Several 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:
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:
- 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