Banking » Compare Banks » Wells Fargo Bank vs. Citizens Bank : Which Bank Account Is Better?
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Wells Fargo Bank vs. Citizens Bank : Which Bank Account Is Better?

While Wells Fargo Bank and Citizens Bank offer a range of banking services, Wells Fargo is our winner in this competition. Here's why:
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Wells Fargo Bank and Citizens Bank offer a range of banking services, and sometimes, it's challenging to understand which is best for your needs.

In this article, we will compare their savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, credit cards, and lending products.

Checking Accounts

There is no clear winner which bank is best for ahcekcing account, as both Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank present extensive checking account choices, each with distinctive features.

Citizens Bank offers checking accounts like One Deposit Checking and Citizens Quest Checking, each catering to different needs:

Citizens Bank Account
Monthly Fee
Average Day Balance To Waive
One Deposit Checking from Citizens
$9.99
Make one deposit each statement period
Citizens Quest Checking
$25
$25,000
Citizens Private Client Checking
$0
$200,000
Citizens EverValue Checking
$5
Can't be waived
Citizens Student Checking
$0
under 25

Wells Fargo offers various types of personal checking accounts for individuals. The basic account with lower fees is called Clear Access Banking, the Everyday Checking is the classic checking account, and the Prime Checking and Premier Checking target customers who want more features and benefits. 

While all of them charge monthly fees, customers can waive them in various ways:

Wells Fargo Checking Account
Monthly Fee
Average Balance To Waive Fees
Clear Access Banking
$5
Only if you're under 24
Everyday Checking
$10
$500
Prime Checking
$25
$20,000 (Combined with deposits)
Premier Checking
$35
$250,000 (Combined with deposits)

Wells Fargo's simple account comes with great perks to make banking better. Get your money before the usual payday with Early Pay Day. Manage your money online with easy online and mobile banking.

If you want more from your bank, Wells Fargo's premium accounts have cool features. Earn interest on your balance with interest-bearing accounts. Enjoy extras like free checks, no fees for using non-Wells Fargo ATMs, priority customer service, and waived fees for money orders, cashier checks, and international debit card purchases.

Wells Fargo Account
Main Features
Clear Access Banking
No overdraft fees, Early Pay Day
Everyday Checking
Overdraft Services, check writing, Early Pay Day
Prime Checking
Interest-bearing, free check orders, free Non-Wells Fargo ATM withdrawals
Premier Checking
priority customer service, No fees on money orders/cashier checks/International debit card purchase

One of the most popular features for customers is the mobile check deposit. Here's how it looks like on Wells Fargo app:

WF Mobile Deposit
Wells Fargo Mobile Deposit (Screenshot from Wells Fargo app)

Citizens Bank customers can easily access a vast network of over 1,000 branches and 3,000 ATMs. The Citizens Virtual Assistant adds extra convenience by allowing customers to have live conversations with a person for help.

To help prevent overdrafts, Citizens provides solutions like Citizens Fee Relief and Citizens Peace of Mind, where the first overdraft each year incurs no fee.

Premium accounts at Citizens come with exclusive benefits and rewards that increase as your relationship with the bank grows.  Having a relationship with Citizens also means fewer fees for services like checks, wire transfers, using other banks' ATMs, stop payments, and more, ensuring a cost-effective banking experience.

Citizens Bank Account
Main Features
One Deposit Checking
Digital wallet, Zelle, overdraft solutions, Citizens paid early
Citizens Quest Checking
CitizensPlus, no fee for additional services, personalized guidance
Citizens Private Client Checking
CitizensPlus benefits, Dedicated team of advisors, preferred rates
Citizens EverValue Checking
No overdraft fees, Reduced fees for Non-Citizens ATM
Citizens Student Checking
No fees for Non-Citizens ATM, No overdraft fees, Free design checks

Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo is our winner when it comes to savings account as it offers higher rates than Citizens Bank. However, if you are willing for an online bank for savings, Citizens online division (Citizens Access) offers better rates, but keep in mind it's a separate unit.

Wells Fargo has two main savings account options – Way2Save Savings and Platinum Savings, along with a kids' savings account. Although Way2Save Savings has a low APY, the Platinum Savings plan offers a higher rate. However, to access the highest rate, you'll need to have more than $1 million in your account.

Customers can create saving goals and track their progress through Wells Fargo LifeSync:

Wells Fargo Set A Savings goal
Create savings goals (Screenshot from Wells Fargo app)

Citizens Bank savings account convenience with automatic transfers, allowing automatic deposits. Monthly fees are easily waived through simple methods. Safety is prioritized through 24/7 fraud monitoring and FDIC insurance. Its online division, Citizens Access, offers much better savings rates.

Also, unlike Wells Fargo  – Citizens bank does offer a money market account, but the rates are low.

Citizens Access
Citizens Savings
Wells Fargo Platinum Savings
Savings Rate
4.50%
5.00%
0.26% – 2.51%
Minimum Deposit
$0.01
$0
$25
Fees
$0
$4.99 per month Can be waived if you maintain a $200 minimum daily balance, or under age 25 or 65 and older.
$5 can be waived by maintaining a $300 minimum daily balance, one qualified automatic transfer, one or more Save as You Go transfers from your Wells Fargo checking account. Primary account owners age 24 or younger are exempt from the fees

Certificate Of Deposits (CDs)

When it comes to CDs, Wells Fargo is our winner. 

It provides notably competitive rates, usually surpassing what is available with Citizens Bank, and offers additional term options. 

Citizens Bank offers two options for CDs. The initial option is a traditional fixed-term CD, available exclusively online for specific months, with no additional term variations. 

CD Term
APY
10 Months
5.50% ($25,000 minimum deposit)
14 Months
2.75%
CD Term
APY
Early Withdrawal Penalty
7 Months
4.75% – 5.01%
3 months interest
11 Months
4.50% – 4.76%
3 months interest
3 Months
2.50% – 2.51%
1 month interest
6 Months
2.50% – 2.51%
3 months interest
12 Months
1.50% – 2.01%
6 months interest

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Credit Cards

Wells Fargo wins when it comes to credit cards. It has a more diverse portfolio of credit cards and better redemption options than Citizens Bank.

Wells Fargo provides different credit cards to suit various needs. If you prefer getting cash back, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is a good option, offering unlimited cash back on your purchases along with a cash rewards bonus. For those who spend on everyday items and travel, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card is designed for you. If you're looking for a card with a 0% introductory APR, the Reflect card is the best choice.

Additionally, Wells Fargo offers the Choice Privileges Mastercard, which allows you to earn points for staying at specific Choice Hotels. Moreover, you can also accumulate points for purchasing gas, groceries, home improvement items, and phone plans with this card.

Card
Rewards
Bonus
Annual Fee

Wells Fargo active cash card

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
2% 2% cash rewards on purchases (unlimited)
$200 $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
$0

Wells Fargo Autograph

Wells Fargo Autograph Card
1X – 3X 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Also, earn 1X points on other purchases
20,000 Points 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
$0

Wells Fargo ReflectSM Card (1)

Wells Fargo Reflect Card
N/A
0% Intro APR: 21 months on purchases and balance transfers
$0

Bilt Mastercard

Wells Fargo Bilt Mastercard
1x – 3x 3X points on dining, 2X points on travel and 1X points on rent payments without the transaction fees and other purchases
N/A
$0

Choice Privileges® Mastercard®

Wells Fargo Choice Privileges Mastercard
1x – 5x 5X points on stays at participating Choice Hotels plus on choice privileges point purchases properties, 3X points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plan services and 1X points on other purchases
40,000 points 40,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months7 – enough to redeem for up to 5 reward nights at select Choice Hotels® properties
$0

Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard

Wells Fargo Choice Privileges Select Mastercard
1x – 10x 10X points on stays at participating Choice Hotels® properties plus on Choice Privileges point purchases, 5X points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plan services and 1X points on other purchases
N/A
$95

Citizens Bank presents a trio of primary credit cards. The initial two options consist of a cashback card and a 0% intro card, both of which boast no annual fee. Each card offers distinct rewards, catering to varied preferences and spending habits.

The third card is a premium offering featuring an attractive cashback rate along with an array of travel perks. This premium card extends benefits such as TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry Fee Rebate, access to airport lounges at over 1,300 global airports, and comprehensive travel insurance covering accidents and baggage delays

Card
Rewards
Bonus
Annual Fee

Citizens Cash Back Plus™ World Mastercard®

Citizens Cash Back Plus World Mastercard
1.8% 1.8% cash back on everything you buy
0% Intro APR: 15 billing cycles on balance transfers
$0

Citizens Clear Value® Mastercard®

Citizens Clear Value Mastercard
N/A
0% Intro APR: 18 billing cycles on balance transfers
$0

Citizens Private Client™ World Elite Mastercard®

Citizens Private Client World Elite Mastercard
2% 2% cash back on everything you buy
0% Intro APR: 15 billing cycles on balance transfers
$195

Mortgage And Loans

When it comes to lending products, both banks offer options for borrowers, but they do not include all types of loans.

Wells Fargo lending options include offers mortgages, mortgage refinancing, and home equity loans.  Additionally, they offer personal loans to consolidated dent, auto purchase loans and auto refinancing options.

On the other hand, Citizens Lending Solutions offers mortgage options for homebuyers and HELOC, as well as student loans. 

Which Bank Is Our Winner?

Wells Fargo is our winner in this competition. It offers better savings rates than Citizens Bank, more selection for checking accounts, including options for premium accounts and better credit card redemption options compared to  Citizens Bank. 

But it's important to look at different things, especially those that matter most to you. Think about things like the services the bank offers, help with overdrafts, how often you use ATMs, how close the bank is to you, and other things that are different for each person.

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Understanding Our Banking Comparison Methodology

In our thorough banking comparison, The Smart Investor team carefully reviewed and compared banks across five key categories:

  1. Checking Accounts (30%): We examined features like direct deposit, debit card availability, monthly fees, ATM and branch access, check deposit, bill pay options, and account alerts. We also considered any special offers available to customers.

  2. Savings Accounts and CDs (20%): Our focus was on important factors such as the Annual Percentage Yield (APY), minimum deposit requirements, account flexibility, FDIC insurance coverage, special savings offers, variety of CDs, automatic renewal options, and early withdrawal penalties.

  3. Credit Cards (15%): We analyzed rewards programs, annual fees, introductory bonuses, travel benefits, APR, and balance transfer options offered by each bank's credit cards to provide a comprehensive comparison of available features.

  4. Lending Options (15%): We assessed the variety of loan options provided, including personal loans, student loans, mortgages, secured loans, HELOCs, and Home Equity Loans, offering insights into the banks' lending capabilities.

  5. Customer Experience and Bank Reputation (20%): Our evaluation included an analysis of online banking and mobile app usability and ratings, accessibility of customer support, online reviews, JD Power research, Trustpilot ratings, and overall financial stability, providing a holistic view of customer experience and reputation.

Compare Wells Fargo With Other Banks

Capital One began as a credit card company, but has expanded its line of banking products to rival a traditional bank. Aside from checking and savings accounts, you can also get loan refinancing, auto finance, and children's accounts.

Wells Fargo offers an even broader range of products. There are several checking accounts available, as well as two savings accounts and investment options such as IRAs and 401ks. You can also get loans and mortgages, as well as wealth management services. Wells Fargo is thus a highly comparable alternative to the traditional high street bank.

Read Full Comparison: Capital One vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Wins?

Wells Fargo offers a diverse range of products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, mortgages, and investments such as 401ks, IRAs, and wealth management options.

US Bank offers an even more impressive range of banking services. Savings and checking account options, investments, personal loans, mortgage products, and wealth management are all available.

Read Full Comparison: Wells Fargo vs US Bank: Which Bank Account Is Better?

Both Ally and Wells Fargo have a fairly impressive banking product lineup that would make switching from a traditional high street bank simple.

Ally offers CDs, auto loans, mortgages, investments, and retirement products in addition to checking and savings. The only glaring omission in the lineup is the absence of a credit card.

Wells Fargo's product lineup is even more impressive. Checking and savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and a variety of investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management services are all available.

Read Full Comparison: Ally vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Account Is Better For You?

Both banks offer a good selection of banking products, making it easier to switch from your current bank.

Citi offers CDs, personal loans, mortgages, IRAs, investment options, wealth management plans, and a variety of credit card options in addition to checking and savings accounts.

Wells Fargo provides savings and checking accounts, but it also provides mortgages, loans, and investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management products.

Read Full Comparison: Citi vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Account Is Better?

The Wells Fargo service is even more extensive. Checking accounts, various savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management solutions are all available.

PNC offers checking and savings accounts, home loans, mortgages, investments, student loan refinancing, and a variety of credit cards.

Read full comparison: Wells Fargo vs PNC: Which Bank Account Wins?

Chase and Wells Fargo appear to offer very similar products at first glance, so we need to dig a little deeper. There is little to distinguish the savings accounts, and both banks provide a variety of checking accounts.

While Chase's account maintenance fee is slightly higher, it does have some more interesting features. Chase also has an advantage in terms of CDs, but Wells Fargo is a better option for loans and mortgages.

Read Full Comparison: Chase vs Wells Fargo: Where to Save Your Money?

Wells Fargo offers a diverse range of banking services. Checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, mortgages, wealth management solutions, and investment options such as 401ks and IRAs are all available. Flagstar also offers a diverse product portfolio that includes a variety of checking and savings accounts, investments, home loans, and loans and investments.

It is important to note, however, that Flagstar does not operate in all states. This bank only operates in Michigan, California, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, where it has 150 branches. As a result, if you live outside of these areas, you may be unable to use Flagstar's banking services.

Read Full Comparison: Wells Fargo vs Flagstar: Which Bank Is Better For You?

Wells Fargo's product offering is even more extensive. This bank offers checking accounts, a variety of savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management services. This makes switching from another bank even easier because you'll have access to all of your favorite banking products.

Bank of America offers a diverse range of banking services. Checking and savings accounts, auto loans, home loans, credit cards, and investment options are all available.

Read Full Comparison: Bank of America vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Is Better?

There is no clear winner when comparing Wells Fargo and TD bank, but if we have to pick, TD comes out ahead. Here's why.

TD Bank vs. Wells Fargo: Which Bank Account Is Better?

Wells Fargo offers better savings rates than Truist Bank, more selection for checking accounts and better credit cards. Here's our comparison: Truist Bank vs. Wells Fargo Bank

Fifth Bank may be better than Wells Fargo when it comes to checking accounts, but is it enough? See our complete comparison, and our winner: Wells Fargo Bank vs. Fifth Third Bank

Let's compare savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, credit cards, and lending products offered by Wells Fargo and M&T Bank.

Wells Fargo Bank vs. M&T Bank: Which Bank Account Is Better?

BMO has great options for checking accounts, and outshines Wells Fargo with higher savings rates. But is it our winner? See our comparison: Wells Fargo vs. BMO Bank

We'll explore Wells Fargo and Regions Bank savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, credit cards, and lending products. Here's our winner: Wells Fargo vs. Regions Bank

There is no clear winner between SoFi and Wells Fargo as each bank excels in different areas – but Wells Fargo is our winner. Here's why.

Wells Fargo vs. SoFi: Which Bank Account Is Better?

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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APY on Daily Balances
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