Updated Feb 16, 2021 | Published Jan 28, 2020 • 11 min read
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The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa is a simple, flat-rate card that’ll net you 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It comes with a pretty standard benefits package and the added bonus of giving a little extra to customers that use mobile wallets.
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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card 5 out of 5 stars. What you see is what you get: a flat-rate cash back card, with a little extra when you use mobile wallets, plus a long time to pay off purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Like It
Flat rate of 1.5% on every purchase, except…
Earn 1.8% cash back for eligible mobile wallet purchases in the first year
Valuable signup bonus
No annual fee
Long 0% introductory period for purchases and balance transfers
Cell phone protection
FICO Score access
Why It Could Be Better
As far as benefits go, it’s a relatively sparse package
No bonus reward categories (after 12 months)
Minimum redemption amounts of $20 or $25, depending on the method
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise is a general-use cash back credit card with a focus on utilizing mobile pay apps.
It offers 1.8% in cash rewards for the first 12 months on eligible mobile wallet purchases. During that time you’ll earn a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on all other purchases, and that’s what you’ll get for every purchase after the first 12 months.
There’s also an introductory bonus of $150 cash back for spending $500 in the first 3 months. Not a hard target to hit if you’re using the card generally, like for gas or groceries.
Like many other flat-rate cards the Cash Wise Visa provides a long introductory APR of 0% for 15 months from account opening, giving you plenty of time to pay off purchases or balance transfers. After that you’ll get the normal 14.49%-24.99% Variable APR.
Curious to see if this is the cash back card for you? Stick around to learn more and find out if it’ll complement your spending habits.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
A simple way to earn: The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa provides a flat rate no matter where you spend, with no bonus categories to keep track of (except for mobile wallets). You can use it for all of your financial needs, and get rewarded for it.
Utilize Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay: To get the most value from this card, try to make purchases using mobile wallets for the first year to get that extra percentage.
Maximize your return on spend: Consider combining this card with other reward cards that offer bonus categories where you’ll earn more points or cash back. Use those cards when the categories apply, and use the Cash Wise Visa everywhere else.
Buy what you need to get the bonus: Use this card for routine expenses and necessities like gas and groceries. You’ll hit that requirement for the introductory bonus in no time, and earn cash back while doing it.
Use your extra time and new financial avenue: Take advantage of the long 0% intro APR to pay off purchases with no interest, or transfer a balance from a card with a higher interest rate to take some financial weight from your shoulders.
You’ll earn the most with this card when you utilize mobile wallets at stores that support them for your first year, at 1.8%. Otherwise, you’ll still get a pretty good amount of cash back (1.5%) on your purchases.
1.8% cash rewards on Google Pay or Apple Pay mobile wallet purchases during the first 12 months after account opening
1.5% cash rewards on every other purchase
$150 cash back for spending $500 in the first 3 months
So you’ll earn a flat rate on everything you buy with no category restrictions, and an added 20% bonus when you make purchases using an eligible mobile wallet.
And speaking of bonuses, that extra cash back should be easy to get, as long as you use this card for purchases you would need to make anyway, like gas or groceries.
That’s easy money back in your pocket, just for buying things you would normally. And if you buy them while with a mobile wallet, that’s an extra little kickback to your bank account.
Read moreBest Cash Back Credit Cards of May 2021
You have a few options when it comes to redeeming your cash back with Wells Fargo.
Statement credits for your credit card account (recommended)
Direct deposit into your Wells Fargo savings or checking account
Paper check, delivered to your home
Statement credits to your qualified Wells Fargo mortgage or loan principal balance
Withdraw cash with a Wells Fargo Debit or ATM card at Wells Fargo ATMs (in increments of $20)
With the exception of ATM withdrawals, redemptions are usually in $25 increments.
We recommend going with statement credits applied to your card account, because they’re a quick and easy way to get your reward value. But it’s nice to have other possibilities.
Like some other issuers, Wells Fargo gives customers who bank with them more options than those who don’t, providing redemption methods like direct deposit or statement credits to your Wells Fargo mortgage principal balance.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa will come as either a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature card, probably depending on your starting credit limit.
Whichever version of the card you’re issued, you’ll also get a few benefits that Wells Fargo provides directly.
Will I get a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature card?
With most cards that offer Platinum and Signature variations, if you’re approved for a credit limit below $5,000, you’ll receive the Visa Platinum version. If you’re approved for a credit limit of $5,000 or above, you’ll qualify for the Visa Signature card, and get access to a slightly more impressive selection of benefits. While Wells Fargo does not explicitly point that out, that’s how these cards tend to work.
Wells Fargo Benefits
Earn More Mall: Find offers to earn more cash back at select retailers in the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall.
Cell Phone Protection: Get protected with up to $600 in coverage from theft or damage when you use your Wells Fargo card to pay your monthly cellular telephone bill. You’ll be subject to a $25 deductible, but you’ll sleep better at night knowing your phone is protected.
Access to your FICO Credit Score: See your Experian-based FICO Score 9 to help monitor your credit.
Visa Platinum Benefits
Extended Warranty: Will double an eligible manufacturer’s warranty protection up to one additional year, for warranties of three years or less.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Provides coverage for collision damage and theft of eligible rented vehicles, when you decline the rental company’s own insurance.
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: A variety of services like medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation or ticket replacement, and pre-trip assistance.
Benefits like these are par for the course when it comes to most credit cards. The Signature version of the card tacks on a few more bells and whistles like more travel coverage.
Visa Signature Benefits
Purchase Security: If an eligible item you buy is lost or damaged, you can be reimbursed by sending in a claim.
Travel Accident Insurance: You, your spouse, and unmarried dependent children are insured against loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing when traveling by common carrier.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement: Provides reimbursement to cover the cost of lost or damaged luggage under eligible situations.
Roadside Dispatch: Call 1-800-847-2869 for help while driving, for services like towing, tire changing, and fuel delivery.
The Terms & Fees
Balance Transfer APR
Cash Advance APR
0% for 15 months from account opening, then 14.49%-24.99% Variable
0% for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers, then 14.49%-24.99% Variable
Refer to Important Credit Terms
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Cash Advance Fee
3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; min: $5
Returned Payment Fee
Up to $40
Up to $40
The Cash Wise Visa has a relatively long 0% introductory APR for balance transfers and purchases. That means you’ll get a nice 15 months from account opening of wiggle room when it comes to paying things off. It also means you’ll be able to transfer a balance from another card, like one with a high interest rate, to give yourself some added time to get that balance down.
This card also has no annual fee, so you’ll be able to take advantage of all it has to offer without having to worry about how much it’ll cost every year.
The Bottom Line
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card provides a simple, straightforward way to earn rewards on every purchase. It’ll provide extra time to pay off big purchases, and helps if you need to pay off a balance from another card that’s accruing interest.
If you can pay via Google, Apple, or Samsung mobile wallet, you’ll earn an additional .3% cash back, bringing the total to a flat 1.8% rate for the first year. So if this is already part of your spending routine, this rewards card provides a simple way to earn a bit more with no added work. It’s not much extra, but if you’re a mobile wallet user it’s something to consider.
You should be able to easily qualify for the signup bonus if you use the card for routine spending, like gas and groceries. If you’re like me, it’s all too easy to rack up $500 from those two expenses alone in a mere three months.
You’ll get the standard redemption methods, but if you have a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card, you can also withdraw your rewards straight out of an ATM. That could be handy, and you won’t get it with most cards.
If you’re a spender with any of these qualities, and as long as you’re paying off your balances in a timely manner, why not earn a little back on your purchases for no additional annual cost?
How Do I Apply for the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa?
To apply, follow the link below to be directed to Wells Fargo’s website. From there, follow the prompts in order to fill out an application. They’ll ask for your personal and financial information, and perform a hard inquiry on your credit. If approved, you’ll be issued either the Platinum or Signature version of the card.
What Credit Scores Do You Need for the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa?
It will help to have FICO credit scores in at least the good range (670–739) in order to have the best chances of qualifying for this card. Obviously, the higher the better, and remember that approval depends on more factors than just credit scores; but it should be relatively easy to get approved as long as you’re somewhere in that range.
Qualifications and Requirements
Must be 18 to apply
Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status, and potentially driver’s license number
Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage or rent payment
How do I log in to my Wells Fargo Cash Wise account?
Head over to Wells Fargo’s website and choose the sign on option towards the top. Enter your login information and you’ll gain access to your account. From there you can pay your bill and check all of your card features.
What’s the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Card’s credit limit?
The minimum credit limit for the Cash Wise Visa card is $1,000. The credit limit of your specific card is determined by many factors. Your credit scores, credit history, income, and more are all considered when the credit card issuer determines your starting credit limit. However, if you’re unhappy with that starting limit, there are ways to increase your credit limit.
It has a bit of a twist however; you’ll get 1% when you make a purchase, and the other 1% when you pay it off. Still, that makes it more rewarding than the Cash Wise, even if you’re taking advantage of the mobile wallet bonus.
But the Double Cash doesn’t come with a signup bonus, where the Cash Wise does. And it would take quite a lot of spending at the 2% rate to make up for that.
The Double Cash has no annual fee but the protection benefits are pretty meager. So if you’re more interested in netting some extra cash than protecting your phone, this card might be an option to consider.
2% cash back for every purchase you make (must pay at least the minimum due on time)
1% back when you make a purchase
1% back when you pay for that purchase
With the Double Cash, there are other redeeming options beyond simple cash back that might be more rewarding. You could convert your rewards into ThankYou points, and from there, you might be able to find a good deal with Citi’s airline partners. That could give you a return on spend better than the 2% you’d typically get with this card, if you can get more than 2 cents per point.
But for that fee, you’ll earn 6% at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent per year) and on select streaming services, and 3% at U.S. gas stations and transit. (Rates & Fees) That’s a very high return on spend compared to the Cash Wise, even if it does restrict where you can earn. And if you use it frequently enough, you’ll be able to make that annual fee back no problem.
Amex Offers: Access a selection of discounts and extra cash back opportunities from a wide variety of vendors.
Lowest Hotel Rates Guarantee: If you book an eligible prepaid hotel room through Amex Travel and then find the same room being advertised online for a lower price, you can be refunded for the difference.
Entertainment Access: Purchase pre-sale tickets made exclusively available to American Express cardholders.
Return Protection: Get refunded on eligible purchases when the merchant won’t take them back.
Purchase APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
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.
Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.
You’ll earn 5% back in quarterly rotating categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter, rather than having steady bonus categories. The 5% categories need to be activated each quarter.
Though it may be slightly more restrictive in where you can shop than the Cash Wise, it still has a much higher potential return on spend. And to up the ante, Discover will double the cash back you earn for your first year, making it that much more rewarding. Even your non-category purchases will be earning 2%, more than the Cash Wise.
The Discover it could provide you with more rewards, with the small caveat of rotating categories. But you could always combine the two, after your first year with the Discover it Cash Back: Use the Discover it Cash Back for the 5% categories, and use the Cash Wise card everywhere else.
You’ll be able to choose two categories quarterly (every three months) in which you’ll earn 5% back, and one everyday category to earn 2% in. That makes this card pretty flexible, while at the same time earning more than you would with Cash Wise. The everyday category could be gas or groceries, so you’d be able to earn on purchases you have to make anyways.
Or, use the cards in tandem. Choose two categories that you frequently spend in for the 5%, use the card for one everyday category for that 2%, and then use the Cash Wise with its mobile wallet bonus for everything else.
Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.
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