Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card review:  The best Wells Fargo travel card  yet

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card review: The best Wells Fargo travel card yet

Updated: May 2, 2024

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Updated: May 2, 2024

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Rewards Value3.0
Rewards Flexibility4.0
Issuer Customer Experience2.0

In a Nutshell:

This card can be a worthwhile pick for anyone who travels frequently, but it falls short when it comes to earning rewards on everyday spending.

See Rates and Fees

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • Unlimited 5X points on hotels
  • Unlimited 4X points on airlines
  • Unlimited 3X points on restaurants and other travel (includes timeshares, vehicle/auto rental, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites and campgrounds)
  • Unlimited 1X points on other purchases


Introductory Bonus

Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in purchases with your new card in the first three months

Very Good

Annual Bonus 

$50 annual statement credit with $50 minimum airline purchase



21.24%, 26.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR based on your creditworthiness



Wells Fargo Customer Service Ratings

J. D. Power 2023 customer satisfaction rating: 602 (38% of issuers in this category ranked higher)

24/7 customer service?: Yes

Online chat available?: Yes

Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.8/5

Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.9/5


Wells Fargo cards top many best credit cards lists, so the introduction of this new travel card is exciting.

Current Wells Fargo cardholders looking to explore travel rewards without stepping outside the Wells Fargo environment will certainly be pleased with this card’s generous rewards rates, welcome offer and valuable perks. But even if you aren’t a Wells Fargo customer, this entry into the travel cards landscape could entice you to apply because it compares favorably with some of the best travel cards available.

However, the Wells Fargo Rewards program is still relatively new and lacks the nuance of other rewards programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Travel. Although you’ll be able to earn a decent amount of points for your travel spending, you’ll only be able to pick from a handful of travel transfer partners. This restriction could limit the overall value of your rewards.


  • Its boosted rewards rates cover common travel-related spending categories, making it easy to earn rewards on any journey you take.
  • Its welcome offer is worth roughly $600 upon redemption, giving it enough to value to offset your annual fee for six years.
  • Earns boosted rewards for “other travel” expenses which gives you the flexibility to shop around for the best deal and still earn a fair amount of points.
  • Carries an annual statement credit and a host of travel perks that can bring peace of mind, comfort and convenience wherever you go.


  • Lacks rewards for grocery or U.S. supermarket purchases, which will leave the majority of cardholders with a large gap to fill when it comes to earning rewards on everyday spending.
  • Its $95 annual fee compares well with other cards in this category, but unless you spend enough on hotels and airfare each year to offset it you’ll have difficulty justifying this card over other options with more perks.
  • Wells Fargo Rewards points are not as valuable as other travel rewards points or miles from issuers like American Express, Chase and Capital One

Why you might want the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

The Autograph Journey card is a great entry into the pool of available travel credit cards because it has outstanding rewards rates for key travel expenses, a competitive welcome offer and valuable perks and credits.

Stellar rewards for travel spending

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card is an excellent choice for frequent travelers because it earns bonus rewards in the average person’s biggest travel spending categories: hotels and airlines. You’ll earn 5X points on hotel bookings and 4X points on airfare — solid rates for a mid-tier travel card.

And since the card includes restaurants and other travel in its 3X bonus categories, it’ll also come in handy after you’ve arrived. You’ll earn 3X points on travel purchases ranging from rental cars and travel agencies to discount travel sites, cruise lines and campgrounds.

This mix of travel categories gives the Autograph Journey solid flexibility. Many other travel cards only earn rewards at a decent rate if you book travel through an issuer rewards portal or directly from airlines and hotels.

The higher rewards rate on other travel purchases could also allow you to simplify your card stack. Instead of pairing a typical travel rewards card with a flat-rate rewards card to maximize your rewards on outside travel bookings, you can stick with the Autograph Journey for all travel spending. A 3X rewards rate on other travel and restaurant purchases beats out many competitor rates — even some with higher annual fees.

Annual statement credit helps offset cost

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card carries an annual $50 statement credit for airline purchases of at least $50. That’s enough value to offset more than half of the card’s annual fee, making it easier to make up the difference via rewards earnings.

If you book even one flight (worth at least $50) per year, this card will pay for itself with another $1,125 spent directly with airlines. However, even if you don’t spend that much on airfare, American consumers reported spending around $1,300 on “other lodging” in the 2022 Consumer Expenditures Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This report specifies that “other lodging” includes hotels, which earn this card’s highest rewards rate.

If you spend close to what the average American consumer spends on lodging, then you may comfortably offset this card’s annual fee with its statement credit and one to three trips per year (depending on where you travel).

Other travel cards have credits like this, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, so while this perk doesn’t set the card apart from the competition, it keeps it competitive.

Generous welcome offer for initial spending

The value of this card’s welcome bonus is on par with what other cards at this price point offer. You’ll earn 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in purchases in your first three months. Wells Fargo Rewards points are worth 1 cent each according to Bankrate, so we estimate this bonus is worth around $600 — enough to offset your annual fee for up to six years. The redemption value of Wells Fargo points also depends on whether you use them to cover travel purchases or transfer to one of Wells Fargo’s travel partners.

Travel cards like this one have similarly valuable welcome offers, setting them apart from no-annual-fee cards with welcome offers that hover around $200 in value. Although those welcome offers require less spending, they’re not nearly as valuable. If you’re comparing the Autograph Journey card to the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card,  you’ll notice that the Autograph card’s welcome offer is a third of the size of the Journey card’s welcome offer. However, it requires four times less spending.

A lower spending requirement doesn’t necessarily mean the offer is better than one with a higher spending requirement; it just means it’s easier to obtain. Although it’s harder to obtain, the Autograph Journey card’s offer is much more valuable. Plus, you could meet the $4,000 spending requirement if you’re taking a trip in your first three months with the card.

Comes with a loaded portfolio of benefits

The Autograph Journey offers a long list of perks and benefits for travel experiences, purchase protection and shopping when you use your card. It’s also a Visa Signature® card, so you’ll get features like Visa Signature Concierge Service and Luxury Hotel Collection. Along with these benefits, the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card includes:

  • Travel Accident Insurance: Travel Accident Insurance protection of up to $1,000,000 when you purchase airfare with your card (benefit applies when using Autograph Journey to pay for trip; terms apply).
  • Lost Baggage Reimbursement: Receive up to $3,000 in luggage reimbursement per trip if your bags are lost or stolen while traveling.
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection: Be reimbursed for up to $15,000 for lodging, flights and other activities when your trip is canceled for an eligible reason (benefit applies when using Autograph Journey to pay for trip).
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the auto rental dealer’s coverage and be reimbursed for damage or theft (benefit applies when using Autograph Journey to pay for rental).
  • Travel and Emergency Services Assistance: Emergency assistance while traveling worldwide
  • No Foreign Transaction fees
  • Cellular Telephone Protection: Get up to $1,000 of cell phone protection against damage and theft when you pay your bill with your card (subject to $25 deduction and does not include lost phones; maximum of two paid claims per 12-month period).

Why you might want a different travel rewards credit card

If you aren’t a Wells Fargo customer or don’t have a Wells Fargo credit card, you might have a large pool of points elsewhere and are less inclined to open a new credit card in a new ecosystem. That’s understandable, but there are also some downsides to the Autograph Journey that are difficult to overlook because they’re areas where its strongest competitors excel.

No boosted rewards for groceries

Although this is a travel card, and you shouldn’t expect many of those “at home” categories to earn boosted rewards, other travel cards sometimes include categories like groceries. This rewards category, and ones like it, help accrue rewards you can redeem for future travel purchases. A healthy mix of travel and everyday categories is a great way to earn rewards year-round.

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey is a great travel card for travel purchases, but it lacks the everyday value that you can find on higher-tier travel cards, like the American Express® Gold Card. Alternatively, flat-rate cards that reward 2X points for all purchases could provide better annual value if travel is a rare occasion for you.

Very few travel partners for transfers 

Wells Fargo Rewards points are not as competitive as Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Capital One Miles, premium Citi ThankYou points or American Express Membership Rewards. A preliminary point valuation of 1 cent sounds fairly reasonable at first, but other credit card rewards can be worth up to 2 cents per point (depending on the redemption method).

If you’re earning points at a comparable rate as other cards, but those other cards’ points are more valuable, your net value is lower overall. Wells Fargo’s low point valuation puts the Autograph Journey card at a disadvantage, but there’s nothing necessarily wrong with the card. It’s the Wells Fargo redemption methods and transfer partners holding that value back.

Wells Fargo only has six transfer partners, so it has much less variety than many other travel cards offer. You’ll want to make sure that you’ll be able to maximize this card’s rewards program if you’re going to apply for it. The last thing you want is to collect a healthy amount of points you won’t be able to use efficiently when you could be earning points that line up with your regular travel vendors and which have higher value.

Its annual fee could be difficult to offset

You’ll have a hard time offsetting your annual fee with this card unless you spend regularly on travel-related purchases like flights and hotels. Although you could use it at restaurants at home and abroad to comfortably earn 3X points, you won’t earn a decent share of rewards for other everyday purchases like gas and groceries.

Because groceries make up such a large chunk of the average consumer’s budget, you’ll likely miss out on a substantial amount of points from your purchases at the supermarket. To maximize your rewards, you’ll need to pair this card with another cash back or rewards card offering boosted rates for U.S. supermarket or grocery purchases to maximize your earning potential throughout the year.

How does the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card compare to other travel cards?

The following cards compare well with the Autograph Journey card because they have similar annual fees, welcome offers, rewards or perks. You’ll want to look at each of these cards to determine which one aligns with your spending habits and needs. For instance, do you need to pay an annual fee to access rewards that make sense for you?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

Rewards rate

  • 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3 points per dollar on dining
  • 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Rewards rate

  • 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2X miles on every purchases


Rewards rate 

  • 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase
Welcome bonus
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
Welcome bonus
  • New Venture cardholders can earn 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Welcome bonus
  • Unlimited Bonus: Unlimited Mile-for-Mile match for all new cardmembers—only from Discover. Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. You could turn 35,000 Miles to 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
Annual fee
Annual fee
$95 (See Rates and Fees)
Annual fee
Other things to know

  • 25% higher point value when redeemed for travel through Chase Travel
  • Primary car rental insurance in U.S. and abroad
  • 1 cent per point value when redeemed for a statement credit
Other things to know

  • No foreign transaction fees (See Rates and Fees)
  • Redeem miles for any travel purchase (even those made on third-party sites)
Other things to know

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Discover redeems miles by crediting your travel purchases directly to your account, so you can fly any airline you want

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Sapphire Preferred card is one of the best travel cards available because it has outstanding rewards for travel and everyday purchases. It also earns one of the most valuable rewards currencies: Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you hope to leverage everyday spending into a travel rewards strategy, the Sapphire Preferred is a step in the right direction.

It’s similar to the Autograph Journey card because it has boosted rewards rates for restaurants and travel purchases, a competitive welcome offer and an annual $50 statement credit. Unless you’re embedded in the Wells Fargo ecosystem and want to exercise that loyalty further, you should consider the Sapphire Preferred.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Like the Sapphire Preferred card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a valuable rewards program and respectable rewards rates for various purchases. The card’s most notable rate is 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, but this is fairly restrictive compared to the Sapphire Preferred or the Autograph Journey card. Where the Venture Rewards card comes ahead is for all other purchases. Its 2X miles on every purchase makes the Venture Rewards card a great alternative to a tiered rewards card because people who make several different purchases throughout the year can earn a fair amount of miles without much thought or planning.

If you’re strategizing a credit card stack and hoping to maximize your earnings regardless of when those points add up, a tiered card like the Autograph Journey will be a fine addition to your wallet. However, if you want solid value and only hold one credit card to earn rewards, a flat-rate card like the Venture Rewards card will keep things simple.

Discover it Miles

Like the Venture Rewards, the Discover it Miles card is a flat-rate rewards card, so it’s structurally different from the Autograph Journey card and will be better used as your go-to credit card for all purchases. The Discover it Miles has much lower rewards potential than the Autograph Journey and doesn’t offer any statement credits or boosted rewards. However, it also doesn’t charge an annual fee.

A no-annual-fee card like the Discover it Miles will be a good choice if you spend modestly throughout the year and won’t offset any fee you’d pay on the Autograph Journey or another travel card. The Discover it Miles will be ideal for people new to travel rewards or who are unsure of their annual spending by category.

How to use the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

  • Book flights and hotels directly whenever possible, but remember that you’ll still earn 3X points for third-party bookings, too.
  • Use the card for international purchases, particularly at restaurants and hotels to maximize your earnings without worrying about added fees.
  • Spend $4,000 or more in purchases in your first three months to earn your 60,000-point welcome offer.
  • Keep an eye on Wells Fargo Rewards travel transfer partners to maximize the value of your points upon redemption
  • Buy at least one $50 or more airline ticket per year directly from an airline to earn your $50 statement credit.
  • Pay your cellphone bill with your Autograph Journey card to make the most of the card’s cell phone protection.

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

If you travel frequently, you can quickly offset this card’s annual fee via rewards.But if you’re more focused on earning rewards from your everyday spending, this card won’t offer a ton of value.

Restaurants is its only non-travel bonus category, and a 3X rewards rate on restaurants is easily matched by no-annual-fee alternatives, including the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card. This makes the card a poor choice if you only travel occasionally — even if you want to use points for travel.

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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