Wells Fargo, American Express Launch New Credit Cards
Beverly Anderson, a veteran banker in charge of Wells Fargo's new credit card push, shares her advice for how banks can pull women and people of color into their senior executive ranks.
Wells Fargo, a longtime laggard in the ultracompetitive credit card market, has been developing two new credit cards with partner American Express. Executive Brent Vallat also explains how a new bankwide rewards program could help its credit card growth.
Card reward programs are well past their S&H Green Stamps phase, where people redeem their rewards by picking items from a catalog that stays pretty much the same all the time. Consumers demand far more flexibility these days, and analysts say banks need to get creative about delivering it.
Wells Fargo (WFC) and American Express (AXP) launched two new credit card products on Tuesday.
The Propel 365 credit card provides users with triple reward points on domestic gas purchases as well as double points on domestic restaurant spending. Cardholders who maintain a Wells Fargo checking or savings account can also earn an extra 10%, 25% or 50% in rewards.
Propel 365 also provides access to Amex perks such as concert ticket access, restaurant reservations and gift suggestions. Additionally, cardholders who travel will not pay foreign transaction fees.
The Propel World credit card was designed for travelers and is built with EMV-chip technology. Propel World card users can earn triple points on airline purchases and double points on hotel purchases. Cardholders can get an annual $100 fee reimbursement on accidental airline charges. The card also provides special offers, amenities and upgrades at luxury hotels around the world.
Less than a year after the two companies announced this credit card partnership as Wells looked to expand its credit card business, the $1.5 trillion-asset Wells Fargo reported an 8% increase in credit card loans during the first quarter from the same period in 2013 to $26.1 billion.
"These cards have a strong value proposition because of the combined benefits that both Wells Fargo and American Express can provide together," says Beverly Anderson, head of the consumer financial services group at Wells Fargo, in the release. "We believe these combined benefits stand firmly against our competitors' offerings and combined with the personal relationships we have with our customers, will provide some of the best value in the market today."
Propel cards have no expiration or earning cap on rewards point, the companies said in a May 6 press release. Users can also combine rewards accounts associated with other Wells Fargo credit card products.