Wells Fargo staked its claim as a small business’s best friend, offering five types of small business loans and four business checking accounts.
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.
Wells Fargo offers three business credit cards:
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you travel frequently for business and want to avoid set spending limits you may want to consider the American Express Business Platinum Card which offers fantastic travel perks and a 75,000 sign on bonus if you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months. It does come with a $450 annual fee, but if you maximize the benefits of the card, you’ll more than make up for it.
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.
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