Wells Fargo review: A good option if you want a brick-and-mortar bank with a large national presence

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  • Wells Fargo (Member FDIC) has the largest presence in the US of any national bank, with over 5,000 branches and 13,000 ATMs in 36 states and DC.
  • Its savings accounts make it easy for you to automatically save, but they don't pay competitive interest rates.
  • You might like its checking accounts if you can avoid the monthly fees, but Chase and Bank of America pay cash sign-up bonuses for their checking accounts.
  • Wells Fargo CDs have high minimum deposit requirements, low APYs, and limited term options — you're probably better off going to a different bank for CDs.
  • Read our picks for the best CDs right now »

Should you bank with Wells Fargo?

You might like Wells Fargo if you:

  • Prefer banking in person to banking online
  • Want bank accounts that make it easy to automatically save
  • Would like a debit card attached to your savings account
  • Qualify to waive monthly fees

You might not like Wells Fargo if you:

  • Want to earn high rates on savings and CDs
  • Don't qualify to waive monthly fees
  • Don't have $2,500 to open a CD
  • Want a CD with a term over two years

The bottom line: Wells Fargo is a solid choice if you're looking for a brick-and-mortar bank with a national presence, but you'll want to look elsewhere for the best interest rates.

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings review

Wells Fargo Way2Save® Savings Account

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Way2Save® Savings Account

The Save As You Go feature makes it easy for you to automatically save if you also have a Wells Fargo checking account. Each time you swipe your debit card, Wells Fargo transfers one dollar from your checking account into savings. The Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings account also comes with a debit card even if you don't have a checking account, which is rare.

Wells Fargo also has a Platinum Savings Account. The interest rate is still low, but you'll receive paper checks and have access to more savings tools. Just beware you could end up paying a higher monthly fee with this account.

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking review

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account

There are multiple ways to waive the $10 monthly service fee. The overdraft fee is $35, but you can link to a Wells Fargo savings account for overdraft protection. You'll still pay $12.50 for transferring funds as overdraft protection, though, so this account is probably the best fit for people who don't expect to overdraw at all.

Wells Fargo has more checking accounts, but the monthly fees are easiest to waive with Wells Fargo Everyday Checking.

Wells Fargo Fixed Rate CD review

Wells Fargo Fixed Rate Certificate of Deposit

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Fixed Rate Certificate of Deposit

Wells Fargo pays low rates on CDs, but rates are comparable to other big brick-and-mortar banks, like Chase and Bank of America. If you want to earn a high APY, you're better off using an online bank. You can only open a Wells Fargo Fixed Rate CD with a 3-month, 6-month, or 1-year term, but competitors offer a wider variety of term length options.

The Wells Fargo Step Rate CD has a two-year term and periodically increases your rate, but the rates are still low.

Wells Fargo features

Wells Fargo has the largest national presence of any bank in the US, followed closely by Chase and Bank of America. Wells Fargo has over 5,000 branches and 13,000 ATMs in 36 states and Washington DC.

The bank's mobile app has received 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

You can call customer service 24/7.

Your bank account deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000, or $500,000 for joint accounts.

How Wells Fargo compares to similar banks

We've compared Wells Fargo with two other brick-and-mortar bank with a national presence: Chase and Bank of America.

Everyday Checking
Chase Total Checking®
Bank of America

Sign-up bonus

None

Sign-up bonus

Up to $300

Sign-up bonus

Up to $100

Savings APY

0.01% to 0.02% APY

Savings APY

0.01% to 0.05% APY

Savings APY

0.01% to 0.05% APY

Open an accountOpen an accountOpen an account

Wells Fargo review vs. Chase review

You can earn a slightly higher savings rate with Chase than with Wells Fargo, but you have to meet certain criteria and have a high balance. Even then, the rate is still low. If you're searching for a high APY, neither bank is your best bet.

You may prefer Chase to Wells Fargo if you qualify for a sign-up bonus. Wells Fargo doesn't offer cash bonuses, but right now you can earn $200 for opening a Chase Total Checking® account, $300 for a Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ account, and $150 for a Chase Savings℠account.

Wells Fargo requires $2,500 to open a CD, while Chase only asks for $1,000. If you don't have enough money to open a CD with Wells Fargo, then you may prefer Chase.

Otherwise, your choice between the two banks could come down to which one has a branch closer to your home.

Wells Fargo review vs. Bank of America review

You might prefer Bank of America if you qualify for its $100 cash bonus. Unlike Wells Fargo, it offers a sign-up bonus for opening a checking account.

You may be able to earn a higher APY with Bank of America, but you'll need to meet strict criteria. Neither bank is the best choice for earning a competitive interest rate.

Bank of America only requires $1,000 to open a CD, while Wells Fargo requires $2,500. Bank of America also gives you more term length options. You can open a CD with terms ranging from 28 days to 10 years.

When it comes down to it, you might just choose the bank with a branch closer to your house or office.

Get the latest Bank of America stock price here.

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