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Wells Fargo Reflect vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash

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a man on his tablet holding a card in his hand
Koh Sze Kiat/Getty Images
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The Wells Fargo Reflect℠ and the Wells Fargo Active Cash® 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 cash back 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.

Main details

Cards Wells Fargo Reflect Wells Fargo Active Cash
Welcome bonus N/A $200 cash bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months
Rewards rate N/A Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
Intro APR 0% for 18 months (up to 21 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period) on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then a variable APR of 15.24% to 27.24%) 0% for 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then a variable APR of 17.24%, 22.24% or 27.24%)
Annual fee $0 $0

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 bonus after spending $1,000 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 back on all 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 back, 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 18 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then a variable APR of 15.24 percent to 27.24 percent). Compared to other top 0 percent intro APR cards, this is a significant amount of time on its own. But if you make on-time minimum payments during the intro period, your 0 percent intro APR will be extended to 21 months — 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 after account opening (then a variable APR of 17.24 percent, 22.24 percent or 27.24 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 up to 21 months to pay off the purchase without incurring interest charges (after that, you’ll pay a variable APR of 15.24 percent to 27.24 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 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 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 17.24 percent, 22.24 percent or 27.24 percent.

Why should you get the Wells Fargo Reflect?

A 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for up to 21 months is enough to garner serious attention. However, the Reflect has a few other benefits worth noting.

Additional benefits

  • Competitive regular APR. After the 0 percent intro APR offer ends, the variable interest rate is currently 15.24 percent to 27.24 percent, potentially making it a low-interest option if you have good credit.
  • Cellphone protection. If you pay your cellphone bill with your Reflect card, all phones tied to your bill 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 and travel and emergency assistance services. You’ll also get 24/7 pay-per-use roadside assistance.

Redemption options

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.

Additional benefits

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 all of the Visa Traditional benefits, plus access to the Visa Signature Concierge Service, perks at Luxury Hotel Collection properties, extended warranty coverage and more.

The Active Cash’s regular variable APR is 17.24 percent, 22.24 percent or 27.24 percent. That’s not quite as good as the Reflect’s variable APR, but it’s still competitive for the market.

Redemption options

Another Active Cash perk is its variety of redemption options. Once you earn cash 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 interest-free for up to 21 months 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 back 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 back on all of it. Just be sure to pay your balance in full each month to truly reap any rewards you earn.

Written by
Sara Coleman
Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman is an insurance contributor at Bankrate. She has a couple of years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.
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