Wells Fargo Secured Visa® Credit Card Review

Oct 06, 2016 | Be First to Comment!

Wells Fargo Secured Visa<sup>®</sup> Credit CardThe Wells Fargo Secured Visa® Credit Card can help you build credit for the first time or get your credit score back on track if you’ve had a few bumps in the road. Best of all, it comes with a credit limit as high as $10,000. You also have a chance to upgrade to a regular unsecured Wells Fargo credit card down the line.

A Wells Fargo Secured Visa card is a great choice for someone who wants to improve their credit score and is able to pay their bill in full and on time every month. Check out MyBanktracker’s review to learn more.

5 Reasons to Consider the Wells Fargo Secured Visa® Card

Before you settle on a secured credit card, it pays to learn more about what you stand to gain. Here’s a peek at the card’s top benefits:

  1. Monthly credit reporting – Using a credit card to build credit won’t help you at all if the card issuer doesn’t report your payment habits to the credit bureaus. Fortunately, Wells Fargo reports your account activity to Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
  2. Flexible credit limit Secured credit cards require a cash deposit. This deposit typically doubles as your credit line. With the Wells Fargo Secured Visa®, you can open an account with as little as $300 but you have the option of making a bigger deposit to get started.
  3. Optional overdraft – If you have a Wells Fargo checking account, your secured Visa credit card can do double duty as overdraft protection. All you have to do is link your checking and credit card accounts together. If you accidentally overdraw your checking account, your secured line of credit is there to cover it.
  4. Low annual fee – Secured credit cards usually come with a hefty annual fee. With the Wells Fargo Secured Visa®, however, the annual fee is just $25.
  5. Upgrade potential – Wells Fargo routinely reviews its secured Visa accounts to see which members can be upgraded to an unsecured card. You’ll get your initial deposit back if you’re able to make the switch.

Wells Fargo Secured Visa® Card’s Main Highlight: $10,000 credit limit

Every secured credit card is different but one thing they tend to have in common is a low credit limit. What sets the Wells Fargo Secured Visa® apart is the fact that you can get a credit limit as high as $10,000 if you’re able to come up with the cash for the deposit.

So why is a high credit limit so important? It all has to do with your credit score and how it’s calculated. While 35% of your FICO score is based on how good you are at paying your bills on time, 30% is based on how much debt you have compared to your total credit line. This is called your credit utilization ratio.

Ideally, you want to use 30% or less of your credit limit at any given time. Getting a secured credit card with a $10,000 limit can work in your favor if you’re not charging up a big balance. Paying off your purchases in full each month can improve your score that much faster.

Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card Interest Rates and Fees

Secured credit cards tend to carry higher APRs or annual percentage rates. The Wells Fargo Secured Visa® has a variable APR of 19.24% for purchases and balance transfers. Cash advances and overdraft protection services carry a variable APR of 24.24%.

We already mentioned the $25 annual fee. Other fees include:

Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card Interest Rates and Fees

Type Fee
Balance transfer fee $5 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater
Cash advance fee $10 or 5% of the advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee 3% of the purchase amount
Overdraft protection advance $12.50 for advances under $50; $20 for advances over that amount
Late payment fee Up to $37
Returned payment fee Up to $37

If you travel overseas, the 3% foreign transaction fee can get expensive. It comes out to $30 for every $1,000 you spend. That’s something to keep in mind the next time you’re booking a trip abroad.

Additional Card Features

The Wells Fargo Secured Visa® isn’t a rewards card, which means you won’t earn any points, miles or cash back on purchases but it has several other extras that add to its appeal. Here’s a list of what you’ll get when you’re approved.

Visa benefits

As a Visa card holder, you’ll get rental car damage insurance, travel and emergency assistance services and roadside dispatch, all of which can come in handy if you take frequent road trips. You can also get emergency card replacement if it’s lost or stolen.

Online banking features

Card members get free credit education tools and resources through their online banking system. Once you set up your online account, you can choose the due date for your credit card, set up automatic payments, create a budget and track your spending.

Built-in fraud protections

Credit card fraud is no laughing matter and the Wells Fargo Secured Visa® comes equipped with tools to keep your information safe. First, the card has an EMV security chip which protects you against fraud when you use the card in stores.

Next, there’s Verified by Visa. This feature allows you to create a unique password for your card when you’re shopping online. Card members can also set up email or text alerts to receive notifications of suspicious activity. If your card is stolen, Wells Fargo gives you zero liability coverage for any unauthorized purchases as long as you report them right away.

Cellphone protection

Cellphones are a necessity for most people but replacing them can get expensive if you don’t have insurance. If you use your Wells Fargo Secured Visa® card to pay your cellphone bill each month, you can get up to $600 in replacement coverage for damage or theft. There’s no fee for this feature but there is a $25 deductible if you ever need to use your benefits.

Final Verdict: Who Is the Wells Fargo Secured Visa® Card Right For?

Ultimately, we’d recommend the Wells Fargo Secured Visa® credit card to anyone who’s hoping to establish a positive credit history and is able to make a larger cash deposit. We wouldn’t advise you to choose this card if you’re looking for a secured card that offers rewards or you want to avoid paying foreign transaction fees. When comparing secured credit card offers, be sure to weigh the benefits against the fees and interest.

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