How to Avoid Wells Fargo Checking Account Fees

You can avoid most Wells Fargo fees with qualifying activity.

Wells Fargo Bank is a San Francisco-based bank that provides a full range of financial services and products to its customers. At Wells Fargo, you might have to pay a fee for certain checking accounts. However, with some qualifying activity, you can usually avoid paying a checking account fee at this bank. Here’s a look at the types of fees involved with Wells Fargo checking accounts, and how to avoid paying those bank fees.

Wells Fargo Checking Account Fees

Wells Fargo offers four main types of personal checking accounts: Everyday Checking, Preferred Checking, Teen Checking and Opportunity Checking. Its checking account fees fall into three main categories:

  • Monthly maintenance fee
  • Overdraft fee
  • ATM fee

How to Avoid Wells Fargo’s Monthly Maintenance Fee

Wells Fargo monthly checking fees vary depending on the type of account, as follows:

  • Everyday Checking: $10
  • Preferred Checking: $15
  • Teen Checking: $3
  • Opportunity Checking: $10

Wells Fargo Checking Account Review: Variety of Options for Customers

All of the Wells Fargo checking accounts require a minimum $25 to open. Here’s how to avoid the Wells Fargo monthly fee for all accounts:

1. Maintain a Minimum Balance

Here are the minimums balances required in order to avoid being subject to the monthly checking account fees:

  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: $1,500 minimum daily balance
  • Wells Fargo Preferred Checking: $10,000 in combined minimum daily balances
  • Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking: $1,500 minimum daily balance

2. Sign Up for Qualifying Direct Deposits

Another way to avoid paying the Wells Fargo checking fees is to sign up for qualifying direct deposits and meet direct deposit minimums:

  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: Aggregate direct deposits of $500 or more monthly
  • Wells Fargo Preferred Checking: Aggregate direct deposits of $1,000 or more monthly
  • Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking: Aggregate direct deposits of $500 or more monthly

Learn: 5 Best Banks for No Fees

3. Link a Wells Fargo Account

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

  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: Link a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card.
  • Wells Fargo Preferred Checking: Link a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

4. Other Qualifying Activity

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

  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: 10 or more posted debit transactions; $5 monthly service fee discount if owner is 17 to 24 years old
  • Wells Fargo Teen Checking: Select online-only statements
  • Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking: 10 or more posted debit transactions

How to Avoid Wells Fargo Bank Overdraft Fees

To avoid an overdraft fee at Wells Fargo, the best thing to do is to make sure you don’t overdraw your account in the first place. If you do, Wells Fargo charges a $35 fee. Wells Fargo will charge you as many as three overdraft fees in a single day. The fee drops to $15 for the Teen Checking account, and you will only be charged a maximum of two fees per business day.

You can avoid the overdraft fee by signing up for overdraft protection and the bank will cover your overdrawn checking account with money from another account; however, you will pay at least $12.50 in overdraft fees.

How to Avoid Wells Fargo ATM Fees

Wells Fargo charges $2.50 if you use a non-Wells Fargo ATM in the United States. Overseas, that fee jumps up to $5 per withdrawal. You might also face charges imposed by the ATM operator. Whether in the U.S. or abroad, you can avoid Wells Fargo fees by using a Wells Fargo ATM.

Related: ATMs That Don’t Charge Fees

Follow Wells Fargo Requirements and Rules to Avoid Fees

Wells Fargo checking accounts carry monthly service fees. However, you can sidestep those fees with some combination of direct deposits, minimum balances, debit card activity or linked accounts. Overdraft and ATM fees can be avoided if you keep your account balance up and use only Wells Fargo ATMs. You can learn more about the types of checking accounts Wells Fargo offers by visiting your local branch or Wells Fargo online.

About the Author

John Csiszar is a freelance writer and article curator. He served as a registered investment advisor for 18 years before becoming a writing and editing contractor for private clients. In addition to writing thousands of articles for various online publications, he has published two educational books for young adults.