Wells Fargo Business Elite Review
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- New York, NY
Business Advantage Cash Rewards Credit Card Overview
As one of America’s “Big Four” banks, Wells Fargo is best known for its banking services and, more recently, its egregious ethical lapses. However, Wells Fargo is also a long-time issuer of credit cards. The banking giant’s Business Elite card is a credit card with a very specific, narrowly-tailored target demographic: businesses with annual sales above $1 million.
The Business Elite card currently comes with a signup bonus you can tailor to fit your needs. You can get a one-time $1,000 cash back bonus or 100,000 bonus points when you enroll in the Business Elite Card Rewards Program and spend $15,000 in the first three months of opening your account.
Cardholders get two options for earning rewards. They can a) earn 1.5% cash back for every $1 spent on net purchases, which you can get automatically through statement credits or through deposits to a Wells Fargo business deposit account, or b) earn Reward Points instead. Choose this route, and you’ll earn one point for every $1 spent on net purchases. You’ll also get 5,000 bonus points when your company spending reaches $10,000 in any monthly billing period as well as a 10% bonus when you redeem points online.
Does the Wells Fargo Business Elite card make sense for your business? Read on to learn more about this high-end business card.
Table of Contents
Business Elite At A Glance
Applying businesses must have annual sales of at least $1 million USD to be eligible for the Business Elite card. Hey, there’s a reason “elite” is in the name.
Rewards & Fees
- The Business Elite card has no annual fee, but if you want to enroll in the rewards program — and you do; it’s the whole point of using the card — there’s a $75 annual fee starting the second year
- The 1.5% cash back reward has no cap
- Get up to 200 employee cards for no additional annual fees
- Wells Fargo points expire after three years
- There are no foreign transaction fees
In a nod to versatility, Wells Fargo gives you two options for earning rewards: the Cash Back Advantage program and the Reward Points program. With Cash Back Advantage, you earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There are no rotating bonus categories to track and no cap to the amount you can earn.
By contrast, the Reward Points program lets you earn one point per dollar spent, also with no limits and no rotating categories. What’s more, you’ll get 5,000 bonus points whenever your company spends $10,000 in a billing period. The points can be used for gift cards, travel, and merchandise, amongst other things. And if you redeem them online, they’re worth 10% more than they would be otherwise.
Generally, if your business spends enough to earn bonus points every billing period, you’ll want to go with the Reward Points program to maximize your bonus earnings. Unfortunately, these points expire after three years.
Redeeming your rewards with the Cash Back Advantage program is simply a matter of deciding how you’d like your cash back credited to you: as a statement credit or directly deposited into your Wells Fargo checking or savings account. If you choose the Reward Points program, rewards can be redeemed via Wells Fargo’s rewards redemption site. According to Wells Fargo:
The Wells Fargo Business Rewards program offers hundreds of rewards, including airline tickets, cash back to your business card account, gift cards from major retailers and restaurants, hotel/car rentals, cruises, merchandise, and charitable donations.
You can also redeem points to pay for the annual rewards membership fee, though that conjures up the mental image of a snake eating its tail.
The exact value of your reward points will vary depending on what you redeem them for, though in most cases it’ll come out to about one cent per point. You’ll also get a 10% points bonus for redeeming your points online.
According to Wells Fargo’s Business Elite page, the card will entitle you to the following benefits:
- Assign spending controls to each card on the account
- Company administrators — owners can designate up to three administrators to manage accounts on behalf of the company
- A grace period of up to 25 days on purchases
- Earn extra bonus points or discounts from Earn More Mall® retailers
- Showcase your business with the Card Design Studio® service
- Choose between consolidated billing or individual cardholder billing
- Manage spending, payments, and transfers online
- Manage your business expenses with Business Elite Online Reporting
- Purchase Protection
- Zero Liability Protection
- Chip-enabled technology
- Fraud monitoring
- Visa Purchase Security
- Visa Extended Warranty Protection
- Travel Protection
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Auto rental insurance
Wells Fargo doesn’t have the best corporate reputation, to put it mildly. And in some ways, their credit card offerings seem like something of a throwback. For instance, you can’t apply for the Business Elite card online. You actually have to go to a physical Wells Fargo branch to apply. As there are no Wells Fargo branches in New England, those living in that part of the country will have to stray out of lobster bisque territory just to apply. Seems an odd limitation to have in place in 2019.
The Wells Fargo Business Elite card gives businesses earning over $1 million in sales annually the chance to earn rewards or cash back for their business spending. However, the rewards program isn’t exactly the most impressive in the industry. Chase and American Express offer rewards programs that carry both higher rewards rates and higher-value points. Plus, one can apply for said cards without having to walk into a physical bank location like it’s 1994. So while the card may carry the name Elite (and the signup bonus is exceptionally good), there are better ways for businesses to earn rewards in the course of paying business expenses.
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