Wells Fargo is making “cash back” as literal as possible, allowing customers to cash out their credit card rewards right at the ATM.
The San Francisco-based bank announced last week that cardholders participating in the Wells Fargo Rewards Program could withdraw their rewards in $20 increments from more than 12,500 bank-affiliated ATMs across the country. Wells Fargo says it is “the first major U.S. financial services provider to introduce this functionality.”
Compared to all the current other ways a cardholder can claim rewards – getting a statement credit, “erasing” purchases from one’s transaction activity, requesting a paper check, redeeming the cash for gift cards, sending the money to a checking account via direct deposit, and so on – Wells Fargo’s new program offers arguably the most direct of all methods. Paper check and direct deposit options do technically make rewards available at the ATM, but those are still roundabout processes in comparison to what Wells Fargo is offering.
Company officials had begun discussing the idea about five years ago and finally implemented it in 2014. The decision to move ahead was borne of the a key change in customer behavior that Wells Fargo had observed: customers are withdrawing more cash.
Said Alicia Moore, Wells Fargo’s head of ATM banking: “Over the last several years, we continue to see cash usage go up in the network.”
In addition to the cash-withdrawal option, Wells Fargo is also giving its cardholders the options to transfer their rewards into checking or savings, or apply them toward loans.