Wells Fargo Removes Foreign Transaction Fees on Its Small Business Credit Cards
Wells Fargo recently announced that effective October 1, it has removed its foreign transaction fees on all business credit card and business line of credit access card transactions made outside the US. Previously, Wells Fargo had charged a foreign currency conversion fee of between 2-3% on transactions that originated in a foreign currency.
The foreign transaction fee is eliminated for all new and existing customers with Wells Fargo Business Elite, Business Platinum and Business Secured Credit Cards and Wells Fargo’s small business lines of credit with access cards.
How do the Wells Fargo cards stack up to the competition?
Unfortunately, even with these changes, its rewards program falls short relative to the competition. Let’s consider the Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card. It doesn’t charge an annual fee, which is a great start. However, to participate in its rewards program, you’ll need to pay an annual program fee of $50, which is waived for the first year for new cardmembers. You then have the choice of earning points or getting cash back. If you choose cash back, you’ll get 1% cash back automatically credited each quarter. You’ll also receive a $10 cash rewards bonus any month your company spends $1,000 or more in net purchases. So, you would need to spend exactly $1,000 per month in order to maximize your cash back at 2%. The more that you spend above $1,000/month, however, the closer your effective cash back gets to 1%.
Compare that cash back to a card such as Capital One’s Spark® Cash for Business. It has an annual fee of $59, which is waived for the first year. Like all Capital One credit cards, it also does not charge foreign transaction fees. So, fee-wise it’s very similar to the Wells Fargo card. However, the Spark Cash offers a generous one-time $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, it offers a straight 2% cash back on all purchases.
The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card does offer a 10% points bonus when you redeem online, but that’s not nearly enough of a benefit to catch up to the Spark Cash card for the vast majority of customers.
So while the fee removal is a welcome change for Wells Fargo customers, rewards-wise its cards still have a ways to go to catch up to the competition.