The Wells Fargo Propel card is an interesting beast. It offers top of the line rewards on some popular everyday spending categories like eating out and ordering in, gas, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals, as well as eligible streaming services. All other purchases (what's left?) earn 1% cash back. These high rewards rates in popular categories come with no annual fee and a variable APR of 16.24% to 27.24%. It's recommended that you have a credit score somewhere above 680 before applying. If your score is lower than that, head on over to our page for building credit.
What's the downside? You have to bank with Wells Fargo. Will this credit card also come with a checking account you didn't try to open? There's only one way to find out. On the bright side, this card does offer a $300 welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 on your first 3 months of account opening. That bonus might help offset the initial hesitation to bank with Wells Fargo. Maybe?
This part should be easy. You'll earn 3 points per dollar spent in a number of high-profile spending categories that should get your motor running:
All other purchases are going to earn at a base rate of 1 point per dollar. The nice thing here is that there are no earning caps, which many similar no annual fee cards in this category have. Points can generally be redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per point for things like travel, gift cards, and cash back. When booking travel, you also have the option to pay with a combination of points and cash, which is nice.
Rewards won't expire as long as your account remains open and there's no limit to the amount you can earn. It's bad practice to hoard points for longer than you need to though. As Wells Fargo notes, point value and redemption options can change at any time and it is rare that points go up in value.
This card is best for someone that does a fair amount of traveling and eating out and doesn't want to deal with complicated point redemption or an annual fee.
This card is also spectacular for anyone that currently has the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card. The Visa Signature allows you to redeem points for 50% more when booking travel and also has no annual fee. Points can be pooled, which makes your 3x points per dollar worth 4.5 cents in travel expenses. This two card combination boasts an earning rate that is on par with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but without the hefty $450 annual fee.
If you travel frequently and would benefit from some airline perks like complimentary first checked bags or airline lounges, this card isn't for you. You'd be better served by an airline credit card or potentially the Sapphire Reserve.
For someone that is new to credit or still building credit, we'd recommend the Petal card. The cash back earning potential is substantially lower - earning up-to 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
With Propel cash back and points can more or less be used interchangeably. We wouldn't get too caught up in the distinction here. The real question is whether you'll benefit from the categories with the 3x points or if you'd do better with a card that earns a flat 2% cash back, like the Fidelity Visa.
If you can make the most of the two card combination and net 4.5% cash back in the increased earning categories this card is a no-brainer. If not, this card will probably suit you well enough and you probably won't regret it....as long as you don't find yourself with 10 Wells Fargo checking accounts unexpectedly.