Back in 2011 they had debit card rewards programs set up for both new and existing customers. These programs were eliminated one by one however, starting with rewards for new customers, and now, to existing debit card customers as well.
This is particularly bad news because debit cards are used much more frequently in times of economic uncertainty and the tightening of credit lines by banks.
Debit card rewards work similarly to credit card rewards in that you earn points when you spend with the card.
You can then exchange your points for cash, gift cards, or a number of other items. And, in addition to being rewarded for spending you may also be rewarded with points for carrying high balances or making minimum deposits.
A rewards debit card is an awesome tool for those who want the rewards of a credit card, but dont have the creditworthiness that is needed to own one.
With the Wells Fargo Debit Card Rewards Program – which officially comes to an end in October of 2011 – customers weren’t even racking up points that quickly.
The most recent payout from Wells Fargo’ debit card program was 1 point for every $4 spent. This may sound nice, but it took a significantly larger amount of Wells Fargo points to earn respectable items than with other programs available. Plus, unlike traditional debit cards, this one came with an annual fee – typically found with premium frequent flier credit cards. The best rewards debit cards on the market currently give out 1% to 25% cash back, depending on the category of purchase.
The Wells Fargo card,however, also provided 16 points for every $1 spent on items online through partnered retailers – this was perhaps the program’s most noteworthy benefit.
Immediately following the bank collapse of ’08 we saw a number of credit card offers taken of the table only to be replaced with these reward debit cards. And despite the emergence of a double dip recession, we’ve seen this trend appearing to reverse itself – with an increase in the number of credit card offers along with their accompanying rewards and a decrease in debit card rewards.
Still interested in a debit card from Wells Fargo?
If you’re not phased by the lack of rewards, here are some additional statistics that can further help you make up your mind as to whether or not this card will suite your needs.
1) Travel abroad much? Shy away from the Wells Fargo Debit Card if you’re heading overseas. It charges $5 per withdrawal outside the country as well as 3% of every item purchased abroad by swiping the card. Ouch.
2) Worried about ATM fees from outside of network ATM withdrawals? Wells Fargo’s debt card tacks on a fee of $2.50 for each withdrawal. Keep in mind, this fee is added on top of the fee charged at the actual ATM. For example, I live by several Bank of America ATM’s and use them frequently simply out of convenience. My credit union charges $1 for outside network ATM usage, however, Bank of America also charges me $2.00 to use their ATM. Therefor anytime I withdraw money there I’m slapped with $3.50 in fees.
3) Security Features? Wells Fargo does have some decent security features for their reward-less debit card, although many banks and credit unions are now also offering these features as well. The most notable features are being instantly notified of foreign transactions using your specific debit card number as well as a notification each time a certain spending threshold is met. I believe you can set this amount to any figure you’d like.
Not much to add here. The Wells Fargo Debit Card is pretty bland without the rewards and, in our opinion, riddled with fees. If you’re interested in an alternative consider a rewards checking account and debit card or see what checking accounts are currently featuring bonuses.