Wells Fargo Propel American Express review: $200 in travel and 3x points with a no-annual-fee card

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If you’re looking for a card that earns bonus points in popular spending categories like travel, commuting, dining, and on select streaming services, you’ve got a perfect match in the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card.  It comes with a welcome bonus worth $200 after meeting minimum spending requirements, and it’s got no annual fee.

The information for the Wells Fargo Propel has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.   

Yes, we consider this a travel credit card — but it’s an exceptional card for when travel isn’t an option, either. Nobody’s traveling right now in accordance with the coronavirus lockdown, but this is still a card we recommend to anyone searching for a new product. Whether you’re trotting the globe or locked in your house, the Wells Fargo Propel will net you significant cash back on your daily expenses. Choosing to earn cash back is an extra smart thing during this economic pandemonium.

You can apply for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card here.

I’ll explain everything you need to know about this card to help you decide if it deserves a spot in your wallet’s daily rotation.

Earn 3x points popular streaming entertainment, and even receive cell phone coverage on the phone you use to watch them. Hard to beat that, especially for a no-annual-fee card. (Photo by Alexander Kirch/Shutterstock)

Wells Fargo Propel review

Who is this card for?

If you pay for (or desire) cell phone protection for absolutely free, this is the card you want in your wallet.

In the past, Wells Fargo wanted you to have a banking relationship already established before you opened their credit cards. Report of late is that the bank is more lenient with this card, and doesn’t require a prior history, which is great news for miles & points enthusiasts. Still, they’re known to be a conservative bank — if you’ve opened lots of cards recently, you might want to sit this one out for a while.

Card bonus

The Amex Wells Fargo Propel comes with 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of card opening. Points are worth 1 cent each, so you’ll receive a value of $200 by meeting the spending requirement. You can use it for cash back, travel, gift cards, and other rewards.

Benefits and perks

Cell phone protection

One crowd-favorite perk that many of our readers enjoy is free cell phone protection. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express offers great cell phone insurance with a low $25 deductible. It covers up to $600 per claim, and $1,200 per 12-month period.

There are a couple catches:

  • Lost phones are not covered
  • This is secondary coverage, meaning that the coverage kicks in if your phone isn’t covered by other insurance policies like homeowners, renters, automobile, and employer insurance policies
  • Coverage does not apply to cell phones that are rented, borrowed, or received as part of a prepaid plan.
  • Electronic failure or issues related to the software of the device are not covered

But overall, this is still a great benefit because of the low deductible. This is a perk that is fairly rare on any credit card, but it’s particularly special to see this on a no-annual-fee card. This adds a lot of value to the Wells Fargo Propel.

Triple points on popular everyday categories

One of the best parts of this card is its incredible bonus categories for common expenses. Earning 3x points will be very easy and the rewards will rack up quickly. This card seems to be very well built for the millennial crowd with bonus points on purchases from ridesharing (Uber and Lyft) to food delivery services, Airbnb and even entertainment subscriptions (Netflix, Spotify, etc).

You earn 3 points per dollar on these spending categories:

  • Eating out and ordering in: This can include food delivery, restaurants, and even bars (referred to as “drinking places” by Wells Fargo)
  • Travel: Flights, car rentals, hotels, and even homestays all qualify
  • Gas stations: Another popular category that many folks spend a lot of money on each month
  • Commuting and transportation: Parking, ferries, tolls, Lyft, Uber, bus passes, subway tickets, and more
  • Popular streaming services: This includes purchases from popular services like Netflix, Hulu, and Apple Music

You’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. There is no limit to the amount of bonus points you can earn, and your points never expire as long as your account remains open.

When I look through the expenses I have each month outside of necessities like utilities, mortgage, and car payment, it seems like almost all of my monthly expenses would fit within these 3x bonus point categories.

Amex Offers

One benefit nearly all of us adore about American Express cards is the access it provides to Amex Offers. These offers can be very valuable and save you a lot of money if an offer comes up that you would otherwise use. Amex Offers is a great way to save money on everyday purchases. These offers are essentially targeted rebates for using your Amex card at popular shops and services. They allow you to save even more while using your card for shopping online, dining, and other common activities.

I saved hundreds on hotel stays last year with Amex Offers.

Purchase protection

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card offers protection against damage or theft for up to 90 days on new purchases, up to $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per 12-month period.

This is good coverage, but if this perk is important to you, there are other cards with much more protection for your big-ticket purchases.

Return protection

If you try to return an item within 90 days but the merchant won’t take it back, you can file a claim for return protection. Wells Fargo will let you return the item and cover up to $300 (not including shipping and handling), up to $1,000 per year.

Extended warranty

Wells Fargo says:

Extended Warranty doubles the original manufacturer warranty up to a maximum of twelve (12) months on most items you purchase.

They’ll pay up to $10,000 or up to the original cost of an item (whichever is less) that needs repair or replacement, if the original warranty is under 12 months.  And there’s a maximum benefit of $50,000 per 12-month period.

Lost or damaged luggage reimbursement

If your bags are lost or damaged when you travel, you can file a claim for up to $1,000 per trip, with no more than $250 to cover lost or damaged jewelry or fur. Award trips are covered, but you charge at least one dollar on the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card to file a claim.

Again, this is a nice benefit, but if you’re interested in free travel insurance, read our post on the best travel insurance credit cards.

How to redeem points

While this card technically earns “points”, it’s effectively a cash back card. But that doesn’t mean it works the same as the tattered old cash back card you’ve been carrying around in your wallet for the previous decade. Read our post on how to redeem cash back to better understand — and check out our post on what is cash back to learn how many different kinds of cash back cards there really are!

With this card, each point is worth 1 cent, and you can redeem your points for statement credits, cash back, travel, or other rewards like gift cards through the Wells Fargo website. You must redeem at least 2,500 points ($25) to get a reward.

If you want to book travel, you can use points to pay for all or part of your ticket. The points never expire as long as your account is open, and there’s no limit to how many points you can earn.

Is the Wells Fargo Propel Amex Worth it?

Absolutely, because the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card has no annual fee!

Wells Fargo customer support is fast and thorough. Plus, you can redeem your rewards directly on their website, so they make it easy to use your points when you’re ready. They also have a meter that shows you exactly how much more you need to spend to trigger the intro bonus after you log into your account – super handy!

Insider secrets

If you also have the Wells Fargo Visa® Signature® Card (which has no annual fee), you can redeem your points for 1.5 cents each toward airfare through the Wells Fargo portal. That means you’ll effectively get 4.5% toward airfare for bonus category purchases of travel, dining, gas stations, and more (3 points per dollar X 1.5 cents each)!

The information related to the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card card has been collected by Million Mile Secrets and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service

Bottom line

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card earns extra points in popular spending categories, has an excellent welcome bonus, and offers valuable ongoing perks.  For a card with no annual fee, that’s hard to find.  Plus, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points (worth $200 in cash back, travel, gift cards, or other rewards) after completing minimum spending requirements.

Don’t forget the 3x bonus categories, including dining, travel, gas stations and commuting expenses, and select streaming services. This card is a match for travelers, commuters, or folks who like to unwind with dining and streaming entertainment.

You can apply for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card here. And subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card reviews.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Rid
1 year ago

I got denied of propel card citing it’s only for US citizens and permanent residents.
Doesn’t says anywhere in the disclosure though.

Andrew W
Reply to  Rid
1 year ago

Hi Rid,

I’m not too familiar with this requirement, but I did a quick search in online forums and found a few people who were able to be approved for a Wells Fargo credit card despite being a non-resident, non-permanent resident.

They did however, have to go into a branch, and already had an established banking relationship with Wells Fargo.