Wells Fargo Active Cash Card Review

GOBankingRates Score

4.1
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a popular choice among cash-back enthusiasts looking to maximize their earnings. One of five 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.
  • Fees
    3.0
  • Rewards Rate
    4.8
  • Perks
    4.0
  • APR
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No rotating categories or activation deadlines
  • No annual fee
  • Low introductory APR
  • Unlimited 2% cash rewards
  • $100 welcome bonus, terms apply
  • Flexible cash-back redemption
  • Up to $600 of cellphone protection

Cons

  • No bonus categories to earn extra cash back
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Balance transfer fee of up to 3%, with a $5 minimum
  • Up to $40 late payment penalty fee

Overview

A major lender in consumer credit, Wells Fargo gives its customers the products they need to manage their finances. 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 offers two times more cash back compared to many other rewards cards. Here’s a closer look at what this card has to offer.

Features of the

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card earned a GOBankingRates score of 4.1 out of 5. Here’s a closer look at some of the features that earned the card this score.

Fees

You won’t pay an annual fee with the Active Cash card, which is a definite plus. But the card does have some drawbacks when it comes to other fees, such as a $40 fee for late payments. While not the highest on the market, the other fees may be an inconvenience for some.

Wells Fargo charges a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is higher, on balances transferred from another card. Cash advances and overdraft protection advances also incur a fee — $10 or 5%, whichever is higher — plus a higher interest rate than for purchases.

Paying with the Wells Fargo Active Cash card at foreign establishments will cost members 3% of each transaction converted to U.S. dollars. The minimum foreign transaction fee is $5.

Rewards Rate: Earning and Redeeming Rewards

Yielding unlimited 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, deposit account or mortgage, available in $25 increments
  • As a cash redemption at a Wells Fargo ATM, available in $20 increments, when they use a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card
  • As a paper check, in $25 increments
  • Toward gift cards, which are redeemable in $25 increments
  • By using PayPal at checkout when they shop online

Perks

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. Claims are subject to a $25 deductible.

Additionally, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers built-in protection, meaning cardholders won’t be held responsible for unauthorized transactions that appear on their account. To take advantage of this feature, cardholders need to report any suspicious activity to Wells Fargo immediately.

Wells Fargo Credit Close-Up is a credit management tool that comes free with the card. Following enrollment, cardmembers receive monthly FICO Score updates and customized insights to help them monitor and maintain or increase their score.

As a Visa Signature card, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card provides members with 24/7 concierge service for assistance booking dining, travel and entertainment. Cardholders also receive premium benefits at some of the world’s best hotels.

Introductory and Purchase APR

In addition to the , 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 on purchases and balance transfers, depending on your creditworthiness. The rate for cash and overdraft protection advances is slightly higher.

What Makes the 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 unlimited 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.

vs. Competitors

Here’s how the Wells Fargo Active Cash card holds up against other popular cash-back cards you might consider.

vs.

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card may initially seem more appealing than the Active Cash card because of its generous $250 welcome bonus offer, terms apply. However, customers have to spend six times — $3,000 within the first 6 months — as much as they would with the Active Cash card to earn it. Both cards have an intro APR on purchases, see Rates & Fees, but the Active Cash card lets cardholders enjoy this benefit for three months longer than its American Express counterpart. And whereas the Active Cash card has no annual fee, American Express, Member FDIC, charges Blue Cash Preferred cardholders per year.

As for cash-back rewards, the Blue Cash Preferred card offers 6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and on up to the first $6,000 you spend at U.S.-based supermarkets each year, followed by 1% cash back. It also offers 3% on purchases from transportation services and U.S.-based gas stations, terms apply. For other everyday purchases, the Active Cash card still holds the crown with a 2% offer over American Express’s 1%.

vs.

The Chase Freedom Flex 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 delivery, and 1% on all other purchases. Cardholders can also earn 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories on the first $1,500 spent each quarter.

The Freedom Flex card offers a . As with the Active Cash card, you can earn the Freedom Flex bonus by spending $500 within the first three months of card ownership — twice the bonus for the same purchase requirement as the Active Cash card.

How To Apply for the Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Card

You can apply for a Wells Fargo Active Cash card by scheduling an appointment with a banker at a local branch office or by filling out an application online, from the card’s main page, on the Wells Fargo website. This is the information you’ll need to provide:

  • Whether you’re a current Wells Fargo Customer
  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Contact information, including permanent mailing address, email address and cell phone number
  • Housing status — rent or own
  • Mortgage or rent payment
  • Employment status

Note that you must use your own cell phone number because Wells Fargo uses mobile information to verify applicants’ identity.

You may add an authorized use and give your permission to receive account-opening disclosures electronically. Then click or tap in the box to indicate that you’ve read and agree to the term and conditions, and hit the submit button.

Who Is It 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 if they spend $500 during their first three months with the card.

Current Wells Fargo Bank customers will find the best value in the card because they can have their rewards sent to a deposit account or use them to pay down a mortgage or other eligible credit balance.

Earning Competitive Rewards

The 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 then rates of , 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.

Final Take

The 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 competitors 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.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Credit card FAQ

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Credit card takes a straightforward approach to earning and redeeming rewards. These answers to some frequently asked questions will help you decide if it's the right card for you.
  • Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash card worth it?
    • Wells Fargo Active Cash is worth it if you want to earn generous rewards on all your purchases, with no maximum earning limits or restrictions.
  • Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash card hard to get?
    • The Wells Fargo Active Cash card might be difficult to get if you have a limited credit history or you've had credit problems in the past.
  • What credit score is needed for Wells Fargo Active Cash?
    • Although Wells Fargo doesn't disclose the credit requirements, applicants generally need a "good" credit score of 670 or above to qualify for rewards cards. Wells Fargo suggests stopping in at a local branch if you have concerns about applying.
  • Can I withdraw money from my Wells Fargo Active Cash card?
    • Yes. However, Wells Fargo imposes a 5% fee, $10 minimum, on cash advances and charges a premium APR on the balance.
 

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Sept. 30, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. 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 any entity named in this article.

The information related to Chase Freedom Flex was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product/card. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.

All information about American Express Blue Cash Preferred has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. Blue Cash Preferred is not available through GOBankingRates.

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About the Author

Daniela Rivera is a bilingual freelance content creator with an advertising and media background. She has a degree in Communication Science and over 10 years of work experience as a copywriter. She specializes in generating engaging and creative concepts and texts for advertising, e-commerce, blogs, podcasts and social media.
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