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Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card Review

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Aug 10, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Customers this card’s best for

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card is a decent option for the shopper who wants to earn cash back but doesn’t want to deal with rotating categories, activation or spending caps. This card has a $0 annual fee and offers unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases. That’s a consistent rate for all purchases, however, it isn’t the highest cashback rate when compared with competitors’ offerings.

You can easily find other cards that offer a flat rate of 2% cash back — or even up to 6% in certain categories. But, those cards may come with an annual fee. Check out other cashback cards if you want to earn the most cash back. Also, if you want to save money during a 0% intro APR period, this card doesn’t have the best offer on the market; others offer longer intro periods or $0 intro transfer fees.

Where this card stands out in its category

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card doesn’t really have any noteworthy features. It offers your free FICO® Score, but this has become standard for most cards. The cellphone protection is a good feature that provides peace of mind if your phone is damaged or stolen. Terms and conditions apply.

Where this card falls short in its category

This card has a mediocre cashback rate that isn’t as high as competing cashback cards’ rates. You can find a higher rate with cards like Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. This card also charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% so you should not use this card when traveling abroad.

Additional card benefits

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card has two additional card benefits beyond the cashback program:

  • Cellphone protection: Simply pay your monthly cellphone bill with your card to receive coverage for any damage or theft that may occur. You’ll get up to $600 of protection (subject to $25 deductible).
  • Free FICO® score: Receive free access to your credit score, allowing you to monitor it and be aware of any changes.

How to use the card most effectively

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card should be used for everyday purchases. If you frequently use Google Pay™ or Apple Pay® digital wallet, purchases made during the first 12 months after account opening will earn a higher 1.8% cashback rate. To maximize your rewards, it may be beneficial to pair this card with another cashback card that will earn you a higher cashback rate in certain categories, like gas or groceries.

To earn the Cash Rewards Bonus, make sure to spend the required amount in the given time period: $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months If you plan on making a large purchase or transferring a balance, do it as soon as possible so you can use the majority of the intro period.

Check out our balance transfer resources.

Rewards breakdown

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card offers unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases. There are no category restrictions or signups needed to earn cash back. During the first 12 months from account opening, you will earn 1.8% cash rewards on Google Pay™ or Apple Pay® digital wallet purchases. This allows you to earn additional cash back on select purchases for a limited time.

Cash rewards can be redeemed for merchandise, physical and electronic gift cards, travel, cash, digital rewards and charitable donations. Cash redemption options by phone or online are redeemable in $25 increments only. Cash redemptions by withdrawal from a Wells Fargo ATM or a rewards redemption to an eligible Wells Fargo account from a Wells Fargo ATM are redeemable in $20 increments only. Note: You must have a Wells Fargo Debit or ATM card in order to redeem rewards at a Wells Fargo ATM.

There is a Cash Rewards Bonus of $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months that can increase your cash back during the first few months of card opening.

Compare it with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

  • 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers

  • 15.74%– 25.74% (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74%– 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.74%– 25.74% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

More Info

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer differ in cashback rate, sign up bonus, and purchase intro rate. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a better option for those who want to earn more cash back since you will Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. compared to the unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases you earn with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card. This is a significant gap that can mean the difference between hundreds of dollars in cash back.

Here is a breakdown of the key element for each card.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Annual Fee $0 $0
Purchase Intro Rate See Terms N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Rate 0% for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer Fee 3% for 120 days, then 5% 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Ongoing APR See Terms 15.74%– 25.74% (Variable)
Rewards Unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Sign Up Bonus $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months No bonus
Foreign Transaction Fee 3% 3%

Bottom line

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card is a below-average card that offers a subpar cashback program and few additional cardmember perks. If your goal is to earn a high cashback rate, look to other cards that can increase your rewards.


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Highlights
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