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If you are new to credit cards and are looking to earn rewards, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card could be a strong starter option.
Offering 3X points per $1 spent on gas, restaurants, travel, and streaming services, you can also earn 1X point per $1 on all other purchases. Those points are worth 1 cent each, so you could earn as much as 3% cash back on your purchases.
There’s a 30,000-point introductory bonus offer if you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening the account, which has a $300 cash redemption value. If you spend $15,000 in the first year, you’ll get an additional 20,000 bonus points, giving you another $200 in value. Plus, you can get 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 9 months, followed by a regular rate of 16.24%–27.24% Variable.
Cardholders get access to a nice suite of benefits, including travel protections and up to $600 in coverage for your cell phone.
With no annual fee, it’s a smart choice for beginners looking for a new rewards card. Like any good travel card, there’s no fee on foreign transactions.
However, Wells Fargo is known for less-than-stellar customer service, so you should keep that in mind before applying for a card.
Continue reading to learn more about the Wells Fargo Propel card and whether or not it’s right for you.
Our Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
We give the Wells Fargo Propel card 4 out of 5 Stars for being a solid rewards card with interesting bonus categories that include streaming services.
Why We Like It
- No annual fee
- 3X points for gas, dining out, travel, and eligible streaming services
- Signup bonuses offer up to 50,000 bonus points
- Redeem points for cash, gift cards, or travel
- No expiration date on rewards points
- 9 months at 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
- No foreign transaction fees
Why It Could Be Better
- Limited travel benefits other than protections
- Selection of streaming services eligible for 3X points is limited
- Poor reviews of customer service
The Wells Fargo Propel card is a good option for those looking for a rewards credit card to earn points in select spending categories. However, if you’re looking for new card that delivers higher returns on your routine spending, check out some alternatives below.
Insider Advice: Using This Card As Part of Your Credit Card Strategy
- Use it for select purchases: Use the card for gas, dining out, travel, and select streaming services to earn 3X points per $1 spent. And use a different card for other purchases to earn more cash back.
- Pay no interest fees: You’ll get 9 months at 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfers, giving you a year to pay off some debt without accruing interest.
- Take advantage of your benefits: The Propel card offers some valuable benefits that most other cards don’t, such as up to $600 in cell phone coverage if your phone is stolen or damaged.
- Redeem for cash or statement credits: Using your points for cash or statement credits will be the quickest and easiest redemption methods, providing 1 cent per point.
- Don’t pay fees when traveling: The Wells Fargo Propel card has no foreign currency conversion fees, making it a useful option for international travelers.
With this card, you can earn the equivalent of 1% to 3% cash back on your purchases, depending on what you buy.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
You can rack up rewards quickly for certain purchases, such as buying gas or dining out. A fairly unique feature is the ability to earn 3X points on popular streaming services, a rare find on credit cards today but something we expect to see more going forward.
However, you’ll earn just 1X per $1 spent on all other purchases, such as groceries. There are rewards credit cards out there that offer more cash back in categories like that, so it may be worth shopping around for another card in addition to this one.
Since your points are worth 1 cent each, you’ll be earning a cash back equivalent of 3% when spending at the 3X rate. Other purchases will earn just 1% back.
Your points never expire as long as your account is open, so you can build up points without worrying about losing them.
The travel category is quite broad and covers a wide variety of purchases, which are shown below. The streaming services category is more limited, restricted to the services shown below.
“Dining” includes restaurants and bars, but does not include bakeries, grocery stores, and other merchants that may sell food. And “Gas” includes gas stations and automated fuel pumps, but it does not include other places that may sell gas, like membership clubs, auto repair stores, or grocery stores.
Here are the eligible purchase types for the travel and streaming service categories.
|Airlines||Hotels||Car rentals||Travel agencies|
|Taxis||Railways||Parking lots and garages||Toll bridges|
|Pandora||Sirius XM Radio||Spotify Premium|
Your points are always worth 1 cent each, regardless of the redemption method. There are multiple ways to redeem your points.
Redemptions for cash or statement credits tend to be the fastest and easiest methods, so we suggest sticking with those. But you can redeem your points in three basic ways:
- Cash or statement credits
- Flights, hotels, or car rentals via the Go Far Rewards program
- Gift cards
The cash method will deposit your point value into a Wells Fargo deposit or credit account, or provide you with a paper check. The statement credit option will simply reduce your credit card account balance, and we typically recommend this method over cash.
Redemptions must be in increments of 2,500 for each method, which will provide $25 in value. To earn 2,500 points you’d need to spend $834 at the 3X rate.
If you redeem your points through the Go Far Rewards program there are no blackout dates on air travel. But this method requires quite a bit of planning and takes longer than the other options, without providing more value per point, so we suggest just sticking with statement credits.
Although the value of the Wells Fargo Propel card comes mainly from its rewards, it does offer some nice benefits to cardholders, too. One of the biggest highlights is its Cell Phone Protection program.
For more information, check out the Wells Fargo Propel Card’s Guide to Benefits.
Cell Phone Protection
Pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel card and you’ll get up to $600 in protection for your phone, with a $25 deductible. Eligible phones are protected against damage or theft. Phones that are lost are not eligible for the program.
Cell phone protection begins the first day of the month after you start paying your cell phone bill with your card.
With the Wells Fargo Propel card, you’ll get access to special offers and presale tickets to major events in cities around the United States. This feature can help you snag Hamilton or Wicked tickets you’d otherwise miss, although it’s mostly limited to big cities.
Free FICO Credit Score
Check your FICO Score 9, based on your Experian credit report, for free whenever you want. Although many credit cards offer this benefit, it’s still a nice feature that lets you monitor one of your FICO scores.
$0 Fraud Liability
If your card is lost or stolen you won’t be held responsible for any fraudulent purchases. Just call customer service to report your card as lost or stolen. This is a common benefit offered by practically every credit card issuer, but it’s an excellent security feature that gives you peace of mind.
- Extended Warranty: Eligible manufacturer’s warranties can be extended by up to one year.
- Purchase Protection: Eligible purchases made with the card are protected against accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days.
- Return Protection: If you want to return an item within 90 days of purchasing it and the retailer won’t accept it, you may be able to get a full refund through the card, up to $300 per purchase and up to $1,000 per year.
- 24/7 Personal Travel Assistance: Call any time, day or night, to get non-emergency help or information, such as questions about passport requirements or business etiquette.
- 24/7 Emergency Assistance Hotline: When you’re outside the country and have an emergency, get access to interpreters, urgent message relay, cash/bail assistance, and more.
- Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance: When traveling by common carrier, you, your spouse, and your children are covered against accidental damage or dismemberment, up to $150,000.
- Worldwide Travel Inconvenience Insurance: If your bags are lost or damaged when you’re traveling with a common carrier, you can receive up to $1,000 in coverage per trip.
- 24-Hour Roadside Assistance: If you’re in an accident or if your car breaks down, get help with services like towing.
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Provides coverage against damage or theft for eligible rental vehicles, as long as you decline the rental company’s insurance.
The Terms & Fees
|Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers||Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% for 9 months||16.24%–27.24% Variable||16.24%–27.24% Variable||26.24%–28.24% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$0||None||3%, $5 minimum for 120 days; after that, 5%, $5 minimum||5%, $10 minimum|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||Up to $37||Up to $37|
Unlike many credit cards, the Wells Fargo Propel card does not have an annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about spending a certain amount to make it worthwhile.
The card also includes special promotional offers on new purchases as well as balance transfers. You’ll get a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 9 months. After that, your APR will be determined based on your creditworthiness.
For balance transfers, you’ll get 0% APR for 9 months as long as you complete the balance transfer within 120 days of opening the account. 0% balance transfer offers can help you save money and pay off your credit card debt faster because you won’t accumulate interest.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you may not be eligible for the introductory APRs if you opened another Wells Fargo credit card within the last 15 months of applying for the Propel card and received another introductory APR offer or bonus points. You could be ineligible for the Propel’s introductory APRs even if you have since closed that other card.
There are no foreign transaction fees, making it a good option for those who travel internationally.
What Is the Credit Limit of the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card?
The minimum credit limit for the Wells Fargo Propel card is $1,500.
|Wells Fargo Customer Support|
Despite the somewhat confusing name, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card is issued by Wells Fargo. Unfortunately, unlike American Express, Wells Fargo isn’t known for stellar customer service. According to the most recent J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Wells Fargo is 9th out of 11 issuers in 2018. Plus, the company has a one-star rating with the Better Business Bureau with over 400 customer reviews.
I tested out its customer support by calling to ask about the Wells Fargo Propel card’s credit limit. The customer service automated line didn’t have a preset category for general credit card questions, so I asked to speak to a representative.
The system asked what my inquiry was about, and I replied “credit card limits.” The system didn’t recognize the prompt, and asked me to repeat what the inquiry was about. I tried a few different variations, such as “credit card approval” or just “credit card,” and the system didn’t recognize any of them. Not getting anywhere, I turned to Twitter.
|Wells Fargo Twitter Support|
Customers with basic questions about their Wells Fargo Propel credit cards can reach customer support by tweeting @Ask_WellsFargo.
I tweeted two questions, one asking about which streaming services were eligible for 3X points and another about the credit limit on the Wells Fargo Propel card. Unfortunately, they only answered the first question, and never responded to the second.
You can find a list of eligible streaming service through https://t.co/EQgOj9UZ5p. Let me know if you have questions about this. ^TL
— Wells Fargo (@Ask_WellsFargo) September 25, 2018
As I discovered, getting ahold of customer service if you don’t already have a Wells Fargo credit card can be difficult. That’s a major concern for customers, especially anyone looking for more information about a card they don’t yet have.
For more complex questions, we suggest calling customer service directly rather than using social media.
The Bottom Line
If you’re willing to overlook customer service reviews and want to earn rewards in certain categories, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card may be a solid choice.
You’ll likely get a lot of value from the card if you use it frequently to earn 3X points for gas, dining out, or travel. And, if you want a card to earn rewards on streaming services, this is one of the few you’ll find with that bonus category.
With an introductory bonus of 30,000 points, a $300 value, you can get a reward in the form of cash, a statement credit, or a gift card. Spend $15,000 in the first year, and you’ll get another 20,000 bonus points for a value of $200. And with no annual fee, you don’t have to worry about spending minimums to make the card worth carrying.
However, if you’re looking to earn more cash back for routine purchases, like at grocery stores or wholesale clubs, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card will be inadequate. It would make more sense to look for another card, like the alternatives listed below.
How to Apply for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
To apply for the Wells Fargo Propel card, click on the Apply Now button below and complete the online application. Once you finish it and submit, you’ll typically receive a decision from Wells Fargo right away. However, there are some cases where it can take a few days or even longer to hear back, such as if the company needs to verify your information.
If approved, you’ll get a notification and it will list your credit limit. If you’re not approved, you’ll receive a letter in the mail detailing why you were denied.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Personal identifying information, including birth date, Social Security number, and phone number
- Total household income and source of income
- Monthly mortgage/rent payment
- You may not qualify if you have opened a Wells Fargo credit card in the last six months
Alternatives to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
There are lots of different rewards credit cards available, and some of them offer higher cash back values than the Wells Fargo Propel card. If you have good to excellent credit, it’s a good idea to compare offers from multiple card issuers to find the best one for you.
- Citi® Double Cash Card (Review): 2% cash back on all purchases and 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months
- Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (Review): 5% cash back in rotating spending categories plus an introductory offer of double the cash back on all your purchases in the first year of card membership
- Chase Freedom (Review): 5% cash back in rotating spending categories and a $150 introductory bonus when you spend just $500 in the first 3 months
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Review): 2X points per $1 spent on travel and dining, and earn 60,000 bonus points by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
The card also has useful extra features, including the Citi Price Rewind program which helps you save money on purchases. It’s a step above the basic Price Protection offered by other cards, in that the Price Rewind program actively searches the internet for lower prices so you don’t have to, for up to 60 days after making a purchase.
If customer service is important to you, the Citi Double Cash card also delivers on quick and easy personalized assistance.
If you’re looking for flat-rate rewards, it’s hard to find a better choice than the Citi Double Cash card. You’ll earn 2% cash back: 1% when you make a purchase, and another 1% when you actually pay for it.
This flat rate is good for any purchases you make that don’t fall under the bonus categories of other cards. You’d normally get just 1% back for those non-category purchases, so the Double Cash will be more rewarding.
The Citi Double Cash card offers some benefits that can improve your shopping experience, particularly the Price Rewind program.
- Citi Price Rewind: If an eligible item you bought is found to be selling for less elsewhere, Citi will reimburse you for the difference. You can get up to $500 back for each item, up to $2,500 a year. The Price Rewind program monitors the internet for you to find lower prices for up to 60 days.
- Personal Concierge Service: If you need help with restaurant reservations, travel arrangements, or help finding lost luggage, you can call 1-800-508-8930 for personalized assistance.
- Citi Private Pass: You can get preferred access and presale tickets to certain events and experiences nationwide.
- Free FICO Credit Score: You get free monitoring of your FICO Score 8, based on your Equifax credit report.
- Quick Customer Service: The Double Cash allows you to speak to a real person more quickly and easily than usual by saying “representative” after calling customer support.
- Shopping and travel protections: You’ll also have other travel and shopping benefits, such as Purchase Protection, Extended Warranties, Identity Theft Support, Fraud Protection, Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance, and Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection.
Terms & Fees
The card has a long introductory APR offer period for balance transfers; you’ll get 0% APR for 18 months.
Although there is no annual fee for the Citi Double Cash card, there is a foreign transaction fee of 3%. That fee will be problematic if you travel internationally, so it makes more sense to only use the card for domestic transactions, unlike the Propel (which has no foreign transaction fee).
Read more in our Review of the Citi Double Cash Card
The best credit card for rotating reward categories, the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (Review) allows you to rack up cash back rewards on routine purchases like gas and groceries, at wholesale clubs, and even at Amazon.com. Best of all, Discover will double your rewards in the first year of using the card.
You can also take advantage of a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. And like with all Discover credit cards, there are no annual or foreign transaction fees.
|INTRODUCTORY BONUS OFFER|
The 5% cash back calendar for the Discover it for 2019 is:
|Quarter||5% Cash Back Category|
|January – March||Grocery Stores|
|April – June||Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft|
|July – September||Restaurants|
|October – December||Amazon.com|
The Discover it is a great card if you expect to spend money within those quarterly categories. You can redeem your cash back for statement credits or cash, although gift cards are the best option because you’ll get a slight bonus in value.
Discover’s Cashback Match is an excellent introductory offer, giving you a cash back equivalent of 10% in the bonus categories for that first year. Non-category purchases will all get 2% back in that first year, which is twice as good as most cards. This extra cash back will be awarded at the end of your first year with the card.
Take note that you’ll need to activate the bonus categories each quarter before you’ll start earning cash back at the 5% rate.
While most of the Discover it’s value rests in the cash back rewards it offers, the card does have some other valuable benefits, with a unique feature offering cash back at the register when you make a purchase.
- Free FICO Credit Score: Discover allows you to access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like, using your TransUnion credit report.
- Cash at Checkout: Get cash back at select stores by adding it to the total of your purchase at the register. The amount you add is counted as part of your purchase rather than as a cash advance, reducing how much interest you have to pay on it.
- Refer a Friend: Send referral links to your friends. If they’re approved you’ll receive a $50 cash back bonus, and so will they. You can refer up to 10 friends a year, allowing you to earn up to $500.
- Other Benefits: The Discover it card also offers Fraud Protection, Free Social Security Number Alerts, and the ability to freeze your card online.
Terms & Fees
The Discover it offers 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 14 months, followed by a regular rate of 14.24%–25.24% Variable.
There are no annual or foreign transaction fees, making it a decent choice for anyone traveling abroad or making purchases in foreign currency. But keep in mind that Discover cards don’t have very wide acceptance outside the U.S., so you may want to travel with another card as well.
Read more in our Review of the Discover it Card
With an easy-to-earn signup bonus and the ability to get up to 5% cash back on rotating purchase categories, the Chase Freedom (Review) is a great option for users who cycle credit cards to take advantage of cash back rewards. It also comes with generous introductory APR offers on new purchases and balance transfers.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
Depending on the quarter you can earn 5% cash back on common purchases, such as gas and groceries.
Here are the 5% cash back bonus categories from 2018, plus the 2019 categories for the first quarter:
|QUARTER||5% CASH BACK CATEGORY|
|2018: January – March||Gas Stations, Internet/Cable/Phone Services, Various Digital Wallets|
|2018: April – June||Grocery Stores, PayPal, Chase Pay|
|2018: July – September||Gas Stations, Lyft, Walgreens|
|2018: October – December||Department Stores, Wholesale Clubs, Chase Pay|
|2019: January – March||Gas Stations, Tolls, Drugstores|
You must activate your quarterly categories before you’ll start earning at the 5% rate. This can be done ahead of time, and, fortunately, the 5% cash back will be retroactively applied to any eligible purchases you previously made.
You can earn a $150 cash bonus by spending just $500 in the first 3 months after opening an account, which is quite a small spending requirement compared to many reward cards. Most people can hit that requirement just by using the card for gas and groceries.
- Referral bonus cash back: Refer your friends and receive a $100 cash bonus for every person who is approved for the card, up to $500 per year.
- Shop Through Chase: Earn extra cash back at select retailers in the Shop Through Chase portal, like Macy’s, Home Depot, Office Depot, H&R Block, and more.
- Chase Credit Journey: Monitor your credit for free with the Chase Credit Journey tool.
- Return Protection: If a retailer refuses to accept a return within 90 days purchase, and it’s in like-new condition, you can get reimbursed for the amount you spent.
- Lost Luggage Protection: If your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged while traveling with a common carrier, you can get up to $3,000 in reimbursement per claim.
- Visa Platinum Protections: If you’re approved for the Visa Platinum service level, you get Price Protection, Purchase Protection, and Extended Warranties.
- Visa Signature Protections: If you’re approved for the Visa Signature service level, you get Travel and Emergency Assistance, Roadside Assistance, and an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver in addition to the benefits mentioned for Visa Platinum.
- Other Benefits: You also get access to Zero Liability Protection, Fraud Alerts, and Fraud Protection.
Terms & Fees
The Chase Freedom card gives you 0% APR for 15 months on new purchases and balance transfers.
There is no annual fee, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Read more in our Review of the Chase Freedom Card
If you’re looking for a card for travel the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Review) might be a smart choice for you. The main features are wide-ranging opportunities to earn points, a large signup bonus, and the ability to transfer your points to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
Ultimate Rewards (UR) points are generally worth 1 cent each. But redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and you’ll get 1.25 cents per point.
That would give you a cash back equivalent of 2.5% for travel and dining, with 1.25% everywhere else. Those 60,000 bonus points would be worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
You can also transfer your points to an airline or hotel program, where you might get as much as 2 cents per point or more. That’d give you a cash back equivalent of 4% for travel and dining. Plus, those 60,000 bonus points would be worth $1,200, so it’s definitely worth looking for a good point transfer opportunity.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with some nice benefits. Particularly valuable is the option to transfer your points to a different program, where they could be worth much more.
- 1:1 point transfer: Transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to over a dozen frequent travel programs. That means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- Referral bonus points: You’ll get a 10,000-point bonus for every friend you refer who applies and is approved for the card, up to 50,000 points per year. That’s $125 per person, when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: Book through this program to get perks like daily breakfast for two, complimentary WiFi, room upgrades, early check-in or late check-out, and a unique gift.
- Shop Through Chase: You can earn more points by shopping at participating retailers in the Shop Through Chase marketplace, which includes the likes of Staples, Walmart, Gap, and many more.
- Chase Preferred Experiences: As a Sapphire Preferred cardholder, you are given access to exclusive events and experiences provided by Chase.
- Visa Signature Concierge: You can call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge, 24/7.
- Shopping and travel protections: Such as Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waivers, Purchase Protection, and more.
- Dedicated customer service specialists: Get 24/7 access to a dedicated customer service line. Just call the number on the back of your card.
Terms & Fees
The Sapphire Preferred card has a $95 annual fee. There are no foreign transaction fees.
So it’s more expensive than the Propel card, with similar bonus categories. But it also features the valuable ability to transfer your points to other programs, which you don’t get with the Propel.
Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Do you use the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card? Let us know how you like it by leaving your own review!
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