Wells Fargo is now allowing its customers to redeem credit card rewards in cash at ATMs. The firm released a press release on February 4 that details the new feature. The firm allows customers to redeem rewards not only as cash withdrawals, but also as a deposit or payment to other Wells Fargo accounts. The service is now available at all 12,500 Wells Fargo ATM locations.
A recent NY Times article said Alicia Moore, head of Wells Fargo’s ATM services, suggested that the firm is the first major U.S. financial institution to adopt this innovative cash rewards system. The only comparable function seen in financial services right now is customers’ getting cash advances from their credit cards. For instance, the 1-2-3 Rewards Visa Card offered by U.S. Bank allows customers to get cash advances at ATMs accepting Visa. Outside of the realm of cash advances, Wells Fargo seems to be the only firm making a move toward rewards redemption access.
For those customers interested in instant cash redemption, the process consists of choosing “redeem” on Wells Fargo ATMs and simply withdrawing amounts in increments of 20 dollars. American Banker described the rewards redemption ATM as a five-year idea finally surfacing as a way to help customers, calling Wells Fargo “an ATM innovator.” Kicking off 2015 by giving users such easy access to their rewards program, the firm could be changing the face of credit card rewards.
Rewards redemptions have always required wait time, an inconvenience for the customer. Wells Fargo’s instant ATM cash redemption has eliminated days from the normally restricting rewards process. With less red tape and an instant extra source of cash, Wells Fargo is the first to create a solution to the very slow redemption process associated with credit card rewards programs. Other firms might want to follow in Wells Fargo’s footsteps.