Last week, Wells Fargo released the Well Fargo Propel card and by itself it isn’t a bad card. With this new card, Wells Fargo I think has a compelling combination of cards to reduce travel cost.
Wells Fargo Compelling Combination of Cards
Wells Fargo Propel American Express
For some, they won’t touch Wells Fargo because of their banking issues. That’s fine, but that doesn’t mean Wells Fargo doesn’t have compelling credit cards.
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express has a 30,000 point bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. This worth $300, which isn’t bad considering this is a card with no annual fee.
Wells Fargo, I think, made the bonus categories competitive with other credit cards. The Wells Fargo Propel card earns 3 points per dollar on:
- Car rentals
- Streaming services (like Netflix)
Then you will earn 1 point everywhere else.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa:
This is Wells Fargo cash back card, which on the surface seems to not be worth your time.
The Cash Wise card comes with a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, which is 20,000 points of Go Far Rewards. It earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which is less than the 2% minimum you should be earning.
Also, you’ll earn 1.8% on all mobile wallet payments made in the first year as well. Which isn’t terrible, but there are cards that earn better for mobile payments.
The Wells Faro Cash Wise card has no annual fee, which make this a solid addition to this rotation.
We can make this card earn 2.25% and 2.7% (for mobile wallet payments) when we add another card to the mix.
Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card:
This is the card that really makes this rotation value increase.
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card earns 5 points per dollar on grocery, gas, and drug store purchases, up to $12,500 in the first 6 months of opening the card.
If you were to max this spend requirement out, you would have 62,500 Go Far Reward points.
The reason this card is the key card for this rotation is the fact the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card lets you redeem your points for 1.5 cents per point on airfare.
Those 62,500 points you could earn, would be worth $937.50 towards airfare. This is a pretty fantastic amount of value for a no fee credit card!
Why It’s Compelling:
I’m not against paying annual fees, but if you options that can give you comparable value to other cards that have fees, then I’m all for cutting them out.
This 3 card combination gives you:
- 3x on dining
- 3x on gas (after your Visa Signature bonus period ends)
- 3x flights, transit, hotels, homesteads and car rental
- 3x on select streaming services
- 1.5x on all non bonus spend
- 1.8x mobile wallet payments in year 1
- 1.5 cent per point redemption on airfare
This is in addition to pretty solid bonus offerings. You could earn a total of 112,500 in points, worth $1,678.50 in airfare rewards,
Pooling Your Rewards:
Probably one of the more overlooked and underrated pieces of Go Far Rewards is the fact you can pool your points with anyone.
If you have family or a spouse willing to take advantage of these bonuses, you can really earn lot of rewards quickly for your travels.
There are no limits or restrictions on how you pool your points. Which is solid since other programs have restrictions about who and how you can pool your points.
While this all sounds great, there are negatives to earning Go Far Rewards and opening Wells Fargo credit cards.
Like other banks, Well Fargo credit cards have restrictions on earning credit card bonuses. You can only earn a credit card bonus evert 15 months with Wells Fargo. So to really take advantage of this 3 card rotation (in a shorter period of time), you would either need someone to play along with you, or it would take a while to be earn the bonuses for all of these cards.
I’d also like to see Wells Fargo expand the 1.5 cent per point redemption on their Visa Signature card expand to all travel and not just airfare. If they did this it would really make it more competitive with other banks.
Who’s The Ideal Wells Fargo Rotation Holder?
This could be a great rotation if you were someone who prefers to fly coach and prefer to use your rewards for airfare. If you like to use your points for business class travel, this might not be for you.
Earning 4.5% cash back on airfare is solid, especially for the coach traveller.
Looking At Other Rotations:
While this rotation seems worth your time, we should take a quick look when compared to other credit card points.
Out of the big 3 (Chase, American Express, and Citi), I think Thank You Points tend to be forgotten about.
There aren’t many cards to help build your rotation when it comes to the Thank You point family of cards.
The Citi Thank You Premier is probably (in my opinion), the best card from Citi. Even when you take into account the 4th night free from the Prestige. You might get a lot of value from the 4th night free and I’m not debating that.
The Premier earns:
- 3x on Travel
- 3x on Gas
- 2x on Dining
- 2x on Entertainment
- 1x Everwhere Else
It also has a $95 annual fee.
Redeeming your points through the Citi Travel Portal, you redeem at 1.25 cents per point on travel. Which is worse than the Wells Fargo rotation when it comes to airfare, but better when redeeming for other parts of travel
You are able to transfer your points out to airlines which is a big draw to these points, but if you are a coach traveller, you might actually do better with the Wells Fargo rotation.
You save $95 in annual fees, and the bonus categories are overall better with Wells Fargo.
There are many ways you an build a great Ultimate Reward rotation.
Many “top” rotations would probably consist of:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Ink Cash
The earning rates of this rotation would be:
- 3x on travel
- 3x on dining
- 5x on rotating categories
- 1.5x on non-bonus spend
- 5x cell phone
- 5x internet
- 5x cable
- 2x gas
This is A LOT of categories from 4 cards. This rotation will run you $450 since that is the fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which comes with a lot of travel benefits.
This rotation redeems at a minimum of 2.25%, just like the Wells Fargo rotation. Those 5x categories redeem at 7.5% which is quite a bit better than the Wells Fargo rotation.
Let’s not even begin to discuss the transfer partners, because Chase wins that hands down.
The place where someone would need to decide to use Wells Fargo over Chase:
- Do they use their points through the Chase portal only for airline tickets?
- If so, are they receiving enough value to justify the $450 fee from the Reserve.
If not, they might want to take a hard look at their rotation. Some people get caught up in everyone else’s cards rotation and don’t really look at cards that are best for them.
With so many cards from American Express, you can really make A LOT of different rotations.
We will just take probably the best 2 card rotation from American Express and take a look here.
- American Express Business Platinum
- American Express Blue Business Plus
This rotation will earn:
- 5x on airfare and hotels booked through Amex Travel portal
- 2x Everywhere else (on first 50k per year)
When you take into account the Business Platinum 35% rebate, the value from this rotation is 2.7% to 6.75%.
The American Express rotation also has a $450 annual fee, but comes with many benefits as well.
Membership Rewards actually are worse to use for hotels than Wells Fargo, since Membership Rewards are worth less than 1 cent per point on hotel use.
American Express has a lot of partners which is why Wells Fargo can’t beat it, yet.
When looking at booking through the travel portals though, I actually give the Wells Fargo the advantage over American Express.
Wells Fargo actually hold their own when comparing the the travel portal values from other airlines. I actually believe if you use the travel portal to book a majority of your flights, Wells Fargo might actually give you fantastic value.
The kicker is the lack of transferrable partners.
If Wells Fargo was able to add even a few transferrable partners, it would really move them up the travel rewards ladder.
The 3 card rotation from Wells Fargo could actually be a great rotation for someone who likes to use their rewards for airfare and only carry a few cards. Go Far Rewards, isn’t really ready yet to play with big boys due to lack of transferrable rewards.
I’m pleasantly surprised with the Wells Fargo rotation potential and think there are plenty of people who could benefit from it.