Wells Fargo offers three certificate of deposit account types: Special CDs, Standard CDs and a Step Rate CD. The longer-term Special CDs offer the best Wells Fargo CD rates, with the others not coming quite as high. You do have the option of earning at higher bonus rates, though, by linking a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® checking account.
Wells Fargo Special CDs are available in four different term lengths. This allows you to open accounts that best fit your financial goals and preferences. Keep in mind that you’ll need a minimum deposit of $5,000 to open an account.
All these rates surpass Wells Fargo’s other CD options. You’ll find the better Special CD rates with the longer accounts at 19, 39 and 58 months. However, while you’ll see larger growth, you also have to wait for over a year to benefit from the earnings.
|Special CD||Minimum Deposit||Standard Rate||Bonus Rate|
Consider opening an 11-Month No-Penalty CD with CIT at 2.05% APY with a $1,000 minimum opening deposit. This account offers a balance between a great fixed rate and flexible money access.
Unlike other banks’ CD structures, Wells Fargo offers fewer standard CDs than its Special CDs with only three term options. None of these accounts have memorable interest rates, climbing as high as 0.15% with a yearlong bonus rate.
These three term lengths make for a solid CD ladder, however. That way, you can open them all at once and potentially have a payout after three months, six months and a year.
|Standard CD||Minimum Deposit||Standard Rate||Bonus Rate|
Step Rate CD
Instead of keeping the same interest rate from opening to maturity, Wells Fargo’s Step Rate CD bumps up your interest rate every six months. The first six months have an interest rate of 0.65%, the next six months have a 0.90% rate and so on. This offers a way to grow your balance at better rates. Below are the interest rates for each set of six months and the total APY.
Interestingly, the Step Rate CD also allows you to make one partial withdrawal without incurring the Early Withdrawal Fee within five business days after each of the three days the interest rate increases. This partial withdrawal cannot leave the total balance lower than the minimum opening deposit. If your withdrawal does lower the balance too far or you make your withdrawal outside of this five-day grace period, you’ll have to pay the fee.
|Step Rate CD||Minimum Deposit||Standard Rate||Bonus Rate|
|1 - 6 Months||$2,500||1.59%||1.64%|
|7 - 12 Months||$2,500||1.84%||1.89%|
|13 - 18 Months||$2,500||2.09%||2.14%|
|19 - 24 Months||$2,500||2.34%||2.39%|
Overview of Wells Fargo CDs
You have three CD account options with Wells Fargo: Special CDs, Standard CDs and a Step Rate CD. Each type earns interest according to a standard or a bonus interest rate and does so free of a monthly charge. To earn at the bonus rates, you need to link a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® checking account to your CD.
All Wells Fargo CDs compound interest daily. This is the best kind of compounding because it grows your money faster and more efficiently. It means that your deposit will earn interest today, which will in turn earn interest tomorrow and the next day and so on. This grows your money better than compounding yearly, for example. Wells Fargo pays out interest on terms less than 12 months on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annually basis or at maturity. For terms longer than 12 months, interest can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.
CDs are designed to remain inaccessible from opening to maturity. Once you make your initial deposit, you cannot make any withdrawals or additional deposits until the term ends. If you do need to make an early withdrawal from a Wells Fargo CD, you’ll face either the Regulation D Penalty or the Early Withdrawal Fee.
The Regulation D Penalty costs seven days of simple interest. This applies to withdrawals made within seven days of account opening, including the opening day. It also applies to withdrawals made during the grace period when you also make additional deposits during that grace period and your withdrawal exceeds the amount of the matured CD balance.
Withdrawals made after the first seven days of account opening trigger the Early Withdrawal Fee. This amounts to one month’s interest for terms less than three months, three months’ interest for terms three to 12 months, six months’ interest for terms 12 through 24 months and 12 months’ interest for terms over 24 months.
How Much You Earn With Wells Fargo Certificate of Deposits Over Time
You don’t stand to earn much with a Wells Fargo CD right off the bat since these CDs have pretty low rates. To earn more, you’ll have to make a larger deposit so there’s more money to grow. You can also benefit from higher bonus rates if you link to a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® checking account to earn bonus rates.
Wells Fargo does compound interest daily which helps grow your money much faster and more efficiently than say, yearly compounding. Daily compounding means that your money earns interest today, your money plus that interest earns more interest tomorrow and so on.
|Initial Deposit||6-Month Standard CD (Standard Rate)||6-Month Standard CD (Bonus Rate)||19-Month Special CD (Standard Rate)||19-Month Special CD (Bonus Rate)|
How Wells Fargo CDs Rates Compare to Other Banks
In terms of available CD options, Wells Fargo doesn’t really have much to offer especially when compared to its competitors. There are only four Special CDs, three Standard CDs and one Step Rate CD which doesn’t offer customers much choice. You can potentially earn bonus rates, though, by linking a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® checking account to your CD.
This limited CD spread is in stark contrast to other big banks like Bank of America and Chase which both offer CD terms from one to 120 months. Chase also offers the opportunity to earn at better relationship rates. The rates shown below are Chase’s standard rates.
Wells Fargo’s interest rates are also some of the lowest out there. Other big banks like Bank of America and Chase don’t fare much better, although Bank of America’s standard rates seem to be higher overall.
Online banks like Ally and Marcus are going to have the best interest rates. You can already see below that these banks’ rates outweigh Wells Fargo’s by a wide margin. Ally Bank also sets your rate according to your deposit. This means that a higher deposit usually snags an even higher rate. The Ally Bank rates given below are for the bottom tier.
|CD Account||Wells Fargo||Bank of America||Chase||Ally Bank||Marcus by Goldman Sachs|
Should You Get a Wells Fargo CD Account?
A Wells Fargo CD mostly makes sense for you if you already have a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® checking account. That way, you can immediately unlock the bonus CD rates. If you already have a Wells Fargo account, it also makes it more convenient to keep your CDs with the same bank.
You shouldn’t get a Wells Fargo account if you’re looking for big returns, however. These rates are some of the lowest in the industry. You would do better to open CDs with an online bank, which typically has much higher rates.
For a great fixed rate and flexible money access consider opening an 11-Month No-Penalty CD with CIT at a 2.05% APY with a $1,000 minimum opening deposit.