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

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.
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: January 1, 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: January 1, 2024

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

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Wells Fargo stands out as one of the leading traditional banks with a significant presence, whereas SoFi Bank distinguishes itself as one of the top-performing online banks.

Now, let's check out and compare their savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, credit cards, and loans.

Checking Accounts

Wells Fargo is our winner as it offers various checking account options and various features, including premium accounts. SoFi has a decent checking account with many features to manage your money and even interest on the balance.

SoFi's Checking and Savings accounts offer innovative features to enhance financial experiences. Enrolling in their online checking account, which includes a savings component, allows users to receive paychecks up to two days early through direct deposit.

Users can earn up to 15% cash back on local purchases when using the SoFi debit card at qualifying businesses.

Bank Account
Monthly Fee
APY On Balance
SoFi's Checking and Savings
$0
0.50%

Wells Fargo has different personal checking accounts for people. There's Clear Access Banking with lower fees, Everyday Checking, which is the standard choice, and Prime Checking and Premier Checking for those who want extra features.

Although there are monthly fees, customers can avoid them in different 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

Wells Fargo app provides an access to your credit score, including historical trends:

Wells Fargo credit score
(Screenshot from Wells Fargo app)

SoFi provides overdraft coverage up to $50 with no fees for accidental overspending, contingent on direct deposits of at least $1,000.

Access to a vast network of 55,000+ ATMs ensures convenient fund retrieval. Additionally, the accounts facilitate automatic roundups on all debit card purchases, directing the accumulated roundups to a savings Vault for further growth.

SoFi streamlines financial management through a comprehensive app that enables bill payments, check deposits, money transfers, and digital wallet management.

Bank Account
Main Features
SoFi Checking and Savings
Get paid up to two days early, 55,000+ ATMs, debit card, overdraft coverage with no fees, cash back on local purchases

In the following screenshot, we can see how users can see their last transaction on both SoFi checking and savings: 

SoFi checking see last transactions
(Screenshot from SoFi)
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Fees:
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Up to 3.30% APY
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Promotion:
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With Chase Overdraft AssistSM, you won’t be charged an Overdraft Fee if you’re overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day OR if you’re overdrawn by more than $50 and you bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day

UpgradeLogo

Fees:
No monthly fees No monthly fees and no overdraft fees. Plus get reimbursed for ATM fees with an active account 
Rewards:
Up to 2% cash back Up to 2% cash back on common everyday expenses for active accounts with monthly $1,000 direct deposit, and up to 1% cash back for other purchases 
Promotion:
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Up to 3.30% APY
to get the maximum rate (up to $50,000) you'll need monthly direct deposits of $1,500 (0.40% APY), 10 transaction on your debit card (+0.30% APY), average daily balance of $2,500 on Axos Invest Managed Portfolio (+1.00% APY), average daily balance of $2,500 on Axos Invest Self Directed Trading Account(+1.00% APY) and make full monthly payment on loans (mortgage, personal and auto) with Axos account (+0.60% APY).

Promotion:
Up to $4,000 New customers may earn up to $4,000 when they open an eligible HSBC Premier checking account from January 8, 2024 through March 27, 2024 and complete qualifying activities:

• Receive a cash bonus of $1,500 when you deposit or invest $100,000 – $199,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,000 when you deposit or invest $200,000 – $299,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,500 when you deposit or invest $300,000 – 499,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $3,500 when you deposit or invest $500,000+

• Earn an extra $500 when you set up recurring monthly Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 for 3 months
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Savings Accounts

When it comes to savings accounts, SoFi Bank is a clear winner.

SoFi's savings account helps you save money in two cool ways. First, it rounds up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and puts the extra change into a special savings vault. Second, it has a feature called AutoSave that automatically sets aside a part of your paycheck for savings without you having to do anything. 

Like many other brick-and-mortar banks, Wells Fargo offers relatively low interest rates on savings accounts, far below what you can find on other savings accounts.  

SoFi Savings
Chase Premier Savings
Savings Rate
up to 4.60%
0.01% – 0.02%
Minimum Deposit
$0
$25
Fees
$0
$25 per month Can be waived if you carry $300 account balance at the start of the month, $25+ autosave or linking a Chase checking account
Wells Fargo open Platinum Savings
Wells Fargo open Platinum Savings (Screenshot from Wells Fargo app)

Certificate Of Deposits (CDs)

SoFi Bank doesn't offer CDs at this moment. On the other hand, Wells Fargo does – but there are limitations.

However, Wells Fargo Bank offers high rates only on specific CD terms.

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
4.50% – 4.51%
1 month interest
6 Months
2.50% – 2.51%
3 months interest
12 Months
1.50% – 2.01%
6 months interest

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 SoFi Bank.

Wells Fargo has a variety of credit cards to fit different needs. If you like getting cash back, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is a great option. It gives you unlimited cash back on your purchases and a bonus in cash rewards.

If you're into everyday spending and travel, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card is designed with you in mind. And if you need a card with a 0% introductory APR, the Reflect card is the one for you.

On top of that, there's the Choice Privileges Mastercard from Wells Fargo. With this card, you can earn points for staying at specific Choice Hotels. Plus, you get points for buying gas, groceries, home improvement items, and phone plans using 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

SoFi Credit Card offers unlimited 2% cash back rewards on all purchases, and 3% cash back on trips booked through SoFi Travel.

Beyond cash back, the card provides additional benefits, including Zero Fraud Liability Protection, ID Theft Protection, and no annual fee. Users can enjoy global transactions without foreign transaction fees.

The card also includes Mastercard World Elite Benefits, and users receive up to $1,000 of complimentary cell phone insurance coverage.

Card
Rewards
Bonus
Annual Fee

SoFi credit card

SoFi Credit Card
1-3% 3% cash back rewards on trips booked through SoFi Travel. After that, earn 2% unlimited cash back on purchases when redeemed toward investing, saving, or paying down an eligible loan with SoFi
N/A
$0

Mortgage And Loans

When it comes to options for borrowers, SoFi offers better lending options.

SoFi and Wells Fargo Bank provide mortgages for homebuyers, mortgage refinancing, auto loan refinance, and personal loans. 

However, SoFi also offers student loans, and student loan refinancing, all of which are not available through Wells Fargo Bank.

SoFi personal loan view rate on app
(Screenshot from SoFi app)

Which Bank Is Our Winner?

There is no clear winner as each bank excels in different areas – but if we have to pick one, Wells Fargo is our winner.

Wells Fargo Bank is a brick-and-mortar bank, that wins when it comes to a number of branches, checking accounts, and credit cards. SoFi, one of the most popular online banks, is best for savings rates and lending options.

However, it is crucial to assess various factors, primarily focusing on those that are significant for your specific needs. This could include banking services, overdraft assistance, frequent ATM usage, proximity to bank locations, and other elements that vary from person to person.

Compare SoFi With Alternative Banks

Spend and Save is a SoFi savings and checking account hybrid. For the purposes of this comparison, we'll look at the savings features, of which there are a few. The most visible are the savings vaults. These enable you to set up separate funds to work toward different savings goals without the need for multiple accounts. This helps you organize your money, and you can even designate a vault for your round-up funds.

Bank of America offers a more traditional savings account, but it pays far less interest, ranging from 0.01 percent to 0.04 percent depending on your Preferred Rewards status, compared to SoFi's 0.25 percent. In addition, there is a $8 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived by keeping a balance of $500 or more in the account or linking your checking account. By linking your accounts, you can avoid going overdrawn with Balance Connect.

Read Full Comparison: SoFi Money vs Bank of America: Which Is Better For Your Needs?

SoFi has developed a respectable banking product line. Aside from its hybrid savings and checking account, it also offers mortgages, loans, and investment products. The only thing missing from the offering is a traditional savings account and CDs.

Since its inception as a credit card provider, Discover has come a long way. Of course, credit cards are available, but you can also get home loans, personal loans, and a variety of checking and savings products such as retirement accounts, CDs, and money market accounts.

Read Full Comparison: SoFi Money vs Discover: Which Online Banking Suits You Best?

Since the bank's inception, the SoFi product line has come a long way. You can now get access to investment products, mortgages, and loans, in addition to its hybrid checking and savings account. SoFi even offers insurance. The only thing missing from this bank are CDs and traditional savings accounts.

Ally offers a much broader range of traditional banking products. In addition to checking, savings, and CD accounts, there are investment and retirement products, mortgages, auto loans, and personal loans available.

Read Full Comparison: SoFi Money vs Ally Bank: Compare Banking Options

Marcus is a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, which is reflected in its banking products. Marcus provides high-yielding savings and CDs, as well as investment options and a variety of loans. This does not, however, include a checking account.

SoFi's banking products are more akin to those of traditional banks. While there are no checking or savings accounts available, rather a hybrid account, you can access loans, mortgages, and investment products. SoFi also offers insurance. CDs and traditional savings accounts, on the other hand, are not available in the SoFi catalog.

Read Full Comparison: Marcus vs SoFi Money: Which Banking Service Is Better?

SoFi offers a Spend and Save account that is part savings account and part checking account. You can earn 0.25 percent on your entire balance, but you can also establish savings vaults. These are separate funds within the account that allow you to allocate funds to various savings goals. This allows you to save for both short and long-term goals without having to manage multiple savings accounts.

Varo, on the other hand, has a more traditional savings account that offers an impressive up to 3% interest rate. Higher rates are available if you keep a savings balance of $5,000 or more or receive $1,000 or more in direct deposits during the qualifying period.

Read Full Comparison: SoFi vs Varo Bank: Which Account Is Better For Your Money?

SoFi's online Spend and Save account, like the Chime online checking account, is fee-free, but it has some different checking account features. Chime, for example, offers a $200 fee-free overdraft facility subject to terms, whereas SoFi provides cash back if you have recurring direct deposits of $500 or more each month.

Read Full Comparison: SoFi vs Chime: Which Online Banking Wins?

Upgrade and SoFi Bank offer various online banking products, including checking, savings, and credit cards. Let's compare them side by side: Upgrade vs. SoFi Bank

Chase Bank is our winner with a complete package of banking services. SoFi is best for savings rates, online experience, and lending options.

Chase vs. SoFi: Which Bank Account Is Better?

PNC Bank is our winner with a complete package of banking services. SoFi is best for savings rates, online experience, and lending options.

PNC Bank vs. SoFi Bank: Compare Banking Options

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

While Wells Fargo Bank and Citizens Bank offer a range of banking services, Wells Fargo is our winner in this competition. Here's why.

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

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

How We Compared Wells Fargo and SoFi: Methodology

In our comprehensive banking comparison, The Smart Investor team meticulously reviewed and compared banks across five vital categories:

  1. Checking Accounts (30%): We thoroughly examined features such as direct deposit, debit card availability, monthly fees, ATM and branch access, check deposit, bill pay options, and account alerts. Special offers available to customers were also taken into account.

  2. Savings Accounts and CDs (20%): Our focus centered on critical factors including 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 carefully analyzed rewards programs, annual fees, introductory bonuses, travel benefits, APR, and balance transfer options provided by each bank's credit cards to offer a comprehensive comparison of available features.

  4. Lending Options (15%): We evaluated the variety of loan options offered, encompassing personal loans, student loans, mortgages, secured loans, HELOCs, and Home Equity Loans, providing valuable insights into the banks' lending capabilities.

  5. Customer Experience and Bank Reputation (20%): Our assessment 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, delivering a holistic perspective on customer experience and reputation.

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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Chase Overdraft Assist
With Chase Overdraft AssistSM, you won’t be charged an Overdraft Fee if you’re overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day OR if you’re overdrawn by more than $50 and you bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day

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Up to 3.30% APY
to get the maximum rate (up to $50,000) you’ll need monthly direct deposits of $1,500 (0.40% APY), 10 transaction on your debit card (+0.30% APY), average daily balance of $2,500 on Axos Invest Managed Portfolio (+1.00% APY), average daily balance of $2,500 on Axos Invest Self Directed Trading Account(+1.00% APY) and make full monthly payment on loans (mortgage, personal and auto) with Axos account (+0.60% APY).

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• Receive a cash bonus of $2,000 when you deposit or invest $200,000 – $299,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,500 when you deposit or invest $300,000 – 499,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $3,500 when you deposit or invest $500,000+

• Earn an extra $500 when you set up recurring monthly Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 for 3 months
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Get access to wealth products, insights and advice from an HSBC Financial Professional through HSBC Securities (USA) Inc
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