Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

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If you’re already banking with Wells Fargo, this cash-back card should be on your go-to list.

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If you’re already doing some banking with Wells Fargo, the Cash Wise Visa Card could be a nice addition to your wallet. We love the seamless transfer of rewards to your account, via ATM or to pay your mortgage.

This no-annual-fee credit card offers a fairly standard 1.5% cash back on virtually every purchase — excluding things like pre-paid gift cards and casino gaming chips — but it lacks some of the extra earning potential we see in other cards in this category. We think another cash-back card will probably put more rewards in your piggy bank than this one.

Review

Wells Fargo recently bumped up the sign-up bonus value, which makes this card slightly more attractive and should push it into the definite-maybe category for consumers shopping for a credit card. You’ll earn $200 (up from $150) when you spend $1,000 within the first three months after account opening.

The card also comes with a nice perk for the first year: You’ll earn 1.8% cash back on all Android Pay or Apple Pay mobile wallet purchases. You’re not charged any fee to use a mobile wallet, so this could serve as a slight boost in rewards — assuming you’re comfortable using your phone to pay at the register and the merchants you do business with accept mobile payments.

For users interested in a no-fuss rewards program, Cash Wise Visa is ideal. But if you’re looking for a card that offers increased rewards in certain categories, you’ll do best to look elsewhere.

Who should get this card

Wells Fargo makes redemption a snap for bank customers, so this card is good for consumers who already have a relationship with the bank. Wells Fargo Cash Wise also is a good fit for someone looking to earn a flat rate on all purchases rather than chasing higher rewards in different categories.

This card also serves as a decent balance transfer credit card, offering a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. This should not be the main reason why you apply for this card, as there are better competing offers.

Advantages
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash-back rewards, which don’t expire as long as the account is open.
  • Earn a 20% mobile wallet transaction bonus for a total of 1.8% cash rewards during the first 12 months the account is opened. Only valid for Apple Pay and Android Pay mobile wallets.
  • If you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo card, you can get up to $600 in protection against damage or theft (minus a $25 deductible).
  • Enjoy an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
Disadvantages
  • On the higher end, the APR is pretty pricey. It's best to stay away from this card if you have damaged credit or plan to carry a balance.
  • You can only redeem your rewards in $20 increments by ATM or $25 by phone.
  • Although it has a 12 month 0% APR intro balance transfer offer, there’s still a fee to transfer – and it's higher than many other cards charge.
  • You'll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee for all purchases made outside the U.S.

Fees and APR

  • This card charges no annual fee.
  • You’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside of the United States.
  • The balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, which is high.
  • Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa comes with an introductory 0% APR offer for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases. After that, it’s a variable 13.99% to 25.99%.

Extras, perks and using rewards

You can have the rewards directly deposited into your Wells Fargo checking or savings account. Wells Fargo is the only issuer that we know of that will also let you withdraw your cash rewards at the ATM. Another unique option is to apply your rewards to the principal balance of your Wells Fargo mortgage.

You can also pool your rewards with another Wells Fargo cardholder for greater value, spend your rewards at Wells Fargo’s online shopping portal or donate your cash back earnings to a charity.

If you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo card, you can get up to $600 in protection against damage or theft (minus a $25 deductible).

Wells Fargo may consider cardholders for a Visa Signature card. If you qualify, the Visa Signature version of this card includes benefits like car rental and luggage insurance and hotel perks at Visa Signature luxury properties.

How this card compares

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Card Details
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Credit Needed Good
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a solid, straightforward cash-back rewards card that’s ideal for cardholders who just don’t have the time or energy to track spending categories. It ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards we track.

There are other cards that offer better rewards, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% cash-back on everything is an excellent reward coming from a no-annual-fee credit card.

Citi® Double Cash Card
Card Details
  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49% - 24.49% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 18 months*

When it comes to rewards value, the Citi Double Cash Card ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards that charge no annual fee.

So why, you might ask, does this card not receive a higher score from Bankrate? There are a couple reasons, but the main thing dragging this card down is this: Because Citi Double Cash offers no sign-up bonus, it struggles to compete with many cards in this category.

Card Details
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts - Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • No annual fee.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 14 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 14 months

If you have the mettle to track quarterly rotating bonus categories, Discover it Cashback Match pays 5% cash back in rotating categories up to a maximum of $1,500 per quarter. Everything else pays a flat 1% back. This card also pays out a cash-back match at the end of the first year so all of your rewards are doubled, which could be a nice haul if you make the most of those 5% categories.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.