Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card Review

Wells Fargo secured VisaSeveral members on the forum have mentioned having a secured Wells Fargo Visa card. Their reviews are both good and bad, but before I talk about them, let’s go over 5 things you need to know about it:

1. The requirements are stricter than most

With most secured credit cards, you can get approved no matter how screwed up your credit history may be. The Wells Fargo secured card requirements are much stricter:

  • You cannot have declared bankruptcy within the past 12 months.
  • You cannot have any unsettled liens. The fine print doesn’t provide details about this except for saying “Other conditions may apply.”

Conclusion? You could get denied, not everyone will qualify. However your credit score won’t matter, just so long as the above two things don’t apply to you.

2. The fees and APRs

The annual fee is $25 and that’s quite reasonable for a secured card. The other interest rates and fees are more or less average for this category:

  • Purchase APR = 18.99%
  • Balance Transfer APR = 18.99% (plus fee of 5%, with $5 minimum)
  • Cash Advance APR = 23.99% (plus fee of 5%,  with $10 or $20 minimum)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee = 3%

3. You need to have a Wells Fargo checking and/or savings

A lot of times people will acquire 2 or 3 secured cards, so they have more accounts on their credit report. That’s easy to do, because most secured card issuers don’t require you to be a customer of their bank.

However the Wells Fargo secured credit card is a bit different, because the application states:

existing WF account is required

So you have to already have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account. Apparently you can’t transfer funds from a non-WF account. Kind of stupid, right?

4. The security deposit

A you see above Wells Fargo calls this the “collateral account” and the minimum for it is $300, with the maximum being $10,000.

This is a fully secured account, so the credit line will be on a dollar for dollar basis… every $1 deposited = $1 towards credit limit.

5. Visa does offer a few benefits

Even though this is a basic Visa platinum card, it’s going to give you a lot better benefits than a Visa debit card. Here’s the rundown…

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: This is secondary collision/theft coverage for eligible rentals offered thru Visa. As you would expect, there are plenty of fine print exclusions so make sure you read the benefits guide before using.
  • Roadside Dispatch: Visa doesn’t pay for it, but they do offer it at negotiated rates:

Visa Roadside Dispatch

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: In a nutshell, this is a hotline you can call for advice if you find yourself in a travel emergency. They don’t actually pay for anything, but they will help you do things like find a clinic, a lawyer, get your lost prescriptions filled/replaced, and other scenarios such as these while traveling.
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance: This is included on eligible Common Carrier fares paid for with the secured credit card from Wells Fargo. It covers death or dismemberment.

Although these benefits aren’t anything special (almost every Visa credit card includes them) they are worth pointing out, because you probably won’t get them with a debit or prepaid card.

What others are saying?

The conversations I’ve seen on the forum for this Wells Fargo card are mostly in reference to its graduation, which the is the process of graduating from secured to unsecured.

  • The graduation is usually 12 months later, but there have been complaints that it can take longer. Regardless, I have not read any reviews for graduation happening in less than 12 months.
  • Sometimes rather than graduating, people have reported having better luck just applying for a new unsecured card from Wells Fargo, after they’ve had their secured card for around a year.
  • There aren’t many complaints about customer service.

Should you get it or something different?

If you’re in the process of rebuilding, this can be a good one to add to your collection. The Wells Fargo secured credit card will report to credit bureaus. So as long as you use it responsibly, it should help boost your score.

Here’s a good alternative to consider. As recommended, having more than one account is ideal, anyway.

Written or last updated October 25, 2016

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Wellsfargo secured card is nothing more then a joke my payments are paid on time every month for over 3yrs like others I get the same runaround
I now have 7 cards unsecured from $500 -$1,500. AND STORE CARD’S yet nothing from wellsfargo after 3yrs it’s time to say good bye.
This is sad on there part. My checking and saving accounts and cards are with Navy Federal credit Union 6 months ago I recently got my settlement of over $60,000 GUESS WE’RE IT’S SETTING not at wellsfargo and my cards came long before the money
You lose suckers!!!
Don’t waist your time with them such a scam rebuilding credit my ass they suck your hopes dry
Don’t bother your better with off with premier bank they do as promissed if your not late
Hay wellsfargo?? Kiss my ass!!!!

Wellsfargo missleads people with secured credit card, I was told that it would be 2 years and they would upgrade the card, well now it has been 2 years, I make my payments on time and even pay in between, never been over the limit and was informed today that it does not work that way, they will check it periodically to see if it qualifies, well here is the think, why should they upgrade, they keep your deposit which they do not pay interest on but yet you are paying interest on the purchases that guess what it is covered by your own money, and if you want to cancel it takes 45 days to get your initial deposit, so they are profiting from your deposit and then again on the finance charges you pay every month. I wish I had read reviews before signing into this, because now if I cancel the card it shows on the credit report as a closed account, therefore I am stuck.

You forgot the worst part…this card may NEVER become unsecured. I have had their secured card for over 3 years, have my savings and checking accounts with them, as well as a mortgage account…none of which has ever been late, overdrawn, and still can get no answer as to why I can not upgrade to unsecured. Wells Fargo continues to lie to its customers and myself! Terrible business practices!!! BEWARE!

You forgot the best part of this card compared to other Secured and Unsecured card. There is a feature with all Wells Fargo cards, including this where they replace your cell phone worth up to $600 for a $25 fee, if it is ever damaged or stolen, if you pay your cell phone bill with the WF card. This can apply to 3 phones an each account and can be used 2 times a year. Notice it does not warranty against lost phones, but stolen phones are covered. More importantly, water damage is NOT EXCLUDED. This means that if one pays the cell phone bill with this card instead of the checking account, one has the piece of mind of having a $600 phone replaced if is damaged or stolen.

This is a great point, Tommy. The Wells Fargo cell phone protection plan is definitely an underused perk. https://www.wellsfargo.com/credit-cards/features/cell-phone-protection/