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November 7, 2018 12:00 PM PT

Wells Fargo Propel Review

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Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers a large sign-up bonus, 3x bonus categories, and has no annual fee. Does it live up to the hype? Read on for the pros and cons.

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The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card has had an exciting revamp.

It has high reward potential with 3x points in popular categories not often offered by other cards. It also has no foreign transaction fee and an intro APR.

Could this card be the perfect no-annual-fee card?

Read on for the full review.

Who It's Best For

  • Anyone who travels, eats out, and drives. The Propel gives you 3x points for travel, eating out, and gas.

    Counterpoint: If you spend mostly on groceries and gas, check out these credit cards instead.

  • If you have a big purchase to make. This card has a promotional APR for 12 months. So if you're planning large purchases, you have some time to make payments interest-free.

  • Millennials. The card is unique in that you also get 3x points on certain streaming services, such as Netflix and Spotify. This makes it a great choice for Millennials who use these services.

Why We Like It

There are a lot of reasons to seriously consider the Wells Fargo Propel card.

  • Big welcome bonus. You earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This equals $300 in cash. This is one of the best welcome offers we've ever seen for a card with no annual fee.

  • 3x points in popular categories. For a no-annual-fee card, the Propel is packed with rewards. You get 3x points on travel, eating out and ordering in, gas stations, and eligible streaming services. This makes the Propel an extremely versatile card, since most of us are spending in these categories. All other purchases earn 1x point per dollar spent.

    Keep reading for the full list of what's eligible for 3x points.

  • Lots of ways to redeem. Generally, your points can be redeemed at the rate of 1 point = 1 cent (10,000 points = $100). You can redeem your points in the following ways:

    • Cash back at ATMs: Directly redeem rewards for cold, hard cash at Wells Fargo ATMs. You can redeem in increments of 2,000 points for $20.
    • Statement credit: Redeem for statement credit online in increments of 2,500 points for $25.
    • Travel: Use your rewards to book travel on the Wells Fargo travel portal. Keep reading to find out how to get more value out of your points when booking travel.
    • Gift cards: Treat yourself to a gift card from your favorite store or restaurant.
    • Merchandise or digital downloads: The redemption value may vary for these options.

  • Introductory APR. There is a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the APR is 14.49% - 26.99% (Variable), based on your creditworthiness. This is great if you have some larger purchases you want to make during the promo period.

  • Cell phone protection. If you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the Propel card, you get up to $600 of protection if your phone gets damaged or stolen. There is a $25 deductible.

  • No foreign transaction fee. Many banks charge a 3% fee for purchases made outside of the U.S. The Wells Fargo Propel has no foreign transaction fee, so it makes a good companion for trips abroad.

  • Rewards never expire. Your rewards never expire as long as your account remains open. And there is no limit to how many points you can earn.

  • AMEX offers. Register your Propel card at AmericanExpress.com/shop-us to unlock special discounts when you shop at participating stores.

  • No annual fee. Have we already mentioned that this card has no annual fee?

Drawbacks of the Card

Be aware of these potential downsides.

  • Bonus restrictions. Wells Fargo does have some fine print for the welcome bonus, so pay attention. If you opened a Wells Fargo credit card within the past 15 months and received a bonus and/or intro offers, you are not eligible to receive a bonus for any other card product.

    Furthermore, you are only allowed to qualify for a Wells Fargo credit card once every 6 months.

  • Balance transfer fee. There is a balance transfer fee of 3% (or $5, whichever is greater) if you make a transfer within 120 days of account opening. After that, the balance transfer fee is 5%.

How to Get the Most Out of the Propel Card

On its own, your points on the Wells Fargo Propel can be redeemed at the rate of 1 point = 1 cent.

However, Wells Fargo does allow you to pool points with their other cards. The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card allows you to use the points for 50% more value when redeeming for airfare on the Wells Fargo travel portal (10,000 points = $150). So if you have this card, then you can pool your points and use it for higher value for airfare. This can maximize your redemption value to up to 4.5%.

The Wells Fargo Visa Signature also has no annual fee. So it doesn't hurt to have both cards in your wallet.

If you want to do this, make sure you apply to the Propel first, so you can receive the welcome bonus. The Wells Fargo Visa Signature has no sign-up bonus, so you can apply for it 6 months later and won't miss out on any bonuses.

What Counts as Travel

Wells Fargo has a generous definition of travel. The following are eligible for 3x points:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels, motels, timeshares, and homestays (like Airbnb)
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agencies and discount travel sites
  • Vehicle and auto rentals
  • Taxis and limousines
  • Rideshares (like Uber and Lyft)
  • Ferries
  • Passenger railways and trains
  • Toll bridges and highways
  • Parking lots and garages
  • Campgrounds

What Counts as Dining

Eating out and ordering in from these places are eligible for 3x points:

  • Eating places and restaurants
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Drinking places

Bakeries, grocery stores, and other places that don't serve food aren't considered eating places.

What Counts as Streaming Services

Currently, these streaming services are eligible for 3x points:

  • Apple Music
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • Sirius XM Radio Inc.
  • Spotify Premium

How It Compares

Chase Sapphire Preferred. Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular travel reward cards. You get 2x points on travel and dining. Points can be used for 25% more value on the Chase travel portal, or transferred to airline and hotel partners. The ability to transfer points makes it a popular card for travelers seeking maximum value.

 

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 

Summary

 

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 12 monthsN/A
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 12 monthsN/A
Purchase APR14.49% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.99% to 24.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR14.49% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.99% to 24.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, then $95
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Reward PointsIntroductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Travel RewardsTravel Rewards: Earn 3x points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentalsTravel Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Airline Rewards Airline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Hotel Rewards Hotel Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Point RewardsPoint Rewards: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
Earn 1X points on other purchases
Point Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Gas RewardsGas Rewards: Earn 3X points for gas stations 
Dining RewardsDining Rewards: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering inDining Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Airline Transfer Partners Airline Transfer Partners: Chase airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
 Apply Now

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Wells Fargo Propel: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on November 5, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Reserve. Sapphire Reserve is the luxury sibling of the Preferred and has a $450 annual fee. You get 3x points and travel and dining. Points can be transferred or used for 50% more value on the Chase travel portal.

A main draw of this card is the luxury travel perks. You get an annual $300 travel credit, unlimited lounge access via Priority Pass, and Global Entry application fee reimbursement. If you value these perks, you may still think the Reserve is worth it despite the massive annual fee.

However, if you only care about earning and redeeming, then the Wells Fargo Propel + Visa Signature combo could be the better deal. With this combo, you can combine your points and use them for 50% more value on the Wells Fargo travel portal. And the Propel gives you more 3x categories, so you'll rack up points faster. But you won't be able to transfer points.

 

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

 

Summary

 

  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 12 monthsN/A
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 12 monthsN/A
Purchase APR14.49% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.99% to 24.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR14.49% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.99% to 24.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$450 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Reward PointsIntroductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Travel RewardsTravel Rewards: Earn 3x points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentalsTravel Rewards: 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Airline Rewards Airline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Hotel Rewards Hotel Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Point RewardsPoint Rewards: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
Earn 1X points on other purchases
Point Rewards: 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Airline Status Airline Status: $300 Annual Travel Credit (as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card).
Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership for access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide. Enrollment required for Priority Pass Select
Gas RewardsGas Rewards: Earn 3X points for gas stations 
Dining RewardsDining Rewards: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering inDining Rewards: 3X points on dining at restaurants
Airline Transfer Partners Airline Transfer Partners: Chase airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
 Apply Now

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Wells Fargo Propel: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on November 5, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom is another cashback card with high rewards. It gives 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories. So if you're really strategic with your spending, you can maximize your cash back potential. However, you only get 5% back on the first $1,500 you spend in bonus categories per quarter, whereas the Propel has no limit. So if you spend a lot on your credit card, the Propel could still be the better choice.

 

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Chase Freedom

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 12 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 12 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Purchase APR14.49% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR14.49% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Foreign Transaction FeeNo foreign transaction fee3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash Back Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsIntroductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. 
Cash Back Rewards Cash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Cash Back Bonus Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Categories for 2018:
January - March 2018: Gas stations, internet/cable/phone services and Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay
April - June 2018: PayPal, Chase Pay and Grocery stores
July - September 2018: Gas stations, Lyft and Walgreens
October - December 2018: Wholesale clubs, department stores and Chase Pay
Travel RewardsTravel Rewards: Earn 3x points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals 
Point RewardsPoint Rewards: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
Earn 1X points on other purchases
 
Gas RewardsGas Rewards: Earn 3X points for gas stations 
Dining RewardsDining Rewards: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in 

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Wells Fargo Propel: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on November 5, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on October 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and Chase Freedom has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa. The Cash Wise Visa gives you an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases (with the potential of getting up to 1.8% in the first year). The earn potential isn't as great as the Propel. But if your spending is very varied, you may appreciate just a straightforward 1.5% back on everything.

 

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 12 months0% introductory APR for 12 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 12 months0% introductory APR for 12 months
Purchase APR14.49% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.99% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR14.49% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.99% to 26.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Foreign Transaction FeeNo foreign transaction fee3% of the amount of each transaction.
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash Back Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsIntroductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. 
Cash Back Rewards Cash Back Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
Travel RewardsTravel Rewards: Earn 3x points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals 
Point RewardsPoint Rewards: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
Earn 1X points on other purchases
 
Gas RewardsGas Rewards: Earn 3X points for gas stations 
Dining RewardsDining Rewards: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in 

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Wells Fargo Propel: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on November 5, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on October 2, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom Line

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is one of the best cash back credit cards on the market. For a no-annual-fee card, the rewards are very generous. You get 3x points in many popular categories, making it a great, well-rounded card. We think that for almost anyone, this is a great addition to the wallet.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Wells Fargo. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Wells Fargo.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on November 7, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Wells Fargo website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, and Chase Freedom has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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