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How to avoid Wells Fargo account fees

This bank charges some of the industry’s highest fees, but you can avoid paying most of the costs.

Wells Fargo is one of the oldest and largest banks in the US with a history dating back to 1852. And perhaps it’s because this bank has so much overhead that its fees are so high. Since banks without overhead costs are known to offer lower fees and higher APYs because they don’t have to worry about keeping physical branches up and running. Fortunately, many of Wells Fargo‘s checking account fees and savings account fees are avoidable if you know how.

How to avoid monthly fees on Wells Fargo checking and savings accounts

Wells Fargo‘s monthly checking and savings account fees vary depending on the type of account, but service charges are avoidable if you meet at least one of the listed requirements.

AccountMonthly feeCan you waive it?How to avoid it
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking$10YesSatisfy at least one of these requirements:

  • Minimum daily balance of $500
  • $500 or more in direct deposits each month
  • Linked Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card
  • Account holder ages 17 to 24
Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking$5Yes
  • Primary account owner ages 13 to 24
Wells Fargo Prime Checking$15YesSatisfy at least one of these requirements:

  • $10,000 or more in combined balances
  • $1,000 or more in direct deposits each month
  • Linked Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Wells Fargo Portfolio$30YesSatisfy at least one of these requirements:

  • $25,000 or more in linked bank deposits
  • $50,000 or more in linked bank, brokerage and credit balances
Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings$5YesSatisfy at least one of these requirements:

  • Minimum daily balance of $300
  • One Save As You Go transfer from your checking account a month
  • Automatic transfer of $25 or more from your checking account into this account each month
  • Automatic transfer of $1 or more each business day from your checking account
  • Primary account holder under 18 years old (19 in AL)
Wells Fargo Platinum Savings Account$12Yes
  • Minimum daily balance of $3,500 each month

How to avoid other account fees with Wells Fargo

Aside from monthly account fees, the bank also charges ATM, transaction and penalty fees. Here’s an overview of the most common fees and how to avoid them.

Type of feeCostHow to avoid itHow it compares to the average industry cost
Overdraft Returned Items$35Monitor your account closely or sign up for Wells Fargo Overdraft Rewind or Overdraft Protection.This cost aligns with the industry average.
Out-of-network ATM fee$2.50Use Wells Fargo ATMs whenever possible.Average fee at other banks ranges from $2 to $3.50
International ATM fee3% + 3%Pay with a travel credit card that offers no or a lower international transaction feeFlat fees range from $2 to $7, and 3% is standard
International transaction fee3%Pay with cash in the local currency or a travel credit card with no fee3% is standard, though some accounts from other banks, like Capital One 360, SoFi Checking and Savings and Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking charge less

Is there a fee for transferring money from my savings to my checking account?

There is no fee for transferring money from your Wells Fargo savings to your Wells Fargo checking account.

Who can I call at Wells Fargo to waive a fee?

Call 800-869-3557 to speak with a Wells Fargo representative and clearly explain why you would like the fee waived. Admit fault if necessary and explain it won’t happen again. If you’re not getting anywhere, suggest that you might end your relationship with Wells Fargo. And if all else fails, call the support line again to speak with a different representative.

Bottom line

Wells Fargo charges some of the highest fees in the US, likely because it’s one of the country’s largest banks and has the most overhead. Many younger, online-only banks offer similar products and services with far more affordable fees. If banking at a branch isn’t important to you, check out our guide to today’s best free checking accounts.

Alexa Serrano Cruz's headshot
Lead Editor, Personal Finance

Alexa Serrano Cruz is Deputy Editor at Forbes Advisor and was the lead editor at Finder, specializing in banking. As a personal finance expert, she helps Americans make informed decisions about their finances. Her expertise includes savings, budgeting, kids' banking, and more. Prior to joining Finder, Alexa worked as an editor in Miami and New York. Alexa is a certified anti-money laundering specialist and her personal finance expertise has earned recognition from reputable publications such as Nasdaq, Best Company, U.S. News & World Report, MSN, Yahoo, and Valuewalk. Alexa has also made notable appearances on platforms such as Winnie Sun TV, money podcasts like LifeBlood, and broadcast news publications like Fox News and NBC News. Alexa also served as an editor for ACAMS Today, a prominent publication dedicated to anti-financial crime detection and counter-terrorist financing. See full bio

Alexa's expertise
Alexa has written 19 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal finance
  • Kids' banking
  • Budgeting and saving
  • Anti-financial crime

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