We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias.
But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.
An interest-bearing checking account designed for customers with high balances.
With Wells Fargo Preferred Checking, you’ll earn interest on your balances over $15 while you budget for everyday purchases and other expenses. Plus, you’ll have the safety and security of banking with one of the Big Four. But, watch out for fees for using your card abroad.
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.
What are the benefits of the Wells Fargo Preferred Checking account?
Earn interest. You’ll earn 0.01% interest on any balance above $500.
Wide-ranging support. Get customer service anytime you need it with 24/7 support.
Mobile app. Download the mobile app to send payments, deposit checks and more.
Easy access. This account comes with a debit card that offers fee-free access to over 13,000 ATMs and 5,800 branches.
Overdraft protection. Choose from two optional overdraft services that ensure your transactions are covered.
Tools. Get access to a suite of budgeting and spending tools that help you get the most out of your money.
Wells Fargo ATM network and fees
The Wells Fargo Visa debit card allows you to make purchases almost anywhere and comes with chip technology to protect your account when you shop. You’ll get free access to over 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs and 5,800 branches. But if you choose to use a non-Wells Fargo ATM, you’ll be charged the following fees:
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?
Opening deposit requirement. This account requires a $25 minimum deposit to open.
Monthly service fee. There’s a $15 monthly fee which Wells Fargo will waive if you:
Maintain a monthly $10,000 in combined deposit balances.
Schedule direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 a month.
Link a Wells Fargo mortgage account.
Overdraft fees. You’ll be charged $35 for each transaction that overdraws your account.
Miscellaneous fees. Wells Fargo has higher fees than some of its competitors, so watch out for things like stop payments and lost cards.
Longer processing times. Wells Fargo doesn’t process transactions on weekends, which can lead to longer processing time for transactions and payments.
Limited branch availability. Wells Fargo has no branches in HI, KY, LA, MA, ME, MO, NH, OK, RI, VT or WV.
Case study: Adrian’s experience
Adrian Tomkins Senior Product Manager
I went with a Wells Fargo checking account because it was recommended by a close friend when I first arrived in the US. The process for getting started was straightforward and relatively fast.
I’ve had the account for almost a decade now and only have a couple of small grievances.
I was disappointed when I was charged a fee for a check. I was also surprised by the high fees charged for international money transfers, but that appears to be a fairly common drawback across all banks — money transfer services are typically much better. Overall, the account has proved satisfactory for my needs. The convenience found in the number of branches and ATMs works well for me, and I’ve always been impressed with the customer service, especially in branches.
Compare with other checking accounts
How much do I need to open an account?
There’s a minimum deposit of $25 to open this account.
How do I apply?
You can open this account online, by phone or at a branch:
Visit the Wells Fargo website, hover over Banking and Cards, then click Checking accounts.
Click Compare all accounts.
Scroll down to Preferred Checking and click Open Now.
Choose an individual or joint account, then sign in if you have a Wells Fargo online banking account.
Enter your personal information, verify all details and click Continue.
Choose your account options, fund your initial deposit and review the terms.
Call customer service, visit a branch or mail an account closure form to close your Wells Fargo account. However, you’ll need to have a zero or positive balance before proceeding.
Yes. You’ll just need to apply online or by phone.
Yes, but you’ll need to visit a branch to open the account in person.
No, but having one will allow you to waive the service fee every month that your mortgage is in repayment.
Sign on to your online account or download a blank direct deposit form. Fill out the form and provide any necessary information to the person or company sending money, then submit your form.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.