The Wells Fargo Rewards Card is not one of our top-rated rewards credit cards. You can review our list of the best rewards credit cards for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Wells Fargo Rewards Card
Excellent bonus category rewards
Decent 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers
Cell phone protection
Poor ongoing rewards
Rewards have redemption threshold
No one-time offer
- Excellent Bonus Category Rewards: During the first six months after opening an account, the Wells Fargo Rewards card offers 5 points per dollar on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases up to $12,500. Those are standout rewards for a card with no annual fee. Indeed, it’s possible to earn a substantial number of points in a short period of time, especially if you're able to meet the rewards threshold.
- Decent 0% APR Offer on Purchases and Balance Transfers: Similar to many other rewards cards on the market, this card comes with a 0% APR period for purchases and balance transfers. This type of offer can help you finance a major purchase or pay down debt. Although there are cards on the market offering 0% APR periods of up to 21 months, the 15 month 0% period on this card is still above average.
- Cell Phone Protection: Given that you use this card to pay your monthly phone bill, you’ll get up to $600 in protection for your cell phone, subject to a $25 deductible. This is a somewhat rare benefit for a card with no annual fee. Few other cards offer cell phone insurance, and those that do often charge an annual fee. There are caveats to the coverage. For example, an unexplained loss of the phone isn’t covered and neither is cosmetic damage or any damage that doesn’t affect the phone’s functionality. And this is supplemental coverage that doesn’t apply until you’ve received benefits from other insurance coverage. But despite those caveats, this kind of insurance still provides some peace of mind.
- Poor Ongoing Rewards: After the first six months of card ownership, the rewards rate on bonus categories drops from 5 points on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases to 1 point. You'll earn 1 point on purchases outside of those categories as well, but this card’s ongoing rewards rate is just average. Several other no annual fee cards offer higher ongoing rewards.
- Rewards have a Redemption Threshold for Cash Back: Points can be redeemed in several ways through the GoFarRewards program. However, cash redemption options, such as deposits into a checking or savings account, are redeemable only in 2,500-point increments (worth $25) by phone or online, or 2,000-point increments (worth $20) at an ATM. This kind of redemption threshold is an inconvenience that puts the Wells Fargo Rewards card at a disadvantage compared to similar cards.
- No One-Time Offer: Many no annual fee rewards cards offer a one-time offer for meeting a certain spending requirement within a given time frame, but not this one. One-time offers increase the overall value of a card, and any card that lacks a bonus is at a disadvantage to others on the market.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
The Wells Fargo Rewards card is best for individuals and families looking for a way to boost the rewards they earn on groceries, gas, and drugstores, at least for a short period of time. That’s because spending heavily in this card's bonus categories during the first six months of card ownership can yield a significant number of points. For example, spending $6,000 within six months would earn you 30,000 points. We estimate that those points are worth $300 when redeemed for cash back or other purchases (travel, gift cards, merchandise and online auctions) through the GoFarRewards Wells Fargo rewards program.
Because it also has a 15-month 0% APR offer on balance transfers and new purchases, this card can also be a valuable option if you're interested in paying down high-interest credit card debt or financing new purchases. Just keep in mind that there's a balance transfer fee of at least 3% of the amount transferred. That’s not an uncommon fee, but it can add up.
This card is also worth considering if you lack insurance on your cell phone. It extends $600 in coverage, provided you use it to pay your monthly bill. The coverage only applies to a total loss when the phone is stolen, and there are a few other caveats. But coverage like this can offer some reassurance if something happens to your cell phone.
Rewards Earning Details
This card earns 5 points per dollar during the first six months from the date the account is opened on groceries, drugstores, and gas stations up to $12,500 in purchases. All other purchases on the card earn 1 point per dollar spent, including during the six month introductory period.
You have five years to use any points earned.
Rewards Redemption Details
Rewards can be redeemed through Wells Fargo's GoFarRewards Program in a number of ways, including for:
- Gift cards
- Online auctions
- Cash back
In order to redeem for cash, you must first meet a $25 minimum threshold. You can get cash at Wells Fargo ATMs, as a paper check or as a deposit or credit to a qualifying account. Cash back redemption options start at 2,000 points for $20 cash back at ATMs or 2,500 points for $25 cash back when redeemed online or over the phone.
Points can be pooled with family members and friends who earn GoFarRewards points. They can also be gifted to Wells Fargo customers who have a Wells Fargo credit card that earns GoFarRewards. You can also donate your rewards.
Generally, each point is worth 0.01 cents, according to Investopedia's points valuation survey.
You can’t transfer GoFarRewards points to other loyalty programs. But they can be transferred to another account you own, other Wells Fargo customers with a GoFarRewards account, and to a Wells Fargo rewards pool.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
In order to maximize rewards with the Wells Fargo Rewards card, make sure to immediately start using the card for all of your grocery, gas, and drugstore purchases, since you earn 5 points per dollar up to $12,500 in those categories only for the first six months. You can use this card for other purchases as well. Just keep in mind that the rewards on those purchases earn a fifth of what you'll earn in the bonus categories.
Because this card’s bonus rewards categories come with time and spending constraints, consider timing your opening of this card to correlate with upcoming expenses. For example, perhaps you have a road trip coming up where you can use this card for all gas purchases, or maybe you expect your grocery bill to increase within the coming months.
Finally, take advantage of this card's travel benefits. Using extras like cell phone protection, travel accident insurance, and an auto rental collision waiver adds more overall value to the card.
In order to get an idea of the points you can earn with this card during the first year of ownership, let's say you only use this card for grocery, gas, and drugstore purchases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends around $375 per month, or $4,500 per year, on food at home. If you spent another $100 on gas per month and $20 at drugstores, you'd earn 17,820 points during the first year worth $178 when redeemed for cash back or other purchases through Wells Fargo's rewards program.
Our calculation accounts for the bonus points you'd earn on those categories during the first six months of account ownership. But it doesn't factor in the 1 point per dollar you'd earn for other miscellaneous purchases on this card.
The most aspirational case for using this card is meeting the $12,500 spending threshold on bonus categories within six months. But that's an unrealistic goal for most. In order to accomplish that, you would need to spend nearly $2,100 per month on a combination of groceries, gas, and drugstore purchases. Most households spend far less on those categories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Instead, let's assume that in addition to $375 in groceries and $100 in gas per month, your prescription drug expenses are a little more considerable, costing you $50 each month. Let’s further assume you take a road trip that costs you $200 in gas during the first six months after you open this card. You'd earn a total of 19,900 points with this card worth $199. Again, that's factoring in the bonus rewards and not accounting for the 1 point per dollar you'd earn on other purchases.
Wells Fargo Rewards Card’s Outstanding Benefits
- Cell phone protection
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance insurance
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Roadside assistance
- Emergency card replacement
Wells Fargo ranks ninth out of 11 card issuers on the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study. Its score of 783 is below the national issuer average of 806.
The bank’s customer service department is available 24/7. You can contact customer service through Wells Fargo’s online platform or by calling 800-642-4720.
Wells Fargo offers standard security features with this card like zero liability protection, overdraft protection and emergency card replacement. It also allows you to sign up for alerts to track purchases and account activity.
Fees to Watch Out For
There's a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater, of the balance transferred for the first 120 days after opening the account. After that, the fee moves up to 5% or $5, whichever is greater.
The Wells Fargo Rewards offers excellent points rewards on bonus categories and a generous introductory 0% offer without charging an annual fee. It can be a solid option for those interested in earning rewards for redemption through Wells Fargo’s GoFarRewards program and for those who want to finance a major purchase or consolidate high-interest debt.
However, this card provides poor ongoing rewards, offering just 1 point per dollar on purchases. You can earn more rewards long-term with a card that doesn’t have a time limit or spending thresholds on its bonus categories. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card, for instance, offers unlimited 3 points per dollar spent on categories including restaurants, gas, travel, and streaming services. And the Discover it Cash Back card offers 5% cash back on various rotating categories each quarter up to $1,500 in spending, including restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and ridesharing.
Pairing the Wells Fargo Rewards card with one that offers higher ongoing rewards could make it more worthwhile. The Citi Double cash card, for example, offers 1% cash back on purchases, plus an additional 1% when you pay for those purchases. Using the Citi Double cash card for non-bonus categories would complement the Wells Fargo Rewards card's initial 5 points per dollar rewards on select categories.