Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card review: The leader of long 0 percent APR intro offers
Wells Fargo’s newest credit card, the Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card, blows the issuer’s previous balance transfer card—the *Wells Fargo Visa Platinum Credit Card—out of the water. The card’s starting intro APR offer is par for the course compared to other balance transfer credit cards, but in a unique twist, you’ll be able to extend your intro APR period by making on-time minimum payments.
That shouldn’t be a problem if you’re trying to pay off your balance as quickly as possible, which means the Wells Fargo Reflect rewards you for simply chipping away at your debt with what may be the two longest intro APR periods available. What’s more, its cellphone protection perk and low-interest 12.99 percent to 24.99 (variable) APR energize the Reflect card with solid ongoing value, which is usually the downfall of most cards designed solely for balance transfers.
Although there is a standard 3 percent balance transfer fee (5 percent after the first 120 days, $5 minimum), all these features combined may make the new Wells Fargo Reflect the best balance transfer credit card on the market today.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: N/A
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase Intro APR: 0 percent for 18 months from account opening (up to 21 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period)
- Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0 percent for 18 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (up to 21 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period)
- Regular APR: 12.99 percent to 24.99 percent (variable)
Current intro APR offer
The Wells Fargo Reflect card’s default intro offer is a 0 percent APR on purchases from account opening and on qualifying balance transfers for 18 months from account opening (transfers must be made in your first 120 days), but eagle-eyed cardholders that make at least minimum payments on time each month will have their zero-interest periods extended to a chart-topping 21 months. What’s more, this offer is followed by a low-interest 12.99 percent to 24.99 (variable) APR.
Not many credit cards you’ll find nowadays can shield your balance or upcoming purchases from interest that long—let alone on both purchases and balance transfers. Receiving 18 months away from accruing interest is about average for cards specifically built for balance transfers, but one of the only other cards to surpasses that threshold is the *U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card with a 20-billing cycle 0 percent intro purchase and balance transfer APR (then 14.49 percent to 24.49 percent, variable APR). The updated Citi Simplicity® Card and Citi Diamond Preferred® Card now carry a 21-month 0 percent intro balance transfer APR (transfers must be completed within the first four months), but their 0 percent intro purchase APR lasts a mere 12 months (then 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent for the Simplicity and 13.74 percent to 23.74 percent for the Diamond Preferred, both variable).
If you’re looking for the longest break from your snowballing interest possible, then the Wells Fargo Reflect Card may be one of the best options around.
If you’re transferring a balance of about $3,333 or lower, the BankAmericard® credit card may have more valuable welcome offers since it provides a 0 percent intro purchase and balance transfer APR for 18 billing cycles (then 12.99 percent to 22.99 percent, variable APR; balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days), plus a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 90 days.
That would cover your 3 percent balance transfer fee ($10 minimum), which could give you a head start on more than half of your first cycle’s payment that the Reflect card wouldn’t, according to our credit card balance transfer calculator.
Other cardholder perks
Balance transfer cards aren’t known for carrying a rich portfolio of benefits outside their zero-interest offers and basics like FICO credit score access or account alerts, but the Wells Fargo Reflect’s cellphone protection perk distinguishes itself enough from the competition.
One of the major benefits you’ll find across personal Wells Fargo credit cards is cellphone protection. By paying your cellphone bill with your Reflect card, the phones tied to your bill can be protected against eligible theft or damage for up to $600 per claim—minus a $25 out-of-pocket deductible. You’ll be able to file up to two claims per year for up to $1,200 in annual coverage.
Cellphone protection isn’t the most valuable perk in the credit card world, but it makes a big difference among balance transfer cards since it enhances their long-term value. In fact, the Wells Fargo Reflect’s stellar terms make it the best card with cellphone insurance with a balance transfer offer.
My Wells Fargo Deals
Although the Wells Fargo Reflect doesn’t have its own rewards program, you can log into your account and activate limited-time offers at specific merchants through My Wells Fargo Deals to earn cash back in the form of statement credits. It operates like Chase Offers and other card-linked programs, which allow you to earn up to a small, set amount of cash back at a select participating retailer before the offer cycles out and a new deal takes its place.
In the past, we’ve seen offers like 5 percent cash back at Starbucks and 20 percent back on eligible Kindle purchases, but don’t expect to earn mounds of rewards. There are usually very small reward caps (less than $10), but it’s enough to give your Reflect card a bit more purchase value in the long run.
Visa travel benefits
Like the Wells Fargo Platinum did before, the Reflect card carries a few standard-tier Visa Traditional benefits. Outside industry staple features like emergency cash disbursement, card replacement and travel and emergency assistance services, you can get a helping hand away from home with roadside dispatch assistance. The 24/7 pay-per-use service can get you back on the road if you need fuel, towing, a jump start and more—just call 1-800-847-2869.
These benefits are common to most Visa cards and aren’t the most helpful benefits day to day, but if you want more substantial network features, there are a few cards with shorter zero-interest periods that may carry cash back programs and Visa Signature or World Elite Mastercard perks.
Rates and fees
The Wells Fargo Reflect is relatively low-cost for a credit card focused on balance transfers. Sometimes balance transfer cards trade intro APR length for a lower ongoing interest rate, like the Chase Slate Edge℠. However, the Reflect card retains its extraordinary up to 21-month 0 percent intro purchase and balance transfer APR (18 months without continuous on-time minimum payments) while shifting into a bona fide low-interest credit card afterward. In fact, the low end of its 12.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR is well below the current average credit card interest rate.
You won’t have to worry about an annual fee, but there is a 3 percent foreign transaction fee and 3 percent intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) to be aware of. Missing a payment due date won’t charge you a penalty APR but you will face an up to $40 late payment fee—which shouldn’t be a problem anyway since that would void your extended intro APR periods. These are standard costs, but be sure to transfer your balance to Wells Fargo during your first 120 days or the balance transfer fee could shoot up to 5 percent ($5 minimum) and you may miss the intro APR althogether.
These rates and fees are a solid security layer, but they don’t make the Reflect the lowest-cost balance transfer card if you need a better safety net. For example, the Discover it® Balance Transfer card offers an 11.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable APR while waiving your foreign transaction fees and penalty APR and first late payment fee (then up to $40).
How the Wells Fargo Reflect compares to other balance transfer cards
The Wells Fargo Reflect is an extremely strong balance transfer card, outclassing the bulk of zero-interest credit cards with its potentially up to 21-month 0 percent intro purchase from account opening and qualifying balance transfer from account opening APR and low 12.99 percent to 24.99 percent ongoing APR (variable).
Even Wells Fargo’s other original balance transfer card—the Platinum card—is essentially obsolete for legacy cardholders considering it offered the same benefits (except for its rental car and travel accident insurance) but with an 18-month 0 percent intro purchase and balance transfer APR, followed by a higher 16.49 percent to 24.49 percent variable APR.
|Feature||Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card||Citi Simplicity® Card||U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card|
|Welcome Offer||No cash back offers.
0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers from account opening for 18 months—can be extended to up to 21 months with continuous on-time minimum payments
(then 12.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers must be made within the first 120 days)
|No cash back offers.
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months and balance transfers for 21 months
(then 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR; balance transfers must be made within the first four months)
|No cash back offers.
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles
(then 14.49% to 24.49% variable APR; balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days)
Wells Fargo Reflect vs. Citi Simplicity® Card
The Citi Simplicity Card has long reigned as one of the top balance transfer cards and grips its position tight with its minimal-fee approach. Its 21-month 0 percent intro balance transfer period (transfers must be completed within the first four months) matches that of the Reflect card, but it’s just shy of being a true rival. The Simplicity’s 0 percent intro purchase APR is only 12 months, and it also has a higher 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent ongoing APR (variable) and 5 percent balance transfer fee ($5 minimum). Considering that the Citi Simplicity has fewer card network features than the Reflect card’s already sparse list, it doesn’t seem like a stiff match-up at first glance.
However, the Citi Simplicity gains an edge in the deeper card terms once you notice its no annual fee, penalty APR or late payment fee policy. Granted, the Wells Fargo Reflect doesn’t charge an annual fee or penalty APR either, but its crucial intro APR extension benefit may evaporate if you miss your payment date—and you’ll owe an up to $40 late fee to boot.
The Wells Fargo Reflect card is the better card for applicants that expect to put purchases on their card while paying off their previous balance, but the Citi Simplicity is the wiser option if you can’t promise you won’t miss a payment date.
Wells Fargo Reflect vs. U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is perhaps the Reflect card’s closest challenger, which previously offered the longest 0 percent intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers—20 billing cycles (transfers must be within the first 60 days). Both cards also go neck-and-neck by offering the same cellphone protection plan coverage (up to $600 per claim, two claims per year and $1,200 in annual coverage—minus a $25 deductible), similar Visa benefits and no penalty APR. Outside the U.S. Bank Platinum card’s possibly shorter zero-interest periods and higher 14.49 percent to 24.49 percent variable APR afterward, the differences between the two balance transfer cards are very minor.
The U.S. Bank Platinum Visa’s balance transfer fee is a flat 3 percent ($5 minimum) and its 3 percent foreign transaction fee drops to 2 percent if paying in U.S. dollars. Alternatively, the Reflect card’s balance transfer fee may go up to 5 percent after 120 days (minimum of $5) and its foreign transaction fee stays at 3 percent.
You’ll be getting the same relative ongoing value after your intro APR is over, but the Wells Fargo Reflect is a better card in most respects. However, you should lean toward the U.S. Bank Platinum Visa if you’re afraid you might miss a payment and lose the Reflect’s intro APR extension.
Best cards to pair with the Wells Fargo Reflect
Applying for another credit card that encourages spending may not be the best move if you need the Wells Fargo Reflect for its lengthy break from interest. You should focus on paying off your debt as quickly as possible instead of earning rewards, but using the Reflect as your low-interest card and a rewards option as your primary card could be a solid strategy once you’ve whittled away your balance.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Wells Fargo Reflect worth it?
Cardholders that need to keep interest at bay for as long as possible on not only their previous balance but any new purchases coming their way will find the Wells Fargo Reflect one of the most worthwhile options out there.
As long as you keep up on-time minimum (hopefully larger) payments, your 18-month 0 percent intro APR on purchases from account opening and qualifying balance transfers from account opening will be extended to up to 21 months, which eclipses quite a few zero-interest cards’ offers—especially for purchases. The Wells Fargo Reflect also poses a bit more ongoing value than many balance transfer cards thanks to its cellphone protection perk, and low ongoing 12.99 percent to 24.99 percent (variable) APR. However, its feature roster is a bit barebones compared to some balance transfer cards with shorter intro APR periods.
*The information about Wells Fargo Visa Platinum Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer. The Wells Fargo Platinum card is no longer available.