When it comes to choosing a cash back rewards card, it’s hard to beat the flexibility of a flat-rate card since you’ll earn unlimited rewards on purchases, all without worrying about bonus categories or spending limits.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash not only offers one of the highest flat cash rewards rates, but it’s also perhaps the most well-rounded card of its kind. The rewards experience is remarkably simple and it provides solid intro APRs and bonus rewards that several rival cards don’t offer.
Learn more: Why card expert Ted Rossman signed up for the Wells Fargo Active Cash
Rewards: Top-notch flat cash rewards rate
Many cash rewards cards that focus on providing a flat rate on all purchases only earn up to 1.5 percent, or place stipulations around how rewards are earned or redeemed if the flat rate is higher. Although other flat-rate cards can earn 2 percent cash rewards, the Active Cash is one of the few that wipes away caveats and spending caps.
For example, the Citi Double Cash card only earns up to 2 percent on all purchases if you pay your statement balance. You earn 1 percent when you pay and another 1 percent when you pay off the purchase. Several other competing cards with similar rates, like the Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa®, require you to join a specific financial institution or manage multiple accounts. On the other hand, the Wells Fargo Active Cash earns 2 percent cash rewards back for purchases, no matter when you pay your statement balance.
Compared to other cash rewards cards, the Active Cash also gives you an impressive variety of redemption options. You can redeem your cash rewards as statement credits for as little as $1, as physical cash in $20 increments at Wells Fargo ATMs, direct deposits into Wells Fargo savings or checking accounts, or as gift cards or travel via Wells Fargo Rewards. Wells Fargo is one of the only issuers that let you redeem cash rewards at ATMs, and many competing cards don’t allow you to redeem cash rewards for direct deposits.
These easy, flat-rate rewards mean the Active Cash could be either an excellent standalone card for all of your spending if you prefer simplicity. Alternatively, it could also be essential to maximizing your overall cash rewards if you want a versatile partner to shore up your current card combination.
Welcome offer: Quality cash rewards bonus
The Active Cash card’s $200 cash rewards bonus is typical for a no-annual-fee cash rewards card, and the $500 spending requirement in three months is quite low for the payoff. Considering a few other cash rewards cards’ welcome bonuses require double that spend to earn the same bonus, this is one of the more attainable welcome offers we’ve seen. It's especially impressive since many flat-rate cash back cards that earn at least 2 percent back come with no welcome bonus.
However, it’s worth noting that you won’t be able to sign up for the Active Cash card or be eligible for its welcome bonus if you’ve opened a Wells Fargo credit card in the past six months. This buffer is standard for Wells Fargo credit cards, and several other issuers — like Capital One — require you to wait between credit card applications for just as long. However, a few issuers, including Bank of America and American Express, have much shorter approval period wait times.
Learn more: Best cash rewards credit card welcome offers
Rates and fees: Solid intro APR offers and no annual fee
Part of what makes the Wells Fargo Active Cash so enticing is its low ongoing cost and well-rounded intro APR offers. There is no annual fee, no penalty APR and a generous intro APR period for purchases and qualifying balance transfers from account opening.
Depending on your creditworthiness, the card’s ongoing APR can be on par with the current average interest rate. No-annual-fee rewards cards usually offer 0 percent intro APRs on both purchases and balance transfers that last 15 months at most, so the Active Cash is a good option if you want to transfer a balance to a Wells Fargo card or if you have a big purchase coming up.
Just keep in mind there’s an intro 3 percent balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) for the first 120 days from account opening, then up to 5 percent ($5 minimum). It’s also worth being aware of the 3 percent foreign currency conversion fee if you plan to travel with your card. These are relatively standard rates, but a few competing rewards cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees if that is an issue.