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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.
- 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.
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
- 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.
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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