EDITOR’S NOTE: The Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card offer mentioned here is expired and no longer available.
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Verdict: We think this is a smart choice for college students looking for a cash back credit card to help them build a credit history.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card snapshot
The Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card is designed for college students with limited credit histories. New account holders can get a 0% introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for balance transfers and purchases for 6 months. A balance transfer request must be made within the first 120 days of account opening to be eligible for the intro APR.
After the introductory period ends your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases and balance transfers will be a variable 12.90% to 22.90% based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate. As far as balance transfer fees, there is an introductory fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.
This card has a rewards program where you earn 3% cash rewards for up to $2,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months. Earn 1% cash rewards on for other purchases. After six months all eligible purchases earn 1% cash rewards. This card has no annual fee.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card highlights
|Foreign transaction fee:||3% of each transaction converted to U.S. dollars|
|Rewards program:||3% cash rewards earned for up to $2,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for first 6 months. 1% cash rewards for other purchases|
|We think it's good for:||Students who are trying to establish credit
Students who want to earn cash rewards
Current Wells Fargo customers
Students who want to build a long-term financial relationship with Wells Fargo
|We think these folks should do more research:||Someone who isn’t likely to pay off purchases and balance transfers within the introductory APR period
Someone who wants higher cash rewards over the long term
|Additional Notes:||Terms, conditions and restrictions apply|
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card basics
To apply for this card online, you’ll need an existing Wells Fargo bank account. If you don’t have an existing relationship with Wells Fargo you will need to apply in person at a Wells Fargo location. If you are under the age of 21 and you don’t have verifiable income, you’ll need to bring a co-signer who is over 21 and can provide proof of income. The application will also require your Social Security number, government-issued identification and information about the school where you’re enrolled.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card vs. other cards
Compared to other student credit cards that offer cash back, the Wells Fargo card stacks up pretty well. Here are some other student credit cards we think may be of interest to those of you looking for a student credit card that offers cash back rewards.
Discover it® Student chrome and Discover it® Student Cash Back both offer a cash back rewards program. For both the Discover it® Student chrome and Discover it® Student Cash Back there is an intro offer, for new cardmembers only, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up and no limit to how much is matched.
You may be considered for either card with a fair credit score or if you are new to credit. However, a quick reminder, your credit score alone doesn’t guarantee you’ll qualify for any credit card offer, credit card issuers use a variety of different types of credit scores as well as other criteria to make their credit decisions.
Neither version of the Discover student cards has an annual fee.
With the Discover it® Student Cash Back (image on the left) you earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. There is also a Good Grades Rewards – a $20 statement credit each school year your Grade Point Average (GPA) is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years. Note, the terms of Good Grades Rewards offer are subject to change.
If your spending doesn’t vary much, you may want to consider the Discover it® Student chrome card where you earn 2% cash back at Gas stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus you earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. There is also a Good Grades Rewards – a $20 statement credit each school year your Grade Point Average (GPA) is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years. Note, the terms of Good Grades Rewards offer are subject to change.
The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (image on the left) offers a rewards program where you earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. If you pay on time you can boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month. The card has no annual fee and you may be considered for this card with average, fair, limited credit. Just a reminder, as we already mentioned, credit card issuers look at other factors, in addition to your credit score, to determine if you are eligible for their credit card. Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® also offers access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time. Get Eno®, which is your Capital One® assistant, to manage your account via text, receive alerts, and shop safer online. Also, monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, which is free for everyone.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card rewards
The cash back program with the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card is straightforward. You get 3% cash rewards for up to $2,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore net purchases for the first 6 months you have the card, and 1% cash rewards for other eligible net purchases made with the card. You can get extra bonus cash rewards earning potential and deals at your favorite stores when you shop their Earn More Mall® site. Familiarize yourself with the exclusions and details to avoid any surprises. For example, purchases made via mobile card readers may not qualify for rewards. Cash equivalents, including prepaid gift cards, are not eligible for rewards.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card pros
After the 0% introductory APR period ends the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases and balance transfers will be a variable rate between 12.90% to 22.90%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate. For a new credit card user, this is a fairly low rate range. As far as balance transfer fees, there is an introductory fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days of account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.
The introductory 0% APR for the first 6 months on balance transfers and purchases is great and, with consistent responsible use by you, can help you pay off the balance on higher interest cards or finance a new purchase without finance charges on your eligible balances during the introductory period. Just keep in mind that only balance transfers made within the first 120 days of account opening qualify for the 0% intro APR.
You can choose to have your cash back rewards deposited directly into a Wells Fargo account, cash rewards are redeemed in $25 increments. Other redemption options include redeeming your rewards as a credit to a qualifying Wells Fargo product, request a paper check, redeem in $20 increments at a Wells Fargo ATM with a Wells Fargo Debit or ATM card or redeem rewards for travel, gift cards, and more. Redemption values may vary based on the method and what you choose to redeem your rewards for.
Wells Fargo won’t impose a penalty APR if you pay late, which is nice.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card cons
When using this card, it’s important to be aware of how your payments are applied if you have more than one type of charge included in the balance. If you only make the minimum payment, that money will be automatically allocated to charges with a lower APR.
The cash back deal may not work at all if you use a digital or mobile wallet, which can be a real problem for college students who want the convenience of paying for purchases through their iOS or Android device linked to their credit card. You might not get cash back on purchases made with retailers who use wireless or mobile card readers, even if those purchases would otherwise earn cash back.
You may not be eligible for introductory annual percentage rates, fees, and/or bonus rewards offers if you opened a Wells Fargo Credit Card within the last 15 months from the date of your application and you received introductory APRs, fees, and/or bonus rewards offers, even if that account is closed and has a $0 balance. Speak to your local Wells Fargo branch to check if you qualify.
Should you get this card?
The Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card is a cash back credit card for students who are new to the credit card scene. It’s a good starter card with a nice cash back program. Pay attention to the fine print. Check out the card issuers website for more information and to see if this student credit card could be a fit for you.
Terms, conditions, restrictions, limitations apply to the offers mentioned in this article.
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