Wells Fargo Propel Review: A Versatile Rewards Card for Your Wallet

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Review_couple smiling at camera while skiing

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Editor’s Note: The following article was published in 2019 and may contain references to credit card offers that are no longer available.

Many people focus on Chase, Citi, and Discover when applying for credit cards and miss out on incredible offers from other banks. One of these is for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express credit card.

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card offers a 20,000-point signup bonus and earns 3x points on dining, travel, transportation expenses, and several popular streaming services. There’s no limit to how many points you can earn, your points never expire, and there is no annual fee. And when booking travel with your points, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates.

Want to know more? Let’s dig in.

> Learn How to Apply

Wells Fargo Propel HighlightsWells Fargo Propel American Express Card Logo

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card is a solid travel rewards credit card packed with a lot of benefits – all without charging an annual fee.

  • Signup Bonus: Receive 20,000 rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. Although Wells Fargo does not have any airline or hotel transfer partners, these points can be redeemed for travel, cash, gift cards, and more. The signup bonus is worth $200 toward any of these redemption options.
  • Earn Points on Spending: Earn 3x points in several spending categories. These include popular travel rewards categories like dining, gas, flights, hotels, and rental cars. But this card goes a step further by giving 3x points for rideshares, transit, and streaming services, too. All other purchases earn 1x points.
  • Cell Phone Reimbursement: In case of damage or theft, your cell phone is protected when you pay the bill with the Wells Fargo Propel card. You’ll get up to $600 of protection for an individual claim with a small $25 deductible. This benefit maxes out at $1,200 every 12 months.
  • Shopping and Travel Protections: Your purchases are protected from damage or theft within 90 days of purchase. Manufacturer warranties are extended up to an extra year, you’ll be reimbursed for lost luggage, and your rental car is protected from loss or damage.
  • 0% APR Offer on Purchases and Balance Transfers: Enjoy not having interest on purchases and balance transfers for up to 12 months. There are no fees on purchases, but balance transfers pay 3 percent (minimum $5) of the amount transferred.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee. It doesn’t get better than that.

Many rewards credit cards that offer these types of benefits charge $100 or more each year. I’m impressed that the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card offers so many perks without charging an annual fee.

>> Learn How to Apply

Where It Shines

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card earns 3x points for many places people regularly spend money. Dining, transportation, travel, and streaming will all earn triple points that you can redeem for trips, cash, gift cards, and more.

Unlike some airline loyalty programs, when you book airfare with your Go Far Rewards points, there are no blackout dates to worry about. And if you’re short on points, you can combine your points with cash to complete your reservation.

The Wells Fargo Propel card does not charge foreign transaction fees. This means you won’t be charged extra when making purchases outside the United States. Additionally, this card has you covered if your bags are lost while flying or if something happens to your rental car.

If your phone is stolen or damaged, the cell phone protection will save you money. As long as you pay your cell phone bill on the card, you’re covered up to $1,200 every 12 months (maximum of $600 per claim).

And don’t forget about the 20,000 signup bonus. You’ll receive these points after making $1,000 in purchases within three months of opening your account. The points can be redeemed for $200 in travel, cash back, gift cards, and more. The choice is yours.

The last reason why you should consider the Wells Fargo Propel card is that it isn’t from one of the big three banks. Those banks have implemented rules that make it harder to get approved for a new credit card. You need to diversify your wallet and include credit cards from other banks — such as Wells Fargo — that don’t have such restrictive application rules.

>> Learn How to Apply

Tips for Getting the Most From Your Card

If the Wells Fargo Propel card sounds interesting, there are several ways to maximize the rewards you earn.

To earn a lot of points, be sure to use the Propel card whenever you spend at one of its 3x bonus points categories. You’ll earn 3x points when dining in or eating out; booking flights, hotels, and rental cars; paying for gas, rideshares, and transit; and subscribing to popular streaming services. Plus, all other purchases earn one point per dollar.

Keep in mind that some gas stations carry gift cards for some of your favorite merchants. This is an opportunity to earn additional rewards, even if the store you get a gift card for doesn’t fall under one of the categories above.

When redeeming Go Far Rewards points, you’ll only receive one cent per point. However, when you pair the Wells Fargo Propel American Express with the Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card, you can get 50 percent more value when booking flights. The Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card redeems points at 1.5 cents per point when paying for flights instead of the 1 cent of other Wells Fargo credit cards.

Just like Chase and American Express allow you to pool your Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards respectively, Wells Fargo allows customers to pool their points, too. To take advantage of this opportunity, use the Wells Fargo Propel card for purchases in categories that earn 3x points, then transfer those points to the Wells Fargo Visa Signature when you’re ready to book a flight.

Keep in mind that points earned with the Propel do not expire, but Visa Signature points expire after five years. Because of this quirk in rules, don’t transfer points until you are ready to redeem them.

What You May Not Like

Although there are many reasons to like the Wells Fargo Propel card, it does have a few flaws.

  • No Transfer Partners: Rewards cards from Capital One, Chase, and Citibank have airline and hotel partners you can transfer to. Wells Fargo does not. Your redemption options are cash, travel, gift cards, merchandise, and charitable donations.
  • No Outsized Value on Redemptions: Because Wells Fargo does not have transfer partners, the maximum value you can receive per point is 1.5 cents if you pair the Propel card with the Visa Signature card. If you only have the Propel card, you are capped at 1 cent per point.
  • Limited-Time 0% APR: If you are looking for a no-interest promotion to carry a balance, there are better balance transfer credit cards available. There are several zero percent APR credit cards that offer introductory periods up to 21 months instead of the 12-month period offered by the Wells Fargo Propel card.

Alternatives to the Wells Fargo Propel Card

The Wells Fargo Propel card offers great benefits, a nice signup bonus, and no annual fee. However, you might be concerned because it does not have any transfer partners. This means you won’t be able to redeem points for high-value flights and hotel stays without using a lot of your rewards.

image of Citi Double Cash CardFor example, I have been a fan of the Citi® Double Cash Card for years. It has no annual fee and earns an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase – 1% when you buy and 1% when you make payments. As of September 2019, you can now convert your cash back into Citi ThankYou Points. This allows you to redeem for travel or transfer to 15 airline partners. Unfortunately, this card does not currently have a signup bonus. However, the 2% cash back on every purchase really adds up over time.

Wrapping Up

The Wells Fargo Propel card is a valuable addition to your credit card portfolio. It has no annual fee and isn’t subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, which states that people who have opened five or more new credit card accounts in the past 24 months won’t be approved for a new Chase card. The fact that Wells Fargo doesn’t follow this rule makes it easier for those of us with multiple credit cards to get approved.

There is a signup bonus worth $200, and the card earns 3x points on many popular spending categories. Plus, when you pair it with the Wells Fargo Visa Signature, your rewards are worth 50 percent more when booking flights.

If you like to earn valuable cash back without paying an annual fee, this card could be for you.

> Learn How to Apply


Wells Fargo Propel American Express Review Pin_couple smiling at camera while skiing

Wells Fargo Propel Card from American Express
  • Signup Bonus
  • Point Value
  • Rewards Flexibility
  • Earning on Spending
  • Annual Fee
  • Additional Benefits

Wells Fargo Propel Card Review

The Wells Fargo Propel card is a solid option for travel rewards enthusiasts, especially those looking for card options outside the big three banks. Although the card lacks the ability to transfer points to partner loyalty programs, it does offer a nice sign up bonus, no blackout dates, and zero annual fee. Learn how to apply here.

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