Wells Fargo Business Platinum Review
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Wells Fargo is nearly universally recognized as a longstanding American banking institution awash with iconic stagecoach imagery. More recently — particularly since the financial crisis — the company has also become known for a series of well-documented ethical lapses that have drawn the ire of federal authorities.
Throughout it all, Wells Fargo has remained one of the country’s largest credit card issuers, offering a variety of personal and business cards. The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card is an exclusive business credit card for a particular market: businesses with annual sales of up to $2 million.
The Business Platinum card currently offers a signup bonus of either $500 cash back OR 50,000 bonus points (depending on whether you choose cash back or reward points as your rewards format) to card users who spend $5,000 within the first three months. It’s a smaller bonus (with a lower spending threshold) than what Wells Fargo offers for its Business Elite Signature card. Unlike the Business Elite Signature, however, the Business Platinum also offers an introductory APR of 0% for the first nine months and carries no annual fee.
Business Platinum cardholders have two options for earning rewards. They can (a) earn 1.5% cash back for every $1 spent on net purchases, or (b) earn Reward Points instead. Choose the Reward Points option, and you’ll earn one point for every $1 spent on net purchases. You’ll also get 1,000 bonus points when your company’s spending reaches $1,000 in any monthly billing period, along with a 10% bonus when you redeem points online.
Do the Wells Fargo Business Platinum card’s fees, rewards, and benefits align with your business needs? Read on, and you’ll be equipped to make a decision.
Business Platinum At A Glance
Wells Fargo Business Platinum
Prime + 7.99% - Prime + 17.99% (variable)
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Wells Fargo doesn’t list a specific minimum credit score requirement for the Business Platinum card. From what we’ve been able to gather, you’ll likely need excellent credit to be approved, which generally means a credit score around 740 or above.
Additionally, Wells Fargo states that they will consider the following factors when processing your application:
- Credit experience and payment history
- Cash flow and existing credit obligations
- Current relationship with Wells Fargo
Here’s an important caveat when it comes to your ability to get the Business Platinum card. Applicants can apply online to receive this card only if they have a checking or savings account that’s been open for at least one year. If you don’t have a current Wells Fargo bank account, you can’t apply online — you must apply in-person at a physical Wells Fargo branch. Because some parts of the country don’t have any Wells Fargo branches (New England doesn’t have any outside of Connecticut), this places an effective geographic limit on who can obtain this card.
Rewards For Spending
The Wells Fargo Business Platinum card distinguishes itself by featuring a bifurcated rewards scheme, giving you the flexibility to choose between two reward options: the Cash Back Advantage program and the Reward Points program. Here’s what that means in terms of the signup bonus.
A Signup Bonus Of $500 Cash Back OR 50,000 Bonus Points
Regardless of whether you choose the Cash Back Program or the Points Program, you’ll need to spend $5,000+ within your first three months of card use to qualify for the bonus. If you enroll in the Cash Back program and meet this spending threshold, you’ll get a one-time $500 cash back bonus. If you enroll in the Points Program, you’ll instead get 50,000 bonus points.
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back If You Choose The Cash Back Program
Cardholders who enroll in the Cash Back Program will receive 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There are no rotating bonus categories to track and no cap to the amount you can earn. If you’d rather not concern yourself with the complexities of the Points Program (read on to see what I mean) and would prefer simply to receive cash back for your purchases, choose the Cash Back Program.
Unlimited 1x Points Per Dollar Spent AND A Possible 1,000 Monthly Bonus Points If You Choose The Points Program
If you enroll in the Points Program, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend and 1,000 bonus points after every month in which your company spending is $1,000+. Your points can be used for gift cards, travel, and merchandise, amongst other things.
Clearly, the Points Program is less lucrative than the Cash Back Program if you do less than $1K per month in business spending. Businesses spending close to $1K per month will fall into the “sweet spot” of the Points Program. If your spending greatly exceeds $1,000 per month, you won’t be getting anything extra for your “wasted” spending, and the 1.5% cash back may end up being the more lucrative rewards scheme for you.
However, there is one bonus that increases the appeal of the Points Program: You’ll get a 10% point credit when you redeem your points online.
Your options for redeeming your rewards depend on whether you enrolled in the Cash Back Program or the Points Program.
Earn Rewards As Cash Back
Redeeming your rewards with the Cash Back Program is simply a matter of deciding how you’d like your cash back credited. You can receive your cash back as a statement credit, or you can have it directly deposited into your Wells Fargo checking or savings account. This last option is only available to you if you have an account with Wells Fargo in the first place.
Multiple Redemption Options For Points
If you are enrolled in 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.
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 just one cent per point. Unfortunately, a $24 redemption fee will be charged for each airline ticket redemption.
Reward Points Expire After Three Years
Another downside to the Points Program is the fact that your points will expire after three years.
Combine this with the fact that you won’t get much more than one cent per point in value out of your points (though your points go 10% further when you redeem your points online), and the Business Platinum card’s Points Program starts to look rather underwhelming. Many competing business credit cards offer significantly higher earning rates on points.
Here’s what you’ll get with the Well Fargo Business Platinum card in terms of side benefits.
Free Employee Cards
With the Business Platinum card, you’ll get up to 99 employee cards for no additional fee. This benefit is quite common with business credit cards, but it’s still nice to see.
Earn Extra Bonus Points From Earn More Mall Retailers
Wells Fargo runs the Earn More Mall program, and it allows cardholders to earn extra points or discounts by making purchases from participating retailers, whether online or in-store. It’s a way to make your reward points go further — something the Business Platinum card sorely needs.
Zero Liability Program
Under the Zero Liability Program, you’ll get reimbursed for unauthorized purchases or ATM transactions made with your card so long as you report the unauthorized transaction promptly.
Card Management Tools
According to Wells Fargo’s Business Platinum page, you’ll also be entitled to the following card management tools:
- Manage spending, payments, and transfers online with Wells Fargo Business Online
- Manage your expenses using the Business Bill Pay
- Pay bills with your card with online bill pay
- Pay your credit card bill automatically with automatic payments
- Avoid overdrafts and returned check fees with overdraft protection
- Showcase your business with the Card Design Studio service
In addition to the Zero Liability Program, you’ll also enjoy the following anti-fraud benefits:
- Alerts: Get notified about available credit and account activity.
- Chip Technology: Adds another layer of protection against fraud.
- Fraud Monitoring: Your account will be monitored for signs of fraud.
- Visa Purchase Security: Replaces or repairs eligible purchases, or reimburses you if items are lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged.
I’ll note that while the Business Elite Signature card comes with travel protection, the Business Platinum card does not.
Rates & Fees
The Business Platinum card’s rates and fees aren’t bad at all, what with the relatively low APR, no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fee. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
A Lower-Than-Average APR
The Wells Fargo Business Platinum card sports a variable APR of Prime + 7.99% - Prime + 17.99% (variable). For a business credit card, this is definitely on the low side, making the Business Platinum card a decent card choice if you foresee needing to carry a balance from month to month.
No Annual Fee Or Foreign Transaction Fee
You’ll be happy to hear that the Business Platinum has no annual fee, nor does it carry any foreign transaction fees. On the subject of annual fees: Wells Fargo previously charged an annual fee for participation in the card’s rewards program. Thankfully, it no longer does so.
A 0% APR Introductory Period Of 9 Months
If you’re approved for the Business Platinum card, you can carry a monthly balance for up to nine months without having to worry about interest accumulating. Though it’s not the longest intro 0% APR period you’ll find in a business credit card, consider that plenty of business cards have no intro 0% APR period at all.
Additional fees you’ll encounter as a Business Platinum cardholder are thus:
- The cash advance APR is a variable Prime + 20.74%
- Fees for cash advances and balance transfers are 4% of the amount of the advance/transfer, minimum $10
- The maximum late fee is $50
- The maximum over-limit fee is $39
Is The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card Right For You?
Wells Fargo’s corporate reputation is shaky, to put it charitably. And, unfortunately, their business card offerings seem like a bit of a throwback. The fact that you can’t just apply for this card online (unless you’ve had a Wells Fargo bank account for more than a year), thus forcing you to schlep down to a Wells Fargo branch to apply, isn’t exactly a policy that seems congruent with the times.
The Wells Fargo Business Platinum card gives businesses earning up to $2 million in sales annually the ability 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. What’s more, one can apply for said cards without having to walk into a physical bank location like it’s 1994.
Furthermore, Wells Fargo’s Business Elite Signature card offers a more generous signup bonus, 200 free employee cards (the Business Platinum offers 99 employee cards), an even lower interest rate, and other benefits that the Business Platinum card lacks.
Frankly, for the business seeking to earn rewards for its business spending, there are better credit card options to be found, both outside Wells Fargo and within.
You might want to apply for the Wells Fargo Business Platinum card if…
- You’re an existing Wells Fargo customer with a business
- You like the idea of earning 1.5% cash back on all your purchases
- You spend close to $1,000 per month — not less, and not much more
You may want to look for a different card if…
- You’re not an existing Wells Fargo customer, and you don’t feel like applying at a physical Wells Fargo branch
- Your business has annual sales over $1 million, thus qualifying you for the Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature card
- You’re looking for a good business rewards card with high-value points
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.