Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa card review

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa card review

Updated: September 10, 2020
Updated: September 10, 2020
Ratings Policy
Student Rating:
4.1 rating
4.1 rating
4.1 / 5
Introductory Offer:4.6
Interest and Fees:5.0
Rewards Program:1.1
Issuer Customer Experience:2.3

In a Nutshell:

Wells Fargo’s student card is a good first-time card that helps new users establish a strong credit history, while providing some valuable cash rewards.

12.65-22.65% (variable)


Annual Fee


Penalty APR


Introductory Offer
0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 6 months


Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($300 monthly spend)


Rewards Program

  • 3% cash back on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases for first 6 months (up to $2,500 in purchases)
  • 1% unlimited cash back on general purchases

Wells Fargo Customer Service Ratings

  • J. D. Power 2020 customer satisfaction rating: 800 (90% of issuers in this category ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.7/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.8/5

Other Notable Features: Budget management tools, free money management courses, EMV chip, car rental insurance

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A tarnished credit history can affect your borrowing capabilities for years to come, so it’s important to find a card that starts you on the right foot. The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa card is geared to help students set a firm foundation for their credit. It ranks high on our list of student credit cards due to its easy payment terms, lower interest rates and tools specifically designed to help students meet their payment deadlines.

A relatively low APR

The regular APR on this card – which ranges between 12.65 percent and 22.65 percent – is on the low side. Because new cardholders are susceptible to missing payment deadlines and compiling interest, this is a major factor in our rating. You’ll want to take a close look at all the fees and penalties in the fine print. You’ll see that, while there is $38 late payment penalty, there’s no penalty APR. This is a major plus, since some cards can boost your rate as high as 30 percent if you miss a payment.

Long introductory offer

The card offers 0-percent APR for 12 months on both balance transfers and new purchases. This is a useful feature if you are trying to pay off a balance on another card or you need some practice at paying off your balance each month. Just remember to avoid the temptation of building up a large balance before the introductory period expires.

Flexible cash rewards

The rewards rate for the card is far from the best in the student category, but there are some decent rewards to be had. It offers 3 percent cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for the first six months. That rate then falls to a 1 percent for all purchases. There are no limits or expiration dates on your rewards and you can even deposit them automatically into your Wells Fargo account, if you have one.

Helpful payment features

There are a number of payment features that are especially useful for new cardholders trying to keep their credit in check. You can set up email and text alerts to inform you when a payment is due or when you’re about to hit your limit. They also offer 24/7 customer support and a very thorough FAQ section to help new users along.

Smart money management tools

Wells Fargo offers extensive money management resources to its new customers, including access to online credit education courses. Its Money Map tool could be especially valuable to a new cardholder. You can set a monthly budget for yourself, then use a text alert to tell when you’re about to hit your cap, so you don’t overspend.

A lot of other perks

The card includes many other useful features, such as an EMV chip and travel benefits including car rental insurance.

Overall, we think this is a great card for a fledgling card user. We give it a high rating because it manages to combine a low APR and some decent cash rewards with some useful credit management tools. Altogether, it could put you on the right path to developing responsible spending habits and establishing a strong credit history.

Why get the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa card?

  • You’re a student seeking to apply for your first card and establish a credit history.
  • You’re already a Wells Fargo customer.
  • You want to learn how to responsibly manage your credit.
  • You’re looking for a card with more forgiving interest rates.
  • You want a decent cash rewards program.
  • You have a large balance on another card that requires a long period to pay off.
  • You want to finance a large purchase at 0 percent (and you have the discipline to pay it off in 12 months).

How to use the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa card:

  • Take advantage of the email reminders and budget management tools – as a first-time credit card user, your first priority should be to establish good spending habits.
  • If you’re applying for the 0-percent introductory offer, be sure you can pay off the balance in 12 months. Regular interest rates, once they kick in, are costly.
  • Use this card to build a relationship with Wells Fargo – you may qualify for deals on financial products down the line.

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