The Wells Fargo Visa Signature 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 Visa Signature Card
Outstanding bonus rewards
Points are worth more when redeemed for airfare
Above-average 0% APR offer
Below-average ongoing rewards
No one-time offer
- Outstanding Bonus Rewards: Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar for the first six months on up to $12,500 in spending on groceries, gas, and drugstore purchases. That's an outstanding rate for a card with no annual fee, even if the bonus-category rewards rate expires relatively soon after the account is open. This kind of rewards offer gives you the opportunity to build up your rewards balance within a short period of time.
- Points Are Worth More When Redeemed for Airfare: Wells Fargo GoFarRewards points have 50% more value when you redeem them for airfare, which increases the value of each point to 1.5 cents.
- Above-Average 0% APR Offer: While there are cards offering longer promotional periods on purchases and balance transfers, this card’s 15-month 0% APR offer is still generous if your primary purpose for getting the card is for its rewards. It will allow you an opportunity to pay down debt without the burden of interest or to finance a large purchase over more than a year.
- Below-Average Ongoing Rewards: When the bonus-category rewards of 5 points per dollar end after the first six months, the ongoing rewards rate on this card falls to 1 point per dollar on all purchases. Several other no-annual-fee rewards cards offer better ongoing rewards.
- No One-Time Offer: In lieu of a one-time offer, this card offers accelerated points rewards in three bonus categories for six months. Yet, there are many no-annual-fee cards that offer both a one-time offer and rewards on bonus categories. The lack of a one-time offer puts this card at a disadvantage.
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 Visa Signature card is a good fit for people who currently spend, or plan to spend, a lot on gas, groceries, and drugstores. It offers high rewards earnings on those categories during the first six months, giving new cardholders a way to quickly boost their points balance.
Because points with this card are worth 50% more when redeemed for airfare, it's also a solid choice for people who want to earn rewards for travel without paying an annual fee.
In addition, this card could work well for anyone interested in transferring high-interest credit card debt from another card or financing a major purchase, since it has a 15-month 0% APR promotional period. However, note that it does charge a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater, for the first 120 days, after which the fee increases to 5%, with a minimum of $5.
Rewards Earning Details
For the first six months after opening their account, cardholders earn 5 points per dollar on gas station, grocery, and drugstore purchases, up to $12,500 in net purchases. Any other purchases outside those categories made during the introductory period earn 1 point per dollar. After the promotional period ends, the ongoing rate on all purchases is 1 point per dollar. Unused points expire after five years.
Rewards Redemption Details
Wells Fargo offers several options for redeeming points through its GoFarRewards program, including travel, gift cards, merchandise, online auctions, and cash back.
Typically, Wells Fargo GoFarRewards are worth 1 cent each, regardless of how they are redeemed. In other words, 100 points are worth $1. However, points have 50% more value when you redeem them for airfare, increasing the rate to 1.5 cents per point. For example, you could redeem 20,000 points for $300 in airfare. That means you’ll get the most value out of your points by using them only for flights.
Automatic redemptions are available in $25, or 2,500-point, increments by phone or online. Redemptions through a Wells Fargo ATM are available in increments of $20, or 2,000 points.
GoFarRewards points can't be transferred to loyalty programs. However, you can send them to another Wells Fargo customer who’s part of the GoFarRewards program, move points between your own accounts, or add them to a Wells Fargo rewards pool.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Getting the most out of rewards with the Wells Fargo Signature Visa card means using it for every gas, grocery, and drugstore purchase during the first six months after obtaining the card. Each purchase made in those categories earns 5 points per dollar, which can add up quickly.
If your budget allows, spend enough to reach the $12,500 threshold on bonus category rewards, which would max out the number of points you can earn at the bonus rate.
Next, focus on using your GoFarRewards to pay for flights. Doing so will get you 50% more value out of each point. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 when redeemed for airfare, but only $500 when used in other ways.
Let's say you use this card primarily for its bonus categories during the first six months, spending $375 on food at home (about average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), $100 on gas, and $20 at drugstores. You'd earn 14,850 points, which would be worth $222.75 when redeemed for flight purchases. Any purchases you make outside of the bonus categories would add another 1 point per dollar to your total.
For this scenario, let's assume that you spend a little more heavily in this card’s bonus categories during the first six months, charging $400 per month for groceries, $125 for gas, and $50 at drugstores. We'll further assume that you plan to go on a road trip that will use $200 in gas. In total, you'd earn 18,250 points worth $273.75 when redeemed for airfare.
Again, that doesn't include the 1 point per dollar you’d earn on purchases outside those categories.
Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card’s Outstanding Benefits
- Cell phone protection: If you use this card to pay your monthly cell phone bill, it extends $600 in insurance coverage for damage or theft, subject to a $25 deductible.
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Travel accident insurance
- Emergency card replacement
- 24/7 travel and emergency assistance
- Trip cancellation protection and lost luggage reimbursement
In the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Wells Fargo received a score of 783 out of 1,000 and ranked ninth out of 11 national card issues. Its score was well under the national issuer average of 806.
This card offers FICO credit score access and 24/7 customer service through Wells Fargo's online platform or by calling 1-800-642-4720.
This card has security features that are standard in the industry, including account and activity alerts and zero liability protection. It also has chip technology for enhanced security when paying at a terminal.
Fees to Watch Out For
This card has a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount, whichever is greater, for the first 120 days after opening an account. The fee increases to 5%, with a minimum of $5, after the introductory period. So keep this fee in mind if you're thinking of consolidating high-interest debt onto this card. This card also has a foreign currency conversion fee of 3%, making it potentially expensive to use abroad.
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card offers solid bonus-category rewards. And it stands apart for travelers by providing a 50% boost to the value of each point that’s redeemed for airfare. Frequent fliers looking to increase the redemption value they receive for flights through the GoFarRewards program will find that feature especially useful.
Combining this card with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card could boost your rewards even further. That card offers 3 points per dollar on dining out, gas stations, ride shares, and travel, and not just for an introductory period. You could enhance your rewards earnings by using the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card for purchases outside of the bonus categories on the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card.
However, since the rewards on both those Wells Fargo cards are limited to a few categories, you might also want to consider adding a flat-rate card that provides richer rewards on all purchases. For example, the Citi Double Cash card offers 1% cash back on purchases and an additional 1% when you pay for those purchases. Using it for non-bonus category purchases would be a solid compliment to the initial 5 points per dollar you'd earn on the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card.