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Review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash card

April 02, 2022
7 min read
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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card overview

The no-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card (rates & fees) offers a solid 2% cash reward on purchases and an appealing welcome offer. And with no annual fee and a handful of other perks, it could be a good option for those who want a rewarding yet simple card in their wallets. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The information for the Wells Fargo Active Cash 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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Credit card rewards can often be complicated with many limited-time offers, transfer partners and high annual fees. The Wells Fargo Active Cash card takes a simple approach by offering unlimited 2% cash reward on purchases. There are no rotating or bonus spend categories to remember.

It’s also a Visa Signature card, which means it has many perks and benefits that are often seen on more premium cards.

Here's everything you need to know about the Wells Fargo Active Cash card.

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Who is this credit card for?

The lack of an annual fee makes the Wells Fargo Active Cash card appealing to all types of credit card users, but it's a particularly good option for beginners. The Active Cash card’s unlimited 2% reward on purchases is great for those who want the benefits of a credit card without the hassle of figuring out the best earning potential.

Other cards may offer higher cash reward in certain categories — such as dining and travel — but for users looking for an all-purpose card, the Active Cash is worth considering.

Wells Fargo is also offering 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (a variable APR from 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% will apply after that). Balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3%. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5. This makes the Active Cash card a great pick if you are looking to finance a large purchase or consolidate debt.

The card does have a 3% foreign transaction fee, so cardholders who regularly travel or spend internationally should reconsider and opt for a card without foreign transaction fees.

Current welcome offer

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card is offering a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening. This doesn't hold a candle to the top travel rewards cards on the market, but since many no-annual-fee cards offer small (or no) sign-up bonuses, the $200 makes the Active Cash stand out if you are in the market for a cash reward card with no annual fee.

Perks

When you pay your phone bill with the Active Cash, you'll be covered for lose or damage. (Photo by Pornchai Jaito / EyeEm / Getty Images)

Some of the more notable perks on the Active Cash include cellphone protection and zero liability protection. When you pay your monthly phone bill with the Active Cash card, Wells Fargo will cover up to $600 (up to twice per year) in the case of damage or theft.

Meanwhile, with zero liability protection, if an unauthorized purchase is made on your credit card, the activity will be promptly reported, and you will not be held responsible.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash is also a Visa Signature card and comes equipped with benefits such as 24/7 concierge service and access to Visa’s Luxury Hotel Collection.

These are solid benefits for a card with no annual fee.

Earning

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card is a great way to earn a standard rate of return on purchases. You will earn 2% cash reward in the form of cash rewards on purchases — including travel, rideshare services, dining and more. Cash rewards will not expire as long as the account remains open.

There are no bonus categories, so qualifying purchases will earn the same amount of cash reward. However, cardholders do not earn cash reward on balance transfers, cash equivalents (like gift cards and money orders), lottery tickets or casino chips.

Redeeming

The cash rewards you earn can be redeemed as statement credits to cover purchases starting at $1. However, you must have enough rewards in your account to cover the entire transaction. In other words, the $200 in rewards you earn as part of the welcome offer can't be used for a statement credit on a $300 purchase.

Cash rewards can also be redeemed for a deposit to your Wells Fargo checking account or as a payment toward the principal on a Wells Fargo mortgage. Other redemption options include cash from a Wells Fargo ATM in $20 increments (only available with a Wells Fargo debit card) as well as gift cards in $25 increments.

Which cards compete with the Wells Fargo Active Cash card?

The cash rewards credit card world is filled with no-annual-fee cards, but only a few can compare to the Active Cash.

The Citi® Double Cash Card is considered one of the best cash reward cards on the market and offers unlimited cash rewards on all purchases of up to 2% (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay). Like the Wells Fargo Active Cash card, it has a 3% foreign transaction fee.

In addition, you can effectively convert the earnings on your Double Cash card into full Citi ThankYou Rewards points if you also have a card like the Citi Premier® Card in your wallet — which could lead to outsized value.

Related: How to redeem Citi ThankYou Points for maximum value

Another cash reward favorite is the Discover it Cash Back card, which offers 5% cash rewards on the first $1,500 in purchases that you make each quarter at select retailers (that rotate every quarter; enrollment required). All other purchases provide 1% cash rewards. In addition, Discover will match all the cash rewards you earn during the first 12 consecutive billing periods that your new account is open. It also charges no foreign transaction fees.

Depending on your spending habits (especially in the first year), the Discover it card can provide just as much value than the Wells Fargo Active Cash card — if not more.

The information for the Discover it Cash Back 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.

Bottom line

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card is a great cash rewards card for people looking for simple rewards structure. With no annual fee and a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening, the Active Cash is a great beginner card, and it even layers on some solid perks like cellphone coverage.

That said, more experienced credit card users may feel it is missing the ability to maximize earning potential. It's also not a great option for international travelers, as the card has foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.

However, if you're in the market for a no-frills, cash rewards card with no annual fee, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card could be the perfect addition to your wallet.


Official application link: Wells Fargo Active Cash card

Featured image by (Photo by The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases