Key takeaways

  • If you’re looking for a simple cash back credit card that avoids rotating bonus categories and spending caps, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is an excellent card to consider.
  • This card comes with no annual fee, a welcome offer for new cardholders and 2 percent cash rewards on all purchases.
  • Other benefits include cellphone protection (terms apply) and access to My Wells Fargo Deals.

If you’re searching for a credit card with a simple rewards structure, you’ve likely considered a flat-rate cash back card. With this type of card, you don’t have to keep track of rotating bonus categories or even fixed tiered categories to earn cash back rewards. You simply swipe your card and let the cash back rewards pile up.

Since its release, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card has quickly become a standout in the flat-rate category due to its unlimited 2 percent cash rewards on purchases. Here’s a look at what the card has to offer and factors to consider to decide if it is worth it for you.

When is Wells Fargo Active Cash worth it?

You prefer simplicity

When it comes down to it, Wells Fargo Active Cash is a simple card for a simple cardholder. And that’s a good thing. If you don’t have the time to activate rotating categories or calculate spending caps on bonus categories (or simply don’t want to do either of those), this is an excellent card to consider.

It earns unlimited 2 percent cash rewards with no category limitations or quarterly activations. Plus, you can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months, and there’s no annual fee. If you’re looking for something that earns rewards with little effort and has no spending caps, this is the card for you.

You plan to make a large purchase soon

Perhaps you intend to buy a big-ticket item like a new laptop or washing machine, but you don’t have enough funds right now to pay for it all at once. Well, Wells Fargo Active Cash has a solid introductory APR offer: 0 percent intro APR on new purchases for 15 months from account opening (20.24 percent, 25.24 percent or 29.99 percent variable APR thereafter). If 15 months is long enough to pay off your new purchase, Wells Fargo Active Cash could help you save on interest.

You want to transfer high-interest debt

Alternatively, maybe you have some credit card debt that you accumulated from a high-interest card and would like to transfer that balance to a card that offers an introductory APR on balance transfers. Wells Fargo Active Cash also has a solid intro APR offer for qualifying balance transfers: 0 percent intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening (20.24 percent, 25.24 percent or 29.99 percent variable APR thereafter).

You should also know there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3 percent, or a minimum of $5, on balance transfers performed during the first 120 days. After that, the fee will go up to 5 percent (minimum of $5).

You want better card benefits without paying an annual fee

As if the high cash rewards rate, welcome bonus and introductory APR offers weren’t enough, this card comes with additional features that are typically found only on cards with annual fees. These features include cellphone protection (if you pay your monthly cellphone bill with the card; terms apply), an auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance services, Visa Signature Concierge Services and more. This makes the Wells Fargo Active Cash card suited for even the most cautious cardholders.

Note that, for the cellphone protection benefit, you’ll get up to $600 per claim against damage or theft (maximum of two claims per year, minus a $25 deductible).

You like combining cards

Wells Fargo recently announced that points-based travel cards would have the ability to transfer points to travel partners under their new “Points Transfer” program. While this applies to the Autograph line of cards, it is now possible to pool points from the Wells Fargo Active Cash card with the new Wells Fargo Autograph JourneySM card, as well.

Similar to other common card combinations, like the Chase trifecta or Citi trifecta, you can now pool the rewards you’ve earned with your Active Cash and Autograph Journey cards. You can then transfer those rewards to participating partner programs for even more value.

When is the Wells Fargo Active Cash not worth it?

You enjoy rotating category bonuses

If you like earning boosted rewards on categories that rotate each quarter, this isn’t the card for you. The same goes if you enjoy boosted rewards categories of any type.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers a flat 2 percent cash back on all purchases, which makes it one of the best flat-rate cash back offers you’ll find. However, you won’t earn boosted rewards rates in certain categories here. If you know your budget heavily favors groceries or dining out, for instance, you could earn more rewards with a top credit card for groceries or restaurants.

You want to redeem cash rewards directly for travel

Though you may redeem your cash rewards for travel via the Wells Fargo Rewards travel portal, we’d advise against it. The travel portal isn’t nearly as robust as some others, like Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Additional redemption options include cash from a Wells Fargo ATM (in $20 increments), direct deposits to an eligible Wells Fargo checking or savings account, statement credits and gift cards.

Should you get the Wells Fargo Active Cash?

All in all, it’s a good card to have. In fact, this card’s flat-rate 2 percent cash rewards offering makes it one of the best cash rewards cards on the market. For credit card enthusiasts who like playing with different card combos, you could use the Wells Fargo Active Cash as an everyday spending card and redeem your cash rewards at a 1:1 ratio. To maximize your rewards, you could even pair the card with one that earns boosted rewards on certain categories of spending, like travel.

For new cardholders who don’t want too much hassle, the flat rate eases any possible headache toward maximizing bonus categories. You can simply use this card on your purchases, and the 2 percent cash rewards will add up faster than you realize. You’ll be able to redeem your rewards for physical cash, gift cards or statement credits soon enough.

The bottom line

The Wells Fargo Active Cash could make a lot of sense for the right person in the right circumstance. And since there’s no annual fee, there’s not much to lose. If you aren’t quite sure about this card, be sure to consider other top cash back credit cards you can use Bankrate’s CardMatch™ tool to check out other credit cards you might be eligible for.