Stop Sleeping on the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

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Out of all the rewards credit cards currently available, a select minority seem to dominate the coverage across blogs and traditional media. Today, we're going to focus on one rewards card that doesn't get the coverage it deserves. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is a no-annual-fee card that can bolster your rewards portfolio and give you a simple way to book free airfare.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value
  • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points on popular streaming services
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Welcome Bonus

The Wells Fargo Propel Amex earns 20,000 Go Far Rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. This can be redeemed as $200 cash back—an excellent bonus for a rewards card touting no annual fee. You can also redeem points at a rate of one cent each towards airfare, hotels and cruises through the Go Far Rewards travel portal. We'll also talk about how you can increase the value of your points to 1.5-1.75 cents each, making the sign-up bonus worth up to $350.

When folks see Amex, they often think of American Express Membership Rewards. The Wells Fargo Propel Amex earns Go Far Rewards, which is a totally separate type of points with their own unique advantages and redemption strategies. Unlike Membership Rewards whose value is highly variable when transferred to over a dozen airline and hotel partners, Go Far Rewards are redeemable at a fixed value which makes them predictable and easier to use for beginners.

Application Restrictions

It's important to note the Wells Fargo restrictions for getting bonus points when applying for new cards. Currently, you may only get one sign-up bonus every 15 months. The Propel application states:

“You may not be eligible for introductory annual percentage rates, fees, and/or bonus rewards offers if you opened a Wells Fargo Credit Card within the last 15 months from the date of this application and you received introductory APR(s), fees, and/or bonus rewards offers – even if that account is closed and has a $0 balance.”

This limit on welcome bonuses can present a bit of a dilemma. It’s worth noting, however, that you can be approved for another Wells Fargo card after six months, but you’ll have to forego the welcome bonus unless you want to wait the full 15 months. The Wells Fargo Propel Amex has the most lucrative new-cardmember offer by far, so this is the card to start with if you plan to make Go Far Rewards part of your long-term points strategy.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Points Earning Rates

The Wells Fargo Propel Amex earns points at rates which place it in the same earning category as many premium rewards cards charging astronomical annual fees. The card earns:

  • 3x on travel – including services such as VRBO homestay
  • 3x on dining – including delivery websites like GrubHub
  • 3x on streaming services – including Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix, etc.
  • 3x at gas stations
  • 1x on all other purchases

The travel category is very inclusive with purchases like gas, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, parking, and car rentals all earning 3X points.

Increase Your Redemption Value

Points earned by the Wells Fargo Propel Amex are worth one cent each towards cash back or travel, but can be bumped up to 1.5-1.75 cents each if you also hold the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card. Your rewards from both cards will be automatically combined into a single Go Far Rewards account and points will be worth 1.5 cents each towards airfare. If you spend $50,000 in any 12-month rolling timeframe on your Wells Fargo Visa Signature, points become worth 1.75 cents each towards airfare.

Wells Fargo's Go Far Rewards are an ideal option for couples who want to maximize rewards as a team. If you haven't been able to pick up a second Wells Fargo card because of the application restrictions we mentioned above, your travel companion can get the Wells Fargo Visa Signature to unlock the higher redemption value of 1.5 cents per point on airfare. Since you can transfer an unlimited number of points to anyone with a Go Far Rewards account, it's easy to combine points towards a common goal.

If you can leverage the enhanced redemption power of the Wells Fargo Visa Signature, the no-annual-fee Wells Fargo Propel Amex gives you the same redemption value to cover the cash cost of flights as the $550-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. The Wells Fargo Propel Amex also earns 3X points (4.5% cash back towards airfare) on a wider variety of purchases than the expensive Sapphire Reserve.

Additional Card Features and Go Far Rewards Gems

The Wells Fargo Propel Amex features some nice perks for a no annual fee card, including access to free FICO scores and Cell Phone Protection.

  • Cell Phone Protection – Pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Propel and you’re protected in the case of damage or theft for up to $600 (with a $25 deductible).
  • Free FICO Score 9 Experian Credit Score – Monitor your FICO score free of charge, one of the easiest ways to keep on top on new card approvals and your 5/24 count.

Dive a bit deeper into the Go Far Rewards program and you'll find a couple of nuances that can be very valuable. First is the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall. This is a shopping portal for all of your online purchases, but it can also work when you use your card in physical stores. I am routinely targeted with offers for in-store purchases up to 40X points per dollar. If I redeem my points towards flights at 1.5 cents per point, (because I also have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature) that equates to a 60% rebate towards airfare on any purchase I make. Make sure you first activate the offer on your card on the Go Far Rewards website before using your Wells Fargo Propel Amex at the participating merchant.

Another benefit of the Go Far Rewards program that doesn't get much attention is the rewards auctions that are always ongoing. Sometimes travel gear is being auctioned, but many times it is a trip including airfare, car rental, hotel, and activities. These auctions can go for very reasonable amounts of points, and I always keep an eye on what the current offering includes.

Finally, booking flights with Go Far Rewards gives me the flexibility of not having to worry about award space. I find a good fare, and I use points at an exceptional value of 1.5 cents each to cover the cost. As an added bonus, airlines treat these flights as “paid airfare” when you cover the cost with your Go Far Rewards. That means you earn elite-qualifying- and redeemable miles on free flights, thereby technically increasing the value of your Go Far Rewards to even more than 1.5 cents each.

Final Thoughts

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card offers a welcome bonus worth between $200-$350, earns 3X points in generous dining and travel categories, gives you free cell-phone insurance, lets you skip having to worry about award space, and allows you to earn miles on free flights. This is all astoundingly done for no annual fee. Stop sleeping on this card and add it to your loyalty portfolio. Then, try and have a friend or loved one get the Wells Fargo Visa Signature to unlock the higher redemption value.

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  • I Just received the 40k bonus on the Propel World credit card. And now I would very much like to get the Visa Signature for the 1.5 or 1.75 multiplier and use the GoFar rewards in the best way possible.
    Would the earning structure of the Visa Signature (no sign up bonus) count as “bonus earning” and prevent from earning more than the 1X/$1 as stated in the T’s & C’s : “If you opened a Wells Fargo Credit Card within the last 15 months, you may not be eligible for introductory annual percentage rates, fees, and/or bonus rewards offers”

  • Wells has a great card here but there’s no way I’m banking with them again in this lifetime. Not about to happen

  • Seems great, but… Wells Fargo

  • Good to know this new card. Sounds attempting.

  • First time I’ve heard about this card. Comments appear to be negative towards WF so I will do some research before deciding. Love the info.

  • too much corruption at WF for me to be a customer.

  • I like American Express but like Julie worry about Wells Fargo business practices. I don’t know if Wells Fargo or American Express practices will be used regarding this card.

  • Wouldnt use this card on airfare because there are better options but for gas 4.5% back is not bad.

  • The welcome offer is equivalent to earning 10% cash back on purchases, which is a nice “discount”. The highest I recall seeing before this on another card was 5% (in real cashback).

  • I’m still amazed people still choose to do business with Wells after the fake accounts scandal. Guess some people just don’t care, or don’t understand what really happened. They sure won’t see $0.01 of my money though……

  • If you sirens the $50,000, for how long can you redeem at 1.75?

    • The 1.75 multiplier is based on spend over a rolling 12 month period. So as I read the terms, if you drop below 50K in the previous 12 consecutive statements, you’ll go back to the 1.5x multiplier.

  • But are these points expiring after five years?

  • As a factual note, as a number of people mentioned the benefit of cell phone protection plus a monthly $10 UBER credit and free Boingo wifi access. HSBC’s no fee Premier credit card now provides this. It does require a HSBC Premier account.

  • I love the 3x points, and fee free. I’m thinking on getting this.

  • as mentioned by other folks, i’ve also been on the fence due to it being Wells Fargo and i’ve heard they are much harder to get approval. I’m already vested in the TY/MR/UR world. However, i’m thinking about pulling out of Citi/TY after the Citi Prestige changes kicks in Sep so I may consider switching to this.

    Thanks for posting the info, it definitely brought this one on my radar for viable options.

  • Wells Fargo = scandals around fake accounts so this is a non-starter

  • I suppose the no fee makes this somewhat attractive

  • I’m sure there are lots of people who are happy with Wells Fargo, but they have burned me when I was a customer and then with the scandal it’s too much. I just cannot think about getting anything from them currently.

  • There are several different point currencies and it takes some research to find the sweet spots in each system. If this card is so difficult to get I am less inclined to learn the rules of this Wells Fargo card.

    • I don’t have the card but it doesn’t sound like there’s a sweet spot. Points are a fixed value so for all intents and purposes it’s another cashback card.

  • Is this managed via the Wells Fargo portal or the AMEX portal?

  • Hmm, some of the posts here are giving me pause about wanting to do business with Wells Fargo.

  • Had not heard of this card. The cell phone insurance is positive as is the mall but I can’t get over the fact that it is Wells Fargo.

  • Michaelj1 says:

    I like the no fee cards for the long term keep. I hope Wells Fargo is successful with this as more competition in the rewards card area can only be more “rewarding” for the cardholder. Thanks for the info on this.

  • Too bad Amex acceptance, although improving, is not similar to Visa / Mastercard.
    This is currently a roadblock for me taking advantage of this card.

  • This card is tempting. I really like the no annual fee too.

  • It seems from other posters this card is hard to get, is that true?

    • Unfortunately, the banks don’t share much information about the approval criteria with us. I can say that the approval rates for this card seem to be more or less in the middle of the pack—there are some cards that are harder and some that are easier—but again we don’t get a ton of information.

      Although I’m sure the other commenters are sincere, I always keep in mind that folks are more likely to share/comment when they don’t get approved than when they do. In other words, it’s probably not a representative sample to judge whether you’re likely to get approved.

      We always appreciate you guys sharing your experiences to help others.

  • So for someone that doesn’t have the Wells Fargo Visa signature, this offer seems okay, but not great. Am I correct?

    • That’s probably a fair assessment. The wild card with WF is the free & unlimited points pooling. If you have a teammate that can get the Visa Signature, the potential is huge. I also think the 3X earning is pretty awesome, even if you don’t have the Visa Signature. Both the travel and dining categories are a lot more inclusive than other cards (including the Sapphire Reserve). All the other cards with big earning categories have big annual fees, so this card stands out on that front.

  • Wells Fargo is a hard card to get approved for….

  • With all the negative things I have read about Wells Fargo I am afraid to do business with them!

    • Hey Ed, I definitely hear your concern on this. I think a lot of folks are uneasy about Wells Fargo.

      There are some things we really like with the Go Far Rewards Program—especially for our readers that don’t have the time or desire to really learn strategy for maximizing more complicated rewards programs.

      That said, trust is a huge part of a banking relationship, so we completely understand the folks that aren’t ready to do business with them. Hopefully, there has truly been a shift in the company culture from the top down. More competition is always a good thing, so we’re certainly rooting for Wells to turn things around.

      On the positive side, the need to win back customers probably means more resources invested in their rewards program.

  • Not sure I can keep up with another awards program.

    • That’s a fair point. This is one of the easiest programs to use, so that’s a big reason we’re writing about it. You don’t need to know much of anything about other points and miles programs.

      If you’re already a pro at maximizing miles, this program isn’t as interesting, but if you read a post like our recent breakdown of using BA miles to Book AA flights and think this is WAY to confusing… Go Far Rewards could be a great choice.

  • You can get the “World” version if you go in branch.

  • I didn’t even know Wells Fargo had credit cards. lol

  • I’ve never heard of this card before, but will definitely consider applying for it. I think that the cell phone protection would really help me!

  • The card is fine. The question is the company.

  • I haven’t even heard of this card before. Thanks for posting. Always good to have no annual fee cards.

  • Personally I wouldn’t get this card because of Wells Fargo reputation.

  • Let’s hope this time, Wells Fargo only opens one credit card application, instead of multiples to juice their numbers.

  • Wells needs to do more than this to win back trust.

  • says:

    Love the no fee cards!

  • I applied around a year ago and was declines even though my FICO is over 820, OI have no late or missed payments, always pay any credit card bills in full, and have no other Wells Fargo cards.

  • The reason it’s slept on is that it’s so hard to get. I’ve never successfully been approved for a Wells Fargo card.

  • lorem ipsum says:

    Does this card count against the 4 (or is it 5 now?) Amex credit card limit? This would be a major factor for me to consider before applying.

    • Hey that’s a great question. This card won’t count against your Amex credit card limit. That is just for cards issued by American Express. In this case, the issuer is Wells Fargo, and the payment network is Amex.

      For those wondering, Amex won’t let folks have more than 5 credit cards open at one time. Charge cards like the Amex Gold or Platinum don’t count. But that rule only applies to cards issued by Amex, so this Wells Fargo card wouldn’t affect your ability to open cards with Amex.

  • Kripal Singh says:

    the problems with the propel card is wells fargo , lousy customer service and no retention offers.