Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card review
It offers excellent cash back for six months, but is less effective afterward.
finder.com’s rating: 3.8 / 5
- Get this card if you want an intro APR and temporary great cash back on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases.
- Pick something else if you want a signup bonus or consistent elevated cash back.
- You’re welcome to apply with no credit history.
Up to 3%
Intro purchase APR
for the first 6 months (then 11.15% to 21.15% variable)
Intro balance transfer
for the first 6 months (then 11.15% to 21.15% variable)
|Product Name||Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card|
|Purchase APR||0% intro for the first 6 months (then 11.15% to 21.15% variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||0% intro for the first 6 months (then 11.15% to 21.15% variable)|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance rate||23.99% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Interest free period||Up to 25 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $37|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $37|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
The Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card is a stellar student product for 6 months, with an intro APR and an excellent cashback rate on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases.
It’s less effective after that time — you’ll only receive 1% cash back on all purchases. Though that’s decent for a student card, you’ll earn better rewards with other products.
Annual fee: None.
Student credit cards often come with no annual fees, and this one is no different.
Rewards: Up to 3% cash back for a limited time.
Earn 3% cash back on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months from account opening. It’s an excellent rewards rate — it’s just too bad it expires after a few months.
Earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases — including on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases after your elevated-rewards period expires. This is a decent rate for a student card, but other products offer stronger rewards.
Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 6 months. After that, a 11.15% to 21.15% variable APR applies.
This is a nice bonus that can help if you need to make important purchases for the school year. Consider only buying what you can comfortably pay off within 6 months. Otherwise, the purchases will start accruing interest when your intro APR expires.
Though you’ll receive an intro APR for balance transfers, consider avoiding transfers for now. Try to build good credit habits by paying off your card bill each month. If you do, you won’t need a balance transfer.
How much cashback rewards can I earn with this card?
Let’s say you spend $150 a month total on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases. Over the first 6 months, you’d earn $27 cash back.
After 6 months, you’ll earn 1 cash back on all purchases. If you spend $150 a month, you’ll earn $18 cash back over a full year after the intro rate is up.
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Call roadside dispatch if you have car issues while out driving. And when you rent a car, it’s covered by a collision damage waiver.
Call Visa Travel and Emergency Assistance Services if you’re in a pinch while on vacation. You’ll get access to medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation, emergency ticket replacement and more. You can also get an emergency card replacement if you lose your Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card.
If you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card, your phone will be protected against damage or theft for up to $600.
What to watch out for
Expiration on intro APR.
Your 0% purchase and balance transfer intro APR lasts 6 months following your account opening. If you still have a balance after that time, it’ll accrue interest at an APR of variable.
Consider paying off your entire balance before the 6 months is up. That way, you’ll start your normal-APR period with a clean slate. Going forward, it’s a great habit to pay off your balance in full each month.
Late and returned payments come with fees as high as $37. Balance transfers, cash advances, overdraft protection advances and foreign transactions also come with fees.
If you think you’ll study abroad or go on a trip to another country, you might want a student credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
Compare student credit cards
What should I know before I apply?
To apply for the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card, you must be at least 18 years old and a college student.
Information you’ll need
When you apply for the card, you’ll need to submit:
- Your full name, date of birth and contact information.
- Your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name and citizenship status.
- Your school information.
- Your income information.
Getting a credit card when you’re under 21
If you’re under 21 years old, you must prove you have enough income to repay your credit card debt. Usually, you can report only personal income such as wages and allowances, scholarships and grants.
If you can’t prove sufficient income, you can ask someone over 21 to be a cosigner on your application. Alternatively, you can become an authorized user on someone’s credit card account.
What credit score do I need?
Because the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card is geared toward students, you may qualify with no credit history. However, you could be denied if your credit is poor. In which case, you may want to consider a secured credit card.
What do customers say about the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card?
Some students say they’ve received credit-limit increases after a few months. Others say it’s taken longer to receive a credit-limit increase — about a year or more. Students also say it’s easy to make payments on this card.
Wells Fargo is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it currently has five alerts on its BBB page. The bank has over 3,500 customer complaints.
How to apply for the Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card
- Go to the Wells Fargo website and click Apply now.
- Enter your Wells Fargo login details if you have them. If not, complete the application with your personal and financial information.
- Review your details and submit your application.
How long will it take to get my Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card?
You may receive an immediate decision on your application. If not, expect a response within two weeks. If you’re approved, look for your new card in the mail within seven to 10 days.
I got the card. Now what?
- Make timely payments. You can pay your card bill online at the Wells Fargo website, which also lets you enroll in autopay.
- Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
- Avoid fees. Late and returned payments cost up to $37. Balance transfers, cash advances, overdraft protection advances and foreign transactions also come with fees.
- Customer service. If you have questions, call Wells Fargo at 800-869-3557 or send a secure email through the bank’s website. You can also connect with the bank through Twitter @Ask_WellsFargo and Facebook @WellsFargo.
How do I redeem rewards from this card?
You have many options to redeem your rewards:
- Deposit cash back into your Wells Fargo savings account in $25 increments.
- Get statement credit.
- Get a paper check.
- Redeem in $20 increments through a Wells Fargo ATM. You’ll need a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card.
- Redeem for gift cards, travel and more.
The Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card is excellent for 6 months, with strong cash back and an intro APR. However, it’s surpassed by other cards after that time. You can read more about your options using our guide.
Frequently asked questions
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