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Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card: Is It A Good Choice?

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

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"The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® is a solid credit card for those with varied spending who are interested in earning good rewards in the long-term."

Contents

Wells Fargo recently unveiled a new credit card – the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card. With 1.5% cash back on all purchases, the card offers decent value for consumers who are interested in earning good rewards for the long-term. If you’re looking to score a big signup bonus, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card this card has a solid one -- $200 after you spend at least $1,000 in net purchases within the first 3 months.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Those who shop at a lot of different stores
  • Optimizers who want to get rewards rates of 2%+
  • Individuals who spend $50,000+ annually on their credit card

Review: Is The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card A ‘Best Cash Back’ Contender?

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is a good credit card for high spenders. It offers a fixed 1.5% cash back rate on all your purchases. Other cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, can give you higher returns in select categories like dining and travel. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card will be better if you spend heavily at different types of stores that don’t fit a single card’s particular reward structure.

Most of the top cash back credit cards come with signup bonuses -– and the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card does as well. Users can get $200 after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Additionally, the card comes with a 1.8% rewards rate on Apple Pay™ and Android Pay™ purchases for the first 12 months. The early-spend bonus matches some of the other top offers we've seen.

A graph showing the estimated rewards for each card, taking into account bonuses and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The above graph is based on 2014 consumer expenditures data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One of the best features on the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is its cell phone insurance. The perk is not unique to this card –- most Wells Fargo credit cards offer the same benefit. Despite this, the benefit is still worth talking about. If you pay your cell phone bill with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, it will be covered for up to $600 in case your phone is damaged or stolen. If you use that to replace a cell phone company's insurance plan, you can save close to $100 each year.

Bottom Line: The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is a solid card, due to the above average 1.5% cash back rate. If you want to earn a good signup bonus and aren’t a high spender you're more likely to come out ahead with another fixed-rate credit card.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Benefits & Features

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card has a simple reward structure –- 1.5% cash back on all net purchases. Note that this does not apply to other types of transactions, such as cash advances and balance transfers.

Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
Card Details
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

In lieu of a bonus, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card awards 1.8% cash back on all Apple Pay™ and Android Pay™ transactions during the first 12 months of the account being opened. There is no cap on this elevated rewards rate. Neither pay service comes with any extra fees or charges, so the 1.8% rewards rate doesn’t come at any additional cost. Given this, if you get the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card card, we advise you to take advantage of the offer.

Wells Fargo’s Cell Phone Insurance

All Wells Fargo credit cards, including the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, come with cellular telephone protection. If you pay your phone bill using this card, you will get up to $600 in coverage against damage or theft. The policy is subject to a $25 deductible and a maximum of 2 claims per 12 month period.

This is one of the best credit card benefits around, since it has the potential to save cardholders a decent amount of money. A typical insurance policy purchased directly from a provider would cost around $8 per month. Therefore, by using the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, you could be saving roughly $96 per year.

The coverage isn’t all-inclusive, and comes with a number of different exclusions. If you lose your phone, or it’s damaged while under the care of a common carrier (such as the Postal Service) you shouldn’t expect to receive compensation. You can read the whole list of exclusions and details about the policy here.

How Does The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Compare To Other Credit Cards?

To get a sense of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card card’s value, we looked at how it compares to its competitors.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card vs Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of the newest 1.5% cash back credit cards on the market. For most consumers, it will be a better option than the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card. Firstly, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with a welcome bonus. You get $150 if you manage to spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. That's a slightly lower reward that that on the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, but you need half the required spend.

Secondly, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® awards users Ultimate Reward points. If you ever apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, you will gain the ability to transfer your points to a number of hotel and airline partners. In such a case, you’d boost your rewards rate above 1.5% on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Conclusion: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has far greater growth potential than the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card vs Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

Despite both cards giving 1.5% cash back on all purchases, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® has a slight edge over the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card. Every time you redeem your rewards on the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®, you get a 5% bonus towards your next redemption. That boosts its net rewards rate to roughly 1.6%. Therefore, if you’re thinking of the long-term benefits of one card versus the other, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® is comes out ahead.

The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® gives users $200 cash back after they spend at least $1,000 on net purchases within the first 90 days of card membership. That is the same as the the bonus you can score with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card.

Conclusion: The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® is the better option in the long-term, though it doesn't have a bonus that's quite as good.

Comparison Tool

Picking between different credit cards should ultimately come down to how you spend. We built a tool that lets you quickly compare between options based on the monthly spending you input.

Edit Monthly Spend: $1,430
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Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
$0 1.99%
$200
Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
$715
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase. Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50
  • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases.
  • Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 715
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
$0 1.99%
$200
Earn $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
$715
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 13.99%-25.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 715
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
$0 1.85%
$150
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening;Earn a $25 Bonus when you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
$665
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $0.01 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 665

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.