CI First Look: Wells Fargo Digital Rewards

by on Mar 24, 2014

The vast majority of credit card firms have integrated redemptiondigital-reward-cards or cash back programs into their rewards-eligible credit card products, allowing customers to either accrue points from purchases and redeem them or receive cash back as a statement credit or deposit. Currently, many credit card rewards sites have outsourced electronics merchandise to brick-and-mortar stores such as Best Buy or e-commerce companies like Amazon. In January, Wells Fargo bucked this trend by introducing a Digital Rewards points redemption section on their Rewards site where customers can download digital products like songs, movies, videogames and eBooks directly onto their computers. This allows card holders to forgo driving to the store or registering for a third party account, saving time and unnecessary hassle.

A Look Inside Wells Fargo’s Digital Rewards Site
Wells Fargo’s Digital Rewards site offers an extensive mix of Music, eBooks, Audio Books, Games, Software, and Mobile offerings, with each product category divided into many genres. Across all product types, customers either download a file directly onto their computer, or in the case of videogames and software, they use a download manager that facilitates the steps to download the product. Similar to iTunes, music can be downloaded as a full album or by individual song, and customers can even save tracks of interest for downloading at a later date. The save feature is crucial since it lets customers peruse through the site and mark favorites without having to immediately download a product or calculate how many points they need.

Wells Fargo Digital Rewards Site Homepage
In terms of usability and presentation, the site has a clean and consistent navigation menu, clearly divided merchandise based on genre, and helpful and relevant FAQ answers. Hot Titles featured on the main overview page via scrolling product images help promote the newest and most popular items, ostensibly enticing the customer to explore each category further. Finally, the download process is intuitive, with a save and download icon next to each product. Selecting the download button prompts a lightbox with clear download instructions and a noticeable Redeem button at the bottom.

Product Page: Prism by Katy Perry
Lightbox with Download Instructions
Closing Thoughts
All told, this new Digital Rewards site advances the idea of efficiency one step further from other rewards sites by offering electronics merchandise as immediate and direct downloads to a customer’s computer. It also gives the customer more choices regarding how to use the product, since they can copy and transfer the file to any number of personal mobile or other electronic devices[1].

By comparison, competitor firms covered by our Credit Card Monitor research service outsource their electronics merchandise to retail or e-commerce companies. To be clear, Wells Fargo’s Digital Rewards site does not offer an absolute advantage for consumers, namely, those who would rather use Amazon’s pre-existing MP3 store or an iTunes gift card. Nevertheless, for consumers who would prefer to not sign up for third party sites or pick up physical products at a brick and mortar store, Wells Fargo’s new site offers many advantages.


[1]Wells Fargo explicitly states that purchased files can be copied to unlimited personal devices, but not shared with anyone other than the purchaser.