Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America – What’s the Difference?

If you’re wondering about the difference between Wells Fargo and Bank of America, then you aren’t alone. You see them on TV, in the newspaper, and online, but how do they differ? The biggest difference between these two banking institutions is that Wells Fargo has been around since 1852, while Bank of America was founded in 1998 following the merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica Corporation.

Both are incredibly large companies, with billions of dollars in assets, millions of customers across all 50 states and many international countries, and hundreds of thousands of employees working hard to give their customers what they need to succeed financially.

Main Difference

Wells Fargo Bank of America is the largest bank in the United States. It was founded in 1852 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It has over 22 million customers and had revenues of $21 billion in 2014. In comparison, Bank of America has about 16 million customers and had revenues of around $300 billion. Bank of America is the second-largest U.S. bank in terms of assets (about $2.8 trillion) and market capitalization ($50.4 billion).

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What is Bank of America?

With assets over $2.1 trillion, a market cap exceeding $181 billion, over 10 million customers worldwide and 14,000 bank branches in all 50 states plus Washington D.C., Bank of America is one of the largest banks in existence. But what sets it apart from other banking institutions is its enormous number of financial services divisions, boasting everything from traditional deposit accounts to commercial mortgages to brokerage services.

What is Wells Fargo?

Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo & Company is a banking firm that has over $1.7 trillion in assets. The company has locations all across North America and offers a wide range of financial services to individuals and businesses, including home loans, credit cards, auto loans, checking accounts, savings accounts, and more. With more than 8 million customers that use its various products every day, it’s one of the country’s most well-known banks.

Difference Between Wells Fargo Bank of America

Wells Fargo is a Private Company

Most people don’t know that Wells Fargo is a private company. In other words, it is not owned by stockholders but instead owned by its board of directors, who are bank employees. Its main objective is to generate revenue for its shareholders (also bank employees) as opposed to generating revenue for stockholders like with most companies in America.

Branches: Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

As a national bank, Wells Fargo has approximately 5,100 locations nationwide. This gives customers greater access to branches in many areas, compared to regional banks such as Bank of America. But because it’s national, it also means that some regions may have fewer branches—or none at all. Generally speaking, if you live in a large city or metropolitan area that has many residents and businesses, you should be able to find a branch nearby.

Wells Fargo Makes More Money Than Bank of America

Despite its reputation as one of America’s biggest banks, Bank of America still trails Wells Fargo in overall revenue. The former bank pulled in $81.3 billion in net income for 2016, compared to $87.6 billion for its rival. However, both companies fall behind J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which took home over $96 billion last year alone…

Headquarters: Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

The biggest difference between these two banks is their headquarters location. Bank of America’s headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina, whereas Wells Fargo’s corporate office is in San Francisco. The two banks also had very different upbringings: In 1852, Bank of America was founded by a group that included railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt; a century later, in 1919, Wells Fargo became one of several companies (such as J.P. Morgan Chase) that were created out of John D.

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Mobile Apps: Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

Both banks have mobile apps, so you can make deposits or transfers on your phone. However, customers at BofA get more features in their app than customers at WellsFargo to do. With BofA’s app, for example, you can pay your credit card bill via your phone. But at WellsFargo, that function is reserved for online banking only.

Cost to Open a Checking Account is Lower For Well Fargo

The initial cost to open a checking account is lower for Well Fargo compared to Bank of America. For example, an individual must pay $15 at a minimum to open an account at Well’s Fargo. At Bank of America, however, new customers pay $25. This might not seem like much money but could quickly add up over time.

Free Checking Accounts: Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America offer free checking accounts. Their high-yield checking accounts also earn rewards, although neither has as much to offer as Charles Schwab. However, they both also have other free products that make them appealing, especially if you’re looking for a place to open your first bank account. These include debit cards, mobile banking apps, and ATM access at thousands of ATMs across the country.

The Credit Cards Are Similar

One could get a similar credit card from either bank. The two institutions have one card in common, called BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Card. For example, an online search will indicate that each institution offers a $100 cash bonus if you spend $500 on purchases in your first 90 days as well as 1% cashback on all purchases (1% is also earned at gas stations and grocery stores). This makes them competitive with similar credit cards from different companies.


Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BAC. The company offers many financial products and services including retail banking, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, small business lending, corporate banking, mutual funds, money markets, asset management, securities brokerage, and wealth management.

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