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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Earlier this summer, Wells Fargo expanded its lineup of cash-back credit cards with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card. We recently took a look at another card from the issuer, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, and today we’ll dive into the specifics on this cash-back option.
Here’s a rundown of the card’s main benefits and features:
- 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 Google 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 (fees apply), then a 15.99%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rates and fees
- $0 Annual Fee
The flat 1.5% cash back on all net purchases immediately brings to mind the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, and we’ll get into the two cards’ similarities and differences later. Another feature that stands out: an elevated cash-back bonus for purchases made through Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Wells Fargo also launched a feature called Cash Track, which is currently exclusive to this card, to help you keep track of your cash-back earnings. Available through the online banking website, this tool lets you view current rewards, set a rewards goal, redeem cash back and more.
Is it worth it?
Part of the appeal of mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay is the ability to leave your physical credit cards behind and simply use your smartphone as a payment method. Last year, Discover offered a 10% cash-back bonus on Apple Pay transactions, but beyond that we haven’t seen too many issuers offer any incentive for customers to use one of these services.
Just because the Google Pay and Apple Pay bonus of 1.8% cash back for the first 12 months (20% more than the flat 1.5% return on all other purchases) is unique doesn’t mean it’s necessarily your best option, though. Consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, which also offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. If you also hold an Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Ink Plus Business Card, you can redeem that cash back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, which brings the return up to 3.15% based on TPG’s valuations.
Of course, that assumes that you want to redeem your rewards in the form of points with one of the Ultimate Rewards program’s transfer partners — if you’d prefer straight cash back, though, you also have other solid options. The Citi Double Cash Card earns you 1% cash back when you buy and 1% cash back as you pay, for a total of up to 2% cash back. And while you can redeem rewards from the Chase Freedom Card as Ultimate Rewards points provided you also hold a UR point-earning card, you can choose to simply earn cash back — and if you can maximize the quarterly bonus categories, you’ll be getting a return of 5%. Also consider other cards that earn category bonuses — various options can get you a better return on grocery purchases, gas purchases and more. And don’t forget that the 1.8% cash back offer on Google Pay and Apple Pay purchases is only good for the first 12 months, so the card offers 1.5% on all purchases after your first year.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Card, like most other cash-back cards, it doesn’t charge an annual fee, which is appreciated. It also offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (after that 15.99%-26.99% variable rate applies), but it still charges a balance transfer fee. If you need to take advantage of this feature, a better option would be the Chase Slate, which waives balance transfer fees for the first 60 days after account opening.
One final benefit worth mentioning is cellular telephone protection, which is available to all Wells Fargo cardholders. If you pay your cell phone bill with this or any other Wells Fargo card and your phone is damaged or stolen, you’ll be covered for up to $600 per occurrence. This is definitely a neat perk, and it could make this card worth considering if you don’t have another of the issuer’s cards and think there’s a chance you’ll need to take advantage of this coverage.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Card doesn’t blow other cash-back cards out of the water, even though its offer of 1.8% back on Google Pay and Apple Pay transactions for the first 12 months is unique. You can earn a better return with several other cards, both in the form of cash back and as transferable points. If you’re a Wells Fargo customer and you value features such as the cell phone insurance and the Cash Track tool, this could be a good choice, but if you’re looking for the best option in terms of return on spending, make sure to shop around.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Will you be applying for this card?
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees