Best Overall, Best for Travel

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Rating as a Wells Fargo Card
4.8
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Wells Fargo's Website
Current Offer

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months ($200 cash redemption value).

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.49% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in, gas stations, rideshares, transit, for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals, as well as popular streaming services. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 12 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% (for 120 days, then 5%) of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Wells Fargo Propel American Express took top honors for best overall and best travel option from Wells Fargo due to its generous triple points earning structure on travel, gas, and dining purchases coupled with a base rate of 1 point on all other purchases. This card also has no annual fee, so it can serve as a good companion card to another rewards card with higher earnings on base spending or simply function as an excellent all-around primary card.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • High points earning rates in a variety of popular spending categories
    • Decent bonus for a no-annual fee card
    • Introductory 0% APR offer
    • Cell phone protection

    Cons

    • Wells-Fargo customer satisfaction for credit cards is below average
    • Rewards have minimum redemption thresholds
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – a $200 cash redemption value.
    • Earn 3 points on the following: eating out/ordering in, gas, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, and popular streaming services.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • No limit to points you can earn, and points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
    • Cell phone protection offers insurance against your cell phone from damage or theft.

Best Cash Back

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Rating as a Wells Fargo Card
4.7
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Wells Fargo's Website
Current Offer

Get $150 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.49% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash rewards on everyday purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 15 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% (for 120 days, then 5%) of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We chose the Wells Fargo Cash Wise as the best cash-back option from Wells Fargo because of its solid 1.5% cash back on all spending. That, coupled with no annual fee, makes this a perfect card for those who just want a simple rewards structure without special spending categories to keep track of or the need to earn enough rewards to justify an annual fee.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • 1.5% cash-back rewards on all purchases
    • Introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening
    • Cell-phone protection

    Cons

    • Wells-Fargo customer satisfaction for credit cards is below average
    • Rewards subject to redemption thresholds
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • $150 cash rewards bonus after $500 in spend during the first 3 months.
    • 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases.
    • During the first 12 months from account opening you'll enjoy 1.8% cash back on eligible digital wallet purchases.
    • Pay your monthly cellular bill with your card and get up to $600 worth of coverage on your cell phone (subject to a $25 deductible) against eligible losses.

Best Business

Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card

Rating as a Wells Fargo Card
4.3
Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Wells Fargo's Website
Current Offer

Get a one-time $500 cash back bonus or 50,000 bonus points when you enroll in the Business Card Rewards Program and spend $5,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.24% - 21.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 9 Months
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 9 Months
Balance Transfer Fee See Bank Terms
Cash Advance APR (%) 23.99%
Cash Advance Fee See Bank Terms
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We chose the Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card as the best business card from Wells Fargo because it shares the simple cash-back and no-annual-fee structure with the consumer Cash Wise card, making it a good option for business owners who appreciate straightforward value and lack of complication. Unlike Cash Wise, though, Business Platinum provides the choice of cash back or points. A substantial one-time cash-back or points bonus is also a nice opportunity after you meet the card's initial spending requirements.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Flexible rewards structure
    • 0% introductory APR

    Cons

    • Limited benefits
    • High spending required to earn bonus
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Get a one-time $500 cash back bonus or 50,000 bonus points when you enroll in the Business Card Rewards Program and spend $5,000 in the first three months of account open date.
    • 0% introductory rate for first nine months
    • $0 annual card fee, plus up to 99 employee cards with no additional fees.
    • Cash management tools.

Best Balance Transfer

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

Rating as a Wells Fargo Card
3.8
Wells Fargo Platinum Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Wells Fargo's Website
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 18 Months
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 18 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Intro fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for the first 120 days your account is open, then 5% ($5 minimum).
Rewards Earning Rate This card does not offer a rewards program.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa is our winner for the best balance-transfer card from Wells Fargo because of its introductory offer of 0% APR for 18 months on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. Balance-transfer offers are becoming less common during the coronavirus pandemic, and ones with such generous terms are rarer still. There is a 3% transfer fee, but that can likely be justified given the potential savings in interest during the introductory period.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Good 0% intro APR periods
    • Cell phone protection

    Cons

    • No rewards program
    • Foreign transaction fees
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Low intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • Account protection features such as $0 Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions, alerts, and cell phone protection.
    • My Money Map tools to help you manage spending and create a budget with ease.
    • Access to your FICO Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online.

Best Student

Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠

Rating as a Wells Fargo Card
3.7
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠
Full Review
Apply Now
On Wells Fargo's Website
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.15% - 21.15% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 3% cash rewards earned for up to $2,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months. 1% cash rewards for each $1 spent on virtually all other purchases with your card.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 6 Months
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 6 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Student card is Investopedia's pick for best student card from Wells Fargo because of its lucrative bonus cash-back earnings structure on popular spending categories during the first six months. The lack of an annual fee can make this a good card to start out with in college before upgrading to an even better Wells Fargo rewards card after graduation.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Introductory offers
    • Generous benefits for a student card, including cell-phone protection

    Cons

    • Low cash-back rate for ongoing rewards
    • You must have at least $20 in rewards to redeem
    • Wells Fargo customer satisfaction is below par
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Build credit history while you’re in college.
    • 3% cash rewards earned for up to $2,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months. Enjoy 1% cash rewards for other purchases.
    • Access your FICO Credit Score.
    • Existing Wells Fargo relationship needed to apply online.

What Is the History of Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo is one of the oldest banking organizations in the U.S., formed in 1852 as an express and banking company in California by the same founders as American Express—Henry Wells and William Fargo—to take advantage of the booming gold rush that began in 1848. Through multiple mergers and acquisitions over the years that included Crocker National Bank, Norwest, and Wachovia, Wells Faro is now a super bank with coast-to-coast operations and more than $1.4 trillion in assets. Its credit card operations rank eighth in the U.S., just behind Discover in terms of outstanding balances.

What Kinds of Credit Cards Does Wells Fargo Issue?

Wells Fargo primarily issues Visa cards, along with an American Express card option for its Propel card and a Mastercard option for its business secured card. It doesn't issue any cards on the Discover network. Wells Fargo's cards include points and cash-back rewards and secured card options for consumers and small businesses, along with a card for college students.

What Type of Credit Is Required for Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo requires excellent or good credit for the majority of its consumer and business cards, although it does consider those with no credit history for its student card options and those with lower credit scores for its non-rewards and secured card options.

How Does the Wells Fargo Rewards Program Work?

Wells Fargo rewards points are earned at various levels based on the particular card. Cash back is earned as a percentage back on purchases, both on a flat cash-back basis and with enhanced earnings for certain purchase categories during introductory periods with its college student rewards card.

How Good Is Wells Fargo Customer Service?

Wells Fargo received a score of 783 out of 1,000 points in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, placing it in the bottom tier of major national credit card issuers. The average score among major issuers was 806. Some of Wells Fargo's satisfaction rating may be a negative perception holdover from its retail banking scandal, when the bank had to make restitution for opening millions of accounts on behalf of customers without their consent. The banking giant is under new management, so time will tell if its customer service ratings improve.

Methodology

Information Gathering

In order to track and assess the U.S. domestic credit card market, we gather scores of data points on nearly 300 cards. This data is collected manually from both card-issuer websites and publicly available sources. 

To ensure that our information is as up-to-date as possible, we deploy automated tools that monitor changes in such key data as annual percentage rates, introductory rates, introductory periods, bonus offers, rewards earnings rates, fees, and card benefits. We then rapidly make any needed updates to our card listings, reviews, and recommendations so that readers have the most reliable information and advice. 

Initial Scoring

Once we collect credit card data we organize it in our database according to features, which roll up into feature sets (such as rewards, interest, fees, benefits, and security/customer service). Each individual card feature is assigned a star rating score on a 1 to 5 scale, using a prescribed formula. For instance, for a one-time bonus score we would use a formula like: If bonus is $500 or greater, then assign a score of 5; if $300-$499, then 4; and so forth. 

Weighting of Scores

Once all of a card’s features have received a score we apply a weighting factor to each feature to arrive at a weighted average score for the card (according to the general category in which it resides, such as travel rewards). 

This weighting process allows us to assign significantly more emphasis to the attributes important to a particular category, and downplay those that are less relevant to it. That lets us objectively identify cards that stand out in their category and indicate why they do. For example, with travel rewards cards we apply significantly more weight to such travel-specific features as airport lounge access or primary rental car insurance than we do to attributes such as interest rates or fees that might be more strongly considered for other categories, such as balance-transfer cards.

Earnings Rates

Another critical factor we consider when rating and ranking travel cards and other types of rewards cards is the cards’ effective earnings rates. We first calculate the average value of points or miles for all the rewards cards in our database, a painstaking process that entails collecting all airline fare data by carrier across scores of popular domestic and international city-pairs along with per-night hotel charges at all major hotel brands. 

The required number of points and miles for air travel or hotel stays from the various reward programs is then used to calculate an effective earnings rate for each card. That allows our readers to make the most informed choices. By putting a card’s large one-time bonus or earnings rates into context across many dimensions and card features, readers can more readily weigh the card’s benefits relative to its costs. Uncovering the true but often opaque redemption value of rewards points or miles is, we feel, the only reliable way to make cogent choices among competing value-based cards.  

Card Features We Score

As mentioned above, we place significant weight on certain travel-related features in determining our ratings for each rewards card. Specifically, we base over 50% of our overall assessment score on the combination of the following factors:  

  • Maximum value of any one-time bonus, whether in points or miles.
  • Initial card spending required to earn any bonus.
  • Redemption value of the bonus miles or points.
  • Global card acceptance, as detailed by the four card networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover).
  • Options to redeem points or miles with travel partners, both airline and hotel.

Another consideration is the cards’ coverage, if any, in these travel-related areas: 

  • Car-rental collision insurance, whether primary or secondary.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Lost or delayed luggage insurance.
  • Insurance for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay.
  • Cell phone loss or damage coverage.
  • Roadside assistance and towing.
  • Emergency travel medical/dental benefits.

General, non-travel related features that we consider and score include:

  • Interest rates, including both introductory and regular APRs for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Fees, including those for annual membership, late payments, cash advances, and foreign transactions.
  • Security/customer service features.
  • Other non-travel benefits, such as access to credit scores, ID theft protection, and contactless payment capability.

How We Reach Our Final Assessments

We rely primarily on the objective scores created by our rating algorithms to determine which card is chosen as the best in each category or subcategory.

However, we may make some adjustments from time to time, to both features and weightings that could affect rankings, based on subjective input from our credit card experts. Any potential modifications will be consistent with Investopedia’s belief that consumers are best served by cards that:

  • Provide superior value in earning awards.
  • Charge reasonable interest rates in the event that the cardholder carries a balance from month to month.
  • Charge fewer and/or more reasonable fees.
  • Provide solid customer service, based on the number and quality of customer service features.
  • Have helpful and protective security features.