If you’re interested in a simple cash back card for everyday use and earning good rewards, you may want to take a look at the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card.
With no annual fee, a hefty sign-up bonus, 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 16.24%-28.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee.
Get great cash back rewards, plus an incentive for Google Pay™ or Apple Pay® mobile wallet users. This card offers good value for consumers who are looking to earn unlimited cash back on all your purchases and get rewarded.
Is this the best cash back card to keep handy? Dive into our in-depth review to find out if you should apply for the Cash Wise card.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card Summary
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Benefits
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is the go-to card for these reasons:
- A big bonus. You can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
- Mobile wallet bonus. Apple Pay® or Google Pay™ users can enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases. This is valid from the first 12 months from account opening. If you have a smartphone and you haven’t tried using a mobile wallet, maybe this is a sign.
- Cash back on every purchase.Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases with no category limitations or pesky quarterly sign-ups and activation.
- 0% Introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 16.24%-28.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee. If you’re looking to make a large purchase soon or are trying to pay off another card, this is a great card to do so.
- Cash back rewards don’t expire as long as your account is kept open and stays in good standing.
- Cell phone protection. Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone, subject to a $25 deductible, against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your card.
- Cash Track. This is a Cash Wise card-exclusive feature. Use it to help you keep track of your cash-back earnings. It’s available through the online banking website. View current rewards, set a rewards goal, redeem cash back, and more.
- Accepted worldwide. As a Visa credit card, if you’re out of the U.S., Cash Wise is accepted almost all over the world.
- No annual fee.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Pitfalls
You may not like the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card due to these reasons:
- Redemption in increments. Per Wells Fargo’s reward program, you can only redeem in increments of $25 (online and by phone) or $20 (with a Wells Fargo debit card at a Wells Fargo ATM). This means, if you have an extra few bucks in rewards, you may not be able to receive it all. But if you’re planning on keeping this card, in the long run, this may not be an issue to you.
- A foreign transaction fee. For purchases outside of the U.S., you must pay a 3% foreign transaction fee. That means any purchase made while traveling abroad, as well as purchases made from internationally based merchants. If you travel outside of the U.S. a lot, consider applying for a travel card instead that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee.
- Very high regular APR potential. Currently, the Cash Wise’s variable APR ranges from 16.24%-28.24% variable APR.
If you frequently use Apple Pay® or Google Pay™ or you’re interested in using them, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card will give you a bonus 1.8% cash back for the first 12 months when you use a mobile wallet to pay for your purchases. That’s 20% more than the flat 1.5% return on all other purchases.
There is no cap on this elevated rewards rate. Neither pay service comes with any extra fees or charges. So, the 1.8% rewards rate doesn’t come at any additional cost. Part of the appeal of mobile wallets like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™ is the ability to leave your physical credit cards behind and simply use your smartphone as a payment method.
It gives you more wallet room. Plus, if you ever forget your wallet at home or elsewhere, simply use your smartphone for a hassle-free transaction. You may even get a cash back bonus on mobile wallet transactions as an incentive for using their services. Given this benefit, if you do end up getting the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, it’s a great offer to take advantage of.
Earning Cash Back
With the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, you earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases. You won’t need to go through the hassle of signing up for quarterly categories. Plus, you don’t need to keep track of rotating categories.
Most other cards that are of a similar cash back earning type only offer you 1% on everyday purchases. Thus, you can easily see the benefit of 1.5% back on the Cash Wise.
In addition, you can receive loyalty bonuses. If you maintain a qualifying checking or savings account at Wells Fargo, you may receive an annual 10% bump on all non-bonus rewards earned with your Cash Wise card.
Redeeming Cash Back Rewards
You can redeem your rewards for gift cards, merchandise, travel, or cash. Wells Fargo is the only one of the 12 largest credit-card-issuing banks that lets you redeem rewards in $20 bills right at the ATM. Just use your Wells Fargo debit card at a Wells Fargo-owned ATM.
Or if you don’t have a Wells Fargo-owned ATM near you, you can redeem your rewards in $25 increments online and by phone.
The downfall is that you can only redeem your cash in increments. This may lower the effective rewards rate on your credit card. For instance, if you plan on redeeming your rewards online, you can redeem a minimum of $25.
However, if you stop using the card when your rewards balance is at $10, you wouldn’t be able to cash in on those earnings unless you spent at least $250 more. It may be a deal-breaker for you, depending on how long you plan to keep and use this card.
Cell Phone Protection
Available to all Wells Fargo cardholders, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card users receive cell phone protection. Just pay your cell phone bill with this card or any other Wells Fargo card. If your phone is damaged or stolen, you’ll be covered for up to $600 per occurrence. The policy is subject to a $25 deductible and a maximum of 2 claims per 12 month period.
This is definitely a great card benefit, since it could potentially give you some well needed savings. It makes this card worth considering if you don’t have another of the issuer’s cards. You may need to take advantage of this deal if you tend to have phone accidents.
However, the cell phone coverage isn’t all-inclusive. The coverage is only for theft or damage. Phone accessories, pre-paid phones, cosmetic damage, and a few other exclusions won’t be covered.
Don’t expect to receive compensation if you lose your phone or if it’s damaged while under the care of a common carrier, such as the Postal Service. In addition, you must file a claim within 60 days of damage or theft or you will be denied.
You must send requested documentation in within 90 days from the date of damage or theft to avoid claim denial. The maximum benefit limit is $600 per claim and $1,800 per 12-month period. You will be reimbursed up to $600 or the price of the new phone, whichever is less.
Different Banks, Same Cash Back
Here’s how the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card stacks up against the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card, a cashback Chase card that also offers 1.5% cash back.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card offers:
SPECIAL OFFER: Unlimited Matched Cash Back. Use your card for all your purchases and at the end of your first year, Chase will automatically match all the cash back you earned! There is no limit to how much you can earn. Every dollar in cash back rewards you earn is a dollar Chase will match.
Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
In addition, you can earn:
• 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
• 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
• Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
There is no minimum to redeem for cash back & your cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
This card comes with no annual fee and you'll get a free credit score that is updated weekly with Credit JourneySM.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card is one of the newest 1.5% cash back credit cards on the market. For most consumers, it’ll be a better option than the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card. Most importantly, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® awards Ultimate Reward points.
If you apply for a Chase Sapphire-branded card or Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, you can transfer your points to a number of hotel and airline partners. Thus, you’d boost your rewards rate above 1.5% on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
In summary, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has far greater growth potential than the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card if you’re planning to pair it up.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is a solid flat-rate cash back credit card, with no caps on reward earnings and a good sign-up bonus. It offers 1.5% flat cash back on all your purchases. Plus, experience 1.8% back on Apple Pay® or Google Pay™ transactions for the first 12 months. Plus, you’ll get cell phone protection!
With rewards, you can withdraw your cash back as actual cash in $20 to $25 increments. If you’re a Wells Fargo customer and you value features, such as the cell phone insurance and Cash Track tool, this could be a great card choice for you.
However, for the best options in terms of spending return, you’re more likely to benefit with another fixed rate credit card. Be sure to check out our best Wells Fargo credit cards for more offers or extensive list of the best credit cards!