Wells Fargo Cash Back College Credit Card Review

Good: For students with limited credit history

Better: For students who want to transfer and pay down high-interest credit card debt

Best: For students who spend a lot on gas and grocery purchases 

For students looking to obtain their first credit card — while also earning rewards for everyday spending — the Wells Fargo Cash Back College CardSM is a user-friendly choice that provides valuable tools to help you establish a responsible credit history.

The basics

  • APR: 0% intro APR for six months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 13.15%-23.15%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Reward Rates: 3% cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for the first six months (up to $2,500), 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer: N/A

Standout features

  • Earn bonus cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for the first six months.
  • Protect your cell phone against damage or theft when you pay your monthly bill with the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card.
  • Enjoy added benefits like roadside dispatch, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance services, zero liability protection and EMV chip technology.
  • Access your FICO® Credit Score and stay on top of your finances with budgeting and tracking tools.
  • Get email or text message alerts when you approach your credit limit or when a payment is due.
  • Deposit cash back into your Wells Fargo savings account, request a paper check, withdraw from a Wells Fargo ATM or redeem for statement credits, travel, gift cards, charitable donations, merchandise and digital rewards.

Best ways to use this card

As a college student looking to build a responsible credit history, you’ll want to sign up for the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card’s account reminders and budgeting and tracking tools. You can also establish automatic monthly payments to the card to avoid incurring hefty late fees.

To get the most out of the 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, make sure you can pay off the balance within the six-month intro period. Once the intro period ends, your regular APR can reach as high as 23.15%, which can add up quickly and eat into your cash back rewards.

Get up to $600 in complimentary cell phone protection when you pay your monthly bill with your Wells Fargo card. A 2014 study from researchers at Baylor University found that college students spend anywhere from eight to ten hours a day on their cell phones, so this benefit will come in handy if you have a habit of dropping your device.

Finally, maximize your cash back by putting all of your gas, grocery and drugstore purchases on the card for the first six months, up to $2,500. All purchases earn just 1% cash back after that.

In a nutshell

The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card is a decent choice for college students who want to earn rewards for spending, while working to establish a responsible credit history. It’s especially valuable for students who do enough spending to earn up to $50 in bonus cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases in the first six months of opening their account.

In addition, no annual fee — as well as a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers — means you can rack up rewards without racking up added fees and interest.

That said, if you’re a good student who doesn’t mind putting in a bit of extra work, you might consider the Discover it Student Cash Back® card. With 5% rewards in rotating bonus categories every quarter, an automatic cash back match at the end of your first year and a $20 statement credit each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher, the Discover it card is a worthy competitor and one of the most lucrative student cards on the market.