Posted by sirtheta on January 30, 2017
Checking Accounts

Published on January 30th, 2017 | by sirtheta


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!

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

  1. joe says:

    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 says:

      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

  2. J.M. says:

    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.

  3. Evan says:

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

    • Milo says:

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

      • Gadget says:

        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 says:

          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.

          • Darv says:

            Were they able to apply the promotion in your branch? Did you get some written confirmation it was applied?

            I applied on Friday and tried to speed things up by going into a branch Saturday morning. The branch manager told me the online process can only be handled by their online team and I would have to wait for them to process it.

            I last received a bonus from them early January 2016, and technically it is more than 12 months since I received it, so decided to apply. My app went conditional approval, I tried using a credit card to fund. My wife’s application was instantly approved although she did external checking funding. They never pulled the money so she transferred it in manually.

      • Jesse says:

        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 says:

          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.

    • 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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

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

          • Adam D says:

            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 says:

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

  4. Elias says:

    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”.

    • sirtheta says:

      Do you have a source for your statement?

      The fact that individual salespeople gamed the sales metric to boost their individual numbers does not square with the fact that Wells Fargo as a monolithic entity systematically opened new accounts to boost their stock price.

      Nowhere do I claim that it was not “on purpose”. The individuals who did it definitely did it on purpose. However, the fact that the metric Wells Fargo used to measure sales goals incentivized exactly that behavior was not the purpose of the metric.

      • ORION GOD OF WAR says:

        There is onecthing people hate its getting ripped off. I don’t know, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. These guys would get 24 hours heads up from from branch inspectors, whistle blowers were fired. This was not a few isolated incidents, this was widespread. U can only claim stupidity so long. I say let them burn and toss some gas on the flames. These guys should be put out of business for this. We should not give them a pass just to keep them around for a $250 bonus once a year. I know I shut my account down soon as I heard what these low lifes did. I think ur a moron if u don’t close ur account soon as ur bonus hits. Why take the risk that this might happen again? You know what they say about fooling me once. Ur advise on not closing ur account to keep wells Fargo happy is garbage.

        • sirtheta says:

          “Why take the risk that this might happen again?” => this may be my least favorite argument. If you are worried about having accounts opened illegally in your name, Wells Fargo is quite literally THE safest place to bank right now. It’s similar to the old adage that the safest restaurant in town is the one that just re-opened after failing a health inspection. For the near & foreseeable future, everyone at Wells Fargo is going to be on their best possible behavior.

          “Ur advise on not closing ur account to keep wells Fargo happy is garbage.” => No. It is good advice, if you want such generous bonuses to appear in the future (seriously: $250 for 10 debit transactions. Holy moley, that’s as good as it gets!). I certainly do, and I imagine that most people feel the same way. And I didn’t even get the $250—I got stuck with the $100 bonus!

          To go off-track and respond to the rest of your comment: nothing in that article shows that Wells Fargo acted as a monolithic entity; indeed: quite the opposite. Again, I don’t care to debate the result of the sales metric Wells Fargo was using because it’s immaterial to my point. Personally, I do think it’s obvious what would happen, and I do think that quite the blind-eye was turned towards the behavior. That said, my opinion is also that the moral & absolute outrage is completely overblown. Yes, it was very horrible and I’m glad they got pinched and fined out of the wazoo. However, it’s very clear that what happened was a result of measuring the wrong things to determine performance. Wells Fargo (as a monolithic entity) profited very little from what happened before they got wrecked by the CFPB (and they got wrecked). This is certainly no money-laundering-HSBC scandal, which in my opinion was hundreds of times worse and came with not nearly the same level of outrage.

          • Darv says:

            To be fair, sirtheta, the scandal with the accounts opening at WF was bad, really bad. I put it right there with any other bank scandal. Having read quite a bit about it, it’s clear this wasn’t a branch issue or middle management issue. It was pervasive throughout the retail banking part of their operation. Wells Fargo is huge and I have a couple friends who work there, higher up, one is an auditor for loan underwriting. There are many good people there, but this accounts opening scandal was very bad and there was and is plenty of justified outrage.

          • sirtheta says:

            @Darv: I do totally agree it was very bad and a pervasive problem (its scope was extremely wide). I also agree that much of the outrage is justified. It’s just that I don’t think the absolute outrage I’ve seen matches the severity of this scandal as compared to some other scandals that I consider to be much, much worse (the HSBC money laundering scandal, for instance).

          • Andy says:

            So Wells Fargo is okay because the “monolithic entity” did not commit fraud, just thousands of its employees?

            You do realize that you can make this argument for virtually anything any company does ever, right? At one point are we allowed, per your logic, to blame the company? Ever? Every action a company takes can be traced to an individual at some point.

            P.S. Wells Fargo also blacklisted whistleblowers and employees who refused to commit the fraud such that they could never get another job in the banking industry again. Oh sorry, I mean, high-level employees and managers did this, and Wells Fargo did nothing wrong and deserves our praise.


          • sirtheta says:

            @Andy: I haven’t said, nor do I believe, that Wells Fargo isn’t at fault. They are at fault and certainly don’t deserve praise. (And I agree: the blacklisting is incredibly horrifying).

            Rather, I think that the specifics of how Wells Fargo is at fault & what happened are different from many bank scandals. What happened at Wells Fargo is a mistake made since time immemorial (as indicated by the ribbonfarm posts), but I find the reductionist argument that “Wells Fargo [the bank / monolithic entity] opened accounts illegally” to be unnecessarily wrong.

          • DSP says:

            “No. It is good advice, if you want such generous bonuses to appear in the future”

            And you advocating people to keep it open for “a couple of months” will somehow change this? Like, wait 2 months so they forget they gave us a $250 bonus? There’s not much logic here.

            I don’t understand the purpose of this post. Defending a bank in this situation seems silly. btw, the bonuses will keep coming regardless, they need new customers now more than ever.

          • sirtheta says:

            @DSP: My argument is that closing the account shortly after receiving the bonus is a very obvious and clear red flag, whereas keeping the account open for a couple months (at very little inconvenience to the bank churners) is much less of a very obvious and clear red flag.

            I wrote this post so that people would consider that their actions (when summed across a community) can create a real problem. I didn’t write this post to defend Wells Fargo, but rather to bring forth some nuance in the way the situation has been treated whenever Wells Fargo is brought up in the context of bank churning.

          • J. says:

            Did you notice how the two people posting news links were the very anti-business news organizations.

          • sirtheta says:

            @J. While CNN has its flaws, I don’t consider CNN or NPR to be “anti-business”. I think NPR’s Wells Fargo articles, in particular, have been very good (I don’t read CNN).

        • Charles Reinhart says:

          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

        • WR says:

          So your basic argument is two wrongs make a right? You have the mindset of the self-righteous rioter, thinking he is a good person while he is smashing windows in protest of his valiant cause. Closing your account immediately after getting the bonus won’t punish anyone who committed a crime, but it will make such opportunities less lucrative, while possibly also costing innocent people their jobs.

    • Jake says:

      Fully agreed.

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

      • PD says:

        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 says:

      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 says:

      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

  5. James says:

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

  6. Brett says:

    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 says:

      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.

      • sirtheta says:

        It is possible for both sides to be wrong in this scenario.

        • ORION GOD OF WAR says:

          More garbage. Close ur account as soon as the bonus posts people don’t give these guys a penny. Waiting another month or two is not gonna save these bonuses. “All deals die” is the best advise I’ve heard on any of these sites. Wells Fargo will keep putting out these bonuses because of the fact they were caught being crooks, people voted with their money and closed their accounts so now the bonus is up to 250. U were lucky to get a 100 bonus in the past as stated by the banker when I did open an account a year ago. I’m sooooo sure Wells is gonna drop the bonus now just because some people close accounts after bonus hits instead of waiting an extra 1 to 2 months, yeah that’s realistic. Yeah an extra $20 for the price of $250 in their pocket will keep themy happy I’m so sure.

          • Franholio says:

            To be fair, if you keep the account open with zero balance, they end up losing more money than if you close it.

      • Brett says:

        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.

  7. Mimi says:

    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.

  8. Den says:

    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.

    • sirtheta says:

      The bank does not make much money if you keep your account open, it is true (although they do make money on your deposits). However, my argument is that closing the account after receiving the bonus is even worse because it is extremely obvious and presents a clear red flag. Restrictions are much less likely to be put in place if everyone kept their account open for 3 months, even if they didn’t make much money on you.

      • Den says:

        I think smart people work at banks. So, it is extremely obvious than bank took a loss if person close the account right after bonus posted or three month after bonus posted. It is the same loss for them. It is clear red flag in both cases. I agree that if you close the account right after the bonus post it is even more clear…
        Restrictions will took place if quarterly report show unexpected losses due to high volume of churners. Or they will replace marketing department manager or do nothing…

        • sirtheta says:

          I agree, Wells Fargo will take some amount of loss either way. But the loss is lessened (and spread out) if people keep their accounts for some length of time. I think we are both in agreement that closing the account right after the bonus posts is the biggest possible red flag, though (and the easiest thing to check: accounts that were closed within a week of receiving the bonus is a very easy query). Plenty of banks with early account termination fees run promos like these & have closures after 6 mos and still offer good promotions, presumably because they aren’t bleeding money in an incredibly obvious way.

          • ORION GOD OF WAR says:

            Wells Fargo sees no difference if u close account right away or 2 months after bonus. To think keeping it open will keep the bonus around without any proof is pure speculation and bad advise. Maybe we shouldn’t apply for some many credit cards since they can see we don’t use them all they might stop offering bonuses. Maybe that will keep the bonuses at 100,000 points.

          • sirtheta says:

            Actually, they do see quite the difference, and your example is a good explication of why.

            The equivalent activity to closing the WF checking account right after getting the bonus would be if you closed a credit card right after getting the bonus. Such an action is very notably frowned upon and is a good way to get an issuer to shut down all your accounts with them.

            Waiting a few months to close the WF checking account after getting the bonus is similar to keeping a credit card open but not spending much or anything, then closing it or doing a PC after one year. This activity does not piss off issuers.

  9. Dave says:

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

  10. Dave says:

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

  11. Vijay says:

    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.

  12. Frito Pendejo says:

    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

  13. Dave C says:

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

  14. Jan B says:

    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.

  15. David says:

    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.

    • sirtheta says:

      I didn’t miss it & I think that was very bad. I also think it is incidental to my point about why closing your account immediately may have a bad effect on future offers from Wells Fargo.

  16. Ed says:

    Exactly what is the incentive for closing the account so quickly? So that you can start the 365 day clock to open another one next year? You can’t reasonably assume this offer will even be available. My honest opinion is that $259 is a generous enough incentive for me to give Wells Fargo an honest try. It doesn’t mean I will remain a customer forever. But if this type of promotion doesn’t entice you to at least give a business a chance then nothing will.

  17. prussiablue says:

    I don’t like closing bank accounts early after getting a bonus, just like I won’t close my credit card if I received a retention offer on it and took it. It messes with my churning karma (yes, as an atheist and LessWrong rationalist I still feel that karma is the appropriate word here.)

    My philosophy is with Sartre, that “L’homme n’est rien d’autre que ce qu’il se fait” (Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself.)

  18. olympi says:

    Related question – is it possible to close a current checking account and open another with this bonus? I’m outside of the 12 months since bonus but wasn’t sure if closing and opening could happen in the amount of time remaining.

  19. cm says:

    Someone mentioned they have coffee in-branch. If true, I intend to churn their coffee as I have a need for MO deposits, one at a time. 🙂

    But if coffee ain’t good, would probably close as soon as the third month hits or whatever.

  20. R says:

    post about nothing everyone have specific reason to close or not and this post will not change this reasons

  21. arch says:

    Why is this worth a post? I closed immediately after getting the bonus and don’t regret it. Everything in this hobby has a limited shelf life and if Wells Fargo stops offering bonuses who cares. We have limited methods of expressing our outrage at all the corporate malfeasances, mine was to take them for the bonus and run. If you can be bought for $250 then fine. Just don’t try to spread your contrived justifications on the readers of this blog. This whole post should be deleted and you should get over yourself.

    • sirtheta says:

      Here’s the problem: somewhat ironically, you are expressing your outrage over corporate malfeasance about as well as Wells Fargo was actually measuring sales performance. Which is to say, not at all. Wells Fargo sees an account that was closed very shortly after the bonus posted; they do not have a category for “closed due to outrage over corporate malfeasance”. Consider two alternate scenarios:

      a) do not open an account with Wells Fargo at all and write a sternly worded letter to the executive offices. You have not given them business & thus not helped their bottom line in any shape or form and have express outrage over their corporate malfeasance.
      b) sign up for an account, keep it around for a few months, and continue to take advantage of Wells Fargo bank account bonuses for the next 60 years (long after you’ve stopped churning other banks), very slowly, but substantially, eating away at their bottom line.

      Either scenario would be a much greater victory than dashing with the $250 they just gave you.

      • arch says:

        Thanks for the unsolicited advice but nowhere did I say that my closing would somehow register with the corporate office and you are being disingenuous by suggesting otherwise. My greater point is this: This post adds nothing to the knowledge base of this blog and is complete conjecture and opinion. You have made some fine additions to the blog but this isn’t one of them. Consider 2 alternate scenarios:

        a)Confine your posts to those that actually add something to the blog and refrain from speculating about Wells Fargo’s future actions and assuming your opinion is right for every reader.
        b)The 2 or 3 readers who actually take your advice will have no affect on Wells Fargo policy and they will either continue to offer bonuses or they won’t. No biggie either way

        And your opinion of what I consider victory will be given all the thought it deserves.

        • Obey says:

          Love the way sirtheta can take criticism. Good way to drive away readers. You may want to look at how the other writers at DoC respond to criticism. never seen less self restraint from any blogger. U may want to grow and extra layer of skin or two.

          • arch says:

            Yep, well said. Other writers are able to respond without arrogance and condescension and make the experience coming here that much better

          • sirtheta says:

            I have strong opinions and do not shy away from debate (and neither do the readers I have encountered in the comments). I do not see a problem with spirited discussion in the comments, and I think that such discussion is healthy because it allows anyone reading them to make up their own mind.

            I have indeed learned from this post — specifically, I got too far afield when typing up my thoughts and never tied anything back to my main point, because I have a strong opinion and love those two ribbonfarm posts. Were I writing this post again, I would omit all but the first sentence of the penultimate paragraph to emphasize my point more strongly, and tie it back to the main point more cleanly. i.e. sans the WF scandal stuff that comes off more aggressively than I intended. That said, I wrote the words that I wrote and I stand by them — absent a factual correction, I am uncomfortable with completely walking back what I wrote, ex-post-facto, just because people strongly disagree with me. I feel that doing so would be disingenuous on my part, and if the result is that a lot of people disagree with me, I am okay with that and happy to have a discussion with them.

            (I do not think this makes me thin-skinned and I wouldn’t have posted this without prompting, but your opinion may be at variance with mine).

  22. Adam D says:

    Closing an account right after the bonus posts right away is harmful for your future with the bank (some people dont care or intentionally do it since they hate the corrupt bank) and harmful to us churners in the long run, its common sense as to why.

    I think the main point of this post was dont close right after because it will ruin it for others who are new to the game and is bad for churning as a whole. Its your right to do so, but I think its the same as why chargebacks are harmful for offshore sportsbooks. (Research that if you want some serious free money).

  23. mark says:

    I have criticism here. I HATE THE TITLE TO THIS POST. This is not a news site. It’s like one of those crap ads with those perky titles. Please don’t do this. I have been able to scan headlines on your site and get the info i need, this was just annoying!

    Besides the fact that i love you guys, im a perfectionist, and so im taking the time to vent. Dont take it personally:)

    • mark says:

      Just summarize the post in a sentence and call it a title. Dont go “you wont believe what kim wears at night”….

      • sirtheta says:

        I’m not sure I understand this criticism—it seems to me, at least*, that you should be able to get the necessary info from the title to the post. It’s not meant to be sensational.

        *given, I did write the title, so obviously I am biased.

        • Mark says:

          Its not a bias. Im just pointing it out.

          Hey, its just feedback, you can take it or leave it.

          But thanks for owning up to it and responding:) CHEERS. have a great day siri:))

  24. Ur momma says:

    Lol best post ever. Not because of the content but because of the writers reaction to comments on this post. Who is this guy anyways and where did they find him. Hope this is not the new trend for the site. This was my happy place, hate to have to find a new one. Letting the comments get to u like this is no Bueno for anybody.

    • sirtheta says:

      I guess here is a good place to note an addendum to my reply to Obey: I do take all comments seriously and attempt to respond in good faith. I understand & respect that you do not seem to agree with me one bit. But why do you feel the need to use sockpuppet accounts? You have now commented on this post as “ORION GOD OF WAR”, “Obey”, and now “Ur momma” – all with different emails, so I only belatedly (and barely) noticed it. To be candid, I find that a little unsettling.

      • ORION GOD OF WAR aka Obey aka Ur momma says:

        They are not sock puppet accounts, i use different names to convey my mood. I use ORION GOD OF WAR only when I am supper outraged. I’ve maybe used that name 5 time while on this site and don’t think I’ve ever directed it at any writer on this site. I use Obey to give u some advice since u like to dish it out to arch on here. Ur moma is a new one and made it to poke fun at u kinda like a joke get it ur momma. Not sure y it’s so unsettling to u that I use different names. I’m not the first or the last to do so. I find ur responses to criticism unsettling.

        • lingua says:

          I just saw Split this weekend, the movie about a psycho with multiple identity disorder. Your response reminded of him.

          So comical how you attempt to justify yourself after getting called out on your deceitful tactic of criticizing the author through different usernames. Very unsettling indeed!

          Sirtheta’s post and responses have been professional and he/she should be applauded for being so responsive.

          Hope you find a new “happy place” soon!

          • ORION GOD OF WAR says:

            Oh u saw a movie and now ur an expert in photos? Pffft hahaha. Look at his response to arch’s comment then look at the authors replies and tell me that sh!the is perfessional. If u do then maybe ur the psyco.

  25. J Mahon says:

    The minimum Amazon GC is now $1. So $10/month into your AGC balance.

  26. PJC says:

    I rec’d the targeted offer weeks ago and just got around to going in branch today. Gave them $25 and all signed up with temp debit card. I have no clue how to do the Amazon GC thing to meet the ten debit card transactions per month. Can anyone talk this newbie through it? Thanks so much for your help.

    • arch says:

      Go to your Amazon account. If you don’t have a GC already, buy one with your debit, I believe $1 is smallest. Then look for reload your gift card, and do the 50c reloads for the rest of the transactions

  27. Jim says:

    My Wells Fargo checking account was closed automatically, without warning, after a mere 60 days of “inactivity”. Mind you, I was still getting payroll direct deposits into the account every two weeks during this time. Apparently, only actions initiated by a real person (e.g. using the debit card, atm withdrawal, one-time bill pay) counts as activity. I actually wanted to keep the account open so I could get the relationship bonus on my credit card rewards, but oh well.

    • Logan says:

      sounds like grounds for a CPFB complaint. Although not sure what you could get out of it.

    • VM says:

      My SO’s and my account was also closed automatically. Only transactions that have happened in the account are DD to avoid monthly fees and then pulled that money out every month. They closed it without any notice – which I think is due to “inactivity” or zero balance.

      My concern is if this is reported negatively to Chexsystem?

    • duni says:

      Mine was closed probably due to the same reason. But I just initiated a $1500 transfer from my capital one account and it is already gone. Will the money be returned automatically?

  28. Terri Clark says:

    Thanks for an excellent post, Sirtheta. I agree with you, how hard is it to do 10 debit transactions per month and keep the account open awhile just like you would with a credit card if you’re wise. I don’t get the “bite the hand that feeds you, or flies you” mentality.

  29. sam says:

    Why they don’t have early termination fees? I don’t understand! 0.O

    • Laura says:

      I expect to see them next time! Although when Wells reports “new account openings” numbers with earnings it should be a really good looking number for this quarter.

  30. Bob says:

    Any DPs on whether Amazon reloads count toward the 10 monthly debit transactions. WF has a nice feature that tells you how many qualifying transaction you have. I show only 2. I made 2 gas purchases and 8 Amazon reloads. Seems Amazon may not work.

  31. Pat says:

    I was pleasantly surprised with the features: free clearxchange person to person, no ach fees in or out (as opposed to boa), low minimum daily balance of 1500 (as compared to 5000 average daily balance for chase). I am planning to make it my regular account.

  32. Doug says:

    Doesn’t look like these offers are helping WF attract new customers:

    “— Customers are still turning their backs on Wells Fargo…new checking accounts people opened was down 31 percent in January from a year earlier.

    Applications for credit cards were even worse, dropping 47 percent.”

    – NYT

  33. David Berresheim says:

    There are 2 things I would like to say:

    1. as long as one is playing by the rules, no one is in a position to judge others. In my view, those who close in 1-2 months are not materially different from those who close in 1-2 weeks or 1-2 days after the requirements are met.

    2. It is a free market and money will flow wherever it can make the most out of it. Otherwise, stock market won’t work anymore. I know there are things more important than money in life. But it is not wrong to seek return through legal and lawful approaches. At least I know that is what banks do. Sometimes, they do that even illegally. Still remember how wells fargo employees tried to open accounts for customers without their consent? That was how long ago???

  34. lin says:

    most branch replace hot coffee for water only.

  35. Jan B says:

    Anyone receive an ATM promo lately from Wells?

    If I can’t get the current bonus everyone else got here, I would welcome a lesser amount of $150 with an non-WF card ATM transaction. TIA

  36. JeffySmits says:

    I plan to keep mine open for a few months, at least. I feel that the rep at the local WF office did me a favor by even accepting me for the bonus since I wasn’t targeted ( she was under no obligation to do so ). Purchasing a few odds and ends with the debit card each month, is hardly a heavy load to lift. Potentially killing the gift horse for future offers is just plain short-sided and stupid.

  37. Information Booth says:

    I’m new to this hobby and I think it’s pretty cool. Speaking of WF, I’ve got a dp for y’all. After setting ca to $0, I opened a v-wallet w/PNC using my WF cashwise visa. It coded as a purchase. Hope this helps somebody.

  38. Theory says:

    You’re basically asking us to treat the account as though it has some type of ETF or closing penalty, even though it doesn’t, so that it will be less likely that one will be imposed in the future.

    This doesn’t make any sense to me, because if it does prevent future ETFs, you’re still jumping through ETF-like hoops pre-emptively. And if it doesn’t, then your previous behavior won’t help you out later. It seems like a waste of my time (as little as it may be) and mental space to make sure I’m avoiding fees.

    If WF wanted an ETF, they would have put one on the offer. And when they do in the future, I’ll figure out what makes the most sense for me at that point.

  39. Mark-NY says:

    I agree with the author’s caution (or appeal) regarding closing bank deposit or even credit card accounts immediately after getting a sign-on bonus. However, I must say I signed up for the Wells Fargo Checking in January, got my bonus and I am ready to close it. Here are my reasons:

    1. Upon opening the account, WF did not send me any correspondence on what to expect, so I spent some hours in total figuring out what documents to expect, when my ATM card or PIN would arrive. My PIN did not arrive as they advised, so I had to cal back. Not even a supervisor knew for sure what the process was or what I should expect in the mail. I got an email from them stating I opened an account, but they missed a HUGE opportunity to provide this info in the email as other banks have done.

    2. Long winded customer service reps who go on and on about trying to provide the best service 2 minutes into the call and then after you finally tell them your issue, they seem distracted or constantly put you on hold. As a more specific example, just today, I called in to inquire about direct deposit, I reached a rep, who after about a long minute of intro (I’m from NY, hurry the hell up 😉 ), he asked for my account #, I provided my checking account starting with 1995xxx. He asked me if that was my social security (lol), then I said no, that’s the account number. He did his thing and pulled up my account and asked, “How can I help you with your credit card?” I was like wtf?

    3. I live out in the suburbs of NYC (outer borough) and there isn’t a WF branch in a 10-mile radius. This on was on me partially, and partially on WF for letting me believe I can conduct business effortlessly online as I’ve done with most banks.

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