Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card Review

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The Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature card offers employee expense management tools but only so-so rewards for a business card that charges an annual fee. What makes the card unique, however, is the option to choose between earning flat-rate cash back or more flexible rewards points.

Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card

Overall Rating
4.5
Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 7.24% variable
Annual Fee $0 first year, then $125
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent.
Cash Advance APR (%) 23.99%
Cash Advance Fee See Bank Terms
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
3.0
for Fees
2.5
for Rewards
4.6
for Credit
2.2
Current Offer

Earn a one-time $500 cash back bonus or 50,000 bonus points when you spend $15,000 in the first three months of account open date.

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Entrepreneur Persona
    Is turning their passion into a money-making venture See more cards
    Entrepreneur
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
    Road Warrior

The Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card is best suited for established businesses (one of the application requirements is $1 million or more in annual sales) that want to closely monitor and control employee spending while also earning some cash back or rewards points.

What makes the Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card unique is that you can choose between its cash-back rewards or its points program—and you can switch back and forth. However, for an annual fee card (year one is waived), the earnings rates for both cash back and points are just mediocre. If your goal is to earn rewards based on business spending, there are better cards to choose from.

Pros
  • Choose between cash back and points

  • Strong employee spending controls and management tools

  • Monthly bonus rewards for high-spending points earners

  • Travel fee credit

Cons
  • Most smaller businesses will not qualify

  • No bonus earning categories

Pros Explained

  • Choose between cash back and points: When you first get the card, you can select your preference for either cash back or points. After the first three months, you are allowed to switch your preference whenever you like.
  • Strong employee spending controls and management tools: Most business credit cards let you set spending limits on employee cards. Wells Fargo goes a step further, letting you specify the types of purchases allowed on each card (such as only office supplies or travel), and even limiting purchases to business hours. You can also designate up to three administrators to manage the account.
  • Monthly bonus reward for high spending: If you’ve opted for points, you can earn 5,000 bonus points each month that you reach $10,000 in spend. If you spend exactly that, it’s like bumping up your earning rate to 1.5 points per $1 spent.
  • Travel fee credit: You can get up to $100 reimbursed for incidental travel fees on the account annually, which can just about make up for your annual fee.

Cons Explained

  • Most smaller businesses will not qualify: You have to have annual sales over $1 million to be considered for this card.
  • No bonus earning categories: For a card with an annual fee, the most you can potentially earn is 1.5 cents per dollar (with the cash-back option), or 1 point per dollar (unless you hit the monthly bonus). Other business rewards cards have either higher flat-rate earnings or bonus categories tied to common business expenses such as travel, shipping, or office supplies.

Wells Fargo Business Elite Bonus for New Cardholders

The bonus for new cardholders is lackluster, given its high spending threshold. You must spend $15,000 in the first three months of account opening to earn $500 in cash back or 50,000 points, which could have a 10% higher value of $550 if you redeem via the Wells Fargo portal. With similar business cards, you can either find a higher bonus amount, or the same value for a lower minimum spend.

Earning Points and Rewards

Wells Fargo Business Elite cardholders have to make an earnings choice when they are approved for the card—either cash back or points (which you can change later).

Cash Back

Cash back is the simpler option of the two. Once you opt in, there isn’t anything for you to monitor or redemption choices to make. You’ll earn a flat-rate 1.5% back on all of your purchases, which will be awarded back to you as statement credits once per quarter (March, June, September, and December). There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.

Points

If you go the points route, you’ll have more redemption flexibility, but you’ll start off at a lower earning rate of 1 point per $1 spent. You can bump that up a bit by earning 5,000 bonus points each month you spend more than $10,000.

If you shop through the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall portal, you can earn bonus points and/or discounts on purchases with participating retailers. Note that bonus offers are often limited-time promotions.

Redeeming Rewards

Cardholders who choose to earn points have several redemption options. In general, each point is valued at 1 cent, although points may be worth less than 1 cent when buying merchandise. The best redemption seems to be for air travel, for which points are worth 1.5 cents each; for example, a $375 flight would cost 25,000 points.

But there’s another way to squeeze some more value out of the card: You’ll get a 10% points credit when you redeem on the Wells Fargo rewards website. So if you redeem 10,000 points, you’ll get 1,000 of those points credited back.

Redemption choices include:

  • Cash rewards: You can redeem points or cash back for a statement credit or a check.
  • Gift cards: For points earners, Wells Fargo has a large selection of gift card options starting at $25 in value for 2,500 points.
  • Travel: Redeem points toward airline tickets, rental cars, cruises, hotels, and other travel activity bookings using your points. There are no blackout dates, and you can pay with all points, or a combination of points and cash.
  • Merchandise: You can use your points to shop for items, but redemption value varies depending on the item.

For each airline ticket you purchase using points, you’ll have to pay a $24 redemption fee.

How To Get the Most Out of This Card

As with other cards that offer a new cardholder bonus, start out by spending enough in the first three months to earn the bonus. From there, deciding if you should collect cash back or points is a matter of how much you spend per month and how hands-on you want to be. With the cash-back option, you’ll earn 1.5% back from the start and receive automatic statement credits. On the points side, you will only earn 1 point per dollar.

However, points can be a good option if:

  • You know you’ll be spending at least $10,000 per month to score the 5,000 point bonus.
  • You want to shop through the Earn More Mall.
  • You want to redeem through the Wells Fargo portal to get 10% of your points credited back.

It also makes sense to use points to buy airline tickets since that offers the better redemption value, and use the card to charge at least $100 worth of flight incidentals to earn the annual travel credit statement.

Overall, there are other business credit cards with higher earning potential. If you like the idea of being able to switch from cash back to points (or vice versa), or are drawn to the extra employee card management tools, then a Wells Fargo Business Elite account could be a good move for you. But if you have significant business spending, you would be better served with a business card offering more robust rewards.

Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card’s Excellent Perks

The Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card has five benefits that The Balance editors consider outstanding. Note that they apply to all employee cardholders as well. These include:

  • Travel accident insurance: Up to $250,000 per card
  • Insurance coverage for trip cancellation or interruption: If your trip is cancelled or cut short for a covered reason, you may be eligible for up to $2,500 per ticket.
  • Insurance for trip delay: Up to $300 per ticket
  • Insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage: Coverage for lost or damaged luggage is up to $3,000 per trip.
  • Travel fee reimbursement: You’ll get a $100 incidental fee credit on the account annually, which can just about make up for your annual fee.

Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card’s Other Features

  • Travel and emergency hotline
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Extended warranties
  • Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item

Customer Experience

Wells Fargo was in eighth place out of 11 credit card issuers in J.D. Power’s 2021 credit card customer satisfaction survey, with a score that fell well below the industry average. But there are a couple of nice things about the card and account experience. The account can be managed and monitored online or through the Wells Fargo app. Wells Fargo also has a dedicated Business Elite Card customer-service hotline.

Security Features

The security features on this card are standard for cards from big issuers: fraud monitoring, account activity alerts, zero fraud liability, and chip technology, to name a few.

Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card’s Fees

The Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card’s charges an annual fee, which is waived the first year, but there are no foreign transaction fees. However, be warned that late payment fees can get pricey if you carry a large balance (up to $75), and there are also fees if you go over your limit or tap into overdraft protection.

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CURRENT CARD
Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card
overall rating
4.5
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 7.24% variable
Annual Fee $0 first year, then $125
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Wells Fargo. "Earn More Mall." Accessed Oct. 21, 2021.

  2. J.D. Power. "While Many U.S. Credit Card Issuers Struggle to Meet Evolving Customer Expectations, Some Bright Spots Exist, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Oct. 21, 2021.

  3. Wells Fargo. "Wells Fargo Business Elite Card Customer Agreement." See "Fees and Other Charges." Accessed Oct. 21, 2021.