At a Glance

When considering different credit cards on the market, the majority of people find themselves wanting a no-effort cash back card. Two of the leading providers for these types of cards are Chase and Wells Fargo. In particular, the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash has been a long-standing debate in the credit card community.

To that end, learn the key differences between the Chase Freedom vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash cards to determine which may be the right option for your wallet.

In this article, you’ll learn:

Comparing the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Wells Fargo Active Cash®

Breaking down the many differences between the Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited can be a lot to read which is why we’ve put together a high-level overview of the standout features of each below:

Wells Fargo Active Cash®

Reward rate2.00%
Reward detailsEarn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases with no categories to track or quarterly activations
Intro Bonus:$200 Annual fee$0
Regular APR20.24% - 29.99%
Read full review

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Reward rate1.5% - 5%
Reward detailsEarn unlimited 1.5% cash back or more on all purchases, like 3% on dining and drugstores and 5% on travel purchased through Chase.
Intro Bonus:$200 Annual fee$0
Regular APR20.24% - 28.99%
Read full review

Five important differences between Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card and Wells Fargo Active Cash®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card and Wells Fargo Active Cash® have distinct features that set them apart. Here are five important differences between the two popular credit cards when tackling the Chase vs. Wells Fargo credit card debate:

1. Earning rates

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Offers a tiered cash back rewards system, earning 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 4.5% cash back on dining at restaurants and drugstore purchases, and 3% cash back on all other purchases during the first year (up to $20,000 spent).
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash®: Provides a flat 2% cash back on all purchases, regardless of category.

2. Bonus categories

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Offers bonus cash back in specific categories, such as travel, dining, and drugstore purchases.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash®: Does not have specific bonus categories; it provides a consistent 2% cash back on all purchases.

3. Travel benefits

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Includes travel insurance coverage, rental car insurance, and travel and emergency assistance services.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash®: Does not offer travel-specific benefits.

4. Travel redemptions

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Allows you to redeem travel rewards through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which can be used for various travel-related expenses.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash®: Does not have a specific travel redemption program.

5. Protection benefits

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Provides purchase protection up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, as well as extended warranty protection.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash®: Offers cell phone protection against theft or damage when the monthly phone bill is paid using the card, up to $600.

Where both cards excel?

1. No annual fee: Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Wells Fargo Active Cash® cards come with no annual fees. This makes them attractive options for those looking to earn rewards without having to pay an annual fee.

2. Introductory APR offers: Both cards offer an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening. This can be beneficial for those who want to make large purchases and pay them off over time without accruing interest charges.

3. Welcome bonuses: While the exact welcome bonus amounts may differ, both cards offer new cardholders a cash rewards bonus for meeting certain spending requirements in the first few months of account opening.

4. Cash back rewards: Both cards focus on cash back rewards, allowing cardholders to earn money back on their purchases. Whether you prefer a flat 2% cash back rate with Wells Fargo Active Cash® or the tiered cash back rates with Chase Freedom Unlimited®, both cards offer ways to earn cash rewards on your spending.

5. Ease of use: Both cards keep their rewards programs simple. There are no rotating categories to track or opt-in to, making it straightforward for cardholders to earn and redeem their cash back rewards without any confusion.

6. Additional benefits: While the specific benefits may vary, both cards offer additional perks, such as purchase protection and extended warranty coverage, which can provide added value and peace of mind for cardholders.

Which credit card should you choose?

When looking at the Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited credit cards, choosing the right credit card depends on your individual needs, spending habits, and financial goals. Here’s a summary of considerations to help you decide between the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Wells Fargo Active Cash®:

Choose the Chase Freedom Unlimited® if:

1. You want bonus categories: If you spend a lot in specific bonus categories like travel, dining, and drugstore purchases, the tiered cash back rates of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can maximize your rewards in those areas.

2. Welcome bonus: If you can easily meet the spending requirement for the welcome bonus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a lucrative cash back bonus that can jumpstart your rewards earnings.

3. Travel perks: If you value travel-related benefits, such as travel insurance and rental car coverage, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® provides these additional protections.

4. Redemption flexibility: If you prefer redeeming rewards for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers greater flexibility in how you can use your rewards.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Reward rate: 1.5% - 5%
Reward details: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back or more on all purchases, like 3% on dining and drugstores and 5% on travel purchased through Chase. close-icon

Card summary

Annual fee: $0
Regular APR: 20.24% - 28.99%

 

Choose the Wells Fargo Active Cash® if:

1. Consistent cash back: If you prefer a simple and consistent rewards structure, the flat 2% cash back on all purchases with Wells Fargo Active Cash® makes earning rewards easy without worrying about bonus categories.

2. No annual fee: If avoiding an annual fee is a priority, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® has no annual fee, making it a cost-effective option for cash back rewards.

3. Intro APR offer: If you plan to make large purchases and need a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® can provide a temporary interest-free period.

4. Cell phone protection: If you want cell phone protection against theft or damage when you pay your phone bill with the card, Wells Fargo Active Cash® offers this benefit.

Wells Fargo Active Cash®

Reward rate: 2.00%
Reward details: Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases with no categories to track or quarterly activations close-icon

Card summary

Annual fee: $0
Regular APR: 20.24% - 29.99%

 

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual preferences and spending patterns. Consider how you plan to use the card, what categories you spend most on, and the benefits that align with your needs. Comparing the rewards rates, introductory offers, and additional perks will help you make an informed decision and choose the credit card that suits you best.

FAQs

Both cards have their strengths. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® offers a consistent 2% cash back on all purchases, making it simple and reliable. On the other hand, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® provides tiered cash back rates with higher rewards in specific categories like travel and dining. The better choice depends on your spending habits and whether you prefer a flat rate or higher rewards in certain categories.

Yes, you can have both cards. They are issued by different credit card companies, so you can apply for and have both the Wells Fargo Active Cash® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® if you are approved for them.

Neither card earns points. Both cards offer cash back rewards, which are not transferable between the two cards.

No, as these cards are provided by different credit card companies, you cannot switch between them. If you want the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you would need to apply for it separately.

Both cards typically require good to excellent credit scores for approval. The difficulty of getting approved for either card depends on individual creditworthiness and the specific criteria set by the credit card issuers.

To have a good chance of approval for the Wells Fargo Active Cash® card, a credit score of around 700 or higher is generally recommended. However, credit card approval is not solely based on credit score, and other factors such as income and credit history will also be considered by the issuer.

Related: Wells Fargo Credit Card Requirements