Banking » Compare Banks » Citi vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Account Is Better?
Advertiser Disclosure

This website is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This website does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace. This website may use other proprietary factors to impact card offer listings on the website such as consumer selection or the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval.

This allows us to maintain a full-time, editorial staff and work with finance experts you know and trust. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impacts any of the editorial content on The Smart Investor. While we work hard to provide accurate and up to date information that we think you will find relevant, The Smart Investor does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof.

Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money. All products are presented without warranty.

Citi vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Account Is Better?

Citi offers better rates without Wells Fargo’s large minimum deposit and more credit card options, while Wells Fargo you can borrow up to $100k on a personal loan.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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.

Table Of Content

When Citi Bank Wins?

Both banks have a decent choice of banking products that make it easier to switch from your current bank.

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

citi logo

Citibank can be a better choice than Wells Fargo if:

  • You want better CD rates

  • You are not planning on making more than 6 savings withdrawals in a month

  • You want the best savings rates

  • You want access to a massive selection of credit card options

citi logo

When Wells Fargo Bank Wins?

Wells Fargo offers a choice of savings and checking accounts, but there are also mortgages, loans, and investment options including IRAs, 401ks and wealth management products.

Wells Fargo can be a better choice than Citi if:

  • You’re interested in low deposit mortgages

  • You need a larger personal loan

  • You want access to 24/7 customer service.

Wells_Fargo-Logo
Wells_Fargo-Logo
Citi Bank
Wells Fargo
Savings Accounts
Checking Accounts
CDs
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Credit Cards
Personal Loans
Mortgage
Government Mortgage
Business Loans
Investing Capabilities

Savings Account

Both accounts have monthly maintenance fees, but while the Wells Fargo fee is slightly more, the waiver criteria is a little more flexible. However, Citi does offer far better rates on its savings account. You can earn four times the rate of Wells Fargo with no minimum deposit. However, overall – both rates are pretty low compared to national average.

Citi also allows you to earn rewards if you link your Citi checking account with your savings and the auto save function assists you to reach your savings goals.

Both Citi and Wells Fargo have other savings packages if the basic account does not meet your needs. 

Citi Bank
Wells Fargo
APY
3.85%
0.15% – 2.51%
Fees
$4.50/$10 per month Can be waived if you maintain an average combined monthly balance of $500/$1,500 in your eligible accounts, make one enhanced direct deposit or one qualifying bill payment per statement period
$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
Minimum Deposit
$0
$25
Checking Needed?
Yes
No
Main Benefits
  • Earn rewards by linking your savings account to your Citi checking account
  • Auto save function & other savings package
  • Option to upgrade to Platinum Savings
  • Automatic transfer options

Checking Account

The Citi and Wells Fargo checking accounts are quite similar. Neither account is interest bearing and both carry a maintenance fee with similar waiver criteria. However, while Citi has no minimum deposit requirements, Wells Fargo requires $25 to open an account.

When it comes to features, the account similarities continue. Both accounts offer access to overdraft services and check writing is included. However, Wells Fargo does allow customers to upgrade or downgrade checking accounts to access the feature set that best suits their needs.

Citi Bank
Wells Fargo
APY
0.01%
0.05% – 0.10%
Fees
$12 Can be waived if you make one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment per statement period, maintain a combined balance of $1,500 per month across your eligible accounts or if you’re aged 62
$10 Related to Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. The fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month. The fee is also waived if you’re 17 to 24 and have a linked Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card or Campus ATM card linked to the checking account
Minimum Deposit
$0
$25
Main Benefits
  • Overdraft protection with auto transfer from your savings account
  • Unlimited check writing
  • ATM network with 65,000+ fee free machines
  • 12,000 Wells Fargo ATMs and 4,900 Wells Fargo branches
  • Check writing
  • Choose your overdraft options
  • Upgrade or downgrade with Clear Access or Portfolio checking

CDs

This is an area where Citi has a clear edge. While Wells Fargo has a minimum deposit requirement of $2,500, Citi allows you to open an account with any deposit.

Additionally, while Wells Fargo only offers 0.50% – 4.26% depending on your deposit amount, Citi offers a 0.05% – 4.30%. The interest rates are weighted to encourage customers to take on longer terms, if you sign up for a five year CD. 

Here as well, both banks offer lower than average rates when it comes to CDs.

Citi Bank
Wells Fargo
Minimum Deposit
$500 – $2,500
$2,500
APY Range
0.05% – 4.30%
0.50% – 4.26%

Credit Cards

Citi has a massive selection of credit cards. Many of the cards have no annual fee and offer a welcome bonus, you just need to ensure that you make the spending minimum by the time limit or you’ll miss out. The Citi Simplicity Card is exceptionally long interest-free periods for purchases. For the first 18 months, new customers pay no interest on all purchases and balance transfers.

Within the first three months of Citi Rewards+SM Card signing up, new users can earn up to 20,000 points on purchases of up to $1,000. When you shop at supermarkets and gas stations, you'll get 2x points up to $6,000, and you'll get one point for every $1 you spend on net purchases. Anyone with bad credit or no credit at all will find the Citi Secured Mastercard to be very helpful. It allows you to put down a deposit equal to your credit line when you sign up, allowing you to easily build a strong credit score from there. 

Citi also has a choice of partnership cards. The list of partner brands includes Costco, Expedia, AT&T, and American Airlines. 

Wells Fargo has fewer card options, but there are some great cards. Active Cash has 0% APR for 15 months and a $200 welcome bonus if you spend $1,000 on your card in the first 90 days. You’ll earn 2% cash back on your card spending with no limits or categories. 

The Hotels.com card is a great choice for travelers. You’ll earn stamps for eligible stays and purchases and 10 stamps can be exchanged for one reward night. The card has no annual fee and there is an introductory bonus of two free reward nights if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days after opening your account.

Finally, the Reflect card offers 0% APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers. However, there is a possibility of extending this for a further three months if you make your minimum payments on time.

Mortgage

Both banks have a great selection of mortgage products. Citi has home loans for buying, refinancing, or accessing equity. The bank allows prequalification to make it easier when home shopping. New home loan customers can also qualify for a welcome bonus. You can either access a lower interest rate or receive a $500 credit towards your closing costs.

Wells Fargo also has a choice of mortgages including fixed rate loans, FHA loans, and VA loans. However, a nice feature of Wells Fargo home loans is the potential for only needing a small down payment. Fixed rate loans require a downpayment of 3% or more, while FHA loans need at least 3.5%.

Wells Fargo also offers home equity finance packages that allow you to borrow up to 80% of the property value less any outstanding mortgage, secured loans or liens. These deals are available for up to $500,000.

Loans

Citi offers personal loans for up to $30k. You can take your loan with up to a 60 month term. You can qualify for lower rates depending on your credit rating, but all customers can qualify for a rare discount if they sign up for Auto Deduct. The loan process is straightforward and you can expect a check to be mailed within five business days of receiving approval. Don’t forget to link your eligible Citi checking account and you’ll get Thank You points.

Wells Fargo offers a variety of loan products including student loans, auto loans and personal loans for up to $100k. Personal loans are available with a term of up to 84 months, with no origination fees, closing fees or prepayment penalties. Wells Fargo also offers relationship discounts for qualified customers.

Customer Service

Citi has multiple phone lines that relate to specific banking areas. You can also get stock answers to common queries on the website help page. You can also use the website to direct message the customer support team or use the QR code with your phone to send a message.

Wells Fargo also has a detailed support section on its website, but you can also use the general banking helpline that is open 24/7 to speak to a customer service agent.

Unfortunately, neither bank scores particularly well on consumer review sites. Citi has a poor 1.4/5 rating on Trustpilot, while Wells Fargo scores a modest 2.3 out of 5.

Online/Digital Experience

Both banks offer an app for iOS or Android devices. The Citi mobile app is rated 4.9/5 on Apple and 4.7/5 on Google, while Wells Fargo’s app is rated 4.8/5 on both platforms.

However, if you prefer, the banks also have a decent website. The designs are clean to make a great user experience. Citi’s website is particularly intuitive, making it easy to select and compare credit card options to find which card is best suited to your needs and preferences.

Which Bank is The Winner?

Both Citi and Wells Fargo are reputable institutions, so which bank is better?

While both banks offer similar products, there are some key differences. For example, Wells Fargo may have fewer credit card options, but you can borrow up to $100k on a personal loan, compared to the $30k maximum offered by Citi.

Another stand out is in the CD products, where Citi offers better rates without Wells Fargo’s large minimum deposit.

Wells_Fargo-Logo
citi logo
The Smart Investor Logo
APY Savings The annual percentage yield (APY) is a percentage that represents the amount of money or interest earned on your savings account over the course of a year. The APY factored in compound interest. A savings calculator can help you quickly determine how much you'll earn with a given APY.
0.15% – 2.51%
3.85%
Up to 5.02%
Checking Fee The monthly fee on checking account
$10 Related to Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. The fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month. The fee is also waived if you’re 17 to 24 and have a linked Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card or Campus ATM card linked to the checking account
$12 Can be waived if you make one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment per statement period, maintain a combined balance of $1,500 per month across your eligible accounts or if you’re aged 62
Compare Banking
Mobile App Rating
4.8/5 on iOS
4.6/5 on Android
4.9/5 on iOS
4.7/5 on Android
Various Banks
Open Account
on Wells Fargo website
Open Account
on Citi website
Compare
on our website

FAQs

Citi offers new customers up to $200 – $2,000] for opening a new personal checking account, as of April 2023. Learn more about the Citi new account bonus promotions.

Yes, Wells Fargo offers bank promotions for new accounts as well as on a variety of credit cards.  As of April 2023 , you can get up to $325, based on your minimum deposit.

If you want to take control of your finances and start working on rebuilding your credit, Citi offers some basic accounts. The Citi Secured Mastercard, on the other hand, is one of the best products for people with bad credit. A security deposit of at least $200 is required, and this refundable deposit will be used to determine your credit limit. Then you can use your card to make regular payments.

Your card activity will be reported to the major credit bureaus to assist you in beginning to rebuild your credit report. The card has no annual fee, and account ownership gives you online access to your FICO score, allowing you to track your progress.

Citi, like many traditional banks, has a branch network that, while convenient for customers, adds to the bank's overhead costs. In contrast to fully online banks, which only require physical buildings for administrative purposes, Citi must pay to staff, operate, and maintain each of its branches.

This is reflected in its interest rates, which are lower when compared to those of a fully online bank. You do, however, have the option of calling your local branch if you require face-to-face assistance with a query.

Wells Fargo is a large bank and it does offer some great options for teen customers, including checking account options and savings plans. There are also some excellent resources to help teenagers to develop their money management skills and learn some financial responsibility.

Since there are also some great college student accounts, it makes it easy to transition to an account with more features as and when you need it.

In addition to learning resources to help you to take proactive steps to improve your credit, Wells Fargo has some products that are suitable for those with bad credit. The basic Clear Access checking account has no overdraft fees and can help you to manage your money.

You can obtain a debit card with this account, but you cannot write checks. There is a $5 monthly service fee, but it is possible to have this waived if you are under 25.

Review Alternative Banks

Banking Reviews

Compare More

The Chase and Citi checking accounts both have no minimum deposit and a monthly account maintenance fee of $12. This can also be waived with a balance of $1,500 or more, or with qualifying deposits.

Furthermore, both have a very impressive selection of more than credit card options.

Read Full Comparison: Chase vs Citi: Which Bank Account Wins?

CIT Bank has a banking product line that rivals that of traditional banks. Savings accounts, CDs, an eChecking account, home loans, and mortgages are all available. The main shortfalls in this lineup are the lack of personal loans and a credit card option.

Citibank has a credit card background, but that doesn't mean it has a limited banking product line. Citi offers home loans, personal loans, lines of credit, wealth management options, and investments, as well as everyday and premium banking services.

Read Full Comparison: CIT Bank vs Citi: Which Bank Account Suits You Best?

The Citi checking account is a fairly standard product. The account does have a $12 monthly fee, but it is waived if you make a qualifying deposit or make a qualifying bill payment. Overdraft protection is also available, which automatically transfers funds from your savings account to avoid overdraft fees.

Because the American Express savings account has a high yield, the number of withdrawals or transfers you can make each month is limited to nine. It's also a nice touch that American Express allows you to choose paper statements if you prefer the old-fashioned way.

Read Full Comparison: American Express vs Citi: Where to Save Your Money?

Citi offers an excellent range of banking products that cover the majority of your financial needs.

Personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, investment options, IRAs, and wealth management plans are available in addition to savings and checking accounts. Barclays' product line is more streamlined. This bank offers credit cards, savings accounts, credit cards, and personal loans.

The most obvious product gap is the absence of a checking account. As a result, Barclays becomes more of a supplementary bank rather than your primary day-to-day financial institution.

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

Bank of America is a large banking institution, and its impressive banking product line reflects this. Aside from savings and checking accounts, there are home loans, auto loans, investment options, and a variety of credit cards. Citi also has a diverse product offering. Credit cards, CDs, personal loans, mortgages, IRAs, investment options, wealth management plans, and checking and savings accounts are all available.

As a result, if you want to switch from your current bank, either bank is a viable option because you won't have to make any compromises in terms of banking products.

Read Full Comparison: Bank of America vs Citi: Which Bank Suits You Best?

Discover began as a credit card company and has since expanded into banking services. As a result, it stands to reason that Discover would offer a diverse range of credit cards. Discover offers a simpler checking account. There are no account fees or minimum deposits, and you can earn 0.40 percent.

Citi offers home loans, personal loans, lines of credit, wealth management options, and investments, as well as everyday and premium banking services. This exemplifies Citi's viability as a viable alternative to the traditional high-street bank.

Read Full Comparison: Discover vs Citi: Compare Banking Options

Capital One began as a credit card company, but it has recently expanded its banking product line. Capital One offers checking and savings accounts, children's accounts, auto finance and refinancing, in addition to an impressive selection of credit cards.

Citi offers a diverse range of banking products, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, credit card options, mortgages, personal loans, wealth management plans, IRAs, and investment options.

Read Full Comparison: Citi vs Capital One: Which Bank is Best For You?

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?

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'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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Banking Reviews
Best Banking Accounts

Table of Contents