Wells Fargo began over 100 years ago – back in 1852, when Henry Wells and William Fargo created a financial service company.
Originally, Wells Fargo offered their financial services using the "fastest methods of the time" which was overseas by ship or steamer and overland by stage coach (an icon which has since become representative of the Wells Fargo brand).
A few years later, business was conducted electronically by the innovation known as the telegraph.
This, in turn, eventually paved the way for telephone and then Internet.
For the purposes of this report, we'll be taking a closer look at Wells Fargo credit cards – reviewing each type of Wells Fargo credit card to see if it truly offers a great deal or if you're better off looking elsewhere.
What is Wells Fargo?
Since its original founding, Wells Fargo played a pivotal role by helping to provide and manage financial and banking services for miners, pioneers, merchants and ranchers.
By 1918, there were more than 10,000 Wells Fargo offices.
Since then, the company has expanded their offerings to include banking services, credit and loans, insurance, retirement planning, wealth management and much more.
Rates and fees on the cards
Each card has its own respective fees and rates, which are noted below in the categories that each card fits into.
If you're not sure what a certain term means or what the rate is, we've outlined this for you below:
The interest rate is also known as the APR or annual percentage rate. The annual percentage rate of credit cards generally runs from 12.99%-25.99% and is tied to the U.S. Prime Rate.
The interest rate you pay will depend on your creditworthiness.
An annual fee, which some cards have, is a fee that you pay each year that you are a cardholder.
Foreign transaction fees
Foreign transaction fees are generally a percentage you pay to transfer funds from your currency to another currency when traveling and making purchases abroad.
Miscellaneous fees that do not fall under any of the aforementioned categories.
Each card's credit limits are determined by your creditworthiness – which in turn is determined by your credit score.
The exception to this is the secured credit card, where you set the credit limit based on the amount you deposit.
How can I increase my limit?
If you've held a Wells Fargo credit card for at least a year, you may be eligible for a credit limit increase.
To request one, call Wells Fargo at: 1-800-642-4720.
Reward Types, Features and Fees
If you're curious about the different credit cards available from Wells Fargo and what they have to offer you in terms of rewards and other promotions, you can learn more about each one, as well as the associated fees below.
Be sure to check out any current promotions (if available) when you apply and are accepted for a card.
Applying for a Wells Fargo Card
It's easy to apply for a Wells Fargo credit card.
You can do it the traditional way through your local Wells Fargo bank, or online.
When you choose to apply for a Wells Fargo credit card online, you can either do so through your already-established Wells Fargo account (such as if you've started an application but haven't finished) or you can register as a new user.
Even if you aren't a Wells Fargo banking customer, you can receive an email confirmation which contains a unique access code that lets you sign on and proceed with your application.
Once you apply for a Wells Fargo credit card online, you may find out immediately if you are approved.
Some applications may take longer to process, however.
In these cases, you'll get an application ID by email and a phone number that you can call to check on the status of your application.
A decision is generally made within 5-7 business days.
The terms of your account and the card itself, as well as information on its features, will arrive in a separate mailing after you receive this packet
Even in the case that you're not approved, you'll still receive an explanation in the mail detailing why Wells Fargo was unable to extend credit to you at this time.
Eligibility criteria/Qualification requirements to apply
Each Wells Fargo credit card has different eligibility criteria and your approval is based on your creditworthiness among other factors.
Read the application details of the card that interests you and determine if your credit is good enough to apply.
For many cards, you'll also get free access to your FICO score, a score which can help you determine your creditworthiness.
How to manage your online account
When you apply for a Wells Fargo credit card online, you will complete an online application.
If approved, this gives you access to Wells Fargo Online which allows you to handle a wide range of credit management processes including adding an authorized user to your account, paying your bill, changing your payment due date, tracking your rewards earnings and much more.
How long does it take to get your Wells Fargo credit card?
This packet is followed up a few days later with your actual credit card and your card terms of service as well as its features.
How can I check the status of my credit card application?
When you applied for your Wells Fargo credit card, you should have received an email with a unique access code as well as a number to call to check your application's process.
Should you still have questions, you can call 1-800-642-4720 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to manage your account.
You can check using Wells Fargo Online as well. Simply click the Application Status page.
You will need your Wells Fargo Online username and password.
If you're not yet a Wells Fargo Online member, you will need to submit:
- Your last name
- Date of birth
- The last 4 digits of your social security number
- The unique access code sent to you by email
If you were working on filling out your application, it can be saved in order to complete later.
Saved (but unsent) applications are saved for 30 days from the date you first saved it.
Submitted applications do not expire.
Payment options for the credit card
Many cardholders look for the most flexible, fastest and easiest way to pay down their credit cards quickly.
Fortunately, Wells Fargo has numerous options that allow you to pay on your card.
What are the minimum payments?
Your minimum payment will depend upon the balance you carry on the card as well as other factors.
There is no "one size fits all" minimum payment, but keep in mind that it's always better to pay more than the minimum if you can afford to do so – as it will help prevent you from racking up added interest fees over time.
What are the late payment repercussions?
If you are late with a payment, you may be subject to a penalty APR or find that your APR has increased.
Fortunately, you can help avoid this issue by setting your payment date.
You can change it online by logging into the Credit Card Service center and clicking on the Change Your Payment Due Date link.
You can select any date except the 29th-31st of any month.
Where and how can I make my payments?
You can pay your credit card bill through Wells Fargo Online.
You can choose to enable automatic payments, do online transfer or bill pay option which remind you via email of when your bill is due.
If you prefer offline methods, you can pay your bill by mail (please include your credit card number on your check) and send it:
Via regular mail:
Wells Fargo Card Services P.O. Box 51193 Los Angeles, CA 90051-5493
Via Express mail:
Lockbox Services 51193 Attn: WF Consumer Credit Card 3440 Flair Drive El Monte, CA 91731
The Wells Fargo credit card offers several advantages to cardholders.
You can pay your bills automatically online and track your bill payments through the My Spending Report system with Budget Watch.
You'll also enjoy zero liability against unauthorized transactions when they are reported promptly.
Wells Fargo credit cards also have chip technology which helps offer more protection against counterfeit fraud.
If you already have a Wells Fargo credit card, but it doesn't yet have a chip, you should know that the company is reissuing new, chip-enabled cards over time.
The alert system is another significant benefit offered by Wells Fargo.
You can have alerts sent to your mobile device or email address when:
- Credit card activity exceeds a limit that you set
- Your available credit drops below a certain amount
- Your credit card payment is due
- A payment has been posted to your account
You can also choose to get near real-time alerts via text message or email when a transaction has been declined, a foreign transaction has taken place, a cash withdrawal at an ATM has taken place, or online, phone or mail purchase has taken place.
If purchases exceed a specific amount, you can also be notified via rapid alert about this as well.
You can also choose to update your preferences online through your Wells Fargo Online dashboard as to which messages you want to receive.
Excellent Tool for College Students Looking to Build Credit
Their card for college students is one of the best cards to help build up your credit history if you're just starting out on the road to responsible financial management.
Not only does it provide a percentage back on purchases that college students are making anyway (gas, groceries, pharmacy), it also has an acceptable interest rate and the same kinds of protections in place to help prevent and alert the user of unauthorized user or fraud.
Mobile Phone Insurance
If you choose to pay your mobile phone bill with your Wells Fargo credit card, you can also get cellular phone protection that provides up to $600 of protection (minus a $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft at no cost to you.
This service does not cover phones that are lost and does not cover software-related phone issues.
Many customers find that the additional cell phone insurance is incredibly helpful, especially for families where everyone has a cell phone and the potential to have them stolen is higher.
Although the insurance does not apply if your phone is lost, you could get up to $600 if your phone is stolen.
Consult the terms and conditions of the mobile phone insurance for more information.
Responsive, User-Friendly Online System
Wells Fargo's online system is responsive and attentive to customer needs and can quickly help you find the answers you're looking for, or reach out to a customer support specialist for more information.
The company's mobile app also features many of these same qualities, so you can manage your finances on the go.
Online Budgeting Made Easy
Budget Watch is a free online money management tool available to Wells Fargo cardholders which lets you see, in an easy-to-read chart, where your money is going, including income and deposits.
You can set different budget goals and see how much you have left at the end of the month.
You can even get email alerts on your progress toward meeting those goals, making it even easier to be more financially responsible with your card usage.
The budget system is an extremely helpful online tool that gives you a visual overview of how you're spending money and helps you reach your financial goals by eliminating waste and encouraging saving.
It's an excellent tool for anyone looking to establish or rebuild their credit history as well as for families who are looking to save money and reduce reliance on credit cards as a whole.
Helpful, Friendly Customer Service
Many customers have positive reviews when speaking with Wells Fargo's customer service.
They find them, as a whole, attentive, understanding and helpful.
As with other systems, a great deal of Wells Fargo's customer service is automated, however you can easily reach a person if you have a question that isn't handled by the automated system.
Simply call the number on the back of your card to reach an attentive customer support specialist who can work with you to get your issue resolved promptly.
Many people enjoy the flexibility of the points system on rewards cards.
Families like the added "mobile phone insurance" that comes with paying your mobile phone bill using your credit card.
Overall, customers like the reward program and the amount of points earned per dollar spent – particularly within the first six months of opening an account.
Some customers who sign up for this card, particularly the no interest option for a set period of months, find that they are charged interest anyway, or that their account is suddenly closed because they are deemed a "bad credit risk" if they only pay the minimum payment.
Customer support, particularly where rewards points usage is concerned, can be a mixed bag, but generally reviews are positive.
Some customers feel that the rewards system is a bit difficult to understand, as it differs from other competitors, but most reviews again are positive.
Still have questions about applying for a Wells Fargo credit card? We've collected answers to the most common questions here to help you better understand what steps to take should you have any issues with your credit card.
See answers below:
You do not need a bank account with Wells Fargo to sign up for a card, however in order to apply online with some Wells Fargo credit cards, you need to have established a checking or savings account.
If you want to cancel your Wells Fargo credit card, you'll need to call the toll free service number on the back of the card.
You can use your Wells Fargo credit card to pay for nearly anything.
Depending on the card, you have, you may even enjoy extra points (in the case of things like gas, groceries or pharmacy purchases), or added protection (in the case of your mobile phone bill).
You can use your Wells Fargo credit card at any store that accepts credit cards.
Some Wells Fargo credit cards are backed by Visa, and others by American Express.
Be sure the store you want to shop at accept credit cards from these companies.
Every case is different, but if your refund is approved, you can expect to see the funds deposited back in your account within a reasonable time period.
If you're concerned or want to check on the status of a refund on your Wells Fargo credit card purchase, call the customer service number on the back of your card and ask to speak to a representative.
You can check your Wells Fargo credit card balance at any time by logging into your Wells Fargo online account.
You can also call the number on the back of your card for an automated balance notification.
Since the Wells Fargo credit card is not a debit card or pre-paid card, you cannot withdraw money for it the way you would on these types of cards.
You may be able to get a cash advance depending on the Wells Fargo credit card you have.
Fees differ from card to card, so if you're not sure if your card allows for cash advances or what the fees are, consult the customer service number on the back of the card.
You can set up payment options for your Wells Fargo credit card by logging into the Wells Fargo Online system and setting your payment options through the user dashboard.
You can pay for purchases using a mobile wallet app.
You can simply use your smart phone device to pay or make quick purchases from within mobile apps.
You will need to research mobile wallet apps to determine one that's right for you.
In some cases, your full card number isn't shown to merchants when you make a purchase, adding further safeguards.
You should know, however, that when you use your actual Wells Fargo credit card (or a Wells Fargo debit card or pre-paid card), you get 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero liability protection.
You can add an authorized user to your Wells Fargo credit card by logging into the Wells Fargo online system.
Should you run into problems or have questions, call 1-800-TO-WELLS or visit a Wells Fargo branch near you.
There are many different types of Wells Fargo credit cards available, as well as systems that either give you cash back or rewards, but in terms of "upgrading" your account from one type to another, this isn't currently possible.
You can use your Wells Fargo credit card immediately after receiving it!
To contact Wells Fargo credit card services, simply call the number on the back of your card or call 1-800-TO-WELLS for customer service.
If your credit card has been lost or stolen, you're automatically covered by Wells Fargo's Zero Liability at no extra cost so long as you report unauthorized purchases promptly.
Call 1-800-642-4720 if your card has been lost or stolen to report it.
You can also report a lost or stolen card from the Wells Fargo mobile app or Wells Fargo online service.
Ideally your credit score should be in the "Good" range in order to qualify for a Wells Fargo credit card, however, if you have less than perfect credit, or no credit, you may still be able to apply for other types of Wells Fargo cards, such as the secured card or the college card.
You should always strive to improve your credit score and get or keep it within the "Good" range to avoid being deemed a credit risk and having your account closed.
In some cases, such as with the secured credit card or college credit card, different conditions apply since these users typically have fair or poor credit or no credit history.
Your credit score may drop if your account is closed due to non-payment.
If you chose to close your account voluntarily after your balance is paid off, your credit score may dip slightly but it will come back in time.
Wells Fargo reports to all three major credit reporting bureaus, including Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
You can build your credit with the Wells Fargo credit card as long as you pay your balance off at the end of the month or continue to pay your balance down over time.
In the case of the secured or college credit cards, you'll also be building a history showing responsible credit card use over time, which can also help your credit.
All credit cards have an expiration date, but this is mainly because the magnetic strip becomes worn after use over time and does not affect the card itself.
Keep in mind that you cannot continue to use the card after its expiration date, and Wells Fargo will issue you a new one.
Wells Fargo does not currently have a credit insurance program.
Depending on your employer, this may be a feature that's available at your workplace.
Contact your Human Resources department for more information.
You can have more than one Wells Fargo credit card, but your application may be denied if you were only recently approved for a Wells Fargo credit card and applied for a second one quickly.
You can also have a checking and/or savings account with Wells Fargo as well as a credit card.
You can do a balance transfer from one card to another, but keep in mind that although there may be no interest on balance transfers for a certain period of time, there is still often a transaction fee to consider.
Wells Fargo offers a number of credit cards with various requirements – the bulk of which revolve around your credit score and credit history.
Even if you have had past credit problems, it's possible to still get approved for a Wells Fargo credit card, you simply may not have much of a credit limit until you've demonstrated that you can responsibly manage your card financials.
Everyone's application is different, so you may receive your card within a few days, or it may take more time.
You can check the status of your application by logging into the Wells Fargo online system or by calling 1-800-642-4720.
Different Wells Fargo credit cards offer different amounts of points.
Depending on the card you've been approved for, you may find that you get added rewards points when you shop for groceries, gas or entertainment.
In some cases you may even get bonus points for signing up and reaching a certain balance threshold within a set period of time.
Please consult your credit card information packet that was sent in the mail for terms and conditions specific to your card.
You can use Wells Fargo credit card points for a wide range of purchases.
Log in to the Wells Fargo online system to redeem your points on a variety of products and services.
You can use your Wells Fargo credit card to pay for rental car insurance, but this is not currently an option offered by default on Wells Fargo credit cards.
If your Wells Fargo credit card has been stolen, promptly call 1-800-642-4720 to speak with a representative.
You are protected by Wells Fargo's Zero Liability on unauthorized transactions provided you report them promptly.
Also keep in mind that Wells Fargo actively monitors your account for suspicious transactions and can notify you by text or email should a purchase be flagged as such.
You do not need to meet specific income goals in order to apply for the college card, however you may be asked questions about your income when signing up for the card.
Use it wisely to help build up and establish a responsible credit history!
You do not have to be registered as a student in order to use Wells Fargo's college credit card.
However, keep in mind that this card is designed as a tool to help you build a credit history, and there are other cards with better terms or offers available if you have a good credit score.
Is it worth it?
Wells Fargo has a long history of helping others and holds a number of "firsts" within the banking sector.
Their approach to credit cards is no different.
Each of the Wells Fargo credit cards offer considerable rewards and competitive interest rates and offers that are in line with other types of credit cards.
If you are a loyal Wells Fargo customer, you may find some additional benefit to owning a Wells Fargo credit card.
Overall, although Wells Fargo doesn't have nearly the sheer numbers of credit cards as other companies like Chase, they nevertheless stay true to the value that comes with being a historically recognized name and brand.
Wells Fargo isn't attempting to be the biggest credit card company, but for users who are loyal to their bank or just want a credit card that they can rely on, a Wells Fargo credit card is certainly an option worth considering.
They're competitive and many of the extra "bells and whistles" make smart financial sense when you consider the big overall picture of responsible credit card use and building a financial history you can be proud of.
Do you have a Wells Fargo credit card in your wallet?
What do you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!