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Earlier this month, Wells Fargo launched a new travel credit card, the Wells Fargo Autograph JourneySM Visa® Card. The card offers a lot of value for frequent travelers, but there are some notable drawbacks to consider before you apply.

Here's what you need to know about Wells Fargo's new card, which aims to rival popular travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®.

Recommended Travel Credit Cards

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on Chase Travel℠, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

50,000Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $700 (50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points * 0.014 base)

$69 1x - 2xPoints More Info

Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

United Gateway℠ Card

20,000United MileagePlus Miles More Info

Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Dollar Equivalent: $280 (20,000 United MileagePlus Miles * 0.014 base)

$0 1x - 2xPoints More Info

Earn 2X United miles per dollar on United purchases, local transit and commuting and at gas stations. You’ll earn 1X mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Citi Premier® Card

60,000Citi ThankYou Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,080 (60,000 Citi ThankYou Points * 0.018 base)

$95 1X-10XPoints More Info

10X total ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024. 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets 1X -- Earn 1 Point on All Other Purchases

Travel and Dining Rewards Are the Focus

The card offers 60,000 bonus rewards points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, which isn't the best travel sign-up bonus on the market, but it's competitive.

Where the Autograph JourneySM Card really shines is with its travel rewards—the card offers 5X points per dollar on hotels and 4X points per dollar on airlines and 3X points per dollar on all other travel.

While other travel cards offer similar rewards rates on those purchases, many of them require you to book your hotel stay or flight through the card issuer's travel portal. Using a third-party provider to book a hotel stay typically means that you won't earn points with the hotel loyalty program or enjoy elite status benefits if you have them. That's generally not the case with airlines, but if you need to change or cancel your flight, it can be a complicated process.

As a result, you can enjoy a great rewards rate with the Autograph JourneySM Card without the inconvenience of booking with an online travel portal. The Autograph JourneySM Card also offers 3X points per dollar on dining, which is solid but not the best rate for diehard foodies.

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Most of Your Everyday Spending Will Earn the Base Rewards Rate

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If you happen to spend a lot on travel and dining, the Autograph JourneySM Card can be an excellent choice. However, its base rewards rate is just 1X point per dollar, and it's likely the vast majority of your spending will earn that rate.

In other words, if you're a casual traveler or you spend a lot in everyday categories like gas and groceries, you may be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Citi Premier® Card.

Compare Cards Rewards Rate Annual Fee Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on Chase Travel℠, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

$95

Citi Premier® Card

1X-10XPoints More Info

10X total ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024. 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets 1X -- Earn 1 Point on All Other Purchases

$95

Rewards Redemption Is Flexible

Some travel rewards credit cards penalize you if you don't use your points or miles to book travel, but that isn't the case with the Autograph JourneySM Card. The card allows you to redeem your points in a variety of ways, all at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Redemption options include:

  • Travel
  • Direct deposit
  • Statement credits
  • Wells Fargo mortgage loan payments
  • Gift cards
  • Online shopping with PayPal

Additionally, you can transfer your points to a handful of partners starting April 4, 2024. Options include:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air France‑KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca lifemiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Choice Privileges®
  • Iberia Plus

The transfer ratio is 1:1 for all partners except for Choice Privileges, which offers a 2:1 ratio. While that list is much shorter than what other card issuers offer, Wells Fargo says it plans to add more partners throughout the year.

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The Card's Benefits Are Solid

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The Wells Fargo Autograph JourneySM Card offers a great perk that helps offset part of the card's annual fee each year and a handful of insurance protections.

Annual Airfare Credit

You'll get an annual $50 statement credit for airfare purchases. To earn it, you'll need to book airfare directly from an airline and spend $50 or more.

Cell Phone Protection

You'll get up to $1,000 in coverage against damage, theft, or involuntary or accidental loss. 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, you can receive up to $15,000 in reimbursements per covered traveler for non-refundable trip expenses. There's a $20,000 coverage maximum per 12-month period.

Lost Baggage Reimbursement

If you or your spouse, domestic partner or dependent child loses baggage on a common carrier, you can get up to $3,000 in reimbursements per trip to cover your missing personal items.

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

You'll get up to $50,000 in coverage for damage or theft of your rental car if you use your card to pay for the rental and decline the rental car company's collision coverage.

Autograph Card Exclusives

As an Autograph JourneySM cardholder, you'll get access to exclusive concerts, where you can enjoy a big artist in a small venue. Examples so far include Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons. You can learn about upcoming concerts on the Autograph Exclusives page.

The Annual Fee Is Modest

The Autograph JourneySM Card charges a $95 annual fee, putting it in line with other mid-tier travel credit cards. After the airfare credit, you're effectively paying $45 each year for the privilege of using the card, which can be worth it for frequent travelers. 

The card also charges no foreign transaction fees, and as a Visa credit card, it enjoys wide acceptance both in the U.S. and abroad.

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Should You Apply for this Card?

If travel and adventure are in your blood, it's hard to pass up on the Autograph JourneySM Card. It offers excellent rewards on all of your travel purchases without restricting where you can book, and it also comes with a host of travel benefits to minimize both your costs and risks each time you take a trip.

That said, the card lacks meaningful rewards on everyday spending categories. While the ability to earn bonus rewards on dining is nice, other mid-tier travel cards make it easier to rack up points on more of your routine expenses.

Other Wells Fargo Cards to Consider

Card Annual Fee Rewards Rate Apply Now

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

$0 2%Cashback More Info

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

$0 1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases.

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

$0 N/A

To determine whether the card is the right fit for you, take some time to consider your spending and travel habits. Consider running the numbers on your typical monthly spending to get an idea of how much you'd earn with the card compared to similar options. 

Also, consider your preferences when it comes to redemption flexibility and value. Depending on what you're looking for, other travel credit cards may be a better fit.

BL

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.