Wells Fargo has been a household name for generations—a bank with as much recognition as history. Founded during the peak of the Gold Rush in 1852 to transport gold by steamship from San Francisco to New York City, this behemoth of a bank has grown alongside the American economy over the centuries.
Today, they hold over $1.88 trillion in assets with over 70 million customers worldwide. They also employ nearly 270,000 people and have 7,115 branches.
For the purpose of this review, we will focus on Wells Fargo’s CD (certificate of deposit) rates. To see if these products are right for you, continue reading below.
Wells Fargo CD Rates + Account Details
Wells Fargo offers 3 standard term CDs with maturities of 3 months, 6 months and 12 months and 1 promotional CD with a 5 month term which they refer to as their “Special Fixed Rate CD.” They also have IRA CDs with customizable terms ranging from 1 month to 12 years. The Special Fixed Rate CD can be opened as an IRA CD as well.
The minimum deposit requirement for a Standard CD is $2,500 and $5,000 for the Special Fixed Rate CD. If you’re opening these deposits as IRA CDs then the minimum deposit requirement is just $2,500 for the Special CD Fixed Rate CD and $1,000 for their Standard CDs.
All deposits are federally insured up to $250,000 per depositor by the FDIC.
Special CD Rates
A minimum deposit of $5,000 is required to open a Special Fixed Rate CD.
Wells Fargo used to offer a 4 month and 8 month option, however as of May 2023, they only have a 5 month option.
CD rates surveyed May 29, 2023.
|CD Term||Standard APY||Relationship APY|
To give these yields some context, the current national average for a 6 month CD sits at just 1.19% according to FDIC data, however, top yields from online banks and nationally available credit unions are now inching over the 5.00% APY (annual percentage yield) mark.
Standard CD Rates
A minimum deposit of $2,500 is required to open a standard CD.
|Deposit Size||CD Term||Standard APY||Relationship APY|
|$0 – $99,999.99||3 months||0.50%||0.51%|
|$100k +||3 months||1.01%||1.02%|
|$0 – $99,999.99||6 months||2.50%||2.51%|
|$100k +||6 months||2.50%||2.51%|
|$0 – $99,999.99||1 year||1.50%||1.51%|
|$100k +||1 year||2.00%||2.01%|
To give Wells Fargo’s standard CDs more context, the national average for a 12 month CD sits at 1.59% APY and some of the top yields nationally are also just over 5.00% APY.
As you can see, Wells Fargo offers better yields for deposit sizes of $100,000 or more. Wells Fargo CD rates are tiered by deposit size with 6 tiers in total. The only tier that currently pays a different APY is the $100k+ tier, but this may change in the future. The tiers are as follows:
- $0 – 4,999.99
- $5,000 – 9,999.99
- $10,000 – 24,999.99
- $25,000 – 49,999.99
- $50,000 – 99,999.99
IRA CD Rates
As noted, IRA CDs come with a minimum deposit of just $1,000 for all standard terms or $2,500 if you’re opening the 5 month special.
|CD Term||Standard APY||Relationship APY|
|5 month special||4.50%||4.76%|
|1 – 2 months||0.01%||0.02%|
|3 – 5 months||0.50%||0.51%|
|3- 5 months|
|6 – 11 months||2.50%||2.51%|
|12 – 23 months||1.50%||1.51%|
|12 – 23 months|
|24 – 35 months||1.50%||1.51%|
|24 – 35 months|
|36 – 47 months||1.50%||1.51%|
|36 – 47 months|
|48 – 59 months||1.50%||1.51%|
|48 – 59 months|
|60 – 71 months||1.50%||1.51%|
|60 – 71 months|
|72 – 144 months||1.50%||1.51%|
|72 – 144 months|
How Much Can you Earn with a Wells Fargo CD?
How much you earn with a Wells Fargo CD depends on the term you choose, its APY (annual percentage yield) and your deposit size.
Below is a chart showing total interest earnings on all of Wells Fargo’s CD options assuming a $100,000 deposit.
|CD Term||APY||Total Interest Earned|
|5 month Special||4.76%||$1,956.47|
|3 month standard||1.02%||$254.03|
|6 month standard||2.51%||$1,247.22|
|12 month standard||2.01%||$2,010.00|
How do Wells Fargo’s CD Rates Compare?
To get a better idea of how Wells Fargo’s CD rates stack up against the competition take a look at the two tables below. The first table compares Wells Fargo’s best CD rates with other top U.S. banks and the second compares Wells Fargo’s CD rates with popular FDIC-insured online banks.
Wells Fargo’s CD Rates vs Big Banks
|Bank||Min. Deposit||Best CD Rate|
|Bank of America||$1,000||4.50%|
Wells Fargo’s CD Rates vs Online Banks
|Bank||Min. Deposit||Best CD Rate|
Qualify for Relationship APY
To qualify for the relationship APY on any certificate, you must maintain a Wells Fargo Portfolio Checking account. That account comes with a $30 monthly service fee unless you can maintain $25,000 or more in qualifying linked bank deposits or $50,000 or more in qualifying linked bank, brokerage, and credit balances.
Compounding and Crediting Interest
Interest is compounded daily and paid at your interval of choice. If your term is 12 months or less, you may choose to have your dividends paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or at maturity. If your term is 12 months or more, you may choose to be paid your dividends monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. These payments can be redeposited into the certificate account, transferred to a linked Wells Fargo saving or checking account, or paid by check (provided your balance is $5,000 or more).
Grace Period and Early Withdrawal Fees
Wells Fargo allows for a 7 calendar-day grace period upon the maturity of your CD in which you can add or withdraw funds, change CD terms, or close the CD without incurring any penalty fee. Withdrawing funds prior to your CD’s maturity will result in an early withdrawal fee.
Early withdrawal fees are as follows:
- For CDs with terms less than 3 months the penalty is 1 months’ interest,
- For CDs with terms 3 to 12 months the penalty is 3 months’ interest,
- For CDs with terms 12 to 24 months the penalty is 6 months’ interest, and
- For CDs with terms over 24 months the penalty is 12 months’ interest.
Funding the CD
You can fund your Wells Fargo CD in one of three ways. You can:
- Transfer funds from an existing Wells Fargo account
- Transfer funds from an external account. You’ll need the bank account number as well as the bank or credit union’s routing number to complete the transfer.
- Use a physical check or money order and send it by mail or stop by one of their 8,000+ branches across the country.
Banking Experience and Consumer Sentiment
You might be wondering how Wells Fargo performs in the eyes of the people from a customer service and overall experience perspective. According to 1,385 ratings submitted to Consumer Affairs, they come out about average. With an overall score of 3.8 stars out of 5. This is up substantially from their 2020 score which hovered around 1 out of 5.
On the negative side, many customers had reported being solicited by Wells Fargo to take out loans they shouldn’t take out, experiencing longer-than-usual wait times on everything from payments to getting customer service help, and having their accounts locked for no apparent reason.
Of course, all customer reviews should be taken with a grain of salt—Wells Fargo is one of the biggest banks in America and it’s difficult to consolidate all customer experiences into a neat and tidy description of what to expect.
It’s worth mentioning that Wells Fargo is still trying to restore its reputation as a trustworthy institution after its 2016 public account fraud scandal in which credit and debit accounts were wrongfully opened under customer names by Wells Fargo representatives in order to boost sales, and it’s clear that the people haven’t recovered from this offense. So while it may not be clear whether Wells Fargo can be trusted as a corporation, you should at the very least be wary if you choose to bank with them.
Branches and ATM Access
There’s no shortage of Wells Fargo branches and ATMs. You can get a separate ATM card with a Way2Save account or link your funds to an existing debit card. And if you do wish to manage your money from an ATM or branch, you’ll have no problem locating one. You’ll have access to more than 13,000 ATMs and about 8,050 in-person branches.
Wells Fargo’s mobile apps, both for IOS and Android phones receive high scores on their consumer reviews. As of April 2022, they have a 4.8 star rating out of 5 for iPhone users with over 8 million reviews and a 4.8 star rating out of 5 for Android users with over 2 million reviews.
To contact customer service with general banking questions or concerns, call 1-(800)-869-3557. To get online banking help, call 1-(800)-956-4442. Both lines are open 24/7. If you don’t mind a longer wait time, you can mail a letter to one of these addresses or reach out on social media through Twitter or Facebook.