Wells Fargo often has checking account promotions, but unlike some other big banks, Wells Fargo’s promotions are often targeted to recipients of mail offers or are limited to just certain areas of the country. That’s the case with this current promotion. According to the offer’s small print, the offer is limited to Sacramento, Orlando and Salt Lake City areas. If you’re not in one of these areas, you might want to still call a local branch to see if they could offer something similar.
For those who are eligible, the promotion offers a $100 bonus for opening a Wells Fargo Checking Package. The offer is scheduled to expire on November 2, 2013. Here’s the link to the Wells Fargo promotions page. Below is a summary of what’s required to receive the bonus:
- Visit a participating banking location and mention GET100 (must be a new consumer checking customer).
- Open a Wells Fargo Checking Package and fund it with at least $50
- Make 10 purchases or payments with your debit card in the next 60 days.
After you complete the above steps, $100 will be deposited into your account within 45 days. Below is the offer’s small print. I’ve highlighted the availability information:
- All Wells Fargo Checking Packages are eligible for this offer, including non-interest-earning checking package checking accounts. Teen Checking account, Wells Fargo Value Checking account, and business checking accounts are not eligible for this offer.
- Offer available only at participating Wells Fargo banking locations in the Sacramento, Orlando and Salt Lake City areas.
- Offer may not:
- Be combined with any other offer — limit one $100 bonus per customer.
- Be given to customers who have received any cash or cash equivalent bonus from Wells Fargo in the past 12 months.
- Be given to Wells Fargo team members.
- New consumer checking customers must have a taxpayer identification number on file. The value of the bonus will be reported as income to the IRS, state and local tax authorities, if required by applicable law, and customer is responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes due on the bonus.
Checking Account Fees
The downside with these big banks checking account promotions is that you’ll get into a high-fee checking account that may cost you more money than you’ll make with the promotion. All of the checking accounts that qualify for this bonus have monthly service fees unless you meet the requirements for fee waiver.
The best qualifying checking account package in my opinion is the Way2Save Checking Package. The checking account has a monthly service fee of $10 with online-only statements ($12 with paper statements). To have this fee waived, any one of the following is required:
- Maintain a $2,000 minimum daily balance, OR
- Qualifying direct deposits totaling $750 or more each statement cycle, OR
- 10 debit card purchases and/or payments each statement cycle from this checking account
The Way2Save Savings account has a $5 monthly service fee. This can be waived when you choose at least one of the following:
- Maintain a $300 minimum daily balance, OR
- Set up $25 monthly automatic transfer from your Way2Save Checking account to this savings account, OR
- Set up $1 daily automatic transfer (every business day) from your Way2Save Checking account to this savings account, OR
- Set up the Save As You Go transfer option from your Way2Save Checking account to this savings account
The Way2Save program was started at Wachovia before it was acquired by Wells Fargo. This Way2Saves program used to be a good deal in which you could earn some decent interest on small balances. That is no longer the case with this current Way2Save program at Wells Fargo.
Potential Issues with Wells Fargo Bonuses?
Back in 2010 when I reported on a $50 Wells Fargo promotion, DA member ekat shared his experience with Wells Fargo:
Beware: They typically do hard pulls for ANYthing. I've had accounts with them for decades, yet when I opened a CD they still did a hard pull. ??!!?
On the other hand, (maybe because of my history w/them) on the rare occasion of a fee occurring, they've credited it back as a courtesy when I've telephoned them to request the consideration.
Another reader described the problems he had with the promotion:
I tried this $50 bonus deal. After 4 months of no bonus (accruing ridiculous service fees), several phone calls to the specific customer service rep who created my account, and additional calls to the "Exec Office" I was never given the $50 bonus. They claimed I had exceeded the 45 day window to notify them if I didn't get the bonus. The fact that I had called 6 times (most assuredly at least once within that window) didn't seem to matter.
If you do decide to open the account, be sure to keep copies of the promotion requirements. If the banker doesn’t provide you any, take a snapshot of the promotion page. If you have participated in a Wells Fargo checking account promotions in the past, please take our Wells Fargo bonus poll to let us know Wells Fargo’s record on honoring its promotions.