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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card Review

Dayana Yochim

Written by Dayana Yochim
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Andrea Coombes

March 12, 2024

Why trust us? has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.

The competition among 2% cash-back-on-everything credit cards is fierce, but a welcome bonus, 0% intro APR promotion, and multiple reward redemption options help the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card rise above its peers.

Well, well, well, Wells Fargo. Your "unlimited 2% back on everything" rewards program has gone viral. It wasn't long ago that you and Citi were the two of the few card companies with a flat-rate cash back card that paid out more than 1.5%.

But you'd better watch your back, Wells. A slew of new 2% cash back cards are closing in on your turf, including compelling offerings from SoFi, PayPal, Fidelity, Ally and Bread. However, currently the 2% newcomers fall short in one key area: new cardholder perks.

The welcome bonus and 0% interest period on new purchases and balance transfers is why we named the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card the Best No-Fee, No-Hassle Cashback Card and #1 Unlimited 2% Cashback Card for our 2024 Awards.

The basics: Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases. Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first three months. 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and qualified balance transfers (subject to either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater).

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Best for Low-Hassle Rewards

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card Logo
Cashback Per Year
Annual Fee
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Want to compare more cards? Use our full calculator.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card pros and cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • 2% unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • Easy-to-earn welcome bonus
  • 0% APR on purchases/balance transfers
  • Multiple reward redemption options
  • Includes Visa Signature perks

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • Reward redemption minimums apply
  • Charges 3%-5% balance transfer fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee on non-U.S. purchases

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card cashback rewards spending categories

The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.

Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (aka the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g., $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”

Category Default Rate Bonus Rate Bonus Spend Cap Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Gas 2.00% - - -
Travel 2.00% - - -
Dining 2.00% - - -
Entertainment 2.00% - - -
Pharmacy 2.00% - - -
Groceries 2.00% - - -
Other Purchases 2.00% - - -

What we like

The unlimited 2% cashback rewards rate on all purchases makes the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card a fantastic choice for consumers looking for an unfussy cashback card — as in, no reward spending tiers to manage or earnings caps to track. (See our guide to the Best 2% Cash Back Credit Cards to compare the Wells Fargo credit card to similar rewards cards.)

Offers new cardholder perks. A welcome bonus can literally add hundreds of dollars to your bottom line. It also makes it easier to measure overall value when comparing cards with identical rewards rates. As of this writing, Wells Fargo has lowered the spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus, putting it within grabbing distance of cardholders with smaller budgets.

0% introductory APR applies to new purchases and balance transfers — ideal if you have any big-ticket items on your shopping list and want some time to pay them off. Same if you're trying to pay down other debts. If you plan to bring unpaid balances with you, make sure to transfer any debts within the first 120 days of account opening, or the 3% balance-transfer fee (which applies to the amount you move onto the card) goes up to 5%.

The bounty of reward redemption options includes the usual ones like requesting a check, getting a statement credit (note $25 redemption minimum), or transferring rewards into an eligible Wells Fargo checking, savings or credit product. But you can also grab literal cash (in $20 increments) if you have a Wells Fargo debit card, use it for a merchandise credit (via a credit card statement credit) or redeem what you earn for physical or digital gift cards. That’s not all, folks …

More creative ways to redeem rewards include the ability to make charitable donations, or even gift the cash back to another Wells Fargo accountholder in $25 increments. There's also the option to pay for purchases directly with the rewards you've earned with retailers that participate in the "Pay With Rewards" program.

Cardholders get free access to Visa Signature privileges like 24-7 + 365 complimentary concierge service for planning trips and fancy meals, and premium bennies from Visa Signature Hotels (e.g., room upgrades, food/beverage credits, late checkout).

Includes boo-boo coverage for cell phone, car, travel and card-related mishaps. As long as you pay your cell bill with the card you’ll get secondary insurance coverage on up to two claims per year ($600 per claim max after $25 deductible) in case of damage or theft. Roadside Dispatch is a pay-per-use roadside assistance program. Medical, legal, luggage or other travel disaster? There’s a hotline for that. And if you lose your card and need access to emergency cash, yeah, that’s covered, too.

What we don't like

The opportunity cost of going with a flat-rate cashback credit card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash card is that you give up the potential to earn higher rewards on individual spending categories. A good counter to earnings FOMO is to use a bonus-category rewards card that pays a higher cash back rate on specific purchases (whether it's gas, groceries or dining out) and a flat-rate card for everything else.

There are lots of rules around the more unusual cashback redemption options. So read Wells Fargo’s rewards fine print for specifics about what’s allowed, redemption minimums ($20 if you want it in cash, $25 to apply to your card or a Wells checking/savings account) and who to contact to get the loot you’ve earned.

Note that direct transfers or earned rewards into a checking or savings account (including ATM access) only work if you’re a Wells Fargo banking customer.

You’ll wanna be a model credit-card-carrying citizen to avoid getting smacked with the Wells Fargo card's steep (up to $40) late payment fee.

Charges a 3% fee for foreign transactions. World travelers will want to keep the Active Cash Card zipped away in your fanny pack to avoid getting hit with this fee. (Note: The Bread Cashback American Express Card and SoFi Unlimited 2% Credit Card do not charge foreign transaction fees.)

Although you get “zero liability” protection against unauthorized transactions, the card lacks other cover-your-butt features such as purchase protection and extended warranties.

The bottom line

Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card fine print

For all the intimate details, see the Wells Fargo Active Cash Credit Card Credit terms and conditions.

Does the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card charge an annual fee?

No, there is no annual fee for the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.

tips_and_updates Trivia time!

How common are annual fees? Roughly 17% of the consumer cash back cards we review charge an annual fee. They range from $39 to $99, with an average annual fee of $67.

Does the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card offer a welcome bonus?

Yes, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card has a welcome bonus of $200.

tips_and_updates Fun fact

More than half (55%) of the consumer cash back credit cards we track in the database offer a welcome bonus, ranging from $30 up to $300. The average sign-up bonus for new cardholders is $197, with the median being $200.

How much cash back can I earn with the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card?

The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $240.00 in cash back per year using the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the database is $191.26, and $180 is the median.

These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card depends entirely on your unique spending habits.

Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.

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The results of the Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.

To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:

  • Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
  • Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
  • Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
  • Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
  • Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.

What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)

About the Editorial Team

Dayana Yochim
Dayana Yochim

Dayana Yochim has been writing (articles, books, podcasts, stirring speeches) about personal finance and investing for more than two decades, focusing on bringing clarity and the occasional comedic aside to what is often a murky, humorless topic. She’s written for NerdWallet, The Motley Fool,, Woman’s Day, Forbes, Newsweek and others, and been a guest expert on "Today," "Good Morning America," CNN, NPR and wherever they’ll hand her a mic.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is Managing Editor for Reink Media Group and the lead editor for content on Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Andrea Coombes
Andrea Coombes

Andrea Coombes has 20+ years of experience helping people reach their financial goals. Her personal finance articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, MarketWatch, Forbes, and other publications, and she's shared her expertise on CBS, NPR, "Marketplace," and more. She's been a financial coach and certified consumer credit counselor, and is working on becoming a Certified Financial Planner. She knows that owning pets isn't necessarily the best financial decision; her dog and two cats would argue this point.