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Secured credit cards are one option that small businesses have to build credit, coming with the benefits of full credit cards while being easier to obtain. Unlike regular credit cards, which are funded in whole by the credit issuer, secured credit cards require an initial deposit to the issuer which will become the basis for the credit limit.
This is a comparison of two secured business credit cards, the BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa Credit Card and the Wells Fargo® Business Secured Credit Card. Each requires a security deposit to obtain, and will report to all 3 major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
For People with
- Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $40
- Interest Rate: 16.24% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
- Earn 2-3 points for every $1 spent in select categories
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all eligible purchases
For People with
- Annual Fee: $25 per card
- Interest Rate: 18.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
- 10 Cards For You & Employees
- Wells Fargo Business Card Rewards®: Earn rewards if you want by paying $50 per year to participate, expect the first year which is $0.
- $10 Cash Rewards Bonus: Every time you spend $1,000.
- 10% Points Bonus: When you redeem online.
- More Bonus Points: When you shop online or in person at the Earn More Mall.
- Card Design Studio®: Design your own card.
The BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa
Cardholders will earn at least 1 point for every dollar spent, and can choose extra spending categories to earn 3 and 2 points in. 1 spending category can be chosen for each point level:
|3X Point Category Options||2X Point Category Options|
|Gas Purchases||Office Supplies|
Up to a 15% discount is also available for purchases from participating retailers through the Visa® SavingsEdge program. Participating merchants include Sony, Sears, Tiger Direct, Travelodge, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.
You can also combine and share points from other BBVA Compass cards, so you can transfer points from this card to others and vice-versa.
The Wells Fargo Business Secured
Enrollment in the Wells Fargo Business Rewards® program costs $50 per year, but it is waived for the first year.
Cardholders can choose one of two rewards programs, the first based on rewards points and the second based on cash back.
In the Rewards Points program you’ll earn:
- 1 point for every dollar spent on the account
- A 1,000 point bonus every month that at least $1,000 is spent
- An additional 10% point bonus for redeeming points online
In the Cash Back program, you’ll earn 1% cash back for all purchases, which will automatically be credited to your account every quarter.
Cardholders can also earn more points or cash back when shopping with retailers participating in the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall®. Merchants include Walmart, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowes, Hotels.com, and a number of other travel websites.
The MasterCard Easy Savings shopping portal provides another opportunity to save money. When shopping through the portal, purchases from participating merchants are discounted by up to 15%. Participating retailers include Firestone, Budget Truck Rental, a variety of restaurants, and hotels all over the country.
There’s no limit to the amount of points or cash back you can earn.
Both of these cards have interesting rewards programs, giving cardholders the ability to choose the way they’d like to earn rewards. These are valuable programs to have in a secured business card, as they will help you build credit and save money at the same time.
To understand which card would be better for you, take a look at your current spending habits. Do you make a lot of purchases from the 3X and 2X point categories for the BBVA Compass card? Do you have any other BBVA Compass cards? Do you typically spend more than $1,000 per month on business expenses that you could purchase with a Wells Fargo card?
The answers to these questions should help you see which card would benefit you more. It’s better to choose a card that will fit neatly into your lifestyle rather than try to adjust to make a new card worthwhile. That being said, depending on your spending habits, the Visa SavingsEdge program may end up offering more savings than the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall. Each program can be browsed ahead of time to see what is available. Also, be sure to take into account the $50 annual fee for being a part of the Wells Fargo Business Rewards program.
Each card provides a number of extra benefits and services to help businesses succeed.
The BBVA Compass Secured Visa
The BBVA Compass card lets you order an unlimited number of additional cards to distribute to employees, which can have individual credit limits and provide itemized spending reports. You can view up to 6 months of past account statements online, as well as manage, view, and analyze spending. This data can be integrated with other accounting programs. A discount of up to 30% is available for products and services from QuickBooks, which can be used in conjunction with the credit card account.
BBVA Compass will monitor the credit account 24/7, providing fraud alerts in the event of any suspicious activity. It also provides access to business-trained customer service representatives.
A number of shopping and traveling business benefits from Visa are available as well.
Cardholders will not be held liable for fraudulent charges, and eligible losses from card misuse by employees are covered up to $100,000.
When shopping, purchases are covered by Purchase Protection and an Extended Warranty. The first will replace, repair, or reimburse a purchase that is stolen or damaged, up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 in total. The extended warranty will double a manufacturer’s original warranty of 3 years or less, up to 1 additional year.
When traveling you and your family will be covered by Travel Accident Insurance up to $500,000, when using a Common Carrier. Travel and Emergency Assistance is always available to help in an emergency, including services like legal and medical referrals, ticket or lost card replacement, and more.
An Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is also available, covering collision damage and theft to rented vehicles as long as the car company’s own insurance is declined.
The Wells Fargo Business Secured
The Wells Fargo card comes with Chip-and-Signature technology for enhanced security and accessibility in Europe. Cardholders can customize their card with a picture or logo of their choice.
Up to 10 employee cards can be ordered and distributed to employees, and the Wells Fargo Business Online® service lets you track and manage your spending. Up to 12 months of past account history can be viewed.
Automatic payments and overdraft protection can be set up with other Wells Fargo business checking accounts, ensuring that the account will always be paid off or properly funded. Cardholders are not held liable for fraudulent charges that are reported promptly.
A number of benefits are available from MasterCard as well, like the Purchase Assurance service when shopping, which covers eligible purchases for up to 90 days against theft and damage.
When traveling, you’ll have access to MasterTrip® Travel Assistance for help in an emergency, such as getting an emergency cash advance, finding lost luggage, or replacing lost documents or tickets. MasterRental® Insurance Coverage provides insurance for rented vehicles against theft or damage, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined.
Several of the extra benefits of these cards overlap – the basic purchase protection, travel assistance, rental car insurance, and some of the online account management tools and services. The BBVA Compass card is a Visa, while the Wells Fargo is a MasterCard.
When it comes to business account services, these cards seem to be on roughly equal footing. The Wells Fargo card has the added benefit here of letting you connect other business checking accounts, protecting you from overdrafts and providing an automatic payment system, both of which are great features to have on a secured credit card that you’re using to build credit.
The BBVA Compass card lets you issue an unlimited number of employee credit cards, but the Wells Fargo is limited to 10. However, the 10-card limit probably won’t be an issue at most small companies.
For the shopping and traveling benefits, the BBVA Compass card and its Visa network offer better terms. In addition to the purchase protection, travel assistance, and rental vehicle insurance offered by the Wells Fargo card, the BBVA Compass card also offers an extended warranty for purchases and $500,000 in travel accident insurance.
BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa
The minimum required security deposit to open this account is $500, and additional funds can be added in increments of $100. The credit limit for the card will be 90% of the deposit.
Wells Fargo Business Secured
This account also requires a minimum of $500 to open, with a maximum of $25,000. The credit limit for the card will directly reflect the deposit.
|Card||Annual Fee||Regular APR||Regular Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa||$0 the first year, then $40||16.24% (Variable)||16.24% (Variable)||25.24% (Variable)||3%|
|Wells Fargo® Business Secured||$25 per card||18.99% (Variable)||18.99% (Variable)||23.99% (Variable)||3%|
|Card||Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa||27.24% (Variable)||Up to $49||$25|
|Wells Fargo® Business Secured||Up to $38||Up to $38|
The costs and fees for these cards are quite similar, with just a 3% difference in purchase interest rates and a $10 difference in annual fees after 2 years. The differences here shouldn’t really influence your choice of cards, but take care to make note of them all the same. Making timely payments is crucial for building a great credit history and should be a part of your strategy, so the penalty APR’s, late fees, and returned fees shouldn’t scare you.
The Bottom Line
The BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa and the Wells Fargo Business Secured credit cards are both robust secured credit cards for small businesses, providing a variety of business services and ways to save money.
Analyze your spending habits and finances – would one of these cards seem to fit right in? Do you have existing BBVA Compass cards, or Wells Fargo business checking accounts? Which rewards would help you save the most money, and which benefits would you use the most often?