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The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is a cash back credit card with no annual fee and a solid rewards scheme that treats all spending equally. It also has a very nice introductory APR promotion, making it a great candidate for new cardholders seeking to transfer existing high-interest balances or finance large purchases shortly after opening their accounts. And its sign-up bonus is well above average for a no-annual-fee cash back card.
If you’re looking for a general-purpose cash back card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is worth a closer look.
These are the most important features of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card.
You get a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months.
Earning Cash Back Rewards
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There are no category restrictions or periodic sign-up or activation requirements, and your accumulated cash back rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
Once you accumulate at least $25 in cash back rewards, you can redeem for statement credits, paper checks, or Wells Fargo bank account deposits. There is an exception to the $25 threshold: If you have a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card, you can redeem at ATMs in $20 increments.
If you prefer non-cash redemptions, you can redeem at the Go Far Rewards portal for gift cards, merchandise purchases, and travel purchases (such as airfare and hotels). However, non-cash redemptions tend to have less value than cash redemptions.
Cash Wise has a 15-month 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers. The balance transfer rate applies to transfers made at any time during the promotional period. Following the end of the offer period, regular APR applies (currently 14.49% to 24.49% variable).
Overdraft Protection for Wells Fargo Deposit Account Holders
Cash Wise comes with Wells Fargo’s overdraft protection service. This feature connects your Wells Fargo checking account with your credit card account, preventing checking account overdrafts. When you initiate a checking transaction that would normally cause an overdraft, Wells Fargo automatically covers the negative amount with a cash advance on your Cash Wise card’s available credit line.
Each transfer costs $12.50 if the total transfer is less than $50. Transfers greater than $50 cost $20. You’re not charged for multiple transfers on the same day, so $20 is the most you’ll pay for this privilege in any given 24-hour period. Keep in mind that the regular cash advance interest rate accrues on all overdraft protection transfers.
There is no annual fee to carry this card. The foreign transaction fee is 3%, and balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% (for the first 12 months only, after which it goes up to the greater of $5 or 5%). Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%, while late and returned payments both cost up to $37.
Cash Wise comes with a pretty nice lineup of additional benefits. These include:
- Cell phone protection for costs incurred due to damaged or stolen cell phones, up to $600 per incident and $1,200 per year
- Extended warranties on items with original warranties of 12 months or less
- Travel inconvenience insurance, which reimburses for lost or damaged carry-on baggage
This card requires good to excellent credit.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card has some notable advantages, including a solid sign-up bonus and no annual fee.
- No Annual Fee. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card doesn’t charge an annual fee. That’s great news for light spenders who don’t accumulate cash back rewards quickly enough to offset recurring levies, and for moderate to heavy spenders who simply don’t want to dilute their rewards.
- Very Good Sign-up Bonus. This card has a very good sign-up bonus: $150 bonus cash when you spend at least $500 within the first 3 months. That’s on par with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, a leading cash back contender.
- Long Introductory APR Promotion. Cash Wise’s introductory purchase and balance transfer promotion lasts 15 months, which is longer than many cash back cards.
- No Rotating Categories. Cash Wise doesn’t have rotating spending categories that require activation or sign-up, meaning you don’t have to go out of your way to maximize your cash back earnings. One of the biggest knocks on popular cash back cards such as Chase Freedom Flex is the fact that they insist on requiring cardholders to manually activate their admittedly lucrative quarterly 5% cash back categories.
- No Penalty APR. This card has no penalty APR, which is a big deal for cardholders who occasionally miss payments due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of liquidity. Many comparable cards have penalty APRs that approach 30% and remain in force indefinitely.
This card isn’t perfect. The cash back earning rate isn’t the best, and the foreign transaction fee is an issue for card holders who spend money outside the United States.
- Hard Cap on Cash Back Earning Rate. This card earns unlimited 1.5% cash back. That’s not terrible by any stretch, but it’s not particularly generous either. When competing cards such as Citi Double Cash offer higher rates of return, cardholders naturally wonder whether they’re getting the best possible deal.
- Minimum Redemption Threshold for Cash Redemptions. Cash Wise requires you to accumulate at least $25 in cash back rewards before you can redeem for statement credits, paper checks, or bank account deposits, and $20 before you can redeem at the ATM. Many competitors, including Chase Freedom Unlimited, allow you to redeem in any amount – an important perk for lighter spenders.
- Has a Foreign Transaction Fee. Cash Wise tacks a 3% surcharge on every foreign transaction. This is a big drawback for people who travel abroad on a regular basis. If you’re a habitual overseas traveler, consider a travel rewards card that waives foreign transaction fees.
There’s something about 1.5%. In the cash back credit card universe, it’s an increasingly common ratio for unlimited, non-category-specific cash back rewards: an apparent sweet spot between the mediocre 1% baseline and the generous 2% offered by Citi Double Cash and a handful of lesser-known cards.
The unlimited 1.5% cash back on the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is mighty attractive. However, 1.5% cash back is pretty common these days – Capital One Quicksilver, Capital One QuicksilverOne, and Chase Freedom Unlimited all offer the same deal, so it may be prudent to analyze all the various options and go with the one that fits you best.