Wells Fargo Active Cash Review [2021]: The New Flat-Rate Cash Back King?

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card offers high cashback earning potential, a generous welcome bonus, and a few helpful benefits. See if it’s the right fit for you.
Last updated Aug 19, 2021 | By Ben Walker | Edited By Jess Ullrich

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There’s nothing flashy about the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, but there doesn’t have to be. It’s a simple cashback rewards card that offers some valuable perks, not the least of which is its rate of 2% cash back on eligible purchases, which competes with some of the best cashback options out there.

This Wells Fargo Active Cash review will fill you in on the card’s pros and cons so you can decide whether it deserves a spot in your wallet.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Back

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Intro Offer

$200

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 2% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $200 welcome offer
  • Unlimited 2% cash back
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
  • No bonus categories
Card Details
  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2% cash back on eligible purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 14.99% to 24.99% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 14.99% to 24.99% (variable)

In this Wells Fargo Active Cash review:

Who should get the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card?

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card could be a good fit if you want a card that earns a flat, unlimited rate on all your purchases. It’s simple to understand because there aren’t any spending categories to think about. For example, you don’t have to wonder what cashback rate you can earn from filling up your gas tank compared to buying groceries — you get the same rate on every purchase.

In addition, this card has a $0 annual fee, which means any cash back you earn is an automatic benefit instead of going toward offsetting an annual cost.

If you’re currently building your credit, though, consider the credit score requirements for the Wells Fargo Active Cash. You typically need a good or excellent credit score to be approved for this card, which could be limiting for some people.

Card basics

Card type Cash back
Credit card issuer Wells Fargo
Credit card network Visa
Annual fee $0
Intro bonus Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Reward rate 2% cash back on eligible purchases
Recommended credit score Good, Excellent
Intro APR 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months
0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months
Foreign transaction fee 3%

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome bonus: If you compare credit cards, you’ll notice many provide a sign-up bonus for new cardholders. The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
  • High, unlimited cash back: Many of the best cash rewards cards offer 1.5% cash back on purchases, but this card offers a generous 2% on eligible purchases with no spending cap.
  • Redemption options: Your rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and travel. If you have an eligible Wells Fargo account, you could also redeem your cash back for credits to a mortgage or loan account, cash redemptions at a Wells Fargo ATM, or direct deposits to a savings or checking account.
  • No annual fee: With this $0-annual-fee card, you’re free and clear to enjoy your rewards and benefits without having to worry about an annual cost.
  • Cell phone protection: Cell phone protection isn’t a common benefit, but this card offers up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card. Be aware there's a modest $25 deductible with this protection.
  • Intro APR offers: If you want to avoid interest on balance transfers or purchases after account opening, the Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months and a 0% intro APR on new purchases for 15 months. These offers are comparable to those offered by the best 0% APR credit cards.
  • Visa card benefits: Cardholders receive Visa Signature benefits, which include a 24/7 concierge service for travel, dining, and entertainment needs and benefits with the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.

Drawbacks to the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

  • No bonus categories: There’s nothing complicated about earning cashback rewards with this card because you don’t have any available bonus categories. But the downside is you won’t earn extra rewards when using your card on certain purchases. Many other cashback cards have bonus earning categories, which could potentially net you more rewards.
  • No premium benefits: No-annual-fee credit cards don’t typically offer many benefits, which you find with the Wells Fargo Active Cash. If you want premium benefits, such as airport lounge access or annual travel credits, consider one of the best travel credit cards instead.
  • Foreign transaction fee: This card charges 3% for foreign transactions, so don’t plan on using this for purchases while traveling abroad.

Earning & redeeming cash rewards with the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your cash back can add up with the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend.

Year one earnings: $870

Year two earnings: $670

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

Best ways to earn

The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers one way for you to earn rewards, which is by making purchases with your card. You’re able to earn 2% cash back on eligible purchases.

If you want to increase your potential cashback earnings, it’s best to use your card for every purchase you can. Think about your everyday expenses, such as eating out and groceries, and don’t forget about using your card to pay your cell phone bill (which gives you cell phone protection). The more you use your card, the more cash back you can earn.

Categories Rewards rate
Eligible purchases 2%

Maximizing your redemptions

Any cash back you earn with the Wells Fargo Active Cash can be redeemed in multiple ways through the Go Far Rewards program, including gift cards, statement credits, merchandise, and travel.

In addition, Wells Fargo customers with eligible accounts get a few more options, such as deposits of $25 increments into a savings or checking account and withdrawals of $20 increments from Wells Fargo ATMs with a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card. If you have a Wells Fargo mortgage or loan, you have the option to redeem your rewards as a credit on your applicable account.

Overall, there’s typically no difference between the value of these redemption options other than your personal preference. Go Far Rewards points aren’t necessarily worth more between different redemption options, other than one exception. If you also have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card, you can pool your points, and you would get a 50% bonus toward travel redemptions on airfare. In this situation, using your points for flights would be the most valuable redemption option.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card FAQs

Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash a good card?

The Wells Fargo Active Cash could be a decent option if you want a high cashback earning rate and a generous sign-up bonus. This credit card offers 2% cash back on eligible purchases and $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. You also get cell phone protection and access to special perks like Visa Signature concierge service.

What credit score do you need for the Wells Fargo Active Cash?

You’ll generally need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card. For a FICO Score, this would be 670 or higher. For VantageScore, it would be 661 or higher.

What is the credit limit for the Wells Fargo Active Cash?

Wells Fargo doesn’t advertise a maximum credit limit for the Wells Fargo Active Cash, as it depends on your creditworthiness when applying. However, Wells Fargo advises calling them at 1-800-642-4720 if you want to request a credit limit increase.

What’s better, the Wells Fargo Active Cash or the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa?

The better card between these two Wells Fargo credit cards is likely the Wells Fargo Active Cash. It offers more earning potential than the Wells Fargo Cash Wise while also providing similar benefits.

Other cards to consider

The Wells Fargo Active Cash is a top pick for cashback enthusiasts. But if it’s not the right fit for you, consider these other cashback credit cards.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a $0 annual fee and offers 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. You can also earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months. The Wells Fargo Active Cash has a higher earning rate than the Freedom Unlimited in its non-bonus categories. But if you can take advantage of the Freedom Unlimited’s bonus categories, you have the potential to earn more cash back.

Learn more about this card in our Chase Freedom Unlimited review.

The Citi Double Cash Card is one of the top flat-rate cashback cards. It has a $0 annual fee and offers up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. It doesn’t typically have a sign-up bonus. Overall, this would make it worse for earning rewards than the Wells Fargo Active Cash, but you do have the option to convert your rewards from your Double Cash to ThankYou Points and potentially get more value from them.

Learn more about this card in our Citi Double Cash Card review.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Back

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Special Offer

Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (up to $12k in your first year)
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases
Citi Double Cash Card
Citi Double Cash Card
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee

Author Details

Ben Walker Ben Walker is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially-sound decisions. For nearly a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.