Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Wells Fargo Secured Card Review

overall rating
3.3

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Note: The Wells Fargo Secured card is currently not available for new applications. Current cardholders should see their cardholder agreement for current benefits.

If you have bad credit or no credit at all, the Wells Fargo Secured card could be a good option to start building your credit history. It does have a $25 annual fee and doesn't offer a rewards program, but it has valuable benefits like cell phone protection and secondary car rental insurance that may make it worthwhile. And, it's one of the few cards that is available to nonresident aliens.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

overall rating
3.3
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

The Wells Fargo Secured Card is not one of our top rated secured credit cards. You can review our list of the best secured credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Wells Fargo Secured Card

Pros
  • Emergency and travel benefits

  • Cell phone protection

  • Available to nonresident aliens

Cons
  • $25 annual fee

  • No rewards

  • 3% foreign transaction fee

Pros Explained

  • Emergency and Travel Benefits: The Wells Fargo Secured card has a surprisingly robust set of benefits for a secured credit card. Cardholders get access to perks like emergency cash disbursement and card replacement, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, and up to $150,000 in travel accident insurance. Most secured cards offer very few benefits, so these extras are an unexpected bonus.
  • Cell Phone Protection: If you use your secured card to pay your cell phone bill, you'll receive up to $600 in cell phone coverage against damage or theft, after paying a $25 deductible. Some other credit cards offer cell phone protection, but those typically are traditional cards with stringent credit requirements and high annual fees. For example, the Citi Prestige card includes cell phone protection, but it has a $495 annual fee. Getting cell phone protection on a secured credit card with a $25 annual fee is a nice advantage.
  • Nonresident Aliens Are Eligible: If you're a nonresident alien in the United States, it can be extremely difficult to qualify for any type of credit card, even secured cards. Most companies require you to enter a Social Security number when you apply, making it impossible to get a card. However, the Wells Fargo Secured card is available to nonresident aliens (as well as to U.S. citizens and permanent residents), so it can be a good way to get access to a credit card if you are an immigrant. As a Visa card, it is also widely accepted around the world.

Cons Explained

  • $25 Annual Fee: The Wells Fargo Secured card charges a $25 annual fee. While that’s not terribly expensive, there are other secured cards on the market that don’t charge one. So, unless the Wells Fargo Secured card’s special benefits are important to you, it may be more cost-effective to apply for a different card, such as the Secured Mastercard from Capital One. It has no annual fee, and security deposits start as low as $49.
  • No Rewards: This card doesn't have a rewards program or bonus. While that's not uncommon for a secured card, other cards do exist that offer rewards on your purchases. For example, the Discover it Secured card has no annual fee, and you can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, on up to $1,000 in combined spend each quarter. You'll also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. In addition, Discover will match all of the cash back you earn during your first year. If you earned $200 in cash-back rewards, Discover will match it, giving you a total of $400 in rewards.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: The Wells Fargo Secured card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on every purchase you make outside of the U.S. Over time, those fees can add up. A few secured credit cards—such as the Secured Mastercard from Capital One—don't charge a foreign transaction fee. So if you plan on traveling internationally, it may make more sense to sign up for another card.

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 Secured card is best for people who would have trouble qualifying for traditional credit cards or other secured cards, such as nonresident aliens. This card is one of the few that nonresident aliens are eligible for, so it can be a good choice if you’re in that category and need access to a credit card or want to build your credit history. 

The card also offers some valuable benefits that are unusual for a secured credit card, such as cell phone protection. That's something you don't typically see with a secured card, so it’s an added plus.

Wells Fargo Secured Card's Outstanding Benefits

As mentioned above, the Wells Fargo Secured card offers one outstanding perk that is atypical for a secured credit card: cell phone protection. 

Use your card to pay your monthly cell phone bill and you'll get up to $600 in cell phone protection, subject to a $25 deductible. Eligible phones are protected against damage or theft. However, you won’t be covered if you simply lose your phone. 

Standard Benefits

This card has a suite of other benefits that may be useful when you're traveling: 

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Use the card to pay for your car rental and decline the rental company's coverage to get free secondary auto rental collision damage coverage. 
  • Emergency card replacement: If you lose your card or it’s stolen, you can contact Wells Fargo to have your card replaced and to get access to emergency cash. 
  • Roadside dispatch: You can call 800-847-2869 for roadside assistance, such as towing services or fuel delivery. You’ll have to pay a separate fee for any services provided. 
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: If you used your card to pay for your fare on a common carrier, you're eligible for free travel and emergency assistance services. You can call 800-847-2911 for help with medical or legal referrals, translation services, or lost luggage locator services. You may have to pay an additional fee for any services you use.
  • Travel accident insurance: Use your card to pay for your full fare on a common carrier and you’ll receive up to $150,000 in travel accident insurance, which provides coverage in the case of death or dismemberment. 

Cardholder Experience

Unfortunately, Wells Fargo isn't known for its customer service. According to the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Wells Fargo ranked ninth out of 11 national issuers in customer satisfaction, scoring 783 out of 1,000. The national average was 806. 

However, Wells Fargo's customer service team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can reach them by secure email or at 800-642-4720.

Security Features

The Wells Fargo Secured card has some standard security features, such as zero-liability protection and emergency card replacement. You can also enable account alerts so you’ll receive text messages about unusual activity and payment due dates, which is typical of most credit cards.

Our Verdict

The Wells Fargo Secured card is a solid choice if you're looking to build your credit and need a secured credit card, especially if you are a nonresident alien and are having trouble qualifying for another card. 

It does have several useful perks, such as cell phone protection and car rental insurance, that aren’t common for secured credit cards. 

However, it also carries an annual fee, charges foreign transaction fees, doesn't have a rewards program. If you can qualify for another card, it may make sense to sign up for one that doesn’t charge these fees and save yourself some money.

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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
3.3
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.