Wells Fargo Expands $7 Checking Account Fee to Six States

Wells Fargo is expanding its $7 a month fee for checking accounts to six more states as it moves forward with eliminating free checking to more customers.
Wells Fargo, which has branches in 39 states, has now added Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania to the list of states where customers who had free checking accounts will now have to pay.
However, the $7 service fee for the Essential Checking account will be waived for customers who maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance or those who make direct deposits of $500 or more each month. Customers can also get a $2 discount on the fee by choosing to only receive online statements.
Wells Fargo haled free checking accounts to new customers in 2010, but existing customers were able to maintain their free accounts.  Then last year, the bank transitioned a group of existing customers in Western states.
The bank has not said how many additional states will be subject to the $7 checking account fee.
The new monthly fee will become effective May 4 in the six states, written up on June statements – if the waiver requirements are not met.
The nation’s largest banks are still looking to recoup reduced revenues from new regulatory limits on “swipe fees” that they can charge merchants for card transactions.
Bank of America is testing new checking account fees that would go into effect, unless customers agree to certain conditions, such as banking online.

One thought on “Wells Fargo Expands $7 Checking Account Fee to Six States

  • March 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    For the past few years the four mega-banks have claimed they must eliminate free checking as they are losing money from these accounts. They need to start charging for checking accounts to replace the lost fee income from recent overdraft legislation, the rollback in debit card interchange, and the anticipated compliance costs of the Dodd-Frank law.
    Okay, so Wells Fargo replaces Free Checking with an Essentials account with a $7 monthly fee.
    Yet, Wells Fargo stated that the bank expects 80% of its customers to waive the monthly fee by keeping a minimum balance and taking other actions.
    If 80% of these formerly free checking customers won’t be paying the $5 or $7 monthly fee, then the “we need more fee revenue argument” appears to be false. It’s a red herring.

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