modifications since you bought your own home.
  • Residence fairness: In case you’re renovating, Wells Fargo can assess your house’s worth based mostly on its renovated worth and never its present worth. You will get a line of credit score or a hard and fast mortgage backed by your anticipated fairness.
  • Fastened and adjustable charges: Wells Fargo can supply aggressive charges for each sorts of borrowing — fastened fee mortgages with degree funds and adjustable price mortgages which fluctuate with the market.
  • Jumbo: Shopping for in a high-value space? A Wells Fargo jumbo mortgage can accommodate loans higher than $424,000.
  • Sponsored: Wells Fargo is permitted to lend by means of FHA, VA, and USDA packages which assist low revenue or rural homebuyers in addition to veterans and lively obligation army members.
  • One other power: Wells Fargo’s relocation help packages for workers of many giant corporations who want to maneuver.

Wells Fargo mortgage cons embrace:

  • No pre-authorization: The financial institution doesn’t use the pre-authorization course of many on-line lenders now depend on to display candidates and provides clients an concept what sort of loans they might safe. Nevertheless, with such a big community of branches, you would have a pre-qualification dialog with a mortgage officer.
  • Third get together software: Wells Fargo doesn’t handle its personal mortgage software course of on-line. As an alternative, it makes use of a third-party system. Somebody who’s involved about privateness might not recognize this extra layer of potential knowledge publicity. However for those who’re making use of in a department, this gained’t be an element.

Different Wells Fargo Mortgage Merchandise

In the event you’re borrowing for school, a automotive, or to extend your spending energy and construct your credit score, Wells Fargo’s loans may help:

  • Auto loans: The financial institution has strengthened its auto mortgage choices to incorporate fast selections and similar day funding for a lot of varieties. Loans embrace new purchases, used automotive purchases, refinancing, lease buyouts, and loans tailor-made for purchasing a car from a personal get together.
  • Bank cards: Wells Fargo points bank cards, specializing in packages to consolidate high-interest debt, to say rewards like money again, and to rebuild low credit score scores. Rates of interest are typical for revolving loans.
  • Scholar loans: Personal scholar loans from Wells Fargo allow you to handle your debt utilizing your cellular banking app quite than by means of a government-sponsored entity. Wells Fargo doesn’t cost origination charges for scholar loans. The financial institution additionally lends for consolidation and lends instantly to oldsters of scholars.
  • Private loans: Borrow to consolidate debt or for sudden bills; out there as a hard and fast quantity and a line of credit score. You may as well borrow towards the worth of your financial savings or CDs to unlock bigger loans with decrease rates of interest.

General, Wells Fargo has modernized its mortgage software and debt administration packages to compete towards specialty on-line lenders which have gained market share up to now decade.

On their very own, few of Wells Fargo’s loans will stand out of their market. However the comfort of getting so many choices out there in a single place helps make Wells Fargo extra engaging as an on a regular basis financial institution.

Investing and Advising with Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Advisors, a separate subsidiary from Wells Fargo Financial institution, NA, presents a powerful number of investing providers and accounts. You can begin a relationship with one of many firm’s 19,000 licensed monetary advisors.

However you’d have to deposit $100,000 to entry the complete array of merchandise, which is just too steep a hurdle for a lot of clients.


As robo-advisors have gained a bigger market share, Wells Fargo Advisors has its personal self-directed funding packages.

You’ll have to fund your robo-advising account with $10,000 inside 90 days — a better level of entry in comparison with many robo-advisors. Wells Fargo calls its robo-advising platform Intuitive Investor.

Wells Fargo Financial institution Investments

Starting and intermediate buyers who would not have $100,000 to open a Wells Fargo Advisors account can nonetheless get began with many Wells Fargo Financial institution, NA, funding accounts.

  • On-line buying and selling: WellsTrade on-line buying and selling expenses a per-trade payment of $5.95 for shares and ETFs which you’ll be able to scale back to $2.95 in case you have a Portfolio checking account.
  • IRAs: Wells Fargo Financial institution’s Vacation spot IRA (conventional or Roth) has no service charge and requires solely $100 to open. Wells Fargo Advisors provides extra elaborate IRA choices.
  • Rollovers: Should you depart an employer and need to switch your 401(okay) financial savings, Wells Fargo presents useful methods to transform your funds into an IRA.

Shoppers ought to all the time remember that cash invested with Wells Fargo Advisors or traded by way of WellsTrade is just not insured by the FDIC.

This is usually a level of confusion because the identify Wells Fargo is most frequently related to banking. (Most IRA accounts do have FDIC backing.)

Once more, on their very own, a lot of the accounts don’t stand out of their market. For instance, a devoted robo-advisor corresponding to M1 Finance might supply extra versatile choices and decrease charges in case you’re wanting just for a robo-advisor.

The power of those choices lies of their interconnectedness with Wells Fargo Financial institution’s different accounts. The power to maneuver cash seamlessly into an IRA or a robo-advising account can earn money administration simpler.

Wells Fargo Financial institution’s Buyer Expertise

Wells Fargo has upped its recreation on-line over the previous few years, integrating new instruments and options in hopes of enhancing buyer expertise:

  • My Cash Map: Helps you visualize your bills and cash move.
  • ATM by GPS: In the event you want an ATM and also you’re in an unfamiliar neighborhood, your Wells Fargo app can find one by way of GPS.
  • Cellular deposits: Wells Fargo has, like most massive banks, tailored to simply accept cellular deposits.
  • Much less muddle: The financial institution has cleaned up its on-line interface, making it simpler to seek out what you’re in search of, particularly in your telephone or gadget.
  • Textual content alerts: Get alerted by way of textual content about giant withdrawals, and even switch funds by way of textual content.
  • Zelle: Wells Fargo has partnered with Zelle to enhance its P2P transfers.

Moreover, the financial institution gives account-specific instruments corresponding to budgeting packages for its Alternative checking account and parental controls on its Teen checking account.

Wells Fargo Buyer Service

Even with improved on-line instruments, clients nonetheless want to talk with somebody on the telephone typically. Wells Fargo has operators out there 24 hours a day, seven days every week.

Wells Fargo’s TrustPilot web page provides clients a spot to vent about frustrations. One-star critiques are widespread. However as savvy internet buyers know, on-line evaluations symbolize only a tiny fraction of buyer expertise.

For instance, studying 100 evaluations might look like lots, however for a financial institution with 70 million clients, 100 evaluations represents just one in 700,000 clients.

Additionally, angrier clients sometimes have probably the most cause to put in writing a evaluation. On-line evaluations for any giant nationwide financial institution are typically low.

This doesn’t imply new clients ought to disregard the expertise of different clients. It simply means on-line critiques don’t inform your complete story and that it is best to look into particulars your self earlier than making a choice.

In case you want outdoors opinions, contemplate asking somebody you understand who banks with Wells Fargo to see how they’d describe the connection.

Fraudulent Account Actions

Wells Fargo continues to work on its company picture after an investigation in 2016 revealed the financial institution had opened accounts with out clients’ permission in an try to satisfy quotas and incentives.

The corporate admitted to the error and has reconciled with clients. The corporate has launched an advert marketing campaign addressing the difficulty and putting the issue inside the context of its bigger historical past as a trusted identify in banking.

Present and new Wells Fargo clients shouldn’t anticipate to fall sufferer to such practices once more, however clients have the appropriate to ask questions or to decide on one other financial institution in the event that they’re involved about uncommon account exercise.

Wells Fargo vs. Its Competitors

Solely a handful of banks supply the attain and number of Wells Fargo. In the event you plan to start out a relationship with Wells Fargo, you might also be contemplating one other giant financial institution:

Financial institution of America vs. Wells Fargo

Financial institution of America presents the identical full-service strategy to checking, saving, borrowing, and investing. Listed here are some key factors of comparability:

  • Financial savings: Financial institution of America gives barely larger financial savings charges, although they nonetheless don’t strategy the charges you will discover elsewhere.
  • Checking: Financial institution of America’s month-to-month charges are greater in most accounts, however like Wells Fargo, they’re straightforward sufficient to waive.
  • CD charges: Wells Fargo’s CD charges are typically larger than Financial institution of America’s. In fact, neither financial institution competes properly towards savings-specific on-line banks.
  • Customer support: Wells Fargo has extra branches and provides 24/7 customer support, which Financial institution of America doesn’t present. Financial institution of America’s cellular banking apps get barely higher critiques from clients.

Chase vs. Wells Fargo

Chase additionally has quite a lot of providers and a wide-reaching community of branches and ATMs. Right here’s how they examine to Wells Fargo in some key areas:

  • Financial savings: Each Chase and Wells Fargo have below-average financial savings charges with neither financial institution distinguishing itself. Chase is extra more likely to have sign-on bonuses for brand spanking new accounts.
  • Checking: Charges are comparable at each banks, although it’s simpler to waive the charge at Wells Fargo. Chase provides incentives reminiscent of sign-on bonuses for some new accounts. Chase doesn’t cost a charge for auto transfers to keep away from overdraft charges.
  • CDs: Wells Fargo has higher offers on 12-month CDs and longer-term CDs.
  • Customer support: Chase has extra ATMs however fewer branches; each banks have 24/7 customer support by way of telephone, chat, and e mail.

Citibank vs. Wells Fargo

The fourth of the U.S.’s “Massive 4,” Citibank additionally offers a full-service strategy to banking. Right here’s how Citibank compares with Wells Fargo:

  • Financial savings: Citibank has larger financial savings charges, however Wells Fargo tends to have decrease minimal balances to open an account.
  • Checking: Citibank has a better month-to-month payment, however like the opposite giant banks, it’s straightforward sufficient to waive. Citibank doesn’t require a minimal stability.
  • CDs: Wells Fargo has higher CD charges throughout the board, although particular charges can change this development.
  • Customer support: Citibank has far fewer branches, however many extra ATMs. Each banks have 24/7 customer support by way of telephone, chat, and e-mail.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Wells Fargo


  • Historical past: Wells Fargo has a long-standing historical past of profitable banking.
  • Complete: They provide you entry to only about each type of shopper banking product multi functional place.
  • Places: Wells Fargo has branches throughout the nation with face-to-face recommendation.
  • Buyer expertise: Wells Fargo’s cellular options are spectacular and straightforward to make use of.


  • Charges: An internet financial institution specializing in high-yield financial savings accounts offers you a greater financial savings price.
  • Software: One other mortgage dealer might have a extra streamlined software course of and higher customer support.
  • Rewards: You could just like the rewards you present in one other financial institution’s bank card program.
  • Fame: Wells Fargo’s current historical past of account fraud might make you cautious. The issues have been resolved, however the firm continues to be making an attempt to rebuild its picture.

Backside Line: Jack-of-All-Trades Banking

Private banking ought to be private, and your private selection in banking ought to make sense to you. It doesn’t need to make sense to everybody else.

Wells Fargo has the branches, employees, and ATMs to satisfy many U.S. clients the place they’re: of their neighborhoods, purchasing facilities, school campuses, and airports.

Wells Fargo has all kinds of merchandise. Whereas not one of the financial institution’s merchandise leads the pack, the providers can supply numerous comfort when used together with one another.

For specialty merchandise, go elsewhere. For entry to a whole lot of providers in a single place, think about Wells Fargo as a prime risk.

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