Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card Review: The Right Type of Balance Transfer Credit Card
Credit cards with low intro APRs can be powerful tools for repaying debt or financing a major purchase.
Great for: Balance transfers Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card
- 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 13.74%-27.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
- Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card
- Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
- Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
- Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
- $0 Annual Fee
- Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
As long as you can pay off your balance in under 18 months, the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card is a solid credit card that will help you reshape your finances without paying excessive fees. It doesn’t come with a long list of perks and rewards, but the benefits it does come with are highly useful.
What I like about Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card
0% intro APR for 18 months -- The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card comes with one of the longest intro periods on the market. You’ll get a 0% APR on balance transfers and new purchases for the first 18 months, allowing you to pay off debt more quickly or finance a new purchase interest-free.
No annual fee -- This card has no annual fee, which is a must if you’re already trying to pay off credit card debt.
FICO® Score for free -- Another important feature for folks who are in debt is credit score tracking. The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card comes with free online access to your FICO® Score at any time as well as the Wells Fargo “My Money Map,” which provides you with tools to easily create a budget and manage your spending.
Cell phone protection -- This feature is unique to Wells Fargo. As long as you sign up to pay your cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card, your cell phone is insured. If it’s damaged or stolen, you’ll receive up to $600 in protection with a $25 deductible.
Why you can trust me
As a personal finance writer who specializes in credit cards, I spend my days pouring over credit card terms and conditions, figuring out the best ways to help you get out of debt, avoid paying interest, or rack up travel rewards. I also have a lot of personal experience using credit cards to improve my finances. Several years ago, I paid off $8,000 in credit card debt without spending a single penny on interest using balance transfer cards.
What could be improved
Intro APR period -- While 18 months is almost as good as it gets, other cards do offer a 21-month intro APR period. That being said, they sometimes have a higher balance transfer fee.
Balance transfer fee -- The intro balance transfer fee on the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card is 3% of the balance transfer for the first 120 days and 5% after.
No rewards -- You’ll get plenty of use from the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card if you need to do a balance transfer, but you won’t get many extras. The card comes with no rewards program.
One thing to know before applying
Note, Wells Fargo does state that you may not be eligible for any sign-up bonuses or intro offers (such as this balance transfer offer) if you have opened another Wells Fargo card with an offer in the past 15 months. This includes cards you’ve closed and accounts with a $0 balance. If you’ve opened a Wells Fargo card in the last 15 months, you’ll want to call them before applying to make sure you’re eligible for the intro APR offer on this card.
Suggested credit score
As long as you have a good credit score (700 and higher), you have a high likelihood of approval for this credit card. Even with a credit score of 680 or above, you have a good chance of being approved. Wells Fargo does tend to favor people who have already built a relationship with them, so if you have prior Wells Fargo accounts, this will increase your odds.
How to do a balance transfer with Wells Fargo
In order to do a balance transfer and take advantage of the APR offer, you’ll want to make sure that you process the transfer as soon as possible after opening your account.
- Apply for the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card.
- Once you’ve been approved, log into your account and you should see your balance transfer offer. Select that offer.
- You’ll need to input the amount you want to transfer and the bank information and account number of the account from which you want to do the transfer.
- Confirm and submit your information. The balance transfer may take several days to process.
- Divide your new balance by the amount of months you have left until the end of your intro period (it will likely be 17 or 18). This should be your monthly payment. Set up automatic payments to ensure the balance is paid off before the intro period ends.
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card vs. Citi Simplicity®
|Credit card||Balance transfer offer||Balance transfer fee||Extra benefits|
|Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card||0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months||3% for the first 120 days, 5% after||Cell phone protection, free FICO score|
|Citi Simplicity®||0% APR on balance transfers for the first 21 months||5% or $5, whichever is higher||No late fees, no penalty APR|
The Citi Simplicity® Card has a longer intro APR offer at 21 months compared to 18 months with the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card. However, the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card has a lower intro balance transfer fee of just 3% in the first 120 days (5% after), whereas the Citi Simplicity® charges 5% always. If you’re transferring a balance of $5,000, you’d end up paying $150 in fees with the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card. With the Citi Simplicity®, you’d end up paying $250. If you think you can pay your balance off in 18 months, you'll pay less in fees with the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card.
There are also a couple key differences in the extra benefits each card offers. The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card offers cell phone protection of up to $600 to cover damage and theft, which is something you won’t get with the Citi Simplicity®. It also offers credit score tracking. That being said, the Citi Simplicity® offers a little more payment flexibility, with no late fees and no penalty APR.
Is it right for you?
The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card is one of the best options for balance transfer credit cards. If you’re currently paying off debt that you know you could tackle in 18 months, you should get the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card to avoid paying interest on that debt. The money you save on interest will almost always offset the 3% intro balance transfer fee, unless you already have an incredibly low APR.
If you have too much debt to pay off in the next 18 months, you might want to consider other options. You could always transfer a portion of your balance to the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card. Then, you can try to negotiate a lower interest rate for your remaining balance or look into low-interest credit cards and debt consolidation loans.
The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases, making it a good option for people looking to finance a new purchase without paying interest. However, you should only consider this option if you’re certain you can pay off the balance in time, otherwise you’ll end up paying far more money in interest than you saved. Generally, it’s better to save up money for these kinds of purchases than to put them on a credit card.
How to apply
You can apply online for the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card, and the process is quick and easy. Apart from inputting basic information like your name, address, and telephone number, you’ll also need to have your social security and income information on hand.
A confirmation page will let you know the status of your application as soon as you submit it. You may be approved instantly and shown your credit limit, or they may notify you that they need more time to review your application. If you are denied, you can call their reconsideration phone number to be reconsidered.
The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card may lack the bells and whistles of many of today’s rewards and travel credit cards, but it doesn’t need them. This credit card serves a very utilitarian and important purpose -- helping you pay off debt and square away your finances. If you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card that has both a long intro period and low balance transfer fees, this is it.