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Wells Fargo Platinum Card: A Simple Card to Help Slash Debt

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If you're looking for a card to help you pay off high interest credit card debt or finance a large purchase, consider taking advantage of the Wells Fargo Platinum card's lengthy 18 month introductory annual percentage rate (APR) offer—it's one of the best in the business.

But the card is sort of a one-trick pony, so if you're looking for a rewards program, a sign-up bonus or other significant perks, you may want to look elsewhere. Here's what to know about the card before you submit an application.

ProsCons
Intro APR for new qualified cardholdersNo rewards program
Cellphone protection against damage or theftHigh ongoing APR
No annual feeBalance transfer fee
Wells Fargo Customer Service
1 (800) 869-3557
Card Services
P.O. Box 51193
Los Angeles, CA 90051-5493

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Sometimes you just need a plain vanilla credit card to help you get where you want to go, whether that's saving money while you pay off high interest debt or financing a large purchase interest-free over time.

Enter the Wells Fargo Platinum card. It doesn't come with a lot of frills or any rewards, but its excellent introductory APR for 18 months on eligible purchases and qualifying balance transfers is hard to beat, and you don't have to worry about an annual fee.

If saving money on interest is your top priority right now, the Wells Fargo Platinum card is worth a second look.

Intro APR on Purchases for 18 Months

You get an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 18 months, which is one of the longest periods available right now, after which the ongoing rate of 16.99% - 26.49% (variable) will apply. That means if you're looking to make some renovations to your home, replace a major appliance, or make some other large purchase, you'll have a full year and a half to pay it off interest-free.

This APR setup doesn't work like a deferred interest promotion offer you might get from a store credit card or a retail financing program. If you don't pay off your balance in full by the end of your 18 month introductory APR period with the Wells Fargo Platinum card, you'll only owe interest on the remaining balance. Typically with a deferred interest deal, you'd owe interest on the original balance if you didn't pay off the purchase during the promotional period.

To give you an idea of how much you could save, let's say you're thinking of financing $10,000 in materials for a home improvement project, and your options are the Wells Fargo Platinum card or a two-year personal loan with a 12% APR.

With the personal loan, your monthly payment would be $471, and you'd pay $1,298 in interest over the two-year period. If you were to pay off the debt within 18 months on the Wells Fargo Platinum card, the monthly payment would be $556, and you'd pay no interest at all.

A Solid Choice for a Balance Transfer

In addition to an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases, you'll also get an 18-month interest-free period on qualifying balance transfers, after which the ongoing rate of 16.99% - 26.49% (variable) will apply.

If you have existing debt on other high-interest credit cards, you can save a lot of money by transferring it to this card and paying off that debt during the 18-month introductory period.

To take advantage of the intro offer, you must complete the transfer within 120 days of opening the account. You'll pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of the transfer amount with a $5 minimum, which means if you're transferring $10,000 worth of debt, you'll be charged a $300 fee. (The transfer fee jumps to 5% ($5 minimum) after the 120-day period, and you won't be eligible for the introductory APR at that point.)

While some other balance transfer credit cards don't charge an upfront balance transfer fee, it's still worth considering the Wells Fargo Platinum card for its long promotional period.

For example, let's say you have $10,000 in debt on a card with a 20% APR. If you keep the balance on the card and create a plan to pay it off in a year and a half, you'd pay $1,657 in interest with a $648 monthly payment.

With this card, you'd pay a $300 balance transfer fee and eliminate your debt in 18 months with a $572 monthly payment—that's $1,357 in savings. You'll have a hard time finding a credit card with an introductory bonus that valuable.

Cellphone Protection Is a Nice Perk

You won't earn rewards on purchases made with this card, and there aren't a lot of other eye-catching features. But you will get protection for your cellphone if you use the Wells Fargo Platinum card to make your monthly phone payment.

That coverage amounts to up to $600 if your phone is damaged or stolen (it doesn't count if you lose your phone), and you can get up to $1,200 worth of claims per 12-month period. There's a $25 deductible with each claim, but beyond that, the perk will cover the cost of the repair or replacement of your original phone.

This benefit is becoming more popular among credit card issuers, but it's still not standard for the industry as a whole, making it icing on the cake for people using the Wells Fargo Platinum card for its introductory APR promotions.

Manage Your Budget Online and on the Go

You can manage your Wells Fargo Platinum card account through the Wells Fargo mobile app. The app allows you to view key account information without logging in, turn your card on and off—which can come in handy if you lose your card or are afraid it's been stolen—and more.

Wells Fargo also offers a tool called My Money Map, which provides a spending report to help you stay on top of your credit card spending. You'll also have the chance to create a personalized budget, set up savings goals and gain access to resources that can help you improve your financial wellness.

Additional Info

Purchase APR: 0% Intro for 18 months, then 16.99%-26.49% (Variable)Grace period: 25 days
Transfer APR: 0% Intro for 18 months, then 16.99%-26.49% (Variable)Annual fee: $0
Cash advance APR: See TermsBalance transfer fee: 3% ($5 minimum) for the first 120 days, then 5% ($5 minimum)
Minimum interest charge: $1Cash advance fee: See Terms
Foreign currency conversion fee: 3%
Late payment fee: Up to $37
Returned payment fee: Up to $37

Authorized-User Policy

You can add an authorized user to your Wells Fargo Platinum card account at no charge. You'll need to provide the name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and citizenship status of the person you'd like to add to the card.

Authorized users will receive a card with their name on it, which will be connected to your account. They can make charges using your credit line, but you'll be responsible for paying off any debt they incur.

If you wanted to remove an authorized user from your account, you must recover the card and destroy it, and contact Wells Fargo to complete the removal process. You can learn more about the Wells Fargo Platinum card authorized-user policy in the card agreement.

Is This Card Right for You?

The Wells Fargo Platinum card is best suited for people who prioritize interest savings over other potentially valuable perks, especially rewards. Depending on how you take advantage of the card's introductory 0% APR promotion for 18 months, then 16.99% - 26.49% (variable), you could stand to gain more net value over a card with rewards but no intro 0% APR.

That said, there are cards out there with a 0% APR promotion and a rewards program. Some even offer sign-up bonuses. As you consider your situation and preferences, take some time to compare the Wells Fargo Platinum card with other 0% APR credit cards to make sure you find the right one for you.

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