» This article is being updated.
If you’ve just signed up for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, you’ll soon receive a new credit card in the mail that offers some pretty unique features. For a $0 annual fee, you’ll start earning 3 Go Far Rewards points per dollar spent in a wide range of categories including travel, dining, gas stations, grocery stores, transit and even popular video and audio streaming services.
Your options for redeeming those points are numerous as well. You can use your points for things like travel booked right on the Wells Fargo website, gift cards, cash back and even paying down a Wells Fargo mortgage.
To make the most of these myriad benefits, you’ll want to hit the ground running as soon as you get your card. Here are six things to do as soon as it arrives in the mail.
» Learn more: Full review of the Wells Fargo Propel card
1. Activate and sign your card
Remember that your signature on the back of your card makes it harder (though not impossible) for thieves to use it.
2. Update your streaming service payment method
If you have Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, Pandora, Sirius XM Radio or Spotify Premium, you’ll earn 3 points for every dollar you spend when you make your monthly payments with your new card. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it way to boost your earnings.
3. Update payment methods on auto-pay and saved payment accounts
Do you shop on Amazon? Does your cell service provider automatically bill a credit card you supplied to them? Make an inventory of all the companies that have your credit card information on file, and decide whether you want to switch those over to your new Propel card — you can do so permanently, or perhaps just until you meet your minimum spend to earn the welcome offer: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.
4. Plot out how you’ll meet your minimum spend
For some folks, responsibly charging this amount to a credit card in just a few months is easy. For others, it’s a huge challenge. Either way, you don’t want to miss out on that big bonus. Take a look at your expenses over the last few months to decide whether you’ll get there effortlessly through normal spending activity, or whether you’ll need a targeted plan of attack.
5. Read up on your redemption options
With airline- or hotel-branded credit cards, it’s natural to start pricing out the points you’ll need for that dream vacation right away. But with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, travel is just one of many options for redeeming your points.
Managing your personal finances is another option: You can use those points to pay down a portion of your Wells Fargo credit card bill, home mortgage or personal loan. Before you’ve earned your first points, invest some time familiarizing yourself with all the ways you’ll be able to redeem them. You’ll be better equipped to make smart decisions later.
» Learn more: NerdWallet’s best Wells Fargo credit cards
6. Compare online shopping portals
Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards has its own shopping portal, where you can earn an extra 1% to 10% in points for shopping major retailers. That’s attractive. But if you’re already a member of an airline or hotel loyalty program, it pales in comparison to the boost you might get through their other shopping portals.
For example, when we clicked through the Go Far Rewards portal to shop at Nike, we saw it was offering a 2% points bonus on purchases. But when we checked the American Airlines’ AAdvantage eShopping portal that same day, the current offer was 3 AAdvantage miles per dollar. And that’s in addition to the 1 Go Far Rewards point per dollar you’d earn for using your Wells Fargo Propel card for the transaction.
Most major airlines and hotel groups have their own “virtual malls” that pay bonus miles for shopping hundreds of top retailers. Poke around to see which portal is best for you — and remember these offers change all the time.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you Snag these hotel loyalty perks, even if you’re disloyal Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies