Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review: 3x Points and Other Goodies

Wells Fargo and American Express have teamed up to revamp the rewards card, which now has many more ways to earn 3 points per $1 spent.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

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Best 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

  • New! 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 14.24%-26.74% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rates and fees
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

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The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is new and improved. The card, which carries the American Express brand, has gotten a revamp with some compelling features. Chief among these is the inclusion of new categories into the card’s top point earnings tier.

Why you can trust me

I am a veteran business writer and analyst with a focus on the financial sector. Which is fitting, because in the early stage of my career I worked at an investment bank as an analyst.

Since moving back to the U.S. in 2007 from a long stretch abroad, I’ve not only written about subjects like banking and credit cards, I’ve built up a small collection of cards from various issuers and brands (I hold Visa, Mastercard, and American Express products). My family’s credit score has consistently hovered in the 720-730 area; we know how to manage debt.

I’ll confess that I’m not a Wells Fargo customer, either as an account or a payment card holder. But the bank’s lineup of credit cards has many features similar not only to other cards on the market, but some of the plastic nestled in my own wallet. I feel comfortable reviewing and critiquing Wells Fargo’s new card.

What I like about the card

Numerous aspects of the new Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card represent marked improvements over its predecessor. All in all, the features I find most attractive about it are:

No annual fee -- The card helps cut out-of-pocket costs with no annual fee.

Sign-up bonus -- 30K points sign-up bonus when spending at least $3,000 within three months. The cash redemption value of that bonus is $300.

0% intro APR for purchases -- The 0% intro APR for 12 months for purchases can help you defray the cost of a purchase interest free. Note, the go-variable rate applies after the promo.

0% intro APR for balance transfers -- The same 12-month intro APR offer applies for balance transfers. Note, the go-variable rate applies after the promo.

Unlimited 3 points per $1 categories -- This, the card’s highest earnings tier, has been expanded to include a wide set of categories. So cardholders can earn at that rate when paying for:

  • Dining -- this category includes both eating in and dining out options.
  • Streaming services -- This is a fairly rare bonus category in the credit card sphere at the moment. It comprises the following providers: Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Sirius XM Radio, and Spotify Premium. Taking my own consumption as an example, if I were a Propel® Card holder paying for my Hulu, Netflix, and Sirius XM Radio subscriptions ($41.98 monthly total), I would earn just under 126 points per month on the card.
  • Travel and gas -- Grab that card, get out of the house and explore the world! In this very broad category, a cardholder could earn points at the top rate for a wide range of transport and travel purchases. In the former sub-category resides: airlines, passenger railways, auto rental, parking lots/garages, taxis, limousines, and ride sharing services (e.g., Uber). As for the travel sub-category, 3 points per $1 can be earned when using the card to pay for: travel agencies, both online and brick-and-mortar, hotel bookings, timeshares, home stay services (e.g., AirBnB), cruises, campgrounds, and gas (includes warehouse/membership clubs).

No foreign transaction fee -- The card doesn't charge the typical 3% fee for each swipe abroad that other cards levy on cardholders.

What could be improved

Acceptance -- American Express is not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard.

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.

Is it right for you?

Wells Fargo made a smart move in widening the types of goods and services that qualify for the top-tier, 3 points categories. This makes the card appealing to basically anyone who is fond of rewards cards; with frequent spending, it isn’t hard to rack up the points. Also, the 30,000 point bonus is quite good for the rewards credit card segment. Those looking to make a large-scale purchase soon might also want to jump on this card, as that 12-month intro 0% APR gives plenty of space to pay off big buys over a period of months. I could go on, but the message is clear, this card is packed with valuable goodies that make it one of the most versatile I've seen.