Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
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On paper, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card looks very attractive. It charges no annual fee and offers up to triple points for every dollar spent.
But you can only earn those 3x points at U.S. gas stations. For most consumers, gas probably isn’t in their top two or three spending categories annually, so this enhanced reward has limited value – especially when you consider this card’s rewards in other categories are average at best.
It really pays to know your spending habits before signing up for this card. For those whose biggest expenses are gas and restaurant purchases, this may work out to be the best card for you. But typical suburban households are likely to spend more on groceries than restaurants, which means there are other, better options out there.
We like that Propel offers a 10% annual relationship bonus to card holders who also have a qualifying checking or savings account with Wells Fargo. The bonus is paid once a year and applies only to “non-bonus” rewards points. Bonus points are considered the second and third point earned for every dollar spent at a U.S. gas station, for example.
Who should get this card
If you spend a ton of time in your car, you’re probably spending big at the pump. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card can help you keep more of your hard-earned cash with a best-in-class unlimited 3x points per $1 spent on purchases at U.S. gas stations. This card also pays 2x points at U.S. restaurants and 1 point all other spending. Anyone who is on the road a lot for work or for fun, could benefit from the rewards structure of this card.
Fees and APR
- This card charges no annual fee.
- The introductory balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred from another credit card for 12 months. After that, the fee is up to 5% for each transfer.
- This card comes with a 0% APR introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable 13.99% to 25.99% based on creditworthiness.
- See Rates & Fees.
Extras, perks and using points
Wells Fargo card holders will receive early access to purchase tickets to select entertainment events including concerts and performances.
If you pay your monthly mobile phone bill with this card, you’ll get damage and theft insurance on your device up to $600, minus a $25 deductible. If you’re already paying for mobile phone insurance, this could save you some money.
This card also comes with American Express auto and travel protections and benefits.
If you have a Wells Fargo checking account you can link it to this card and get overdraft protection.
Points can be redeemed through Go Far Rewards, the Wells Fargo rewards portal, for travel, gift cards, cash redemption options or merchandise. Points are good for five years and the minimum amount to redeem is 2,500 points.
How this card compares
When it comes to rewards value, the Citi Double Cash Card ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards that charge no annual fee.
So why, you might ask, does this card not receive a higher score from Bankrate? There are a couple reasons, but the main thing dragging this card down is this: Because Citi Double Cash offers no sign-up bonus, it struggles to compete with many cards in this category.
Longer-term, the Citi Double Cash Card may earn you more rewards. Earn an unlimited 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay for those purchases.
If you’re up for the challenge of tracking bonus rewards categories, Chase Freedom can give you some real cash-back bang for your buck. For travel junkies and road warriors, this card is ideal when paired with an eligible Chase card to reap maximum travel rewards on your spending.
If you don’t want to do the work, get a card that offers a flat cash-back rate better than what you’ll find here.
If you’re someone who finds the challenge of bonus category worth the effort, you might be better off with a card like the Chase Freedom, which has quarterly rotating 5% bonus categories up to $1,500 in combined purchases and pays an unlimited 1% back on all other purchases.
You won’t earn one of those huge sign-up bonuses other cards offer, but if you’re looking for a no-frills cash-back card, the Discover it credit card does come with one intriguing feature: Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.
In spring 2017, Bank of America modestly boosted the sign-up bonus value on its Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card (formerly known as BankAmericard Cash Rewards), but that was enough reason to move this card from a “no thanks,” to a “maybe.”
You’ll earn $150 in online cash rewards after you make just $500 in purchases during the first 90 days of account opening. That spending requirement is fairly low – even for a rewards card that carries no annual fee.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.