Wells Fargo Platinum Card review: A decent balance transfer card

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In a Nutshell

The Wells Fargo Platinum card is a pretty good option for those looking to transfer a balance from another credit card. But while the card offers a lengthy introductory offer period for qualifying balance transfers to give you time to pay down your debt, the balance transfer fees are higher than some other options.
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Pros Cons
Lengthy introductory APR on qualifying balance transfers (and purchases) Balance transfer fees
Cellphone protection You can’t transfer balances from Wells Fargo accounts or accounts of their affiliates
$0 annual fee No rewards offered
Access to FICO® credit score  

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See Details, Rates & Fees

Features that make the Wells Fargo Platinum card a decent (but not amazing) option

The introductory APR offer on balance transfers is solid

Balance transfer offers allow you to transfer debt from other credit cards to your new credit card at a low introductory APR for the transferred balance for a specific period of time. This gives you greater power to pay off your debt faster because there’s no interest charged to the transferred balance during the intro period.

With the Wells Fargo Platinum card, you’ll get an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers (from the date you transfer the balance) if you make that transfer within 120 days of opening your account. Once the intro period is over, the interest rate on any remaining balance from your transfer rises to a variable 16.49% - 24.49%, depending on your credit.

One of the common negative aspects of transferring a balance is the fact you’ll often have to pay a fee. The Wells Fargo Platinum card charges a balance transfer fee of 3% intro for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; minimum: $5.

This is a strong offer and one of the main selling points of this balance transfer card, though it can be beaten by other cards. (But take note, you get an intro 0% APR for purchases, too, also for 18 months, after which you’ll face a variable purchase APR of 16.49% - 24.49%).

The balance transfer fee will be included along with the usual minimum payment on your first statement on which the balance transfer posts.

While the introductory balance transfer fee isn’t outrageous, it is possible to find a card with no balance transfer fees on transfers made during an intro period after opening the card.

There’s an introductory 0% APR on purchases, too

The introductory offer of 0% APR for 18 months on purchases is one of the longer intro purchase APR offers available. (After that, the variable APR goes to 16.49% - 24.49%.) That said, if you buy a ton of stuff and do a balance transfer, it can be difficult to pay off everything before the intro periods for balance transfer and purchases expire.

While the low intro purchase APR feature is helpful if you find yourself in a bind, you may want to avoid making purchases on this card if you plan on using it to transfer a balance.

Wells Fargo credit card holders may not qualify

If you currently have a Wells Fargo credit card, you may not qualify for the Wells Fargo Platinum card or its introductory offers.

In particular, Wells Fargo states you may not qualify for another Wells Fargo credit card if you have opened a Wells Fargo credit card in the previous six months. Additionally, you may not qualify for introductory APRs or fees if you’ve opened a Wells Fargo card with these offers in the previous 15 months.

You can check your credit reports or contact Wells Fargo to see when you opened any other Wells Fargo credit cards you may already have.

Additional factors to consider …

Pros

  • This card offers a $0 annual fee, which helps keep costs down when transferring balances
  • You can get up to $1,200 in cellphone protection a year ($600 per claim) for damage and theft with a $25 per-claim deductible if you pay your cellphone bill with the card.
  • Primary account holders get access to a free FICO credit score through Wells Fargo Online banking

Cons

  • There are no rewards offered with this card
  • Balance transfer fees

Who is the Wells Fargo Platinum card good for?

The Wells Fargo Platinum card is a good option for those who want to transfer a balance. People who are a good fit for this card will need to be able to transfer balances within 120 days of the account opening and be able to pay the introductory balance transfer fee on their first statement.

If that sounds like you, you should also have a plan to pay off the balance in full by the end of the intro period and a backup option for what you’ll do if you can’t pay it off in time.

Remember, if you’ve recently opened another Wells Fargo credit card with introductory offers, you may not qualify for this offer. Additionally, those who want to transfer balances from Wells Fargo or its affiliates aren’t likely a good fit either.


Not sure this is the card for you? Consider this alternative.

  • Citi Simplicity® Card: If you need more time to pay off the balance you transfer to a new card, this card may be a better option. Find out more about Citi Simplicity® Card in our review.

About the author: Lance Cothern is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. His work has appeared on Business Insider, USA Today.com and his website, Mone… Read more.