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Wells Fargo has announced a new travel card that could redefine the rewards market.
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card somewhat resembles premium travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Citi Prestige® Card, as all three offer 3x points for every dollar spent on certain travel expenses.
The new Propel® card also features an impressive welcome offer: 30,000 bonus points for new Propel® cardholders who spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account.
The biggest difference? The Propel® card has no annual fee, versus a whopping $450 for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Citi Prestige® Card.
“We think the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card will be a market-maker,” says Beverly Anderson, Wells Fargo’s head of Cards and Retail Services.
The new card may help Wells Fargo reestablish a good relationship with its customers. A number of them may have grown wary of the San Francisco-based bank in the wake of a series of scandals stretching back to 2016. The bank recently launched a marketing campaign that appears aimed at bringing those customers back into the fold.
“It’s a perfect time for Wells Fargo to demonstrate its commitment to our customers,” Anderson says. She thinks the card can add value in the marketplace.
“One of the things we said we’ll do differently is to deliver more value to our customers, and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is how we plan to follow through on that commitment.”
Wells Fargo says that applications for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card will be available starting in July. Here’s a quick breakdown of the new card, which offers an interesting value proposition that we haven’t seen elsewhere in the rewards card landscape.
Why we like it
The new Propel® card is packed full of rewards.
- The 30,000-point welcome bonus has a $300 cash redemption value. Just remember you’ll need to spend at least $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.
- You can earn 3x points per dollar spent on travel and transportation — including airfare, hotels, homestays, ridesharing, taxis, limousines, rental cars, gas, trains, cruises, ferries, campgrounds, tolls, parking and more. Phew. That’s a very wide and accommodating definition of “travel.”
- You can earn 3x points per dollar spent at restaurants and bars, including fast food.
- You can earn 3x points per dollar spent on popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and Spotify Premium. Check out the full list of eligible streaming services.
- You can also earn discounts at restaurants and hotels through American Express.
- Best of all, you won’t pay an annual fee.
What to watch out for
For a credit card with no annual fee, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card seems to offer a compelling value. Even so, here are a couple of points to keep in mind.
- If you’re a new customer, it doesn’t hurt to ask yourself whether you trust Wells Fargo enough to give the bank a second chance.
- If you do, keep in mind that American Express is not as widely accepted as Mastercard and Visa.