So on Saturday, I was checking out some new investing apps for my iPad, when I started using Wikinvest – a cool little app that lets you track your portfolio. Well, I input my information for my Wells Fargo PMA Account, and I got a warning that Wells Fargo may charge a fee for this. Very odd, so I ignored it. I figured that since I had been updating my Wells Fargo accounts with Quicken for ages, this didn’t apply. Furthermore, my PMA Package gets me all sorts of freebies, so I didn’t really pay attention.
Well, apparently I was wrong to disregard the message. About 20 minutes later, I received an automated email from Wells Fargo saying I was enrolled in Quicken or Quickbooks Direct Connect, and that fees apply. Great… another Wells Fargo Fee…
Fees for Enrolling in Quicken or Quickbooks Direct Connect
Wells Fargo is now charging their users to access their online information from other programs and apps. Basically, if you don’t use Wells Fargo’s system, you have to pay.
And guess what, Wells Fargo now charges $3 per month if you want to access your online balances and transactions through Quicken. And that is just the personal level with no online bill pay. If you want online bill pay, the fee goes up to $9.95 per month.
Heaven forbid you have a business – you start at $9.95 per month for Quicken, and jump to $14.95 per month for Quickbooks.
How To Avoid This Fee!
The worst part about this is that the only way to get out of this fee/service is to call a representative or go to your branch. I decided to call, and it took exactly 10 minutes to get a hold of someone. After that, they gave me a case number to reference in case I do get billed – since that apparently does happen as well.
I asked the representative when this started, and he said pretty recently, but it wasn’t announced to much. I told him I’ve used Quicken for a long time, and never been charged, and he told me the following information about their services:
Direct Connect – Fee Based, so if you see this option, avoid it
Express Web Connect – Free Service, still gets you your balances and transactions
The bottom line is Wells Fargo is still out to gouge their customers, just like they tried to gouge me when I Fought Back Against Wells Fargo’s Dumb Fees. May this be a warning to everyone who is considering using Wells Fargo!
Update – Bye Bye Wells Fargo
At the end of the day, working with Wells Fargo was just too difficult. They had some nice features on their accounts, but they nickel and dime you for everything else.
As of today, I’ve moved all of my checking and savings accounts to USAA. USAA is great because they offer free checking (legit – nothing required), and free checks. They offer ATM rebates if you have to get cash out, and a great online banking interface. If you’re looking for a change, consider going to USAA. Oh, and all of my accounts connect with Quicken just fine!
What are your thoughts on this new fee from Wells Fargo?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.