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.
📌 Please Note: Wells Fargo’s CD rates vary by region. We’ve surveyed 3 locations to complete this review – Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX, Miami, FL. Wells Fargo’s top rate is a Special 11 month CD with APYs (annual percentage yields) varying between 4.50% – 5.16% depending on location and whether or not you have a qualifying checking account with them.
Wells Fargo CD Rates + Account Details
Wells Fargo offers 3 standard term CDs with terms of 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. They also have 2 promotional CDs with terms of 5 and 11 months which they refer to as their “Special Fixed Rate CDs.” They also have IRA CDs with customizable terms ranging from 1 month to 12 years. Their Special Fixed Rate CDs can be opened in IRAs 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
As noted, a minimum deposit of $5,000 is required to open a Special Fixed Rate CD. The interest rate and APY you receive is going to depend on whether or not you have a qualifying checking account with Wells Fargo. If so, you’re eligible for the “Relationship APY” if not the standard APY will apply. You can learn more about which checking accounts qualify for relationship rates below.
CD rates surveyed August 23, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX, and Miami, FL.
|CD Term||Standard APY||Relationship APY||Location|
To give these yields some context, the current national average for a 6 month CD sits at just 1.34% according to FDIC data, however, top yields from online banks and nationally available credit unions are now inching over the 5.25% APY (annual percentage yield) mark.
Standard CD Rates
A minimum deposit of $2,500 is required to open a standard CD. Unlike Wells Fargo’s Special Fixed Rate CDs, their standard CD rates don’t vary by region and were consistent across the 3 locations we surveyed.
|Deposit Size||CD Term||Standard APY||Relationship APY|
|$0 – $99,999.99||3 months||2.50%||2.51%|
|$100k +||3 months||2.50%||2.51%|
|$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 1.76% APY and some of the top yields nationally are also just over 5.50% APY.
Wells Fargo CD rates are tiered by deposit size with 6 tiers in total. The only tier that currently offers a higher yield is the $100k+ tier on their 12 month CD. For future reference, Wells Fargo’s deposit 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 for Special CDs. The Special Fixed Rate CDs for retirement accounts come with the same yields and terms that we’ve listed above.
|CD Term||Standard APY||Relationship APY|
|1 – 2 months||0.01%||0.02%|
|3 – 5 months||2.50%||2.51%|
|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|
IRA CD rates surveyed on August 23, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
How Much Can you Earn with a Wells Fargo CD?
The amount of money you can 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 some of Wells Fargo’s CDs assuming a $100,000 deposit in Miami, Florida and a qualifying checking account.
|11 month Special||5.16%||$4,720.02|
|3 month standard||2.51%||$621.68|
|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 (APY)|
|Bank of America||$1,000||4.75%|
Wells Fargo’s CD Rates vs Online Banks
|Bank||Min. Deposit||Best CD Rate|
Wells Fargo’s CD Rates vs Credit Unions
|Bank/Credit Union||Min. Deposit||Best CD Rate|
|GreenState Credit Union||$25,000||5.50%|
|Mountain America Credit Union||$500||5.50%|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||$50||4.85%|
|Summit Credit Union||$500||5.25%|
Qualify for Relationship APY
To qualify for the relationship APY on any certificate, you must maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo checking account. The 3 qualifying checking accounts are Wells Fargo’s Prime Checking account, Premier Checking account or the Interest Checking account offered through Wells Fargo Private Bank.
- The Prime Checking account comes with a $25 monthly fee unless you maintain $20,000 or more in combined assets with Wells Fargo.
- The Premier Checking account comes with a $35 monthly fee unless you maintain $250,000 or more in combined assets with Wells Fargo.
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 lower than average. With an overall score of 2.7 stars out of 5. This is up substantially from their 2020 score which hovered around 1 out of 5, but down from their score earlier in 2023 where they reached 3.6 stars.
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 across the board.
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 their reputation hasn’t fully recovered.
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 July 2023, 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 2.1 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.
Still have questions about Wells Fargo’s CD rates? See what other consumers are asking around the web as well as our responses below.
Does Wells Fargo offer Business CD Rates?
Yes, Wells Fargo offers CD accounts to businesses of varying sizes. The Special CDs require a $5,000 minimum deposit and the standard CDs require a $2,500 minimum deposit. See rates below.
|CD Term||Min. Deposit||APY|
|5 month special||$5,000||4.50%|
|11 month special||$5,000||4.50%|
|3 – 5 months||$2,500||2.50%|
|3 – 5 months||$100k||2.50%|
|6 – 11 months||$2,500||2.50%|
|6 – 11 months||$100k||2.50%|
|1 – 12 years||$2,500||1.50%|
|1 – 12 years||$100k||2.00%|
Why are Wells Fargo’s CD Rates So Low?
Other than Wells Fargo’s 5 and 11 month promotional CDs, their CD rates overall are still underwhelming and in some cases struggle to keep up with the national average.
Large banks tend to be slower to offer competitive rates to savers than credit unions or online banks in rising interest rate environments and may not have a huge need for consumer deposits.