There’s a new 1.5% cash-back credit card on the block.
Wells Fargo recently introduced the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, which features flat-rate cash-back rewards and a lengthy intro 0% APR promotion. It’s the only credit card issued by the bank today that offers flat rewards over 1%.
“We wanted to make it straightforward and simple,” Judy Teeven, the head of general purpose credit cards at Wells Fargo, told NerdWallet. “Anytime we can bring something exciting and new to the market or can update a product to meet our customers’ needs, we’re happy to do it. We’re proud to do it.”
Wells Fargo is the latest of several major issuers to add a flat-rate cash-back credit card to its portfolio. In recent years, Capital One, Chase and Barclaycard each started issuing 1.5% cash-back cards, and Citi began issuing a flat-rate cash-back card with a higher rewards rate.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card doesn’t come with the highest rewards rate but offers a long introductory 0% APR period: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 25.99% Variable APR. This makes it a strong choice for some.
- Recommended Credit Score
- 690850Good - Excellent
- Card Details
- High rewards rate
- Sign-up bonus
- 0% APR period
- Offers cell phone protection when bill is paid with card
- $25 minimum redemption
- Requires good/excellent credit
- APR: 13.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
Bonus OffersEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
- 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months
- Additional Information
- Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
- Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
- No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
- 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 Cash Wise Visa® Card
- 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
- $0 Annual Fee
- Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
Why the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is a good deal
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card’s 1.5% flat rewards rate is a big draw, especially for people who want to earn more rewards on everyday purchases. But in a crowded field, the card stands out as one of the better 1.5% cards because of its extra benefits. Here’s why it might be a good deal for you:
It has a long intro 0% APR period for purchases and balance transfers. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card’s 0% intro APR period is good for a 1.5% cash-back card — although the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a longer intro period at 0%. If you’re planning to make a big purchase and pay it off over a longer period, or if you’re paying off credit card debt, it’s a good choice.
The sign-up bonus is superior to other 1.5% cards. Wells Fargo describes the bonus this way: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
It’s easy to manage for existing Wells Fargo customers. If you have multiple Wells Fargo accounts, such as savings and checking accounts and a mortgage, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card gains a slight edge over similar 1.5% back credit cards.
“The convenience of being able to go to one site and see all those balances and that information, and see those due dates together — that’s a real differentiating feature for our customers,” Teeven says.
You can get automatic cell phone damage and theft coverage. If you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, you get up to $600 in protection for your phone against covered damage or theft (subject to a $25 deductible).
Its rewards can be redeemed for cash at Wells Fargo ATMs, if you have a Wells Fargo debit card. Wells Fargo is the only major issuer that lets cardholders redeem cash back earned on their credit cards at ATMs. You can redeem rewards this way in $20 increments. If you prefer straight cash as a reward — instead of, say, statement credits or checks — this feature might just give you one more reason to get the card.
Rewards can also be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, travel, charitable donations, checks, direct deposit or statement credits. For checks, direct deposit and statement credits, redemptions start at $25.
Why you might go with a different credit card
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is a good cash-back card, but it’s not the best choice for everyone. Here’s why:
Chase Freedom Unlimited® has equally generous rewards while offering a longer intro 0% APR period. With this card, you’ll get 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 24.74% Variable APR.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer gives 1% back on every purchase and another 1% back on every balance paid down, about 33% more in rewards than the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card offers. The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card also offers 2% back, though you need a Fidelity account to earn those rewards. If a high continuing rewards rate is a priority for you, these cards would beat the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card.
Chase Slate®. Although it doesn’t earn rewards, it offers a long 0% APR period and waives balance transfer fees for the first 60 days after account opening.
To read more about potential cash-back credit card alternatives, visit our list of top credit card options.
Convenience, with 0% intro APR
As more issuers throw their hats into the flat-rate cash-back ring, those 1.5% rewards rates have become the norm. To sift through the options, you need to know what else you want besides that. And if you’re a Wells Fargo customer focused on convenience, or if you want a long introductory 0% APR period for purchases and balance transfers, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card delivers.
This article has been updated. It was originally published July 6, 2016.