Wells Fargo Credit Cards

Sean Messier

Sean Messier

Updated Jul 02, 2019

If you’ve ever taken even a cursory glance into the world of finance, whether to seek out a personal loan or to determine where you’d like to open your savings account, the odds are quite high that you’re familiar with the Wells Fargo name.

Since its founding in 1852, the company has grown exponentially, now owning its position as America’s third-largest bank with thousands of locations across the country and an extensive assortment of financial services.

Like many banks of its caliber, Wells Fargo counts credit cards among this list of services. Its current selection features cash back rewards cards, business cards, and numerous additional cards that cover a broad spectrum of spending habits.

Reward Points

Wells Fargo issues three personal credit cards that earn rewards points, redeemable for cash, gift cards, travel, and more, and each offers something that sets it apart from the rest of the Wells Fargo family. Some even feature lengthy 0% APR introductory periods with reduced introductory balance transfer fees.

With no annual fee and a solid rewards system, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card (Review) could be a great choice if you spend big in its more valuable bonus categories. Plus, there’s an intro bonus where you can earn 30k bonus points, for a cash redemption value of $300.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar on:
    • Restaurants
    • Gas stations
    • Travel
    • Eligible streaming services
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 30,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $300 
    • Return on spend: 10%

Key Features

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular APR: 16.24%-28.24% Variable
  • No Penalty APR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

 

The Wells Fargo Rewards Card features a fairly unique signup bonus that provides a high rewards rate for specific categories up to a certain spending limit. It also delivers an impressive introductory APR period, which makes it a good choice if you’re planning to rack up some big purchases to maximize your rewards.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5X points per dollar on up to $12,500 spent for the first six months at:
    • Gas stations
    • Grocery stores
    • Drugstores
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases

Key Features

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular APR: 18.74%–27.74% Variable
  • No Penalty APR 
  • Annual fee: $0

 

The Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card is very similar to the Wells Fargo Rewards Card, but there’s a bonus if you redeem your points for airfare. It also adds Visa Signature benefits and has a minimum credit limit of $5,000, rather than $1,000.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5X points per dollar on up to $12,500 spent for the first six months at:
    • Gas stations
    • Grocery stores
    • Drugstores
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases

Key Features

  • 50% point bonus when rewards points are redeemed for airfare
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular APR: 14.49%–27.99% Variable
  • No penalty APR
  • Annual fee: $0

Cash Back

If you’re after a credit card with a simple rewards structure, no category restrictions and no annual fee, it’s tough to go wrong with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card. It provides a solid intro APR offer, so you’ll have time to pay off big purchases or balance transfers without accumulating interest fees. The introductory cash rewards bonus is pretty easy to get, too.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1.8% cash back on Mobile wallet purchases in the first 12 months after account opening
  • 1.5% cash back on every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $150 cash back for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 30%

Key Features

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular APR: 16.24%-28.24% Variable
  • No Penalty APR
  • Annual fee: $0

Low Interest Rate

The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card is a no-nonsense credit card that provides a lengthy 0% intro APR period for both purchases and balance transfers, before its regular variable APR kicks in.

Key Features

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months
  • Regular APR: 13.74%-27.24% Variable
  • No Penalty APR
  • Annual fee: $0

Students

A good choice for students just stepping into the world of credit, the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa® Card offers a higher rewards rate on certain purchases for the first six months before delivering flat-rate cash back on every purchase.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1.8% cash back on Mobile wallet purchases in the first 12 months after account opening
  • 1.5% cash back on every other purchase

Key Features

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 6 months
  • Regular APR: 13.15%–23.15% Variable
  • No Penalty APR
  • Annual fee: $0

Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are generally best used for repairing bad credit, and the Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card is no exception. As with most competing cards, you have to set your credit limit through a refundable deposit and pay an annual fee. You’ll also need an existing Wells Fargo checking or savings account in this case.

Key Features

  • Security deposit: $300 to $10,000
  • No penalty APR
  • Annual fee: $25

Business Credit Cards

The Wells Fargo family of credit cards includes three business cards, all of which share a unique rewards structure where you choose between cash back and rewards points. You must manually enroll in one of these programs before you’ll earn any rewards, unlike most cards where it’s automatic.

The three Wells Fargo business cards are designed for businesses in different situations — the secured card, for example, caters more to new blood and business owners with poor credit, while the Business Elite card is targeted toward businesses that bring in over $1 million in sales annually.

At first glance, the Wells Fargo® Business Secured Credit Card is pretty much what you’d expect from a secured business card. You provide a deposit, and that’s your credit line. But it has an interesting rewards system where you choose between two programs that each work a bit differently.

Rewards

Spending Rewards: Choose One Program
  • Cash Back:
    • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards Points:
    • 1X point per dollar on all purchases
    • 1,000 bonus points when your company spends $1,000 or more in a given month
    • 10% point bonus when redeeming online

Key Features

  • Security deposit: $500 to $25,000
  • Employee cards: Get up to 10 employee cards at an annual fee of $25 per card
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $25 per card

 

The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card features the same rewards options as the secured business card. The most notable difference is that this card isn’t secured, so you don’t have to provide a deposit up front, but you’ll also get an introductory bonus, a 0% APR period, and up to 99 free employee cards. Oh, and there’s no annual fee.

Rewards

Spending Rewards: Choose One Program
  • Cash Back:
    • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards Points:
    • 1X point per dollar on all purchases
    • 1,000 bonus points when your company spends $1,000 or more in a given month
    • 10% point bonus when redeeming online
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cash Back:
    • $500 cash back for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Rewards Points:
    • 50,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening

Key Features

  • Employee cards: Get up to 99 employee cards at no additional cost
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 9 months
  • Regular APR: 7.99%–17.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

 

The Wells Fargo Business Elite Card is tailored to companies with big sales numbers. Its rewards structure may seem similar to the other Wells Fargo business cards, but it works a bit differently. You have to opt in before you can earn any points or cash back (like the other business cards), but in this case you’ll be charged an annual fee for the rewards program itself — rather than for the card — after the first year.

Rewards

Spending Rewards: Choose One Program
  • Cash Back:
    • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards Points:
    • 1X point per dollar on all purchases
    • 5,000 bonus points when your company spends $1,000 or more in a given month
    • 10% point bonus when redeeming online
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cash Back:
    • $1,000 cash back for spending $15,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Rewards Points:
    • 100,000 bonus points for spending $15,000 in the first 3 months after account opening

Key Features

  • Designed specifically for businesses with annual sales exceeding $1 million
  • Optional rewards program: Pay $75 annually (waived the first year) to enroll all cards on your account in either of the above rewards programs; if you don’t pay, you can still use the card — you just won’t get rewards
  • Spending controls: Apply custom spending rules, such as limiting spending to certain categories, setting transaction limits, and restricting spending to business hours
  • Employee cards: Get up to 200 employee cards at no additional cost
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Wells Fargo Advisors Clients

Wells Fargo Advisors is a Wells Fargo subsidiary that offers investment guidance and a comprehensive range of financial planning services. Its clients are afforded the opportunity to use special credit cards that come complete with point-based rewards systems and, depending on the card, some valuable benefits.

The Wells Fargo Advisors Premium Rewards Visa Signature® is one of three credit cards currently offered only to Wells Fargo Advisors clients. All told, it’s a pretty simple rewards credit card.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5X points per dollar spent on:
    • Restaurants
    • Travel
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases

Key Features

  • Anniversary bonus: 10,000 bonus points when $25,000 is spent annually
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular APR: 17.74%–19.75% Variable
  • No Penalty APR
  • Annual fee: $0

 

A bit more complex than the Premium Rewards card, the Wells Fargo Advisors Premium Rewards Visa Signature® is a travel card with a solid rewards program and a beefed up anniversary bonus.

There’s no annual fee, but there’s a slight catch — the card is only available for Wells Fargo Advisors clients with at least $1 million in assets under management between Wells Fargo Advisors and Wells Fargo Bank.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar on Travel
  • 2X points per dollar at Restaurants
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases

Key Features

  • Anniversary bonus: 35,000 bonus points when $75,000 is spent annually
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit: Get a statement credit that covers the application price for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) (once every four years, up to $200 per account)
  • No Penalty APR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

 

The Wells Fargo Propel World American Express® is another travel card with a straightforward and fairly valuable rewards system. Unlike the By Invitation card, you don’t need a million bucks under management to become a cardholder. You’ll have to shell out a $175 annual fee instead.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar on Airlines
  • 2X points per dollar on Hotels
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 40,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $400
    • Return on spend: 13.33%

Key Features

  • Relationship bonus: Get a 10%, 25%, or 50% bonus on non-bonus rewards points for maintaining an eligible consumer Wells Fargo checking or savings account, or a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® relationship
  • $100 airline credit: Earn up to $100 in statement credits for qualifying incidental airline charges
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular APR: 16.24%–24.24% Variable
  • No Penalty APR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $175, $0 first year

Wells Fargo Credit Card Features

Most of the Wells Fargo credit cards share at least a few basic product features to help improve your experience as a cardholder. Check your card’s documentation and Guide to Benefits once you’ve received it for more information on the exact selection of benefits you’ll have at your disposal.

Benefits you can expect to see may include:

  • Alerts: Wells Fargo offers customizable alerts via email, text, or push notification. These can be sent when a purchase exceeds a specified amount, when your credit card is used for certain types of purchases, and more.
  • Free FICO credit scores: Depending on your card, you may be able to check your FICO Score 9, based on your Experian credit report, for free.
  • Fraud protections: Wells Fargo’s credit cards come with fraud protection measures and a zero-liability policy for unauthorized charges. They also generally come with features like Rapid Alert, which helps you identify suspicious activity as soon as it occurs.
  • My Spending Report with Budget Watch: This online money management tool offers budgeting capabilities, allowing you to set goals, track income, and keep an eye on your spending.
  • Overdraft protection: Link your card to your Wells Fargo checking account to protect yourself from overdraft fees. Transfers from your credit card to your bank account will be considered cash advances, with fees applied accordingly.
  • Cell phone protection: Wells Fargo’s consumer credit cards include a phone protection program that provides reimbursement for covered damage if you use them to pay your monthly cellular telephone bill.
  • Visa, Mastercard, or American Express benefits: Most Wells Fargo credit cards are offered through Visa, but there’s a Mastercard and two American Express cards as well. Regardless, these networks all provide certain basic benefits. These usually include (but aren’t limited to) a variety of shopping and travel features, such as extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance, roadside assistance, and collision damage waivers for car rentals.

A Brief History of Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has firmly established itself as a household name in American banking. However, it wasn’t always the nationwide finance giant it is now. The company spent decades operating in a highly regional capacity, and much of its fame was gained through its express services, rather than through banking.

Wells Fargo and American Express cofounder, William Fargo. Image Credit: Museum of the City of San Francisco

The Golden Age

Like many of the most exciting tales of the Old West, Wells Fargo’s story stems from the frenzy of the California Gold Rush. The year? 1852. Location? Sunny San Fran.

Henry Wells and William G. Fargo, already versed in the world of business and loath to pass up an opportunity to fill a dire need, decided to form “a banking and express company” known as Wells, Fargo & Co. At this point in time, “banking” actually referred to buying gold and selling bank drafts as good as gold, and the company’s express services encompassed the speedy delivery not only of gold, but basically anything of value.

It wasn’t long before the company achieved success with the all-star duo of Wells and Fargo at the helm. Each had previously worked with other express companies, and two years earlier, had even helped found another financial heavyweight with which you might be familiar: American Express.

As a matter of fact, Wells, Fargo & Co. was only started when American Express directors objected to the idea of moving Amex operations to the Golden State.

By now, though, it’s likely clear that those objections weren’t much of an obstacle.

Wells Fargo and American Express cofounder, Henry Wells. Image credit: Britannica

Messengers of the West

Wells Fargo’s expertise and customer base grew steadily, and its selection of services followed suit. It soon entered the realm of communications with involvement in the Overland Mail Company and the now-legendary Pony Express, each of which sought to increase the interconnectedness of the burgeoning United States.

By 1866, Wells Fargo had expanded its reach all throughout the west, covering more than 3,000 miles of territory and serving customers from Nebraska to California and everywhere in between.

Today, the bank attributes this rapid success to its unwavering dedication to finding the fastest and most reliable ways to serve its customers. This was clearly demonstrated through the many modes of transportation used in the heyday of Wells Fargo’s express operations — from steamboat to stagecoach, the company employed any means necessary to get the job done in a timely manner.

The stagecoach played a fundamental role in Wells Fargo’s express operations, and it remains a fundamental part of its brand image. Image source: Wells Fargo History

Arrival of the Rail

The First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, allowing Wells Fargo to stretch its arms even farther from its home base in California. Over the next few decades the company edged ever eastward, and by 1888, it earned the title of America’s first-ever nationwide express company.

Wells Fargo celebrated this milestone by adopting the mottos “Ocean-to-Ocean,” which highlighted its massive continental reach, and “Over-the-Seas,” which showcased its role in furthering the nation’s participation in the global economy.

Express operations aside, Wells Fargo continued to serve communities with everyday financial services. These included telegraph transfers and money orders, though the company still placed heavy emphasis on dealing with gold in mining communities.

The Schism

As the 19th century came to a close, the needs of America were evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, and Wells Fargo acknowledged that it was time for a major change.

Wells Fargo & Co’s Bank, San Francisco, separated from Wells Fargo & Co. Express in 1905. The latter company operated for over a decade afterward before being scooped up by the federal government as the nation plunged into the First World War, leaving the remainder of Wells Fargo’s operations squarely in the financial industry.

Just a year later, the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake struck, wreaking massive damage not only throughout San Francisco but in several nearby cities, including Santa Rosa. The earthquake leveled Wells Fargo’s building, but the bank’s president at the time — I.W. Hellman — sent a now-famous(ish) telegraph reading “Building destroyed. Vault intact. Our position unimpaired.” that still serves as a testament to the bank’s hardy, long-lasting nature.

Wells Fargo in the 20th Century

In the wake of the 1906 earthquake, Wells Fargo dominated downtown San Francisco’s banking scene, powering through the Great Depression and lending its assistance during World War II. But while it retained a strong position in the area, the bank eventually began to look beyond the confines of the Bay Area.

Vintage Wells Fargo Billboard once displayed in California. Image credit: Wells Fargo History

Wells Fargo established itself in communities all throughout Northern California during the 1960s. By the time the ’80s came around, Wells Fargo had spread across the state and was one of the nation’s largest banks.

The 1990s saw Wells Fargo taking this growth to the next level as locations sprang up all over the U.S., and the decade heralded the reclamation of the bank’s age-old “Ocean-to-Ocean” and “Over-the-Seas” mottos.

Welcoming the New Millennium

Now one of America’s largest corporations, Wells Fargo remains based in its heritage HQ of San Francisco, but it serves millions upon millions of customers through more than 8,000 physical locations.

The bank has offices in 37 different countries, and it employs more than 250,000 team members. Wells Fargo is active in diverse areas of the finance sector, from commercial real estate to wealth management and beyond.

The bank is also among the nation’s most significant charitable donors, distributing $286.5 million among 14,500 nonprofits in 2017 alone.

Interested in digging even deeper into Wells Fargo’s colorful backstory? The bank currently operates 12 history museums throughout the U.S., each offering free access and tours to visitors of all ages.

Wells Fargo offers an impressive variety of credit cards, but if you can’t find one that complements your spending habits take a look at our picks for the best credit cards in the game.
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