September 29, 2023

Choosing the proper bank card may be daunting — particularly whenever you’re a brand new credit score consumer. Should you’re able to earn bank card rewards, however don’t need to strategize over spending classes and reward charges, the Wells Fargo Lively Money® Card affords a simple path ahead.

This no-fuss choice bank card choice earns you limitless 2% money rewards on all of your purchases. It’s one in all CNET’s finest bank card picks, and one in all my favorites for a number of causes. 

Right here’s how I maximize the Wells Fargo Lively Money, and how one can get essentially the most worth out of this bank card.

Why I selected the Lively Money Card

After school, I took a while to grasp how credit score and bank cards work. I used to be prepared to begin incomes rewards, however I didn’t need to lose sight of fine credit score habits. So I upgraded my school card to the Lively Money to begin incomes rewards the simple manner: with a flat-rate cash-back bank card. 

Flat-rate cash-back playing cards provide a hard and fast proportion of money again on purchases, in contrast to different playing cards which may provide increased or decrease charges by spending class. The Lively Money took the effort out of rewards technique — making it an easy technique to assure money rewards on payments, groceries, fuel and extra. 

Over time, my husband and I each used the Lively Money as a simple means to earn rewards and construct credit score. I added him as a certified consumer so he may reap the credit-building advantages of paying our invoice in full every month.

We added most payments and on a regular basis bills to this card — our son’s daycare invoice, family bills and even our wedding ceremony bills. After paying the invoice in full and on time every month, it earned us $200 in money rewards in six months. And since we knew we wished to journey for much less, we flipped the money rewards to make use of towards flights to save cash.

Now that we have now the hold of methods to use a bank card and earn rewards, we now use a journey bank card extra recurrently. Utilizing the Lively Money helped me enhance my credit score to qualify for a card with higher rewards. We nonetheless use the Lively Money often, and it’s my longest-standing bank card.

The way to get essentially the most out of your Lively Money

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

CNET Score

CNET charges bank cards by evaluating their affords to these of their categorical opponents. Every card is individually evaluated by way of a components which displays the requirements and expectations of the modern market. Bank card issuers don’t have any say or affect in our rankings. How we charge bank cards

Intro Provide

$200 money rewards

Earn a $200 money rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months

Annual payment

19.99%, 24.99%, or 29.99% variable APR

Rewards charge


Earn limitless 2% money rewards on purchases


Earn limitless 2% money rewards on purchases

Right here’s methods to reap the benefits of all of the Lively Money has to supply based mostly on what I realized:

Earn the welcome bonus (for those who can)

The Lively Money affords a $200 money rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases throughout the first three months. That’s roughly $167 in spending per thirty days. To earn the bonus, think about using the cardboard for purchases you’re already making, equivalent to groceries, payments and different each day bills. Or time your software for the cardboard round a giant, deliberate buy to earn the welcome bonus even simpler — equivalent to patio furnishings or a fridge. 

In fact, it’s best to by no means overspend merely to earn a welcome bonus — it’s not value it. However for those who usually spend $167 per thirty days in meals or on a regular basis necessities, it might be a simple requirement to satisfy.

In case you have one other Wells Fargo card, like the faculty card I had, as a substitute of upgrading, apply for this card. Should you improve, like I did, you usually aren’t eligible to earn a welcome bonus. 

Maximize money rewards 

The Lively Money is an effective decide for those who don’t desire a difficult bank card rewards technique with tiered or quarterly rewards since you’ll be able to earn 2% money rewards again on purchases. However if you wish to enhance your rewards potential, contemplate pairing this card with one other high-tier Wells Fargo bank card, just like the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card, to earn increased charges on eating places, journey, fuel stations, transit, fashionable streaming companies and telephone plans. Use the Autograph Card for purchases that earn increased rewards and the Lively Money for every thing else.

However you don’t have to stay to the Wells Fargo suite of playing cards. I now use my Chase Sapphire Most well-liked® Card for purchases that earn increased rewards charges, like journey by way of Chase Final Rewards, eating out and choose streaming companies, and my Lively Money to earn 2% money rewards on different purchases. 

Repay bank card debt or a brand new buy 

The Lively Money also can turn out to be useful if you should repay a high-interest bank card stability or finance a giant buy. This card incorporates a 0% introductory APR interval for 15 months from account opening on new purchases and qualifying stability transfers, then a variable APR of 19.99%, 24.99% or 29.99%. You’ll nonetheless earn 2% money rewards, however keep in mind that it’s vital to not tackle new debt whereas paying off excellent balances. 

Pay your mobile phone invoice with the cardboard

Although mobile phone insurance coverage is often a couple of dollars together with your supplier, the Lively Money affords as much as $600 in mobile phone injury and theft safety after a $25 deductible. Cardholders could make two claims per 12 months, as much as a most of $1,200. 

Meaning you’ll be able to do away with your telephone plan supplier’s insurance coverage with this card, which may prevent slightly in your mobile phone invoice. Nonetheless, you’ll must pay your mobile phone invoice with the Lively Money card. I additionally schedule automated funds every month for my mobile phone invoice, which helps me save much more with AT&T’s autopay low cost.

Reap the benefits of journey perks

The Lively Money comes with two Visa Signature journey advantages that may make journey straightforward — 24/7 concierge service and the Luxurious Lodge Assortment. Complimentary concierge service can turn out to be useful when planning your journey, getting restaurant reservations and delivering items for a special day. Though the service is a cardholder perk, any extra service or purchases come at a value. 

And you should use the Visa Luxurious Lodge Assortment to select from a number of premium motels with advantages equivalent to meals and beverage credit, charge ensures and room upgrades, when out there. Whereas we haven’t used both perk but, we plan to make use of the concierge service for suggestions for an upcoming household trip to save lots of us time planning the journey.

Select from quite a lot of redemption choices

I like that you’ve got a number of methods to redeem your money rewards with Wells Fargo. As an example, I could redeem my money rewards to pay much less on my bank card invoice — which appears like financial savings to my mind — by redeeming for assertion credit. Or I can redeem the rewards to my checking account as a direct deposit to pay for upcoming purchases like live performance tickets or to have further money in my financial savings account. 

It’s also possible to redeem the money rewards for purchases made with PayPal, for journey, charitable donations, merchandise. It’s also possible to redeem rewards for present playing cards in $25 increments, and you may redeem rewards in $20 increments by way of a Wells Fargo debit card or ATM. 

We by no means used the Wells Fargo Rewards portal to e-book journey as a result of we discovered higher offers elsewhere, however we nonetheless use it to check charges; then e-book the journey on the cardboard and redeem the money rewards as an announcement credit score to scale back the bank card invoice — primarily paying for a portion of the journey.

Is the Lively Money a great match for you?

The Lively Money card is a powerful flat-rate bank card that makes it straightforward to earn rewards with out strategizing. In case you are seeking to maximize your rewards, there are higher playing cards on the market — however the Lively Money can complement different increased worth playing cards effectively. Whether or not you’re kick-starting your bank card rewards journey or studying about credit score altogether, this card can yield further money and financial savings. Simply keep in mind to make use of the cardboard responsibly and pay it in full every month, or else you could be on the hook for hefty curiosity prices.

Learn extra: Is Apple’s Excessive-Yield Financial savings Account Value It? See How It Compares

The editorial content material on this web page is predicated solely on goal, unbiased assessments by our writers and isn’t influenced by promoting or partnerships. It has not been offered or commissioned by any third get together. Nonetheless, we might obtain compensation whenever you click on on hyperlinks to services or products supplied by our companions.