Wells Fargo Reward Credit Cards
The Wells Fargo Propel Card offers a 30,000 point signup bonus and 3x bonus reward rates on Restaurants, Travel, Gas, and Streaming Services, with no annual fee. By itself, that's mildly interesting.
However, if you also have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card, you can redeem your "GoFar" points at 1.5 cents each (by purchasing airfare through the Wells Fargo website). That increases the Propel Card's bonus category reward rates to 4.5 cents per dollar and the value of the Propel's signup bonus to $450. In addition, the Visa Signature card (and the "Wells Fargo Rewards Card") offer their own potentially lucrative signup bonuses.
Because you can only signup for 1 Wells Fargo card every 15 months, it takes some advanced planning to fully implement this "combo" strategy.
Wells Fargo Reward Card Options
Currently, there are three Wells Fargo credit cards that earn GoFar points.
Visa Signature. Unlocks your ability to get 1.5 cents, instead of 1 cent, for all your GoFar points. When used in combination with the Propel card, you'll earn the equivalent of 4.5 cents per dollar on the Propel card's bonus categories. No annual fee. Wells Fargo Webpage. Signup Bonus Chart.
Rewards Card. The regular Wells Fargo rewards card is only really interesting for its signup bonus. It doesn't provide useful benefits or reward earning rates. Wells Fargo Webpage. Signup Bonus Chart.
Collecting the Signup Bonus
Normally, GoFar points are worth 1 cent each. You can redeem them for gift cards or travel purchases, use them to pay down your credit card, or even withdraw them as cash from an ATM (if you have a Wells Fargo ATM card).
However, if you have the Wells Fargo Signature Card, you'll gain the ability to get 1.5 cents per point when you use them to purchase airfare through the Wells Fargo website. While you have the card, this ability extends to all your GoFar points, not just the points you earn directly from the Signature Card.
- The propel card has a 30,000 point signup bonus. If you already have the Visa Signature card or get it before you redeem your points, you can use the signup bonus to purchase up to $450 in airfare.
- In lieu of a typical signup bonus, the Visa Signature and the Wells Fargo Reward card earn 4x extra points (5x points total) on the first $12,500 of gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases, during the first six months you have the card. If you maximize the bonus, you'll earn 50,000 extra points above and beyond the 12,500 points you'd normally earn for spending this much. Most people don't normally spend this much money on their combined gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases. But you could use any remaining amount to purchase gift cards, which you can then use at a later time and/or in other categories.
- You can think of these cards as having a $750 signup bonus (with a $12,500 initial spending requirement). Rather than thinking of this as an enhanced bonus category spend, you can think of it as just an unusual signup bonus. Like any other signup bonus, when you first get the card, you'll receive a bunch of extra rewards, as long as you spend a certain amount of money on the card.
- If you aren't willing to go through the extra effort of maximizing them, the bonuses on these cards are much less interesting. If you only spend $3,000 or $4,000 on qualifying purchases during the first six months, you'll only earn an extra 12-16,000 points, valued at $180-240. That's not bad, but there are many cards with much more valuable signup bonuses.
- Most people will want to focus on signup bonuses that require less spending. While you are getting going, it is usually better to focus on cards that have lower minimum spending requirements. For example, you should be able to get somewhere around 200,000 airline miles or transferable points from around $12,000 in spending.
- If you already have cards that earn bonus rewards on groceries and gas, it is even harder to maximize the signup bonus. But since bonus rewards on grocery spending are often capped, the Wells Fargo cards should still let you earn extra rewards via gift cards, even if they don't provide much added value from any normal grocery, gas, or drugstore spending.
- You can earn the signup bonuses from both of these cards. If you maximize them both, you'd earn a total of 125,000 points, including the points you'd earn from the required spending.
For example, if you would naturally spend $750 per month combined at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations, you could use the remaining $8,000 to purchase gift cards for merchants like Amazon or BestBuy or even for your supermarket itself, and then use the gift cards for your future spending (or sell them on the web).
In the case of these cards, the spending requirement is very high, but you can get partial credit if you don't get all the way there. You also are very limited in the types of spending that counts. Most people will need to rely on purchasing gift cards to come close to maximize the bonus rewards.
- Cell phone protection. Like most other Wells Fargo credit cards, if you use the card to pay your wireless bill, you'll get automatic cell phone coverage. Get Free Cell Protection from these Credit Cards.
- Access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. As with all Visa Signature cards, you'll get access to Visa's luxury hotel program. Whenever you book one of the 900+ participating hotels, you'll receive a set of valuable benefits, including free breakfast, late check-out, and a $25 food and beverage credit. The Visa program has slightly weaker benefits than the other luxury hotel programs, but includes a larger number of more affordable hotel options and a best price guarantee. Take Advantage of Luxury Hotel Programs for Valuable Extra Perks.
- Access to Visa Signature Offers. Your card entitles you to a set of special offers available from Visa.
- The Propel and Visa Signature combo earns very competitive reward rates in a number of categories. 4.5 cents per dollar for restaurants, travel, gas, and streaming services is better than almost any other credit card. And you can get these rates without paying any annual fees. Best Credit Cards for Restaurant Spending. Best Credit Cards for Travel Spending. Best Credit Cards for Gas Spending.
- Except to earn the initial bonus rewards, you don't want to use any of these cards for unbonused spending. Even with the ability to redeem points at 1.5 cents each, 1x points is less than what you should be earning from a good general-purpose reward card. Get a Great General Purpose Reward Card and Use It for All of Your Spending.
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