Using Wells Fargo Prepaid Visa Cards to Meet Credit Card Minimum Spend Requirements

Wells Fargo Prepaid Visa cards can be purchased with a credit card, and while Citibank has been reported to post these transactions as cash advances Chase currently posts them as purchases.

That means they can be used to meet minimum spend requirements on Chase-issued credit cards, and the purchases earn miles, too.

They do not take American Express.

You can load up to $2500 per day via credit card, at $5 per load. The most a card can hold is $5000 at a time.

They charge $3 per month for the card.

The key benefit here is that you can take the cash off the card at an ATM. The first two withdrawals are free at a Wells Fargo ATM. Starting with the third withdrawal, each costs $1. (Non-Wells Fargo ATMs cost $2.50 per withdrawal.) There’s a $1500 maximum withdrawal in any given 7 day period and $5000 maximum every 30 days.

Online purchases made with the card are capped at $600 per transaction.

Meeting a $10,000 minimum spend requirement with this technique will cost:

  • $20 in fees to load the cash ($2500 x 4 @ $5 each)
  • $6 in monthly fees (Minimum – since you can’t pull more than $5000 off a card per month you must keep the card open at least 2 months)
  • $18 for 20 ATM withdrawals of $500 each from Wells Fargo machines (The first 2 are free then $1 thereafter). If you don’t have access to a Wells Fargo ATM then it will likely cost you $5 per withdrawal since you pay fees on both sides.

I haven’t done this myself but I’ve only heard successful reports. As far as I am aware, this was first publicly discussed in the comments at MileValue. Do this enough and you may wind up having to take calls from the Wells Fargo fraud prevention department, that’s not a problem just a hassle. And Chase presumably won’t like it, serial heavy users of this technique could attract their ire.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Oh Goody, lets throw more newbies to the cardinal’s den. 🙂 If you go down this trout pond you might want to tip toe into the water before plunging right in. One bad cash advance fee (and interest) can ruin your whole day.

  2. Also, do watch buying those AMEX gift cards in quantity with an AMEX card. Go slow, because if you use up a certain percentage of the credit limit on your card that is supposed to be without a credit limit, the AMEX cardinals (think friendly fraud prevention folk) will introduce you to the AMEX version of The Spanish Inquisition, called a Financial Review or (FR). The experience compares well with a root canal.

  3. ps: I love the word “cardinal”. I try to use it in every post of mine on every forum/blog.

    Let’s make this interesting: If any of you find a post of mine anywhere that doesn’t have the word “cardinal” in it, email me and you could win a prize. cardinal…. cardinal… cardinal… cardinal… cardinal…

  4. Do you know if U.S. Bank or Barklays count this as a cash advance?? I have spends on both of those cards due.

  5. very nice and much easier than finding Office Depot stores that have Vanilla Reloads in stock.

  6. It’s not showing any fees for me unless I’m missing something, is it because I already have a wells fargo account?

    *** I’m using a chase credit card to add money

    Order Information
    Order Total
    Card Amount Purchase Fees Shipping Total
    Card 1 – Wells Fargo Prepaid Card $800.00 Free Free $800.00
    Order Total: $800.00

  7. @DrSifu – I did not claim this idea was mine. I gave credit where it was due in the post. Which, I see, in your Flyertalk post you did as well.

  8. chase southwest visa. it was on the pending charges so you might be rght, I called wells fargo to cancel my order but they said it wasnt in the system yet and I would have to call back tommorow. I think the fee with chase on cash advance is $10, so is it worth waiting to see how it posts, or should I just cancel the order?

  9. @Gary – Hopefully some of your readers who do not frequent FlyerTalk can make some use of this information. I just find the format of this post eerily similar to mines including the $10,000 spend requirement.

    “C’est la vie”. Enjoy everyone!!

  10. Good information. Thank you.

    Question 1: does anyone have a sense of whether $2500 a month would fly below the radar of Wells Fargo and Chase?

    Question 2: why is it that the comments to this post are all generally respectful, while the comments on the Million Mile Secrets Wal-Mart money order would make you think that Daraius was the devil himself? Aren’t the techniques pretty similar?

  11. Creative, but I think the key is moderation.

    I think the risk is way too high for the reward. The last thing you desire is to get blacklisted by any bank and miss out on promos for years to come.

    I’ll stay on sidelines watching and wait to see outcome.

  12. can anyone definitely confirm chase charge comes through as purchase and not cash advance? also, why not just broaden the timeline (e.g. 4 months) and maybe make a purchase or two in order to lessen the potential ire? even if one pays $100 in fees, it’s still only 1% to make a minimum spend of $10K.

  13. I bought this debt card and load using my chase sapphire preferred and its shows cash advance…. hope they will change it… 🙁

  14. @Gary *UPDATE – I just checked it back and it was converted to a purchase. Thank God!! thanks for the information.
    Also, WF didnt charge me loading fee either.

  15. Here’s some info about the card.

    1. Ink plus posted it as a charge, not cash advance

    2. Wells has a $600.00 PER TRANSACTION limit, much like an ATM card.

    3. I moved 2500 from my new Ink with the intention of covering part of my minimum, then paying my quarterly estimate taxes with the card, incurring a debit fee rather than the credit card transaction fee.

    3.a the site rejected the card saying it wasn’t a debit card. Phone support said the same

    3.b the site payUSAtax was willing to take it as a debit card, but that’s where I learned about the limit. Their phone support said to make $600 payments on successive days until I reached the total I need. Separate fees, of course, tho still about a quarter of their credit card surcharge.

    3.c I plan to make payments of almost but not quite $600, each different by a dollar or two. That’s because I’m paranoid and want to be able to track a particular missing payment if such should happen. A few in a row of the same amount would be more confusing to straighten out.

  16. I would caution you to use this card for tax payments if you owe more than $1,200. is the only IRS payment site that will run the Wells Fargo Visa as a debit and you are limited to 2 payments per year (Wells Fargo limits you to $600 spend per day).

  17. Can you purchase Money Orders or Cashiers Checks with this card? If not, then which prepaid card will allow this.

  18. Very clear, succinct post. I have 2 comments based on the below schedule of fees.

    1) The first 2 ATM withdrawal free EACH MONTH are free, so in the OP scheme, it would be $16 for ATM withdrawal.

    2) There is an option to close account and get a check for an $8 fee. So after your second trip to the ATM in month #2 (you have now done 12 withdrawals for 6k), you can fill it up with 4k and cash out with the check. It costs $8 which is the same as 8 more trips to the ATM so at least it saves you that headache.

  19. Anyone have issues ordering the card online?

    I keep getting an error message – “your order could not be completed”
    Tried various cards, each time the same message.

  20. I realize the amount I was attempting was more than the CA limit for that card. Stupid!

    Have they flagged my info now, and I’ll never be able to get one?

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