Posted by sirtheta on January 30, 2017
Checking Accounts

Published on January 30th, 2017 | by sirtheta

131

Can We Just Be Cool About Closing Those Wells Fargo Accounts?

I’d love to christen this a hot take, but I’ll have to settle for HOT TIP: don’t close your Wells Fargo account right after getting the $250 bonus.

There’s one thing that keeps popping up recently—I’ve seen it tens of times across multiple websites & platforms: since there’s no early account termination fee, can I close my Wells Fargo account right after getting the $250 bonus?

Here’s my take: don’t.

What is one thing that banks truly hate? Losing money. What happens when you close your account right after getting the bonus? They lose money, and in a very obvious fashion. What are the possible repercussions for the future? Fewer good new account bonuses from Wells Fargo (affects everyone), institution of an early account termination fee (affects everyone), and/or Wells Fargo blacklisting you—to name the obvious ones. Your individual actions when summed across a community can create very real reactions.

The cost to keep the account fee-free is 10 debit transactions per statement cycle (+$5 to your Amazon balance), and the fee is waived for your first two statement cycles (at least, according to my first statement). Do whatever you like with your $250, but is it really that hard to keep the account open for a couple of months? It’s not like you can’t find any use for a Wells Fargo account—especially since Wells Fargo values a banking relationship with them if you’re angling for some of their very nice credit card offerings.

A common refrain is that people don’t care about their relationship to Wells Fargo or if they lose money because they opened accounts for people illegally. That was bad and some consumers will likely never be made whole, no two ways about it. However, it is flat out wrong to claim that Wells Fargo (as a monolithic entity) did it to make money, or for some other sordid reason. There’s a very simple & obvious reason it happened: Wells Fargo used a metric (and put in place repercussions for not meeting the metric) that incentivized behavior they didn’t intend. David Manheim over at ribbonfarm has two very fine pieces about why this happens that were published independently of the Wells Fargo fiasco. We could debate the obviousness of what would happen, or who knew what when, from here to the moon, but I don’t think it’s relevant to my point: closing your account is detrimental to the community as a whole.

Let’s just be cool.

Hat tip to u/CarnalCowboy on r/churning for inspiring me to do a complete write-up of my thoughts.

update, January 31: added a small note to the end of the final (true) paragraph to tie it back to the larger point — apologies for forgetting that!



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joe
joe

Amen. I actually plan to keep my wells fargo account open. I actually kind of like the features, and I also get the side benefit of closing out of my chase account so my wife and I can finally start getting those annual chase bonuses!

Merlin treichel
Merlin treichel

I have banked.wells for a longtime they have always been above expectations. I. use a wells credit card. everything favorable to any other bank ive done bus. with

J.M.
J.M.

Mine will stay open even though it won’t be a primary. Their branch is closest to my house so it’ll get some use. I may close it in 180 days if it makes sense to.

But I agree, be respectful to the community and don’t destroy a good thing just bc you can.

Evan
Evan

Any advice for those that tried to open an account late and only got “conditionally approved” but still haven’t heard from them?

Milo
Milo

I too got the conditional approval but no communication. It s been 5 days since I opened the account

Gadget
Gadget

I imagine they are being flooded with sign-ups. The account opening e-mail says:

“Next Steps:
Please sign, date, and return the Consumer Account Application included in your account information packet (which will arrive in 3 business days).
Once we have verified your information, we’ll send you the status of your application by email and we’ll follow up with a letter within 2 to 5 business days of our decision.
Once your account is approved and we process your opening deposit, you can access your account within 24 hours at any Wells Fargo location.

Mike
Mike

The same thing actually happened with me. Put in online application but no response for several days. So went in branch and they said the system only stored the information but wasn’t processing the application. Ended up applying in branch again.

Jesse
Jesse

Took my G/F’s 8 days from Conditionally Approved to fully approved. Give it time, imo. If the 2 week mark hits, call in and/or apply in branch.

Evan
Evan

Did anyone have success calling in? There’s just isn’t any branch nearby, so if I can’t do it over the phone/internet, I would have to give up.

William Charles

No advice at the moment, maybe if you live near a branch you could inquire there? If anybody does this, let me know how it goes.

Adam D
Adam D

I called in, gave them my account # on last screen, didnt have to wait for signature card in mail, answered a few questions, was given a temp password n set up a username from a csr to enroll, have access to online banking now. Just signed up for cap1 360 $200 bonus also. going to deposit $250 to cap1 360 them ach it to WF, I’ll DP if that fulfillsxthe DD requirement for $250 bonus.

Evan
Evan

Can you tell me what number you called? Some people say they were put on hold and never reached anyone that could help them with the account. I will wait a few more days just in case, but I think I will have to eventually call them.

Adam D
Adam D

800-956-4442. this was the general number i think

Adam D
Adam D

forgot to mention, my initial ach deposit of $25 has not been credited yet, but already im process of adding a dofferent external account to WF online profile.

RTC
RTC

Where did you get your account #? All I can find in the email is an “Application Reference number”.

Elias
Elias

I hate to disagree but this is completely wrong: “However, it is flat out wrong to claim that Wells Fargo did this to make money, or for some other sordid reason, or did it as a monolithic entity.”

It was determined by the congress investigation that they systematically opened new accounts without their clients approval to boost their numbers on their reports so that investors were mislead to get more valuation on their stock on the market…. they did it on purpose AND to get more money. It was not an “accident”.

Jake
Jake

Fully agreed.

It takes an enormous amount of verbal gymnastics and nuance to try to credibly say otherwise

PD
PD

For sure. I have one relative who is a certified auditor and certified fraud examiner, and another who is a researcher in the field of corporate ethics. This was systemic and top down, and incredibly common/typical/ unsurprising behavior for a corporation. They knew exactly what they were doing and what effects it would have at different levels of the company.

Charles Reinhart
Charles Reinhart

They did to my account’s in Palm springs at the Wells account at the springs.they also embezzle d 600k out if my trust account when they thought I was dying of brain tumour. When I did NB not die as expected the reginal manager waited a year to ask me if I knew one of their staff had taken funds oout of my account m I asked him if they didn’t have financial obligations legally to inform me of this. And was informed they were asked not To alarms went off in my Head. And knew that it was my ex husband Joseph Hyder who started NB out in banking 40 years ago in sf with the top executives of Wells Fargo and has been his closest friends for 40 years. Who was involved. Wells Fargo did not terminate bank manager and senior loan manager. Just transfered them. They have been complicit in covering this up. Had copies of transfered funds turned over to Ps FBI by my business partner Munich masuda.who had to return to Japan for his own safety on advice of fbi

james snider
james snider

workers did this . Not corportate. Big different . Corportate put forth a policy that was abused by workers or managers in branch that had unintended concequences.

Kind of the way this $250 sign up bonus is to encourage new sign ups but is getting the unintended concequence churners who don’t want to have a wells account but just get the cash

James
James

Wells Fargo accepts money orders for mobile deposit. That’s reason enough to keep my account open.

J.M.
J.M.

Any limits, official or unofficial, that you’re aware of with regards to MO deposits?

Franholio
Franholio

Believe it’s 5K/month on mobile. No hard limit on ATM but excessive volume will get you shut down almost anywhere.

Mimi
Mimi

with a lot of FIs that accept my MO deposits (MOs are NOT my main MS route) I’d rather close/open WF accounts to earn bonuses whenever I’m eligible. This is what works for us in P2 mode.

Brett
Brett

Thanks for this. It’s infuriating to see how greedy some of these people are who jump into the hobby for a quick buck with complete disregard of ramifications on the hobby as a whole. I fully support you guys continuing to call out this awful behavior.

ORION GOD OF WAR
ORION GOD OF WAR

So people were greedy not Wells Fargo, I see. Oh poor Wells Fargo. Hey if u wanna keep ur money with them and support them don’t be surprised if they burn u in the future. I don’t keep my money with people who have shown me they can’t be trusted with money.

Brett
Brett

Oh please. I hate what Wells Fargo has done as much as anyone, but we are here to take advantage of this deal, not establish a portfolio of relationship accounts with them. Lighten up.

Mimi
Mimi

I concur with everything you said sirtheta. I plan on keeping my account open and try their billpay service. I got an extra $10 statement credit which came instantly for one time paying using wallet app. My bonus also posted two days after I fulfilled ten debit transactions so this is an account I’ll keep using.

Den
Den

I see no point. If you keep the account open and use it for ten $0.50 transactions per month than bank will make maybe couple of cents.
Bank loose the same amount of money in both cases. Personally I do not understand why banks do not blacklist people for bonus chasing. Maybe it is a small loss for them…
It is relatively easy to track how profitable is each person.

Dave
Dave

Good point. I wish I had kept mine open after last year, actually. Their ATM withdrawals are much faster than my BoFA ones.

Dave
Dave

Nice post sirtheta. Let us hope this will enlighten the readers who have
the “take the money and run” mentality.

Vijay
Vijay

I would agree with Doc and hope everyone be fair to a bank promotion. We should not abuse it just for the sake of getting bonus and for simple fact that they don’t charge Early account closure fee. It’s easy to keep this WF account open by making 10 transactions within statement cycle or ACH $500 from other bank. May be honor it by keeping the account open for 6 mos and then close it.

TIP: Normally their bonus states you should not have received a promotion bonus for the past 12 mos. So irrespective of whether you close it now or 6 mos after its not going to change your situation. They have never said “you should not have had checking account in the past 12 mos”.

I am going to honor 6-8 mos of account opening.

Frito Pendejo
Frito Pendejo

Speaking of Wells Fargo credit cards, has anybody actually been able to get a 40k propel offer in branch? I tried once so far and the banker wasn’t aware of it. I’m going to try again but I don’t have high hopes

Dave C
Dave C

Word is they have mobile deposits for MOs, so it is useful long term.

Jan B
Jan B

Respectfully submitted.

Look, folks, please stop closing early after bonus receipt. Tough to fathom why that would be necessary. Isn’t there a “price” to pay for early closing?

I have to have my DH’s blessing to do a bank bonus these days and this one doesn’t require the DD. Big plus in my debate.

I have yet to go for this but plan to after the present illness that I am tolerating subsides. Don’t bring negative attention to this, causing others to miss. After all, we are not in competition. Thanks.

Jan B
Jan B

Thanks. I missed this because of the recently adding of the targeted language.

David
David

You must’ve missed where Wells fired whistle-blowers who reported the fraud through the corporate compliance line. Either that or you’re being deliberately obtuse….

I already closed and have zero regrets.

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