About Wells Fargo Platinum Card
A few weeks ago, I received a call from Wells Fargo about the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa credit card. Not knowing much about it, I declined the offer.
Even though I rejected the offer, it made me curious about what kind of credit card it was and what the specifics were about its strengths and weaknesses.
After doing some preliminary research, I found out that this card is what’s known as a low-interest card. In other words, it gives you 0% interest on all purchases and balance transfers for a certain amount of time.
These kinds of cards are great if you have high balances or have a scheduled, big purchase on the way that you can’t cover with your savings or emergency fund.
I’ve written reviews on plenty of low-interest cards, so I was really interested in how the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa compared to some of the other cards I wrote about.
I’m going to spend the next few minutes helping you see what the card offers you up front, what the card has to offer in the long-run and what it’s rates and fees are. Each of those sections will work together to give you a pretty complete picture of the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa.
Once I’m done with that section, I’ll talk about what other experts and consumers say about the card. I like talking about that a bit because it gives you a general sense of how people have responded to the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa.
At the end of this review, I’ll do a quick write-up on three things: pros, cons and who I think this card is good for.
The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa’s Up-Front Benefit: 0% APR
Low-interest credit cards always offer some sort of promotional APR period that gives you no interest on purchases and balance transfers.
The Wells Fargo Platinum card’s promotional offer is no interest on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months.
What this means is that any purchases or balance transfers you make in the first 18 months aren’t subject to interest. Normally, Wells Fargo would charge you interest if you carried a balance on your credit card.
This is why 18 months of no interest is such a big deal. You could buy $5,000 worth of tools, clothes, computer stuff or appliances the first month you have the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa and not have to pay it all back until the 18th month.
However, the smart consumer won’t see this as a license to spend freely without consequences. After all, any balances you have at the end of the 18th month will get hit with interest for as long as you carry that balance.
The smart consumer will use this 18-month offer one of two ways: to spread out payments on a big purchase they have to make or to transfer a balance from another card to the Wells Fargo Platinum.
Using the Platinum Visa’s 18-month offer of 0% APR is pretty straightforward if you make a big purchase (upcoming medical procedure, major automotive or home repairs), but it’s a little more nuanced with balance transfers because you’ll be charged a 3% balance transfer fee.
If I could boil down balance transfers to one rule, it would be: Don’t make the transfer if what you’ll pay in interest to pay off the balance is less than what you’ll be charged by Wells Fargo to make the transfer.
I like using CreditCard.com’s credit card payoff calculator to figure this out. Just plug in your balance, APR and how many months you think it will take to pay off your card. They’ll instantaneously crunch the numbers and give you a table that shows how much interest you’ll pay.
If that number is higher than the balance transfer fee, then you could argue that doing a balance transfer makes sense. If the number is lower than the fee, doing the transfer wouldn’t make as much sense.
In summary, the Wells Fargo Platinum’s primary short-term benefit is 0% APR for 18 months.
The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa’s Long-Term Benefits
One of the biggest drawbacks of low-interest credit cards is that, once the introductory 0% APR period ends, you aren’t left with many benefits.
There usually aren’t any cash back bonuses based on what you buy with your credit card. APR’s are pretty normal. You don’t have an annual fee, which is nice. But, remember, the credit card issuer is willing to sacrifice an annual fee in the hopes you have a big, interest-eligible balance once the 0% APR runs out.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
This benefit is standard across many credit cards. It works like this:
- Pay for your car rental with your Wells Fargo Visa Platinum
- Waive the car rental company’s insurance
- Drive off the lot
- File a claim if there’s damage to the car
- Get reimbursed for any charge
This is a very simplified version of what the claims process is like. In the event that something happens – accident, theft, etc. – you’ll call 1-800-348-8472 to start your claim.
We won’t get into the minutiae of the fine print, but we will give you a list of rentals that aren’t eligible for the CDW perk:
- Luxury brands like Aston Martin, Bentley, Daimler, DeLorean, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche and Rolls Royce.
- Any automobile that is more than 20 years old or hasn’t been “manufactured for 10 years or more.”
- Vans, except those “manufactured and designed specifically as small group transportation vehicles.”
We also found that the CDW protection isn’t available for cars rented in Jamaica, Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Cell Phone Protection
Cell phone protection is one of the cool things about some of the today’s bank-sponsored credit cards.
Wells Fargo’s program covers lost or stolen phones. You can make two claims a year at a max of $600 per claim.
You’ll pay a $25 deductible to make the claim.
Here are a few facts about the program we dug up from the fine print:
- Reimbursement will be no more than original value of phone
- Doesn’t cover lost phones
- Phones that die aren’t covered
- Phones with software glitches aren’t covered
If you have questions or need to make a claim, 1-866-804-4770 is the number you call.
Zero Fraud Liability
If someone uses your credit card number to make fraudulent purchases, Wells Fargo won’t hold you responsible for the charges as long as you report the fraud quickly. Don’t wait weeks; report it as soon as you see it.
The Wells Fargo Platinum Card’s Rates and Fees
Here’s a list of the Platinum Visa’s interest rates and fees for balance transfers and late payments:
- APR: 16.15%-25.99%
- Annual fee: None
- Balance transfer fee: 3-5%
- Late/returned payment fee: $37
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
As far as APR goes, this Wells Fargo credit card comes in at average to below average according to the rankings in our The Best Low Interest Credit Card of 2017 guide. It’s 13.99% low-end APR is equal to what you’d get with the Chase Slate, Citi Simplicity, and Barclaycard Ring.
The card’s 18-month offer is among the best – only the Citi Diamond Preferred and the Citi Simplicity have longer intro periods.
Expert and Consumer Reviews of the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa
As far as we can tell, experts aside from HighYa say the Platinum Visa is a very straightforward card with a collection of benefits that put it on par with most low-interest credit cards.
Several sites said the card falls short when compared to cash-back rewards cards that have low-interest offers and the ability to earn cash back on purchases.
Consumer reviews of this card are few and far between, so there isn’t a good sample size to make a judgment on general consumer opinion about this card.
Our Closing Thoughts About the Wells Fargo Platinum Card
The Platinum Visa is a stripped-down credit card with one major perk and additional, run-of-the-mill benefits you get with many other credit cards.
Pros of the Wells Fargo Platinum
The card’s 18-month, 0% APR offer and its cell phone protection are, based on our research, the card’s two best features.
Cons of the Wells Fargo Platinum
It’s hard to say that the card has drawbacks, especially when you compare it to other low-interest cards. Based on our research, we’d say the card’s weak spot is its APR, as there are several low-interest cards we’ve reviewed with lower APRs.
Who This Card Is Good For
We see the Wells Fargo Platinum being a good fit for a Wells Fargo loyalist who’s looking for an in-house credit card with a good low-interest offer.
The Final Word: A Simple Low-Interest Option
There’s nothing super inspiring about the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa aside from its 18-month 0% offer. If it’s a no-frills low-interest card you want, then you’ll be happy with this card.
However, if you’re looking for a card that gives you zero interest and some rewards benefits, check out the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The card has a 15-month 0% interest rate, a $150 up-front bonus and a 1.5% cash-back rate.
Read Next: The Best Rewards Credit Card of 2017