Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Review: Excellent Earnings for No Annual Fee

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card earns big on travel, gas, transit, dining and more, and comes with a pretty generous sign-up bonus.

Citi is an advertising partner

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is currently not offered. See our list of best travel cards for other card recommendations.

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is a rare $0 annual fee credit card that manages to tick almost all the boxes. It offers bonus points on a wide range of spending categories, and those points can be used for both travel and cash back without losing any value. Unlike other credit cards of its kind, it offers some additional perks and protections on top of its lucrative and versatile rewards.

While just about anyone could benefit from this card, some people might get more from a rewards card that's more targeted toward their interests and spending habits. Here's what you need to know about the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, and whether or not it's right for you.

Pros

  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • High earn rate on travel, gas, transit, dining, streaming and more
  • Flexible points you can redeem for travel or cash
  • Cellphone, purchase and travel protections
  • Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • $0 annual fee

Cons

  • Points aren't worth as much as some other travel credit cards
  • You can earn a bigger sign-up bonus with an annual fee credit card
  • Travel protections are limited
  • Other cards come with a longer intro APR
{"backgroundColor":"gray","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"full pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003EPros\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-check-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Generous sign-up bonus\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n High earn rate on travel, gas, transit, dining, streaming and more\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Flexible points you can redeem for travel or cash\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Cellphone, purchase and travel protections\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Foreign transaction fees: None\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n $0 annual fee\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003ECons\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-times-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Points aren't worth as much as some other travel credit cards\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n You can earn a bigger sign-up bonus with an annual fee credit card\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Travel protections are limited\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Other cards come with a longer intro APR\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"none"}

Sign-up bonus

While the card's current offer isn't the biggest sign-up bonus out there, it is one of the most lucrative offers amongst credit cards with a $0 annual fee:

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.

You’d be hard-pressed to find another $0 annual fee rewards credit card with a bigger cash bonus than the $200 offered by the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, although you can find similar offers with a slightly lower minimum spend requirement. That being said, even casual credit card users can probably manage to spend $1,000 in three months by putting most of their expenses on this card.

What it's worth: $200 in statement credits

Who's eligible to earn this bonus? Any eligible purchases you make to reach the $1,000 minimum spend requirement must post to your account within three months from the date it was opened. Balance transfers and cash advances don’t count as eligible purchases.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWhat it's worth:\u003C\/strong\u003E $200 in statement credits\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWho's eligible to earn this bonus?\u003C\/strong\u003E Any eligible purchases you make to reach the $1,000 minimum spend requirement must post to your account within three months from the date it was opened. Balance transfers and cash advances don\u2019t count as eligible purchases.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Earning points

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card can help you stack rewards fast with a long list of bonus categories:

Earn 3X points on eating out, ordering in and popular streaming services, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases.

This is a very broad range of earning categories for a $0-annual-fee card, making the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card one of the best Wells Fargo credit cards, as well as a top no annual fee credit card.

However, if you're searching for a simple card that you can use for all your purchases, you may be better served by some cashback cards. Based on our estimates of what the average consumer is likely to spend on various categories of purchases, we’ve found that the average rewards earned per $1 spent is a little less than the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer or the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

It's also important to consider the value of the points you're earning. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card points are only worth 1 cent each; meanwhile cards like the American Express® Gold Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card have much more valuable points, since their points can be transferred to outside airline and hotel programs to increase their value. We estimate that the average consumer is likely to earn more rewards per $1 spent with these cards than with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. If you're aiming to use your points for travel, you may be better off footing the annual fee for one of these cards.

graph comparing average rewards earned per $1 spent

How much are Wells Fargo points worth?

For most redemptions, including travel, cash and gift cards, Wells Fargo's Go Far Rewards points are worth 1 cent each. This is standard across most rewards credit cards, with some offering slightly less valuable points and others (typically those with annual fees) giving out slightly more valuable points. While the value of Wells Fargo points is average, the ability to redeem them for a variety of items without losing value — including statement credits — is fairly unique.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3 id=\"How\"\u003EHow much are Wells Fargo points worth?\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EFor most redemptions, including travel, cash and gift cards, Wells Fargo's Go Far Rewards points are worth 1 cent each. This is standard across most rewards credit cards, with some offering slightly less valuable points and others (typically those with annual fees) giving out slightly more valuable points. While the value of Wells Fargo points is average, the ability to redeem them for a variety of items without losing value \u2014 including statement credits \u2014 is fairly unique.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Redeeming points

Wells Fargo's Go Far Rewards program offers a number of different redemption options for your points, most of which net you a value of 1 cent per point. These include:

  • Travel
  • Cash redemptions (minimum 2,000 points for ATM withdrawals, 2,500 points for other redemptions)
  • Gift cards (minimum 2,500 points)
  • Merchandise
  • Online auctions
  • Charitable donations

Travel redemption options include everything from airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars to cruises, experiences and vacation packages. Cash redemption options include statement credits, paper checks and ATM withdrawal with a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card.

money icon

You can also set up an automatic request that will redeem your points for cash or gift cards every time your rewards balance hits a certain threshold you’ve preselected.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"money icon\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 60px;\" data-src=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/static\/icons\/svg\/money\" src=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_60\/v1\/static\/icons\/svg\/money\" data-srcset=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/static\/icons\/svg\/money 1x, http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/static\/icons\/svg\/money 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EYou can also set up an automatic request that will redeem your points for cash or gift cards every time your rewards balance hits a certain threshold you\u2019ve preselected.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

There are some nuances to redeeming Wells Fargo points, such as meeting the minimum points required or setting up the automatic redemption option. Overall, though, Wells Fargo points are fairly easy to use, especially given that you have so many redemption options.

Transferring Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card points

You can get even more value from your Wells Fargo points by opening the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card, which also has a $0 annual fee. This card gets you 50% more value on airline redemptions, meaning your Wells Fargo points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for plane tickets.

The best part? You can transfer Wells Fargo points you earn on other cards, such as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, to your Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card to boost their value.

In fact, this card combination boosts the rewards earned per $1 spent with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card to 2.7 cents for the average cardholder, making it one of the most valuable $0-annual-fee cards.

{"backgroundColor":"butter","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003ETransferring Wells Fargo Propel American Express\u00ae card points\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EYou can get even more value from your Wells Fargo points by opening the Wells Fargo Visa Signature\u00ae Card, which also has a $0 annual fee. This card gets you 50% more value on airline redemptions, meaning your Wells Fargo points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for plane tickets.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe best part? You can transfer Wells Fargo points you earn on other cards, such as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express\u00ae card, to your Wells Fargo Visa Signature\u00ae Card to boost their value.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodePullquote--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodePullquote--text ShortcodePullquote--blue\"\u003E\n \nIn fact, this card combination boosts the rewards earned per $1 spent with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express\u00ae card to 2.7 cents for the average cardholder, making it one of the most valuable $0-annual-fee cards.\n\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Other Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card benefits

Most people look to rewards credit cards for the points, miles or cash back, and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card doesn't disappoint. However, it also comes with a host of additional benefits and protections that could help you save money.

With the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, you'll get a 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases and a 0% intro APR for 12 months on qualifying balance transfers (then a 14.49%-24.99% (Variable) APR applies). This gives you some financial flexibility and allows you to finance purchases while potentially avoiding interest. Keep in mind that the card's ongoing APR is relatively high, so it's wise to pay off your balance in full before the introductory period ends.

This unique credit card benefit is essentially a $600 insurance policy (with a $25 deductible) on your cellphone. You can use this to seek reimbursement for covered damage or loss to your cellphone as long as you pay your monthly cellphone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel card.

The Wells Fargo Propel card gets you purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty protection on any purchase you make with your card. Purchase protection covers the value of items that are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase and offers up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year in coverage. If you're unsatisfied with an item you receive and the merchant won't accept a return, you can file for return protection within 90 days of purchase to be reimbursed for up to $300 per item (excluding any shipping and handling costs) and $1,000 per year. Finally, extended warranty protection will double the warranty period on any purchase you make that comes with an original warranty of 12 months or less.

Cardholders get access to 24/7 roadside assistance in the U.S. and Canada, although you will usually be responsible for the cost of any services rendered, such as a tire change, battery charge, or gas delivery. If you rent a car with your Wells Fargo card in the U.S. or Canada, you'll get secondary car insurance. With secondary insurance, you must first apply for reimbursement from any primary coverage you hold — such as your personal car insurance policy. After that, the secondary insurance on your credit card will kick in, reimbursing you for any covered damage that wasn't already reimbursed by your primary insurance provider.
While traveling with a common carrier on a trip purchased with your card, you'll also get lost or damaged baggage insurance. This secondary coverage will reimburse you for the value of any lost or damaged items in your luggage for up to $1,000 per covered trip.

Many credit cards charge a foreign exchange fee on every purchase you make while overseas, and these fees add up quickly. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is one of the few $0 annual fee credit cards that also offers no foreign exchange fee.

How does the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card compare to other cards?

While the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card offers some excellent rewards and benefits, you might find that another credit card aligns better with your spending habits. Here's how the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® cardstacks up when compared to some other popular rewards cards.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card charges a $95 annual fee, but the popular travel card makes up for it by offering high-value, versatile rewards. On the surface, the card's earn rate appears to be a little less generous: 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.

However, the points you’ll earn — Chase Ultimate Rewards points — are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel, making them at least 25% more valuable than Wells Fargo points. You can also transfer Chase points to a long list of airline and hotel partners and potentially double that value. Finally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a bonus worth $750 in travel and some of the most extensive travel insurance of any credit card, making it a great option for jetsetters.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a best-in-class cashback credit card with a $0 annual fee. You'll Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. The list of bonus earning categories is shorter (travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, dining and drugstores), but you'll also get a high rate of cash back on all other purchases. This could be a good option for anyone looking for a generous flat-rate cash back card they can use for everything.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card vs. Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is another $0 annual fee cashback credit card. You'll Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. This may be about as good as it gets when it comes to flat-rate cash back.

While this credit card doesn't offer a sign-up bonus, it does offer one of the one of the best 0% intro APR offers: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers. After that, the APR will be 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable). Opt for it if you're paying off debt and want to earn big on all your purchases.

Is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card worth it?

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is one of the best credit cards for people who want to earn flexible rewards without paying an annual fee. If you spend a lot on travel, gas, dining or streaming services, you should have no problem stacking Wells Fargo's very flexible points quickly.

That being said, if you're a big spender or frequent traveler, you might benefit more from a card with an annual fee that earns rewards faster. For example, the best travel credit cards come with bigger sign-up bonuses, more valuable points and more extensive travel perks and benefits. Folks who are in it for the transit rewards might earn faster with one of the best Uber credit cards.

Most consumers could get a decent value from the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card — it's an excellent beginner rewards card for folks who want to earn rewards that can be redeemed for travel or cash back.

Is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card an American Express card?

Yes, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is an American Express card. This means it's accepted at any place that accepts American Express.

What credit score is needed for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card?

This credit card requires Excellent/Good credit. In general, a credit score of at least 700 is considered good and should give you a solid chance at approval for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. That being said, there's no guarantee of approval no matter how good your credit, and it's possible to be approved with a score below 700.

Is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card hard to get?

While the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card does require good credit, it's not necessarily harder to get than most rewards credit cards. Approval for this card is likely more lenient than some premium credit cards but more strict than a credit card geared toward people with fair or bad credit.

Is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® cardmetal?

Yes, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is metal. Like many of the best metal credit cards, it's made of encapsulated metal.

Do Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card points expire?

As long as your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card account remains open, your Wells Fargo points won't expire. However, you should make sure to use all of your points before closing your account.

Does the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card have foreign transaction fees?

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees. This means you can use your Propel card overseas without worrying about being charged extra for each transaction.

Does the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card have travel insurance?

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card does come with some travel insurance, although it's limited. You'll get roadside assistance, rental car insurance and lost or damaged baggage protection.

The information related to Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).