Wells Fargo Reflect vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash
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The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card and the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offer consumers many advantages. One card offers one of the longest 0 percent introductory APR periods for purchases and balance transfers on the market. The other offers a flat rewards rate program that’s so flexible and easy to use it’s what other cash back programs should aspire to. To find out which card might be better for you, we’ll compare the Wells Fargo Reflect vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash side by side.
|Cards||Wells Fargo Reflect||Wells Fargo Active Cash|
|Welcome bonus||N/A||$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 within the first 3 months|
|Rewards rate||N/A||Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases|
|Intro APR||0% for 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then a variable APR of 17.99% to 29.99%)||0% for 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then a variable APR of 19.99%, 24.99%, or 29.99%)|
Wells Fargo Reflect vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash highlights
Both the Wells Fargo Reflect and the Wells Fargo Active Cash have strong benefits, although there are major differences between them. We’ll compare some of the major features below.
Welcome bonus winner: Wells Fargo Active Cash
The Reflect doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, but Active Cash users can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening. This is a fairly standard welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card.
Rewards rate winner: Wells Fargo Active Cash
The Active Cash card offers an unlimited, flat 2 percent cash rewards on purchases. There are no rotating or bonus categories to remember or keep up with. On the other hand, the Reflect does not offer any type of rewards. If you’re looking for cash rewards, the Wells Fargo Active Cash is the better option.
Annual fee winner: Tie
Neither card charges an annual fee, so they’re both affordable options.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Neither card wins here since both charge a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on purchases made while traveling overseas.
Intro APR winner: Wells Fargo Reflect
The Reflect includes a generous 0 percent intro APR for 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then a variable APR of 17.99 percent to 29.99 percent). Compared to other top 0 percent intro APR cards, this is a significant amount of time on its own –one of the longest intro periods currently offered. This gives you even more time and flexibility to pay for large purchases over time or pay down debt without incurring hefty interest charges.
The Reflect wins in this category, but the Active Cash’s introductory offer should not be overlooked. With this card, you’ll receive a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening (then a variable APR of 19.99 percent, 24.99 percent, or 29.99 percent), which is still helpful for paying off large purchases or paying down credit card debt.
Which card earns more?
When comparing credit cards, it helps to consider your personal spending needs. We’ll take a look at an example of how one might use either card to make a $1,000 purchase within the first month of account opening.
Wells Fargo Reflect vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash spending example
The Reflect does not offer any rewards, but when you make a $1,000 purchase within the first month, you’ll have 21 months to pay off the purchase without incurring interest charges (after that, you’ll pay a variable APR of 17.99 percent to 29.99 percent). In this scenario, you could break up the payment into much smaller increments of around $48 per month.
With the Active Cash, the same $1,000 purchase will earn a flat 2 percent cash rewards back, which is equal to $20 in rewards. Plus, since the purchase was within the first three months of account opening, you’ll earn the $200 cash rewards welcome offer. You’ll also still have a generous 0 percent intro APR period for 15 months that you can take advantage of. After that 15 months is up, any remaining balance will be subject to a variable APR of 19.99 percent, 24.99 percent, or 29.99 percent.
Why should you get the Wells Fargo Reflect?
An intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 21 months is enough to garner serious attention. However, the Reflect has a few other benefits worth noting.
- Competitive regular APR. After the 0 percent intro APR offer ends, the variable interest rate is currently 17.99 percent to 29.99 percent, potentially making it a low-interest option if you have good to excellent credit.
- Cellphone protection. If you pay your cellphone bill with your Reflect card, you will receive cellphone coverage for eligible theft and damage. You’ll receive coverage of up to $600 per claim and the ability to file a maximum of two claims per year.
- My Wells Fargo Deals. You can earn cash back by activating limited-time offers with select merchants. For example, you could earn 10 percent cash back at a business like Starbucks by using your Reflect card to pay for your purchase.
- Visa benefits. Visa Traditional benefits are included with this card, which means you’ll have access to emergency cash disbursement, card replacement. You’ll also get 24/7 pay-per-use roadside assistance.
Since there is no rewards program in place, there are currently no redemption options available with this card.
Recommended credit score
A good to excellent credit score (670 to 850) is recommended to qualify for approval.
Why should you get the Wells Fargo Active Cash?
A flat cash back rate is enticing — there are no confusing promotional periods, category activations or varying rewards rates for different categories. That could be enough to justify signing up, but there are other reasons the Wells Fargo Active Cash may be a smart choice for you.
Many of the perks offered by the Reflect extend to Active Cash cardholders, too. You’ll get the same cellphone protection coverage and access to My Wells Fargo Deals. You’ll also get Visa Signature benefits, which include the Visa Traditional benefits, plus access to the Visa Signature Concierge Service, perks at Luxury Hotel Collection properties and more.
The Active Cash’s regular variable APR is 19.99 percent, 24.99 percent, or 29.99 percent. That’s not quite as good as the Reflect’s variable APR, but it’s still competitive for the market.
Another Active Cash perk is its variety of redemption options. Once you earn cash rewards back, you’ll have multiple ways to redeem your rewards, including:
- Statement credits
- Cash (in $20 increments) at Wells Fargo ATMs
- Direct deposits to a Wells Fargo checking or savings account
- Gift cards
- Travel (including flights, car rentals and hotel stays) via Wells Fargo Rewards
Recommended credit score
As with the Reflect, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score (670 to 850) to be considered for approval.
The bottom line
If paying down high-interest credit card debt is your goal, or if you know you need to make a large purchase and pay over time, the Wells Fargo Reflect is hard to beat. Paying down debt can be a game changer for your finances. You may not earn cash back or points, but the card could help with your long-term financial goals.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash, however, is worth considering for its flat cash rewards program. Few rewards programs are as straightforward and flexible as this one. If you like the idea of using your credit card for everyday purchases, you can earn a high rate of flat cash rewards on it. Just be sure to pay your balance in full each month to truly reap any rewards you earn.