Banking

Bank of America Vs Chase Vs Wells Fargo: Which Is the Best Bank?

· Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo offer savings, checking, and CD options. You may need to meet balance requirements to avoid fees
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  • Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo have the most bank locations in the US.
  • Wells Fargo makes it the easiest to waive monthly service fees on a checking account.
  • Bank of America beats Wells Fargo and Chase when comparing savings accounts and CDs.

It might not be a surprise that the three biggest financial institutions in the US are Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo. If you’re searching for a brick-and-mortar bank experience, these three are easily some of the first that come to mind for their national presence.

But could one bank be better suited to you over the other two? Maybe.

We’ve compared checking, savings, and CDs to see which bank offers the most compelling products. We’re also comparing financial institutions in trustworthiness so you can see if it plays a factor in your selection.

Pros and cons of Bank of America

Pros and cons of Chase

Pros and cons of Wells Fargo

Bank of America vs. Chase vs. Wells Fargo checking account comparisons

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We’ve compared three basic checking accounts offered by each bank. You may not need to pay monthly service fees on these accounts if you qualify to waive them.

Winner: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo makes it easier to waive monthly service fees than Chase or Bank of America. You might still want to consider Chase or Bank of America if you’d like to earn a bonus for opening a new account, though.

Bank of America vs. Chase vs. Wells Fargo savings account comparisons

Most brick-and-mortar banks pay a low interest rates on savings accounts. If you’d like to earn a rate that’s higher than the national average, consider looking over our best savings accounts guide.

Winner: Bank of America

The Bank of America Advantage Savings Account stands out from the other savings accounts because you won’t have to worry about monthly service fees during the first six months. After that, there are still many ways to waive the fee with Bank of America. But if you don’t qualify to waive monthly service fees at any bank, Chase and Wells Fargo have lower fees.

Bank of America vs. Chase vs. Wells Fargo CD comparisons

Winner: Bank of America

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When it comes to CDs, it might be a bit of a toss-up between Chase and Bank of America — Wells Fargo doesn’t have a lot of options and requires a high minimum opening deposit. Bank of America narrowly wins over Chase for two reasons: It offers more CD terms and has lower early withdrawal penalties for CDs under five years.

Which bank is the most trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau rates businesses according to how they respond to customer issues.

The BBB gave Bank of America an A+ rating, Wells Fargo has an NR (“No Rating”), and Chase a B- rating. Wells Fargo currently has an NR rating because it is responding to previously closed complaints, and Chase has a B- rating due to government action taken against the business.

A good BBB rating doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship with a bank will be smooth. Talk to current customers or read online customer reviews to get a well-rounded perspective of a bank.

Read more: What Is a Custodial Account? Investment Accounts for Kids  | Ally

All three banks have also been involved in public scandals over the last few years.

Here are cases Bank of America has recently been involved in:

  • In 2020, the Department of Justice said Bank of America broke the law by denying home loans to adults with disabilities based on their disability. Bank of America paid around $300,000 in the settlement to people who were denied loans, and the bank was also required to implement a new non-discriminatory policy.
  • In 2019, the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program said Bank of America discriminated against women, Black, and Hispanic applications in the hiring process. The bank had to pay $4.2 million in back wages in the settlement.

Chase has been in the following cases:

  • In 2020, JP Morgan Chase & Co. paid the Department of Justice $920 million in a settlement that said the bank was involved in wrongful trading.
  • In 2020, the US Department of Labor said JP Morgan Chase & Co. broke the law by underpaying women. The bank was required to pay $800,000 in back wages in the settlement and provide a total of $9 million for compensation adjustments over the next five years.

Wells Fargo has been in the following cases:

  • In 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency issued a cease and desist order against Wells Fargo because the OCC said the bank’s compliance risk management program had unsafe business practices.
  • In 2020, Wells Fargo paid billions in settlements when accused of having employees create unauthorized bank accounts to meet unreachable sales goals.
  • In 2019, Wells Fargo paid $10 million in a settlement with the city of Philadelphia that accused the bank of engaging in predatory mortgage lending among racial minorities.
  • In 2019, Wells Fargo paid $10 million in a settlement with the California Department of Insurance that said the bank signed and charged 1,500 customers on insurance products without their authorization.

Winner: Tie

All three banks have been involved in public controversies. Think about banking with a mission-driven bank if you’d prefer to bank with a financial institution that hasn’t been a part of recent settlements.

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