Wells Fargo Checking Fees: 2011 Checking Account Review

Marina Shifrin

By , Staff Writer
Posted on Tue Jan 4, 2011, Last Updated on Wed Sep 17, 2014

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Back in July, Wells Fargo started the ripple, which would turn into the wave of big banks dropping their Free Checking accounts due to federal regulations. Since then, Wells Fargo has reorganized their checking accounts, by introducing new relationship packages and checking fees.

Current Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) members in most cases have already experienced the reorganization of checking accounts, but for those who have not, or areWells Fargo Checking Fees: 2011 Checking Account Reviewconsidering Wells Fargo, here is a summary of their offerings.

Wells Fargo prefers relationship checking accounts

Unless you are between the ages of 13 to 17 and qualify for their Teen Checking account, the only checking account available to those who do not want to avoid monthly fees by opening a savings account is the Wells Fargo Value Checking.

Wells Fargo Value Checking: This is the closet you will get to a free checking account with the bank, Value Checking offers no interest, no free online bill pay and is essentially an account for those who do not want to keep their money under their mattress.

Back in July Wells Fargo changed their Basic checking account to become the Value Checking account. Below are the new fees and requirements.

  • Minimum Opening Deposit – $100
  • Monthly Service Fee – $5
  • Waive Fee – Monthly Direct Deposit of $250 per deposit (not combined) OR maintain an average daily balance of $1,500

With the change we saw the monthly fee go from $2 to $5, minimum balance requirements increase from $1,000 to $1,500 and simple direct deposit become a minimum non-combined $250 direct deposit.

Open a savings account or pay a fee

Once you move past the Wells Fargo Value Checking, checking accounts will require you to open a savings account or be forced to pay an avoidable minimum monthly service fee. This new direction was Wells Fargo’s response to covering the revenue losses caused by new Fed rules.

Wells Fargo offers three types of checking packages, the first two are very similar, and with the only difference being one is designed for college students and carries a monthly fee of only $3 compared to the non-student package which carries a monthly fee of $10.

Wells Fargo Custom Management Package: This checking account requires you to also carry a Goal Savings Account. Both the checking and savings accounts carry their own requirements to avoid fees and from what we can gather the only additional benefit over the Value Checking is free online bill pay.

Ways to waive the monthly service fees on your Custom Management Package

Accounts Minimum Opening Deposit Monthly Service Fee Waive Fee
Custom Management Checking Account $100 $10 (unavoidable if savings account is not linked) Maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance OR Monthly Direct Deposit of $100 per deposit (not combined) OR Set up $25 monthly automatic transfer to the Goal Savings account
Goal Savings Account $25 when you set up a recurring automatic transfer from the checking account, otherwise $100 opening deposit is required $5 Maintain a $300 minimum daily balance OR Set up $25 monthly automatic transfer from the Custom Management checking account

For the college students looking for a new account, we should point out that the college checking option carries fewer requirements to avoid fees. Fee and information on the College Combo can be viewed here.

Wells Fargo Complete Advantage Package: The first of two Wells Fargo accounts that are interest earning. Along with being interest earning, the account also offers check replenishment discounts and free online bill pay. Unlike the Custom Management and College Combo, which carries a Goal Savings account, the Complete Advantage is paired with a Money Market Savings account.

The current APY as of 01.03.2011 for this checking account is 0.05% and requires a $500 minimum deposit to earn interest.

Ways to waive the monthly service fees on your Complete Advantage Package

Accounts Minimum Opening Deposit Monthly Service Fee Waive Fee
Complete Advantage Checking Account $100 $15 (unavoidable if money market account is not linked) Maintain a $5,000 combined minimum deposit or credit balance (including credit card) OR have a linked Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Money Market Savings Account $100 $10 Maintain a $3,500 minimum daily balance

Tip: Avoid both monthly service fees by setting up a recurring $75 transfer from your Complete Advantage Checking account to your Money Market Savings account.

A Checking Account for those who invest

Wells Fargo PMA Prime Checking Package: Wells Fargo final checking option, actually offers the best opportunity to earn a competitive interest rate as long as you also carry a credit account, such as a home mortgages and or a brokerage account with the bank.

As of 01.03.2011 the PMA Prime Checking offered the following rates:

  • $0 – $24,999.99 – 0.05% APY
  • $25,000 – $99,999.99 – 0.15% APY
  • $100,000 or more – 0.25% APY

You can open the PMA package with only a $100, but it does carry a monthly fee of $30 when statement-ending balances in qualifying accounts total less than $25,000.

If the PMA Package is terminated your account will be automatically converted to the Wells Fargo Complete Advantage Checking account.

Service Fee
ATM and Debit Card Fees outside the United States $5.00
ATM and Debit Card Fees: Non-Wells Fargo ATM $2.50
Statement Print Out at an ATM $1
Overdraft $25 per Item / $35 per Item (2nd and subsequent occasions)
Deposit Item Returned $25
Deposit Item Returned $29
Wire Transfer Domestic Outgoing - $20

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1519537395 Edwin Cardenas

    Another bank with new fees.

  • CrazyPErson


  • Phillip

    I guess I’ll be switching some credit union.

  • Mark


    I just created a petition: Wells Fargo: STOP CHARGING CUSTOMERS $2.50 FOR USING NON WELLS FARGO ATMS, because I care deeply about this very important issue.

    I’m trying to collect 100 signatures, and I could really use your help.

    To read more about what I’m trying to do and to sign my petition, click here:

    It’ll just take a minute!

    Once you’re done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!


  • Pattilou22

    The richest people are “BANKERS” w/bailout (s)………yet unpaid,,,,,,,,,,

  • Jaygee

    Just another way of making people with lower incomes pay, while those in the higher income brackets who can afford to keep large balances in their checking accounts get away scot- free. Again the gap between middle and upper class widens even more.

  • Gwt305

    Screw Wells Fargo

  • Beckie

    Find your voice people! Stop allowing greedy institutions to charge you so they can use your money. It’s insane!

  • JMC 123

    I guess I’ll open a new account, in a differerent bank. I feel the same way as Gwt305. I’ve had 3-4 accoumts there for five years and never been charged a fee before. I thought it was an outrage to tie up more money ($1500.00) to avoid the fee-yet I am still being charged.

    • http://www.mybanktracker.com Alex Matjanec

      When you have a chance, you should write a review. It helps our readers as they find and compare their next possible bank.


  • Laura Jo

    Banks have no care…as long as they hurt your wallet and dictate what you should do…thought Wells Fargo helped their customers.

  • pembrook westpeggler

    I just learned that for $8 (mailing fee included) I received a total of 10 blank checks. That is $0.80 per check.

    I dropped their credit card a few years back, and then they bought Wachovia. It seems I can’t keep the same bank for more than a few years.

  • Jen

    Can anybody tell me what the first four digits are of a Wells Fargo checking account
    set up at the Watt Avenue location in Sacramento