Those seeking cash-back credit cards with straightforward reward structures will inevitably come across flat-rate cash-back cards, including the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. The card earns 2% cash rewards on purchases. It doesn’t get much better than that—there’s no need to track bonus categories or deal with rotating rewards offers.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash is an excellent flat-rate cash-back card. Since its release in July 2021, the card has established itself firmly as a new “plastic standard” when it comes to earning flat-rate cash back. Not only does it rank well on our list of the best Wells Fargo credit cards, it also boasts a high rank on Forbes Advisor’s best cash-back rewards credit cards list.
Wells Fargo Active Cash Benefits and Perks
The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a variety of benefits and perks to its cardholders:
- $0 annual fee
- Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases
- Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
- No categories or limits to keep track of
- Cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open
- Cell phone protection and advanced security features
- Access to exclusive Visa Signature perks
- A 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR applies. Balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a fee of up to 5%, with a minimum of $5 applies
Read more: Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Card Benefits
Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash Worth It?
The Wells Fargo Active Cash is worthwhile for anyone who wants to leverage a simple, straightforward rewards structure. The card includes a generous welcome bonus alongside its regular rewards and offers introductory APRs on purchases and balance transfers (to be followed by the card’s regular APR when the intro periods end).
The Active Cash is a low-maintenance card with convenient redemption options for the rewards you earn. But it has downsides, such as a high foreign transaction fee.
When the Wells Fargo Active Cash Is Worth It
When Simplicity Is Preferred
The Wells Fargo Active Cash is an excellent card to consider if you seek simplicity in your credit card rewards. The card earns 2% cash rewards on purchases, so it doesn’t complicate your life with category restrictions or quarterly activations. Many other cash-back cards have spending caps on elevated cash-back rates, earn higher rates in specific categories and lower rates in others or have rotating bonus categories that require quarterly activation.
When Making Large Purchases
Since large purchases can mean forking over a pile of money all at once, cards like the Wells Fargo Active Cash can help ease the burden by offering a 0% intro APR. The Active Cash offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR applies. Balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a fee of up to 5%, with a minimum of $5 applies.
However, never take advantage of a 0% intro APR offer without a solid plan to pay the balance off by the end of the promotional period, otherwise you risk incurring interest charges.
When Transferring High-Interest Debts
If you’re carrying debt on a high-interest card from an issuer other than Wells Fargo and you’re considering transferring that debt to a card with a 0% intro APR period, the Active Cash’s 15-month 0% APR introductory period can help. The card offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR applies. Balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a fee of up to 5%, with a minimum of $5 applies.
However, if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay your balance off in full within the time the Active Cash offers, know that there are cards with longer 0% APR balance transfer periods.
When You Want Benefits With No Annual Fee
On top of the introductory APRs, welcome bonus and high cash-back rewards rate, the Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a handful of additional features and perks—including cellphone protection, emergency assistance services and 24/7 access to the Visa Signature Concierge.
When the Wells Fargo Active Cash Is Not Worth It
When Redeeming Cash Rewards for Travel
As the Wells Fargo Active Cash is a cash-back card, cardholders will typically see the best redemption value for cash. Wells Fargo’s travel rewards programs aren’t as strong as those offered by issuers such as Chase and Citi, so if you’re looking to redeem rewards for travel and want the best deals, consider applying for a travel rewards card instead of the Active Cash.
When Additional Benefits Are a Priority
Though the Wells Fargo Active Cash’s cell phone protection benefit, $0 fraud liability and Visa Signature benefits—such as access to concierge service and the Luxury Hotel Collection—are nice, they don’t hold a candle to the bonfire of benefits offered by luxury travel cards. For people seeking additional purchase protections, travel protections and other types of benefits, there are likely better credit cards than the Wells Fargo Active Cash.
When Having any Credit Card Is a Bad Idea
Not every person needs a credit card. For those who struggle to limit spending when using plastic, pay bills on time or otherwise manage finances, an open line of credit is a bad move and a secured card might be a better fit. And, for those with too many credit cards open already, another account may just be a temptation to overspend.
How Do I Apply for the Wells Fargo Active Cash?
Wells Fargo accepts online applications for its cards. Visit the Wells Fargo website to find the Active Cash, then fill out the online form. Like many cards with lucrative rewards programs, good or better credit may be required to receive approval for this card, so we advise checking your credit to ensure it’s in good shape and free of errors or other issues before applying.
How Much Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash Costing Me?
The Wells Fargo Active Cash does not charge an annual fee. Although transaction and penalty fees may apply in certain circumstances, the major cost to you will come if you choose to carry a balance and accrue interest. If you pay in full each month, you can avoid interest charges.
How To Maximize Rewards With the Wells Fargo Active Cash
You can maximize your rewards by pairing a flat-rate cash-back card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash with a card that earns higher reward rates on certain bonus categories.
To increase your earnings, use a card or set of cards with rewards above 2% cash back on spending in bonus categories, and use your Active Cash as a catchall for purchases in other categories. For example, pair it with the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card, which earns 3 points per dollar at restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
Other Cards You Can Consider
It’s always wise to consider your options before applying for a new credit card. So, to help you evaluate if the Active Cash is right for you, here’s how it compares to some competing cards:
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠*
These two credit cards are often first in our minds when discussing the best cash-back credit cards. Neither charges an annual fee and both offer solid intro APR periods, with the Chase Freedom Flex℠* offering a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% – 29.24% applies. Intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days, after that either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater applies. While the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card maintains an upper hand when it comes to simplicity because of the flat-rate nature of its rewards, the Chase Freedom Flex℠* offers a unique structure with rotating rewards and comes with additional benefits, such as purchase protection and extended warranty.
The Flex earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in categories that rotate quarterly (requires activation), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card vs. Citi Custom Cash® Card
The Wells Fargo Active Cash and the Citi Custom Cash® Card offer similar intro APR periods and neither charges an annual fee. The Citi Custom Cash earns 5% cash back on purchases in a top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 in spending each month and 1% cash back on all other purchases—which doesn’t require activating rotating bonus categories, but does still involve a variable reward structure.
Both cards come with similar 0% intro APRs. The Citi Custom cash offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening on purchases and from date of first transfer for balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on creditworthiness. There is also a balance transfer fee of 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card vs. Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card*
The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card* also charges no annual fee. It provides one of the highest cash-back rates on the market, but comes with limitations. The card earns up to 2.5% cash back with no categories to track on up to $10,000 in purchases each billing cycle with qualifying accounts. All other purchases earn 1.5%.
With a stellar cash-back rate, a relatively low ongoing 17.49% – 27.49% variable APR and no foreign transaction fee, the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card* is ideal for those who do a lot of spending not restricted to certain bonus categories and want to keep things simple. If you’re willing to join a credit union and meet the requirements for a companion checking account, this card offers the chance to earn at a higher flat rate than you could with the Wells Fargo Active Cash.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash is a rewarding choice for people who value simplicity. Its rewards structure lets cardholders earn rewards with little effort and its other benefits sweeten the deal.
Wells Fargo charges no annual fee to carry the Active Cash, so it’s a low-risk addition to your cash-back strategy. If you have another card that earns an elevated rate on certain spending, the Active Cash can fill the role of a secondary card for purchases outside the bonus categories.
Of course, be sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly before deciding to apply.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What credit score do you need for the Wells Fargo Active Cash?
The Wells Fargo Active Cash is a top-of-the-line rewards card, and such cards typically require good to excellent credit. This means you likely need a credit score of 670 or higher. If your score is in the poor or fair range, we recommend applying for a credit-building card instead.
How do I apply for the Wells Fargo Active Cash?
To apply for the Wells Fargo Active Cash, visit Wells Fargo’s website and fill out an online form with the personal and financial information requested—such as your name, country of citizenship, address and employment status.
How do I activate the Wells Fargo Active Cash?
You can activate the Active Cash by following instructions on the sticker applied to the front of the card. This typically involves visiting a link to a page on Wells Fargo’s website or accessing the bank’s mobile app. Activation can usually also be done by calling Wells Fargo via phone.