Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Updated: June 6, 2024

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Both the Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express and the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offer compelling cash back rewards, but they cater to different preferences. The Blue Cash Preferred is the go-to for high rewards on supermarket and streaming purchases, while the Wells Fargo Active Cash shines with its simplicity of unlimited 2% cash rewards on all purchases.

Credit Card logo for Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
Credit Card logo for Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
MoneyGeek Rating
4.2/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
4.2/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    19.24–29.99% variable
    20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% on purchases for 12 months
    0% for 15 months on purchases
    Intro Offer
    Earn $250
    Earn $200 Cash Back
    Rewards Summary
    Earn 1–6% cash back
    Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% on balance transfers for 12 months
    0% for 15 months on balance transfers
    Balance Transfer Fee
    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
    3% of the amount of each balance transfer
    Annual Fee
    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    29.99% variable
    None
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express if you spend primarily at U.S. supermarkets and on streaming services. The 6% cash back in these categories, along with additional benefits like statement credits for streaming, can outweigh the annual fee that’s applied after the first year.

You might prefer the Wells Fargo Active Cash if you value simplicity and flexibility. With unlimited 2% cash rewards on all purchases and no annual fee, this card offers consistent value without the need to track spending categories. The longer 0% intro APR period is also a plus if you plan to make large purchases or transfer balances.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating features like APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards and introductory offers will clarify which card aligns with you. This section provides a detailed breakdown to guide your choice between the Blue Cash Preferred and Wells Fargo Active Cash cards.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: Blue Cash Preferred

    For Regular APR, the Blue Cash Preferred is better, offering a lower starting APR of 19.24% compared with the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card's 20.24%.

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    Annual Fee: Wells Fargo Active Cash

    The Wells Fargo Active Cash is better for avoiding annual fees, offering a $0 annual fee compared with the Blue Cash Preferred's $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

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    Introductory 0% APRs: Wells Fargo Active Cash

    The Wells Fargo Active Cash is better for introductory 0% APRs, offering 0% for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, compared with the Blue Cash Preferred's 12 months. Additionally, both cards have a balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5), but the longer introductory period with Wells Fargo Active Cash provides greater flexibility and potential savings.

    coins icon

    Rewards: Blue Cash Preferred

    The Blue Cash Preferred is better for rewards, offering 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%) and on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, and 3% at U.S. gas stations and on transit. The Wells Fargo Active Cash's offers a flat 2% on all purchases.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Wells Fargo Active Cash

    The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a better welcome bonus, providing a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first three months, compared with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred's $250 after spending $3,000 in six months.

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    Recommended Credit Score: Tie

    The Blue Cash Preferred and the Wells Fargo Active Cash both require a credit score range of 670 to 850, indicating they are equally accessible to people with good to excellent credit.

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    Penalties and Fees: Wells Fargo Active Cash

    The Wells Fargo Active Cash is better for penalties and fees, offering no penalty APR and a higher penalties rating. Both cards have a late fee up to $40, but the Wells Fargo Active Cash has a slightly higher foreign transaction fee at 3% compared with the Blue Cash Preferred's 2.7%.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Blue Cash Preferred

    American Express leads with an issuer rating of 5.0, compared with Wells Fargo's rating of 4.0.

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    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Both cards offer unique perks. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred provides up to $120 in annual statement credits for an Equinox+ subscription and a $7 monthly credit for the Disney Bundle. The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers benefits like Visa Signature Concierge access and up to $600 in phone protection, subject to a $25 deductible.

Rewards Comparison

The Blue Cash Preferred card stands out for its high cash back rates in categories like U.S. supermarkets and streaming services. If your spending aligns with these categories, the potential rewards are substantial. The Wells Fargo Active Cash card doesn't segment rewards, offering a flat 2% cash rewards on all purchases. This simplicity could be appealing if you prefer a straightforward rewards program without having to track category bonuses.

If you spend a lot on groceries and streaming, the Blue Cash Preferred is likely the better choice due to its 6% cash back in these categories. But for consistent rewards across all spending, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card may be more for you, especially with its $0 annual fee.

The table details the bonus categories for each card to help you compare the rewards programs:

Category
Blue Cash Preferred
Wells Fargo Active Cash

U.S. Supermarkets

6% for the first $6,000 annually/1% thereafter

2%

U.S. Streaming Subscriptions

6%

2%

U.S. Gas Stations

3%

2%

Transit

3%

2%

All Other Purchases

1%

2%

Redeeming Rewards

The Blue Cash Preferred allows you to redeem rewards as a statement credit or use them at Amazon checkout, with no expiration date. The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a broader range of redemption choices, including checks, statement credits and direct deposits. Rewards on the Wells Fargo Active Cash card remain valid as long as the account is open, providing enduring value without the pressure of a deadline.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like the Blue Cash Preferred and Wells Fargo Active Cash based on their performance in various use cases. This approach ensures that the score reflects the card's performance in the scenario where it provides the most value.

For cash back cards, the primary factors we consider are the effective reward rate and the return on investment for offers. These elements — along with annual fees, introductory purchase rates and issuer satisfaction — contribute to a card's overall score. For a detailed understanding of our process, you can review our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Blue Cash Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

What are the annual fees for each card?
How do the rewards rates compare between the two cards?
Which card offers a longer 0% intro APR period?
Are there any differences in the welcome bonuses offered by each card?
Do either of the cards have foreign transaction fees?

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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