About Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express Card
Cash-back credit cards like the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express present one huge benefit to consumers like you: cash.
These types of credit cards are set up to give you a bonus percentage of nearly every purchase you make. Sometimes, those bonuses are multiplied depending on what types of things you buy.
As you’ll read later in this review, the Wells Fargo Propel 365 gives you bigger cash back bonuses if you buy gas or you eat out.
Exactly what that means for your bottom line and which, if any, restrictions apply to those purchases is something we’ll talk about in a few minutes.
But, for now, it’s important to know that the Propel 365 is a cash-back rewards credit that has several rewards and benefits that may or may not work for your spending habits and goals.
On that note, it’s important for you to ask yourself when searching for a credit card: How do I spend my money and what are my goals for owning a credit card?
If you can start your card search with these questions, there’s a good chance you’ll avoid cards that are wrong for you and find the ones that will maximize your spending via relevant rewards.
While rewards and benefits are a crucial aspect of owning a credit card, don’t forget about rates and fees or the general consensus of experts like HighYa and your fellow consumer.
Our review will cover all the areas we’ve mentioned the past few seconds:
- Rates and fees
- Expert and consumer opinions
- Pros and cons
The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express Card’s Rewards
Cash-back credit cards, as we mentioned a few minutes ago, work on a system of bonuses you get when you buy things with your credit card. Many of them also offer up-front points bonuses as well as 0% APR for a certain amount of time.
The Propel 365 has three tiers of bonuses:
- 3x on gas purchases
- 2x on dining purchases
- 1x on everything else
These bonuses are rewards points that are worth $0.01 per point – 100 points equal $1. While you can redeem these points for gift cards and other things, we simplify the discussion by telling you the cash value of your points.
An Example of How the Propel 365’s Rewards Would Work
Let’s say you’re headed out on a day trip to the mountains. The drive will take about three hours, so you fill up at the gas station near your house. You use your Propel 365 and end up spending $40.
You pull out of the gas station and, three hours later, you pull into the small mountain town that’s the centerpiece of the day trip. You’re hungry, so you go to the town’s only restaurant for lunch. Your bill is $15, which you pay with your Wells Fargo Propel 365.
After lunch, you stop by a convenience store and pick up a couple of bottles of water and some potato chips. You use your card to pay the total of $5.
Now that you’ve got some basic necessities, you walk over to a trailhead and strike out on a nine-mile hike.
Three hours later, you emerge out of the woods quite happy at the time you spent among the trees, meadows and fresh air. All that hiking made you hungry, so you head back to the restaurant for dinner. You splurge on a steak and end up spending $35, all of which you charge to your Propel 365.
You enjoyed your trip so much that you decide to return in two months. You stop by the local campground on the way out of town and use your card to book a three-night stay for $120.
Here’s your final bill for the trip:
- Gas: $40
- Restaurant: $45
- Everything else: $125
Wells Fargo sees these purchases and automatically calculates the rewards that will be added to your balance based on the 3x/2x/1x structure we mentioned earlier. Your 3x gas rewards earn you $1.20 (120 points), the restaurant spend gets you $0.90 (90 points) and the “everything else” purchases earn you $1.25.
Your rewards total equals out to $3.65 (365 points) on $210 spending. That may not seem like that much to you, but it’s not bad considering all you had to do was swipe your card to make the purchases.
In reality, though, the spending you did on this trip doesn’t reflect normal spending. You see, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 report on America’s spending habits, most households spend around $3,154 a year on dining out and $1,909 on gas.
Those totals represent about 8.8% of our yearly spending, whereas the mountain day trip’s gas and dining-out spending represented about 40% of the overall spending.
If your spending over the course of the year reflected the average, here’s what you can expect in rewards:
- Gas: $1,909 x 3x rewards rate = $57.27
- Dining out: $3,154 x 2x rewards rate = $63.08
- Everything else: $19.937 x 1x rewards rate = $199.37
- Total: $319.72
This total rewards payout of $319.72 is based on an average yearly spend of $25,000, which is a number we think is totally feasible for an average American household.
Pro tip: Bonus points earned from purchases typically take 1-2 billing periods to show up on your rewards balance.
20,000 Bonus Points
If you can spend $3,000 in the first three months of owning this card, then Wells Fargo will give you 20,000 rewards points, free of charge.
One point is worth $0.01, which means 20,000 points are worth $200. So, when you add that $200 to the $319.72 we think you can earn through spending, then, in your first year, we estimate the Wells Fargo Propel can give you nearly $520 in rewards your first year of owning the card.
It’s important to remember that any fees, balance transfers or cash advances you do won’t count toward the $3,000 threshold.
Pro tip: Once you hit the spending requirement, it will take up to 1-2 billing cycles for the bonus points to show up in your account.
Wells Fargo Relationship Bonus
If you have an account with Wells Fargo, you’ll get added bonus points for any rewards you earn throughout the year. How much you earn depends on which type of accounts you have with Wells Fargo:
- 10% bonus for checking or savings accounts
- 25% bonus for Portfolio by Wells Fargo accounts
- 50% bonus when you have bank account balances above $250K or a Portfolio by Wells Fargo Private Bank account
These bonuses are calculated based on your cash rewards earned during the year. If you earn $300 in cash rewards and have a checking or savings account, Wells Fargo will add a $30 bonus to your account.
0% APR for 12 Months
The final reward you get with this card is that any balance transfers or purchases you make the first 12 months you own this card won’t accrue any interest.
This can get a little confusing, so let us explain. Let’s say you make a $3,000 balance transfer on this card in the third month you own it. Normally, if you didn’t pay off that $3,000 after the first billing cycle, you’d be charged interest on the part of the balance you didn’t pay off.
However, with 12 months of no interest, you could carry that balance all the way until the last month of your promo any interest on it.
Once the 12 months is up, you’d pay interest on whatever balance remains.
The same rule applies to purchases, too.
Many people, experts included, view these no-interest promos as a way to finance a big purchase or get some relief from a high-interest balance.
For example, let’s say you’ve got some serious dental work coming up and it’s going to cost you $2,800 you don’t have. So, you sign up for the Wells Fargo Propel 365. The card arrives in the mail and you use it to pay for your surgery.
Assuming you paid for the procedure one month after you were approved for the card, you’d have 11 months of no-interest. This means that you can split up the $2,800 over 11 months, which equals out to payments of $200 a month.
The no-interest offer comes in handy when you have a balance on a high-interest card, too. Often times, transferring a balance from a high-interest card to a no-interest card can save you hundreds of dollars.
Keep in mind, though, you’ll pay a balance transfer fee, which is something we’ll talk about in a few minutes.
The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express Card’s Benefits
Benefits are not related to rewards and often provide coverages for things you buy as well as safety features that protect you from thievery or fraud.
Because the card is an American Express card, you can use the card to book travel at discounted rates through the American Express travel portal.
In addition to cheaper travel, you’ll also receive reimbursements in the event that your airline loses your luggage or you yourself sustain physical injuries as the result of an accident while traveling.
Your Propel 365 also gives you insurance on cars that you rent.
Pro tip: All the benefits we mentioned here only kick in when you make your travel or rental purchase with your Propel 365.
Many people don’t know that purchases made with the Propel 365 card are covered for 90 days against theft or damage and for situations in which you want to return an item to a retailer but the retailer won’t accept the return.
You’ll also get an extended warranty that matches manufacturer’s warranties of one year or less.
The travel and purchase benefits listed here have specific restrictions and limitations, so we suggest reading through the card’s benefits guide to get a clear picture of what’s covered and what’s not covered.
The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express’ Rates and Fees
Every credit card you own will have a certain set of rates and fees designed to earn the bank money when you pay late or you don’t pay your entire balance every month.
Here are the Propel 365’s rates and fees:
- Purchase and balance transfer APR: 14.99-22.99%
- Cash advance APR: 24.99%
- Balance transfer fee: 3% 1st year, 5% after
- Annual fee: $0 1st year, $45 after
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $37
Earlier we hinted at the fact that you’d pay a fee for your balance transfer. If you make a transfer in the first 12 months, Wells Fargo will charge you 3% of the balance. After the first 12 months, that fee jumps to 5%.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t have to pay interest on your card if you don’t make cash advances and you pay off your balance in full every month.
Expert and Consumer Opinions About the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express
The few sites who wrote formidable reviews about this card gave it positive reviews, saying the card’s bonus categories are some of the best.
We looked for consumer reviews of the card, but they were few and far between.
The Pros of the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express
The strength of this card is the first-year rewards balance which, by our calculations, is nearly $520. The 10% bonus for Wells Fargo checking or savings customers is a nice perk, too.
The Cons of the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express
Based on our research, we believe the drawback to this card is its annual fee of $45. Consider this: If your gas-purchase habits are normal, the $57 in rewards you’d earn is hacked down to $12 when you subtract the annual fee.
Who This Card Is Good For
We believe the customer who would be most happy with this card would be someone who owns a Wells Fargo account that can get them at least a 25% bonus on their rewards and who spend more than the average yearly amount on gas.
By now, you should have a pretty good idea as to whether or not the Propel 365 is the right cash-back card for you. If you have your doubts, check out our guide, “The Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Card of 2017”.
This article will help you analyze other cash-back rewards cards that might be a better fit for you than the Propel 365. If you want to keep your credit cards in the American Express family, you’ll be happy to know that this guide includes an analysis of the AmEx Blue Cash Preferred.