The Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Credit Card has a somewhat hidden identity. At first, it may seem like a fairly pedestrian rewards card, whose earnings capabilities start out strong but flame out in half a year. But a closer look shows that it offers big potential for anyone seeking exceptional redemption values on airfare.
In other words, what you miss out on in earning, you may be able to make up for in "burning."
Here are five things to know about the card.
1. You'll get killer rewards ... for 6 months
The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Credit Card doesn't offer a traditional upfront sign-up bonus after meeting a minimum spending requirement. But it does earn 5X points on up to $12,500 in combined spending on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for the first six months of card ownership. All non-bonus-category purchases earn 1X back. That's a pretty stellar rate in multiple everyday spending areas — but it doesn't last.
After the first six months or once you reach that spending cap, whichever comes first, the card drops down to earning just 1 point back per $1 spent. That's below the flat-rate industry standard of 1.5% back on everything, and there's no way to boost it again. You're stuck at that rate for as long as you hold the card.
It's also worth noting that points expire after five years — a long time, to be sure, but many credit cards offer rewards that never expire.
2. Rewards are worth 50% more when used to book airfare via Wells Fargo
Where this card truly shines is its redemption rate. Typically, Wells Fargo rewards points are worth a penny each no matter how they're redeemed, meaning that if you were to max out the card's spending cap in the first six months, you'd snag at least $625 back. Not bad at all.
But the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Credit Card is unique among the issuer's portfolio of cards, in that its points take on 50% more value when you redeem for plane tickets. For example, 20,000 points can be redeemed through the Go Far Rewards portal for $300 worth of airfare. That's a fantastic rate of 1.5 cents per point — especially for a card with an annual fee of $0.
And if you happen to be a really big spender, the redemption rate gets even better: Put $50,000 or more on the card in one year, and points are then worth 1.75 cents each when redeemed for airfare through Wells Fargo.
3. You can pool your earnings from other cards
Better yet, if you have other Wells Fargo cards that earn Go Far Rewards, you can move those earnings to your Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Credit Card and enjoy the higher redemption rate on airfare.
For example, if you also own the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, you'll earn triple points on several categories including most travel, dining, and streaming services. Terms apply. You may be able to rack up quite a haul with this card, but your redemption value is still a penny per point — unless you transfer your points to your Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Credit Card and then redeem for plane tickets.
If you have this combo of cards, you can squeeze 4.5 cents worth of value out of the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card bonus categories when you use rewards for airfare.
4. It comes with cell phone protection
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Credit Card provides cell phone insurance for devices that have been damaged or stolen, as long as you pay your monthly phone bill with the card. The amount you'll get reimbursed is limited to the repair or replacement of your original phone, less a $25 deductible, with a maximum benefit of $600 per claim and $1,200 per 12-month period.
5. You'll have access to Visa Signature perks
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Credit Card also carries some plush extras courtesy of its Visa Signature status including:
Price protection (an increasingly rare perk on a credit card).
Auto rental collision coverage.
Travel accident insurance.
Extended warranty protection.
Hotel benefits through the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.