Review: The Wells Fargo Student Credit Card

Here is my personal take on the Wells Fargo Student Credit Card.

The application proudly touts that students can earn 3% cash back on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases. But keep reading and you will see that you only get that at the beginning…

Wells Fargo's fine print about rewards

After the first 6 months, those categories will only earn 1%, as will everything else. So basically, this is just a vanilla 1% rewards card and nothing else, since you don’t get any good benefits with it.

The rates and fees?

The interest rates ramp up after the first six months.

Wells Fargo doesn’t give a 0% intro rate. Instead, they give this:

  • 5.9% to 13.9% intro APR for first 6 months
  • 11.15% – 21.15% variable APR after 6 months

Of course you can avoid interest charges entirely if you pay off the full owed amount when the bill comes. But if you don’t do that, then you will get charged interest and it will go back retroactively to the date of the purchases.

There’s no annual fee for Wells Fargo’s student credit card. But then again, the same can be said about almost every college card on the market that’s issued by a major bank.

The requirements?

Obviously, anyone 18 or 19 years old will have little to no credit history. That’s why student credit cards set a low bar for the qualifications.

For income, if you have a co-signer (like mom or dad) then you personally don’t need to have any income. But if you want to apply on your own without a cosigner, the minimum income requirements are $3,000:

income requirements

That’s slightly above average since most college credit cards I’ve reviewed have a minimum requirement of only $1,500 or $2,000. But whatever the case… even $3,000 per year is an easy level to reach!

The Wells Fargo website doesn’t spell out what you can include for “income” on the credit card application. But with most banks, students are allowed to include financial support from parents (money mom and dad give you) as well as scholarships. Crazy, huh? Though I don’t know if WF will let you count those or not.

And your credit score? There’s no officially published requirement for that. As long as you don’t have anything negative on your credit report (such as charge-offs or late payments on loans) then even a low score should be fine.

How to apply?

It’s possible to apply online if you already have an online account setup for Wells Fargo banking. If not, the application will have to be done in-person at a branch.

The one annoying thing about the process is that they ask you to send proof that you’re a college student:

proof of being in school

This is the only student card I’ve seen that requires you to submit proof. If you put on the application that you’re a freshman at say, University of California San Diego, most credit card companies will simply take your word for it. But not WF, they are going to require proof and that only slows down the whole approval process.

Now for the #1 reason why I might recommend alternatives

This credit card isn’t bad, but it seems to be somewhat pedestrian in terms of rewards. In terms of an overall banking relationship…

I understand it can be convenient having your savings, checking, and credit card(s) all from the same institution but in this day and age it all depends on if there is a value to the relationship in terms of getting discounts or value for having multiple account relationships. Most of the large banks offer an array of financial services, including credit cards. Just do your homework before deciding to put all your eggs in one basket.

As for student credit cards, my current favorite of 2016 is the Discover it for students because it’s easy to get and gives 5% cash back on rotating categories when you signup. You can read my full review of it here.

If you don’t like rotating categories, keep in mind that Discover recently started offering another student card (the Discover it chrome for Students) that gives 2 percent cash back year round on gas and restaurants (for up to $1,000 in spending each quarter). Currently, both cards are available, so pick the one that works best for your spending patterns.

Updated February 15, 2016

 
Comments
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This was my first credit card and I was approved for a 1000 limit (and I had approximately 1000 in checking/savings with them). I previously had no credit history. Went to a local branch in February 2012 and I told them I was going back to school the next fall. No proof necessary. I opened a credit card with my local credit union a few months later.

Fast forward a few years… I have had the same 2 accounts and no other loans or credit. WF increased my limit to 1600, then 2100, and this week they switched me from the College card to the Platinum card and upped my limit to 3900. (Never asked for an increase). My credit union is still at 1k limit, and I just pulled out AMEX Blue Cash (5500) and Cap1 Quicksilver (3000). Also applied for Discover IT the same day as the AMEX and Cap1… was counter offered with a $500 secured card!! Haha no thanks.

The rewards aren’t great on the WF, but this was my first real card and I appreciate what they did for me in establishing my credit. Lowest APR out of all of my cards, Customer service is always amazing – had to deal with one fraud charge and it was handled easily – and once I paid 25 days early so I got hit with a late charge (their computer system applied it to the previous month). 5 min on the phone and the issue was fixed. Love WF!

I applied for this card yesterday at my local branch and was never questioned if I was even attending college, the only thing I was asked about was my income. I currently have a secured credit card with Wells Fargo and I asked them about the card being upgraded to Unsecured and they told me that it will not upgrade on it’s own and that I was eligible for the Student Credit Card so I went ahead and applied for it.

I just applied and was approved for my card yesterday. I told my banker that I was currently unemployed due to my recent move and just graduated from my vocational schooling. There wasn’t much of a problem just a lower card balance.

Whether your a college student or not, there is one good reason to have this card. And it is called “cell phone replacement”…Whaaaat?. Yes you read it right. Every wells Fargo credit, even secured comes with a free cell phone warranty that covers all damage even water damage and theft. There is a $25 deductible for a phone up to $600 and covers the main line and up to 3 other lines, and can be accessed twice a year. The catch is you have to pay your cell phone bill with this credit card. For those who pay their cellphones out of their checking, this is no big deal. You put the bill on the CC and just pay it off and you got a phone replacement at your fingertips. Please be aware that while “theft” is covered, losing the phone is not. I think this card is worth it for this feature alone. Since when your locked into a contract with a cellphone carrier, losing or damaging a smart phone will set you back a lot without this.

Really needs to be updated. I just applied on friday at a local branch and was approved the same day without proof of being a college student. They took my word for it.

your review is OLD. discover offers only 2%. wells fargo was rated # 1. Please update.

Hi David! Thanks for the heads up. The 5% student card offer from Discover still exists, and they’ve also added another option that gives 2% back (for up to $1,000 in spending each quarter). We’ve updated the review to make things clearer.

I just got this card and I have 0% apr for 6 months!

I went to my local WF bank and all I sat down with the banker and told him how i was interested in a student credit card, I showed him my school and state ID, told him I was receiving financial aid from school and told him the amount I got per semester and he submitted the application for me. Got accepted right then and there in just a few minutes of submitting the application. I never previously had any type of account with wells Fargo nor credit card of any sort. WF is a relationship bank meaning that you have better chances of being approved for a credit card if you already have some sort of account with them.

They did not ask me for proof of actually being in college. I just showed him my I.D. and that was it.

Any updates on theses replies? Were you approved? Applied today, faxing them a copy of sch ID.

I have this credit card . I now used it for 300 bucks . So will I have 30 days to pay this off in full ? To avoid interest .

Gainesville Girl

What do they accept as proof? Like what did they ask you to submit that would have been accepted as proof? Scan of school ID? Schedule? What?

Yeah, I just applied yesterday and they asked for me to send my school schedule and my school I.D. that’s it. I’m waiting to hear back from them.