|Credit Building Rating:||3.3 / 5|
|Cost of Membership||5.0|
|Ease of Building Credit||3.0|
In a Nutshell:
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card lets you earn rewards while you build business credit. Best of all, there’s no annual fee.
Average Yearly Rewards Value (based on estimated average rewards rate and $3,600 annual spend)
Wells Fargo Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: Two options for rewards rates.
While the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is targeted to existing Wells Fargo customers, those who want to apply can do so after opening a business checking or savings account with the bank. From there, cardholders get the chance to start building business credit with no annual fee regardless of financial mistakes they have made in the past.
Since the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card, applicants will need to put down a security deposit of at least $500 (and up to $25,000) in order to secure their line of credit. Cardholders can also earn rewards on all their spending, either in the form of cash back or rewards points that can be redeemed in more than one way.
Why you might want the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is geared to business owners who have poor credit or no credit, so it’s not for everyone. This card has some standout features for people who have had credit struggles in the past, making it a decent option for potential cardholders who may not qualify for cards with seemingly better rewards programs or cardholder benefits.
Not only is it available for Wells Fargo business customers who may not qualify for other business credit cards, but it helps build business credit history while doling out rewards on your spending. You can even be automatically upgraded to an unsecured version of the card with responsible credit use.
Earn rewards on your business spending
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card lets you pick from two different rewards earning options. You can choose to earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all your spending and bills, or you can earn 1 point on every $1 spent and 1,000 bonus points every billing cycle when you spend at least $1,000 on qualifying purchases.
The big difference between these two choices comes with how you can redeem your rewards. Where the cash back option is only good for automatic cash back added to your account, rewards points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, travel and more.
If you’re trying to decide between the two, consider which of the options is more valuable to you by calculating how much you’ll be spending monthly. For instance, if you spent $1,000 in one billing cycle, the 1 point for every dollar you spent combined with the 1,000 bonus points each billing cycle for spending $1,000 essentially nets you 2 points for every dollar you spent that month. Wells Fargo Business points are worth around 1 cent per point, making 2,000 points redeemable for $20 in gift cards. Comparatively, with a monthly $1,000 spend on the alternate rewards model of 1.5% cash back, you’d earn $15 as a statement credit.
Keep in mind, however, that you won’t earn the 1,000 bonus points unless you spend $1,000 each billing cycle. For any spend amount less than $1,000, the 1.5% cash back rewards offer will net you more rewards than the 1 point per dollar model.
Available for business owners with bad credit
Business owners with a low personal credit score may have trouble qualifying for business credit cards and other loans. However, the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is available for Wells Fargo customers who have poor credit or no business credit to speak of. Along with all relevant business names, tax identification numbers, revenue statistics and business type, customers interested in applying only need to open a Wells Fargo checking or savings account with the bank to qualify.
Build business credit history
When you’re a Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card customer, Wells Fargo will report your credit balances and payments to the Small Business Financial Exchange. This can help you build valuable business credit history, which can help your business become eligible for loans and other types of credit later on.
Although this doesn’t help build your personal credit, it does provide an additional benefit to your business and your ability to remain afloat by opening more doors for financial stability.
Upgrade to a secured business credit card later on
Finally, Wells Fargo states it will periodically review your account and recent credit history to see if you’re eligible to upgrade to an unsecured business credit card. And whether you upgrade or close your account in good standing, you’ll get your security deposit back.
This can be great for your business, especially if you see it growing and want to increase your spending to support new ventures. Additionally, by getting access to unsecured credit cards you may also be provided with a larger line of credit. While you may not spend your whole credit limit each billing cycle, the larger it is the easier it is to responsibly manage your credit utilization. Issuers like to see that you can reliably manage your borrowing activity, doing so will grow your business credit and open more doors to financial freedom down the road.
Why you might want a different business card
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card can be beneficial for certain types of consumers, but there are reasons to consider another card altogether. For example, you may want a better business credit card if you have decent credit, or if you want the chance to build your own credit score with a personal credit card.
Your credit score may not be that bad
The first reason to consider another card is that your credit score may not be as bad as you believe it is. If your personal credit score is at least “fair,” for example, you could qualify for an unsecured credit card to use for business that doesn’t require any collateral. This can be great because you won’t have to tie up money in a security deposit, but sometimes your credit limit is determined by your credit score. Issuers may be hesitant to give you a large limit if your credit score is “fair” or lower.
Before you apply for a secured credit card, you should really check your credit score to see where you stand. If you have fair credit or better, or a FICO score of at least 580 to 669, you should look at other options, so long as these options can provide you with a reasonable line of credit.
Security deposit required
Just like secured credit cards for consumers, the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card requires a security deposit as collateral. Your credit limit with the card will be equal to the security deposit you opened the account with, which can be anywhere between $500 and $25,000.
While you’ll get the full security deposit back if you close your account in good standing, it’s still inconvenient to have to borrow money from the lump sum that you initially provided – with the added risk of paying interest on it should you miss a payment. If a security deposit turns your head, then look to unsecured business credit cards for “bad” credit and consider if they’re right for you over a secured business credit card.
No reporting to the three credit bureaus
While the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card reports to the Small Business Financial Exchange in order to build your business credit history, this card does not report to the three consumer credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This means this business card won’t help your personal credit score at all.
This can be a deal breaker for some who want to use their business credit to establish personal credit history and responsibility. Using one line of credit (in this case, a business credit card) to build financial responsibility both for your business and yourself is a great strategy. Unfortunately, the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card won’t help you here.
Wells Fargo account required
Finally, don’t forget that you have to have an eligible Wells Fargo business checking or savings account to apply for the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card. If you’re averse to opening a new bank account with Wells Fargo for any reason, this requirement can pose a major problem. However, if you’re applying with other business partners, only one of you needs to have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account to list on the application.
How does the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card compare to other business credit cards?
The chart below shows how the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card compares to other business credit cards for imperfect credit.
|Business Edition® Secured Visa® Card|
Brex 30 Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
|Type of credit card|
|Type of credit card|
|Type of credit card|
Bad credit or no credit
Bad credit or no credit
|Rewards Rate||Rewards Rate|
Earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter (then 1% back) and 1% back on other purchases
50,000 in Brex Rewards points after you spend $1,000; Software discounts and credits, including a $5,000 credit for Amazon Web Services and $150 credit for Google Ads
Discover will match all rewards earned at the end of your first year
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card vs. the Business Edition Secured Visa Card
The Business Edition Secured Visa Card from First National Bank of Omaha is another business credit card for fair to good credit, but this card is geared to individuals who need access to a credit limit that’s far higher than they can get with the Wells Fargo Business Secured card. With a security deposit of $2,000 to $100,000, customers can get a line of credit from $2,200 to $110,000. Cardholders can even earn interest on their security deposit, although exact rates are only revealed after you apply.
However, interested parties should be aware that this card doesn’t offer any rewards. You’ll also pay a $39 annual fee and a 3% foreign transaction fee if you use this business credit card for purchases outside the United States.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card vs. the Brex 30 Charge Card
The Brex 30 Charge Card is available to business owners with no credit history and is perfect for startup business owners looking to build business credit.
The card has a generous rewards model that includes discounts on business software and services. Additionally, the card has a fast approval process with no personal credit checks required. Potential cardholders looking to open up a business credit card but who lack personal or business credit may see the Brex 30 as a great option, but the one caveat is that you need to have at least $100,000 in your corporate account to qualify for the card. This makes it a little unobtainable for cardholders who don’t have that much saved.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card vs. the Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Finally, consider the Discover it® Secured Credit Card if you need a secured credit card but you want to build your personal credit score. This is a personal credit card and not a business credit card, but you can get started with a cash deposit as little as $200, and you can earn rewards while you build your credit score for the future.
Not only does Discover it® Secured Credit Card let you earn ongoing rewards on your spending with no annual fee, but Discover will even match all the rewards you have earned at the end of your first year.
How to use the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
- Put down a cash deposit of $500 to $25,000 in order to secure your line of credit.
- Use your card for business spending in order to earn rewards and build business credit.
- Pay your bill on time each month in order to boost your business credit profile.
- See if you’re eligible to upgrade to an unsecured business credit card later on.
- Consider applying for a separate credit card that helps you build your personal credit score.
Is the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card right for you?
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is one of the few secured credit cards for business out there, so it’s definitely worth considering if you want to build business credit history and you don’t mind putting down collateral. Just keep in mind that you won’t build your personal credit score with this card, and that you have to be a Wells Fargo customer with an eligible account to apply.
If your personal credit score is “fair” or better, on the other hand, you can probably find a business credit card with no security deposit required and better perks. In that case, take a look at some of the unsecured business credit cards available to cardholders with fair credit. Or, if you’re willing to strategize a little bit, consider a personal credit-building card in the meantime. This can build your credit and, in a year or so, reassess what you qualify for to potentially find you’re a good candidate for a more rewarding, unsecured business card.
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