BEST FOR LONG 0 PERCENT INTRO APR OFFERS
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
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Wells Fargo’s card bursts onto the scene with perhaps one of the longest 0 percent intro APR period: up to 21 months, 0 percent intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period (17.74% to 29.74% variable APR thereafter). Thanks to its potentially low ongoing APR, cellphone protection against damage or theft perk and basic Visa travel perks, the Reflect card also offers a bit more ongoing value than other balance transfer cards may — as long as you always make at least minimum payments on time.
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Wells Fargo’s credit card, the Wells Fargo Reflect Card, blows the issuer’s previous balance transfer card — the *Wells Fargo Visa Platinum 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 17.74 percent to 29.74 percent (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 intro 3 percent balance transfer fee (5 percent after the first 120 days, $5 minimum), all these features combined may make the Wells Fargo Reflect the best balance transfer credit card on the market today.
Up to 21 months of 0 percent intro APR — the longest zero-interest period for both purchases from account opening and qualifying balance transfers currently available
Ongoing 17.74 percent to 29.74 percent (variable) APR can be quite low compared to many other balance transfer cards
No annual fee
Up to $600 of cellphone protection for eligible theft or damage when using your card to pay your cellphone bill each month (up to $1,200 yearly coverage across two potential claims, minus a $25 deductible)
No ongoing rewards program or rewards-based welcome bonus
The full up to 21 months of intro APR requires on-time minimum (or greater) payments each month throughout your first 21 months — although this shouldn’t be an issue while trying to settle a balance
Intro 3 percent balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) lasts for 120 days before increasing to 5 percent ($5 minimum)
Purchases abroad incur a 3 percent foreign currency conversion fee
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 up to 21 months. What’s more, this offer is followed by a potentially low-interest 17.74 percent to 29.74 percent (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 few other cards to match that threshold is the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card with a 18-billing cycle 0 percent intro purchase and balance transfer APR (then 19.24 percent to 29.24 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 18.74 percent to 29.49 percent for the Simplicity and 17.74 percent to 28.49 percent for the Diamond Preferred, both variable APRs).
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.
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.
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 as an account credit. It operates like Chase Offers and other card-linked programs, allowing 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 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.
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 spending, 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.
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 APR on purchase and qualifying balance transfer from account opening (Intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period) while shifting into a bona fide low-interest credit card afterward. In fact, the low end of its 17.74 percent 29.74 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 currency conversion 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 from account opening or the balance transfer fee could shoot up to 5 percent ($5 minimum) and you may miss the intro APR altogether.
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 16.49 percent to 27.49 percent variable APR while doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, or penalty APR and waives the first late payment fee (then up to $41).
With its 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers from account opening for up to 21-months and low 17.74 percent to 29.74 percent ongoing APR (variable), the Wells Fargo Reflect easily outperforms the majority of zero-interest credit cards available.
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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) closely 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 18.74 percent to 29.49 percent ongoing APR (variable) and 3 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.
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is perhaps the Reflect card’s closest challenger, — 18 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 19.24 percent to 29.24 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).
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.
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. It would be best if you focused 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 that compliments your spending as your primary card could be a solid strategy once you’ve whittled away your balance.
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 continue to make on-time minimum (ideally bigger) payments during your intro period, your 18-month 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers from account opening could be extended to up to 21 months, which outclasses many zero-interest card 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 17.74 percent to 29.74 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 and Wells Fargo Propel American Express® 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.
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