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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated at the lack of airline award seats or unable to transfer points to the airline program you need, there are still some loyalty programs that can ease your stress. For example, you can redeem Citi ThankYou points toward the cost of any flight at 1-1.6 cents per point depending on which Citi card you hold. And you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards at 1.5 cents per point toward flights if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Likewise, you can redeem Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards for up to 1.75 cents per point toward paid airfare — yet the program is routinely overlooked. Today, I’ll show you the best Wells Fargo credit cards and why you might want to consider keeping one or two in your wallet.
Sign-up Bonus: Earn 5x points on gas, grocery store and drug store net purchases for the first 6 months after account opening and 1 point per dollar thereafter.
Annual Fee: $0
Benefits/Perks: After the six-month intro period, the card only earns 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases. It also offers trip cancellation and lost luggage reimbursement when you use it to pay for airfare. Additionally, the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card provides supplementary insurance for your cell phone when you use it to pay your monthly bill.
The real benefit of this card is the ability to redeem Go Far Rewards points for 1.5 cents apiece toward purchased airfare through the Go Far Rewards travel portal. If you spend $50,000 a year on the card, you can redeem points for 1.75 cents each toward paid airfare. Because you earn points for the first six months at a 5x rate in the bonus spending categories, you’re getting at least 7.5% cash back toward airfare for spend in those categories in that time frame.
Go Far Rewards earned with other Wells Fargo credit cards can only be redeemed for 1 cent per point toward paid airfare. However, once you carry the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card, you have the ability to redeem all your Go Far Rewards points — including those earned with other Wells Fargo credit cards — for 1.5-1.75 cents each toward airfare. The Visa Signature card does not have an annual fee, so keeping it in my wallet every year is an easy decision.
Sign-up Bonus: 20,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $45.
Benefits/Perks: Earn 3x points at US gas stations, 2x points at US restaurants and 1x points on other net purchases every day. The card has a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, (after that the variable APR will be 14.49%-22.49%) (note the 3% intro balance transfer fee). Enjoy exclusive offers on airline tickets, hotels, car rentals and cruises as well as having the same cell phone protection mentioned under the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card. You’ll earn a 10% annual relationship bonus if you maintain a qualifying consumer Wells Fargo checking or savings account and a 25-50% bonus if you have a Wells Fargo PMA package and your balances meet certain thresholds.
If you have a Wells Fargo PMA package and put a lot of spend on credit cards each year, you could earn a lot of points with 3x on gas, 2x on dining and a 50% relationship bonus. And if you also hold the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, you could redeem all those points for 1.5-1.75 cents each toward paid airfare.
Sign-up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
Benefits/Perks: Earn 3x points at US gas stations, 2x points at US restaurants and 1x points on other net purchases every day. The card has a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, after that the variable APR will be 13.49%-25.49% (note the 3% intro balance transfer fee). Enjoy exclusive offers on airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, and cruises as well as the same cell phone protection mentioned above. Earn an annual relationship bonus of 10% Go Far Rewards points on non-bonus rewards points if you maintain a qualifying consumer Wells Fargo checking or savings account.
This is the no-annual-fee version of the Propel 365 Amex Card. Earning 3x and 2x points and then using those points to book paid airfare for 1.5 cents each makes this card worth considering for gas station and dining purchases. Remember, you must also have the above Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card in order to redeem points for 1.5 cents each.
Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $0
Benefits/Perks: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases and 1.8% cash back on Android Pay and Apple Pay mobile wallet net purchases during the first 12 months from account opening. Cash redemption options include direct deposit into your Wells Fargo savings or checking account, statement credits applied to your qualifying Wells Fargo card or cash redemption at Wells Fargo ATMs in $20 increments. The card offers a 0% APR for the first 12 months, after that the variable APR will be 13.49%-25.49%.
This card is a no-frills pick for earning 1.5% cash back. It’s currently offering a sign-up bonus (not always the case with this card), but I still believe there are better cards out there like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or a flat 2% cash-back option like the Citi Double Cash Card.
Which cards make sense for you?
If you rack up a lot of annual credit card spending, you can redeem Go Far Rewards for 1.75 cents each toward paid airfare after spending $50,000 on the Visa Signature Card. That is a higher redemption value toward airfare on any airline compared with Citi ThankYou Rewards. With that program, you can redeem points for 1-1.6 cents each, with 1.6 cents being only for Citi Prestige cardholders redeeming for American Airline flights.
Beginning next summer, all Citi ThankYou Premier and Citi Prestige cardholders can only redeem points for 1.25 cents towards revenue flights with any airline. That means even if you don’t spend $50k on the card, you will still be getting a higher redemption value at 1.5 cents/point compared to Citi next year.
Once you add on the uncapped 5x bonus spend for the first six months with the Visa Signature card and bonus spend categories for the Propel cards, it arguably makes having the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card and a Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card better products to keep in your wallet. Don’t forget, both of these Wells Fargo cards have no annual fee compared to the $450 annual on the Citi Prestige and $95 for the Citi ThankYou Premier card.
While you can use Go Far Rewards for gift cards, merchandise and other travel, you’ll only get 1 cent per point — at most — in redemption value. I recommend holding the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card and redeeming points for paid flights to get 1.5-1.75 cents per point.
As a Go Far Rewards collector, you don’t have to worry about award availability and can chose any airline you want to fly. Better yet, airlines will treat these free tickets as paid fares, which allow you to earn redeemable and elite-qualifying miles. I used Go Far Rewards to book several flights for $0 out of my pocket to earn American Airlines Executive Platinum status. If you don’t have Go Far Rewards in your loyalty portfolio, you’re missing out on an easy avenue to free plane tickets.
What’s your favorite aspect of the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards program?
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards