Wells Fargo Everyday Checking review: A basic account with lots of fees

Young woman sitting in front the bank, accessing her Wells Fargo checking account on her mobile phone.Image: Young woman sitting in front the bank, accessing her Wells Fargo checking account on her mobile phone.
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Wells Fargo Everyday Checking accounts at a glance

Physical locations Yes — more than 7,200 locations and 13,000+ ATMs.
Getting started Simple to open an account online or at a branch, but requires a $25 minimum initial deposit.
Monthly service fee $10 — can be waived if you meet certain requirements.
Overdraft fees $35 per overdraft over $5, with maximum of three fees per business day. Overdraft protection available.
Other fees Many, including $2.50 fee for using ATMs outside of Wells Fargo network; returned items fee, wire transfer fee, money order fee, stop-payment fee.
How to deposit Wells Fargo branch, ATM, direct deposit, mobile deposit, deposit via mail, online transfers, receive money via Zelle.
How to withdraw/pay Wells Fargo branch, ATM, check writing, contactless debit card, online bill pay, online transfers, send money via Zelle.
Notable feature No minimum daily balance requirement.

 

Wells Fargo offers several different types of checking accounts.

  • Clear Access Banking This checkless account has a $5 monthly fee (which you may be able to avoid), and Wells Fargo recommends the checking account for teens and students.
  • Everyday Checking The most popular checking account, according to Wells Fargo, it has a $10 monthly fee and offers checks.
  • Prime Checking An interest checking account that can help you avoid some service fees. It also offers the chance for relationship discounts on loans. There’s a $25 monthly service fee, but you may be able to avoid it.
  • Premier Checking Another interest checking account, this account comes with perks such as interest rate discounts on loans, and more banking service discounts. It has a $35 monthly service fee that you can avoid by meeting certain requirements.  

In this review, we’ll focus on Wells Fargo Everyday Checking.


5 things to know about Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

1. Multiple ways to avoid the monthly maintenance fees

While Wells Fargo Everyday Checking isn’t a free checking account, you can avoid paying the $10 per month maintenance fee if you meet at least one of the following requirements each billing period:

  • Maintain a $500 minimum daily balance
  • Have $500 or more in qualifying direct deposits per billing period
  • Have a linked Campus Debit card or Wells Fargo Campus ATM card

The fee is also waived for primary account owners who are ages 17 to 24 years old.

2. Access to multiple financial products and services

In addition to offering the ability to open checking accounts, Wells Fargo also offers a wide range of financial products and services, including savings and CDs, credit cards, personal loans, home loans, auto loans, investing and more. It also offers business banking services. Some customers appreciate the convenience of having a “one-stop shop” banking option.

3. No interest checking or rewards program

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking accounts do not pay interest on balances. If you’re planning to maintain a large balance in your checking account, you may be better off choosing an interest checking account instead.

Some competitors also offer cash-back rewards programs for checking account holders. But you won’t find this at Wells Fargo.

4. Potential trust issues

Opening an account at Wells Fargo may give you pause because of several scandals in recent years. For example, the company agreed to pay a $3 billion settlement to resolve criminal charges arising from Wells Fargo employees fraudulently opening customer accounts to meet sales goals between 2002 and 2016.

Also, in 2021, the bank admitted to overcharging and providing false information to commercial customers, resulting in a $72.6 million settlement and civil penalties.

5. Easy banking access

Because of the large number of brick-and-mortar branches and ATMs, it’s easy to access Wells Fargo’s banking services from many places in the U.S. Access to online banking allows you to take care of most transactions at any time, from wherever you happen to be, and you can also reach a Wells Fargo representative online or over the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Is Wells Fargo checking free?

None of Wells Fargo’s checking accounts is free. Monthly account maintenance fees range from $5 to $35, depending on the account type — though you can avoid these fees by meeting certain requirements.

What is the minimum opening balance for a checking account at Wells Fargo?

To open a checking account with Wells Fargo, you must deposit at least $25.

Not sure if Wells Fargo checking is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Discover checking: Discover may be a good option to consider if you want to earn cash back on debit card purchases. 
  • SoFi Checking and Savings: This account is worth considering if interest checking is important to you.

About the author: Beth Deyo is a personal finance freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of South Florida. She is also a Certified Financial Planner™ with 14 years of wealth management experience. She … Read more.