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Wells Fargo Savings Account 2019 Review

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wells-fargo-savings-accountsWells Fargo is a well-known name in traditional banking, with branches and ATMs across the U.S.

Automatic-savings options can help you add to your account and avoid some of the monthly fees as well.

If you're focused on growing savings, a Wells Fargo savings account could be right for you.


 

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings Account Essentials

The Way2Save Savings account offers these features:

  • Earn interest on deposits, with no minimum-balance requirement.
  • All balances earn the same annual percentage yield (APY).
  • Low $25 minimum-opening deposit.
  • Automatic savings plan.
  • Low monthly service fee, which can be waived by meeting certain requirements.
  • Access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs and 5,400 branches.
  • ATM-card access, or link your account to your existing debit card.
  • Use your account as optional overdraft protection for a Wells Fargo checking account.

If you are interested to learn more, this review is designed to help. Continue on to get the full rundown on Wells Fargo's Way2Save account and what it has to offer.


MoneyRates Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Wells Fargo is a well-known name in traditional banking, with branches and ATMs across the U.S.
  • There are no tiered rates with this account and no minimum balance required to earn interest.
  • Your Wells Fargo Way2Save Account can be linked to your Wells Fargo checking account as overdraft protection.
  • The interest rate is one of the lowest in the industry.

Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings Account Rates

You may have a set savings goal in mind. The more interest you can earn, the better.

As a traditional bank, Wells Fargo offers rates on savings that are typical of what you'd expect. The Way2Save account earns a 0.01% APY.

That rate applies to all balances. There are no tiered rates with this account and no minimum balance required to earn interest.

Earning one rate on everything you save can keep things simple - but you're not going to grow your money as fast as you could with a better rate.

Again, though, the rate is comparable to what other big banks offer. If you are looking for better interest-earning potential, a credit union or online bank might be your best bet.

Ally is a great example of earning better rates on savings. The bank has a habit of offering an APY that is among the top interest rates for its online savings accounts. Rates are also great for other savings options, including CDs. You just need to be comfortable keeping your savings online versus banking at a branch.


 

Wells Fargo Way2Save Monthly Fees

It is not uncommon for brick-and-mortar banks to charge a monthly service fee for savings accounts. The good news is, the fee is usually low and there may be ways to avoid it.

At Wells Fargo, savers pay $5 per month for a Way2Save account.

You can waive the fee by meeting one of the following requirements each fee period:

  • Maintain a $300 minimum-daily balance.
  • Set up and maintain one or more automatic recurring transfers to savings.
  • Being under age 18 (or 19 in Alabama).

The $300 minimum-daily-balance number may be easy to hit if you already have a little bit of money saved. If you don't, you can set up an automatic savings transfer in one of two ways.

First, there's Save As You Go. With this program, $1 is transferred from your linked Wells Fargo checking account to your Way2Save when you:

  • Purchase something with your debit card.
  • Pay a bill online using Wells Fargo online bill pay.

That's a pretty easy way to sidestep the service fee and grow your savings. You're adding money to savings each time you swipe your debit card for a purchase or pay a bill online.

The other option is to set up an automatic monthly or daily transfer from your Wells Fargo checking account to your Way2Save account. To avoid the service fee:

  • Monthly transfers must be at least $25.
  • Daily transfers must be at least $1.

Daily transfers include transfers made Monday through Friday. You won't be penalized if you skip weekends or holidays.

Since the monthly service fee is waived for minors, this could be a good starter savings account if you have kids. You do have to open the account with them as a co-owner.

Once they turn 18 (or 19), they'd have to meet the minimum-balance or automatic-savings requirements to avoid the fee moving forward.


Other Savings Account Fees

In addition to the monthly service fee, there's one other fee to know about with Wells Fargo savings accounts.

Here's some background: Federal Regulation D limits you to six withdrawals and/or transfers from savings each month. Once you hit that limit, your bank can charge you a fee for excess transactions.

Wells Fargo does impose an excess-withdrawal fee. The fee is $15 per transaction over the six withdrawals that are allowed each month.

That's pretty steep, compared to what some banks charge for excess withdrawals. The upside is that you are limited to three of these fees per monthly fee period.

You don't, however, want to get in the habit of making excess withdrawals from your savings account. All those fees can eat into any interest you earn.


Additional Wells Fargo Way2Save Account Features & Benefits

There are a few other things to note if you're thinking of opening a Wells Fargo Way2Save savings account.

The first thing is being able to use your Way2Save account as overdraft protection.

You can link your account to your Wells Fargo checking account. If you have a transaction that puts you in the red, Wells Fargo will transfer money from savings to checking automatically to cover it.

That might be convenient, but it's not free. Each transfer will cost you $12.50. Still, it is better than the standard $35 fee Wells Fargo charges per overdraft.

Accessing your account

There are multiple ways to access your savings at Wells Fargo.

You can manage your account online through Wells Fargo online banking. Or, you can use the Wells Fargo mobile app to manage your savings.

Visiting a Wells Fargo branch or ATM is also an option. There are more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs to choose from and around 5,400 branches.

If you plan to use the ATM, you can get an ATM card for your savings account. If you have a Wells Fargo checking account, you can link your savings account to your debit card and skip the extra ATM card.


Are There Other Ways to Save With Wells Fargo?

Yes, there are two other options - a certificate of deposit and the Wells Fargo Platinum Savings.

The Wells Fargo certificate of deposit, or CD, is a time deposit, meaning you have to leave your money untouched to grow for a set period of time.

You can earn a fixed interest rate with a CD. It does take at least $2,500 to open one.

If that's not convenient for you, there is also Wells Fargo Platinum Savings. This account offers a better rate compared to the Way2Save account.

You can earn up to a 1.95% APY on savings, but you'll need a balance of at least $25,000 to get that rate. Otherwise, you'll earn 0.05% on your Platinum Savings.

The higher bonus rate is only available at Wells Fargo branches; you can't get it online. This account also has a $12 monthly service fee.

If you're just starting out with saving, a basic Wells Fargo savings account could be all you need. Remember, you can open your Way2Save account with as little as $25.


How to Open a Savings Account

You can open a savings account with Wells Fargo online, by phone or at a branch.

To get started with a Way2Save account, you'll need to provide:

  • At least $25 for the minimum deposit.
  • Your social security number.
  • A valid driver's license or state-issued ID number.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your contact information.
  • Your employment information.

If you are opening a joint savings account, plan to bring the social security number and ID number for the other account owner.

You can sign into Wells Fargo online banking to open your savings account faster if you are already a customer.

As part of the account-opening process, expect to be asked if you want to add an ATM card. You may also have the option to set up an automatic savings transfer or open a Wells Fargo checking account at the same time.

Once you have selected all your account options, the next step is funding. Enter the amount you want to open your account with and the details for the bank from which you are transferring the money.

That's the last thing that needs to be done to open your account. If you have questions during the process, you can call Wells Fargo or use their customer-service-chat feature.


Final Verdict: Should You Open a Wells Fargo Savings Account?

While you won't earn a great rate with a Way2Save account, here is what there is to like about it:

The various automatic savings options make it easy to add money to your account. And if you need to make a withdrawal for any reason, Wells Fargo has plenty of branches and ATMs you can visit.

Avoiding the monthly service fee isn't too difficult. But you may want to look at an online bank if you would rather pay no fees at all or if you're interested in earning a better rate on savings.

If you're comparing online banks to Wells Fargo, check the fees, interest rates and minimum-balance requirements. That way, you'll have more of the details you need to make a final decision about where to save.

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