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How To Avoid Wells Fargo’s Monthly Service Fees

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Banking fees are the silent killer of account balances. They’re easy to overlook because they can be relatively incremental. But don’t let yourself be fooled: You could conceivably lose thousands of dollars in fees if you’re not sure what to look out for. For example, using an out-of-network ATM every other day for the next 30 years can run you more than $13,500 in fees, according to a GOBankingRates survey.

Wells Fargo, one of the biggest banks in America, has a schedule of fees for using its products and services. However, GOBankingRates has done the legwork to let you know how much they’ll cost you and how to avoid them. Many of Wells Fargo’s fees can be avoided by maintaining a designated balance, setting up deposits or linking to other Wells Fargo accounts.

Wells Fargo Checking Account Fees

Wells Fargo checking monthly maintenance fees are $10 for Everyday Checking, $5 for Clear Access Banking, $15 for Preferred Checking and $30 for Portfolio Checking. Additionally, these checking accounts may also charge out-of-network ATM fees and overdraft fees.

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

Here’s a look at how these fees compare for Wells Fargo’s checking account options:

Account Monthly Service Out-of-Network ATM Withdrawal
Everyday Checking $10
  • In U.S.: $2.50
  • Outside U.S.: $5
Preferred Checking $15
  • In U.S.: $2.50
  • Outside U.S.: $5
Portfolio Checking $30 N/A
Clear Access Banking $5
  • In U.S.: $2.50
  • Outside U.S.: $5

Everyday Checking, Preferred Checking and Portfolio Checking have an Overdraft (Non-sufficient Funds) Charge of $35.00.

You can also expect these common fees associated with using a Wells Fargo checking account:

Fee Amount Charged
Cashier’s check $10
Cashed/deposited item returned unpaid $12
International debit card purchase 3% of the transaction
Money order (up to $1,000) $5 (waived with Preferred or Portfolio checking account)
Overdraft protection $12.50 per transfer or advance
Stop payment $31
Wire transfer $15-$30

As you can see, these fees can easily creep up on you if you’re not careful. For instance, if you’re not in the habit of checking your account balance, you may not even notice there’s been a deduction. And because of the fee associated with international use, travelers have more to worry about. Plus, each account has an overdraft protection fee if you use your linked savings account.

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

Wells Fargo Savings Account Fees

Wells Fargo’s savings account monthly maintenance fees range from $5 for its Way2Save Savings account to $12 for its Platinum Savings account. These accounts don’t have nearly as many fees as Wells Fargo’s checking accounts. However, because they’re designed to retain and grow money through a savings interest rate, you are limited to six penalty-free savings account withdrawals.

The Way2Save Savings account is best for passive savers because it automatically transfers funds from a linked Wells Fargo account into the savings account. You will earn a 0.01% annual percentage yield on all Way2Save Savings balances.

Those with more wealth will prefer Wells Fargo’s Platinum Savings account; its APY increases to 0.02% once your account balance hits $25,000.

Note that both accounts require a $25 minimum opening deposit.

Account Monthly Service Fee Excess Activity Fee
Way2Save Savings $5 Up to $15 per withdrawal or transfer if you’ve exceeded the monthly limit; maximum of three fees per month
Platinum Savings $12 Up to $15 per withdrawal or transfer if you’ve exceeded the monthly limit; maximum of three fees per month

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

4 Ways To Avoid Wells Fargo’s Monthly Maintenance Fees

Here’s how to avoid the monthly maintenance fee for your Wells Fargo checking or savings account.

1. Maintain a Minimum Balance

Here are the minimum balances required to avoid being subject to the monthly checking and savings account fees:

2. Sign Up for Qualifying Direct Deposits

Another way to avoid paying the monthly service fee for certain Wells Fargo checking accounts is to sign up for qualifying direct deposits and meet the direct deposit minimum. Here’s more:

3. Link a Wells Fargo Account

You can also avoid the monthly checking fee by linking another Wells Fargo account:

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

4. Other Qualifications

In some cases, you can also have the monthly fee waived by meeting other qualifications:

How To Avoid Wells Fargo’s Overdraft Fees

Wells Fargo charges up to three overdraft fees of $35 per day for most of its checking accounts. Clear Access Banking has no overdraft fees. Avoid overdraft fees at Wells Fargo by monitoring your account balance regularly.

Sign up for overdraft protection, and Wells Fargo will cover your overdrawn checking account by transferring the overdrawn amount from your savings account to your checking account. Wells Fargo will charge a $12.50 fee per overdraft transfer.

Good To Know

You can also avoid overdraft fees using Overdraft Rewind, a free feature included with all Wells Fargo checking accounts. If a direct deposit hits your checking account by 9 a.m., the bank will recalculate your balance and review overdraft transactions from the previous business day. This may result in Wells Fargo reversing overdraft fees.

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

Wells Fargo also offers a debit card overdraft service that allows you to indicate whether the bank can approve debit card transactions if you do not have enough funds in your account. Deactivate this feature, and the bank will decline any overdraft transactions instead of approving the transaction and charging a $35 fee.

How To Avoid Wells Fargo’s ATM Fees

The surest way to avoid ATM fees is to make sure you visit a Wells Fargo ATM.

For most of its checking accounts, Wells Fargo charges up to $2.50 if you use a non-Wells Fargo ATM in the United States. That fee jumps up to $5 per overseas withdrawal unless you’re a Portfolio by Wells Fargo account holder. You might also face charges imposed by the ATM operator.

Getting the Most Out of Your Wells Fargo Bank Account

Wells Fargo offers a wide range of benefits you’ll want to take advantage of to get the most out of your account.

For checking accounts, these benefits include:

Follow Wells Fargo Requirements and Rules To Avoid Fees

Wells Fargo checking accounts carry monthly service fees. You can avoid those fees, however, with a combination of direct deposits, minimum balances, debit card activity or linked accounts. Also, you can avoid overdraft and ATM fees if you keep your account balance up and use only Wells Fargo ATMs. Learn more about the types of checking accounts Wells Fargo offers by visiting your local branch or Wells Fargo’s website.

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

This content is not provided by Wells Fargo. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Wells Fargo.