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Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card review

Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card review

Published: December 6, 2017
Ratings Policy
Low Interest Rating:
3.3 rating
3.3 rating
3.3 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 3.2
Rewards: 4.6
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

The very rewarding Wells Fargo Visa Signature card offers a reasonable interest rate for a rewards card and can save money on a balance transfer or new purchase thanks to its 12-month 0-percent introductory period.

Regular APR
13.15-26.99% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 12 months

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0% for 12 months

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 3% balance transfer fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 5% cash advance fee

Penalties

  • $37 late payment fee
  • No penalty APR
  • $37 returned payment fee

Other Notable Features: Free concierge service, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver, discounted roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption protection, lost or damaged cell phone reimbursement, purchase security, extended warranty, refund price differences, premium benefits (including upgrades with luxury hotel partners), $0 liability, EMV chip technology, online password protection, free credit score access with Wells Fargo Mobile

No Annual Fee Rating:
4.2 rating
4.2 rating
4.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.7
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card’s 50 percent bonus on airfare redemptions boosts its earning rate to 1.5 percent — a great value for a no-annual-fee card.

Rewards Rate
1:1 general purchases (50% bonus on airfare redemptions)

Sign-up Bonus

  • 20,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months (online-only promotion)
  • 5% bonus points on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for first 6 months (up to $12,500)

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($15,900 spend)
$414

APR
13.15-26.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Use points on travel, gift cards, cash, merchandise and more
  • 50% extra point value for airfare redemption
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Points don’t expire until 5 years from the date they’re earned
  • Can transfer points to other Wells Fargo customers

Cons

  • Flights must be redeemed through Go Far Rewards
  • Around 2,500 minimum points required for airline tickets

Other Notable Features: Free concierge service, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver, discounted roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption protection, lost or damaged cell phone reimbursement, purchase security, extended warranty, refund price differences, premium benefits (including upgrades with luxury hotel partners), $0 liability, EMV chip technology, online password protection, free credit score access with Wells Fargo Mobile

Rewards Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.7
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card offers more value than meets the eye thanks to its 50 percent bonus on airfare redemptions.

Rewards Rate
1:1 general purchases (50% bonus on airfare redemptions)

Sign-up Bonus

  • 20,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months (online-only promotion)
  • 5% bonus points on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for first 6 months (up to $12,500)

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($15,900 spend)
$414

APR
13.15-26.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Use points on travel, gift cards, cash, merchandise and more
  • 50% extra point value for airfare redemption
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Points don’t expire until 5 years from the date they’re earned
  • Can transfer points to other Wells Fargo customers

Cons

  • Flights must be redeemed through Go Far Rewards
  • Around 2,500 minimum points required for airline tickets

Other Notable Features: Free concierge service, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver, discounted roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption protection, lost or damaged cell phone reimbursement, purchase security, extended warranty, refund price differences, premium benefits (including upgrades with luxury hotel partners), $0 liability, EMV chip technology, online password protection, free credit score access with Wells Fargo Mobile

Travel Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.9
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

With its 50 percent bonus on airfare redemptions, the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card is a great value for travel hackers seeking a large influx of rewards points.

Rewards Rate
1:1 general purchases (50% bonus on airfare redemptions)

Sign-up Bonus

  • 20,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months (online-only promotion)
  • 5% bonus points on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for first 6 months (up to $12,500)

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($15,900 spend)
$414

APR
13.15-26.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Use points on travel, gift cards, cash, merchandise and more
  • 50% extra point value for airfare redemption
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Points don’t expire until 5 years from the date they’re earned
  • Can transfer points to other Wells Fargo customers

Cons

  • Flights must be redeemed through Go Far Rewards
  • Around 2,500 minimum points required for airline tickets

Other Notable Features: Free concierge service, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver, discounted roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption protection, lost or damaged cell phone reimbursement, purchase security, extended warranty, refund price differences, premium benefits (including upgrades with luxury hotel partners), $0 liability, EMV chip technology, online password protection, free credit score access with Wells Fargo Mobile

If you put a lot of miles on your car or regularly face steep grocery bills, the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card could be a worthwhile addition to your wallet, especially for the first six months. After that, the card’s bonus point categories go away, leaving you with just 1 percent rewards on general purchases.

However, don’t be deceived by that 1 percent rewards rate. The card includes a 50 percent bonus when you redeem your points for airfare, which means – if you are strictly interested in redeeming your points for travel rewards – all the points that you earn on the card, including the sign-up bonus, are worth 50 percent more than their face value.

Bonus points on gas, grocery and drugstore spending

Would-be cardholders might scoff at a mere one point per dollar on general purchases, but the Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card tries to make up for it by giving you the ability to earn an additional four points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores for the first six months (for a total of five points per dollar). Note, the number of points that can be earned under this promotion is capped at 50,000.

As mentioned above, you get a 50 percent bonus on your points when you redeem them for airfare, which boost the earning rate by 50 percent. Essentially, the card is more like a 1.5 percent flat-rate card. While you can find cards with better earning rates – for example, the Capital One Venture card offers two points per dollar on every purchase – 1.5 percent is a good earning rate for a card with no annual fee. 

Good sign-up bonus

Cardholders who spend $1,000 in the first three months of opening their account will collect a respectable bonus of 20,000 points. With the 50 percent airfare redemption bonus, the value of the bonus comes to $300 – that’s very generous for a card with no annual fee.

Admittedly, cards like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard or Capital One Venture Rewards credit card have more attractive sign-up offers. Be that as it may, those cards have annual fees that kick in after the first year. Further, their redemption options are limited to travel only, whereas those who prefer to stay close to home will appreciate a greater variety of choices with the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card.

Flexible redemption options

Unlike the many rewards cards that have unfortunate airline and/or hotel restrictions, the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card impressively lets cardholders redeem points with any airline of their choosing and with no blackout dates. (However, you can only book travel through Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards program.)

Points can be redeemed across several other categories, too, such as hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, merchandise, gift cards, cash back and more. Further, you’re allowed to pool and/or gift your own rewards with other Go Far Rewards customers. As with most rewards credit cards, point values vary by category, so do your homework to make sure you’re getting the most value (if you’re redeeming points for anything other than airfare, that is).

Unfortunately, while most credit cards these days don’t impose expiration dates on their rewards points, the points on the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card do expire. But, you do have a fair amount of wiggle room — points expire in five years.

Visa Signature benefits

Visa Signature cards like this one come with an impressive array of benefits — everything from purchase security and extended warranty to 24/7 concierge service and discounted roadside dispatch. You’ll also enjoy exclusive offers and discounts on merchandise, culinary events, movies, concerts, hotels and more. Review your Guide to Benefits when you receive your Wells Fargo Visa Signature card for the full list and coverage details.

Why get  the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card?

  • You can comfortably spend $1,000 within the first three months to snag an easy 20,000 points.
  • You spend a lot on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases.
  • You want to earn travel rewards without being tied to a particular airline or hotel chain.
  • You have high-interest credit card debt and want to save money by transferring your balances.
  • You prefer a variety of redemption options. 

How to use the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card:

  • Apply for the card online to take advantage of its online-only sign-up promotion.
  • Spend at least $1,000 within the first three months to pick up 20,000 bonus points.
  • Use the card for all gas, grocery and drugstore purchases during the first six months.
  • Leave the card at home when traveling overseas to avoid foreign transaction fees.

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