Wells Fargo Bank Review: More Locations Than Any Other U.S. Bank and Plenty of Banking Services

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Quick 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 in person.
  • 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 4,900 retail banking branches and more than 12,000 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 Bank

Wells Fargo was founded in 1852 in California, in the midst of the gold rush. Today, the financial institution reaches banking customers coast-to-coast, overseas and digitally with $1.9 trillion in assets. It remains one of the nation’s largest banks, 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.

That’s what lands it on GOBankingRates’ lists for Best Checking Accounts, Best Savings Accounts, Best National Banks and Top 100 Banks of 2022. 

Checking Accounts

Wells Fargo offers Everyday Checking, Clear Access Banking and Portfolio by Wells Fargo. Everyday Checking, a GOBankingRates top pick for best checking accounts, has a $25 minimum opening deposit and no monthly fee if you’re 17 to 24 years old 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 debit cards. No non-sufficient funds fees or overdraft fees apply, but you’ll pay $5 per month if you’re over 24 years old. Portfolio by Wells Fargo lets you link all of your Wells Fargo accounts for better interest rates and fee waivers, but you’ll need a combined balance of $20,000 to avoid the $25 monthly fee. You’ll earn 0.01% on your balance. 

Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo’s Way2Save Savings account is among the best in its category. A low minimum opening deposit of $25 is required. Set up automatic payments from another linked checking account to watch your funds grow. Plus you’ll earn 0.01% APY. 

There’s a service fee of $5 per month, but you have the option to have your service fees waived a few ways, such as keeping a balance of $300 or receiving monthly transfers of at least $25.  

Platinum Savings offers higher interest rates of 0.02%. The monthly fee is also higher, $12 per month, if you don’t maintain a daily balance of $3,500. 

Certificates of Deposit

Wells Fargo’s selection of CDs are pared down compared to other major banks. Fixed Rate CDs with terms up to 12 months earn 0.01% to 0.01% APY. They’re a way to earn a fixed-rate APY as you save for upcoming expenses. There are no monthly service fees, but you’ll need a large balance of $2,500 or more to open an account. 

Best Features

There are four standout features about banking with Wells Fargo that helped the bank rank in several of GOBankingRates’ studies. The breadth of products available for a one-stop-shop experience, number of physical branches nationwide and full-featured mobile app all received a 5 out of 5. Customer service is also strong, with consultants and reps available at your local branch and over the phone. 

 

Editor’s Favorite

Wells Fargo is a great place to keep all of 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.

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. There are a wide variety of FAQs 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 4,900 branches in 38 states and 12,000 ATMs nationwide. 

Mobile App

Wells Fargo’s mobile app has numerous capabilities to make banking on the go easier by setting up account alerts, paying bills, transferring money and more. Plus, the app has high ratings on both the App Store (4.8 out of 5) and Google Play (4.7). 

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  and a $25 opening deposit.

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, such as 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 Fees Locations Best For
Wells Fargo $5-$30, waived with qualifying balance or direct deposit 12,000 ATMs, 4,900 branches One-stop shopping for financial services
Chase $4.95 per month fixed fee, or $12 to $35 waived with qualifying balance or direct deposits 16,000 ATMs, 4,700 branches $225 to open a new checking account with direct deposit
Bank of America $4.95 to $25 per month, waived with qualifying balance or direct deposits 17,000 ATMs, 4,200 retail financial centers Bonus points credit cards
Citibank $10 to $30, waived with qualifying balance or direct deposits 600 branches, 2,300 ATMs Cash-back rewards credit cards

Wells Fargo vs. Chase

New depositors with Chase can get $225 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. Wells Fargo has a much wider reach when it comes to in-person banking.

Final Take

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.

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 and a $25 opening deposit.

Karen Doyle 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 Apr. 28, 2022.

This content is not provided by Wells Fargo Bank. 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 Bank.

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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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