Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Which Bank Is Better for You?

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Chase and Wells Fargo are two banking powerhouses. They both have branches nationwide and a variety of products for people and businesses. So, which of the two giants is better? It all depends on what you’re looking for. This Chase versus Wells Fargo comparison will help you decide which bank is best.

Who Is Chase Best For?

Customers who like online and mobile banking and prefer to have access to ATMs over branches should consider choosing Chase. A couple of benefits in which Chase wins over Wells Fargo are:

  • 16,000 ATMs versus Wells Fargo’s 13,000
  • Additional digital wallet offerings: Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay, LG Pay and Click to Pay
  • Best rewards credit cards: Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited

Who Is Wells Fargo Best For?

Customers who prefer traditional banking and access to an in-person representative should consider choosing Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo benefits include:

  • More physical branch locations: 4,900 versus 4,700
  • Better rates on savings accounts

Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Account Types

Here are the different account types the two banks have to offer personal banking customers.

Account Type Chase Wells Fargo
Checking
  • 3 standard accounts
  • 3 youth/student accounts
  • 2 premium accounts
  • 3 standard accounts, 2 of which are appropriate for teens
Savings 2 savings accounts 2 savings accounts
CDs 17 term options between 1 month and 120 months
  • 3 term options from 3 months to 1 year
Credit Cards 33 card offers 3 card offers
Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Car loans
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Car loans
  • Student loans
Other
  • IRAs
  • Rollovers
  • Education accounts
  • Investing
  • Wealth management
  • IRAs
  • Rollovers
  • Education accounts
  • Investing
  • Wealth management
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Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Fees

As you can see, both banks offer customers plenty of options to manage their money. But how much will it cost you? Here is how Chase’s fees compare to Wells Fargo’s.

Type of Fee Chase Cost Wells Fargo Cost
Monthly Maintenance $0, $4.95, $5, $6, $12, $25, $35 $5, $10, $25
Overdraft/Non-Sufficient Funds $34 per item, up to 3 per business day $35 per item, up to 3 per business day
ATM
  • Non-Chase domestic: $2.50 for some accounts
  • Non-Chase international: $5 for some accounts
  • Non-Wells Fargo domestic: $2.50
  • Non-Wells Fargo international: $5
Replacement Debit Card No fee for standard shipping, or $5 for rush requests for some accounts No fee
Cashier’s Check $8 each $10 each for some accounts
Wire Transfer
  • Domestic and international incoming: $15 or $0 when sent via Chase banker, Chase.com or Chase Mobile
  • Domestic outgoing with assistance from Chase banker: $35
  • Domestic online outgoing: $25
  • International with assistance from Chase banker: $50
  • International USD online outgoing: $40
  • International FX online outgoing: $5 or $0 for $5,000 USD or more
  • Wire transfers not available with all accounts; some accounts have free transfers
  • Domestic outgoing: $25-$30
  • International outgoing: Fee disclosed at time of service
  • Incoming domestic: $15
  • Incoming international: $16

Chase vs. Wells Fargo: Rates

If you plan on depositing your savings with either bank, earning the highest interest possible should be one of the top reasons to choose one bank over the other.

Account Chase Rate Wells Fargo Rate
Checking 0.01% APY 0.01% APY
Savings 0.01% APY 0.01% 0.02% APY
CDs 0.01% – 0.05% APY 0.01% – 0.02% APY

Is Chase Better Than Wells Fargo?

No two people are alike — and neither are the services of competing banks. Chase may be better than Wells Fargo when you’re on a tight budget. The bank slightly edges Wells Fargo out when it comes to monthly account fees, saving you some money on your everyday banking.

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If you want to maximize your savings, however, Wells Fargo beats Chase on how much you can earn in interest on CDs, but you’ll need a relationship account to qualify.

Tips To Pick the Right Bank

When comparing banks, there are several factors you should consider so you can narrow down your options. The following tips can help you choose the best bank for you.

Choose a Bank With Low Fees

Look for accounts with no fees or those that waive monthly maintenance charges for certain activities, such as receiving direct deposits, using your debit card or maintaining a minimum balance.

Also take into consideration any other fees, such as for closing your account, inactivity and even replacing a lost or stolen card.

Watch Out for Overdraft Fees

Some banks charge as much as $35 for each overdraft, making it one of the most expensive fees a bank charges. Even worse, a bank may allow multiple overdraft fees per day, which could seriously put a dent in your balance. If you occasionally overdraw your account, look closely at how the bank handles overdrafts.

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Research Sign-Up Bonuses

Many banks provide cash sign-up bonuses when you open a new account. You could earn hundreds of dollars simply for giving a new bank a try. GOBankingRates regularly updates you on the best bank promotions each month.

Ask Your Friends and Family

Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to know how a bank may work for you. Ask your friends, family and work colleagues about which financial institution they bank with. Find out what they like about the bank and what they think could improve.

Their experience can provide you with good insight into how the bank could benefit you.

Consider Accessibility

Depending on your banking habits and how comfortable you are with online or mobile banking, you may want to choose a bank with physical branches where you can get in-person help with your banking.

Mobile Apps Offer Convenience

A user-friendly app with mobile check deposit and free ways to send money to friends and family can improve your banking experience by reducing your need for checks and the number of visits you need to make to the ATM.

If you’re comfortable with online banking, do some research on each bank you’re considering and how its mobile banking app works.

Consider Your Financial Goals

If you’re actively saving for retirement or growing your savings, choose a bank with robust retirement and investment features.

Depending on where you are in your financial journey, you may want a bank that provides more than a checking account. In most cases, banks will give you special discounts or preferential rates on their loan, insurance and savings products if you already bank with the institution.

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 10, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.

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