Why you can trust ZDNet
Our recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product through our links. This helps support our work but does not influence what we write about or the price you pay. Our editors thoroughly review and fact check every article. Our process

‘ZDNet Recommends’ What exactly does that mean?

ZDNet’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of YOU, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form

Close
| Ad Disclosure
This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com This compensation may impact how and where links appear. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Close

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card review 2021

The Wells Fargo Business secured credit card guarantees applicants approval -- without a personal credit check -- as long as your business banks with Wells Fargo and you're able to pay a security deposit.

Business credit is difficult to get until a company is well established. In most cases, business founders need to put up their personal assets (and credit score) to get approved for a business line of credit. Entrepreneurs may not want to risk their personal credit for their company -- or may not even be able to, due to poor credit. The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is one of the few card options available for small businesses wanting to build credit while supplementing cash flow. 

To understand how a secured credit card works, consider that card providers require some sort of guarantee that you'll repay your outstanding balances. Most credit cards use a credit score as the gauge of how likely you are to repay your bills. When your credit score isn't up to par, something else has to take its place to lower a card provider's risk. 

Secured credit cards require a refundable cash deposit as a guarantee. The amount you contribute typically becomes your credit limit. If you default on the card balance, the card provider will keep the deposit to cover the unpaid balance. If you manage the secured card responsibly, the card provider will likely report the positive activity to the credit bureaus, helping you rebuild your credit. You may even get an unsecured credit limit increase and receive your deposit back. ZDNet's Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card review provides a detailed look at the card.   

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

wells-fargo-business-secured-card.jpg
Wells Fargo

The Wells Fargo Business Secured Mastercard allows you to build company credit after a track record of responsible payments.

A secured business credit card is a good way to establish credit for your business but has its limitations. 

Pros:

  • Build (or restore) your company's credit history

  • Credit limit of up to $25,000

  • Possibility to upgrade to unsecured credit

  • Payment history gets reported to the Small Business Financial Exchange  

  • Choose to earn cashback or rewards points

  • Get 10% more points during online redemption

  • Up to 10 employee cards available

  • Activity isn't reported to the consumer credit bureaus, protecting your personal credit score

Cons:

  • Requires a cash outlay of $500 to $25,000 to secure a similar credit limit

  • No sign-up bonuses are available

  • Limited business credit card perks

  • It won't help rebuild your personal credit

  • Must be a Wells Fargo business bank account customer to apply


Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card at a glance

Suppose your company isn't established enough to qualify for a business card, and you don't want your personal credit affected by business spending. In that case, the Wells Fargo Business Card could help your company get started.

Here's an overview of how the card works: 

  • Card type: Secured business credit card

  • Card issuer: Wells Fargo

  • Best for: Small businesses without credit history

  • Credit line: $500 to $25,000

  • Rewards: Choose from 1.5% cashback or one point for every $1 spent plus 1,000 bonus points every billing cycle if you spend at least $1,000.

  • How to redeem rewards: Trade points for travel, gift cards, merchandise and more.

  • Approval bonus: None

  • Annual fee: None

  • APR: 15% 

  • Foreign transaction fees: None

  • Credit score: Not required

  • Employee cards: Up to 10

  • Special features: Business spending reports available | Pay bills using your credit card


Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card features

A good personal credit score is essential when you need a loan or mortgage. The same goes for your company's credit. It may be even more critical for your small business to have access to credit lines to weather the typical cash flow crunches most business owners face. Wells Fargo is a well-respected ally to small businesses and developed the secured card to help kickstart a company's credit.  

Who may qualify for the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

To qualify for the card, you'll need to have a legally established business. The phase isn't as important -- your business can be in its early startup period or long-standing. Wells Fargo business banking is also required. If you don't have a Wells Fargo business checking or savings account, you'll need to open one first -- Wells Fargo looks at your existing banking relationship to make a decision.

How to apply

You'll need to apply for the card online -- Wells Fargo no longer accepts applications at a branch. 

You'll need to provide:

  • The legal business name, phone, address

  • Company tax ID or Social Security number

  • The Wells Fargo business account info

  • Business type

  • Number of business owners with 25% ownership or greater, to be listed as account guarantors

  • Your company's gross annual revenue

You'll also be asked for personal details such as your date of birth, citizenship and Social Security number. However, Wells Fargo will not pull your credit report. 

How the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card works

Once you apply for the card and get approved, you will need to transfer an amount from your current Wells Fargo business bank account to serve as the security deposit for the card's credit line. You won't be able to touch the amount until you close the card. It will serve as a backup in case your company doesn't pay its credit card bill. 

You can request up to 10 employee cards and use the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card the same way you'd use other credit cards. It's important to spend wisely and make your payments on time for a couple of reasons. Wells Fargo will report your usage to the Small Business Financial Exchange to establish a credit history. Plus, the bank will periodically review your business accounts and card activity to determine if you're eligible for an unsecured business credit card. If you're offered an unsecured credit card, it may take about 30 days to receive your security deposit back. 

Security

Wells Fargo keeps your account safe in a few ways. All cards are equipped with chip technology which lowers the risk of fraud. If you discover unusual activity, the Zero Liability Program will reimburse any fraudulent charges -- provided they're reported right away. You could set up alerts about spending activity to supplement Wells Fargo's fraud monitoring of your business accounts to catch suspicious activity early.

How to get support

For help with the card, you could visit your local branch for help. Wells Fargo also provides two phone numbers for additional support:

  • General inquiries: 1-800-416-8658

  • Account maintenance: 1-800-225-5935

Bottom line

Small businesses who are struggling with establishing a credit history that's independent from the owners' could find the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card beneficial. Use the card strategically --  your company may qualify for an unsecured business credit card after a period of on-time payments and responsible spending.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card  FAQ

What does Wells Fargo look at to make a decision on a secured business card?

According to Wells Fargo, your company's cash flow, current debt obligations and existing business banking relationship are the main factors they use to make a decision. Your personal credit is not pulled.

Will the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card help me rebuild my credit?

The card will help you rebuild your company's credit but not your personal one. Wells Fargo does not use your FICO score to approve you for a business card. Your payment activity and card usage are not reported to the personal credit bureaus. The financial institution reports to the Small Business Financial Exchange instead.

Are there secured business card alternatives if I can't afford to pay a security deposit?

There's a couple of ways to work around the security deposit. You could start with a small deposit and credit line of $500, for example. Make small purchases and pay your card on time to establish a positive track record. Over time, you may qualify for a credit limit increase without having to pay another security deposit. 

Or you could apply for a business card that uses your personal credit score to approve you for a card. However, all usage will affect your personal credit history -- even if it's business-related.