Wells Fargo Opened a Credit Card for My Business After I Said I Didn’t Want One


Today I have a guest post from Mrs. Accountability whose blog Out of Debt Again chronicles the journey her family is taking in getting out of debt for the second time. Mrs. Accountability blogs about getting out of debt, frugality, and just about anything related to personal finance.

About a month ago I decided it was finally time to open a business checking for my blog and side hustles. I was motivated in part because I decided to start using Quickbooks for my online business, and it is more difficult to track income when you have money coming in and going out of personal accounts. You can track it, but in order to actually keep income records in Quickbooks I would have to either pull in the personal accounts for reconciliation, or only add the transactions pertinent to the business. Pulling in everything meant I would have to reconcile the checking account twice, and adding only pertinent transactions meant I wouldn’t be able to reconcile the account.

One Friday I was at the bank, and curious as to how much I’d need to pay for a business checking. I was surprised to hear that there was no monthly fee, as long as I allowed an automatic transaction of $100 to go from the business checking to the business savings account each month.

That sounded great, and I decided to open the accounts. Once we got all the paperwork filled out, I was transferred to the business banker. Right away he asked if I would like to have a business credit card for the company. I told him I was not interested, because I don’t need a credit card for the company. I told him I wasn’t making that much money, and I didn’t have many expenses. And besides, I told him I was working to improve my credit score because my credit score is important to me and I didn’t want it dinged with an inquiry.

The banker was a little surprised, and tried to sell me on the credit card for a couple more minutes, but I told him I really don’t need any more credit.

I thought that was the end of that.

About one week later, I get a call from the business banker. He’s breathless as he tells me he JUST received a call from the credit card department and he had to call me right away and let me in on the good news! My business credit card was approved with a $15,000 limit! He acted as if this was unheard of, he acted like he’d won the lottery. He seemed to think this was highly unusual and they rarely see a credit card limit this high for a business. I wasn’t sure how to respond, because I never gave my approval to apply for the card, and I was worried this was going to cause my credit score to lose points. I reminded him that I didn’t want a credit card for the business, and asked him why they approved me for one, when I never agreed to apply for one. He said the bank automatically pushes the application through for all new accounts. He then went on to tell me how wonderful this was, and how much it was going to help me in my business in case I needed to advertise, or buy inventory or anything else that I needed for the business.

I agreed to go down a few days later as I had to sign more paperwork, and when I got there he was still very excited about my credit card limit. It started me to wondering if they get some kind of compensation for persuading people to apply for a credit card.

It was very uncomfortable for me, as I wasn’t excited about it at all. I was worried my credit score might be affected and told him so. He said if anything my credit score would be helped because this $15,000 would lower my credit to debt ratio. I am a sole proprietor, so the business credit card will show up on my personal credit information.

After he mentioned that, I decided to just go ahead and get the card, and I tried to muster up some enthusiasm and mentioned how it is safer to buy online using a credit card instead of a debit card, to which he agreed heartily.

Have you ever had a bank open a credit card for you without your permission?

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6 thoughts on “Wells Fargo Opened a Credit Card for My Business After I Said I Didn’t Want One

  1. Haley says:

    Mrs. A: Yes, I have had a bank open a credit card account without my permission. I discovered it after I had been away from home for several weeks. When going through the pile of mail, I first discovered a monthly statement for the card, then the card itself. I was very confused, and then upset. I called the bank and spoke to the manager; he told me that a particular employee had been putting in credit card applications for people, like me, who had recently opened CDs at the bank. He canceled the card for me and profusely apologized. I left the bank after my CD matured.

    I’m glad things are working out okay for you.


  2. Donna J WWAHHMpreneur says:

    I used to work in the credit industry. Yes, the banker will get a nice commission just for getting you signed up.

    Is there a part two to this story? I really hope you complained about this to his supervisor. If there is no clause on paperwork that you signed stating that you would automatically be applying for business credit, then you could potentially sue them. Did you look through the fine print on your paperwork?

    I hope that you do not use that credit account so that you can keep a good credit to debt ratio.

    I love Dave Ramsey … he said that having credit, even if you’re not using it, is akin to holding a loaded gun or playing with fire.

    I have had my fill of playing with the fire of credit …. too much of a temptation for me. I just don’t go there anymore.


  3. Mrs. Accountability says:

    Donna, no I did not make a complaint. It was an uncomfortable situation for me because he was so excited about my credit limit being so high. It was that thing where I guess a bit of pride crept in… I didn’t see your comment until today. I’m now looking at my credit scores and it looks to me like the inquiry did drop my credit score. Unfortunately this is one of those little bank branches in a store and I would feel bad making a fuss. I know I should! Thanks for letting me know they do make a commission. The other weird thing is when I was opening the account, it’s like I was the greatest thing since toasted bread and now the lady that was helping me acts as if she has never seen me before. Very odd, and uncomfortable. I now try not to bank at that branch if I can help it.


  4. Steve says:

    Mr. A – I had the same experience at Wells Fargo. I walked in to deposit some checks and a banker showed up behind the teller and asked if I wanted a lower rate on my credit card. I said that sounds good, tell me if I can get a lower rate. He called me later and said the card is in the mail. I said I didn’t ask for the card, I asked if you could get a lower rate. So I asked him to cancel the card. He said he couldn’t cancel it, I’d have to call. I called WellsFargo, canceled the card and talked to an advisor who said she would put in a complaint. I asked her if it was standard procedure to issue cards without an application or signature. She said they bankers have the application in front of them, if you say “yes” then they can fill it out on your behalf. I didn’t say “yes” I said “I’m interested in finding out if I can get a lower rate”.
    Please complain to your bank about this policy or approving credit cards verbally and submitting on your behalf. If you go back to the banker, they will say you said “yes”. It’s your word against their’s. What happened to the signature? The banks need to be taken to task for this!


  5. George says:

    It just happened to me. Last week I went to a wells fargo branch to change my address, and the teller told me that I was pre-approved for a credit card. Then, he spend minutes to talk how wonderful the card is. I say “OK, sound great, I may consider to apply, but not today”. Before I left the bank, I asked for a flyer of the credit card, and he gave me his business card. He asked me to call him if I want to apply. I said that I will come back in person if I want to apply.

    Today, I received an email which says that my wells fargo credit card is on the way. From the beginning to the end, I never gave his any permission to apply. I really feel bad for this. I am going to close this credit card and plus my wells fargo checking account.


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