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Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card review: Approval guaranteed

This card guarantees your approval -- without a personal credit check -- as long as your business banks with Wells Fargo and you're able to pay a security deposit.
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Written by Cynthia Bowman, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Evan Zimmer

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.   

Card Highlights
Intro BonusN/A
APRPrime + 11.90% on purchases
Recommended CreditExcellent/Good Credit
Reward Rates
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on qualifying purchases
  • Earn 1 point on every $1 spent and receive 1,000 bonus points every billing cycle when you spend at least $1,000 on qualifying purchases
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Rewards & Redemption Details

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

Here's an overview of the card's pros and cons, features, and rewards.

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

Do I 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 can I apply?

You'll need to apply for the card online, since Wells Fargo no longer accepts applications at a branch. And you'll need to provide:

  • The legal business name, phone, and 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. 

What do I do after I'm approved?

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. 

How secure is the card?

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 do I contact customer service?

For help with the card, you could visit your local branch for assistance. 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.

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 are 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.


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