Posted by William Charles on January 9, 2017
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on January 9th, 2017 | by William Charles


[Expired] Wells Fargo $250 Checking Bonus Available Online – Direct Deposit Not Required

Update: There is a new offer with targeted language, found here.

Deal has unfortunately expired. You can view the best checking bonuses by clicking here.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $250
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: 10 debit card transactions
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Chexsystems: Mixed reports
  • Credit card funding: Can fund up to $50 online
  • Monthly fees: $10, waivable 
  • Early account termination fee: None
  • Household limit: None listed
  • Expiration Date: February 17th, 2017 March 3rd, 2017 March 24th, 2017.

The Offer

Direct link to offer


The Fine Print

  • Eligibility:
    • All consumer checking accounts, including non-interest-earning checking accounts (except Teen CheckingSM) are eligible for the bonus of $250. The prepaid Wells Fargo EasyPay® Card is not eligible.
    • You cannot be:
      • A current owner on a Wells Fargo consumer checking account
      • A Wells Fargo team member
      • A recipient of a consumer checking bonus in the past 12 months (limit 1 bonus per customer)
  • Bonus Qualifications:
    • Open a new, eligible consumer checking account with a minimum opening deposit of $25 (not including the bonus) by February 17, 2017 March 3rd, 2017 March 24th, 2017
    • Within 60 days of account opening, either make 10 purchases/payments with your Wells Fargo Debit Card or establish a qualifying Direct Deposit of an accumulated $500 or more to the consumer checking account opened for this bonus offer.
      • The 10 debit card purchases/payments must be from the primary linked consumer checking account opened for this offer.
      • A qualifying Direct Deposit is your salary, pension, Social Security, or other regular recurring monthly income, electronically deposited to your consumer checking account by your employer or an outside agency. Transfers from one account to another or deposits made at a banking location or ATM do not qualify as a Direct Deposit.
    • Offer available in all Wells Fargo branches or online at
    • Offer cannot be:
      • Paid without a valid U.S. taxpayer ID
      • Combined with any other consumer deposit offer
      • Reproduced, purchased, sold, transferred, or traded

    Bonus Payment:

    • We will deposit the bonus into your new consumer checking account within 45 days after eligibility and qualifications have been met.
    • You are responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes due on your bonus and we will report as income to the tax authorities if required by applicable law. Consult your tax advisor.

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fee

The Everyday Checking account comes with a $10 monthly fee. Get the fee waived with one of the following:

  • 10 debit card purchases and/or payments each statement cycle from this checking account, OR
  • Direct deposits totaling $500 or more each statement cycle, OR
  • Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, OR
  • Link checking account to a Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card

If you have a Wells mortgage, you might be able to get a higher-level account with no fees.

Early Account Termination Fee

There is no early account termination fee.


Update 4: New offer doesn’t contain the targeted language, but it is now online only and valid until March 24th, 2017.

Update 3: Another DP of somebody getting the bonus without being targeted after the new language was added. Because of that we’ve removed the targeted portion of the title. As always YMMV.

Update 2: This DP shows somebody getting the bonus without being targeted. They did apply in branch.

Update: Wells Fargo have made additional changes to the fine print on this offer, it now says:

This is an exclusive, nontransferable offer, available to those who received our direct mail or e-mail offer.

Previously it didn’t include the ‘available to those who received our direct mail or e-mail offer’. I believe this was added sometime on January 31st, but it might have been added sooner. Looks like they might be enforcing the targeted nature of this promo again.

We are reposting this because multiple readers have reported getting the bonus without being targeted, because of that I now think this offer should be open to everybody but YMMV. We first posted this on January 5th.

Our Verdict

This is easily the best bank account bonus currently available, it’s extremely easy to trigger the bonus with only 10 debit card transactions required (read this post to get some ideas) and it’s not particularly difficult to keep the account fee free either. The fact that you can open it online makes it all the sweeter.

Previously the best Wells Fargo checking offer we’ve seen is $150, normally $100 is standard. Looks like they are getting desperate for new account openings after their recent scandal.

Big thanks to reader Max for sending this through.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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Only have a savings account at WF, no mortgage, and was targeted via snail mail.

you say it’s targeted, but the link opens the application just fine for me (showing $250 offer). I’m not a WF mortgage holder (although I had a Wachovia loan in the past).

If I see it open up am I eligible?

Is there something I’m overlooking about the targeting part? Thanks!

Same question here…link opens up and no verbiage about qualifying other than inputting zip code to open link.

qualifying by being targeted I mean

same question here. It says offer also available in branch but how do I know I am eligible? what do you mean by “targeted”. Thanks!

Opened in branch on December 31 for the $100 bonus. Wonder what’s the chance of getting them to match this? And where is the targeted language? Not seeing it.

Same here. If you contact Wells, let us know the result!

Yet Another Redditor
Yet Another Redditor

I tried last time with the ATM offer and they didnt.. They weren’t even nice/easy/apologetic about it.. After having banked with BoA for a long time, I thought any other bank would be better – but WF is definitely crappy..

Went back in on Friday to the CSR I opened with and he made a phone call and gave them the new code. Said sometime this week would know if they took it so I guess I have a small chance

Thanks for the update! Please keep us posted.

On a related front, called Wells to see about having $250 offer matched; No dice — as someone else upthread recalled, the rep was blunt and unforgiving about the rejection. That said, she told me it, since we haven’t received our bonus yet, we may be able to get the $250 bonus, if we close our new accounts and then apply for the $250 offer.

Anyone have experience with this situation? If you have yet to get a bonus from Wells (nor met bonus requirements), can you close your account and apply for (and receive) your preferred bonus? What, if any, downsides are there to closing an account shortly after opening it?

Opened in branch 31 Dec with $100 offer attached, 3 Jan posting date. Saw $250 offer (not targeted), got code and went back in branch on 6 Jan to same csr who made a phone call and gave the new code. Fulfilled requirements, $250 posted on 20 Jan, withdrew all cash on 23 Jan, closed on 24 Jan.

What was the code if you dont mind me asking?

@Logan, this appears to be the (publicly available) code: 250CXS

Did you end up closing and reopening the account and getting the bonus? I am in the same boat as you are.

Please let us know.


Not yet — Wells Fargo is giving me the run-around and stonewalling me on matching to the $250 offer. Going to visit a branch again to see if they’ll match the offer. If you have any luck, please keep me posted.

I applied. The Bonus Requirements were part of the disclosures on the final step of the application.

Hope it gets honored. Still don’t see the targeted language that Chuck is talking about, although I trust him that it’s there somewhere.

Yet Another Redditor
Yet Another Redditor

Same here… I see the offer via the direct link and no specific targeting restriction.

Chuck – can you point us to the “targeted language” that you say you didn’t see initially?

Please and thanks!!

Probably this:

To open a different account eligible for this offer, please bring your personalized offer code to your nearest Wells Fargo branch.

and this:

This is an exclusive, nontransferable offer.

Maybe? I am so tempted to apply but these sections stop me. I’ve been waiting for a good/easy checking bonus offer, and this one looks great!

the eligibility term says that i cannot be a recipient of a consumer checking bonus in the past 12 months. Just wondering how do they count this 12 month period, since the time I opened/closed my last account, or the time I received the bonus?

I see the language that refers to “personalized offer code” but seems like that only applies to parties who want to open “a different account eligible for this offer” (other than the Everyday Checking that’s available in the application).

I also see “This is an exclusive, non-transferable offer” but that term seems very generic, to me at least. Seems there would be more specificity if the offer is limited to targeted parties.

Neither of the above is strong enough to deter me (I’ve already applied anyway, but still).

Chuck knows these things better of course.

I also looked at this wording carefully. My understanding is that an offer code is required for opening different account. There are bunch of list of type of accounts, but for Everyday Checking directly linked above, a code should not be required. Otherwise, why says “To open different account eligible for this offer……”?

For wording “exclusive, non-transferable offer”, it is only related to opening certain type of account that requires code for this promotion.

Yup, I received this offer in the mail a few days ago, probably because my mortgage is being serviced by WF ever since it was sold to them.

The mailer clearly indicates that this offer is targeted and non-transferable, though if the landing page does not point this out, you might be able to YMMV fight your way to the bonus if it doesn’t post for you later (and you didn’t receive the mailer).

Thanks! The landing page definitely does not have any verbiage that I can find that says “targeted.”

As far as “exclusive and non-transferable” – that’s very generic and seems like the kind of things lawyers put in to make sure people don’t try to use it with some other financial institution.

But yes, I am very aware that MyMileageMayVary on this one.

There was a detachable coupon for the offer on the mailer that I received, which is the only part of it that I saved. I believe it has the terms of the offer on the back. I’ll upload a scan of the coupon when I get back home, if no one else has done so already.

I must say though, if this turns out to work without targeting, it fully deserves to be on the list of Best Bank Account Bonuses due to the extremely easy requirements for a decent bonus amount and no HP.

Hi, Jay. Thanks for sharing. I would like to further ask if there is actually a personalized code in your offer mail? If there is, then it would be of high probability that this offer is a targetted offer and not open to the public.

Scan has been posted and commented on in a separate post below. 🙂

Can you provide me with the bonus code please?

DP: I took a $100 bonus late last year but my wife just signed up and got a message that the bonus offer code was linked to my application. Then she got an email with this: “Your application has been conditionally approved subject to verification of the information you’ve provided. your new account will be eligible to receive a bonus offer. For more details, see the Bonus Offer Disclosure and Additional Requirements.” Nothing in the confirmation email indicates this is targeted. All signs point to her getting the bonus. She did NOT receive an invitation email, however, we do have a mortgage with Wells Fargo.

Thanks William!

Take that DP of mine above with a grain of salt since we have a mortgage with them, but we did not receive an email or snail mail invitation for this.

My wife got an email today saying they couldn’t open the account and referred me to open in branch. Unfortunately, there are no branches in state. They didn’t say why they couldn’t open the account online.

I did not get that type of reply when I applied and I believe it’s because my confirmation email is about the next steps – I have to sign some paperwork, probably because I’m not a current WF customer.

Will provide further information relating to my app as I get it.

DP: same message as Steve F. Hope it works!!” Based on what just happened at Wells Fargo I don’t think they will go back on the offer, purely conjecture though.

The mailer that I received says that the $15 monthly fee of the “Preferred Checking account” can be avoided with a “linked Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.”

There is no mention of the “Everyday Checking account” which comes with a $10 monthly fee.

I wonder if I could use this if my parents were targeted? Might have to GP this one and report back.

I called and asked and the representative I talked to said that as long as you open the account from you’ll receive the bonus; no need to be targeted!

I wouldn’t bank on that. CSRs often give out bad info.

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