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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – 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 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 14.49%-26.49% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
- $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 Android 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 Android 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 Android 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 Android 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 14.49%-26.49% 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 Android 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?
With great travel benefits, 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. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- 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®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 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 travel 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