Guide to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card [Review]

Guide to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card [Review]

This card offers great reward rates for travelers, foodies, and streamers who want to maximize their point accumulation without paying an extra penny.

If you’re considering applying for a new credit card, we think it is well-worth taking a look at the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card. This card is particularly worth considering if your spending habits tend to align with the categories that this card really rewards. The Wells Fargo Propel offers more potential earnings than other rewards credit cards, and its Daily Rewards will allow you to earn three points for every dollar you spend at places like gas stations and restaurants.

For these reasons and more, this card stands out as one of our favorite cards for everyday spending. It offers a handful of basic benefits to enhance your everyday experiences, such as cell phone protection and a lucrative sign-up bonus. And the best part? There is no annual fee, so all of these benefits come without any additional annual fee.

The Wells Fargo Amex Propel card is great for those with good credit scores (think 700 or above) and is a poor choice for those who regularly sign up for new cards. Applicants with strong profiles (high credit score, strong credit history) reported being denied simply because they signed up for too many new cards recently. This includes cards outside of the Amex and Wells Fargo systems.

You should also put your application on hold if you have opened a Wells Fargo card in the last six months. Depending on the issuer’s policy, you can only open one every half year.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Benefits

The good news for lovers of points (or cashback) is that the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card pays triple points for every dollar spent on various services.

For example, are you a lover of travel and haute cuisine? The card covers both activities in spades, meaning it is ideal for people who frequently charge for dinners and travel.

In addition, the card rewards for all dollars spent on streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Hulu, and Netflix. Given that these are ubiquitous monthly expenditures for most people, you will earn points whenever it’s time to settle your streaming bills.

In fact, the longer we looked into the Propel card’s  triple point reward categories, the more we were intrigued by the card. Wells Fargo’s standout feature is perhaps its generous interpretation of “travel and transit,” two common categories for rewards cards.

If you are one of those who likes to rent a vehicle to travel and wants to earn points for every dollar spent in the travel category, there are few better options than using this card.

With such broad and encompassing rewards categories, you could quickly rack up enough Go Far points to, for example, book a flight home to Philadelphia to visit family this holiday season.  As a bonus, if you book that flight through Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards travel portal, you’ll get 50% more points to spend.

Introductory Rewards

If you plan to spend $1,000 over the first 3 months you have this card, you will earn 20,000 Go Far points as an introductory incentive

Introductory APR

Wells Fargo Propel American Express offers a 12-month, 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers. A balance transfer fee of 3% applies to transfers made in the first 120 days, then rises to 5% for all henceforth transactions.

Annual relationship bonus

You get a 10% bonus on base points earned within the last 12 months when your account remains open, in good condition, and if you have a Wells Fargo deposit account in good standing.

For example, if you earn 10,000 basis points over a 12-month period, you get a 1,000-point bonus. Please note that this bonus does not apply to bonus points earned in the 2x and 3x categories.

Wells Fargo Propel Card Drawbacks

While the Propel Card offers rich travel bonus point rewards, it does not come with most of the travel benefits inherent in many other travel reward cards.

Cards such as the Platinum Card from American Express (5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline or AmEx travel and prepaid hotels booked on AmEx travel) to the Chase Sapphire Reserve (3 points spent on the entire trip) come with a large amount of travel benefits, such as airport lounge access and a credit against your TSA PreCheck application fee. The Wells Fargo Propel Card does not.

But you get what you pay for, in a sense. While those other cards have annual fees up to $550, Wells Fargo Propel doesn’t have an annual fee.

Comparison

Feature Wells Fargo Propel Mastercard Black Chase Sapphire Preferred Chase Sapphire Reserve
Annual Fee $0 $495 $95 $550
Earning Rates 3x on dining

3x on all travel

3x on gas stations, rideshares and transit

3x on popular streaming services

1x on all other purchases

2x on airline purchases

1.5x on cash-back

1x on all other transactions

5x points on Lyft rides

2x on travel and dining

1x on everything else

10x points on Lyft rides

3x on travel and dining

1x on everything else

Welcome Bonus 20,000 points after $1,000 spent in first 3 months None 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Transfer Fee 3% for first 120 days, then 5% $5 or 3% (whichever is higher) $5 or 5% (whichever is higher) $5 or 5% (whichever is higher)
APR 0% for 12 months, then 14.49-24.99% 0% for 15 months, then 14.99% 15.99-22.99% 16.99-23.99%
Bonus Credits None $100 annual travel credit

$100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee

$10 Lyft credit per month earned for every 5 rides taken

5% cash rewards on Boxed purchases with an account

None $300 annual travel credit

$100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee

$120 for DoorDash

Airport Lounge Access None Priority Pass Select (offers 1,300 lounges worldwide) None Priority Pass Select (offers 1,200 lounges worldwide)
Rental Car Insurance None Secondary, must decline carrier coverage and charge car to card Primary, excludes expensive and exotic cars or trucks Primary, reimburses up to $75,000 for theft or collision
Trip Cancellation None Up to $5,000 per person on trips paid with Black card. Offers secondary travel insurance. Up to $10,000 per covered trip Up to $10,000 per covered trip
Baggage Delay None Up to $100 per day (maximum 3 days) Up to $500 per ticket (delays over 12 hours or requiring an overnight stay) Up to $500 per ticket (delays over 6 hours or requiring an overnight stay)

Conclusion

Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign currency conversion fees
  • 12-month 0% APR introductory offer
  • Great first-three-months spending bonus
Drawbacks
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Not great travel benefits like airport lounge or trip insurance
  • Can’t transfer points to outside loyalty programs

This is an ideal card for those who wish to have a benefit card that does not charge an annual fee, but that pays well in points. However, it does not offer the travel benefits that other cards offer and thus may not be the best fit for those interested in the finer things while traveling.

Still, for bigger spenders who want to earn 3X points in key categories, this card merits consideration. While you may not get the lounge access inherent in other cards, you’ll save big on the annual fee and you’ll potentially earn enough points to find yourself enjoying a free plane ticket often enough!

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