Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card review

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Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Rewards rate

1.8%–1.5%

Annual fee

$0

Intro bonus

$150

Regular APR

14.49%-24.99% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card Overview

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card is a solid option if you want a simple, uncomplicated cash rewards credit card. Instead of having to juggle multiple cards, track spending in specific categories or enroll in a new bonus category each quarter, you can earn rewards at the same flat rate on every purchase, no matter where, when or what you buy. You’ll pay no annual fee and can also enjoy a slightly elevated cash back rate on Google Pay and Apple Pay purchases during your first 12 months as a cardholder.

That said, the Cash Wise Visa is far from the best cash back card on the market. Indeed, it even falls short of a number of flat-rate cash back cards due to its unimpressive sign-up bonus. Although the card will certainly do the job as a low-maintenance cash back card and could hold special appeal to avid mobile wallet users, it simply doesn’t stand out from the competition.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Rewards don’t expire as long as the account is open
  • 20% digital wallet transaction bonus for a total of 1.8% cash rewards on qualified purchases during the first 12 months the account is opened
  • Introductory 0% APR offer on purchases for 15 months and 15 months on qualifying balance transfers, then 14.49%-24.99% variable APR

Cons

  • The APR is pretty high compared to similar rewards cards
  • You can only redeem your rewards in $20 increments by ATM or $25 by phone
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% for the first 120 days and 5% after
  • 3% foreign transaction fee for all purchases made outside the U.S.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quicker highlights

  • Rewards rate: 1.8 percent cash rewards on digital wallet purchases including Google Pay or Apple Pay during the first 12 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash rewards on purchases.
  • Welcome offer: Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for 15 months from account opening
  • Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers
  • Regular APR: 14.49 percent to 24.99 percent variable

Current welcome offer

This Wells Fargo credit card offers a $150 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months. While a sign-up bonus is always welcome (especially considering a few flat-rate cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card come with no sign-up bonus), a $150 bonus falls short of the bonus you’ll find on many no-annual-fee cash back cards, including the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, all of which are currently higher bonuses.

Cash rewards back

Without a doubt, the most appealing part of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa is its simplicity. The cash back rewards program is easy to understand and straightforward, so you can swipe and earn without a second thought. For cardholders who value ease of use, this could make up for the average rewards rate.

Earning cash rewards back

You’ll earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash rewards back for every dollar spent, with no need to track or activate bonus categories. Keep in mind, however, that you can only earn rewards on purchases and not late fee payments nor qualifying balance transfers. If you like to use Google Pay or Apple Pay, you’re in luck, as you’ll earn 1.8 percent cash rewards back on purchases during your first 12 months as a cardholder.

Redeeming cash rewards back

Redeeming your cash rewards is just as straightforward. Once you’ve earned your cash rewards, you can withdraw your earnings from a Wells Fargo ATM (in $20 minimum increments), have the earnings deposited directly into your Wells Fargo checking or savings account or even have the earnings applied to your mortgage principal as a credit if you have a qualified Wells Fargo mortgage. This nice variety of redemption options also helps make up for the average rewards rate.

Benefits

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa benefits extend beyond the cash back on purchases. You’ll enjoy other perks such as these benefits:

FICO score access

As a Wells Fargo cardholder, you have free, instant access to your FICO score, making it a little bit easier to monitor your credit standing.

Rewards program

You can really stretch the flexibility of the rewards you earn with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise card by also enrolling in Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards program. This is a loyalty rewards program for certain Wells Fargo cardholders, and the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa is an eligible card. Enrolling in the Go Far Rewards program allows you to redeem not only as cash back but also for gift cards, travel certificates and more.

Cellphone protection

If you use the Wells Fargo credit card to pay your cellphone bill, you receive additional protection against theft or damage. This is an up to $600 maximum benefit (after a $25 dollar deductible) that is paid out after your other cellphone insurance options have been exhausted.

Rates and fees

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa offers a 15-month 0 percent introductory APR for both purchases from account opening and qualifying balance transfers. After the first 15 months, the APR is variable and increases to between 14.49 percent and 24.99 percent, depending on your credit rating. Introductory balance transfers are subject to a minimum of $5 or 3 percent of the transfer total for 120 days from account opening. After that, the fee is up to 5 percent for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise credit card currently charges no annual fee. But if you think you might use this credit card while traveling overseas, you should be aware of the 3 percent foreign transaction fee.

How the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa compares to other cash back cards

Earning cash back is definitely not a new concept in the credit card world, but how does this Wells Fargo card compare to other cash back cards? Well, it certainly doesn’t stand out from the pack. The Chase Freedom Unlimited®, for example, will likely be a better fit as it not only matches the Cash Wise card’s flat 1.5 percent cash back rate, but also offers bonus cash back in popular categories like dining and travel (booked through Chase) and a higher sign-up bonus.

Meanwhile, the no-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card offers a flat rate of up to 2 percent back on all purchases (1 percent when you buy and 1 percent when you pay your bill). You’ll miss out on a sign-up bonus with the Citi Double Cash, but you’ll enjoy an extra 0.5 percent on every purchase for years.

Wells Fargo Image

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Annual fee

$0

Sign up bonus

$150

Rewards rate

1.8%–1.5%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Chase Image

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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4.6
Apply now

on Chase's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Sign up bonus

$200

Rewards rate

1.5%–5%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Citi Image

Citi® Double Cash Card

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3.6
Apply now

on Citi's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Sign up bonus

N/A

Rewards rate

2%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

Best cards to pair with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa

To supplement the Cash Wise Visa card’s flat rate on general purchases, consider pairing with a card that earns bonus cash back in one of your high-spend categories, like groceries or dining. The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, for example, offers terrific variety, with a solid 3 percent back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery store purchases, all while charging no annual fee. The card is even offering a sign-up bonus of $200 after you spend $500 within three months of account opening.

If you want to save up rewards for a trip, however, it may be worth looking for a travel credit card to pair with the Cash Wise. Again, it makes sense to look for cards offering extra points in specific spending categories, like travel and dining, to supplement the elevated rewards you’d already earn on general purchases with the Cash Wise card. Plus, many travel cards forego the foreign transaction fee, helping you save when you’re traveling abroad.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa worth it?

Its cash back potential may not be the highest available in the market, but the ease and simplicity of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa make it a good option for those who like effortless rewards. If you don’t want to keep up with quarterly activations and want a variety of options to get your cash back, then this card is a solid contender. However, even among flat-rate cards, the Cash Wise card isn’t the most lucrative option, so be sure to check out some alternatives before you put in an application.

The information about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.