Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card Review

overall rating
3.8

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The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card has no annual fee and offers 5 points per dollar on grocery, gas, and drugstore purchases of up to $12,500 for the first six months after opening the account. There's also a 15-month 0% APR promotion period for purchases and balance transfers made within the first 120 days. The card lacks a one-time offer, but each point you earn is worth 50% more when redeemed for airfare purchases. That feature makes this card stand apart from the nearly identical Wells Fargo Rewards card.

Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card

Overall Rating
3.8
Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card
On Wells Fargo's Secured Site.
Current Offer

5x rewards points earned for up to $12,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months and 1x points on other purchases.

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
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1 point on all purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 15 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days after account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

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

Pros
  • Outstanding bonus rewards

  • Points are worth more when redeemed for airfare

  • Above-average 0% APR offer

Cons
  • Below-average ongoing rewards

  • No one-time offer

Pros Explained

  • 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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist

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. 

Transferring 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. 

Average Case

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.

Aspirational Case

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. 

Standard Benefits

  • 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

Cardholder Experience

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. 

Security Features

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.  

Our Verdict

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.

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For Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card
on Wells Fargo's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card
overall rating
3.8
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
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1 point on all purchases.
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.