Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Updated: June 21, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Shield Insurance

MoneyGeek partners with leading industry experts and advertisers to help you get to your financial happy place. Our content is accurate when posted but offers may change over time. We may receive compensation for partner advertisements, but our editorial team independently reviews and ranks products. Learn more about our editorial policies.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited both entice with their cash back rewards, absence of annual fees and introductory APR offers. The Wells Fargo Active Cash card edges out slightly due to its straightforward unlimited 2% cash rewards on all purchases.

However, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has higher cash back rates in specific categories like travel and dining. Both cards are solid contenders, but for simplicity and consistent rewards across all spending, Wells Fargo Active Cash takes the lead.

Credit Card logo for Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Credit Card logo for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
MoneyGeek Rating
5/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
5/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable
    20.49%–29.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% for 15 months on purchases
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Intro Offer
    Earn $200 Cash Back
    Earn an additional 1.5% cash back
    Rewards Summary
    Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
    Earn 1.5% – 6.5% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% for 15 months on balance transfers
    0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months
    Balance Transfer Fee
    3% of the amount of each balance transfer
    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    None
    Up to 29.99% (variable)
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Wells Fargo Active Cash if you value straightforward rewards without having to track spending categories. With a flat 2% cash back on all purchases and a competitive balance transfer offer, it's a strong choice for those seeking simplicity and consistent value from their credit card.

You might prefer the Freedom Unlimited if you spend frequently on dining, drugstore purchases and travel. The tiered rewards system maximizes cash back in these categories, and the introductory offer adds additional value. This card is ideal for maximizing rewards on category-specific spending while still earning on other purchases.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards and additional features side by side clarifies which card matches your financial habits. For instance, if frequent dining and travel define your spending, Freedom Unlimited's tiered rewards might appeal more than Wells Fargo Active Cash's flat rate on all purchases.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: Wells Fargo Active Cash

    The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a slightly lower starting APR at 20.24% compared to the Chase Freedom Unlimited's 20.49%.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the Wells Fargo Active Cash and the Freedom Unlimited have a $0 annual fee.

    lowInterestAPR icon

    Introductory 0% APRs: Tie

    Both the Freedom Unlimited and Wells Fargo Active Cash offer a 0% intro APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. The main difference lies in the balance transfer fee structure, with Chase offering a slightly lower fee for transfers made within the first 60 days.

    coins icon

    Rewards: Wells Fargo Active Cash

    The Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers a better reward rate for those seeking simple, unlimited cash back on all purchases with an effective reward rate of 4.9. However, the Freedom Unlimited excels in specific categories, offering 5% on travel through Chase Travel℠, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% on all other purchases, with an effective reward rate of 4.5.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Tie

    Both the Wells Fargo Active Cash and Freedom Unlimited offer compelling welcome bonuses with an identical return on investment (ROI) of 40%. The Freedom Unlimited allows you to earn an additional 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 spent in the first year, potentially worth up to $300 cash back. The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a straightforward $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Wells Fargo Active Cash

    Both the Wells Fargo Active Cash and Chase Freedom Unlimited require a credit score of 670 to 850, catering to individuals with good to excellent credit. However, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is slightly more accessible, indicated by its higher internal rating for recommended credit.

    autopay icon

    Penalties and Fees: Wells Fargo Active Cash

    The Wells Fargo Active Cash is better for penalties and fees, notably because it does not impose a penalty APR, unlike the Freedom Unlimited which has a penalty APR up to 29.99%. Both cards charge up to $40 for late fees and have similar fees for cash advances and foreign transactions.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Freedom Unlimited

    JP Morgan Chase Bank has a higher issuer satisfaction rating of 4.1 compared to Wells Fargo's 4.0.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Wells Fargo Active Cash provides valuable protections like up to $600 in cell phone coverage (subject to a $25 deductible) and access to Visa Signature Concierge services. Freedom Unlimited offers free access to credit monitoring through Chase Credit Journey. Depending on your priorities, either card could enhance your financial toolkit.

Rewards Comparison

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card provides a straightforward 2% cash rewards on all purchases, making it a strong contender for consistent and uncomplicated earnings. The Freedom Unlimited excels in specific categories, offering 3% on dining and drugstore purchases and an impressive 5% on travel booked through Chase Travel℠.

While the Freedom Unlimited's diverse rewards structure can be more lucrative for targeted spending, the Wells Fargo Active Cash's flat rate is effortlessly rewarding for all purchases. For those who dine out frequently or spend a significant amount on travel through Chase, the Freedom Unlimited may offer more value. However, the Wells Fargo Active Cash's simplicity and higher overall cash back rate on everyday purchases.

Please refer to the table below to compare the bonus categories offered by each card.

Category
Freedom Unlimited
Wells Fargo Active Cash

Dining

3%

2%

Drugstores

3%

2%

Travel

5% if purchased through Chase Travel℠

2%

All Other Purchases

1.5%

2%

Redeeming Rewards

Freedom Unlimited allows for redemption at any amount, applicable towards statement credits, direct deposits, Amazon purchases, gift cards or travel, with no expiration as long as the account remains open. Similarly, Wells Fargo Active Cash provides various redemption methods, including checks, statement credits, and direct deposits, as well as merchandise, gift cards and travel, with rewards accessible via Wells Fargo ATMs in $20 increments and no expiration with an active account.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like the Wells Fargo Active Cash and the Freedom Unlimited based on their performance in various use cases. For this comparison, we focus on the cash back category, where each card's highest score lies. The evaluation includes factors such as the cash back rate and the value of introductory offers.

Four main factors influence the cash back score: the annual fee, the introductory purchase offer, the issuer's satisfaction rating and penalties. The most significant of these are the effective reward rate and the return on investment for offers. For a deeper understanding of our process, you can review our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Freedom Unlimited Card

What are the cash back rewards for each card?
Do either of the cards have an annual fee?
What are the introductory APR offers for these cards?
How do the balance transfer fees compare between the two cards?
Which card is better for travel-related purchases?

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.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.