- If you prefer earning cash back to earning travel rewards points or miles, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card are two of your best credit card options.
- The Blue Cash Preferred has a $US95 annual fee while the Wells Fargo Propel has no annual fee, but the Blue Cash earns up to 6% cash back, while the Propel earns 3% back on a wide variety of spending categories.
- The best option for you depends on where you spend the most money, and whether you’re willing to pay an annual fee. And if you travel abroad, don’t bring the Blue Cash Preferred because it charges a foreign transaction fee, while the Propel card does not.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
American Express offers a ton of great credit cards, including some of the best cash-back credit cards on the market as well as more premium rewards cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express. If you’re looking for a cash-back card, two options you’ll want to consider are the Blue Cash Preferred American Express Credit Card and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card. They offer excellent cash-back rewards on some popular spending categories, from travel to groceries at US supermarkets to select streaming services.
If you’re choosing between the two, it’s important to compare and contrast perks and rewards in order to find one that fits your spending habits and financial health the best. With that in mind, here is our comparison of the Blue Cash Preferred American Express Credit Card and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.
When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically,
treat your credit card like a debit card
Blue Cash Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Propel: The biggest differences
Blue Cash Preferred details
First, let’s talk about the Blue Cash Preferred card.
Currently, this card is offering new cardholders $US250 in cash back in the form of a statement credit after spending $US1,000 within the first three months of the account opening.
Intro APR offer
Additionally, this card features a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. After that, the variable APR ranges between 14.74% and 25.74% based on your credit-worthiness.
Cardholders can earn:
- 6% cash back at all US supermarkets on purchases up to $US6,000 annually. After that and until your account anniversary, you’ll earn 1% cash back on US supermarket purchases.
- 6% cash back on select US streaming subscriptions (including Hulu, Netflix, and Spotify)
- 3% cash back on transit (taxis, tolls, ride shares, parking, trains, buses)
- 3% cash back at US gas stations.
- For all other purchases, cardholders earn 1% cash back.
Your cash-back rewards will be granted in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as statement credits to offset purchases on your account.
This card is an especially strong choice if you frequently make US supermarket purchases, since it’s a great way to maximise your grocery shopping with 6% back. 6% back on select US streaming services (see the full list of eligible streaming services here) with no cap is also great, but most people’s spending on these services will only add up to a few hundred dollars per year.
The card does have a $US95 annual fee, but the current welcome bonus of $US250 accounts for at least two years of the annual fee, and as long as you use your Blue Cash Preferred card on purchases at US supermarkets, streaming and transportation, it should be relatively easy to earn enough rewards such that the annual fee pays for itself.
Blue Cash Preferred Amex card review
In addition to bonuses and rewards, the Blue Cash Preferred card comes with a suite of insurances and protections. With this card, you’ll be entitled to secondary car rental coverage (except in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand) as long as you pay for your rental car with your card and decline the insurance company’s insurance.
The Blue Cash Preferred also offers travel accident insurance and roadside assistance in the form of towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. If you’re travelling more than 100 miles from home, you’ll also be entitled to a 24/7 Global Assist Hotline for legal, medical, financial, or emergency help.
Blue Cash Preferred card holders also get purchase protection, two-day shipping with Shoprunner, and exclusive access to ticket pre-sales and cardmember-only events.
Wells Fargo Propel
The Propel card earns Go Far Rewards points, and these points are worth 1 cent apiece – while you can redeem them for travel through Wells Fargo’s site, you can also redeem them as cash back. This card is generally considered to be a cash-back card rather than a true rewards card since you can’t transfer the points to travel partners.
This card currently features a welcome bonus of 30,000 bonus Go Far Rewards points after $US3,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening the account, which amounts to a $US300 value.
Intro APR offer
This card also has a 0% introductory APR during the first 12 months of the account. After that, it will vary between 15.74% to 27.74%. based on your creditworthiness.
This is generally a 3x points card/a 3% cash-back card.
Cardholders earn 3x points on:
- Eating out and ordering in
- Gas, ride shares, and transit
- Flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals
- Select streaming services including Hulu and Netflix (see the full list here)
For all other purchases, cardholders earn 1 point per dollar (1% cash back)
There are no limits to the points that you can earn, and points don’t ever expire as long as your account remains open. Points can be redeemed for cash in $US25 (2,500 point) increments, but your Go Far Rewards points can also be redeemed on gift cards and travel. Through the Go Far Rewards portal, you can combine your rewards points with another payment method if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire reward.
Wells Fargo Propel card review
Cardholders are entitled to cell phone protection when they pay for cell phone bills using the Wells Fargo Propel card. As a cardholder, you’ll also have access to purchase protection, extended warranties, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental damage insurance, roadside assistance, and 24/7 travel and emergency assistance.
Which card is best for you?
Which card is best for you depends primarily on where you spend your money. The Blue Cash Preferred card offers bonus cash back at US supermarkets, on select US streaming subscriptions, transit, and gas stations, while the Wells Fargo Propel offers bonus rewards for dining, gas, transit, flights hotels, and streaming services.
The main difference between the bonus categories is 6% cash back on groceries (at US supermarkets) for the Blue Cash Preferred vs. 3x points back on travel (flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals) with the Wells Fargo Propel. So, if you spend more than twice as much on travel compared to groceries, you’ll come out ahead with the Wells Fargo Propel. Otherwise, the Blue Cash Preferred is likely a better bet between these two.
Beyond that, the Blue Cash Preferred charges a $US95 annual fee while the Wells Fargo Propel has no annual fee. The Propel also generously waives foreign transaction fees, unlike the Blue Cash Preferred, so you won’t want to take it on trips abroad.
If you’re still on the fence after comparing the cards’ bonus categories, annual fees and other charges, take a closer look at their other perks. If you value cell phone insurance, the Wells Fargo Propel could be a better pick, while the Blue Cash Preferred could make sense if you value benefits like Shoprunner and access to Amex cardmember-only events.
Both cards come with similar welcome bonuses, similar introductory and general APRs, and similar insurances and protections. In my opinion, though, these cards can be used very differently.
The Blue Cash Preferred card is an excellent domestic card because its cash-back rates for things like US supermarkets are among the highest in the industry. For US-based cardholders who prefer to use a cash-back credit card for everyday purchases, this card is ideal.
The Wells Fargo Propel card is better for international travellers who are keen to earn rewards for everyday spending as well as travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, this card is best used as a casual card for consumers on the go.
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