Wells Fargo: CD Rates and Bank Review

February 3, 2013 No Comments »
Wells Fargo: CD Rates and Bank Review

Wells Fargo is one of the oldest and largest banking institutions in the United States by asset holdings, customers, employees and market capitalization.

Publicly traded on the NASDAQ (ticker: WFC) they were originally founded in 1852 in the era of the California Gold Rush. Wells Fargo (and the former Wachovia Bank) at their peak had over 13,000 locations nationwide but now operate just under 6,500.

To be more precise about their size, they are the fourth largest bank in the US by assets (almost $1.2 trillion) and third largest in market cap ($180 billion as of August, 2012). They are headquartered in San Francisco, California and serve roughly 48 million customers with over a quarter of a million employees.

They offer almost every banking product available, for both personal and business accounts, as well as retail and wholesale banking.

Don’t expect much from their savings and deposit accounts though. Like the nation’s other largest banks, Wells Fargo certificate of deposit rates are quite horrific. With the FED keeping key rates at historic lows, large national banks have little incentive to compete on the interest rate front for new consumer deposits when they can soak up free money from the FED. Wells Fargo’s rates, nevertheless, are still well below the national average and significantly lower than the top CD rates offered from online banks.

They separate their deposit products into “standard” and “special” categories. The main difference being the “special” deposits come with a slightly higher APY but also a higher minimum deposit requirement (rates listed below).

Their standard CD’s are so uncompetitive that we’ve heard the institution isn’t even pushing them currently. The only offer short term maturities (longer term maturities available with their “Special CD’s”) and the rate is set at 0.05% for all terms.

Current “Special” CD rates from Wells Fargo 2013:

(Visit Wells Fargo’s CD and Savings Center for updated rates, terms and conditions.)

9 Months 0.15% 0.15%
26 Months 0.25% 0.25%
39 Months 0.35% 0.35%
58 Months 0.55% 0.55%

They also have a number of “standard CDs” but they are featuring interest rates that aren’t even worth mentioning, but we’ll do it anyways – 0.05%. That’s right, regardless of the term, you’ll only net a return of 0.05% APY with a standard deposit from Wells Fargo. Pathetic.

If you must open a savings account with Wells Fargo, we would suggest their “Way2Save” savings account not because of it’s interest rate (which sits at just 0.01% APY) but because of its incremental approach to savings that many BankVibe readers have found to be beneficial. The way this account works is that Wells Fargo takes $1 from your checking account every time you make a purchase with your debit card and automatically sticks it in this savings account. You can learn more about it here.

If you have experience in banking with Wells Fargo, please share by leaving a comment.

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