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Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Review

Reviews.com logo Reviews.com 1/16/2020 Cynthia Paez Bowman
a person sitting on a table: Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Review © Provided by Reviews.com Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Review

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Review

If you'd like to get your hands on a no-annual-fee American Express card that also earns you points for travel, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express is for you. You’ll earn a generous rewards rate of three points per dollar on high-spend categories like travel, gas, and dining.

You won’t get the travel perks you’d expect from the high-annual-fee cards, but if you can live without VIP airport lounge access and free Global Entry, this card is as good as it gets. The Propel Amex has other benefits that make up for the missing luxurious perks. You’ll get lost luggage reimbursement, cell phone protection that covers your phone against damage or theft, supplemental car rental loss, and damage insurance. Those are pretty good features for a card that doesn’t cost you anything.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Overview

  • Card Type: Travel
  • Rewards Rate: 3x points on dining, travel, transit, gas station charges, and select streaming services, plus 1x point on all other purchases
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 30,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first three months ($300 value)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 15.49%-27.49% variable rate
  • Intro APR: 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to excellent
  • Additional Rates and Fees:
    • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3%, whichever is greater
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: N/A

Perks

  • Earn three points for every dollar in categories like gas, dining, and travel
  • No fees
  • Lost luggage protection and cell phone protection

Best for

Customers who want a high-end card with no fees

Not for

People looking for cash back on everyday purchases

The Competition

All information accurate as of January 16, 2020.

Main Benefits

Redeem for travel and more

Points are worth one cent each and can be applied to travel or used to buy gift cards through the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards portal. If you prefer cash back, you can withdraw your points as cash from any Wells Fargo ATM in $20 amounts.

Earn points faster

This Amex is structured to earn points quickly. For most consumers, the bulk of their monthly card spending goes toward food and gas. Cardholders will earn 3X points on dining out, gasoline, and travel.

No fees

Many consumers skip American Express cards because many come with annual fees. And the ones that don’t often have limited perks. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express is loaded with benefits similar to a gold or platinum card but has no annual or foreign transaction fees.

Possible Drawbacks

Limited travel redemption

Points earned can’t be transferred to other loyalty programs and are limited to bookings through the Go Far Rewards portal. If you’d like more travel booking options, apply the points as cash toward a gift card and use the gift card to pay for your travel bookings elsewhere.

High earning potential in limited categories

The 3X point earning potential is limited to dining, travel, transit, gasoline, and streaming services. If you’re a homebody and prefer to eat at home or if you don’t commute enough to need gas regularly, you may not spend enough to warrant owning this card. If this is the case, there are other cards that offer higher rewards of 1.5X or more on any type of spending.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Compared to Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa

Both cards are backed by well-known banks, and their points-earning structure and travel redemption process is similar. Money spent on travel is earned at 3X for both cards, although the travel earns 3X with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa only when booked through the Bank of America travel portal.

If you regularly spend on gas, Ubers, travel, and dining out, the Wells Fargo Propel Amex is the best choice. You’ll earn triple points for every dollar spent. If these categories aren’t where your money normally goes, the BofA Travel Rewards Visa awards you with 1.5 points per dollar or more on all purchases.

How to Earn Points

To earn the most value from this travel rewards credit card, you’ll want to earn as many points as possible to redeem for cash, merchandise, or travel. Here is how to earn points with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express card faster:

  • Focus on the high-earning categories like travel, dining, gas, transit, and streaming services and make these category purchases with your Propel card. These categories are not budget essentials, so be careful not to overspend to simply earn points. Never spend more than you can afford — make sure to pay your balance in full and on time every month to avoid monthly interest charges.
  • All other credit card purchases earn one point for every dollar spent. If you are disciplined about your spending and have a budget you stick to, charge your household expenses to your Propel Amex to accelerate your points-earning potential. It’s important that you only do this if you can be responsible about your spending and pay your balance in full. Carrying an ongoing balance or forgetting to make your payments on time could cost you money in interest fees and late charges, as well as negatively affect your credit score.

How to Redeem Points

Your points have no expiration date as long as you keep your account open. To redeem your earned Wells Fargo points, log in to the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards portal. Your points balance can be applied to merchandise, travel purchases with no blackout dates, or gift cards.

Gift card redemption options start at a $25 gift card for 2,500 points. If you prefer to trade your points for cash back, you can withdraw your points as cash from any Wells Fargo ATM in $20 amounts.

The Bottom Line

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card has a good combination of features you’d expect to see in a fee-based card, such as travel protections, lost luggage reimbursement, and purchase protections like extended warranty. You can earn a solid amount of points on categories like dining, travel, and gas. You’ll receive a generous welcome offer and a year of interest-free payments, and it’s all for no annual fee — making it a solid choice for a rewards credit card.

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