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
Emergency and travel benefits
Cell phone protection
Available to nonresident aliens
$25 annual fee
3% foreign transaction fee
- 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.
- $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
Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
Earning a primary or side income from a small business
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.