Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card review

Published: September 27, 2019

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Published: September 27, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Introductory Offer: 3.9
Net Value: 3.1
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 2.3

In a Nutshell:

The introductory period for balance transfers on the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card is fairly long, and the card is worth keeping in the long run for its cash rewards program.

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0% Introductory Period
15 months on qualifying balance transfers (transfers made in first 120 days qualify for the intro rate)

Transfer Fee
3% for 120 days, 5% thereafter (See rates and fees)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 15 months (See rates and fees)

Regular APR
15.74-27.74% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Up to $600 cell phone protection, extended warranty, purchase protection, baggage delay insurance, lost baggage insurance, Visa Signature concierge

Cash Back Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.8
Rewards Flexibility: 4.2
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 2.3

In a Nutshell:

With a flat rate of 1.5 percent cash back on all your purchases, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise card is a good, simple cash rewards card.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus

  • $150 if you spend $500 in first 3 months
  • 1.8% cash back on Google Pay and Apple Pay purchases for first 12 months

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$320

APR
15.74-27.74% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the amount of cash you can earn
  • Cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open
  • Use rewards to pay down a Wells Fargo loan
  • Redeem cash online or through a Wells Fargo ATM if you’re a Wells Fargo bank customer
  • Redeem cash for gift cards, merchandise, travel, cash, digital rewards and charitable donations

Cons

  • Can only withdraw cash in increments of $20 by ATM or $25 by phone

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Up to $600 cell phone protection, extended warranty, purchase protection, baggage delay insurance, lost baggage insurance, Visa Signature concierge

Low Interest Rating:
2.8 rating
2.8 rating
2.8 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 2.7
Rewards: 3.8
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 2.3

In a Nutshell:

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card can give you a good boost on financing a new purchase, thanks to its 15-month introductory period (then 15.74% – 27.74% variable) and good cash back rewards program, but you can find cards with even longer introductory periods and more reasonable APRs.

Learn more about this card

Regular APR
15.74-27.74% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 15 months (See rates and fees)

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0% for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers (transfers made in first 120 days qualify for the intro rate) (See rates and fees)

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 3% introductory balance transfer fee for 120 days, then 5%
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 5% cash advance fee
  • (See rates and fees)

Penalties

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Up to $600 cell phone protection, extended warranty, purchase protection, baggage delay insurance, lost baggage insurance, Visa Signature concierge

If you’re looking for a basic cash back card 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 back 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 back on purchases that don’t qualify for a bonus on other cards.

Decent sign-up offer

The card currently offers $150 to new cardholders who spend $500 on the first three months of memberships. This puts it on par with many cards that offer 1.5-percent cash back on every purchase, such as the Capital One Quicksilver card.

 

Limited-time offer for smartphone users

The card also offers a unique opportunity for smartphone users to earn 1.8 percent cash back for the card’s first 12 months 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 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 – 15.74 percent – is well below average and is significantly lower than its competitors. However, the card’s maximum APR runs as high as 27.74 percent, 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 back 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 back 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 back earnings, which is a nice option for cardholders who want to whittle away debt.

$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 back 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 back 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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All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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