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Following last year's card issuing partnership with American Express, Wells Fargo announced on May 6th 2014, a rewards credit card called the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card. Along with its travel rewards counterpart, the Propel World, the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card is part of Wells Fargo's initiative to penetrate the credit card market with more compelling rewards offerings.
The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card joins other tiered rewards credit cards such as the Chase Freedom® and the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card to target category-sensitive consumers. With the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card, Wells Fargo and American Express have provided incentives for purchases at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, and bars. The most noteworthy feature of the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card, however, is the relationship bonus for existing Wells Fargo retail banking clients - one of our favorites in the landscape. All in all, we find this newest addition to be a compelling credit card for Wells Fargo banking customers who spend significantly on gas. We'll walk through this and more of the features, rewards, and comparisons in Wells Fargo's latest credit card.
The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card Features
Earning Points and Redeeming Rewards with the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card
This is an everday card that offers accelerated points for spending on gas and food, but where it really shines is the relationship bonus for having a qualifying Wells Fargo banking account.
How do I earn points on the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card?
You get two bonus points for purchases at gas stations and the automated fuel dispensers stands for a total of 3x the points. Dining out gets a bonus as well - one extra point for 2x the points. Eating out encompasses a large variety of places, from merchants that are categorized as restaurants, fast food spots, to drinking places. Yes, Wells Fargo representatives confirmed that even a night out drinking gets bonus points so long as the bar is coded as a "drinking place" on American Express card transactions. This is one of the first cards we've seen that highlights bonus points on spending at bars. All other net purchases get one base point.
For more deals and discounts, Wells Fargo's Earn More Mall is available to Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card cardholders. Through this portal, cardmembers can earn even more point value by shopping at over hundreds of major retailers. Merchants such as Macy's, REI, and NBASports.com are offering 5% extra points as of press time.
What is the Wells Fargo Relationship Bonus?
The relationship bonus is an annual bonus that is actually one of the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card's best features. Do you have any one of the below products with Wells Fargo? If so, then you're in for a lovely reward for your continued relationship with the bank.
- Consumer checking or savings account (CDs and HSAs do not count): +10% to base points
- PMA package (balance < $250,000): +25% to base points
- PMA package (balance > $250,000): +50% to base points
- Wells Fargo Private Banking PMA package: +50% to base points
The relationship bonus is calculated based on your net credit card purchase spending. So if you've spent a total of $1,000 this month, and you have a Wells Fargo savings account, then your relationship bonus is 100 points. Just note that while this bonus is calculated monthly, the points roll over into your account until after your first twelve months are over and then on an annual basis.
How do I redeem rewards with Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card points?
You have a number of options through the Wells Fargo Rewards program website. It's a separate site where you can trade in your points for award travel, pre-sale tickets to games and concerts, as well as merchandise both digital (audiobooks or music) and tangible (e-readers or electronic accessories). If you prefer cash, you can also redeem points for a check, a payment towards a Wells Fargo credit product, or deposit into a linked account.
What are the points worth on the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card Amex?
These points are worth about 1 cent each - average for credit cards - for redemption for gift cards and cash back. Airfare is also valued at 0.01 per point, so to determine the number of points needed, divide the airplane ticket's cost by 0.01. For merchandise, the point value can drop further, as our table of redemption options illustrate.
|Rewards Points Required||Value||Cent / Point|
Amazon Gift Card
|2,500||$25||1 cent / point|
|10,000||100||1 cent / point|
|40,000||400||1 cent / point|
Mongoose Montana 26" Men's Mountain Bike*
|59,657||184||0.3 cent / point|
32GB iPad Air with a StyleFolio case*
|100,794||639||0.6 cent / point|
*Merchandise prices from Amazon.
What is this credit card's rewards rate?
The overall rewards rate for the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card will depend on how you earned those points. If spend more on gas, then your rewards rate shifts towards the 3% end. However, if you find that most of your purchases on the Amex are on groceries, clothing, or sporting goods, the rewards rate drops to the 1% level, which is below average for a rewards credit card with a fee. Eligible Wells Fargo customers get even greater returns with the relationship bonus.
This table below illustrates how your rewards can change based on the composition of $2,000 in monthly spending and level of relationship bonus (RB). Rewards are stated as "points / rewards rate" and based on 1 cent per point value:
|Standard||10% RB||25% RB||50% RB|
$2,000 groceries and all other
|2,000 / 1%||2,200 / 1.1%||2,500 / 1.25%||3,000 / 1.5%|
$500 gas, $1,500 all other
|3,000 / 1.5%||3,200 / 1.6%||3,500 / 1.75%||4,000 / 2%|
$500 gas, $500 dining, 1,000 all other
|3,500 / 1.75%||3,700 / 1.85%||4,000 / 2%||4,500 / 2.25%|
$1,000 gas, $500 dining, $500 all other
|4,500 / 2.25%||4,700 / 2.35%||5,000 / 2.5%||5,500 / 2.75%|
|6,000 / 3%||6,200 / 3.1%||6,500 / 3.25%||7,000 / 3.5%|
Just keep in mind that RB points show up as an annual bonus after each 12-month cycle. Calculations exclude the impact of the $45 annual fee.
The Welcome Bonus
20,000 bonus rewards points are yours with $3,000 in credit card net purchases in the first three months of account opening. Based on a 1 cent per point value, this bonus can be worth $200 in cash back, award travel, or gift cards. Put another way, this bonus can pay for nearly four years of annual fees of $45. With the first year waived, that is effectively five fee-free years.
The Amex Cardmember Suite of Services
As an American Express card, the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card enjoys a number of ancillary services, insurance, and warranties. Concierge services include helping with arrangements for restaurant reservations, entertainment tickets, and golf courses to name a few. In the case of emergency, referrals can be made to medical practitioners, legal professionals, and travel-related issues. Insurance for the loss and damage of a US car rental is also covered. There are also miscellaneous protections for travel inconveniences, travel accidents, and retail protection and extended warranty.
Comparisons for the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card
If you're a Wells Fargo banking client with a qualifying account, then the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card is probably a better card for you - especially if you have a PMA package and can take advantage of the bonus categories. Here are several other contenders you might consider that have similar features ranging from a customer loyalty bonus, simple cash back, gas bonuses, and rotating categories.
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card vs. the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
If you spend more money on gas and you qualify for the relationship bonus, the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card is a great card for you. However, if you actually spend more on groceries and aren't a Wells Fargo banking customer, then the rewards structure for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may get you better returns. While the bonus for the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card is $50 higher, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has no ongoing annual fee. The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card rewards U.S. gas and U.S. restaurant purchases with unlimited point potential, while the The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express doles out 3% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (up to $6k a year), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and 1% on all other eligible purchases.
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card vs. BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
How much do you typically spend on your credit card, and do you bank with either of these banks? It's hard to beat the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card if you're a Wells Fargo client who can benefit from the 10 - 25% relationship bonus, or if you tend to spend more on your credit card. If you don't spend that much on your credit card, then the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card makes more sense - and it's 10% more compelling bonus if you deposit your rewards in a Bank of America account. Both cards offer 3% on gas, but its 2% for restaurants with Wells Fargo, and grocery stores for Bank of America. The points you earn are unlimited with the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card, while bonus points are limited to $2,500 each quarter with BankAmericard. On the other hand, the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card has an annual fee of $45 each year (waived in Y1), while the BankAmericard has no fee. Furthermore, the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card's welcome bonus is $100 more than the BankAmericard's.
Chase Freedom® vs. the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card
If you spend more than $1,500 each quarter on gas and restaurants, you'll most likely be better off with the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card. Otherwise, if you primarily use public transportation and cook at home, and don't mind keeping track of quarterly categories, then the Chase Freedom® is a good card to consider. That's because the Chase Freedom® has a $0 annual fee and can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card vs. the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Plus
The PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Plus has one of the highest rewards rate for gas purchases - 5%, but you have to be a Pentagon Federal Credit Union member. Otherwise, the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card is the card for you, especially if you've got that relationship bonus working for you. 5% on gas, 3% on groceries, and a low annual fee of $25 a year (waived if you have a qualifying PenFed account) are hard to beat. If you're affiliated with the military, employed by the U.S. government or one of its associated contractors, or have made a small donation to one of their associations, then you can be eligible for a membership and thereafter, the PenFed card.