At Wells Fargo, New Card Rewards Program Goes Far
Being rewarded for using a credit card is a must for many American consumers--last year the American Bankers Association noted that a full 83 percent of credit card users have rewards-based credit cards, showing just how much cardholders like to be rewarded for spending money
While most credit card rewards are for points, miles or cash back, over the last several years, rewards programs have become more flexible in how cardholders can redeem rewards. Perhaps your points are good for miles or merchandise. Your cash back can be applied as a statement credit or used to get gift cards.
San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo has joined other credit card issuers that have embraced flexible rewards by announcing a new, more flexible rewards program for holders of Wells Fargo's rewards-based credit card.
While cardholders will still earn the same level of rewards dictated by the terms of their card, they now have more options in how and where to earn and redeem their rewards. Wells Fargo has added the option of redeeming rewards at bank-owned ATMs, where cardholders can choose whether or not to apply their rewards towards an outstanding balance, put the money into their checking or savings accounts or apply it toward a Wells Fargo qualifying line of credit or loan, which includes mortgages, home equity loans, credit card balances, personal loans or auto loans.
Some of the new flexibility in how people can use their points involves a more social aspect. Cardholders can pool their points together to put them towards shared rewards, like a vacation that they take together. They can also gift their rewards to friends and family members who are part of the program. Cardholders can even use their rewards as gifts to other cardholders, or they can donate the rewards to charity via a CharityChoice gift card.
“Customers use their credit cards to pay for ordinary things they do every day, and we want the rewards they earn from doing that to feel extraordinary,” said Beverly Anderson, head of Consumer Financial Services for Wells Fargo, in a statement. “With an emphasis on the flexibility and accessibility our customers told us they want, we spent the past few years updating our rewards program so significantly we felt it deserved a new name.”
Cardholders don't have to manage their rewards at an ATM; they can also do so online via desktop, tablet or mobile device. The Go Far Rewards site features a widget that allows cardholders to tailor their preferences with regards to what sorts of categories are featured on their rewards account page. For those who are saving their rewards for a much-needed vacation, the site's "How Far Can I Go" search engine shows where members can travel based on the amount of rewards they've already accumulated.
The website also includes access to an online mall where customers can earn bonus rewards on purchases with Wells Fargo's online retailer partners. Cardholders can redeem rewards through the site for merchandise, gift cards and digital downloads. The program at times highlights certain rewards with special offers and limited-time deals.
Wells Fargo has seven rewards cards in its portfolio: Three American Express cards and four Visa cards. All but two of the Visa cards allow cardholders to earn points for various types of purchases. The remaining two Visa cards allow cardholders to earn rebates that can be applied to Wells Fargo home mortgages. Not all cards may participate in the Go Far Rewards program, but for those that do, cardholders will automatically be enrolled in the program.