Wells Fargo is making a play in the travel credit card space with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. Whether you’re taking a vacation or looking to maximize everyday spending, this card’s category bonuses could be very lucrative.
With an annual fee of $0, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card makes a compelling choice if you’re looking for a new rewards card. Here are four groups of readers who may want to check this card out:
Frequent travelers have a plethora of options when it comes to earning rewards. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card offers great bonus categories for frequent travelers. Not only do traditional travel categories such as flights, rental cars and hotels all qualify for 3x points, but cardholders also earn 3x points on rideshare expenses, gas purchases and transit costs. This wide variety of categories means you’ll be earning bonus points almost everywhere you go, no matter how you get there.
2. Cord cutters
This is an interesting bonus category that could become incredibly lucrative as time goes on: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card cardholders earn 3x points on qualifying streaming services. Streaming has become the de facto way many of us enjoy movies, TV and music, with more and more services starting up. Currently, this 3x bonus applies to the following services:
- Apple Music.
- Sirius XM Radio.
- Spotify Premium.
Those are some of the biggest names in streaming, and it’s not uncommon for people to subscribe to more than one. One year of Netflix’s middle tier is about $156, which would earn you 468 points. The more subscriptions you have, the more points you earn.
Restaurants are a bonus category for many rewards credit cards, including the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. That means you’ll be earning triple points when you go out to eat at a nice place and when you stay in to order pizza. This is an easy way to earn points on regular expenses.
4. Heavy spenders
Some credit cards with a wide variety of bonus point categories limit the number of rewards you can earn, but the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has no such limits. So you can feel confident putting all your streaming services, dining and other bonus category expenses on this card — you’ll continue to earn points with no ceiling.
That said, there are a few downsides to this card. You may not want to get the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card if the following situations apply to you:
You’re looking for a big welcome bonus
We’re used to seeing limited-time introductory bonuses on other travel rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. While the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card does include a welcome bonus, it doesn’t compare to some deals we’ve seen recently: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.
This isn’t the worst bonus we’ve seen, but there are better bonuses out there. For example, check out the current offer on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel.
You want to make high-value redemptions
Travel rewards cards are some of the most popular credit cards today. With high earning potential, it’s possible to build up a stash of points and pay for an entire vacation. While the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card does offer strong earnings on travel with 3x points for each dollar spent, it doesn’t offer any bonus multipliers or opportunities to multiply your redemption value.
Points redeemed toward travel are worth 1 cent each through Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards portal, which isn’t necessarily a bad rate. But if you’re looking to redeem specifically for airfare, for example, the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Credit Card offers 50% more value for flights. And other cards, such as those that earn transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, let you redeem directly with airlines for even more value.
You have trouble making payments
You should always strive to pay off your credit card at the end of each month. When you do, you avoid accumulating interest and keep a lower balance, which can improve your credit score. But sometimes, circumstances outside your control might leave you with a balance at the end of the month.
With the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, if you aren’t able to make the minimum payment you owe, you will lose access to your accumulated points. That means no point redemptions or transfers until you’re back in good standing.
» Learn more: How to improve your credit by 100 points in 3 steps
The bottom line
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card offers a number of ways to accumulate points beyond traditional travel categories. With no limit on the points you can earn and a $0 annual fee, it can be a great card for growing your rewards balance. This low-frills card comes with just a few downsides, but if you know the limits going in, you’ll find a solid rewards card that ties into Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards program.
We think the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card could benefit anyone who needs a versatile card with an annual fee of $0 and generous category bonuses.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: