This New Travel Credit Card Could Dethrone The Chase Sapphire Preferred


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Wells Fargo’s newest credit card — the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card* — is open for online applicants. It’s a competitive offer that could give incumbent travel credit cards from ChaseAmerican Express and Capital One a run for their money. 

Wells Fargo does one thing better than its competitors: It offers a more flexible rewards program that doesn’t require booking travel in a portal to earn the highest rates.

Here’s why we think the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey could go toe-to-toe with some of the best travel credit cards, plus four insider tips to help you decide if you should add it to your credit card lineup.

What you need to know about the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa Card

Before we dive into the hidden features and benefits, here’s an overview of what you can expect with the Autograph Journey:

  • Earn 60,000 welcome bonus rewards points after spending $4,000 in purchases within three months of account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 5x points on hotels, 4x points on airlines, 3x points on other travel and dining and 1x on other purchases.
  • Receive an annual statement credit with a $50 minimum airline purchase.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Other benefits include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside dispatch and cell phone insurance.
  • $95 annual fee.

How other travel cards compare to the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card



CNET’S PICK


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

9/10
CNET Rating



CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards

Intro Offer

60,000 bonus points



Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual fee
$95

APR
21.49% – 28.49% Variable

Intro Purchase APR
N/A

Recommended Credit



A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.

Good – Excellent

Rewards rate

1x
– 5x



5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.; 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries.; 2x on all other travel purchases.; 1x on all other purchases.


Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

6.5/10
CNET Rating



CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards

Intro Offer

75,000 miles



Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual fee
$395

APR
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)

Intro Purchase APR
N/A

Recommended Credit



A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.

Excellent

Rewards rate

2x
– 10x



Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.; 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
; 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day


Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

7.5/10
CNET Rating



CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards

Intro Offer

75,000 miles



Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual fee
$95

APR
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)

Intro Purchase APR
N/A

Recommended Credit



A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.

Good – Excellent

Rewards rate

2x
– 5x



Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options; Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

4 important details about the Autograph Journey 

Here’s a rundown of four facts we discovered about the Autograph Journey that you should know when deciding whether to apply.

1. You can transfer points with Wells Fargo point-based cards

The launch of the Autograph Journey also marks the first transferable points program from Wells Fargo, which joins other card issuers like Chase and Capital One, which have their own pooling programs.

Autograph Journey will be able to do a points transfer with the no-annual-fee Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card. This is especially notable since the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card offers bonus rewards in different categories than the Autograph Journey. 

For example, the Autograph card earns unlimited 3x points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans, plus 1x points on other purchases. So you can maximize your point earning across different categories, then transfer your points to your Autograph Journey account to access premium travel redemptions.

2. It offers more options for earning bonus miles on travel than some competitors

The Autograph Journey will offer more flexibility than many travel rewards cards when it comes to earning more points on travel purchases. For example, cardholders earn unlimited 5x points on hotels booked directly with hotel brands and 4x points on airfare booked with airlines. 

This helps the card stand out from other popular travel credit cards that offer the most bonus points only if you book travel through their portals. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card* and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card* only offer the highest bonus rewards on travel booked through Capital One Travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers its highest rate of 5x points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, whereas other travel purchases earn 2x points.

Autograph Journey cardholders also earn a minimum of 3x points on other travel purchases, which could include rental cars, cruises and travel booked through online travel agencies like Expedia and Priceline.

3. The card may grow in value as more transfer partners join

The Autograph Journey Card will earn flexible travel rewards points that transfer to a selection of airline and hotel partners, similar to Amex Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards. While the list of transfer partners is limited, Wells Fargo stated in its initial press release that “more partners will continue to be added throughout the year.”

Points transfers could dramatically change the value proposition of the Autograph Journey, especially if new partners include domestic airlines and popular hotel loyalty programs. 

Wells Fargo point transfers will be available to new cardholders starting on April 4. For now, Wells Fargo transfer partners include the following:

Transfer partner Transfer ratio
Choice Privileges® 1:2
Air France‑KLM Flying Blue 1:1
avianca lifemiles 1:1
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
AerClub 1:1
Iberia Plus 1:1

4. You may need to wait to apply

If you’ve applied for another Wells Fargo card in the last six months, you’ll likely have to wait a little longer before applying for the Autograph Journey.

Wells Fargo states in its terms and conditions, “If you opened a Wells Fargo Credit Card account within the last six months, then you may not qualify to open an additional Wells Fargo Credit Card account. We may also limit how many open Wells Fargo Credit Card accounts you have.”

So if you want the new Autograph Journey, you should steer clear of applying for other cards from Wells Fargo for now. If you’re approved and use the card responsibly for six months or longer, you can consider adding additional Wells Fargo credit cards to your portfolio.

*All information about the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card have been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.


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