Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Discover it Cash Back vs Wells Fargo Active Cash: Side By Side Comparison
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Discover it Cash Back vs Wells Fargo Active Cash: Side By Side Comparison

While Discover it Cash Back offers higher cashback rewards for some categories, the Active Cash card is our winner. Here's why.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Discover it Cash Back and Wells Fargo Active Cash are two popular cash back credit cards that offer a variety of rewards and benefits, including no annual fee and 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Let's compare them side by side.

General Comparison: Discover Cash Back vs Wells Fargo Active Cash

The Discover it Cash Back card is renowned for its rotating quarterly cashback categories, allowing users to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in various spending categories, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and dining. Additionally, Discover matches all the cash back earned in the first year, effectively doubling the rewards.

Discover cashback match on Discover app
Discover cashback match on Discover app (Screenshot from Discover app)

On the other hand, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers a straightforward and consistent cashback rate of 2% on all purchases. This simplicity appeals to individuals who prefer a hassle-free approach to earning rewards without the need to track and activate quarterly categories.

Wells Fargo active cash card

Discover it Cash Back
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
Annual Fee
$0
$0
Rewards
5% cashback on up to $1,500 in rotating category purchases each quarter when you activate the bonus category (then 1%), as well 1% percent cash back on all other purchases
2% cash rewards on purchases (unlimited)
Welcome bonus
All cash back earned at the end of the first 12 months is matched.
$200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
0% Intro APR
15 months on purchases and balance transfers , then 17.24% – 28.24% Variable APR
15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then 20.24% to 29.99% variable APR APR
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0
3%
Purchase APR
17.24% – 28.24% Variable
20.24% to 29.99% variable APR
Read Review
Read Review
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Cashback Battle: A Side-by-Side Analysis

While the overall annual cashback amounts may appear similar in our comparison, we base this assumption on consumers fully utilizing the $1,500 spending limit in each quarterly bonus category offered by Discover.

In reality, many individuals may not reach this spending threshold consistently. As a result, the Citi Custom Cash card often has the potential to yield a higher cashback return compared to the Discover cashback card for most users.

Wells Fargo active cash card

Spend Per Category
Discover it Cash Back
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$390
$300
$5,000 – Restaurants
$50
$100
$4,000 – Airline
$40
$80
$3,000 – Hotels
$50
$60
$4,000 – Gas
$40
$80
Estimated Annual Value
$550
$620

Which Extra Benefits You'll Get With Each Card?

Apart from the bonus points and welcome bonuses, both cards offer a host of supplementary benefits.

In general, the additional perks of these cards are quite comparable – while the cell phone protection by the Active Cash card is the most attractive benefit cardholders can earn.

Discover it Cash Back

  • Personalized Card Designs: Discover offers a choice of 25 vibrant card designs for their members, allowing you to select a design that suits your style.
Discover choose card design
Discover choose card design (Screenshot from discover.com)
  • $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee: Discover provides peace of mind with a $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee, ensuring you won't be held responsible for unauthorized purchases made on your Discover Card.
  • Online Privacy Protection: Discover assists you in safeguarding your online privacy by helping you remove personal information from select people-search websites, protecting your data from potential sales. This feature is activated for free through the Discover app.
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Wells Fargo active cash card

  • Cellular Telephone Protection: Receive up to $600 in cell phone protection when paying your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo card, subject to a $25 deductible.
  • My Wells Fargo Deals: Access personalized deals and earn cashback as an account credit when using your Wells Fargo credit card for shopping, dining, or experiences.
  • Zero Liability Protection: Protection against unauthorized transactions when promptly reported.
  • Credit Close-Up℠: Provides tools and insights to understand, track, raise, or maintain your FICO® Score.

When You Might Want the Discover it Cash Back Card?

You might prefer the Discover it Cash Back if:

  • You Frequently Spend in Rotating Categories: Discover it Cash Back's rotating 5% cash back categories can significantly boost your rewards if you frequently spend in those categories.
  • You Want A Cashback Match Bonus: The Discover it Cash Back card has a unique feature where all the cash back earned in the first year is matched. If you're planning to make significant purchases or concentrate spending in the first 12 months, this match can result in substantial rewards.
  • You Need No Foreign Transaction Fees: Discover it Cash Back is entirely free, with no foreign transaction fees. This makes it a cost-effective option for frequent travelers or those who prefer to avoid additional charges.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

When You Might Want the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card?

You might prefer the Wells Fargo Active Cash if:

  • You Want Flat Rate Cashback: If you prefer a straightforward approach to earning cash back without the hassle of tracking rotating categories, the Wells Fargo Active Cash card is more appealing. With a flat 2% cash back on all purchases, there's no need to activate or monitor specific spending categories.
  • You Consistently Spend Across Various Categories: If your spending habits are spread across a variety of categories, the Wells Fargo Active Cash's consistent 2% cashback can provide a steady stream of rewards. You won't need to track rotating categories or adjust your spending habits to maximize your earnings.
  • You're Interested In Cellphone Protection: The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers cellphone protection against damage or theft when you use the card to pay your phone bill. This is a valuable benefit that can save you money if your phone is lost, stolen, or damaged.

Compare The Alternatives

It's always a good idea to be aware of other options before determining the most suitable choice for your needs.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

chase_sapphire_preffered

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee
$0
$95 ($0 intro for the first year)
$95
Rewards
1.5% – 5% 5% percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1.5% cash back on all purchases everyday.
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
2X – 5X 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases and select streaming services. 2x on other travel purchases. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Welcome bonus
$200 $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0
2.70%
$0
Purchase APR
19.99% – 29.99% variable
19.24% – 29.99% Variable
21.24%–28.24% variable APR

Compare Discover It Cash Back

While the Discover it Cashback offers higher rewards on rotating categories, the Chrome card offers flat rate on gas & restaurants. Which is better?

Here's our comparison: Discover it Cash Back vs Discover it Chrome

If you like Discover rotating categories, it's an easy choice. If not – our analysis will help you understand which card is better for you.

Capital One Quicksilver vs Discover it Cash Back: Which Card Is Better?

If you're looking for rotating cash back rewards, it's time to analyze the categories of each to understand which card gives you more.

Chase Freedom Flex vs Discover it Cash Back: Which Is Better?

Both cards provide comparable cashback terms, with Citi Custom Cash being more flexible as it autonomously selects your preferred category.

Citi Custom Cash vs. Discover It Cash Back: Compare Cards

Compare Wells Fargo Active Cash

Wells Fargo has recently launched a new set of credit cards, and these two are at the top of the list. Which of them offers more and is it worth it?

Wells Fargo Active Cash vs Reflect Card: Which One Wins?

When both cards offer the same flat rate cashback, we should see beyond it. Which card is better? Here's The Smart Investor full analysis.

Citi Double Cash vs Wells Fargo Active Cash: Which Card Wins?

The Wells Fargo Active Cash is best for cashback and everyday spending, while the Autograph is a clear winner when it comes to travel rewards.

Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Autograph Card: How They Compare?

The Active Cash card offers flat-rate cashback, while the Unlimited card is the winner for travel. Here's a side-by-side comparison.

Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

While the Quicksilver card offers unlimited flat-rate cashback rewards, the Active Cash card offers a higher cashback ratio. Let's compare.

Capital One Quicksilver vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash

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Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Best Cards Per Category
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.