A force multiplier for travel rewards: Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card review
Update: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is no longer open to new applications. Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Wells Fargo Visa Signature® card Overview
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature® card doesn't offer rewards that transfer to airline miles, but as you'll see, that shouldn't be a deal-breaker since it gives you the opportunity to earn an impressive 4.5% back in travel rewards on many of your purchases. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG's editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
As more airlines move to dynamic — and usually higher — pricing of their mileage awards, they're giving travelers less incentive to use their own cobranded cards to earn frequent-flyer miles. Instead, award travel enthusiasts should be looking for ways to earn rewards from their credit cards that they can redeem for any flight on any airline. The Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card can be a great tool for doing just that. The points this card earns can be worth as much as 1.5 cents each toward flights. Better yet, carrying this card has the effect of increasing the value of points you earn from other Wells Fargo cards, which is why you shouldn't overlook it in your wallet.
First, the bad news: The card application is not currently available on the Wells Fargo site. But if you already carry this potential powerhouse, read on to see how you can leverage its benefits for maximum value.
The information for the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
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Who is this card for?
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature is a card for those who want to earn travel rewards without paying an annual fee or having to focus their energy on a single airline and hotel loyalty program. With this card you earn points that can be redeemed for flights on any airline, just like paying for tickets with cash. This is also a card that works well for those who already bank with Wells Fargo and want to manage their credit cards along with their other accounts.
Finally, this card's secret superpower is that it increases the value of the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards earned from the bank's other cards, including the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card (no longer available to new applicants). Normally, points earned from that card are worth 1 cent each toward airfare redemptions, but when you also carry the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, they become worth 1.5 cents each.
The Wells Fargo Propel offers various bonus earning categories with up to 3x per dollar on:
It earns 1x on everything else. So if you used your Wells Fargo Propel to earn 3x on those special categories, and then combined your rewards with the ones from your Wells Fargo Visa Signature before redeeming for flights, you could be getting as much as 4.5% (3x with a 50% bonus) return on your spending for airfare redemptions, specifically.
The information for the Wells Fargo Propel has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The card is currently not available to new applicants.
Main benefits and perks
This card comes with strong benefits, including:
- 0% intro APR financing for the first 15 months from account opening on both new purchases and balance transfers (then a variable APR of 12.49% to 25.49% applies)
- Introductory balance fee of either $5 or 3%of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5%for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.
- Trip cancellation protection
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Collision damage coverage on auto rentals
- Purchase protection
- Price protection
- Extended warranty coverage
- Mobile phone protection plan that covers you when you charge your phone service bill to your card
- Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection perks
Many of these are simply benefits that come with any Visa Signature card. But take special note of the mobile phone protection — for just a $25 deductible, you'll receive up to $600 in coverage against theft or damage for your phone (up to $1,200 per 12-month period) when you use your card to pay your monthly cell phone bill. That's extraordinary for a no-annual-fee credit card.
Related: Best credit cards for cell phone protection
How to earn points
Let's get straight to the point: This card's earning rate is poor. You'll earn just 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases. That's it. You can, however, earn bonus points when you shop through the Wells Fargo's Go Far Earn More Mall.
How to redeem points
Points from this card can be redeemed through the Go Far Rewards portal for:
- Car rentals
- Cash back
- Gift cards
- Online auctions
You'll want to skip all options except airfare redemptions, though. That's because points redeemed for airfare are worth 1.5 cents each, which is 50% more than the others possibilities. Just note that you have to redeem your points using the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards portal, specifically; you can't book your reservations directly with an airline or through an OTA and then request a statement credit later.
Related: Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards
Little-known facts about the Wells Fargo Visa Signature
1. You can receive as much as 1.75 cents per point. If you use your card to spend $50,000 in a year, you receive as much as 1.75 cents per point in value for airfare redemptions.
2. This is one of the rare no-annual-fee Visa Signature cards. As mentioned above, the Visa Signature program comes with a suite of benefits, including various travel protections. But nearly all Visa Signature cards charge annual fees, except this one and a few others.
3. It's also a rare no-annual-fee card with mobile phone protection. There aren't too many cards that offer theft and damage coverage for mobile phones, beyond the basic 60 or 90 days of purchase protection that might cover all new purchases. But this card has no annual fee and cell phone protection (with a $25 deductible) with a maximum benefit limit of $600 per claim and $1,200 per 12-month period. That's more generous than most cell phone coverages on annual-fee-incurring cards!
4. This card charges a "foreign currency conversion fee." Many credit cards still charge a foreign transaction fee for charges processed outside of the U.S. Cards that have these fees even impose them on charges you make at home from a foreign company in some cases. For example, if you purchase a travel reservation from a foreign airline or hotel, you might be charged in U.S. dollars, but since the transaction is processed outside of the U.S., you could still be charged this fee. This is also the case in other countries that use U.S. dollars, such as Ecuador, El Salvador and the British Virgin Islands. But the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card is different in that it has a foreign currency conversion fee of 3%. This means that you should't be charged this fee if your foreign transaction is in U.S. dollars. It's better to have a card with none of these fees, but Wells Fargo is doing something different here.
Related: Best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card is a simple travel rewards card with serious potential. If you were able to apply while it was still possible, you would have started off with a generous initial rewards offer and 15 months of interest-free financing. But to get really good long-term value from this card, you'll need to use it for airfare redemptions to get 1.5 or even 1.75 cents per point. You'll also want to pair it with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card to get that card's 3x reward categories.
By itself, airfare rewards worth 1.5% of spending aren't very exciting, even with a strong package of cardholder benefits. But when you're able to combine these two cards and up your return on spending to 4.5% (or even 5.25% if you spend $50,000 or more per year on the Wells Fargo Visa Signature) on many of your purchases, then you could have a winning combination.
Additional reporting by Joseph Hostetler.