Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review: 3x Points and a 0% Intro APR

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is proof that no-annual-fee cards can still deliver plenty of perks. See why we consider it one of the best values of any credit card.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

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Great for: Restaurants and travel Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

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Our Bottom Line

Few cards can match the sheer numbers of categories that earn unlimited 3x points at such high rates. Add in the other valuable perks and that explains our high ratings for the offer.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
Highlights

  • Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $300 cash redemption value
  • Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 14.74%-27.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

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Wells Fargo may not have the most popular credit card lineup, but it does have one of the best credit cards you can find in the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card.

It’s not often you find a card with several different spending categories where you can earn bonus rewards, a 0% intro APR, no foreign transaction fee, and complimentary cell phone insurance, all for no annual fee. If you’ve been looking for a new card that won’t add to your yearly expenses, take a look at the perks and the very few gripes we had with this card.

Why you can trust me

As a personal finance writer who loves collecting credit card rewards, I research and use a lot of different credit cards. I’ve used cards from all the big card issuers, including American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo, along with some other lesser-known cards. To date I’ve earned over 500,000 points and used a chunk of them for multiple free trips to Europe and South America.

What I like

30,000 bonus points -- The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has a higher sign-up bonus than most no-annual-fee cards, and you’ll get the bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Wells Fargo points are worth $0.01 per point, giving this bonus a value of $300.

Earn up to 3 points per $1 -- This card earns 3 points per $1 on:

  • Eating out and ordering in

  • Gas, rideshares, and transit

  • Flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals

  • Streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and Sirius XM Radio

3 points per $1 is an excellent rewards rate, and you’ll get that rate for a diverse mix of different expense categories. Streaming services, in particular, is a category where not many other cards earn bonus rewards.

You’ll earn 1 point per $1 for all other spending.

No annual fee -- The card won’t add to your out-of-pocket costs, because there’s no annual fee.

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers -- This intro APR applies for the first 12 months, making the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card useful for paying off a big expense in installments or transferring balances to save on credit card debt.

No foreign transaction fee -- Most no-annual-fee cards will have a foreign transaction fee of 3%, but this card isn’t one of them, making it perfect for travelers.

Cell phone protection -- When you pay your cell phone bill using this card, Wells Fargo will provide phone protection that covers up to $600 per claim and $1,200 per 12-month period, with a deductible of $25 per claim. This is an excellent perk that’s rare among credit cards, especially with such a low deductible.

Travel and purchase protections -- You’ll get the following protections when you use this card to make purchases:

  • Lost luggage reimbursement.

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance.

  • Roadside assistance.

  • Retail purchase protection covering items you buy against damage or theft within the first 90 days.

  • Extended warranty coverage that doubles warranties of one year or less on eligible products.

What could be improved

$25 minimum on select redemptions -- If you want to redeem your points for cash back or a gift card, you’ll need to have at least 2,500 points for a $25 redemption. There are other redemption options that don’t have this minimum, but it can be an inconvenience if you want to redeem a smaller amount for cash back or a gift card.

Points aren’t transferable -- You can redeem your points towards travel at a rate of $0.01 per point. Wells Fargo doesn’t have any travel partners where you can transfer your points for award bookings, though, which means there’s no way you’ll be able to score a higher-value redemption.

Suggested credit score

Neither Wells Fargo nor American Express has directly provided guidance on the credit score an applicant should have in order to obtain a Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card. Anecdotal evidence on the predecessor card seems to suggest that good to excellent credit (generally 670-plus FICO® Score) is necessary.

Wells Fargo’s application rules

Wells Fargo application rules only allow consumers to get one of its credit card welcome offers every 15 months, and welcome offers cover any special introductory perks or bonuses. So, if you had previously gotten a Wells Fargo card with a sign-up bonus or an intro APR offer, you’d be ineligible for both the sign-up bonus and the intro 0% APR of the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card.

What are Wells Fargo points worth?

Wells Fargo points are worth a fixed rate of $0.01 per point with all the available redemption methods.

How Wells Fargo points work

You have the following options when redeeming your Wells Fargo points:

  • Cash back

  • Travel

  • Gift cards

  • Merchandise

  • Charitable donations

  • Online auction

While it seems like you have many different redemption options, it’s more an illusion of choice. Since the rate you get per point is the same no matter what, cash back renders all the other options useless. Sure, you could spend 10,000 points on a $100 gift card or airline ticket, but the outcome would be the same if you bought either of those outright and then redeemed those points for $100 cash back.

How to redeem Wells Fargo points

You can either manually redeem your points or, with cash back, you can set up automatic redemptions. Here’s how to manually redeem them:

1. Log in to your Wells Fargo account and click “Go Far Rewards.”

2. Place your cursor over the “Use Rewards” heading in the navigation menu and choose an option from the drop-down menu that appears.

The options are:

  • Redeem to account (in case you’re wondering, this is Wells Fargo’s way of saying cash back)

  • Travel

  • Gift cards

  • Merchandise

  • Digital downloads

  • Auctions

  • Limited time offers

3. Proceed through the redemption process.

After you’ve chosen a redemption method, the rest of the process is straightforward enough.

If you want to set up automatic cash-back redemptions, you’ll go through the same steps as you would with a manual redemption. After you click “Redeem to account,” you can decide how much of your cash back you want to redeem. Right beneath that, you’ll see the “Set auto-redemption?” heading. Check both the boxes, click “Confirm,” and your auto-redemption will be ready to go.

Combining Wells Fargo cards for better airfare redemptions

Although Wells Fargo points are worth $0.01 per point, there’s one exception. With the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card, you get $0.015 per point on airfare redemptions.

If you have both the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card, you can combine your points onto the latter, and then redeem them for airfare at the higher rate. Neither card has an annual fee, so this strategy to maximize the value of your cards won’t add to your bills.

The only hiccup here is that you need to wait 15 months between your Wells Fargo cards. You could get the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card sooner, but you’d miss out on its welcome offer, which is a stellar 5 points per $1 on your first $12,500 in gas, grocery, and drugstore spending over the first six months you have the card.

How the card compares to other rewards cards

Thanks to its combination of no annual fee and high rewards rates, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card matches up very well against the competition. The only area where Wells Fargo’s card is lacking, at least compared to some of the top travel rewards cards, is transferable points. 

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Chase Sapphire Preferred®
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Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon
4.5 stars Info icon We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon = Best
Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon = Excellent
Star Review Icon Star Review Icon Star Review Icon = Good
Star Review Icon Star Review Icon = Fair
Star Review Icon = Poor
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Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

Bonus: 25,000 online bonus points when spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening Bonus: 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Worth $625 redeemed for travel through Chase's portal.
Rewards Program: Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 on all purchases Rewards Program: 2 points per $1 on travel and dining, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. 25% more points for travel booked through Chase's portal.
Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 12 billing cycles Balance Transfers: N/A Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A
Regular APR: 17.24% - 25.24% Variable Regular APR: 18.24% - 25.24%, variable
Annual Fee: $0 Annual Fee: $95, waived first year

Highlights:

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

Highlights:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

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How to apply

Applying for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is a simple process you can get through within about five to 10 minutes. Here’s how:

1. Click the “Apply Now” button on the card’s page.

2. Go through the form filling out your personal and financial information.

3. Set up any card options you want.

4. After reviewing everything, submit the application.

Is it right for you?

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card will fit you well if you want a card that:

  • Has no annual fee.

  • Earns bonus rewards across several different spending categories.

  • Makes it easy to redeem your rewards.

  • Offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

  • Protects your cell phone.

And if you already have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card, then you should absolutely apply for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card the moment you pass that 15-month mark.