Wells Fargo Propel American Express Credit Card Review

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Wells Fargo Propel American Express Credit Card Review

Full Review of Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Credit Card


  • 3 points for every dollar spent in a wide range of common expenditure categories

  • Decent bonus for a no-annual fee card

  • Introductory 0% APR offer

  • Cell phone protection


  • Wells-Fargo credit card customer satisfaction is below average.

  • Rewards have minimum redemption thresholds

Pros Explained

  • Earn 3 points for every dollar spent on a variety of popular purchases. Categories: While the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card gives modest rewards on most purchases, its bonus spending category benefits stand out for a no-fee card. They give an unlimited 3 points per dollar spent and do not rotate or have spending restrictions, as do other competitor cards’ high-rewards areas. Travel, petrol, and food, as well as expenditures on Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Spotify streaming services, get a 3-point rating.
  • A reasonable bonus for a card with no annual fee: The 20,000 point incentive after spending $1,000 in purchases during the first three months of card membership is worth $200 for most redemption possibilities and is a good deal for a no-fee card. While higher incentives of $500 or more are available, they are typically exclusively found on cards with an annual charge in the first year or later.
  • Introductory 0% APR Offer and Cash Bonus: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card includes a 12-month introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers if requested within four months of getting the card. While that time is somewhat less than the standard for such deals, even for a card with no annual fee, it still provides you a year to pay off high-interest credit card debt without incurring interest charges. The purchase APR is also 0% for 12 months.
  • Cell Phone Protection: When you pay your monthly phone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, you’ll get up to $600 in cell phone protection, subject to a $25 deductible. Several other credit cards provide mobile phone insurance, but the most, if not all, require an annual fee, making this an uncommon perk for a no-cost card. This coverage, although welcome, is not without limitations. While theft is covered, simple phone loss is not. And any acceptable damage must have an impact on the phone’s operation, which rules out repairs just for aesthetic reasons or owing to technical or software faults that did not result from physical damage. Finally, this is secondary coverage that comes in after you’ve received benefits from other insurance policies, such as house or vehicle insurance (although it will cover any deductible you incur with that other coverage).

Cons Explained

  • Customer Satisfaction at Wells Fargo Is Below Average: Most consumers seldom engage with their credit card company. However, when you need to do so, there is frequently a sense of urgency and even tension, and you want a fulfilling experience. Unfortunately, according to the J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study, that is less probable with Wells Fargo than with practically any other card issuer. Wells Fargo scores eighth out of 12 card issuers in its 2020 assessment, with a score that rates it among the least satisfactory firms for credit-card customer service.
  • Rewards Have Minimum Redemption Limits: Many other credit cards enable you to redeem rewards with as little as one cent in your account—therefore there are no redemption thresholds to satisfy. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express®, on the other hand, is one of the cards that requires rewards to reach a particular threshold before they can be redeemed. Cash redemption alternatives, such as deposits into a bank or savings account, may only be redeemed in 2,500-point increments (worth $25) over the phone or online, or in 2,000-point increments (worth $20) at an ATM. While these restrictions are not a huge issue, they are a nuisance and a minor disadvantage when compared to many other cards.

This card is ideal for consumers who wish to earn limitless high rewards rates in a variety of popular categories without carrying numerous credit cards or worrying about rewards limitations.

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People who dine out and travel (or just commute) often may benefit from this card’s 3-points-per-dollar-spent rewards on eating and a wide variety of travel expenditures, including local costs like public transportation. It’s also perfect if you spend more than the average (of $29 per month) on streaming services, which are also eligible for the premium rate.

This card is particularly worth considering if you don’t have any other mobile phone insurance since it provides $600 in coverage if you pay your cell phone bill with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise. While there are certain limitations to the coverage, such as the fact that it only covers entire loss when the phone is stolen, it still gives some piece of mind regarding the most precious object most of us ever carry about with us.

With a 12-month 0% APR offer on balance transfers, the Wells-Fargo Propel is also a viable choice if you’re wanting to consolidate debt from another card or make some new purchases that will take some time to pay off. However, balance transfers are subject to an introductory charge of $5 or 3% of the value of each balance transfer, whichever is larger, during the first 120 days after account establishment. Following that, you may earn up to 5% on each balance transfer.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Credit Card One-Time Offer

If you haven’t obtained a new Wells Fargo credit card in the past 15 months, you may be eligible for a 20,000 point bonus if you spend $1,000 in purchases during the first three months of your account’s opening.

While the bonus is worth 20,000 points, these points are worth $200 when spent for travel, gift cards, cash back, or experiences, according to our point assessments. The bonus points will become redeemable after one to two billing cycles of being earned. This benefit is huge when compared to comparable cards with no annual charge. Most no-fee cards give incentives ranging from $50 to $250, if they offer one at all.

Rewards Earning Details

This card gives infinite 3 points per dollar spent on eating, travel, petrol station, and some streaming purchases that never expire.

The definition of travel given by Wells-Fargo is quite wide. It covers not only airline, hotel, cruise, car rental, and passenger rail charges, but also timeshares, commuter trains, local taxi and limo services, campsites, ferries, vehicle tolls, and parking costs.

Gas stations include the purchase of gasoline at stations, but excludes purchases from warehouse clubs and other shops that are not designated as gas stations.

Similarly, meal purchases include not just spending at restaurants (including fine dining and quick cuisine), but also at drinking places. Other eating establishments, such as caterers, bakeries, and grocery shops, do not qualify for the dining rate.

Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Spotify are among the streaming services that charge a premium fee.

In addition, this card gives limitless 1x points on all other transactions.

Rewards Redemption Details

Your points may be redeemed in a variety of ways, but cash back is often the best choice. You can get cash from a Wells Fargo ATM, a paper check, or a deposit or credit to an eligible account. Cash back redemptions begin at 2,000 points for $20 in cash back at ATMs and 2,500 points for $25 in cash back when redeemed online or by phone.

You may also redeem your cash points for travel arrangements like as flights or hotels via GoFarRewards, the Wells-Fargo rewards program. According to Wells-Fargo, there are no ban dates for these reservations.

When redeemed, gift cards, trips, and experiences all have a value of one cent each point. One significant exception to this ratio is when purchasing items from Apple, when each point is only worth 0.712 cents.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

It’s simple to maximize your rewards with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card. Make sure to charge all of your qualifying eating, travel, petrol and fuel, and streaming purchases to the card, since these categories yield an infinite 3 points per dollar with no spending limits.

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It’s particularly vital to maximize your spending on this card during the first several months you have it. This manner, you can assure that you spend $1,000 within three months to qualify for the card’s 20,000-point incentive. And those purchases may come from either the premium-rewards categories or from ordinary shopping, where you can earn 1 point for every dollar spent.

Consider increasing your spending in the categories that qualify for premium rewards as one way to optimize your earnings with this card. One is to consider the 3-point-per-dollar points you get on streaming services when choosing a TV provider.

For example, you might cancel your cable or satellite account and instead join up for Hulu+ Live TV for $45 per month, which includes a roster of 60 broadcast and cable channels as well as Hulu’s streaming service. That spending would earn you $16 in rewards each year—-hardly a windfall, but you may save money relative to what you’re now paying for live-TV subscription.

Another tip: If you’re traveling or eating out with friends or family members who aren’t interested in earning rewards, have them pay you in cash and then pay the rest of the bill with your card to earn even more points. You may also ensure that purchases made by other members of your family that you end up paying for get benefits by obtaining free authorized user cards.

Average Case

Even if your spending is quite standard, this card may be enticingly lucrative. The typical family in 2019 spent $294 per month on eating out, $80 per month on travel (for accommodation away from home), and $174 per month on petrol stations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With this card, such purchase might earn 19,728 points, worth nearly $197, over the course of a year.

And that’s before you include in all other purchases at a point per dollar spent, which could easily build up to the same amount or more if you used this card for them as well. The advantage of increasing other spending would be particularly beneficial during the first three months of the card’s use, when the introductory bonus is available. The aforementioned expenditure would rapidly complete the $1,000 requirement for earning the 20,000 extra points. This would raise the worth of the first year’s awards to slightly under $400.

Aspirational Case

Consider a more travel-inclined family that makes many trips each year, which would add $1,500 to their travel and an extra $1,500 to their eating expenditure (in addition to the $780 ($65 * 12) in lodging we provided above for our normal family. At a 3-point-per-dollar earnings rate, the ensuing $3,000 in expenditure would add 9,000 points to yearly rewards earnings. Spending on those excursions would increase the yearly worth of this card’s rewards to $284 at its redeemed value of $90, plus the $194 in earnings from our average scenario. (Once again, earnings at 1 point per dollar and the yearly bonus are not included in this total.)

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Credit Card’s Outstanding Benefits

  • Cell phone protection
  • When travel is paid with the card, the card provides up to $1,000 in secondary compensation per covered trip due to a travel difficulty caused by lost or damaged luggage.

Standard Benefits

  • Tickets for concerts, plays, and special events may be purchased in advance (under the American Express program)
  • Extended warranty
  • Insurance against theft or damage to purchases
  • Car rental collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Return protection
  • Roadside assistance hotline
  • Travel emergency assistance

Cardholder Experience

When shopping for a new credit card, take into account the issuer’s customer service. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo does not have a good reputation for customer service.

Wells Fargo scores eighth out of the 12 card issuers questioned in the 2020 J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study. Its score of 800 is lower than the industry average of 810.

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Customer assistance is accessible around the clock, seven days a week. You may reach customer service through its online portal or by dialing 1-800-642-4720.

Remember that this is an American Express card. As a result, it may not be as commonly recognized as a Visa or Mastercard credit card while traveling in the United States or, more importantly, overseas.

Security Features

Because this American Express card is issued by Wells Fargo, it does not have all of the typical American Express advantages.

Rather than providing free credit reports and report notifications, as other cards offer, Wells Fargo merely provides free access to your FICO Score. Your FICO Score is updated once a month.

Otherwise, Wells-security Fargo’s protections are standard for most credit cards. It monitors your account for unusual behavior and sends you warnings if there are any fraudulent transactions. You have zero liability protection, which means you are not responsible for unlawful transactions.

Wells Fargo provides emergency card replacement and cash disbursement if your card is lost or stolen.

Fees to Watch Out For

With a few noteworthy exceptions, this card’s fees are usually in line with those of its rivals. To begin with, there are cards that do not impose the balance transfer fee that this and several other cards with initial 0% APR rates do. Lower cash advance costs are also available. However, obtaining cards with reduced costs for these services is significant only if you intend to use them.

Our Verdict

This card stands out since it has no annual fee and offers a generous three points per dollar on eating, travel, petrol, and certain streaming subscription purchases. These profits have no spending restrictions. As a result, the Wells-Fargo Propel American Express® card is a flexible card that offers high rewards on a variety of transactions without the need to monitor earnings against an annual fee or register for rotating categories to maximize benefits.

While 3 points per dollar is a fair rate, several other no-fee cards provide even greater benefits in specific areas. However, you’ll most likely have to forgo the broad range of the Wells-Fargo Propel American Express® top rate for richer, more concentrated benefits. Some no-annual-fee cards, for example, provide 4% cash back (or 4 points per dollar spent) on dining expenditures but just 1% cash back (or 1 penny per dollar spent) on practically all other categories, or 5% cash back/5-points-per-dollar incentives on a rotating list of bonus areas.

Because the highest benefits with this card are limited to a few areas, consider adding another broad-based card that gives rewards on all other transactions that are richer than the Wells-Fargo Propel American Express1 ®’s point per dollar. The Citi Double cash card, for example, gives 1% cash back on purchases and an extra 1% when you pay for those items. Using this card for non-bonus category purchases would be an excellent complement to the Wells Fargo Propel Card’s 3x points.

Furthermore, although many other cards provide more substantial 0% APR introductory offers, the one with Wells-Fargo Propel American Express® is still a good extra bonus for people who are lured mainly by the card’s significant rewards but also have a high-interest debt on another card. It enables you to transfer such sums and carry them without interest for the whole year, as well as prevent interest on new purchases for a full year from the moment the account is opened.

There’s also the fascinating bonus of automatic coverage against mobile phone damage or theft if you charge your monthly carrier payment to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card.

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