When it comes to saving money, I’m a big believer in doing whatever it takes. If having too much tax taken out of your check each week so you get a big refund helps you save, do it. You’ll lose interest on your money while Uncle Sam is holding on to it. But it’s better than blowing it on stuff you don’t need.
And that brings me to the Wells Fargo Way2Save savings account.
Way2Save is a basic FDIC-insured savings account with two twists. The first and most important one shows you the value of a high-interest savings account. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo pays a grand total of 0.01% APY on all balances with this account. The amount you save doesn’t matter. And your previous relationship with Wells Fargo doesn’t matter. This account simply does not offer a reasonable interest rate.
The second twist is much more beneficial and has to do with what Wells Fargo calls the Save As You Go option. Save As You Go requires you to have a Wells Fargo checking account in addition to the Way2Save savings account. With both in place, Wells Fargo will help you save by transferring $1 from your checking account to your savings account when one of the following occurs:
- You make a check card purchase (using a PIN or signature).
- You pay a bill online with Wells Fargo Bill Pay.
- You have an automatic payment deducted from your linked checking account.
Perhaps most importantly however is that the Way2Save account charges a monthly maintenance fee of $5 unless one of the following three conditions are met:
- The account holder is under the age of 18
- You set up a direct deposit
- You carry an average daily balance of $300
Is Wells Fargo Way2Save Worth Your Time?
The sad reality for this kind of savings account is that it’s outdated. When interest rates were under 0.50% and the economy was in the tank, a bank could get away with offering a poor interest rate if they offered other perks. Having your money automatically taken from a checking or debit card and placed inside of a savings account was a pretty neat feature 10 years ago. Today, dozens of other sites offer savings apps that do this very thing. And many offer this perk without charging a penny.
As I said at the start of this post, I’m all for doing whatever it takes to save some dough. And if the Save As You Go option helps some save money, that’s great. Still, it seems like more of a gimmick to me. And if you keep relatively small sums of cash in your checking account, the last thing you may want is for money to be transferred to savings. Wells Fargo won’t make the $1 transfer if it would cause the account to be overdrawn. But keeping track of your balance in light of automatic $1 transfers could be a real headache.
Bottom line; this may have served a portion of savers years ago, but today it holds almost no value. Look to put your money in an online savings account, or high-yield CD to get an exponentially better return. Then if you want to add an automatic savings component, use an app like Qoins or Acorn to get it done. Wells Fargo’s Way2Save is a financial dinosaur.