Do you bank with Wells Fargo? All other things being equal, it can be rather convenient to have a credit card that's issued by your own bank. You can generally link a bank's credit cards to your checking and savings accounts, which can help simplify payments and other transactions. In addition, you can often use a bank's credit card as overdraft protection on your accounts.
Even if you're not a Wells Fargo customer yet, one of the bank's credit card products could be a good fit for you, depending on what perks and rewards you're looking for. Here's some information on the bonuses, benefits, and costs of five of Wells Fargo's most appealing Visa and American Express credit cards, and how to determine the best choice for you.
1. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
This is Wells Fargo's newest credit card product, and offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The card has no annual fee, and a variable APR as low as 13.99% after the introductory period is over. It also provides cellphone insurance if you pay your bill with the card.
As of this writing, Wells Fargo offers an introductory bonus (available online only) of $200 after $1,000 in net purchases in the first three months, in addition to a 0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles on both purchases and balance transfers. This may be one of the best sign-up bonuses available for a cash-back credit card.
2. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Wells Fargo offers two American Express co-branded cards, and Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is the no-annual-fee version. The card earns reward points which can be redeemed for cash, travel, gift cards, and more. Cardholders earn 3 points per dollar at gas stations, 2 points per dollar at restaurants, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. You'll also get a 10% annual bonus on non-bonus reward points if you maintain a checking or savings account with Wells Fargo. Cardholders pay no foreign currency fees and get free access to their FICO® credit score.
The current introductory bonus offer (available online only) is 20,000 bonus points after $1,000 in net purchases in the first three months, and a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles.
3. Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card
A rewards credit card with no annual fee, the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card offers a relatively low 1 point per dollar rewards rate, although it offers 5 points per dollar on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first six months. However, the card does offer 50% extra value when redeeming points for airfare. For example, the current online-only promotional offer of 20,000 bonus points after $1,000 in net purchases within the first three months is worth $200 if redeemed for cash, or is worth $300 toward airfare -- a remarkably valuable sign-up bonus considering the $1,000 spending requirement and the lack of an annual fee. New cardholders also get a 0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles, and the card has additional perks such as FICO® Credit Score access. A potential downside of the card worth mentioning is a five-year timeframe to use the points you've earned – with many rewards cards, points never expire.
4. Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card
This card is specifically designed for college students to start building credit history. Because it doesn't necessarily have the high credit standards of the first three cards I mentioned, the perks and rewards aren't quite as generous. The card has no annual fee, and earns cash back rewards at a 1% rate on net purchases, with a 3% rewards rate on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first six months, and also has a 0% intro APR for the first six billing cycles. An existing Wells Fargo relationship is required to apply.
5. Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card
If you have no credit, or need to rebuild your credit, the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card may be a good option for you. In a nutshell, a secured credit card works just like a standard credit card with one major difference. You need to give the bank a security deposit before you can get the card.
In the case of the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card, as well as with most others, your required security deposit is equal to your card's credit limit. You can deposit as little as $300, and as much as $10,000, in $100 increments. The card has a $25 annual fee and a 19.99% APR, it can be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, and your card activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus to help build a positive credit history. And while there's no set time frame, you can become eligible for an upgrade to an unsecured credit card after you've established a record of responsible card behavior.
Is one of these the right credit card for you?
The right credit card for you depends on the features that matter to you most. For example, some of these Wells Fargo credit cards have generous sign-up bonuses, and other than the secured card, none of the cards I discussed here has an annual fee. Plus, there's the convenience of being able to directly link your credit card with a Wells Fargo checking or savings account, and in the case of the Propel card, you can even get a relationship discount. In a nutshell, each of these cards offers features that could certainly appeal to consumers.
Having said that, it's important to comparison shop. For example, if the 0% intro APR is the feature that appeals to you most, you can find other offers that are significantly longer than 12 billing cycles. If you have borderline credit, you might be able to find a secured credit card elsewhere with a lower minimum deposit requirement. And if travel perks appeal to you most, and you're willing to pay an annual fee, you can find travel credit cards with perks such as airport lounge access, incidental fee reimbursement, and lucrative sign-up bonuses.
The bottom line is that Wells Fargo does have some excellent credit card products, but they may or may not be the best choice for you, so it's important to shop around before deciding.
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