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Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account review

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A second-chance account with avoidable monthly fees and standard features.

finder.com’s rating: 3.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

The Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account can help you get back on track by managing an account that allows you to pay your bills, write checks and use a debit card. But you won’t be able to open it unless your application for a standard Wells Fargo checking account is denied.

$10 per month

Monthly fee

N/A

APY

$25

Minimum deposit to open

Details

Monthly fee$10 per month
To waive the feeDo any ONE of the following:
• $1,500 minimum daily balance
• OR Direct deposits totaling $500 or more
• OR 10 or more posted debit card transactions (any combination of posted debit card purchases or posted debit card payments of bills) from this checking account
Minimum deposit to open$25
ATMsover 13,000 ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$2.50 Cash withdrawal at non-Wells Fargo
ATMs in the U.S.
$5 - Cash withdrawal at non-Wells Fargo
ATMs outside of the U.S.
Overdraft fee$35
Nonsufficient funds fee$35

Expert review

Peter Carleton

Review by


Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.

Expert review

The Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account is designed for those who don’t qualify for traditional checking accounts. Unlike other second-chance products, this one comes with standard account features and ways to waive the monthly fee.

But you can’t open this account directly. To open it, you’ll first need to apply to another Wells Fargo checking account. If you’re denied, you’ll be eligible to apply for this second-chance account.

What are the benefits of the Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account?

Designed to get you back on your feet after past banking mistakes, some of Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking account perks include:

  • Easy access. Comes with checks and a debit card with free access to over 13,000 ATMs and 5,000 branches.
  • Most are eligible. Even if your name shows up on ChexSystems as a high-risk customer, you can likely qualify for this account.
  • Avoidable monthly fee. Unlike other second-chance checking accounts, Wells Fargo gives you three ways to waive the $10 monthly service fee.

How to avoid the monthly fee

While most second-chance accounts have mandatory fees, there are three ways to waive this account’s monthly fee:

  • Make 10 or more debit card transactions
  • Have $500 or more of qualifying direct deposits
  • Hold a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more

Wells Fargo ATM network and fees

This account comes with a Wells Fargo debit card. Plus, you’ll have free access to Wells Fargo’s network of over 5,000 branches and 13,000 ATMs. However, if you use an out-of-network ATM, the following fees apply:

  • Domestic ATM fee: $2.50 per withdrawal, transfer or inquiry, plus fees from the ATM owner.
  • Foreign ATM fee: $5 per withdrawal, plus fees from the ATM owner.

What should I look out for?

As with most second-chance accounts, you can’t apply for the Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account directly, and the bank may close your account if you overdraft or can’t pay the monthly fee. Aside from these general cons, there are a few things to watch out for:

  • Longer processing times. Wells Fargo doesn’t process transactions on weekends, which can lead to longer processing times for transactions and payments.
  • Limited availability. Wells Fargo doesn’t have branches in HI, KY, LA, MA, ME, MO, NH, OK, RI, VT or WV.

If you prefer a second-chance account with different features, compare your options until you find one that’s right for you.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
HSBC Advance Checking
$0
Surcharge-free HSBC ATMs nationally and internationally, plus up to four rebates a month for using non-HSBC ATMs in all US states except New York
Get up to $270 (max. $50 per month) for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Advance checking account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
Chase Total Checking
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches nationwide
$2.50
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
BBVA Free Checking
$25
1,000 fee-free ATMs across the country
$3
Pay a $0 monthly service charge and get free access to BBVA ATMs.
Chime Spending account
$0
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Linked checking and savings accounts from a mobile-first bank that’s light on fees.
Citibank® Account Package
Citibank® Account Package
$0
No access to ATMs
$2.50
Earn a $400 bonus after opening new eligible checking and savings accounts and completing required activities.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply for a Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account?

You can’t open the Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account directly. You’ll be offered it as an alternative after being denied for a regular checking account. Start by applying for another Wells Fargo checking product:

  1. Visit the Wells Fargo website, hover over Banking and Credit Cards, then click Checking Accounts.
  2. Enter your zip code.
  3. Click Compare All Accounts.
  4. Scroll down to Everyday Checking or Preferred Checking and click Open Now.
  5. Choose an individual or joint account, then sign in if you’re already a Wells Fargo customer.
  6. Enter your personal information, then click Continue.
  7. Choose your account options, fund your initial deposit and review the account terms.
  8. Submit your application.
  9. If your application is denied due to your banking history, Wells Fargo should reach out and offer you the option to open this account.

Eligibility

In order to open this account, you’ll need to meet basic eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum deposit of at least $25
  • Valid Social Security number or tax ID
  • Valid state-issued ID
  • Valid US address
  • Denied for a regular checking product due to credit or banking history

Required information

You’ll be asked for the following information during your application:

  • Name, date of birth and address
  • Social Security or tax ID number
  • Driver’s license or other state-issued ID
  • Contact information
  • Employment information

How do I graduate to a standard checking account?

Wells Fargo is vague about upgrading to a regular checking account, but other customers have mentioned the following details:

  • The account will be reviewed around the one year mark
  • You can’t overdraft the account or miss any monthly fees

Generally, Wells Fargo will monitor your account activity to make sure you’re using the account responsibly. The bank will eventually reevaluate your activity and usage to determine if you’re eligible for a standard checking account.

How do I deposit or withdraw money?

Here are all the ways you can access funds in your Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account:

Deposits

  • Mobile check deposit
  • ATM or branch
  • Phone, online or wire transfer
  • Direct deposit
  • Mail a check

Withdrawals

  • ATM or branch
  • Phone, online or wire transfer
  • Cashback from participating merchant
  • Bill pay

How do I contact Wells Fargo customer service?

There are a few ways you can get in touch:

  • Phone: 800-869-3557 (24/7)
  • Email: Sign on to your online account to send a secure email
  • Twitter: @Ask_WellsFargo
  • Facebook: @WellsFargo

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

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★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

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★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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