Discover it vs. Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card: Credit Showdown

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Whether you’re a credit connoisseur or an average consumer, the hunt for the right cashback card could be daunting. If you're looking for a cashback card that rewards you for purchases you make the most, you'll probably come across both the Discover it Cash Back card and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card.

But which offers more value for you? The truth is the differences are negligible and may depend on your lifestyle. So which do you choose? Keep reading to learn which card may be best for you!

Discover it: Strengths and Weaknesses

The Discover it has strong cashback bonuses and its points don't expire. It's perfect for those who love to shop at retail locations, both online and in store. Besides being a fantastic shopping companion, you can get some super discounts and accrue points by using the Discover Bonus Points Program.

This card also offers introductory incentives that make it great for large one-time purchases or balance transfers. And Discover will also match, point-for-point, all the non-bonus rewards you accrued over a period of time, as specified by the card issuer. Redeem any amount of cashback points at any time.

The Discover it card is one with rotating categories, so paying close attention to which categories give you bonuses each quarter can help you maximize your cashback benefits. Luckily, the categories align with regular shopping patterns, so keeping track isn’t too difficult.

Despite all of these benefits, there are some of the drawbacks of keeping the Discover it Cash Back card in your wallet. One common issue with Discover is that it isn’t accepted everywhere. While most retailers do accept Discover these days, it’s not as generally usable as Visa or Mastercard. However, if you’re comparing this card against an American Express like we are here, Discover is the more widely accepted of the two.

The Discover it Cash Back card can also be a hassle for shoppers who aren’t interested in keeping up with opting into quarterly categories and just want great rewards no matter how they shop. To use this card to the full potential, you need to opt in to cashback categories from the online dashboard. While neither card has an annual fee, both the Discover it card and Wells Fargo Propel have comparable fees for things like lateness and other penalties. These aren’t cheap, though few rewards cards are. Discover comes out slightly ahead of its competition because it offers a one-time waiving of your late fee. You’ll need to have "Good" to "Excellent" credit to get this card.

Wells Fargo Propel: Strengths and Weaknesses

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card offers more points on gas and restaurants, as well as travel discounts and benefits. It's designed for those who are often on the road and are stopping to eat out regularly. Like the Discover it card, introductory incentives make this card a shoe-in for balance transfers and one-time large purchases too.

The Go Far Rewards feature allows you to save up for big ticket items by pooling your points with others, which is unique. Wells Fargo Propel’s Relationship Bonus is a huge draw for anyone who also banks with Wells Fargo. It adds extra points to your balance every year. Your non-bonus points get a nice boost too.

Receive great discount airline tickets and travel insurance when you use this card. You can use combos of points and card to buy airline tickets at discounted prices and travel insurance. These travel plans will include lost luggage protection and rental car insurance coverage when you use the Wells Fargo Propel card for your destination planning.

The Propel card's cash redemption is a little limited. Unlike the competitor that lets you cash out as long as you have $1, with Wells Fargo you have to cash out in $25 increments. If this deflates the wind out of your sails, the customer service is no better, as customers suggest it also leaves something to be desired. Additionally, points have an expiration date and are forfeited if you cancel your card. Any points you have accrued cannot be used after five years.

To really make this card work, you must have a Wells Fargo account, since you are not qualified for the Relationship Bonus if you do not have a checking or savings account with the bank. While both the Discover it and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express cards offer decent cashback rewards, you can reap higher savings using the Discover it. But keep in mind, you'll have to take the time to stay on top of what is on offer in the changing quarterly rewards program's bonus deals.