Wells Fargo Bank Review: Convenience and a Full Suite of Products

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Our take: Wells Fargo offers plenty of banking services and products and is ideal for customers who want their banking and investment accounts with a single institution. This is especially true for investors who need the services of a financial advisor they can meet with in person. It's also a good choice for those who want a bank with plenty of brick and mortar locations and ATMs.
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Customer Service
    4.0
  • Locations
    5.0
  • Mobile App
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • A wide array of products
  • Easy and accessible mobile and online banking
  • Approximately 5,200 retail banking branches and more than 13,000 ATMs nationwide
  • Rewards and bonus interest rates for high-balance accounts

Cons

  • Low APY rates compared to online banks
  • Monthly service fees on checking and savings accounts

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo was founded in 1852 amid the California gold rush. Today, the financial institution reaches banking customers coast-to-coast, overseas and digitally. It remains one of the nation’s largest banks, with over 1.9 trillion in assets, offering everything from checking and savings accounts to credit cards, loans and brokerage services.

Customers seeking a one-stop shop for all their financial needs with branches across the country may find this bank ideal. In fact, GOBankingRates has ranked it one of the Best National Banks of 2021 in its annual rankings.

Wells Fargo Products

Wells Fargo has a plethora of account types to explore. Consider how often you deposit money into your checking accounts, savings accounts, and CDs, as well as what kinds of balances you’re likely to maintain to find the right fit.

Here are some account types, features, and rate comparisons for you to explore.

product key details
Checking Accounts
  • Student checking, checkless checking, interest-bearing checking and more.
  • Monthly service fees apply but can be waived with a minimum balance or direct deposits.
  • Checking accounts include a debit card, online banking and mobile app.
Savings Accounts
  • Way2Save promotes automatic savings.
  • Platinum Savings offers higher rates for higher balances.
Certificates of Deposit
  • Fixed rate CDs and a Step Rate CD that offers guaranteed interest-rate increases.
  • Terms of 3 months, 6 months or 1 year offered for Fixed Rate CDs; 24-month term offered for Step Rate CD.
Credit Cards
  • Choose from credit cards for cash back, rewards or building credit.
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express has no annual fee.
Mortgage Loans
  • Mortgage loans, refinancing and home equity loans are available.
Other Loans
  • Student loans for undergraduates, graduate students, and parents.
  • Auto loans for new and used cars.
  • Personal loans, including debt consolidation.
Investment Accounts
  • Manage your own investments, use automated investing or work with an advisor.
  • IRAs and retirement planning.

Wells Fargo Checking Account

Wells Fargo offers Everyday Checking, Clear Access Banking, Preferred Checking and Portfolio by Wells Fargo.

Everyday Checking is a basic account with a $25 minimum opening deposit and no monthly fee if you’re a college student or if you maintain a $500 balance or have $500 in direct deposits. Clear Access Banking is a checkless account for those who just use a debit card. No non-sufficient funds fees or overdraft fees apply. Preferred Checking pays interest on balances over $500. And Portfolio by Wells Fargo lets you link all your Wells Fargo accounts for better interest rates and fee waivers. Because of these various options available, GOBankingRates has named it the winner of the Best Checking Accounts of 2021 in its yearly rankings.

Features

  • Access to Wells Fargo Mobile
  • 24/7 fraud protection
  • Debit card linked to an account
  • Zero liability for unauthorized card transactions

Pros

  • Thousands of banking branches and ATMs from coast to coast
  • Option to link an account to Wells Fargo Mobile app
  • Online bill paying

Cons

  • Monthly service fee applies
  • No interest earned on some accounts

Wells Fargo Savings Account

Wells Fargo’s Way2Save Savings account helps you build savings with automatic transfers from your Wells Fargo checking account and the ability to have your service fees waived. Platinum Savings offers higher interest rates for higher savings balances. These savings account options have helped GOBankingRates rank it one of the Best Savings Accounts of 2021 in its annual rankings.

Features

  • Provides optional overdraft protection for checking account
  • Low minimum opening deposit of $25

Pros

  • ATM card
  • Online access via the website or Wells Fargo Mobile app
  • Online savings tools

Cons

  • Monthly service fees unless you meet qualifying criteria to waive fees
  • Low APY rate of 0.01% on Way2Save Savings in comparison to the nationwide average

Wells Fargo CD Account

Wells Fargo’s Fixed Rate CDs are an excellent way to earn a fixed-rate APY as you save for upcoming expenses such as college tuition, retirement or any other life projects. Or choose a 24-month Step Rate CD with a rate that’s guaranteed to rise.

Features

  • Fixed rate CDs available with terms up to 12 months.
  • Step Rate CD raises your rate every six months and allows penalty-free partial withdrawals.

Pros

  • $0 monthly service fee
  • Guaranteed interest rate

Cons

  • Low interest rate of 0.02% APY compared with online banks like Ally Bank, which has an APY of 0.55% for a 12-month High Yield CD.
  • Limited choice of terms

Banking Experience

Wells Fargo provides in-person and online banking, so customers can bank when and where they want. Here’s more about the experience you’ll find there.

Customer Service

Wells Fargo customer service is available by visiting your local branch or going online. A wide variety of FAQs are on the bank’s site to answer your questions. Or you can contact the bank for general banking concerns at 800-869-3557. For online banking questions, call 800-956-4442. Both lines are available 24/7. Unfortunately, no live chat is featured on the website.

Branch Availability

No matter where you live, a Wells Fargo retail banking location or ATM is probably not too far away. The bank has approximately 5,200 branches in 38 states and over 13,000 ATMs nationwide.

Mobile App

Wells Fargo’s mobile app has numerous capabilities to make banking on the go easier. Plus, the app has high ratings on both the App Store and Google Play — 4.8 and 4.7, respectively. Here’s more.

  • Set up account alerts
  • Transfer money and pay bills
  • Mobile deposit
  • Sign on with your fingerprint or facial recognition

How To Open an Account

Opening a Wells Fargo account is simple. You can visit a branch in person or open an account from your PC or mobile device. Here’s how to open an account online.

  1. Navigate to the Wells Fargo website.
  2. Choose the type of account you want.
  3. Click “Open now.”
  4. Follow the prompts to fill in your personal information, choose the features you want and make your opening deposit.
  5. You’ll need your Social Security number, a valid ID, such as a driver’s license and a $25 opening deposit.

Key Information

Customer service phone numbers: 800-869-3557 for general banking; 800-956-4442 for online banking

Routing number: Wells Fargo has multiple routing numbers, depending on your location. Find your routing number.

Promotions: See Wells Fargo’s Promos and Bonuses

Bank Hours: See Wells Fargo’s Hours

Locations: Wells Fargo Bank Near You

Login: Wells Fargo Login Help

Wells Fargo Fees

Account fees vary depending on your account type. But each deposit account has opportunities to waive fees when certain requirements are met. Here’s a look at the fees Wells Fargo charges.

  • Monthly maintenance fees, ranging from $5 to $30 on checking accounts. These fees can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance or have direct deposit.
  • Overdraft fees of $35 per item. These fees can be avoided if you don’t overdraw your account or if you have overdraft protection.
  • Wire transfer fees of $30, cashier’s check fees of $10, and money order fees of $5. There may be other ways to transfer money, like Zelle, for which there is no fee.

Wells Fargo vs. Competitors

Here’s a quick look at how Wells Fargo stacks up against its competitors when it comes to fees, locations and services.

Bank features
Wells Fargo
  • Fees: $5-$30, waived with qualifying balance or direct deposit
  • Locations: 13,000 ATMs, 5,200 branches
  • Best For: One-stop shopping for financial services
Chase
  • Fees: $4.95 per month fixed fee, or $12-$35 waived with qualifying balance or direct deposits
  • Locations: 16,000 ATMs, 4,700 branches
  • Best For: $200 to open a new checking account with direct deposit
Bank of America
  • Fees: $4.95-$25 per month, waived with qualifying balance or direct deposits
  • Locations: 17,000 ATMs, 4,300 retail financial centers
  • Best For: Bonus points credit cards
Citibank
  • Fees: $10-$30, waived with qualifying balance or direct deposits
  • Locations: 600 branches, 2,300 ATMs
  • Best For: Cash-back rewards credit cards

Wells Fargo stacks up well against the competition, but that doesn’t mean it is the best bank for everyone.

Wells Fargo vs. Chase

New depositors with Chase can get $200 for opening a checking account that has direct deposit. However, overall, Wells Fargo’s banking fees appear to be a bit more affordable.

Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

Bank of America offers bonus points on its best credit cards, but Wells Fargo still has the upper hand in terms of retail locations.

Wells Fargo vs. Citibank

Citibank has strong cash-back offers on its credit cards, but with just 600 branches and 2,300 branches nationwide, it’s not for those who want to bank in person. On the other hand, Wells Fargo has a much wider reach when it comes to in-person banking.

Is Wells Fargo the Right Bank for You?

Wells Fargo is perfect for a traditional bank customer because it offers consistency and availability. While you may be able to get a higher interest rate at an online bank, you can walk into a Wells Fargo branch almost anywhere in the country and ask questions or transact business.

Wells Fargo also offers just about any financial service you could want under one roof. You can have your checking account, savings account, auto loan, mortgage and investment accounts all in the same place.

Ready to get started with Wells Fargo? It’s easy to open an account online.

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    Editor’s Favorite

    Wells Fargo is a great place to keep all your money in one place. Having a single financial institution for your checking account, savings account, mortgage, credit card, auto loan, investment account, and IRA can make it a lot easier to stay on top of your money and make sure you are on track to meet your financial goals.

    Wells Fargo FAQ

    Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about Wells Fargo bank.
    • How much does it cost to open an account with Wells Fargo?
      • Wells Fargo accounts have a minimum opening balance of $25.
    • Are check deposits at Wells Fargo available immediately?
    • What do I need to get a bank account at Wells Fargo?
      • To open a new account, you will need your Social Security number, a valid ID, such as a driver's license, and a $25 opening deposit.
    • Does Wells Fargo offer free money for signing up for an account?
      • Although Wells Fargo is not currently offering any bonuses or promotions for new accounts at this time, the bank has offered cash bonuses in the past. Check the official website for the most up-to-date information.

    Jared Nigro contributed to the reporting of this article.

    Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 17, 2020.

    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.

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    About the Author

    Karen Doyle is a personal finance writer with over 20 years’ experience writing about investments, money management and financial planning. Her work has appeared on numerous news and finance websites including GOBankingRates, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, Equifax.com, and more.

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