Quick Take: The Wells Fargo Active Cash card is a popular choice among cash-back enthusiasts looking to maximize their earnings. One of three personal cards in the bank’s portfolio, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card delivers a lot in how cardholders can earn and redeem their cash-back rewards.
This review will help those looking to add a cash-back card to their wallet decide if the Wells Fargo Active Cash card is a good pick for them.
- Earning and Redeeming Rewards
- Introductory APR
How did we calculate this?
- No rotating categories or activation deadlines
- No annual fee
- 0% introductory APR
- Unlimited 2% cash rewards
- $200 welcome bonus
- Flexible cash-back redemption
- Up to $600 of cellphone protection
- No bonus categories to earn extra cash back
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- Balance transfer fee of up to 5%, with a $5 minimum
- Cash advance fee of $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Up to $40 late payment penalty fee
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card Overview
A major lender in consumer credit, Wells Fargo gives its customers the information they need to make sound financial decisions. A Wells Fargo credit card is likely to meet the cardholder’s spending needs even if they don’t bank with this financial institution.
Backed by Visa Signature, the award-winning Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers two times more cash back compared to many other rewards cards. Here’s a closer look at what this card has to offer.
Who Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card Best For?
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card is a great choice for those with good to excellent credit who are looking to earn higher-than-average cash rewards on their everyday purchases. It offers many benefits without requiring an annual fee, and new cardholders can earn a modest $200 welcome bonus if they spend $1,000 during their first three months with the card.
Earning Competitive Rewards
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card generates unlimited 2% cash rewards for every $1 spent with no category limitations or quarterly activations. That’s 33% more earning power than the Capital One Quicksilver card, which yields a flat 1.5% in cash rewards.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card’s earning power is also more consistent compared to the Discover it Cash Back card, for instance. Discover it Cash Back offers a rewards rate of 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases that fall into rotating categories, which you’ll need to activate each quarter, in addition to 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Taking Advantage of the Intro APR
With a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card is also great for those looking to transfer an account balance, giving them more than a year to pay it off interest-free. This transfer won’t count toward the accrual of cash-back rewards, however.
Features of the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card earned a GOBankingRates score of 4.2 out of 5. Here’s a closer look at some of the features that earned the card this score.
Earning and Redeeming Rewards
Yielding 2% cash rewards for every $1 spent on purchases gives the Wells Fargo Active Cash card a competitive edge against other cash-back rewards cards. Cardholders can buy items or spend on whatever they want, generating the same cash-back amount regardless of category, without quarterly restrictions.
Cardholders can redeem their cash back in a variety of ways:
- Toward eligible purchases that appear on their Wells Fargo Active Cash card account
- As a statement credit toward a qualifying Wells Fargo credit card, checking account or mortgage
- As a cash redemption at a Wells Fargo ATM, available in $20 increments, when they use a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card
- Toward gift cards, which are redeemable in $25 increments
- By using PayPal at checkout when they shop online
Wells Fargo Active Cash cardholders receive up to $600 of cellphone protection, guarding against damage or theft. Those who have ever dropped and damaged their phone or had it stolen are likely to see the value of this offer. To qualify, cardholders must pay their monthly cellphone bill with their Wells Fargo Active Cash card.
Additionally, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers built-in protection, meaning cardholders won’t be held responsible for any unauthorized transactions that appear on their account. To take advantage of this feature, cardholders need to report any suspicious activity to Wells Fargo immediately.
In addition to the $200 welcome bonus, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers a 0% intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers during the first 15 months. This enables cardholders with a high balance on another credit card to transfer it to their Active Cash card and pay it without accruing any interest.
Keep in mind that after the intro period, the card comes with a variable APR of 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% on purchases and balance transfers, depending on your creditworthiness.
The Active Cash card does, however, have some drawbacks when it comes to its cash advance and foreign transaction fees. While not the highest on the market, they may be an inconvenience for some. Paying with the Wells Fargo Active Cash card at foreign establishments will cost members 3% of each transaction converted to U.S. dollars. Using this credit card for cash advances costs $10 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater.
What Makes the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card Stand Out?
It’s pretty straightforward to earn and redeem rewards with the Wells Fargo Active Cash card. Cardholders earn and redeem their hard-earned rewards without any nuisances. With all the confusing terms and conditions, annoying category limitations and complicated quarterly reward activation schemes out of the way, customers can focus on spending their rewards however they’d like. The best part is that they still earn cash back with every purchase, no matter what.
Most flat-rate cards available to date generate between 1% and 1.5% cash back. Not many give away 2% cash rewards with every purchase like the Wells Fargo Active Cash card does. Those that do typically have special conditions for cardholders to see their earnings. This gives the Wells Fargo Active Cash card the upper hand, even though the rewards could be a bit higher.
Because this credit card has no annual fee, it’s a great option to hold on to in the long run.
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card vs. Competitors
Here’s how the Wells Fargo Active Cash card holds up against other popular cash-back cards you might consider.
Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. American Express Blue Cash Preferred
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card may initially seem more appealing than the Active Cash card because of its generous $350 welcome bonus. However, customers have to spend three times as much as they would with the Active Cash card to earn it. Both cards have a 0% intro APR on purchases, but the Active Cash card lets cardholders enjoy this benefit for three months longer than its American Express counterpart.
As for cash-back rewards, the Blue Cash Preferred card offers 6% on select streaming subscriptions and on up to the first $6,000 you spend at U.S.-based supermarkets each year. It also offers 3% on purchases from transportation services and U.S.-based gas stations. For other everyday purchases, the Active Cash card still holds the crown with a 2% offer over American Express’s 1%.
Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a popular choice among frequent travelers. Unlike the Active Cash card, it offers an attractive cash-back rate of 5% on travel purchased via Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. Additionally, it gives cardholders 3% cash back on purchases at drugstores and restaurants, including takeout, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
Like the Active Cash card, the Freedom Unlimited card offers a $200 welcome bonus. However, with the Freedom Unlimited card, you can earn the bonus by spending $500 within the first three months of card ownership — just half of what the Active Cash card requires. Plus, the Freedom Unlimited card offers 5% cash back on up to $6,000 in gas station purchases made in the first year. Both cards also offer an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card is an excellent option for those who are looking for a straightforward rewards program with an above-average earnings rate. Its flexible redemption options make it a lot easier to reap the benefits of having a cash-back credit card. Although there are numerous options out there, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card still gets an A for effort and could be an excellent option when combined with other rewards programs.
On the downside, this rewards credit card does have some hefty fees. Cardholders need to be careful to avoid getting caught off guard by late payment penalties and foreign transaction fees. Although widely accepted worldwide, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card isn’t the best option to bring along on an overseas vacation.
Good To Know
Wells Fargo is one of the many banks that has an online tool that allows cardholders to check if they’re preselected for a new credit line. This process enables customers to avoid a hard inquiry on their credit, which could damage their score.
Information is accurate as of March 23, 2022.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Wells Fargo. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Wells Fargo.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been endorsed by American Express.
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