Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card Review

overall rating
3.5

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The Wells Fargo Business Secured is designed for businesses with little to no credit history to establish a credit record while also earning rewards on your purchases. It has a $25 annual fee per card issued and offers rewards in your choice of cash back or points.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Overall Rating
3.5
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
On Wells Fargo's Secured Site.
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 (%) 15.15% variable
Annual Fee $25
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back or earn 1X point and recieve 1,000 bonus points when your company spend is $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.
Balance Transfer Fee See Terms
Cash Advance APR (%) 23.99%
Cash Advance Fee See Terms
how this card stacks up
When compared among all business cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Pros
  • Flexible rewards structure

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Annual fee applies to every card issued

  • Minimal benefits

  • Your credit must be secured

Pros Explained

  • Flexible Rewards Structure: With the Wells Fargo Business Secured card, you can choose a rewards structure that works best for you. You can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make or earn one point per dollar spent, with each point worth up to a cent apiece, depending on how you choose to redeem them. If you opt for the rewards points option, you’ll get 1,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 or more in any billing period.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Not all secured cards offer this feature, which is useful if you travel overseas for work or do business with foreign vendors. Where it’s not uncommon for all credit-card transactions in foreign currencies to be assessed a fee of up to 3%, the Wells Fargo Business Secured card doesn’t charge a foreign-transaction fee.

Cons Explained

  • Annual Fee Applies for Every Card Issued: The Wells Fargo Business Secured has a $25 annual fee, which is levied on every card issued (up to 10 cards are allowed per account). So if you issued cards to nine employees on top of your own, you’d pay a hefty $250 in fees each year. If you need employees to use the account, consider a card that doesn’t charge for every authorized user. The BBVA Secured Visa Business card waives the annual fee for the first year; after that, it’s $40 per year. However, you can add employee cards to your account at no additional cost. 
  • Minimal Benefits: While it’s not unusual for a secured business card to have few benefits, the Wells Fargo Business Secured is lighter on them than some competitors. For example, the First National Bank of Omaha’s Business Edition Secured Visa card offers a number of benefits missing from this card, including cell-phone protection and automatic discounts on qualifying purchases with Visa SavingsEdge.
  • Your Credit Limit Must be Secured: If you’re not familiar with how this type of card works, the Wells Fargo Business Secured, like most secured cards, requires you to make a security deposit on your account that acts as your credit limit. That of course serves to limit how much you can use the card, especially at first (if you use the card responsibly, the limit may later be raised to exceed the deposit.) You can deposit anywhere between $500 to $25,000. 

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Minimalist Persona
    Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
    Minimalist
  • Avatar for Business Owner Persona
    Earning a primary or side income from a small business
    Business Owner

The Wells Fargo Business Secured card is designed exclusively for business owners with little to no credit history, or who are rebuilding business’ credit that’s been damaged. Wells Fargo will report payment activity and card usage to the Small Business Financial Exchange, helping to establish or improve the credit score for your business. 

Over time, using the card responsibly should allow you to qualify later for unsecured business credit cards. Indeed, Wells Fargo says it periodically reviews the accounts for unsecured cards to assess their eligibility for upgrade to an unsecured business card. 

This card is also a good option in a simple card that provides rewards on your routine business expenses. You’ll earn a flat rewards rate on every purchase you make. Over time, you can build rewards and redeem them for cash back, merchandise, airfare, and more. 

Rewards Earning Details

The Wells Fargo Business Secured card allows you to choose between earning cash back and rewards points. With the former option, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. If you opt for rewards points, you’ll get 1 point per dollar spent on every purchase. And, if you spend at least $1,000 within any monthly billing period, you’ll get 1,000 bonus points. 

Rewards Redemption Details

If you opt for the cash back structure, your cash back is redeemable for statement credits or deposits to a Wells-Fargo checking or savings account. But you must wait longer to receive those rewards than with some competing cards. Earned cash back is credited only quarterly (in March, June, September, and December), where that credit is made monthly for the Chase Ink Business cards, for example.

If you decide to use rewards points, you have a number of redemption options. You can purchase gift cards in denominations of $50 (6,500 points), $100 (10,000 points), $200 (20,000 points), or $300 (30,000 points). For travel, you can redeem points to buy flights "at a reduced price," according to Wells-Fargo, or use them directly to buy flights, starting at 25,000 points per domestic flight. (There's a $24 fee for every redemption for an airline ticket.)

When you redeem points online, you’ll get a 10% point credit. For example, if you had 20,000 points and redeemed them online, you’d actually have 22,000 points to use. Because of the 10% bonus, opting for rewards points can give you more value than if you decided to use cash back rewards. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

To make the most of the Wells Fargo Business Secured, use the card whenever you make a purchase for your company. You’ll earn 1.5% in cash back or one point per dollar spent. 

If you typically only spend $1,000 or so each month on business expenses, it likely makes sense to opt for rewards points rather than cash back and charge expenses of up to that amount to this card, as that would allow you to earn an effective rate of return higher than 1.5%. Charging $1,000 or more per month to the card entitles you to a bonus of 1,000 points. It’s also best to redeem your points online, since you get a 10% point credit for doing so.  

To see how those numbers play out, consider this example. Let’s say you spent $12,000 per year on your business, spending $1,000 each month. If you opted for cash back rewards, you’d get $180 in cash back. 

If you spent that same amount but earned rewards points instead, you’d get 12,000 points—for up to $120 in value. You’d also get 1,000 bonus points for every month in which you spend $1,000 or more, giving you 12,000 additional points. Now you have 24,000 points. Redeem those points online to get a 10% point credit, and you’d have a total of 26,400 points—which could offer a value of up to $264. 

By opting for rewards points over cash back, then, you could receive as much as $84 in additional value. However, if you spent considerably more than $1,000 per month the 1.5% cash back option would probably be the better rewards option.

Standard Benefits

  • Zero-liability protection
  • Business spending reporting

Cardholder Experience

Wells Fargo ranks in the middle of the pack in J.D. Power Small-Business Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study. In its 2019 survey, U.S. Bank scores slightly above the average, receiving 852 out of 1,000 for its service to businesses. 

Customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact customer support through its online platform or by calling 1-800-642-4720. 

Security Features

The Wells Fargo Business Secured card has some basic security features that are standard for business cards. It includes account alerts and fraud monitoring. 

Our Verdict

If you’re a small business owner who's looking to establish credit for your business, the Wells Fargo Business Secured card offers a decent solution. Its rewards program allows you to earn cash back or rewards points, and using the card responsibly, by staying within your credit limit and making your payments on time, can help you eventually qualify for an unsecured card. Although the Wells Fargo Business Secured does charge an annual fee per card and offers no benefits to speak of, it imposes no foreign transaction fee, which is an asset when traveling abroad for work or ordering from foreign suppliers in their local currency.

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For Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
on Wells Fargo's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
overall rating
3.5
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 (%) 15.15% variable
Annual Fee $25
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back or earn 1X point and recieve 1,000 bonus points when your company spend is $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.