Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card review

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card review

Updated: December 29, 2022
Updated: December 29, 2022

If you’re looking for a basic cash back card that earns cash rewards to use on general purchases and don’t want to bother with a complicated rewards scheme, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card is a good choice – particularly if you already bank with Wells Fargo and would prefer a card from the same bank.

The Cash Wise Visa card doesn’t offer as many perks as its competitors and is somewhat pricey for cardholders with lower scores, but its limited 12-month promotion offering more cash back for smartphone users is unique, and its single rewards rate for every purchase is appealing for busy cardholders who don’t want the take the time to track bonus categories.

One flat rewards rate for purchases

Many rewards credit cards make credit card holders work for their rewards earnings by having them keep track of limited or rotating bonus categories. If cardholders don’t purchase something that earns an automatic bonus, they only earn 1 percent cash back or one rewards point on their purchase. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card, by contrast, keeps it simple by offering unlimited 1.5 percent cash rewards on purchases.

The higher rewards rate on general purchases means cardholders can earn a larger amount back without having to worry about rotating bonuses or limited categories. It also allows cardholders who do take the time to track rewards categories to supplement their earnings with 1.5 percent cash rewards on purchases that don’t qualify for a bonus on other cards.

Decent sign-up offer

The card currently offers $150 cash rewards bonus to new cardholders who spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Limited-time offer for smartphone users

The card also offers a unique opportunity for smartphone users to earn 1.8 percent cash rewards for the first 12 months from account opening when they make their purchases through Google Pay™ or Apple Pay®.

If you’re a relatively heavy spender and live in an area where a large amount of retailers accept digital wallet payments, you could potentially earn a significant bonus just by using your qualified digital wallet on your phone to make your payments instead of your card. For example, if you spend $1,000 a month on your phone for the card’s first 12 months, you’ll net $216 by the end of the year.

Lower APR – for some

Thanks to its higher bonus on general purchases, the Cash Wise Visa card is a great card to use for all or most of your spending. However, because this card also charges a relatively steep APR (particularly for cardholders with lower scores), you could get yourself into trouble if you spend more than you can afford to repay each month. The lowest available APR on the Cash Wise Visa card – 14.49 percent (variable) – is well below average and is significantly lower than its competitors. However, the card’s maximum APR runs as high as 24.99 percent (variable), which is extremely high for carrying a balance. If you’re offered an APR near the high end for this rewards card, it’s a good idea to only use this card for purchases that you know you can afford to pay off.

Multiple redemption options for Wells Fargo customers

The good news is that your cash rewards never expires as long as you keep your account open, so even if you only use your card sparingly, you should still earn a significant amount back. Wells Fargo also makes it easy to claim your cash rewards once you’re ready for it – as long as you’re already a Wells Fargo bank customer. To redeem your cash online or through an ATM, you must have a Wells Fargo deposit account. Otherwise, Wells Fargo will mail you a check. Unlike many cash back cards, Wells Fargo also allows you to pay down loans with your cash rewards earnings, which is a nice option for cardholders who want to whittle away debt.

Up to $600 cellphone insurance

The Cash Wise Visa card is currently offering up to $600 worth of cellphone protection against covered damage and theft (subject to a $25 deductible) to cardholders who use the card to pay their monthly phone bills. This is an unusual benefit and a nice perk for cardholders who frequently need to replace their phones.

Why get the Cash Wise Visa card?

  • You want a simple, hassle-free rewards card that awards a flat cash rewards rate on purchases.
  • You’re looking for a cash back card with a large sign-up bonus.
  • You want to supplement your rewards earnings on other cards with a bonus on general purchases.
  • You already have a bank account with Wells Fargo and prefer a card with the same bank.
  • You have excellent credit and are looking for a strong cash back card.

How to use the Cash Wise Visa card:

  • Use your card for any purchases that don’t earn a higher bonus on another card.
  • Earn a higher rewards rate by using your qualified digital wallet on your phone to make payments instead of your card.
  • Repay your purchases in full each month in order to avoid paying interest.

Is the Cash Wise Visa card worth it?

Existing Wells Fargo customers looking for a basic, low-maintenance cash back card may find a match with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card. Its flat rate unlimited cash rewards scheme means you won’t have to track bonus categories, and it boasts flexible redemption options for current customers. But aside from its unique cellphone insurance offer, the card doesn’t come with many perks, and doesn’t stand out as a must-have among cash back options, especially if you have a lower credit score and anticipate having to carry a balance.

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