Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa Card review: Top-tier travel rewards for a mid-tier annual fee

Our take: The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card won’t require you to use a proprietary travel portal to maximize your rewards, and it comes with some truly stellar earning rates. However, opportunities to earn bonus rewards on everyday spending categories are limited, as this card’s reward program is aimed at travelers and foodies.

Annual fee $95
Regular APR See Terms

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card Overview

Card type: Travel, Hotel, Airline

The Wells Fargo AutographSM Journey Visa® Card offers significant value to frequent travelers, offering a strong welcome bonus and standout rewards rates on travel-related purchases, as well as on dining. It also comes with a handful of valuable perks, including an annual airfare statement credit and trip protections, that can help offset the card’s $95 annual fee. 

With the Autograph Journey, launched in March 2024, Wells Fargo also added a points transfer program—though it will take some time to be on par with more established travel rewards programs in terms of the number of partners available. Importantly, points transfer at a 1:1 rate to most partners, and can be redeemed for cash back at a value of 1 cent each.

The issuer also made its transfer partners available to cardholders of the no-annual-fee Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card upon launching the Autograph Journey. That’s great news for customers who don’t want to pay the big sibling card’s annual fee and those who may want to carry both cards, as the basic Autograph is more rewarding in categories such as gas, transit and streaming.

Here’s what you need to know about the Autograph Journey Visa Card before you apply.

Who is the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card good for? 

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa Card can be a great fit for frequent travelers who spend a lot on hotels, airfare, and other travel-related purchases. In particular, it excels if you’re a traveler who doesn’t want to be tied to booking travel through a card issuer’s portal for the best rewards rates—earning 5X points on hotels and 4X points on airlines without being tied to a portal make this card a top choice for those who value flexibility. 

It could also be a solid choice for foodies who want to earn a competitive rewards rate on dining purchases. And, with no foreign transaction fee, the Autograph Journey is a fine choice for paying the check whether you’re at a restaurant at home or abroad.

Who shouldn’t get the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card? 

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey may not be a good fit for people who don’t frequently travel or want to earn bonus rewards on more everyday spending categories—for example, if you’re seeking a card that rewards gas or grocery purchases. You may also choose to skip it if you prefer a simpler rewards structure that offers a high flat rewards rate on all of your spending.

Finally, be aware that if you’ve opened a Wells Fargo credit card account in the past six months, the bank may reject your application to open an Autograph Journey card.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card: How to earn rewards

As a new cardholder, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Compared to other mid-tier travel rewards credit cards, that isn’t the most generous offer, but it’s still a solid $600 in value at minimum. 

You’ll also earn 5X points on hotels, 4X points on airlines, 3X points on other travel and dining, and 1X points on other purchases. Purchases in the travel category include timeshare and auto rentals, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and campgrounds. Note that some VRBO purchases may not qualify.

Several other general travel cards offer similar rewards rates on hotels and airfare, but many require you to use the card issuer’s proprietary travel portal to earn their maximum rates. The only card we’re aware of that offers a better rewards rate on general travel purchases is the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card, which grants 4 points per dollar spent on travel. 

But, while the Altitude Connect has a strong rewards program—5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center, 4X on travel and at gas stations and EV charging stations, 2X at grocery stores and on grocery delivery, dining and streaming services, 1X on other purchases—you’re not able to transfer these points to travel partners. 

How to redeem Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card rewards 

The card offers flexible redemption options, allowing you to use your points to book travel, request statement credits, buy gift cards, and even shop online with PayPal. Each option gives you a redemption rate of 1 cent per point, giving you the flexibility to use your rewards however you wish. Some other travel cards offer reduced redemption values for non-travel redemptions.

Transfer partners

Alternatively, you can transfer your rewards to a handful of partners starting April 4, 2024, including:

  • Choice Privileges
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Iberia Plus

For most partners, you’ll get a transfer ratio of 1:1, meaning that 1,000 Wells Fargo rewards points will get you 1,000 points or miles with the partner loyalty program. The only exception is Choice Privileges, which gives you a 1:2 ratio—1,000 Wells Fargo rewards points will get you 2,000 Choice Privileges points.

With only a handful of options and no domestic airlines, though, this list can’t yet compete with other rewards programs with transferable points, such as American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Capital One Miles. However, Wells Fargo expects to add more partners throughout the year.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card rates and fees

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Additional benefits

  • Airfare credit: The card offers a $50 annual statement credit for
    airfare purchases with the card. You can book airfare with any airline, but there is a $50 minimum transaction requirement. Flights booked through third parties, such as Expedia, are not eligible.
  • Autograph card exclusives: Cardholders can get exclusive access to concerts with big-name artists in small venues. You can learn about upcoming events on the Wells Fargo Entertainment page.
  • Cell phone protection: You can get up to $1,000 in coverage against damage, theft, or involuntary or accidental loss when you use your card to pay your phone bill. There’s a $25 deductible per claim, as well as a maximum of two claims and $2,000 in coverage per 12-month period.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If your trip is canceled or cut short due to a covered reason—examples include injury, death, or illness of a covered traveler or family member, jury duty, and active military orders—you can receive up to $15,000 in reimbursements for non-refundable trip expenses per traveler. Coverage maxes out at $20,000 per 12-month period.
  • Lost baggage reimbursement: If you, your spouse or domestic partner, or children lose a bag due to theft or misdirection by a common carrier, you can receive up to $3,000 in total reimbursements per trip for missing items.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: You’ll get up to $50,000 in coverage for damage and theft of your rental car if you use your card to pay for the rental and decline the rental agency’s collision coverage. Coverage is secondary to your primary auto insurance policy if you’re traveling within the U.S.
  • Travel accident insurance: If you experience a loss, such as a death or dismemberment, while in transit during your trip, you could get up to $1 million in coverage—maximum coverage depends on the severity of the loss.

Credit cards similar to Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card

If you’re not sure whether the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa Card is the right fit, here are two other travel card options you may wish to consider instead.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could be a good fit for people who want more everyday bonus rewards categories and the potential for elevated travel redemption value. 

The card offers 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, plus 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit) (2x points on travel purchases), 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out, 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs), and 1x points on other purchases. 

Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the most popular, longstanding flexible rewards programs on the market. To some extent, whether the Sapphire Preferred or Autograph Journey is the right card for you will depend on how much you’re willing to be reliant on Chase’s portal to maximize your earnings on travel purchases. 

Redemption options with the Sapphire Preferred are flexible, but you’ll get 25% more value (meaning 1.25 cents per point) when you use points to book travel through Chase. You can also transfer your rewards to 14 airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. Partners such as United Airlines and Hyatt Hotels might make the Sapphire Preferred more appealing than the Journey in the short term.

The card also offers up to $50 in annual statement credits toward hotel stays booked through Chase, which helps recoup the cost of the $95 annual fee.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card

If you’re looking for better rewards on all of your non-bonus-category purchases, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice. The card offers 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2x miles on every purchase. You’ll also earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening—that’s worth $750 in travel. 

You can redeem your miles for travel through the Capital One Travel portal or by booking on your own with an eligible travel provider and requesting a statement credit. Alternatively, you can transfer your rewards to well over a dozen airline and hotel loyalty programs (though some offer subpar transfer ratios). 

The card also comes with Hertz Five Star status, which lets you skip the rental counter and get access to more vehicles, and an application fee credit of up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®. It charges a $95 annual fee.

Is the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card right for you?

It’s undeniable the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa Card shook up the travel credit card scene when it launched in March 2024. The flexibility to get rewarded for travel generously, whether you’re booking it directly with the airline or hotel, or even through a discount travel site, is huge. Many issuers keep the best rewards rates for bookings made through their own portals. 

So, if you’re a frequent traveler with a lot of out-of-pocket travel expenses who likes being able to book travel however you want, the Autograph Journey can be a great way to maximize your rewards. The dining rewards can also add value for foodies who enjoy eating out while traveling and at home. Plus, being able to redeem rewards for cash back at 1 cent per point means you can always get a solid base value from your points even if you decide not to transfer them. 

If you’re looking for rewards on other everyday spending in addition to travel, however, you may want to consider other travel credit cards. Alternatively, you can pair the Autograph Journey with the no-annual-fee Autograph Visa to take advantage of more everyday bonus rewards. 

As with any credit card, take time to carefully consider all of your options and choose the best card for you based on your spending habits and feature preferences.

Frequently asked questions

What credit score is required for the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card?

Wells Fargo doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score requirement, but it does generally target consumers with good or excellent credit scores. According to FICO, a good credit score is 670 or higher. 

Note that the card issuer will consider other factors in addition to your credit score, such as your income, credit history, and other debts, to determine your eligibility. 

What is the credit limit for Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card?

If approved, your credit limit will be determined based on a number of factors, such as your credit score and history, income, and other debt. The card issuer will confirm your credit limit upon approval.

What is the best Wells Fargo travel credit card?

The Autograph Journey Visa Card is arguably the best Wells Fargo travel credit card due to earning high rewards rates on travel however you book and its annual airfare credit. 

However, the issuer also offers co-branded credit cards with the hotel brand Choice Hotels, and you can also earn solid rewards on travel purchases with the Wells Fargo Autograph Visa Card. And, Wells Fargo issues the Bilt Mastercard, a popular travel card that earns rewards on rent and lets cardholders transfer points to airline and hotel partners including American Airlines. 

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top