|Rewards Rating:||4.0 / 5|
|Issuer Customer Experience||2.0|
Limited time offer: 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months – a $300 cash redemption value (offer ends 1/10/2023)
Wells Fargo Customer Service Ratings
The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card’s rewards structure is uncomplicated and up to par with other cards of its kind. And at 3 points per dollar spent on popular categories such as restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, select streaming services and cell phone plans, plus 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases, the Autograph card’s rewards rate and category coverage is impressive for a no-annual-fee rewards card. The Autograph also has a suite of benefits and features – like its generous welcome offer or its encompassing protections like the $600 cell phone coverage benefit (subject to a $25 deductible) – that can make it worthwhile for many people.
That said, the card’s lack of a grocery rewards category holds it back as a standalone rewards option. And while potential cardholders looking for a low-interest option might be happy to hear that the Autograph offers a 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening (then 18.74%, 23.74% or 28.74% variable thereafter), note that there are cards that will allow you to skip the APR for even longer.
Overall, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card is a solid middle-tier rewards card best suited for everyday travelers and those looking for an easy way to get started in the world of rewards credit cards. For frequent travelers looking to maximize their earnings or those looking for a long intro APR offer, this card might be second best.
Why you might want the Wells Fargo Autograph Card
In addition to its straightforward rewards structure and solid category coverage, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card stands out for its generous welcome offer and lack of an annual fee, which make it a smart choice for cardholders looking for a low-cost, versatile rewards card. Thanks to its simplicity, the Autograph Card is perfectly suited to beginners who want to earn a solid rewards rate across multiple categories without the burden of tracking spending or activating bonus categories.
Simple rewards structure and varied bonus categories
If you’re confused about how credit card rewards points work, you’re in luck with the Autograph Card. Autograph cardholders will earn 3 points per dollar on restaurant, travel, gas station, and transit purchases, as well as on phone plans and select streaming services. Cardholders will also earn 1 point per dollar on everything else.
That’s a wide range of categories to cover with a single card. Most cards only reward a couple of popular categories like dining, travel and gas at a time, requiring you to juggle multiple cards if you want to earn more than 1 point per dollar on all those expenses. This makes the Autograph card a viable standalone option for everyday spending, with grocery stores perhaps the only major category missing from the card.
While dining, gas and travel bonuses are common on rewards cards, the Autograph card’s phone plan category is an especially unique and potentially valuable benefit. Meanwhile, its rewards rate on gas is one of the best ongoing rates you can get in that category without sacrificing rewards in other everyday categories or paying an annual fee.
There’s also no activation required and no rotating categories to keep track of, like with many other rewards cards that offer a large mix of categories. The simplicity of the Autograph’s rewards program is a boon for anyone learning how to navigate credit card rewards, especially if their typical spending habits align with the Autograph’s rewards categories.
Generous welcome offer
While earning a welcome bonus shouldn’t be your main reason for getting a card, the Autograph’s welcome bonus does give it a leg up over the competition. The Autograph currently offers a 30,000-point bonus after you spend $1,500 in purchases in your first three months — valued at $300 when redeemed for cash back (limited time offer ends 1/10/2023).
That’s one of the highest-value bonuses currently available on a no-annual-fee rewards card. Many competing cards only offer a sign-up bonus worth $200, including the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card ($200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in your first three months) and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card (20,000 miles after spending $500 in your first three months, worth $200 when redeemed for travel).
And though the card’s bonus spending requirement of $1,500 is higher than that of the average no-annual-fee card bonus, it should be easy to reach if you use the card for most everyday spending during your first three months.
No annual fee
Some cards that offer a high level of rewards come at a cost. For many rewards cards, a hefty annual fee is the price you’ll pay for earning lucrative rewards for your everyday spending. Some credit card annual fees are are worth it, but that’s not the case for every type of cardholder. Fortunately, the Wells Fargo Autograph lets you forgo the annual fee and still earn substantial rewards.
Why you might want a different card
While the Autograph card offers solid rewards rates and a generous bonus with no annual fee, you may find the card’s limited rewards redemption options restrictive, especially if you’re hoping to redeem your rewards for travel purchases. And though it earns a fairly high rewards rate in several popular categories, the Autograph card is missing one major bonus category: groceries.
Limited redemption options
Your choices when redeeming your rewards points are limited. For example, travelers looking to cash in on their rewards will find there aren’t many options outside of booking through Wells Fargo or redeeming for cash back or statement credits. To use your Wells Fargo Autograph points on travel, you’ll have to book through your Wells Fargo account. Wells Fargo doesn’t have any airline or hotel partners you can transfer points to in order to boost their value.
No grocery rewards
Though the Autograph Card features a solid mix of popular and practical rewards categories, it’s missing perhaps the most crucial spending category for earning everyday rewards – groceries. Grocery purchases generally make up a much larger portion of the average person’s budget than dining, gas and travel, so if you use the Autograph card as your only rewards card, you’ll likely be leaving a lot of rewards on the table.
To make up for this, you’d need to juggle at least two cards – the Autograph Card and another card that earns bonus rewards on groceries (and Wells Fargo doesn’t currently offer any grocery-specific rewards cards).
Depending on your spending habits, you may be better off with a card that earns rewards on groceries, even if that means paying an annual fee or only earning 1 percent back in some of the Autograph card’s categories.
To see how much of an impact a high rewards rate on groceries can make, compare the Autograph card to one of the best credit cards for groceries on the market, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which earns 6 percent back on your first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases per year (after that, you earn 1 percent back), as well as 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3 percent cash back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Let’s assume your grocery spending is about average based on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer spending data, but a bit higher than average in the Autograph Card’s bonus categories. Assuming you spent about $400 per month at U.S. supermarkets, $350 per month on gas and transit, $200 per month on dining, $150 per month on streaming services, $150 per month on your phone plan and $2,500 per year on travel, you’d still come out on top with the Blue Cash Preferred – despite its ongoing annual fee.
|Card||Rewards calculation||Annual fee||Estimated earnings (rewards value minus ongoing annual fee)|
|Autograph Card||$12,700 / year earning 3 percent back + $4,800 / year earning 1 percent back = $429||$0||$429|
|Blue Cash Preferred||$6,600 / year earning 6 percent back + $4,200 / year earning 3 percent back + $6,700 / year earning 1 percent back = 589||$95 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year)||$494|
That said, if you don’t like the idea of an annual fee, the Autograph Card can still offer impressive value on its own.
Short 0% intro APR period
The card’s introductory APR period is short compared to similar cards, some of which have introductory APR periods of 15 to 18 months. Cardholders will only get 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening to pay off new purchases free of interest (the APR will be 18.74%, 23.74% or 28.74% variable after that). Meanwhile, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card charges the same interest rate of 18.74%, 23.74% or 28.74% variable APR after a 15-month 0% introductory APR period.
How does the Wells Fargo Autograph Card compare to other rewards credit cards?
The Autograph is a good choice for users who want a simple rewards structure and spend heavily in its bonus categories, but it may not be the most flexible or rewarding option overall. Check out these alternatives, which can offer higher rewards rates, additional bonus categories or more flexible and potentially valuable rewards.
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
20,000 Citi ThankPoint® sign-up bonus (valued at $200 when redeemed for cash back) after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first six months from account opening
Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
Get $200 cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months from account opening.
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
Wells Fargo Autograph Card vs. Citi Custom Cash Card
The Citi Custom Cash requires more effort to get the most out of its rewards program. Still, it is a solid alternative to the Wells Fargo Autograph for anyone looking to earn elevated rewards in a specific category. If you spend modestly in categories like transit and at restaurants but find that a big portion of your monthly budget is allocated for groceries, then consider the Custom Cash over the Autograph. Custom Cash cardholders will earn a notable 5% cash back on up to the first $500 in their top eligible spending category each month, where Autograph cardholders earn an elevated 3 points per dollar spent in specific categories, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else, which may be less lucrative for some cardholders.
Wells Fargo Autograph Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
While the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers rewards for general purchases that are on par with the Wells Fargo Autograph, the Chase Freedom Unlimited stands out in the travel rewards category. Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders earn a notable 3% at drug stores and restaurants, and 1.5% on all other purchases, and an elevated 5% cash back on travel purchases made in the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. Freedom Unlimited cardholders can also transfer their points to a higher-tier Chase card and redeem points for travel at an up to 50% higher value, in addition to redeeming their points with several Chase travel partners.
Wells Fargo Autograph Card vs. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Are you hoping to earn more rewards on groceries? The Capital One SavorOne might be your best bet. Like the Wells Fargo Autograph, the SavorOne has boosted earnings for categories like hotel and rental car bookings and slightly less generous rewards for grocery shopping. On the other hand, rewards earned for grocery shopping with your SavorOne credit card would fall at 3% cash back on all grocery purchases. The Autograph only rewards grocery shopping at a rate of 1 point per dollar spent on groceries, so shoppers would see more value from the SavorOne. For example, spending $200 on groceries would get you points worth about $2 with the Autograph – if you assume the card’s points are worth the average 1 cent per point – SavorOne card holders would get $6 cash back.
How to use the Wells Fargo Autograph Card
- Use the Wells Fargo Autograph Card for all restaurant, gas station, daily transit and eligible stream service purchases.
- Spend at least $1,500 in the first three months to earn the limited time welcome bonus
- Pay your cell phone bill using the Wells Fargo Autograph so you’re eligible for up to $600 in cell phone coverage ($25 deductible may apply)
- Redeem your points for travel in your Wells Fargo account at a 1:1 rate
Is the Wells Fargo Autograph Card right for you?
If you’re hoping to earn rewards points on your everyday spending – like at restaurants, gas stations and on transit – then the Autograph’s 3 points per dollar spent in those categories might offer you a solid option, especially true if you’re hoping to avoid an annual fee.
However, frequent travelers might not get as much value from their Autograph rewards because they can’t transfer their points to any airline or hotel partners. If you’re hoping to add a card to your arsenal that complements a more advanced rewards strategy, you may want to consider a different rewards card.
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