Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Review: Earn 3X Cash Back with No Annual Fee
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is great card if you’re not ready to pay a hefty annual fee but want to earn cash back and travel rewards. Along with having no annual fee, the card earns bonus points in categories unheard of in many other cards such as streaming services. It also offers a 0% introductory APR period, making it a solid option for balance transfers, too.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Quick Review
Before diving into whether this card is right for you, here are a few key details about the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card:
- Redeem points for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
- No foreign transaction fees
- Low introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers
- Earn Go Far Rewards points:
- 3 points per dollar on gas stations and transit (including rideshares)
- 3 points per dollar for dining (eating out and ordering in)
- 3 points per dollar on travel (e.g. car rentals, flights, hotels and homestays)
- 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
- Get up to $600 in cell phone protection against damage or theft
- Extended warranty, purchase protection and travel insurance on qualifying purchases
- Up to $37 for late payments
- Up to $37 for returned payments
- $5 or 3% of balance transfer amount during the first 120 days of account opening
- After that, up to 5% or a minimum of $5 for each balance transfer
Why Apply for the Wells Fargo Propel Card
Here’s why the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card could be the one for you:
There’s no annual fee
Rewards cards with high welcome offers and high rewards typically come with an annual fee. In other words, for those cards to be worth it, you’ll need to earn enough in rewards and use enough perks to offset the annual fee. This card is great in that you earn rewards without paying an annual fee; you won’t feel pressure to make it worth your while. With no annual fee, any benefits you get are pure upside.
Simple and straightforward earnings
You can earn 3x points on popular streaming services, travel (car rentals, hotels, flights and homestays), dining, gas and transit (including rideshares). There’s also no cap on how much you can earn, which is significant. Other cards tends to cap how much you can earn in bonus categories. There are also no blackout dates if you redeem Go Far Rewards points on air travel. Add to that the nifty bonus—which is equivalent to $300 in cash or up to $450 in rewards if you have another Wells Fargo card—and you’re looking at great rewards without needing to calculate complicated redemption requirements.
Low introductory APR
The 0% introductory APR period is great if you’re looking to transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card or want to finance a large purchase and pay if off over time. As long as you transfer a balance within the first 120 days of account opening, you should qualify.
Wells Fargo Propel Card: Drawbacks and Downsides
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers great upside, but here are some reasons it’s not the best choice:
Amex not as widely accepted
When traveling internationally, you may find that fewer merchants accept American Express compared to Visa and Mastercard. While it’s great that the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, you’ll probably need to carry an alternative card in case a merchant doesn’t accept Amex.
There aren’t fancy travel perks
You can redeem points for travel, but the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card doesn’t come with other travel-related perks like airport lounge access or Global Entry/TSA Precheck reimbursement. In addition, you won’t be able to transfer points to airline or hotel partners for more lucrative redemptions.
Other cards earn more in bonus categories
Other cash-back rewards cards offer bonus earnings as high as 5% in certain categories. If you’re super organized and plan out your purchases to maximize rewards, you may feel limited by the Wells Fargo Propel card.
Wells Fargo Propel Card Alternatives
If the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card isn’t your cup of tea, here are a few alternatives:
Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card offers simplicity, in that you earn 2% cash back on all purchases— 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and the other 1% when you pay off your balance. There are no quarterly bonus categories, and no annual fee. You can even take advantage of Citi’s 0% introductory APR, which is 0% for 18 months, then 15.74% to 25.74%.
Additional benefits include getting your first late fee waived, a savings of up to $35. You also get Citi Private Pass access, which lets you purchase presale tickets and VIP packages to events and concerts.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers cash-back rewards—1.5% on all purchases—with no earning restrictions. It’s best if you’re looking for simplicity, as there are no bonus categories to think about. Like the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and comes with an introductory APR of 0% for 15 months, then 16.99% to 25.74%. It also comes with a $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
This card especially shines when you can pair it with another Chase premium rewards card. That allows you to redeem the points you earn on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, or transfer them to travel partners. Either way, they’ll be worth significantly more—sometimes even double or triple their worth compared to straight cash back.
Wells Fargo Propel Card FAQs
How does the cell phone protection work?
To be eligible for cell phone protection, you need to pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card. You’ll be subject to a $25 deductible, but the card provides up to $600 in protection. Coverage includes damage or theft for eligible cell phones.
Do Go Far® Rewards expire?
No. Your rewards points don’t expire as long as your account is open.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Wells Fargo Propel Card?
Occasional travelers and those who are looking for an introductory rewards card should give the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card a chance. The rewards program, travel and purchase protections, and cell phone protection, all with no annual fee, makes this card a great choice. You might get better perks, like higher cash-back percentages or airport lounge access, from another card, but the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is full of upside for the frugal-minded.