I participate in the Wells Fargo Rewards program with my Wells Fargo debit card and have been doing so for years. It’s not the best earning tool (I think it’s as bad as 1 point for every $4 you spend), but it’s passive. I have accumulated just over 24,000 points in the system and redemptions for flight activity are $0.01/point. That works out to just over $240 in airfare (there are other ways to spend the points, but that’s the easiest to lay out). Today, I received an email detailing changes in the program. The one that leapt out at me was this one: “Rewards earning to discontinue.” What?! Talk about a change to the program! Starting 08 October, I will no longer accumulate points. I will still be able to spend them, but no more will be earned. On the bright side, they say they’ve done away with the annual fee (which, if I recall, was free). Something tells me I’d better spend the points now before they take that away, too.
If you, like me, participate in this program, it’s time to re-evaluate! Below is the text from the email:
Thank you for participating in the Wells Fargo Rewards for Debit Card program (“Program”). Due to recent regulatory changes resulting in a significant reduction in fees retailers pay banks for debit card transactions, Wells Fargo is making the following rewards program changes effective October 8, 2011:
What is changing
- Rewards earning to discontinue. Beginning October 8, 2011, debit card purchases and payments will no longer earn rewards points. Any reference to the earning of rewards points in the Program Terms and Conditions will be removed.2 You can continue to earn rewards points on qualified purchases through October 7, 2011, including purchases made on the Earn More Mall® site. If your rewards account balance is zero or below after October 7, 2011, your rewards account will be closed.
- Annual Program fee changes and reimbursement. As of August 3, 2011, the annual Program fee will no longer be charged. If you paid an annual Program fee from October 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011, you will receive a prorated reimbursement of the fee based on your enrollment or anniversary date. The reimbursement will be credited to your primary-linked checking account by September 1, 2011.3
For additional information regarding the Program changes, please click here.
What is not changing
There are no changes to how you currently use your debit card. You can continue to use your debit card for online and retail store purchases, to withdraw cash at ATMs, or to pay bills.
Redeem points for great rewards. At this time, the points you’ve earned will continue to be available for you to redeem, with redemptions currently starting at 650 points.4 Browse the variety of rewards available, including cash rewards and gift cards. Redeem online at WellsFargoRewards.com, and be sure to check out the limited time offers available.
You can access your Wells Fargo Rewards Debit Card account information anytime by logging in at WellsFargoRewards.com.
We sincerely appreciate your business and participation in the Wells Fargo Rewards program.