Review of Wells Fargo Propel Card

Advertiser Disclosure

Consumers looking for a rewards credit card that rewards loyalty without an annual fee might enjoy the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card.  Existing Wells Fargo customers can also earn additional loyalty rewards by using the Propel credit card.  Travelers who like to redeem reward points for travel will also enjoy the opportunity respectable redemption rates with their Go Far Rewards program.

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There are two different Propel credit card offerings available, the Propel and the Propel 365.  This review will primarily focus on the first offering as it offers similar rewards without an annual fee.

Sign-Up Bonus

The Wells Fargo Propel does not offer any sign-up bonus in the form of bonus points, as other rewards credit cards do.  But, new users can enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on all purchases and balance transfers.

Travelers looking for a bonus point sign-up bonus have the opportunity to earn 3,000 Go Far Reward points and the $45 annual fee is also waived for the first year.

Purchase Rewards

The Wells Fargo Propel has a decent reward payouts for those that will use this credit card for an everyday purchase or tend to drive to most of their vacation destinations.

Cardholders will enjoy the following purchase reward rates:

  • 3 points for every dollar spent on gasoline
  • 2 points at U.S. restaurants
  • 1 points for all additional purchases

With a 3% rewards rate, Wells Fargo Propel is one of the best gas rewards credit cards available.  Before signing-up solely for this reward, you should know that gasoline purchased at warehouse clubs (Sam’s or Costco), supermarkets, or superstores will not earn the 3% bonus award.  This is a common term & condition regarding gas rewards for most gas rewards credit cards.

Loyal Wells Fargo banking customers that have a qualifying checking, savings account, or PMA account will earn an annual 10% relationship bonus on non-bonus reward points.  This simply means a 10% bonus on the 1 base point for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases.  So if you spend $10,000 in a year, you will be rewarded 1,000 bonus Go Far Reward points.

Travel Rewards

Other than gasoline & restaurants there is not the ability to earn bonus points on travel-related purchases.  But, it is possible to receive a discount on travel purchases.

  • 20% off best available rates at over 18,000 hotels
  • 25% off car rentals with the major car rental companies
  • Up to $100 off qualifying air & hotel packages
  • Discount cruise fares and up to $300 in shipboard credit

For those that prefer immediate cash discounts compared to earning and eventually redeeming reward points, these discounts might be worthwhile for the occasional traveler.

Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards

Although the Wells Fargo Propel is issued by American Express, it earns Wells Fargo Go Far Reward points instead of American Express Membership Reward points.  The points offer the best rates for when redeemed for gift cards and travel rewards with a 1% redemption ratio.  For example, a $25 gift card is worth 2,500 Go Far reward points.

Points redeemed for merchandise or statement credits have lower redemption ratios at 0.5% (5,000 points are worth $25) or lower.  The redemption ratio varies depending on the dollar value of the reward, typically the most valuable rewards can be redeemed at a better ratio.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Go Far reward points expire after 5 years from the earning date.

Additional Perks

Other benefits that Well Fargo Propel card holders can enjoy is complimentary access to their FICO score.  This is nice as it is the credit score pulled by the overwhelming majority of lenders compared to the “FAKO” scores offered by other credit agencies that offer a similar score but it still isn’t the “real McCoy.”

Fees and Other Important Information

The Wells Fargo Propel does not charge an annual fee (the Propel 365 is $45 annually after the first year).  After the introductory 15-month period of 0% APR, the interest rate rises to 13.24% to 25.24% depending on the individual creditworthiness of the cardmember.

The APR for cash advances ranges from 24.24% to 26.24% and there is no introductory period for this rate.

International travelers might want to consider a different credit card as there is a 3% foreign transaction fee.  As the Propel credit card is issued by American Express, it might be hard to find merchants outside major tourist destinations that will accept Amex as well.

Prospective applicants will also have to create a relationship with Wells Fargo before being able to qualify for the Propel credit card.  These applicants can apply for membership at their local Wells Fargo branch.

Who Can Benefit From Having the Wells Fargo Propel?

The Wells Fargo Propel isn’t a full-scale travel rewards credit and is more of a hybrid between a cash back credit card and a travel rewards card.  People looking to transfer an existing credit card balance stand to benefit the most from this card because of the 15-month 0% introductory rate and the opportunity to still earn purchase rewards.  Of course, new applicants probably will need a very good credit score (approximately 700+) to qualify for this card.

Other people who will benefit from this card are consumers that might “burn up the road” by driving a long distance to work or purchase gas several times per month.  The 3% gas rewards rate can be pretty awesome if you do not purchase gas at a warehouse club or grocery store.  Plus, it also offers rewards on other spending categories as well.  Other credit cards that are labeled as “gas reward credit cards” have reduced or eliminated the purchase rewards for non-gas purchases.

It might seem rather obvious, but, existing Wells Fargo customers should also strongly consider this credit card.  With no annual fee, it can make a great primary or secondary credit card that pays an annual point bonus and earns rewards on nearly every purchase.

Who Should Look Elsewhere?

Frequent fliers should consider other credit cards.  There are a plethora of travel rewards credit cards that pay at least 2% on hotel stays or plane tickets.  When used properly, the point bonuses can be more valuable than the cash discounts.  Other credit cards also offer travel portals that might offer discount prices and pay bonus payouts simultaneously.

Other people that should consider another credit card is somebody that is chasing reward points due to the lack of a sign-up bonus.  The redemption rates are similar to the American Express or Chase Rewards programs that also offer the best redemption rates for gift cards and travel rewards.  Even the current sign-up bonus of 3,000 points by upgrading to the Propel 365 doesn’t offset the $45 annual fee (which is waived during the first year).  Essentially Propel’s sign-up bonus only benefits those that plan to transfer the account balance from an existing credit card.

Summary

The 3-2-1 reward payout is competitive with most cash back and travel rewards credit cards.  If you plan to spend a lot in gas or restaurants, you can maximize the purchase reward benefits and do better than the industry purchase reward standard of 1% per $1 spent.

With no annual fee, this can be a great pairing for existing Wells Fargo customers and can serve as a great primary or secondary credit card for somebody that is looking for a credit card that will reward for everyday purchases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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