October 15, 2018

Wells Fargo Bank Review: Account Good for You?

Read more about Wells Fargo
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Wells Fargo is a nationwide bank offering more than 13,000 ATMs and 5,800 retail branches from the East Coast to the West Coast.

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Wells Fargo is one of the most recognized names in the banking industry—and for good reason. They offer a large variety of banking products, including checking and savings accounts. If you are a current Wells Fargo mortgage borrower or investment client, you may have access to higher interest rates than are offered on standard checking accounts.

Services Offered

Wells Fargo offers typical checking and savings accounts that you find at your typical physical bank. But they also have a few features that you may not find elsewhere.


The Wells Fargo checking accounts each come with a Platinum Debit card with chip technology, online bill pay, online transfers, and mobile deposit. You will also have access to 24/7 customer service and text banking.

  • Everyday Checking: You can open an Everyday Checking account with a small deposit. Wells Fargo does charge monthly service fees, but you can waive them by meeting one of their requirements, such as making a certain number of debit/credit purchases or carrying a specific monthly balance.

  • Preferred Checking: If you want to earn a little interest on your checking account, Preferred Checking offers interest if you meet the minimum balance requirement. If you have a Wells Fargo mortgage, you can have your monthly service fee waived on this checking account. With Preferred Checking, you get access to budgeting and cash flow tools.

  • Portfolio by Wells Fargo: If you have a significant amount of money to keep in your checking account, you may earn higher interest rates with the Portfolio account. The more money you have, the higher the interest rate you may receive. You'll also benefit from waived ATM fees for non-Wells Fargo transactions, interest rate discounts on Wells Fargo loans, and no overdraft protection transfer fees.

  • Teen Checking: Teens ages 13 - 17 can have their own checking account with a parent as the co-owner. Teens can learn financial responsibility with 24/7 account access, spending limits, and free budgeting tools. If you opt-in to online statements, you can have the monthly fee waived.

  • Opportunity Checking: If you've had financial troubles in the past, the Opportunity Checking may be the option you need if no other bank will give you a traditional checking account. This account has lower balance requirements, includes mobile banking, and has opportunities to waive the monthly fees.


The savings accounts at Wells Fargo aren't much different from what you'd find at any other bank. The interest rates are low and each account has monthly fees, which can be waived if you meet the minimum requirements, such as minimum daily balances or a certain amount of direct deposits.

Wells Fargo offers the following savings account options:

  • Way2Save Savings: If you find it hard to save, the Way2Save program may help. For every qualifying purchase you make with your linked Wells Fargo checking account, Wells Fargo will transfer $1 to your savings account automatically.

  • Platinum Savings: If you keep a higher balance in your savings account, you may have access to higher interest rates with the Platinum Savings. Even though it's a savings account, you do have the option to write free checks with this account, giving you easier access to your funds.

  • Wells Fargo CDs: If you can tie up your money for a while, CDs offer the highest interest rates than other deposit products.

How to Find Your Wells Fargo Routing Number:
Finding your Wells Fargo routing number is as easy as visiting the Wells Fargo website and clicking on Routing Number. After entering information regarding the state you are in and the type of account you need the routing number for, you'll obtain the requested information.

Reasons We Like Wells Fargo

  • Wells Fargo has a large ATM network. With 13,000 ATMs nationwide, you may be able to avoid the fees charged for using a non-Wells Fargo ATM. This makes it easier for consumers throughout the US to use Wells Fargo.

  • Wells Fargo gives consumers a "second chance." Many nationwide banks don't offer second-chance checking accounts like Wells Fargo does. This program gives consumers who had an unfortunate financial event in their lives a chance to redeem themselves financially, helping them to work their way up to other deposit products in the future.

  • You can set up online bill pay to automatically pay your bills. If you are tired of missing due dates, you can set up recurring payments with Wells Fargo. You don't have to worry about making your payments late. If you want to make manual payments, you can set up alerts to remind you of the impending due date.

  • You can send/receive payments with Zelle. All you need to send money to friends/family is their email address or phone number. You do this right from Wells Fargo online or your Wells Fargo mobile app. This makes it easy to pay a friend for dinner or pay the babysitter without cash.

  • You can set up account alerts. If you are worried about going over your balance, forgetting about upcoming payments, or you want to be alerted of recent deposits, you can set up your custom alerts.

  • You get zero liability protection on your debit card. Using a debit card comes with its risks of fraud and theft. Wells Fargo protects you from those transactions with its zero liability promise. As long as you report the fraudulent transactions right away, you may not have to pay for the charges.

  • You can deposit your check with your smartphone. With just a picture of the front and back of your check, you can deposit your check without visiting the bank. You can make deposits 24/7 and receive immediate confirmation of receipt of the funds.

  • You can receive text alerts regarding your bank account. If you don't have access to your mobile app or computer, you can text your command to 93557 and receive an answer instantly. All you have to text are words like (BAL) for balance, (ACT) for recent transactions or (DUE) for due dates.

  • You have access to Mobile Wallet features. Wells Fargo is compatible with Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can also access your Wells Fargo Wallet in the Wells Fargo app for easy payments.

  • Wells Fargo provides 24/7 fraud monitoring on your checking accounts. Wells Fargo is continually checking your account for fraudulent activity and alerts you if they get suspicious. This can help protect you from identity theft or fraudulent activity on your account before you even realize it.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • You'll make minimal interest. It's not unusual for a big bank like Wells Fargo that offers a multitude of bank services to offer minimal interest rates. If you are looking for a bank that offers higher rates, you may be better off with an online-only bank that focuses strictly on deposit accounts.

  • The requirements to waive the monthly service fees are hard to meet. Wells Fargo has rather steep minimum daily balance requirements that you must meet in order to get the monthly service fee waived. Some accounts do give allowance for direct deposits, but even the Opportunity Checking account charges $10 per month, which can be steep.

  • You'll pay a fee for overdraft protection. If you link a savings account or credit account to your Wells Fargo Checking account, you'll pay a fee for the service. If Wells Fargo has to advance money to your checking account to prevent an overdraft, you'll pay a fee for each transfer.

Is Wells Fargo in trouble?
Wells Fargo is under investigation for unfair lending practices. This is a part of President Trump's promise to crack down on banking. No charges have been made and the final outcome has not been decided. This isn't the first time Wells Fargo has been in trouble with federal regulators, but Wells Fargo is working with the government to make things right.

How It Compares

Bank of America: Bank of America has locations throughout 36 states, but they aren't as widespread as Wells Fargo. Bank of America offers banking products similar to those at Wells Fargo, except for teens. BofA doesn't have a teen-specific checking account, which gives Wells Fargo the leg up on that competition.

US Bank: US Bank is another mega bank with locations all throughout the US. US Bank and Wells Fargo charge similar fees and have similar minimum opening balances. US Bank has around 5,000 ATM locations, whereas Wells Fargo has around 13,000. Both banks offer 24/7 customer service and give you easy access to a mobile app.

Bottom Line

Wells Fargo is well known and has been around for many years. If you're looking for stability and your basic banking features, you'll find them here. If you are looking for more sophisticated budgeting tools or you want high interest rates, though, you'll likely find yourself looking elsewhere.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on October 15, 2018. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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