Wells Fargo Teen Checking review
A basic account with limited parental controls and no monthly fee.
finder.com’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0
As with most teen checking accounts, the Wells Fargo Teen Checking aims to empower teens to manage their money responsibly. It features no monthly fees, 24/7 customer service and a free budgeting tool. But it doesn’t earn interest, parental controls are limited and you must live near one of its 11 branches to open an account.
Minimum deposit to open
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.
The Teen Checking account from Wells Fargo is best for teenagers who want to start managing their own money. It comes with basic parental controls that let you check your teen’s account activity and move money into their account as needed. But other than that, your teen will have full autonomy as you can’t set spending limits or control how they use their money.
If your teen has already proven they’re financially responsible, Wells Fargo may be a good option. But if you were hoping to have more control over their account, you’ll want to keep looking.
What are the benefits of the Wells Fargo Teen Checking?
In addition to overdraft protection, a debit card and a convenient mobile app, this account features the following benefits:
- Low fees. This account has no monthly fees, bill pay fees or minimum balance requirements.
- Parental controls. Parents can help teens manage spending with limits on purchases and withdrawals.
- Convenient access. Your teen gets free access to over 13,000 ATMs and 5,800 branches with the Wells Fargo Teen Checking account.
- Tools. Wells Fargo money management tools can help your teen budget and track their spending.
Wells Fargo ATM network and fees
This account comes with a Wells Fargo Visa debit card with chip technology to protect against theft. Plus, Wells Fargo customers get free access to over 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs and 5,800 branches. If you use an ATM outside the network, you’ll pay 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.
- Foreign purchases: 3% per transaction.
What should I look out for?
The Wells Fargo Teen Checking account has a $25 opening deposit and these potential drawbacks:
- Overdraft fees. If you sign up for overdraft protection, you’ll pay $15 for each transaction that overdraws your account. While this is lower than other banks, you’ll still want to watch out for it.
- Miscellaneous fees. Wells Fargo charges higher fees compared to many other banks. Watch out for charges like stop payments, wire transfers and others.
- No interest. Some student checking accounts reward you for growing your balance, but the Wells Fargo Teen Checking account isn’t one of them.
- Longer processing times. Wells Fargo doesn’t process transactions on weekends, which can lead to longer processing times for transactions and payments.
- Limited branch availability. Wells Fargo doesn’t have branches in Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont or West Virginia.
Not sure if it’s right for you and your teen? Compare student bank accounts to find an option that is.
Compare with other student checking accounts
How do I apply for a Wells Fargo Teen Checking account?
Since both the parent and teen must be present, you’ll need to visit a branch to open this account. Call customer service or visit your local branch to set up an appointment.
To apply, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:
- Teen must be between ages 13 and 17, and 18 in Alabama
- Make a minimum deposit of at least $25
- Have a valid Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number
- Have a valid state-issued ID
- Have a valid US address
You’ll need the following information when you apply for an account:
- Name and date of birth
- Social Security or tax ID number
- Driver’s license or other state-issued ID
- Contact information
- Employment information
What other checking options does Wells Fargo offer?Wells Fargo has a handful of other checking account options to consider:
- Wells Fargo Preferred Checking. An interest-bearing checking account best suited for customers with higher balances or existing Wells Fargo mortgages.
- Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. A low-fee checking account that offers easy access to your money when you need it.
- Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking. Available if you don’t qualify for other Wells Fargo checking accounts, this option helps you get back into checking.
- Wells Fargo Portfolio Checking. A full-service checking account with a suite of exclusive benefits but a higher monthly fee than other accounts.
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