Wells Fargo Checking Accounts Review – The Opportunity to Avoid Fees with...

Wells Fargo Checking Accounts Review – The Opportunity to Avoid Fees with Smart Banking

Wells Fargo
Screenshot Wells Fargo Checking Accounts Home Page

When it’s time to choose an account that can build up an internal record at the bank, plus provides some added benefits then a checking account is the right option. The checking account is historically known as the account that allowed account holders to write out checks as a means of payment. Although checks are still used in accounts today, they are no longer the main means of transacting on these accounts. In fact, due to the inherent risk and increased fraud, checks are slowly being phased out of the system. This review takes a closer look at Wells Fargo Checking Accounts. 

See here how they compare to the online account favorite, Ally Bank Interest Checking.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo
Screenshot of Wells Fargo Logo

Wells Fargo is one of those banks that has its roots tied firmly to the wild west. It operated in the traditional banking structures of the day when it was established in 1852. Their main source of business was buying gold and selling paper bank drafts. But it was the rapid gold delivery service that allowed Wells Fargo to make a name for itself.

The overland Mail Company and the Pony Express both have Wells Fargo to thank for the concept of rapid delivery. Apart from operation across San Francisco, the bank also had dealings in other parts of the U.S. In 1910, the bank was already sitting on over 6,000 locations that included a vast network in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Arizona, and more.

The changes that took place in the banking scene encouraged Wells Fargo to adapt their products accordingly. This allowed them to increase their market share. Thanks to this, they are currently known as one of the biggest banks in the world.

The financial crash that happened in 2008 affect the majority of banks across the world, and Wells Fargo was no different. What they did differently, however, was employ sound financial principles which ensured that the weather the storm effectively. With all this, however, the bank still has to answer for alleged misconduct in talks of discrimination and sub-prime deals.

For a full review on Wells Fargo, read here.

The Characteristics of a Good Checking Account

Checking accounts are ideal for those who wish to build up a reputation within a banking organization, with the hopes of one day expanding the product base. A checking account does not necessarily automatically include debt, however, it does require that customers have a clear credit history. This is because there are products related to the checking account that requires this.

A good checking account allows customers to do their transactions in a safe and secure manner. Furthermore, this account should provide customers with the opportunity to do their banking online, on mobile banking, or the telephone. Constantly running into the bank for transactions is just not an option anymore with the implementation of full-service online banking.

Customers who wish to purchase goods with ease will want to have access to a debit card. Furthermore, the use of the debit card should also be secure.

Finally, a good checking account provides value for money. If there are any charges on the account, they need to be market-related and provide customers with quality over quantity. Bundled accounts should also make financial sense.

Wells Fargo Checking Accounts Product Offerings

Wells Fargo
Screenshot of Additional Checking Account Options Wells Fargo

Everyday Checking

This account provides customers with an account that provides simple and secure banking. Furthermore, it also includes a Platinum debit card with chip technology.

  • The account carries a $10 monthly service fee, however, customers can avoid the fee with clever banking.
    • Customers are required to make 10 or more posted debit card purchases or payment. This does not include ATM transactions.
    • Another way to avoid the fee is with qualifying direct deposits of $500 or more.
    • Customers can also maintain a minimum daily balance of 1,500.
    • Finally, customers can link a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card to the account.
  • Also, there is a $5 monthly service fee discount when the primary owner of the account is 17 to 24 years old.
  • Customers have full access to all the checking account fees online.
  • Some of the features of the checking account include security and protection, account alerts, tracking tools, and a mobile banking app.
  • Finally, the account requires a minimum opening deposit of $25.

Wells Fargo Preferred Checking

This account is suitable for those who wish to earn interest on their positive balance. Furthermore, customers will have access to convenient online and mobile banking.

  • There is a minimum account fee of $15, however, customers can avoid paying these fees.
    • They can avoid the fee by maintaining a minimum of $10,000 in combined deposit balances.
    • They can also avoid it with qualifying direct deposits of $1,000.
    • Finally, the fee can be avoided by having a linked Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
  • There is a minimum opening deposit of $25.
  • The interest rate on the account is tiered and balances over $500 earn higher interest.
  • Finally, customers have access to the checking account fees online.

Portfolio by Wells Fargo

This account allows customers to benefit from interest across their entire financial relationship. Furthermore, this includes their brokerage, savings, and retirement accounts.

  • The account provides access to bonus interest rates on select savings accounts.
  • Also, customers have the opportunity to earn discounts on credit and loans. This includes qualifying personal, auto, home equity loans, and lines of credit.
  • Customers save with fee waivers on common banking services. These include unlimited waived monthly service fees on select checking and savings accounts.
  • Furthermore, customers have access to superior service with the Wells Fargo Premier Banking Team.
  • There is a monthly service fee of $30. This can be avoided by meeting the following criteria:
    • Have $25,000 or more in qualifying linked bank deposits. These include checking, savings, time accounts, CDs, and FDIC-insured IRAs.
    • Have $20,000 or more in any combination of qualifying linked bank, brokerage, and credit balances.
  • This portfolio provides a whole host of other benefits as well.
  • Finally, customers can open their portfolio online, and will also have access to a list of fees there as well.

Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking

This is a flexible, convenient, and simple checking account. Furthermore, it allows customers access to a whole host of other special accounts.

  • Customers have access to the Opportunity Savings account.
  • The account provides access to online banking.
  • Also, the account carries a $10 monthly service fee which can be waived with certain transactions.
    • 10 or more posted debit card purchases or payments. This includes card payments of bills. It doesn’t, however, include transactions at an ATM.
    • The account requires a minimum daily checking balance of $1,500.
    • Or, customers can have a total of qualifying direct deposits of $500 or more each fee period.
  • There is a minimum account opening deposit of $25.
  • Finally, customers have access to the checking fees online.

Wells Fargo At Work Program

This is a solution that allows customers to have access to banking information through their employer. The packages often include complimentary planning tools and more.

See how the Discover Bank Online Checking Account compares here.

What We Like About the Wells Fargo Checking Accounts

There are a number of great options that will allow customers the option of choice. The accounts are carefully structured and include a variety of benefits and services. Customers who like accounts that come jam packed with additional services will find the Wells Fargo accounts ideal.

The pricing on the account is upfront and easily available. Also, the monthly service fee can be waived with a series of transactions or even high balances across the product range. This is a clever idea as it encourages customers to take up other Wells Fargo products.

The accounts allow full access to a host of different accessing methods. These include online, mobile, and telephone banking. Furthermore, customers will be able to perform the regular card transactions as well.

Customers who prefer something a little more elite have access to the Portfolio by Wells Fargo product. This gives them access to portfolio bankers who assist them 24/7.

Finally, some of the accounts provide customers with interest on their positive balances.

What We Don’t Like About the Wells Fargo Checking Accounts

The accounts are all quite costly and there is no account that is really geared to those who are students or going into retirement. For students to commit to all those transactions or have the minimum fee ready, it will take some convincing. This means that will most likely incur those fees every month. There are many accounts out there specifically designed for them, or at the very least, carry no monthly fees at all.

When it comes to the transactional fees, customers are required to read through them as there are quite a few transactions that draw pretty steep fees.

Critical Reviews Rating Wells Fargo Checking Accounts – 7 of 10

Wells Fargo
Screenshot of the Features of the Wells Fargo Current Accounts

The accounts are well-designed and tick all the right boxes in terms of functionality. There are a number of options, however, the majority of them cater to them who are already settled in their careers or who have some form of savings. This makes it less accessible to those who are just starting out.

Furthermore, there is the opportunity to waive the monthly fee and there are a number of options to do this. If customers are unable to meet the 10-item limit, then they need to have other products with the bank or they have to have a high balance. This makes it very difficult for those who wish to have a simple account. Checking accounts at other institutions will then be far more attractive.

Finally, the transaction fees on these accounts are steep. Customers who open their accounts without reading the fee schedule are in for a nasty surprise when they get their monthly statement.

For a full review on an American online banking favorite, Synchrony Bank, read here.