Capital One vs Wells Fargo (Which is Better?)

When we talk about the best banks in the United States, rarely, someone doesn’t mention the names of Capital One and Wells Fargo. It’s possible to get loans and mortgages from both of these places. They also offer customer accounts and credit/debit services.

However, when we compare them head to head, Capital One moves far ahead in terms of everything. It has more ATMs, better customer support, and even higher interest rates in its savings and CD accounts. Moreover, the minimum deposit amount and monthly account maintenance fees for all account types are $0.

But Wells Fargo has better offline support with a massive network of over 4,900+ branches and even a $0 stop payment fee.

Let’s look at their comparison at a glance in the table below.

Capital One vs Wells Fargo: Overview

FeatureCapital OneWells Fargo
Checking Monthly Fee$0$10
Checking Minimum Deposit$0$25
Savings Monthly Fee$0$5
Savings Return0.40% Annually0.01%
CD Earning1 Year 0.60%, 5 Year 1.00%1 Year 0.01%,
CD Minimum Deposit$0$2,500
Phone Hours24 Hours24 Hours
Overdraft FeeOverdraft Fee $0$35, limit 3 per day

Capital One is a far better bank in almost every way when compared to Wells Fargo. However, there are a few tidbits where it lags.

For example, Capital One has only 320 branches in the US as compared to Wells Fargo which has over 4,900 branches. Moreover, the stop payment fee is $25, which is free in the case of Wells Fargo customers.

As far as other aspects are concerned, the annual rates in savings and CD accounts are higher in Capital One. Moreover, they have a $0 minimum deposit amount and monthly account maintenance fees (across all account types).

Who is Capital One for?

Capital One is for those customers who prefer convenience, superior customer support, better annual return rates, and zero extra charges/fees.

Pros of being a Capital One Customer:

  • A vast number of ATMs (60,000+)
  • Higher APY rates
  • $0 minimum deposit amount
  • 24/7 customer support
  • $0 monthly account maintenance fees
  • $0 overdraft fee

Cons of being a Capital One Customer:

  • A limited number of branches in the US (320+)
  • High stop payment fees ($25)

Who is Wells Fargo for?

Customers who want better offline support and the convenience of more branches can choose Wells Fargo for opening their accounts.

Also, with Wells Fargo, the stop payment fee is $0.

Pros of being a Wells Fargo Customer:

  • More number of branches (4,900+)
  • No stop payment fee
  • Privileges to teenage account holders

Cons of being a Wells Fargo Customer:

  • Low APY rates, both in Savings as well as CD accounts
  • Average Customer Support
  • The minimum deposit amounts are high
  • The monthly account maintenance fees are also very high

Capital One vs Wells Fargo: Checking Account Comparison

Checking AccountCapital OneWells Fargo
Monthly Fee$0$10
Minimum Opening Deposit  $0$25
APY Rate0.10%0.00%
You can Waive Wells Fargo fee by having direct deposits worth $500 or more monthly and by maintaining a daily balance of at least $500

The monthly account maintenance fee, the minimum account opening deposit amount and the APY rates are all in favor of Capital One. With zero fees and a higher APY rate, Capital One is the best option for opening a checking account.

Capital One vs Wells Fargo: Savings Account Comparison

Savings AccountCapital OneWells Fargo
Monthly Maintenance Fee$0$5
Minimum Deposit Fee$0$25
You can waive Wells Fargo fee by having an average balance of at least $300 and having a recurring auto transfer of $25/month

As we can see that the monthly maintenance fee of Capital One is $0. However, you can waive your Wells Fargo maintenance fee quite easily.

Also, Capital One customers enjoy a $0 minimum account opening deposit and a 40x APY yield rate.

Capital One vs Wells Fargo: Certificate of Deposit Comparison

Certificate of DepositCapital OneWells Fargo
APY- 1 Year0.60%0.01%
APY- 3 Years0.75%No Standard Rates
APY- 5 Years1.00%No Standard Rates
Minimum Deposit$0$2,500

Opening a Certificates of Deposit account in Wells Fargo is pointless. You will get far attractive returns in Capital One. Moreover, the minimum deposit to open a CD is $0 in the case of Capital One.

Capital One vs Wells Fargo: Fees Comparison

FeesCapital OneWells Fargo
ATM  Free$2.50
Overdraft  $0$35
Stop Payment  $25$0
Return Deposit  $25- Flat$35
Wire TransferDomestic: $0 (incoming)
Domestic: $30 (outgoing)
International: $0 (incoming)
Domestic: $15 (incoming)
Domestic: $30 (outgoing)
International: $16 (incoming)

Here we can see that if you compare ATM fees, return deposit fees, and wire transfer fees, both banks have similar charges. You can opt for any one of them.

However, the overdraft fee is $0 in the case of Capital One while Wells Fargo charges a $0 stop payment fee.

Capital One vs Wells Fargo: Verdict

Overall, Capital One is the clear winner. It has an average overall lesser fee, lesser minimum deposit value, and higher APY returns.

Capital One
  • High APY Rates
  • Zero extra fees
  • Zero minimum deposit values
  • Zero overdraft fees
  • More number of ATMs
  • And better overall customer support
Wells Fargo
  • More number of branches
  • No stop payment fees
  • Great benefits for teenage accounts