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2021 Review: Wells Fargo Active Cash Card – Best for Flat-Rate Rewards?

Updated Sep 20, 2021 | Published Jul 07, 20215 min read

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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Min Credit Level Good
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% Variable
At a glance

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.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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
  • No annual fee

Why It Could Be Better

  • Balance transfer fee
  • Cash back redemptions have some restrictions
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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% for 15 months, then 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% Variable

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.

Not only does it offer 2% back, it also comes with a welcome bonus (the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review) doesn’t usually have a bonus). It’s got a 0% rate for both purchases and balance transfers (the Double Cash and Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review) only have one each). And it’s filled out with solid benefits (the Double Cash has paltry benefits).

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.

The Rewards

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back on all purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $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.

The two other notable cards that can match this rate, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review) and PayPal Cashback Mastercard® (Review), don’t usually have intro bonuses.

Redeeming

You can use your cash back rewards in several ways, but some ways are more convenient than others:

  • Deposit to eligible Wells Fargo account (best option; $25 increments)
  • Statement credit (second-best option; $25 increments)
  • Get cash at ATMs (best if you need cash quickly; $20 increments)
  • Cover recent eligible purchases ($1 minimum redemption)
  • Gift cards

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.

The Benefits

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

Purchase APR 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 25.99% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 3%
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; min: $5 5%, $10 minimum
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $40 Up to $40

The Bottom Line

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card (Review) has a lot going for it. From the rewards to the benefits to the interest rates, it delivers on every front.

The downsides — redemption options and balance transfer fee — are pretty negligible. Waiting til you hit $25 to redeem isn’t a big deal, and balance transfer fees are par for the course.

If you’re looking for an easy cash back card, maybe one to combine with other reward cards, the Active Cash should be among the top contenders.

The Active Cash wouldn't be your first choice for balance transfers; see our top picks here. Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of October 2021

How Do I Apply For the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card?

Start by following the link below. Applications are quick, and in most cases you’ll get an instant decision.

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.

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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% for 15 months, then 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% Variable
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Alternatives to the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
Why We Picked It

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review) is a lot like the Active Cash. It was one of the first (maybe the first?) 2% cash back cards, making it a mainstay of many wallets.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase (must pay at least the minimum due on time):
    • 1% back when you make a purchase
    • 1% back when you pay for that purchase

The main points of difference between the Double Cash and the Active Cash are:

  • The Double Cash’s 2% rate is split, 1% at a time.
  • The Double Cash usually doesn’t have an introductory bonus.
  • The Double Cash has a 0% intro APR for balance transfers, but not for purchases.
  • The Double Cash’s benefits are weaker than the Active Cash’s.
  • Obviously, the Double Cash is issued by Citi, while the Active Cash is by Wells Fargo.

The Active Cash has a leg up on the Double Cash in a few departments, but for many the choice may come down to the card issuer.

Key Features
  • Citi Concierge: Call for non-emergency help whenever you need it, like assistance making travel reservations.
  • ShopRunner membership: Use ShopRunner to get free two-day shipping and returns at participating retailers.
  • Free credit score: Check your FICO Bankcard Score 8 for free, based on your Equifax credit report.
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer fee: Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
  • Annual fee: $0

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Why We Picked It

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.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on:
    • Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Lyft rides (through March 2022)
    • Grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) up to $12,000 spent in the first year
  • 3% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
    • Drugstores
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $200 bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
Key Features
  • DoorDash membership: A free membership (DashPass) for three months, and a 50% discount for the next nine months; a DashPass provides free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12.
  • Shop through Chase/Chase Offers: Earn extra cash back or find discounts with the Shop through Chase and Chase Offers programs.
  • ShopRunner membership: Get free two-day shipping at a wide selection of retailers.
  • Lyft credits: Once per month you can earn a $10 Lyft credit for every five rides you take.
  • Boxed rewards: 5% cash back rewards on Boxed Wholesale orders to be used for future purchases
  • Fandango discount: $5 off every two tickets you buy
  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Roadside Dispatch, Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
  • Purchase APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Why We Picked It

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.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on:
    • Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Lyft rides (through March 2022)
    • Grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) up to $12,000 spent in the first year
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1%
  • 3% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
    • Drugstores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $200 bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
Quarter 2021 Categories 2020 Categories
January – March
  • Wholesale Clubs
  • Internet
  • Cable/Phone Services
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Gas Stations
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Internet, Cable, Phone Services
April – June
  • Gas Stations
  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Fitness Club & Gym Memberships
  • Select Streaming Services
July – September
  • Grocery Stores (excluding Target and Walmart)
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Amazon
  • Whole Foods Market
October – December
  • Walmart
  • PayPal
  • Walmart
  • PayPal
Key Features
  • DoorDash membership: A free membership (DashPass) for three months, and a 50% discount for the next nine months; a DashPass provides free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12.
  • Shop through Chase/Chase Offers: Earn extra cash back or find discounts with the Shop through Chase and Chase Offers programs.
  • ShopRunner membership: Get free two-day shipping at a wide selection of retailers.
  • Lyft credits: Once per month you can earn a $10 Lyft credit for every five rides you take.
  • Boxed rewards: 5% cash back rewards on Boxed Wholesale orders to be used for future purchases
  • Fandango discount: $5 off every two tickets you buy
  • Shopping and travel protections: Cell Phone Protection, Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty Protection, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
  • Purchase APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Purchase APR0% on purchases for 12 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable

Rates & Fees

  • 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.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review) is one of the most rewarding credit cards, and another good one to consider pairing with the Active Cash.

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.

Spending Rewards
  • 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
    • Transit
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $300 statement credit for spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
Key Features
  • Amex Offers: Find offers for extra cash back at a changing selection of merchants.
  • $120 Equinox+ Credit: Get up to $10 per month for a stand-alone monthly membership to the Equinox+ app. Will not apply if you purchase the membership through the Equinox app or a third party.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Shopping protections: Return Protection, Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection
  • Travel protections: Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Global Assist Hotline
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% for 15 months, then 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% Variable

How do you like the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card? Do you use it with other reward cards?

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Written by

Brendan Harkness

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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