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If you’re looking for a bank that offers confidence, convenience and a comprehensive suite of services, your search will likely turn up both Bank of America and Wells Fargo. They’re the country’s second- and third-largest banks, respectively, as ranked by assets. They have balance sheets in the trillions of dollars and histories spanning more than a century of economic cycles.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo have thousands of branches and ATMs blanketing the country and highly rated mobile apps. They’re practically one-stop financial service providers, offering various checking and savings accounts, home mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, certificates of deposit (CDs) and investment options.
But despite the many similarities, Wells Fargo and Bank of America are not identical. If you’re on the fence between the two banks, these insights may help you decide.
Which Bank Is Better: Wells Fargo or Bank Of America?
Wells Fargo has more branches than Bank of America—4,800 versus 4,000—plus lower monthly fees and minimum balance requirements to avoid the fees. Bank of America has a bigger network of ATMs—16,000 versus Wells Fargo’s 12,000—and it waives monthly fees for some accounts if you direct-deposit at least $250 a month.
Here’s one black-and-white difference: Wells Fargo offers personal loans and lines of credit, while Bank of America does not. However, Bank of America has the advantage when it comes to savings and investment:It offers higher interest rates on savings accounts with bigger balances, as well as a wider range of CDs.
Generally speaking, Wells Fargo edges out Bank of America on checking accounts, while Bank of America is somewhat better for savings accounts. Here are more details comparing the two banks.
Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Checking Accounts
Wells Fargo and Bank of America both offer multiple types of checking accounts. They range from basic, low-cost accounts to higher-end offerings for people with more complex needs.
Here’s a comparison of the most popular checking option from each.
Open a new Bank of America Advantage Banking personal checking account online, using offer code DNL100CIS. Then, set up and receive qualifying direct deposits of $1,000 or more into the account within 90 days to receive a $100 bonus through Dec. 31, 2022. Wells Fargo periodically offers similar promotions.
Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Savings Accounts
Neither bank offers a high-yield savings account. And, despite the increase in interest rates during 2022, both are still paying savers a paltry 0.01% APY.
Note that Bank of America offers slightly higher interest rates on savings accounts with larger balances.
Pros and Cons of Wells Fargo
In a complex arena like banking, a single institution is unlikely to be all things to all people. Wells Fargo is no exception. Here are some pluses and minuses to consider if you’re favoring Wells Fargo over Bank of America.
- More branches
- Lower fees
- Lower no-fee balance requirements
- Fewer ATMs
- Fewer ways to avoid monthly fees
- Weak interest rate on all savings accounts regardless of balance
Pros and Cons of Bank of America
It may be somewhat larger than Wells Fargo, but Bank of America has some weaknesses. If you’re considering doing business with BofA, you may want to keep these positives and negatives in mind when comparing with Wells Fargo:
- More ATMs
- More options to avoid monthly account fees
- Higher savings interest rates with larger balances
- Fewer branches
- Higher monthly fees
- Higher no-fee balance requirements
How to Transfer Money from Wells Fargo to Bank of America
There are a few ways to transfer money from a Wells Fargo account to a Bank of America account. You could write a check on your Wells Fargo account and deposit it to your Bank of America account. You could use Bank of America’s mobile app to make the deposit, without having to visit the bank.
You also can use Zelle to send money instantly and at no cost from Wells Fargo to Bank of America. Just direct the funds to the email address or phone number associated with your Bank of America account.
Wells Fargo will also transfer funds directly to accounts at other institutions. To set up this service, sign into your Wells Fargo account and add the non-Wells account using the routing and account numbers. It may take one to three days to verify the added account.
How to Transfer Money from Bank of America to Wells Fargo
You can transfer money from Bank of America to Wells Fargo by writing a check from your BofA account and depositing it into your Wells Fargo account at a branch or ATM or by using the Bank of America mobile app.
You also can use Zelle to process transfers instantly and without cost. All you need is the email address or phone number associated with your Wells Fargo account.
You can also transfer money directly between Bank of America and Wells Fargo accounts by providing Bank of America with the account number and routing number of your Wells Fargo account.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo will equally meet most people’s needs. But differences exist, and for some banking customers, one bank may be better than the other.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What else do I need to think about when switching banks?
Go through your bank statements for the past year and find any recurring automatic payments set up to go through your old bank account. Then, if you want to keep making automatic payments, set up your new account to take over the payments.
Is money in my savings and checking accounts safer at one bank?
Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures deposit accounts, including checking and savings accounts, for up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution.