By and large, they’ve succeeded—there’s a reason it tops our list of the best banks for small business. But how do the Wells Fargo business credit cards stack up against heavyweights like Capital One and Chase?
We’ll review the three Wells Fargo business credit cards and help you decide which one is right for you.
Overview: Wells Fargo Business Credit Cards
Wells Fargo offers three business credit cards:
- Wells Fargo Business Secured, for companies with poor or no credit
- Wells Fargo Business Platinum, for companies with up to $2 million in annual sales
- Wells Fargo Business Elite, for companies with over $1 million in sales
We review each card in detail, but all three cards share the same rewards program. You can either choose the Cash Back Advantage rewards program or the Rewards Points program.
The Cash Back Advantage program earns a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase, with no earning caps or rotating bonus categories. You can redeem your rewards as a direct deposit into your Wells Fargo business credit card, checking, or savings account.
The Rewards Points program earns 1 Wells Fargo Point for every $1 spent, again without limits or rotating bonus categories. You also get bonus rewards every time you hit a monthly spending threshold (the bonus and threshold vary by card). Those points can be used for gift cards, travel, merchandise, and others, and they’re worth 10% more when redeemed online. However, keep in mind that Wells Fargo Points expire after three years.
Generally speaking, the Cash Back Advantage rewards program is better for low spenders, and the Rewards Program is best for companies that can hit the spending threshold.
Now, onto the individual Wells Fargo business credit cards.
For Credit Builders: Wells Fargo Business Secured
If your business has poor credit, the Wells Fargo Business Secured can help you build a solid track record.
Since it’s a secured business credit card, you make an upfront deposit equal to your line of credit and get that deposit back once you close the account or upgrade to a non-secured card. Your credit limit can range from $500 to $25,000, based on your deposit.
The account comes with a $25 annual fee for each card, with up to 10 employee cards available. There are no foreign transaction fees, though, and you get your choice of either the 1.5% Cash Back Advantage rewards program or the Reward Points program, which offers 1 point per $1 spent and a 1,000-point bonus for every billing period that your company spend hits $1,000.
If your company will spend between $1,000 and $200,000 per billing period, then the Rewards Points program will earn you more rewards.
How does the offer stack up?
Well, you never want to get a secured credit card—it’s a stepping stone toward a lower-fee unsecured credit card with better rewards. If you get this card, Wells Fargo will periodically review your account to see if you qualify for an upgrade to a non-secured card.
The Capital One Spark® Classic is an ideal choice for business owners with average credit—it has no annual fee or fees for employee cards, and earns 1% cash back—but if you can’t qualify for that, the Wells Fargo Secured is a solid option for building credit.
For Growing Businesses: Wells Fargo Business Platinum
Next up on the list of Wells Fargo business credit cards is the Wells Fargo Business Platinum card. This business credit card is meant for businesses with up to $2 million in annual sales and comes with the standard suite of money management tools, spending reports, and up to 99 free employee cards. You can get a credit line up to $50,000, and the card has no foreign transaction or annual fees.
Now, to the good stuff: rewards.
You can either choose the Rewards Points program, earning 1 point per $1 plus a 1,000-point bonus every billing period that you spend at least $1,000, or a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase. That cash back rate is on par with the Capital One Spark Cash Select, which has no annual or foreign transaction fees and earns 1.5% cash back. If you spend between $1,000 and $200,000 per billing period, though, the Rewards Points program out-earns the Cash Back Advantage program.
However, where the Business Platinum makes its mark is its full support of small businesses. If you’re already taking advantage of their business checking or loans, choosing a no annual fee credit card with a solid cash back rate is a no-brainer.
For High Rollers: Wells Fargo Business Elite
Finally, which of the Wells Fargo business credit cards should larger and higher-earning businesses consider? Try the Wells Fargo Business Elite card, which offers better rewards as well as more nuanced spending controls.
This Wells Fargo business credit card technically has no annual fee, but you have to pay a flat $75 program fee to enroll in the rewards program (regardless of how many cards are on your account). There’s no annual or foreign transaction fee, and your credit line can reach up to $100,000. You can get up to 200 employee cards, with no fee for extra cards.
Perhaps most useful for businesses, you can set spending limits based on merchant categories—for example, a $500 limit on driving expenses and a $2,000 limit on travel expenses—as well as limit employee spend to business hours.
Once again, you can choose between the 1.5% Cash Back Advantage program and the Reward Points program. The Reward Points program is a step up from the Platinum and Secured—you still earn 1 point per $1 spent, but you get 5,000 bonus points when your company spend reaches $10,000 per billing statement. Here, the Reward Points program is better if you spend between $10,000 and $1 million per billing period. That’s a lot of money, so if you can’t hit the threshold, you’re better off with the Cash Back Advantage program.
Is One of the Wells Fargo Business Credit Cards Right for You?
Where Wells Fargo business credit cards really shine are in the bank’s small business support: Between fine-grain spending controls on the Business Elite card and support for bad credit on the Secured, the bank offers accounting-friendly offers for nearly every business.
But how does it stack up against other heavyweights? The answer varies by the type of card.
Wells Fargo Business Secured—for companies with poor or no credit
Get the card if:
- You can’t qualify for a no annual fee credit card and you need to rehabilitate your business’ credit.
Skip the card if:
- You’re able to qualify for a lower-interest, lower-fee non-secured credit card (the Capital One Spark® Classic is a solid option if you have only average credit).
Wells Fargo Business Platinum—for companies with up to $2 million in annual sales
Get the card if:
- You spend at least $1,000 each billing period.
- You want a no-frills, no annual fee cash back card.
- You value Wells Fargo’s small business tools and products (like their checking or savings accounts).
Skip the card if:
- You spend less than $1,000 each billing period (the Capital One Spark® Cash Select also has no annual fee and a 1.5% rewards rate, and comes with a signup bonus).
- You spend a lot in common bonus categories like office supplies, gas, and restaurants (the American Express SimplyCash® Plus is a great no annual fee option).
Wells Fargo Business Elite—for companies with over $1 million in sales
Get the card if:
- You spend more than $10,000 each billing period.
- You want nuanced controls over employee spending.
- You want to take advantage of Wells Fargo’s solid suite of business products.
Skip the card if:
- You travel often for business (the American Express Enhanced Business Platinum® Card offers fantastic travel perks).
- You spend a lot in common bonus categories like office supplies, gas, and restaurants (the Chase Ink Business CashSM and American Express SimplyCash® Plus excel in those categories).
- You typically travel on one airline or stay at one hotel (check out branded credit cards offered by those airlines or hotels, especially if you typically check bags—waived bag fees are a common perk).
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