Updated Sep 20, 2021 | Published Jul 07, 2021 • 5 min read
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The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is one of the strongest flat-rate cards available, with three excellent features: 2% cash back, a nice welcome bonus, and 0% intro APRs for purchases and balance transfers. For no annual fee, it’s a great go-to card for any kind of spending.
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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
Wells Fargo hit all the right notes with the Active Cash Card. It’s highly rewarding with valuable perks, while remaining inexpensive.
Why We Like It
2% cash back for everything — pretty much as good as it gets for flat-rate rewards cards
Solid welcome bonus: $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
0% intro APRs for purchases and balance transfers
Decent benefits, including shopping/travel protections and potentially a concierge
Wells Fargo clearly wants to make an impression. The new Active Cash Card boasts a set of features you don’t typically find all in one package, seemingly designed to put the other flat-rate cards in their place.
It’s a very strong offer, although Wells Fargo isn’t the most popular card issuer and that could turn some people off.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
Save time with one card for everything: Flat-rate cards like the Active Cash are perfect for all kinds of spending. No time spent thinking about bonus categories, and what card to use at which stores. If you want a simple but rewarding credit card experience, this card provides.
Or, pair the Active Cash with other reward cards: 2% is good, but if you want to put the reward pedal to the metal you could easily pair the Active Cash with many other reward cards. Find a card with bonus categories that match your most frequent spending, like gas, groceries, or restaurants. See all of our favorite reward credit cards.
Get some time to pay (and a fancy coffee) for expensive purchases: The Active Cash comes with a long 0% intro rate for purchases (15 months), giving you plenty of time to pay for something pricy (don’t abuse 0% rates with frivolous spending or you could wind up in debt). And at 2% cash back, you’d earn yourself a decent snack spending a few hundred dollars.
Pay down debt, for less: Struggling with high-interest debt? Although balance transfers aren’t the main focus of this card, you could transfer debt to the Active Cash and pay it down at 0% interest for a period of time. Remember to factor in the balance transfer fee to make sure it’s worth it.
Planning a trip? See how the Active Cash can help: This isn’t a travel card either, but the Visa Signature Concierge and Luxury Hotel Collection perks could come in handy when looking for a place to stay. The concierge can take some of the headache out of travel planning, and free breakfast and a food/beverage credit (included with the LHC) could tip the scales for an otherwise just-OK hotel.
2% cash back on all purchases
$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
It’s rare to find a 2%-cash-back-for-everything card that also has an introductory bonus, making this an even more compelling offer.
We prefer deposits to bank accounts when possible, because they give you quick and easy access to your rewards. If you don’t have an eligible Wells Fargo account, statement credits are good too — they’ll just reduce your account balance. Statement credits can also be applied to other eligible Wells Fargo loans, mortgages, and credit products.
Redeeming to cover recent purchases is a fine option, but it seems a bit tedious.
If you’d like to get actual cash at an ATM, you’ll need a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card.
As we’ve said, the Active Cash’s benefits are pretty respectable for a card with no annual fee.
Free FICO credit score: Check your FICO Score 9 online whenever you’d like, based on your Experian credit report.
Visa Signature Concierge: Get 24/7 assistance with non-emergency tasks like travel planning, restaurant reservations, and gift hunting.
Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: Pay with your card to get perks at select hotels around the world, like a $25 food/beverage credit, complimentary WiFi and breakfast for two, automatic room upgrades when available, VIP Guest status, and more.
Cellular Telephone Protection: Provides reimbursement for damage or theft of cell phones, up to $600 per claim and two claims per 12 month period, with a $25 deductible. You must pay your phone bill with the card to be eligible.
Roadside Dispatch: Call 1-800-847-2869 if you need help on the road, with some services at set prices like towing, tire changing, jump starting, and lockout service.
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Includes help with medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation, ticket replacement, lost luggage location, emergency translation, and more.
The Terms & Fees
Balance Transfer APR
Cash Advance APR
0% for 15 months, then 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% Variable
0% for 15 months, then 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Cash Advance Fee
3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; min: $5
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify For the Active Cash Card?
Like many cards, the Active Cash is intended mainly for people with good credit or better; that usually means a FICO credit score of 670, or a VantageScore 3.0 of 700.
But credit scores are only part of the picture. Income, monthly rent or mortgage payments, and other factors affect your eligibility for credit. So it’s possible to be approved even if your scores are a bit low, or denied with excellent scores.
Another flat-rate card (kinda), the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review) has a rare combination: a nice set of bonus categories, along with more than 1% back for non-category purchases.
This might not be the right card to pair with the Active Cash, because you may only need the Freedom Unlimited instead. It covers a wide range with its categories, with 1.5% back for everything else. Pretty close to the Active Cash’s 2%, and all wrapped up in one card.
You can take advantage of an intro purchase APR here as well (but no intro balance transfer rate), along with a surprisingly valuable set of benefits for a card with no annual fee. They include some typical protections along with a DoorDash membership and access to Chase’s shopping portals, Shop through Chase and Chase Offers.
Here’s a great card to pair with the Active Cash. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ (Review) has a wealth of bonus categories that would go perfectly with the Active Cash’s 2% rate.
Just use the Freedom Flex for all of its 5% and 3% categories, and use the Active Cash everywhere else.
The Freedom Flex has a lot of variety. Along with its static categories, you’ll earn 5% cash back in a selection of categories that change every quarter, making for an even more diverse, and often seasonally themed selection. Those rotating categories are limited to $1,500 spent per quarter.
The benefits overlap in some ways, but the Freedom Flex has the edge. Overall, it’s one of the best cash back cards and would be hard to beat.
Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
Boasting highly competitive rates for groceries, gas, and streaming services, it’s easy to remember to pay with the Blue Cash Preferred for those common expenses. And then the Active Cash is your backup for everything else.
6% cash back:
U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1%)
Select U.S. streaming services
3% cash back:
U.S. gas stations
1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
$300 statement credit for spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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