Issuer Comparison: Chase vs. Wells Fargo

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Trying to decide between Chase and Wells Fargo as your credit card issuer? We’ve put together a comparison highlighting the features and benefits offered by Chase and Wells Fargo, as well as general information you should know to make an educated decision.

When it comes to comparing Chase versus Wells Fargo as your future card issuer, it’s best to look at the brands as a whole rather than getting into the weeds concerning limited-time card offers that could easily change.

The details


5,000 branches, 16,000 ATMs, 30+ types of cards.

As one of the top credit card issuers in the nation, Chase holds prospective cardholders to high standards.

Chase’s card offerings are directed at those with credit scores of 700 and above. They don’t offer secured cards, and when you apply for one of Chase’s 30 card offerings, they’ll take into consideration your income, recent accounts opened and more.

One of the most well-known aspects of Chase’s card applications is its 5/24 rule: If you’ve opened five or more cards within the past 24 months, you won’t be able to move forward with your application. This rule prevents cardholders from churning, which is the practice of canceling a card after immediately after receiving the sign-up bonus. Not all cards are affected by the rule, but it is something to keep in mind.

Chase’s rewards program, Chase Ultimate Rewards®, offers high-yield rewards and a variety of easy-to-navigate redemption options. You can redeem points for gift cards, travel, cash back or shop with points on or the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store.

One of the coolest aspects of Chase’s rewards system is their online shopping portal. When you purchase items through Shop through Chase, you can earn bonus points at 300+ stores, transfer your points to TrueBlue, JetBlue’s travel rewards program, or book discounted travel.

Wells Fargo

Similar to Chase, Wells Fargo has 5,700 brick-and-mortar branches around the country and around 13,000 ATMS. But with only seven credit card offerings, there’s significantly less to choose from compared to other card issuers.

Although Wells Fargo’s card selection is small, they do offer at least one of every standard card: rewards, low-interest, balance transfer, secured and student. You’ll need around the same credit score as Chase (650-750 for most of the cards), but they do offer a secured card option for the lower end of the credit score spectrum.

With Wells Fargo cards, points are referred to as Wells Fargo Go Far® Rewards. Unlike other major card issuers, Wells Fargo essentially offers only two ways to earn rewards: by spending within your card’s bonus categories and by shopping via Earn More Mall® .

Earn More Mall® is Wells Fargo’s online shopping portal where you can earn 2 to 10 Go Far® Rewards points per dollar by shopping with their featured merchants, such as eBay, Apple and Target.

A few general Wells Fargo benefits include:

  • Zero Liability Protection, which protects you from unauthorized transactions
  • Overdraft Protection, which links your checking and credit card accounts in order to cover any overdrafts with available credit
  • Fraud monitoring

Chase Ultimate Rewards®

You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards® for travel, cash back, gift cards and purchases at Amazon and Apple via Chase’s Shop With Points program. As long as you keep an open and active account, your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points won’t expire.

Points have a value of 2 cents and — unlike Wells Fargo — are transferable to Chase travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.

A few of Chase’s airline and hotel partners include JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Hyatt and Marriott hotels. You’ll get the most value from your points by booking travel at a discount through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal (backed by Expedia) or by transferring your points to a Chase travel partner.

Premium Chase cards can boost the value of your points up to 50% when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. A few examples include:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: 25%
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: 25%
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: 50%

Lastly, there are no blackout dates when booking through the portal, meaning you’ll have the freedom to travel where you want, when you want.

Wells Fargo Go Far® Rewards

The average Go Far® Rewards point is worth is 1.5 cents, and you can redeem your points for cash back, travel, gift cards, merchandise via Earn More Mall® and more. There’s even an online auction feature that allows you to bid on items within the Earn More Mall® using your Go Far® Rewards points.

Unlike Chase, Go Far® Rewards aren’t transferable. That means you won’t be able to shift points from your Wells Fargo account to hotels or airlines for travel purposes. This lack of rewards redemption flexibility is part of what makes Wells Fargo less desirable compared to more travel-friendly card issuers.

Your Go Far® Rewards won’t expire with most Wells Fargo cards, but not with all. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of the particular card you’re researching in order avoid to a loss of points in the future.

The bottom line

Choose Chase if … Choose Wells Fargo if …
… you want to pick from a wider variety of cards, with more flexible options for point redemption. … you already bank or invest with Wells Fargo and you’d rather keep your portfolio with one financial services provider.

If you want to do more research, compare credit cards from other major issuers.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.