Wells Fargo is one of the best-known consumer banks operating in the United States today. Its accounts routinely make our monthly list of the best bank account promotions for new and returning customers.
Quietly, Wells Fargo is also an active credit card issuer. Although its card stable isn’t as large or diverse as some competing issuers, such as Chase and Barclaycard, Wells Fargo offers two credit cards with two distinct use cases, which are detailed below.
Both of these credit cards stacks up well against competitors in its category. Read on for more information about them and for key details about how Wells Fargo does business as a credit card issuer.
Best Wells Fargo Credit Cards
Each Wells Fargo credit card has a clear purpose:
- Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card: A general-purpose cash-back credit card
- Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card: A travel rewards credit card designed for frequent travelers partial to Hotels.com
Chances are, at least one of these Wells Fargo cards fits your financial needs and lifestyle. Here’s what you should know about each.
1. Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
Unlimited 2% Cash Rewards on Eligible Purchases
This offer is no longer available.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card might be the best Wells Fargo credit card on the market.
This card boasts:
- A cash rewards program that promises unlimited 2% cash rewards on all eligible purchases, with no categories or expiration dates to worry about
- An introductory offer (sign-up bonus) worth $200 in bonus cash rewards after you spend $1,000 in the first three months
- A 0% APR offer for purchases and balance transfers that stretches for 15 months from account opening
Bear in mind that balance transfers must occur within the first 120 days to qualify for the 0% APR offer.
- Sign-Up Bonus: After you spend $1,000 in the first three months your account is open, you’ll earn a $200 cash rewards bonus.
- Earning Rewards: Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on all eligible purchases. Rewards never expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing and there are no category-based restrictions on cash-back earnings.
- Redeeming Rewards: You can redeem your accumulated rewards for statement credits and other cash equivalents, subject to variable redemption minimums.
- Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months. After that, regular variable APR applies (currently 14.99% to 24.99%). Qualifying balance transfers must occur within 120 days of account opening.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3% of the total transaction value.
- Other Perks: Qualify for up to $600 in damage and theft coverage for your cellphone (less a $25 deductible) when you pay your phone bill in full with your Wells Fargo Active Cash card.
2. Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card
Limited-Time Offer: Get 2 Reward Nights Worth Up to $250 Total (Max $125 Per Night) as a Sign-Up Bonus
This offer is no longer available.
The Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card offers fabulous value for frequent travelers who prefer — or at least don’t mind — booking hotel rooms on Hotels.com.
Its versatile and potentially quite generous rewards program applies to more than 500,000 properties worldwide, including resorts and homestays. That’s an order of magnitude more than any co-branded hotel rewards credit card can provide through a single hospitality family.
The Hotels.com Rewards Visa card’s loyalty currency — “stamps” — takes some getting used to for travelers used to more familiar points or miles. But navigating that learning curve is well worth the effort.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 2 reward nights worth $250 total, minus taxes and fees (a maximum of $125 per night) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. Reward value doesn’t carry over — if you redeem a reward night for a room priced under $125 per night, you’ll forfeit the difference. This is a limited-time offer.
- Earning Rewards: You’ll earn 1 stamp per nightly stay at any eligible property booked through Hotels.com and 1 stamp for each $500 you spend on eligible purchases with your card.
- Redeeming Rewards: You can redeem 10 stamps for 1 hotel reward night booked on Hotels.com.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
- Other Perks: For the first year, you’ll enjoy complimentary perks like free breakfast, airport transfers, and free Wi-Fi at participating properties. As long as you remain a cardholder in good standing, you’ll enjoy basic travel insurance protections like trip interruption and cancellation coverage (subject to policy limits) for nonrefundable passenger fares booked with your card. You’ll also get up to $600 per claim in cellphone protection for stolen or damaged phones — less a $25 deductible — when you pay your monthly phone bill with your card.
What to Know About Wells Fargo Cards
Wells Fargo has an in-house rewards program (Go Far Rewards) that rewards Active Cash Card users for every eligible purchase they make. Its credit cards offer optional overdraft protection for cardholders who also have Wells Fargo bank accounts. And it provides potentially valuable fringe benefits through Visa, most at no out-of-pocket cost to cardholders.
Go Far Rewards
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card earns Go Far Rewards points, Wells Fargo’s in-house loyalty currency.
Depending on your chosen credit card’s terms, you’ll likely earn Go Far Rewards points for every net purchase charged to your card. You can earn faster at Wells Fargo’s Earn More Mall, an internal shopping portal featuring some of the country’s hottest apparel, electronics, and home goods brands.
Go Far Rewards are pretty versatile. At the Go Far Rewards portal, you can redeem them for hard cash (statement credits), Wells Fargo loan payments, gift cards, general merchandise, travel purchases, media downloads, and more. If you share your Wells Fargo accounts with multiple family members, you can pool your rewards as well.
Redemption values and minimums vary, but points are generally worth near $0.01 apiece, and cash redemptions require at least $25 (2,500 points) in earned rewards when executed online or $20 (2,000 points) at ATMs.
There’s generally no cap on your total Go Far Rewards earnings, although you’ll want to read the fine print on your chosen card for exclusions and conditions.
Go Far Rewards points can expire if left unused and automatically forfeit when you or Wells Fargo closes your card account, so be sure to stay on top of your hoard and look for redemption opportunities often.
Overdraft Protection for Wells Fargo Deposit Account Holders
One perk of maintaining Wells Fargo credit card and deposit accounts together is access to the institution’s overdraft protection program. Unless otherwise noted, the cards listed above offer overdraft protection on an opt-in basis.
The feature is simple. Whenever you attempt a checking account transaction that would normally result in an overdraft, Wells Fargo automatically borrows against your credit card’s cash advance credit line to offset the shortfall and allows the transaction to go through as intended.
Wells Fargo’s overdraft protection isn’t free. Each transfer carries a variable fee starting at $12.50 per occurrence, or higher for larger amounts. When multiple transfers occur on the same business day, they count as a single transfer. Going forward, the credit card’s regular cash advance APR applies to all overdraft protection transfers.
General Benefits for Wells Fargo Cardholders
Many Wells Fargo cards come with a slate of benefits backed by Visa. Each card offers some combination of:
- Cellphone protection, which covers damage or theft (not accidental loss) up to $600 per claim
- Complimentary loss and damage coverage for rental cars charged in full to the card
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Roadside dispatch service
- Emergency card replacement
Some of these benefits require out-of-pocket payments when invoked, such as towing fees when using a roadside dispatch service, and a $25 deductible per claim for cellphone protection.
For more information, read your cardholder agreement and explanation of benefits documents thoroughly.
Qualifying for Wells Fargo Sign-Up Bonuses
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card and Hotels.com Rewards Visa both offer enticing sign-up bonuses. Before you apply, read the fine print. If you’ve held a Wells Fargo card in the recent past, you might be ineligible for the bonus.
Generally, you’re not eligible for a bonus if you opened another Wells Fargo account within the past 15 months — a test informally known as the Wells Fargo 15-month rule. To confirm your eligibility, get in touch with a customer service representative prior to applying.
Wells Fargo has a nice lineup of credit cards, but it’s not the most comprehensive issuer in the U.S. If you’re looking for a small-business credit card, branded airline credit card, or student rewards credit card, you’ll need to look to another source.
Fortunately, there are plenty of said sources around. Before you settle on a Wells Fargo card, check out the offers from other top issuers like Chase, American Express, Capital One, and Barclaycard. With a little persistence, you’ll find at least one card that’s right for you.