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Verdict: 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 (formerly named: Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa® 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.
After the introductory period ends your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases and balance transfers will be a variable 12.40% to 22.40%, 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 6 months. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.
This card has a rewards program where you can earn 3% cash rewards on gas, grocery, drugstore for first 6 months, 1% cash rewards on virtually all other net 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 on gas, grocery, drugstore for first 6 months, 1% cash rewards on virtually all other net purchases|
|Introductory APR||0% Intro APR for balance transfers and purchases for six months. After that a variable APR applies, currently 12.40% to 22.40% for purchases and balance transfers, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers are subject to a fee, there is an introductory fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 6 months. After that there is a balance transfer fee of up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.|
|Annual Percentage Rate (APR)||12.40% to 22.40% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers, based on your creditworthiness|
|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:||People who aren’t likely to pay off purchases and balance transfers within the first six months
Someone who wants higher cash rewards over the long term
|Additional Note:||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.
Cash advances and overdraft protection advances come with a variable Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 25.24%. There is a cash advance fee of either $10 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater. If you link this card to your Wells Fargo bank account for overdraft protection, you’ll also pay a $12.50 transfer fee if the total overdraft protection advance is $50 or less for the day. If the overdraft protection advances for the day total more than $50, you’ll incur a $20 fee. Late payment, returned payment or returned check fees are up to $37.
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.
Discover it® chrome for Students (image on the left) and Discover it® for Students both offer a cash back rewards program. There is a special offer, for new cardmembers only, you can get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically, for both the Discover it® chrome for Students and Discover it® for Students. You may be considered for either card with a fair credit score or if you are new to credit, but keep in mind that credit card issuers look at other factors, in addition to your credit score, to determine if you are eligible for their credit card.
Neither version of the Discover student cards has an annual fee.
With the Discover it® for Students (image on the left) you can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.
If your spending doesn’t vary much, you may want to consider the Discover it® chrome for Students card where you can earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, there are no sign-ups needed to earn rewards and you earn 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® offers a rewards program where you can 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. There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards won’t expire for the life of the account. The card has no annual fee and you can 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.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card rewards
The cash back program with the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card is straightforward. During the first six months you have the card, you can get 3% cash rewards for each $1 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore net purchases for the first 6 months, 1% cash rewards on virtually all other eligible net purchases made with the card. 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. You can get extra cash rewards earning potential and deals at your favorite stores when you shop their Earn More Mall® site.
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 12.40% to 22.40%, based on your creditworthiness. For a new credit card user, this is a fairly low rate range. Wells Fargo won’t impose a penalty APR if you pay late, which is nice.
The introductory 0% APR for the first six months on purchases and balance transfers 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 for a short period of time.
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 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.
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.
Editor’s Note: The information related to the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card has been collected by CreditSesame.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
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