Wells Fargo Active Cash Card Review: 2% Cash Back With a Bonus

The card features unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, a sign-up bonus and a 0% intro APR promotion.
Jun 21, 2022

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

When it comes to flat-rate cash-back cards, it's hard to beat 2% back, especially when the card is one of the few in this category to come with a bonus for new cardmembers.

Jump to: Full Review
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% Variable APR
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • No bonus categories

Alternate Pick: 1% as you buy, 1% as you pay
Citi® Double Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Redeem any amount of rewards

This $0-annual-fee card earns 2% cash back on all purchases (1% as you buy, 1% as you pay). There's no sign-up bonus, but it does offer a 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49%-25.49% Variable APR.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% Variable APR

Regular APR

15.49%-25.49% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.49%-24.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

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.

But if you’re willing to manage multiple cards at once, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card pairs well with a variety of others.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: Basics

Card type: Cash back.

Annual fee: $0.

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 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% 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%.

Other benefits:

  • 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 statement credit.

  • 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.

  • A mailed paper check.

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 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% 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 – 18 month BT offer grants a longer time frame: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49%-25.49% Variable APR. Incidentally, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer also earns 2% cash back on all purchases (1% as you buy, 1% as you pay), though it lacks 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.

on Wells Fargo's website

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.
Frequently asked questions
How do I apply for a credit card with Wells Fargo?

You can apply online, through the Wells Fargo app, through major credit card sites, through the mail or at a Wells Fargo branch.

Is Wells Fargo a good credit card?

Wells Fargo issues a number of different credit cards to match different consumer needs. The card that works best for you can depend on what you’re looking for, as well as your personal financial situation.

Does Wells Fargo have a cash-back credit card?

Yes. Wells Fargo offers cash-back cards like the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, in addition to other cards, including travel rewards cards.

How do cash-back credit cards work?

Cash-back cards earn rewards whenever you make a purchase. You can often redeem those rewards as money back in the form of a statement credit, deposit to a bank account or mailed paper check.

Is it worth getting a cash-back card?

Cash-back cards can be a simple way to save on every purchase you make. Some even offer valuable sign-up bonuses. You may prefer a travel rewards card if you travel often, especially overseas. Or, if you have credit card debt, a balance transfer card can help you save on interest while you pay your balance down.