A force multiplier for travel rewards: Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card review
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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 us less incentive to use their cobranded cards to earn miles. Instead, award travel enthusiasts are 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 offers you points worth as much as 1.5 cents each toward flights. Better yet, it has the effect of increasing the value of points you earn from other Wells Fargo cards, which is why you should’t overlook this card. The information for the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card and Wells Fargo Propel American Express® 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.
Who is this card for?
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card is a card for those who want to earn travel rewards without paying an annual fee or dealing with airline and hotel loyalty programs. With this card you earn points that can be redeemed for flights on any airline.
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 power is that it increases the value of your Go Far Rewards earned from your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. Normally, points earned from that card are worth 1 cent each toward airfare redemptions, but when you also hold the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, they are worth 1.5 cents each.
Sign-up bonus: 5x on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for six months.
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card doesn’t offer a traditional sign-up bonus. Instead, it offers an outstanding 5x rewards on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for six months, on up to $12,500 spent — 3.5 additional points over the usual 1.5 points toward airfare. The maximum value of the 3.5 additional points is $656. This is a very strong (potential) sign-up bonus for a card with no annual fee.
Main benefits and perks
This card comes with strong benefits, including 15 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. It also comes with trip cancellation protection, lost luggage reimbursement and collision damage coverage on auto rentals. When shopping, you also receive purchase protection, price protection and extended warranty coverage. Finally, it offers you a mobile phone protection plan that covers you when you charge your phone service bill to your card.
How to earn points
Once the initial welcome offer expires, this card offers you 1x point per dollar spent on all purchases. You can also earn bonus points when you shop through Wells Fargo’s Earn More Mall.
How to redeem points
Points can be redeemed for hotels, car rentals and cruises as well as cash back. You can also redeem them for merchandise and gift cards, and for online auctions. But you’ll want to skip these options and go straight to airfare redemptions. That’s because points redeemed for airfare are worth 1.5 cents each, 50% more than all other redemptions. Just note that you have to redeem your points using their Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards portal; you can’t book your reservations directly and then request a statement credit.
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 for airfare redemptions.
2. You may not be approved. You can’t be approved for a new Wells Fargo card if you’ve opened another Wells Fargo card within 15 months and you’ve received an introductory offer or offers of waived fees or bonus rewards. It’s nice to combine this card with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, but it’s a long-term project if you don’t already have one or the other.
3. This is one of the rare no-annual-fee Visa Signature cards. The Visa Signature program comes with benefits such as a fourth night free at certain hotels and numerous other travel discounts, but nearly all Visa Signature cards have an annual fee, except this one and a few others.
4. 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 cellphone protection (with a $25 deductible) with a maximum benefit limit of $600 per claim and $1,200 per 12-month period.
5. This card charges a “foreign currency conversion fee.” Many credit cards still charge a foreign transaction fee for all charges processed outside of the United States, whether in U.S. dollars or another currency. Cards that have this fee even could impose it on a charge you make from home to a foreign company. 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 foreign 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.
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card is a simple travel rewards card with serious potential. You start 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 earn rewards worth 4.5% or even 5.25% on many of your purchases, then you could have a winning combination.
Featured photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy.
Additional reporting by Dawn Alcott.
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WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
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- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
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- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.