Posted by William Charles on February 14, 2020
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on February 14th, 2020 | by William Charles

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[Expired] Wells Fargo $300 In Branch Business Checking Bonus [Back Again]

Deal has expired, view more checking bonuses by clicking here

Update 2/14/20: Deal is back and valid until 3/31/20. Remember the $1,000 bonus also available again Hat tip to reader Z

Update 4/14/19: Deal is back, just keep in mind most people will be better off with the $1,000 bonus. Hat tip to reader Steve

Update 1/14/19: Deal is back again and valid until March 29th, 2019. Keep in mind there has been $500 and $1,000 business checking bonuses recently. I’d recommend waiting for one of those to return. Hat tip to reader Sanjay

 September 9, 2018: Deal is back. (HT: throwthisaway_101010 on r/churning) This time Simple Business Checking is an option as well. They also added Rhode Island to the excluded states. Updated all below including the link.

[History: January 4th, 2018: Deal is back, now requires a deposit of $1,000 instead of $500. Also now requires at least 5 transactions. Hat tip to reader JasonDecember 31st, 2017: Deal has died. November 21st, 2017: Reposting again as the old link stopped working. Reader TomT found a new working link. This could be a sign that Wells Fargo plans to end this promotion sooner than expected. If you’re interested I would do this ASAP. Reposting as the bonuses are posting quite quickly. If you’re interested in doing this bonus I’d recommend doing it sooner rather than later.]

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $300
  • Availability: In branch only [Branch locator]
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: Deposit $1,000 for 60 days
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Mixed reports
  • Credit card funding: None available in branch
  • Monthly fees: $10-40, waivable
  • Early account termination fee: None
  • Household limit: None listed
  • Expiration date: December 31st, 2017 March 30, 2018 December 31, 2018 March 29th, 2019 June 29th, 2019

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Wells Fargo is offering a bonus of $300 when you open a new Simple Business, Business Choice, or Platinum Business checking account and complete the following requirements:
    • Get bonus code and visit a branch to open your account ($25 minimum opening deposit)
    • Deposit a cumulative total of $1,000 into the new business checking account within 10 days of account opening and leave it there at the 60-day mark
    • Make 5 or more qualifying transactions within the first 60 days, including:
      • Debit card purchases
      •  ACH (credits and debits)
      • Checks Paid
      • Mobile Deposits
      • Wires (credits and debits)
      • WF Bill Pay or Direct Pay

 

 

The Fine Print

  • Offer valid from through December 31, 2018
  • Offer excluded in the following states: Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, Rhode Island
  • You cannot be:
    • A current owner on a business checking account
    • A Wells Fargo team member
    • The recipient of a business checking bonus in the past 12 months (Limit one bonus per customer)
  • Open a new, Business Choice or Platinum Business Checking Account with a minimum opening deposit of $25 in a branch by March 30, 2018.
    • Deposit $1,000 or more into the new business checking account by Day 10, and
    • Have a $1,000 minimum balance in your account on Day 60, and
    • Make 5 or more qualifying transactions by Day 60:
      • Debit card purchases
      •  ACH (credits and debits)
      • Checks Paid
      • Mobile Deposits
      • Wires (credits and debits)
      • WF Bill Pay or Direct Pay
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Simple Business Checking $10 Monthly Fee

This account has a monthly fee of $10 which is waived if you maintain a $500 average monthly balance.

Business Choice Checking $14 Monthly Fee

This account has a monthly fee of $14 which is waived if you do any one of the following:

  • Maintain a $7,500 average ledger balance
  • $10,000 in combined balances (business checking, savings, CDs, and credit)
  • 10 or more posted business debit card purchases/payments. This includes posted debit card purchases or posted debit card payments of bills from this checking account. This does not include transactions at an ATM
  • Linked to a Direct Pay service through Wells Fargo Business Online Banking
  • Qualifying transactions from a linked Wells Fargo Merchant Services account
  • Qualifying transactions from a linked Wells Fargo Business Payroll Services account

You’re also not charged the monthly fees for the first 60 days/two statement cycles.

Early Account Termination Fee

There is no early account termination fee.

Our Verdict

Update: Keep in mind there has been $500 and $1,000 business checking bonuses recently. I’d recommend waiting for one of those to return. Hat tip to reader Sanjay

Pretty incredible deal considering you only need to deposit $1,000. With the Simple Business checking, you’re account will be fee-free with $500 balance. The Business Choice also has an easy fee waiver with 10 business debit card transactions per month.

This is definitely getting added to our best business checking bonuses page. Please make sure you share your datapoints on what types of business documents they require (Wells Fargo lists what is required here) and the process involved in signing up. I wouldn’t leave this one long as I can’t see it lasting until the end of the year, but that’s really more of a guess than anything else.

Big thanks to reader, JASON who let us know. Learn how to find bonuses and contribute to the site here.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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J Ro
J Ro

oh baby. just in time for my day off tomorrow. wahoo.

sonia
sonia

so if we’re a sole proprietor, we essentially don’t need any paperwork if it’s just our name? thx

john
john

Looks like it. In my state there is no need to register sole props.

marshbelle
marshbelle

It says: “Offer cannot be: Paid without providing a valid U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (W­9) ” Is there an expectation that a sole proprietor have a TIN? I really don’t know, just asking.

Ken
Ken

For a sole prop your SSN is the TIN.

Radster
Radster

I talked to WF via IM.

For sole proprietorship and assuming the Co. is in your name, you just need a SS and ID.

Lily
Lily

Went the branch but they refused to open the account without a business registration. A total waste of trip for me.

DD
DD

I had that experience with another bank. I simply went to another branch with an experienced banker / department manager and the entire process took less than 20 minutes or so.
I’m still considering this offer even though there’s bad blood between myself and WF because I had to submit a formal complaint against them not too long ago.

Mike
Mike

Turn that bad blood in to blood money 😀

Slidellian
Slidellian

Exactly. Think of it as fining them $300 for their misdeeds. 😁

Eric
Eric

Try another banker. The one I talked to asked for business paperwork and I told him that there is no requirement other than my ID. (I also had my WF debit but any cc/debit would work as a second ID along with my DL)

He asked his manager and was cooperative when I showed him the offer page kn my iPhone.

Kiji
Kiji

I have frozen all my credit bureaus. Can a soft pull still be done, or will I have to unfreeze to take advantage of these bank bonuses? Thanks.

DD
DD

That’s a great question. Once I had this issue – it seemed to me to be frozen – but with the exception of your applying for something yourself.
Oh this is from the FTC Credit Freeze FAQs: “A credit freeze does not “keep you from opening a new account, applying for a job, renting an apartment, or buying insurance. But if you’re doing any of these, you’ll need to lift the freeze temporarily, either for a specific time or for a specific party, say, a potential landlord or employer. The cost and lead times to lift a freeze vary, so it’s best to check with the credit reporting company in advance.”

Taylor
Taylor

I keep getting errors using MA zip codes about the offer not being available in my area. Thoughts?

VK
VK

I am able to get the code for CT. Just in case the offer is not active for MA, you can always drive down for the bonus 🙂

Taylor
Taylor

Care to share the zip?

VK
VK

06072. Though when I tried today at the downtown branch, the bankers asked me a thousand questions and eventually asked me for an EIN and registration certificate of the business.

You might want to skip this branch, unless you have these, because my spiel of a sole proprietorship didn’t work.

Taylor
Taylor

Thanks! I actually have a legitimate business so I’m not to worried about their questions. Gonna see if I can bring these to a local branch in MA. Cheers!

JP
JP

Will probably go for this as sole proprietor. My first biz account. How much do they ask about business? Revenue? And such

Fish
Fish

Nature of your business, how long operating, revenues and assets.

Matt
Matt

Does anyone have advice how they keep the account fee free?

I was looking to do the debit transactions since it doesn’t state a minimum per transaction. Will buying 10 packs of gum count? 🙂

Anony Mouse

I’d recommend ten Amazon Gift Card reloads for $0.50 each. For those who order often from Amazon, Amazon credit is as good as cash.

Matt
Matt

Thanks

Jake N
Jake N

Agreed re Amazon. Also, I’ve done Venmo payments to a friend. Check out this resource:

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bank-accounts/how-to-meet-minimum-debit-credit-transaction-requirements/

sara p.
sara p.

according to the “avoiding fees” part up there ^^^, it says we’re fee free for the first 60 days.

so i’ll just put something in my calendar about buying 10 $0.50 amazon gift cards in december.

VL
VL

Definitely a good option… but why not just downgrade to a simple business checking with $500 min to avoid fees (until you are ready to close it)?

That is what I was going to do, but may be I am missing something. Please let me know if I am wrong..

Thanks,

DD
DD

Exactly.

pete
pete

do you have to actually own a business to open this account?

Anony Mouse

No.

mohan
mohan

Yes You need to own a bussiness to open this account. I called and confirmed with the bank.

GUYS you need to post this on top. like this **you need to own a bussiness to open this account*** in plan english.

JTS
JTS

I was targeted for similar offer of $500 with $2000 deposit. But the banker told me there will be a hard inquiry for any business checking account so I told him I’d think about it.
Can anyone confirm that only a soft pull will be done?

RW
RW

I opened two separate accounts under my name and wife’s name. No hard pull for both.
I do have corporation registration documents though.

John Smith
John Smith

Can I do the “John Smith Sole Proprietary” method and use my SSN?
Also read through https://www08.wellsfargomedia.com/assets/pdf/small-business/certificateofauthority.pdf looks like a hard pull..

DD
DD

WF is known for hard pulls – the “permission” is embedded in the long Terms and Conditions and detailed contractual agreement you would sign when you go into the bank.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

Direct Pay is $10/mo, plus 50 cents/pmt to personal accounts (no fee to Wells Fargo personal accounts), and $3/pmt to business accounts.

A merchant account and payroll services are going to have fees too high to justify the bonus so you’d want to only use them if you were going to use them anyway.

Zachek
Zachek

I was just going to go looking for this info, thanks for saving me the time!

JT
JT

I just opened mine successfully. Banker was polite. I had business paperwork just in case, but we looked at the terms and both noticed it wasn’t actually required. I’d say just be able to reference those terms and you should be good to go.

Peter
Peter

Can u confirm Soft pull?

JT
JT

It’s a soft pull. I have received no alerts about new inquiries at all.

Peter
Peter

one more question – do you have any prior or existing relationship with WF?

JT
JT

Interesting question. My actual oldest credit card account on my report is a college CC that I had with WF back in the day. I closed that pre knowledge of churning and it’s actually about to fall off my report, if it hasn’t already 🙁

Anyways I’ve gotten the bonuses on two personal checkings post churning. Haven’t gotten one in 2017 though. Both times there were some problems because the of the existing relationship; mostly related to just online banking. Luckily this time the banker bypassed all the B.S. for me. He just gave me a phone number to call and they got my online banking set up no problems.

Lara
Lara

So, if I deposit $500 upon opening the account, that means I qualify for the bonus. Right?

Mike M.
Mike M.

I guess they’re having to drum up new accounts the old fashioned way since they aren’t creating them out of thin air anymore.

DD
DD

Exactly. And they were just fined $185 Million (for them it’s a slap on the wrist) by the Fed’s CFPB for “fraudulently opening accounts”. And they have to rehire the whistleblower who turned them in.

Andrew
Andrew

Just opened one in CA as a sole proprietor. No business paperwork needed. Just needed a few details such as sales amount, date opened, and biz description.

Jim
Jim

Thanks. Did you have any prior relationship with them?

Andrew
Andrew

Yes, I have a credit card with them.

Alibaba
Alibaba

I’ve never a business account before, but planning to do this one. I don’t have a legitimate business though (I think) but do tutor online (independent contractor according to terms of the tutoring website). Can anyone let me know if that works? If so, what docs do I need-DL and SSN good enough?

Aruds
Aruds

That counts. Even babysitting casually counts. They don’t care about validating and just are checking boxes on the sign up form.

Jim
Jim

Haven’t seen this mentioned yet. Are current personal checking account holders eligible?

Jack
Jack

Opened my account earlier today, can also confirm no hard inquiry. Was worried during the application the banker had me agree to a credit check, forgot the exact terminology on the screen but it was something like that. Then I remembered I had my Experian frozen for the Merrill+ app I snuck in at the last moment and that is the only bureau I care about because in my location (California), every bank I have applier for a card at except Barclays has used Experian, so I have 15-20 Experian inquiries and only like 2 on my Trans Union from Barclays and 0 on my Equifax. The banker said that I was preapproved for a Wells Fargo Business Platinum credit card based off the credit check they already did, said that there would not be any more inquiries for accepting the offer so I went ahead and accepted the credit card even though it had no sign up bonus. Wells Fargo does not report business cards to personal credit reports so this is a completely invisible account for me, no inquiry and it will not appear my reports. If Wells did report business cards to personal reports I would not have taken it. I was offered a choice of reward structures for the card, either 1.5% cash back or 1 point per dollar plus a 1,000 point bonus every month you spend $1,000 or more. I went with the point option because that basically makes it a 2% cash back card, I plan on adding $1,000 of VGCs to one of my simon mall runs throughout the month to get the 1,000 points every month. The profit on this will be $11.40 per month, $136.80 per year (costs are $7.90 VGC fees, $0.70 money order fee, revenues are 1,000 points worth $10 for the purchase, and another 1,000 points worth $10 for spending $1,000). The card has a 0% APR promo for 9 months, so because this account is not reported to the personal credit bureaus I am considering maxing out the $10,000 credit line they gave me and putting the money in a high interest savings account, rewards checking account, or using it to fulfill savings bonuses that require large deposits. I am not the kind of person to leverage up and put the money in the stock market though. I do know some people who are doing this… Read more »

Sean
Sean

How are you getting the cash out of the credit card without doing a cash advance. What methods are you using?

JASON
JASON

Use credit card to buy mastercard/visa prepaid debit card, liquidate the money in the prepaid card into bank account.

Jack
Jack

Yeah exactly what Jason said, I go to a Simon mall and buy $500 visa gift cards, then I go to Walmart and buy money orders with the visa gift cards, then I deposit the money orders in the bank. Normally I use the money deposited to pay off the credit card used to buy the visa gift cards, but this card has a 0% promo rate for purchases for 9 months, so instead of paying it off in full I can just pay the minimum payment during the 0% period then pay the whole thing off in one lump sum when the promo ends.

Geoff Stuart
Geoff Stuart

Sorry but what’s a simon mall?

Ken
Ken
Onsale
Onsale

what is the fee you have to pay for the Visa gift card from the Simon Mall and for the money orders from Walmart?

DD
DD

Wow!

V
V

Thank you for this detailed write up!

Deborah
Deborah

A note of caution.i got a no fee no interest balance transfer offer from Barclay. Took the $18000 via check, deposited to my 2 percent credit union checking acct to generate the interest and have a sort of emergency fund. Then my FICO score went down by 70 points because of the utilization. I have now reversed everything and my scores are back over 800. I get That YMMV, but my attempt at slickness did not have the results I hoped for.

Jack
Jack

The Barclay card you used was a personal card, which is reported to the credit bureaus, the card that I got is a business card, and while some business cards report to the credit bureaus, Wells Fargo does not report their business cards, so this $10,000 balance which would put the card at 100% utilization would not affect my score.

V
V

Jack,

I am planning on doing just this and understand full well what goes on your personal CR, but am wondering if you have any experience doing this in the past, and if it will impact my ability to get other business CC’s?

Jack
Jack

That is one thing that I am not sure about. Here is a list of credit agencies: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201604_cfpb_list-of-consumer-reporting-companies.pdf and I do not see any that specifically pretain to business credit. The list is from the CFPB and the C in that acronym stands for consumer so maybe they are including agencies that deal with consumer credit only.

I do have experience doing this in the past, actually doing it right now with a US Bank Business Edge card. I received a mailer last year for a $500 bonus after spending $4,500 and was approved for a $16,000 credit line with 0% APR for 15 months. The promo is actually ending in December so I am making plans for the money to become available in November, its currently fulfilling the Chase $200 bonus for depositing $15,000 for 90 days.

The minimum payment is 1% of the balance on the card and the most I’ve put on it is $15,500 to have a little bit of a buffer as US Bank does charge over limit fees. When the balance gets down to $15,000 I buy another VGC so that the balance does not get paid down too much from the larger minimum payments.

Since I maxed out this card sometime last year I have been approved for the only two business cards I applied for, a Chase Ink Preferred and an American Express Delta Gold business card, so it has not affected my approvals.

The one thing to remember is to remember to pay the minimum payment or you will get screwed. With this US Bank card the 0% will end if you miss a payment, and they can also apply the penalty APR of 29.99%. I just have it on auto pay from my main checking account as I know that account will always have at least enough money to cover the minimum. I also have a calendar reminder to check the account every month a few days after the payment is scheduled to make sure it actually went though.

Gibunono
Gibunono

Hey Deborah,

How did you take the $18000 via check? Wasn’t it a cash advance?

Dave C
Dave C

Guessing Balance Transfer

esdot
esdot

The banker asked for authorization to run a Business Account Credit Check. I said no; I assume that is what you approved. Question: did you open as a sole prop or other entity? I wanted to check as Experian says “The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows lenders, under certain circumstances, to review personal credit histories for business lending purposes. This only applies to businesses that are structured as ‘sole proprietorships.’”

Lrdx
Lrdx

Wait, you basically got a credit card without any hard pull?

Jack
Jack

Yup, my Experian report was frozen and there were no inquiries on Equifax or Trans Union. Not super exciting though because there was no sign up bonus on the card. I will be taking advantage of the 0% offer for 9 months though. The card just came in the mail yesterday and I am going to a Simon mall tomorrow to buy $9,500 worth of VGCs which I will use to buy money orders at Walmart then deposit the money from the money orders in a rewards checking account or find a savings account bonus worth doing.

daeofcal
daeofcal

I went in today during lunch and got the 10k pre-approved CC offer with the checking. I went with the 1.5% cash back though. I’m not too enamored with the whole VGC MSing. I brought my local tax cert and Schedule C from last year’s contracted work, just in case I had to provide evidence of business income. The rep just asked me a few softball questions so I was over-prepared 😛

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

The “in branch only” requirement kills it for me. I just don’t have the time to make an appointment and/or go to a branch, wait for assistance and then go through the paperwork etc. Online though I can break it off in pieces and submit it whenever I have time, which is usually not during business hours. Exactly why I went with BofI .85% interest business checking account, done all online.

JASON
JASON

I guess the idea of in branch only has to be related to what Wells Fargo has done in the past – opening ghost accounts. As a combination of security concerns and rebuilding consumers’ confidence, they offer this kind of good deal but forcing it to be applied in real person. That makes to me and I welcome it.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

I don’t think its related to ghost accounts and you’re probably dishing out goodwill that isn’t warranted to a big bank that has never cared about customers (just look at their overall value for the majority of people). Chase for example also requires this. As does BoA. There’s more documentation required for a business checking account (such as articles of incorporation if you’re a Corporation) and consequently it’s just not as easy to do it online. It is however possible to do it all online, evidenced by BofI federal bank that has my business.

I don’t expect the B&M requirement to change but it would most definitely be welcome and they’d get more business if they allowed it.

Radster
Radster

Opened Choice account this morning. FYI No fees for first 60 days from account opening.

Austin
Austin

Good to know, thanks

Milo
Milo

Will transferring $500 from my Wells Fargo personal account count as the deposit?

I assume so but making sure.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

I wouldn’t trust that it qualifies. I’ve read T&C of other bank bonuses that funds transferred from other accounts at said bank don’t qualify as new deposits. Play it safe and move it from an external source.

Austin
Austin

By the way you can make an appointment to open the account here: https://appointments.wellsfargo.com/maa/appointment/#/topic

Allows for same-day scheduling.

Jim
Jim

Awesome thanks. Just did this.

Jeff G
Jeff G

Excellent, appointment in 1 hour!

Ryan
Ryan

Yes, it is definitely a hard pull. I was pre-approved for a business credit card as part of the checking account set-up. The banker confirmed it was a hard inquiry.

Avi
Avi

Must be region-dependent or even branch-dependent. Here in Maryland I was assured it was a soft pull, and wasn’t offered any kind of credit card.

Jim
Jim

Probably a hard pull because you were pre-approved for a credit card. All other DPs suggest the checking alone is just a soft.

Radster
Radster

Agree.

Yao
Yao

I went to my local WF branch today (California) and the business rep warned me ahead of time that it was going to be a hard pull. I even had to sign waivers before he would proceed with the credit check.

Since it was going to be a HP, I decided to walk away. There’s only one day left (tomorrow) before the offer expires, and I’m not sure if I want to drive to another WF branch to try my luck.

Ken
Ken

We’re all told it’s a HP, and we’re all forced to sign, but none of us received hard pulls. I suspect they say it’s a HP so they can push their CC and pull the “You’re already getting a HP, so the CC won’t ‘cost’ you anything at this point” to try and get you to signup for it. They earn commission for CC applications.

So rest assured that you will not get a hard pull for only a checking account. And you can’t decline or not enroll in their biz overdraft, but also no HP for that.

Yao
Yao

Thanks! I applied for the biz account and so far haven’t received any notification from CreditKarma. I guess it isn’t a HP after all.

Yao
Yao

Account opened on 12/30/2017 and bonus posted on 1/8/2018. No HP.

Austin
Austin

Opened today. Banker assured me it was a soft pull, and I don’t see any inquiries yet. Took about 40 min

Also confirmed that account is fee-free for the first 60 days. She also mentioned that you can easily downgrade the account to one that is fee-free with a $500 average balance (after you get the bonus, of course).

Roberto
Roberto

Opened as well today in WA. Took ~45 mins. Soft pull and no issues with 2 of the 3 bureaus frozen for me. DBA and no biz docs needed. They were able to dig up my personal checking profile even though it’s been closed for about 6 months, which seemed to make it easier. Rep said the notice about this offer just went to branch bankers this morning. FYI, the code took about 3-4 hours to get emailed to me, suggest writing it down from the confirmation page.

Fairly straightforward deal, thanks again DoC!

Paul Tyrrell
Paul Tyrrell

I just had a bizarre experience. I went to open a biz account. They asked about the nature of my business, gift card reselling, and then the banker left the desk for a few minutes. When he returned he told me the account may not be approved because I resold gift cards. He asked me to return with my EIN confirmation letter and he would input my application but don’t be surprised if it didn’t go through.

Needless to say I’m going to use a different branch.

Jeff G
Jeff G

Opened today, took 40 minutes. Banker had lots of questions about my business – how long, what do you sell, how do you sell, what bank are you using now for the biz, etc. I have sold things on eBay, so I had answers, but if I did not have a business I would have felt uncomfortable.

She also told me how to downgrade the account after the bonus is met, that was nice.

Overall a fine experience.

Jeff G
Jeff G

By the way, the rep told me she had just heard about the bonus the day before, but had read up on it. That would have been September 21st.

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