Not many cash-back credit cards earn 2% back on all purchases, so when a card joins the club, it’s a cause for celebration. The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, which became available in summer 2021, has much to offer: unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, a sign-up bonus and a no-interest promotion on new purchases and balance transfers.
Taken together, that’s a value proposition that’s difficult if not impossible to find on other cards in its class. It makes the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card an ideal match for those who prefer the ease of using one card whenever they shop.
True, other cards offer higher rewards rates in specific popular spending categories like grocery stores and restaurants. So if you’re a one-card kind of person, you’ll miss out on the chance to earn more.
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: Basics
Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months..
Rewards: Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.
Redemption options: Statement credit, withdrawal from Wells Fargo ATMs in $20 increments using a Wells Fargo ATM or debit card, direct deposit into a Wells Fargo checking or savings account, or a mailed paper check.
Interest rate: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% Variable APR.
Balance transfer fee: A balance transfer request must be made within 120 days from account opening to qualify for the introductory APR. A balance-transfer fee applies: either $5 or 3% of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, a different fee applies; up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.
Foreign transaction fee: 3%.
Cell phone protection when customers pay their monthly cell phone bill with their Active Cash Card. (Protection is secondary to your other insurance that might apply, such as homeowners or auto insurance.)
Access to Visa Concierge and Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.
Benefits of the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
2% cash back, plus a sign-up bonus
Quite a few flat-rate cards earn 1.5% cash back, so if a card’s going to stand out, it has to stand apart. While the list of cards that earn 2% cash back is growing, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card differentiates itself in a big way with its sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.. Depending on your spending, a 1.5% card typically tops a 2% card if it earns a sign-up bonus — and most other cards earning 2% back forgo the bonus entirely. In this regard, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card pulls ahead of the pack.
No annual fee
Annual fees may be the cost of entry for more premium rewards cards, but they do eat into these cards’ yearly value. The $0 annual fee makes this an easy card to hold onto for a long time.
Flexible redemption options
There are four ways you can redeem your cash-back rewards:
A withdrawal from Wells Fargo ATMs in $20 increments using a Wells Fargo ATM or debit card.
A direct deposit into a Wells Fargo checking or savings account.
0% intro APR offer
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card gives you a long break from interest, which is helpful if you use the card to make a major purchase you want to pay off over time, or if you’d like to move debt away from a high-interest card. You’ll pay 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% Variable APR.
Extras make the card feel fancy
Cell phone insurance: Credit cards that offer cell phone insurance are part of a growing trend as we tote around fragile devices worth hundreds of dollars. If you pay your monthly phone bill with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, it will cover up to $600 (up to twice per year) in the event of things like damage or theft. Note that this coverage is secondary to other insurance policies you may already have, including homeowners or renters insurance.
Visa perks: As a Visa card, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card grants you access to Visa Concierge, a service that assists you with travel or dining arrangements, event tickets and more. You also have access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, where you can book a stay at a selection of hotels and receive benefits like room upgrades, free breakfast, food and beverage credits and more.
Drawbacks and alternatives
Rewards redemptions are somewhat tailored to existing Wells Fargo customers
The simplicity of getting rewards as cash from an ATM or direct depositing them into a bank account is reserved for Wells Fargo customers. If you have a Wells Fargo ATM or debit card, you can withdraw your cash-back rewards in $20 increments from a Wells Fargo ATM. And if you have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account, you can have your rewards deposited there. Overall, these are decent redemption options, but you’ll get the most flexibility if you bank with Wells Fargo. For more flexible options, see our list of best credit cards with rewards here.
Other cash-back cards earn more
If you don’t mind cards with more complicated, tiered rewards programs, you’ll find a selection of cash-back cards that earn higher rewards rates in specific spending categories. Typically, these cards earn 1% cash back on everything else, so you can pair them with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card to earn 2% back for those “everything else” purchases, like medical bills and car repairs. The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has a $0 annual fee and earns 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, eligible streaming services and at grocery stores. It also offers a sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Longer 0% intro APR offers exist
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card provides a long period of time to pay down new purchases or balance transfers, but if your top priority is lowering your interest payments on a transferred balance for as long as possible, there are more generous options. The $0-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card grants a longer time frame: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.99%-26.99% Variable APR. Incidentally, the Citi® Double Cash Card also earns 2% cash back on all purchases (1% as you buy, 1% as you pay), though it doesn’t usually offer a sign-up bonus.
Foreign transaction fee
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card runs on the Visa payment network, so it’s widely accepted around the world. However, the card charges a foreign transaction fee, adding an extra cost every time you use it when traveling abroad. If you travel often, a travel rewards card that charges no foreign transaction fee can earn valuable points and miles to apply toward a discounted trip in the future. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a $95 annual fee, but it earns 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases and offers a sign-up bonus. Redeem miles toward a variety of travel expenses.
Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card right for you?
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a top choice among flat-rate credit cards. Its rich yet straightforward rewards rate means it can be ideal as either a single-card solution or as part of a multicard system, and it comes with incentives not usually found on other 2%-back cards. In short, it’s hard to beat.