Wells Fargo Secured credit cards are good for building or rebuilding credit. You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for a secured credit card from Wells Fargo — foreign nationals and temporary residents are eligible — but a Wells Fargo checking or savings account is required to apply online. Deposits range from $300–$10,000 and the annual fee is $25.
Wells Fargo Secured can graduate to an unsecured card with responsible use. There’s an annual fee, but Wells Fargo Secured credit cardholders enjoy the added benefit of cell phone protection.
- Upgrades with same issuer
- Cell phone protection
- Refundable deposit
- Higher minimum security deposit
- Annual fee
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Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card review
Even though Wells Fargo Secured cardholders pay a $25 annual fee, it’s still worth considering. A secured credit card from Wells Fargo could be the best option for those who are temporary or permanent residents in the U.S. and have enough available funds to secure a higher line of credit. Wells Fargo Secured card’s higher credit limits make it easier for those with access to more funds improve their credit quickly, but responsible spending and timely payments will improve your credit score no matter what the security deposit is.
If approved, your Wells Fargo Secured credit card limit will be at least $300. Like most secured credit cards, the amount that you put into the deposit is equal to your credit limit. Wells Fargo Secured cardholders can deposit up to $10,000, which is more than most other secured credit cards. Those with access to more funds can deposit a larger amount to secure a higher credit limit. A higher credit limit can help to build credit quickly since a large portion of your credit score is determined by your credit utilization ratio. Wells Fargo reports secured credit cardholders activity to all three major credit bureaus, so responsible use will boost your credit score but missing or late payments will damage your credit score.
Wells Fargo Secured credit card benefits
A secured card from Wells Fargo comes with many of the same benefits as other Wells Fargo cards, like auto rental collision waivers, emergency card replacement, travel and emergency services and $0 liability fraud protection for unauthorized charges. Other benefit highlights include mobile access, higher credit limits and cell phone protection.
- Mobile access: Get account alerts, set up automatic payments and access budgeting tools through the Wells Fargo Mobile app. Your FICO score can be accessed through Wells Fargo Online. For added security, you can even make purchases with Mobile Wallet through your phone, tablet or smartwatch.
- Higher credit limits: Wells Fargo Secured cardholders have the option to deposit up to $10,000 to secure their credit line. Secured cardholders can improve their credit scores relatively quickly when they have access to a higher credit line and are responsible users because credit utilization ratios are a determining factor in overall credit health.
- Cellular telephone protection: Get up to $600 insurance for your cell phone if you use your Wells Fargo Secured card to pay the bill. Wells Fargo will reimburse you if your cell phone is damaged or stolen. Cellular Telephone Protection kicks in the at the beginning of the month after the first time you pay your cell phone bill with the Wells Fargo Secured card. You could sign up for automatic payments through your cellular provider using your Wells Fargo Secured card — as long as you remember the pay the Wells Fargo Secured balance in full each month, you’ll be eligible for the cellular telephone protection benefit and you can build credit at the same time.
Wells Fargo Secured credit card rates and fees
The Wells Fargo Secured annual fee isn’t the highest out there, but there’s plenty of secured credit cards that don’t require a yearly fee at all. Like all secured credit cards, Wells Fargo Secured interest rates are higher than average, so it’s always best to avoid carrying a balance or taking out a cash advance. You should also be aware that cash advances from ATMs could be limited by account or frequency.
|Cash advance fee||5% ($10 min.)|
|Overdraft protection fee||$12.50–$20|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%|
|Late payment fee||Up to $37|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $37|
How to apply for a Wells Fargo Secured credit card
There’s no minimum credit score requirement to be eligible for a Wells Fargo Secured card, but approvals are still not guaranteed. Applicants must have a checking or savings account and be able to fund the initial security deposit ($300 minimum). Wells Fargo also pulls applicants’ credit reports to check for open liens.
- Fill out the application: The Wells Fargo Secured application will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other personal information. You might be asked to provide your driver’s license or additional identifying information. Once the application is complete, Wells Fargo will send a confirmation email with the status of your application. A Wells Fargo account is required to apply online, or you can complete the form at a Wells Fargo branch location.
- Fund the security deposit: You will be required to transfer your security deposit within 30 days of approval. The security deposit funds will be held in a separate, non-interest bearing collateral account that you will not have access to while your Wells Fargo Secured account is open. The deposit will be refunded after the secured account is closed, and all balances are settled.
- Get the card in the mail: It usually takes 7–10 days to receive your new card in the mail.
- Activate the card: Activate a Wells Fargo Secured credit card over the phone call or log into your Wells Fargo account on the activation page to verify your personal information.
Wells Fargo secured credit card FAQ
- How can I increase my Wells Fargo Secured credit limit?
- Wells Fargo Secured cardholders can add funds to their security deposit to increase their credit limit. Credit line increases must be funded through the cardholder and are subject to terms and conditions.
- Is the Wells Fargo secured credit card deposit refundable?
- Yes, the security deposit will be refunded when your Wells Fargo Secured account is closed and you’ve paid your full balance, or if your account is upgraded. If the secured account defaults, Wells Fargo will apply your deposit funds as payment for any unpaid balances or fees.
- Can I upgrade to the unsecured Wells Fargo Platinum Visa credit card?
- Wells Fargo Secured cardholders can become eligible to upgrade to the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa credit card with enough responsible use, though there’s no pre-set time limit and upgrades are not guaranteed.
- How long after Wells Fargo receives my deposit will I get my card?
- Approved applicants should get their Wells Fargo Secured credit card within 10 days of opening an account.
- Is there a Wells Fargo Secured credit score requirement?
- No, there isn’t a minimum credit score requirement to qualify for a Wells Fargo Secured credit card. However, approval isn’t guaranteed. Wells Fargo will still pull applicants’ credit reports to check for open liens.
Is Well Fargo secured credit card worth it?
The annual fee could be worth it to you want a higher available credit limit, especially if you value the additional Wells Fargo Secured benefit of cell phone protection. It’s possible to build credit relatively quickly with a secured card from Wells Fargo. A secured card from Wells Fargo can improve your credit score enough that the card can graduate to an unsecured card with the same issuer or another secured credit card with better benefits. However, if you’re prone to late payments and overdrafts, you’ll end up spending more in fees than is necessary and possibly even further damage your credit profile.
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