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17 FAQs About Wells Fargo Credit Cards
By: Anna Baluch
Personal Finance Writer
The best Wells Fargo credit cards can help you cover your expenses and earn rewards simultaneously. Read on to familiarize yourself with how these cards work and how to choose the best Wells Fargo credit card for you.
1. What is Wells Fargo?
Founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo in 1852, Wells Fargo began as a banking and express delivery company in the West. It merged with Nevada National Bank in 1905 and Union Trust Company in 1923. In the 1980s, Wells Fargo purchased Crocker National Bank and acquired Barclays Bank of California.
1995 was the year Wells Fargo became the first major financial services firm to offer internet banking. After it acquired First Interstate in 1996, Norwest acquired Wells Fargo in 1998. In 2000, Wells Fargo acquired First Security Corporation.
The bank grew significantly over time and currently serves 70 million customers across the U.S and has 232,000 Wells Fargo employees.
Wells Fargo may have begun as a courier service, but it easily adapted to its new banking role and has become one of the largest financial institutions in the world. It's also one of the largest credit card issuers in the country, its diverse product line catering to the needs of a wide range of consumers and businesses alike.
Wells Fargo earned the number 30 spot in Fortune’s 2020 rankings of America’s Largest Corporations. Its vision is to “satisfy customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.”
2. How Does a Wells Fargo Credit Card Work?
A Wells Fargo credit card works just like any other credit card. Upon approval, you’ll receive a maximum credit limit, which will be based on your credit score, income, and a few other factors. You’ll have the flexibility to borrow as much or as little money as you’d like up to your approved credit limit.
As you use your card to make purchases, you may earn valuable rewards that can be redeemed through Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards program. Go Far Rewards can be redeemed for gift card options, travel, merchandise, online auctions, and to pay down eligible Wells Fargo mortgages and loans, among other options.
Wells Fargo partners with international payment networks — namely Visa, Mastercard, and American Express — to handle the credit card processing, whereas Wells Fargo is the bank and card issuer. Every time you make a transaction with one of its credit cards, it’s Wells Fargo’s job to make sure the merchant receives the money and you get billed.
Wells Fargo’s cards are compatible with several digital wallet options, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. A digital wallet purchase replaces your actual card number with a unique digital card number that is safe and easy to use when you check out at participating businesses. You’ll still earn rewards (assuming you have a rewards card) for purchases made with Apple Pay or any other digital wallet you use.
You’ll be required to pay at least the minimum due on your card each month. You can also pay it in full or choose any other payment amount above the minimum.
If you’d like to save on interest and avoid fees, however, you’ll want to pay your entire balance off every month. Failure to do so can hurt your credit score and make it difficult for you to get approved for financing down the road. A Wells Fargo credit card can be an excellent financial resource, as long as you use it responsibly.
3. How Do I Get a Wells Fargo Credit Card?
If you’d like a Wells Fargo credit card, you can apply for one online. Choose the card that piques your interest and click on “Apply” to be redirected to the bank’s website.
The application form will initially ask you if you’re a Wells Fargo customer. If you’re not, no worries.
Next, you’ll need to enter your personal details, including your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. Then, you’ll be asked to provide financial information such as your income and employment status. Once you review and submit your application, you may receive an approval decision in seconds.
If you’d prefer to apply for a Wells Fargo credit card over the phone, you can call your local branch to do so. You may also walk into a Wells Fargo and go through the application process with a customer service representative in person. Just make sure you have a valid photo ID like a driver’s license or passport on hand.
Before you apply for any Wells Fargo rewards card, understand all of the fees, interest rates, and rewards involved. If you have a question about a card, don’t hesitate to reach out to the bank directly for an answer.
Finally, one of the best parts of becoming a new Wells Fargo cardholder is the signup bonus, sometimes called a welcome bonus, you can receive on select cards. If you spend a certain amount on your new card within the first three months, bonus cash or Go Far Rewards points will be credited to your account automatically. Why use a Wells Fargo debit card when a credit card can be so much more rewarding?
4. What Credit Score Do You Need for a Wells Fargo Credit Card?
Of course, bad credit will make it more difficult for you to get approved for a card. You may qualify for the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card if you’re a college student with limited credit history. Wells Fargo used to issue a secured credit card, but it is no longer available to new applicants. It does offer a secured credit card for business owners.
In the event you don’t have the best credit and don’t qualify for the college card, you may want to improve your credit history before you apply for a card. Pay your bills on time, keep your debt-to-income ratio low, and only apply for credit when you absolutely need it.
5. Which Wells Fargo Credit Card is Best?
There is no hard and fast answer to this question because it really depends on your unique lifestyle and needs. The best Wells Fargo credit card for your friend isn’t necessarily the ideal option for you.
These short overviews of some of the best Wells Fargo credit cards can help steer you in the right direction:
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card: The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is a good choice if you like a simple rewards program. It offers unlimited cash back on every purchase so you don’t have to keep track of anything.
Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card: The Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card is a great introductory card that offers elevated rewards points for gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for a period after account opening in addition to a 0% promotional APR offer.
Wells Fargo Platinum Card: Wells Fargo Platinum Card is probably your best bet if you’re in search of a long introductory APR to make a new purchase or consolidate debt.
Wells Fargo Rewards® Card: With the Wells Fargo Rewards® Card, you can reap the benefits of an introductory 0% offer and still earn rewards for your everyday purchases.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card: If you’re a college student, the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card offers cash back without an annual fee, among other student-centric perks.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card: This is an ideal choice for business owners with less-than-perfect credit. A refundable security deposit is required to open the secured account, which makes it easy to obtain, regardless of credit score.
There’s no annual fee and you never have to activate or track anything as you would with the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards.
If you apply for this cash back card, however, keep in mind that you will need good or excellent credit for approval. In addition to cash back rewards, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card offers a cash signup bonus. As long as you meet the minimum spending threshold within the first three months your account is open, you’ll receive the bonus cash.
Another great perk of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is cellphone insurance. If your cellphone is damaged or stolen, Wells Fargo will replace it up to a certain limit per claim. All you have to do is pay the low deductible. There’s also a 0% intro APR that can help you cover a large purchase or consolidate debt, after which the regular purchase APR will kick in.
7. Which Wells Fargo Card is Best for Travel Rewards?
If you travel often for work or pleasure, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is likely the ideal card for you. You can use it to earn travel rewards and save money on your trips. Even though there’s no annual fee, you’ll enjoy a great rewards rate on travel and dining purchases with the Propel Card.
As long as you use the card regularly, you can earn a lot of points that can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, and statement credits. You’ll find that using your points toward travel will give you the most bang for your back. To cash in on the generous welcome bonus, you’ll need to meet a minimum spending threshold in the first three months your account is open to earn your bonus rewards.
The Wells Fargo Propel Card also offers an introductory 0% APR on all qualifying balance transfers and purchases. After the promotional rate ends, your interest rate will revert to the regular purchase APR assigned to you upon card approval.
Other noteworthy benefits of this exceptional travel card include cellphone protection, travel accident insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement. You can also expect auto protection and insurance including roadside assistance and car rental coverage. We can’t forget the retail and return protection.
8. Which Wells Fargo Card is Best for Business Owners?
If you’re a business owner, the Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card should definitely be on your radar. Unlike many other business credit cards on the market, it will give you the option to choose between bonus points or cash back rewards. You can lock in rewards every time you spend on furniture, office supplies, catered lunches, and other net purchases for your business.
You can also cash in on a welcome bonus if you spend a certain amount of money within the first three months your account is open. This Wells Fargo business credit card does not impose limits as to how many rewards you can earn.
You’ll be able to redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, and airline tickets. You may also donate some of your earnings to a charity of your choice.
If you opt for cash back on your business credit card, you can receive it automatically via statement credit or a check in the mail. You’ll also receive plenty of other impressive perks, including free employee cards, SavingsEdge shopping discounts, purchase protection, and travel assistance. You’ll find the Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card to be a top pick for its good value and rewards flexibility.
9. Does Wells Fargo Charge Annual Fees on Its Cards?
One of the greatest benefits of the best Wells Fargo credit cards is that most of them will not charge you an annual fee, so you won’t have to figure out whether their benefits outweigh their fees. You can use a Wells Fargo credit card and cash in on its perks without facing a yearly charge.
When you shop for cards from a credit card company such as American Express, you’ll notice that many of them come with an annual fee. The lack of annual fees on most of the best Wells Fargo credit cards makes them an ideal option, no matter what your budget or goals are.
It’s important to note that while you may be off the hook for an annual fee, the Wells Fargo card you choose may come with other fees. You may have to pay every time you perform a balance transfer, make a cash advance, overdraft your checking account, or use your card abroad due to a foreign transaction fee.
As long as you’re aware of all the fees and use your card responsibly, they shouldn’t be an issue. Be sure to read the fine print before you agree to a card so you don’t face any unwanted financial surprises.
10. Can I Use My Card at a Wells Fargo ATM?
Yes, you can use your credit card at any of Wells Fargo’s 13,000+ ATMs. When you initially receive your card, you’ll choose a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your PIN will allow you to get cash advances from any Wells Fargo ATM. You’ll be able to access several hundred dollars per day from your credit card.
Essentially, a cash advance is a short term loan you can take against the credit line on your credit card. It differs from a withdrawal because you’ll have to pay it back, just as you would pay back other transactions you make with your card. With a cash advance, you’ll “buy cash” rather than pay for goods or services.
Since cash advances come with transaction fees and interest charges, it’s a good idea to use them sparingly. If you begin to depend on them, you may steer yourself into a cycle of credit card debt. With a Wells Fargo debit card, you’ll be able to get cash, transfer money, check your balance, and make deposits at any Wells Fargo ATM for free.
11. Does Wells Fargo Issue Cards for Bad Credit?
Wells Fargo does not issue any cards specifically for consumers with bad credit. It used to offer a secured credit card, but it is no longer open to new applicants.
And, frankly, it wasn’t the most attractive secured card on the market. Better secured cards are available from other issuers, including the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card with a low ongoing APR or the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Secured credit card with lucrative rewards.
If you’re a student, you can also apply for the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card, which doesn’t require good credit for approval, considering most young adults don’t have a credit history.
With the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card, you’ll get cash back as well as a 0% introductory APR on both qualifying balance transfers and purchases. It can give you the chance to build up a positive credit history and earn rewards while you’re still in school.
You can also check out some of our other top-rated credit cards for bad credit here. If you don’t want to pay a deposit for a secured card, you may still be approved for an unsecured card, but the card will likely have a high APR and other fees associated with the account.
Unsecured cards for bad credit are sometimes listed among the easiest credit cards to get because they have minimal approval standards. Your approval will mostly be based on your income and ability to make payments.
12. Is the Wells Fargo Platinum Credit Card a Good Card?
The Wells Fargo Platinum Card is a good card, especially if you’d like to finance a major purchase or transfer and pay off high-interest credit card debt. This is because it offers the longest 0% introductory APR of all Wells Fargo credit cards and does not charge an annual fee.
It does, however, charge a foreign transaction fee for purchases made overseas, a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount transferred, and a cash advance fee of $10 or 5% of the amount of the advance.
If you pay your cellphone bill with the Wells Fargo Platinum Card, you’ll enjoy up to $600 of theft and damage protection on your phone. You’ll also receive access to My Money Map, Wells Fargo’s online budgeting tool, which lets you track spending by category, create a budget, save for future goals, and design a game plan for becoming debt-free.
Unlike other Wells Fargo cards, you won’t earn cash back or points for your net purchases. Therefore, this is a card you may only want to use temporarily.
Once you cover your large purchase or pay off your debt, consider another Wells Fargo credit card, such as the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, that will reward you for your everyday purchases. This way you can actually make money or save on travel by using your card.
13. How Long Does it Take for Wells Fargo to Approve a Credit Card?
You won’t have to wait long to find out whether Wells Fargo has approved you for a credit card. If you have good or excellent credit, you may receive an instant approval. Regardless of your credit, however, you should receive a final decision within seven business days from when you applied.
You can check your status to find out whether your application is approved, denied, or is in the pending stage. To do so, go online to the application status page and log in to your Wells Fargo account with your credentials or access code you received via email. You can also call 1-800-967-9521 or click on “Check Your Application Status Now” in a Wells Fargo email.
Once you’re approved, your Wells Fargo credit card will be mailed to you within 10 business days. You can begin to use it online and for in-person purchases as soon as you activate it. If your application is denied, Wells Fargo will send you a letter to explain the reasoning.
14. Which FICO Score Does Wells Fargo Use?
To determine whether to approve you for a credit card, Wells Fargo will look at your credit from all three major bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Reports indicate that where you live will play a role in which credit bureau report Wells Fargo will use.
If you live in Arizona, California, Florida, Minnesota, or New York, there’s a good chance your credit report will be pulled from Experian. Your report will likely come from Equifax or TransUnion if you reside in Ohio or Texas. Note that this will be a hard inquiry, which means you may see a temporary ding to your credit score.
While the hard inquiry will remain on your credit report for at least two years, rest assured its negative impact will fade away within a year. Before you apply for a Wells Fargo credit card, it’s wise to pull your own credit reports so you know where you stand.
You can visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get a copy of your credit reports for free. If you notice any errors or inaccuracies, dispute them from your report. This will increase your chances of getting approved and receiving a favorable interest rate and terms.
15. Does Wells Fargo Increase Your Credit Limit Automatically?
Every once in a while, Wells Fago will review your account via a soft credit pull that won’t harm your credit. If they believe you’re a responsible borrower with good spending habits, they may increase your credit limit automatically.
If you’d like a credit limit increase and Wells Fargo doesn’t grant you one on its own, you can call customer service at 1-800-642-4720. Wells Fargo does not facilitate online credit limit increase requests at this time.
Once you call and say or enter your credit card number, you’ll get in touch with a customer service representative. Simply tell them you’d like a higher credit limit and answer any questions they may have about your credit or income. Note that the customer service representative may ask to perform a hard inquiry, which will affect your credit.
While it may be tempting to ask for a credit limit increase shortly after you receive your card, it’s in your best interest to wait. Wait until you’ve had your card and used it responsibly for at least six months.
It is unlikely you will be given a credit limit increase if you’ve missed payments or have a history of late payments. You may also not receive one if you don’t use your card very often.
16. What is the APR on a Wells Fargo Credit Card?
Just like other credit cards, the best Wells Fargo credit cards come with annual percentage rates or APRs. At its core, an APR is the interest rate you’ll pay to borrow money. As long as you take care of your balance in full each month by the due date, you can avoid interest charges.
Since it may not be possible for you to avoid interest charges at all times, it’s important to understand the variable APR of your Wells Fargo credit card. The particular card you choose as well as your credit history will help determine the APR. The higher your credit score, the lower APR you’re likely to land.
Before you sign on the dotted line and move forward with a Wells Fargo credit card, check out the terms and conditions. That’s where you’ll see the variable APR and other fees clearly listed.
If you believe the interest rate you receive is too high, it may be worth your time to apply for another card or improve your credit. A lower interest rate can potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
17. Can I Get a Wells Fargo Credit Card with No Credit?
It may be difficult for you to get approved for an unsecured credit card if you don’t have any credit. This is because most cards require borrowers to have good or excellent credit. Fortunately, you may get approved for a student card (if you’re a student), which doesn’t come with any credit requirements.
To build your credit with an unsecured card, be sure to make all your payments on time. Even one late or missed payment can hurt your credit report and delay your progress.
You may want to set calendar reminders on your phone or enroll in automatic payments so you never miss a payment. Pull your credit report for free and figure out if you’re ready for an unsecured credit card.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
The information on this page was reviewed for accuracy on .
About the Author
Personal Finance Writer
Anna Baluch is a finance writer who enjoys writing about personal money management topics, including credit and lending, mortgages, retirement, insurance, and investing. Her work has been published on LendingTree, Business Insider, Experian, Credit Karma, Inc.com, ValuePenguin, MagnifyMoney, and other well-known online publications. Anna holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northwood University.
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