On March 6, 2024, Wells Fargo unveiled the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa® Card, the bank’s first-ever travel-focused credit card. This comes alongside another major announcement: Wells Fargo will begin allowing point transfers to six different travel rewards programs.

With these two major updates to the bank’s credit card program, the Wells Fargo Rewards program will be competing with other, more established transferable credit card rewards programs, such as American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Until recently, Wells Fargo offered only cashback credit cards. However, in 2022, the bank released the Wells Fargo Autograph Card, a card that earns Wells Fargo Rewards points, which could be redeemed for travel, cash back and much more through Wells Fargo’s online rewards portal.

However, because of Wells Fargo’s lack of transfer partners, the Autograph Card was never a real competitor for other travel-focused credit cards in the same price category (like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card).

Effective April 4, 2024, Wells Fargo has begun allowing transfers from Wells Fargo Rewards to the following travel programs:

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

Transfers to all of the programs listed above will be at a 1:1 transfer ratio, with the exception of Choice Privileges, which will have a 1:2 transfer ratio.

In all likelihood, Wells Fargo will continue to add more transfer partners as time goes on. So, with these new transfer partners and the addition of the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card, which offers excellent spending bonuses in major travel categories as well as statement credits and other benefits, the Wells Fargo Rewards program is definitely picking up steam.

Let’s look at the different features of the new Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card, how this card compares to other credit cards in its category and the Wells Fargo Rewards program’s new transfer partners.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey™ Visa® Card Overview

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa Card is a travel credit card that’s geared toward consumers who spend on flights, hotels and restaurants but don’t want to pay a large annual fee. This card charges an annual fee of $95, making it a direct competitor of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, both of which charge the same annual fee.

On top of the impressive spending bonuses and other benefits, the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa® Card is offering the following welcome bonus for new cardmembers, which is a great way to rack up a large sum of Wells Fargo Rewards points quickly.

Spending Bonuses

As a travel rewards credit card, the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card offers the highest spending bonuses in major travel categories.

Here’s how many points you’ll earn with the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card:

  • 5X points on hotels
  • 4X points on airlines
  • 3X points on other travel (including timeshare, vehicle/auto rental, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites and campgrounds)
  • 3X points on restaurants (including eating places and restaurants, drinking places, fast food restaurants and caterers)
  • 1X point on all other purchases

These are outstanding spending bonuses for a card that charges an annual fee of $95. In particular, the ability to earn 5X points on hotels and 4X points on flights whether or not they’re booked through Wells Fargo’s travel portal is a large advantage.

To compare, the Capital One Venture card offers 5X miles on hotels and flights only when booked through the Capital One Travel portal, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also offers 5X points on hotels and flights on Chase Ultimate Rewards portal purchases. Other travel purchases earn 2X points per dollar.

As these credit card travel portals tend to not market every flight or hotel room (for instance, you can’t book Southwest Airlines flights through Capital One Travel), the fact that the Wells Fargo Autograph rewards customers with elevated spending bonuses for purchases made directly with airlines and hotels is a big deal.

Additionally, you’ll also earn 3X points on all other travel spending, including discount travel sites, such as Kiwi or Kayak, campgrounds, car rentals, cruises and more.

points on hotel stays

Other Benefits

In addition to a valuable welcome bonus and elevated spending bonuses for travel and dining, the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey offers several other important benefits:

  • $50 annual statement credit for your first airline purchase of $50 or more
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cell phone damage and theft protection up to $1,000 per year (when you pay your monthly phone bill with your Autograph Journey card)
  • Zero liability protection for unauthorized purchases

On top of the benefits listed above, the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card gives cardmembers access to a suite of Visa Signature® benefits, including:

  • Visa Signature Concierge service for assistance in booking travel, event tickets, dinners, golf tee times and more
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection benefits at participating hotels, including:
    • Best available rate guarantee
    • Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
    • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
    • Complimentary breakfast for two
    • $25 food and beverage credit
    • VIP guest status
    • Late checkout upon request, when available
  • Emergency cash disbursement and card replacement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver up to $50,000 per claim
  • Lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000 for all covered travelers per trip
  • Roadside dispatch service
  • Trip cancellation and interruption protection up to $15,000 per covered traveler per trip (and up to $20,000 per year)
  • $1,000,000 worldwide automatic common carrier travel accident insurance

It’s worth noting that both the Capital One Venture card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (as well as many other similar cards) are also Visa Signature cards and come with all of the Visa Signature benefits as well. Also, neither the Capital One Venture card nor the Chase Sapphire Preferred card charge foreign transaction fees.

The annual $50 airline statement credit (which can be used whenever making a purchase directly with an airline) that comes with the Autograph Journey card is a solid benefit that you’ll probably use every year, especially if you travel often. To compare, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a $50 annual statement credit for hotel bookings made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal only.

All in all, the perks included with the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card aren’t overly impressive (as to be expected with a $95 annual fee card), but they’re certainly solid for this card’s price range.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card vs. Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Wells Fargo now has two points-earning credit cards: the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card and the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card. The Autograph Card may be a better option for those who are unwilling to pay an annual fee. However, this card doesn’t come with the same lucrative benefits and perks as the Autograph Journey Card.

If you’re trying to decide between the Wells Fargo Autograph Card and the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card, here’s a side-by-side comparison of their features.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ CardWells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Visa® Card
Annual fee$0$95
Spending bonuses• 3X points on the following categories:
• Restaurants (including dining in, takeout, catering,delivery and more)
• Travel (including airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises and more)
• Gas (including gas stations and EV charging stations)
• Transit (including subways, ride-sharing apps, parking, tolls and more)
• Popular streaming services
• Phone plans (including cellphone and landline providers)
• 1X point on all other purchases
• 5X points on hotels
• 4X points on airlines
• 3X points on other travel (including timeshare, vehicle/auto rental, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites and campgrounds)
• 3X points on restaurants (including eating places and restaurants, drinking places, fast food restaurants and caterers)
• 1X point on all other purchases
Other benefits• No foreign transaction fees
• Cell phone damage and theft protection up to $600 per year (when you pay your monthly bill with your Autograph card)
• Zero liability protection for unauthorized purchases
• Visa Signature benefits
• $50 annual statement credit for one airline purchase of $50 or more
• No foreign transaction fees
• Cell phone damage and theft protection up to $1,000 per year (when you pay your monthly bill with your Autograph Journey card)
• Zero liability protection for unauthorized purchases
• Visa Signature benefits

When comparing these two cards, the first thing you should do is consider whether or not you would use the $50 statement credit that comes with the Autograph Journey Card every year. If you’re pretty sure that you’ll use this credit year after year, then it’s basically as if the annual fee on this card is $45 ($95 annual fee – $50 statement credit = $45).

From there, you should consider whether the spending bonuses offered by the Autograph Journey Card will provide you $45 more value annually than the Autograph Card. To do this, you can look at your expenses from the previous year and calculate how many Wells Fargo points you’d earn with each card. If the points you’d earn with the Autograph Journey card exceed those you’d earn with the Autograph card by 4,500 or more, then you’re probably better off going with the Autograph Journey Card.

If you aren’t interested in doing any calculations, the Autograph Journey Card is generally better for those who spend a lot on hotels and flights, and the Autograph Card is better for those whose expenses are spread across a wider range of categories.

France

Air France

Wells Fargo Transfer Partners

One major piece of news that affects both the Wells Fargo Autograph and the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey cardholders is that Wells Fargo will be allowing transfers to several airline partners and one hotel partner starting on April 4. Once again, here’s the list of Wells Fargo’s upcoming transfer partners:

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

Of the transfer partners listed above, all of the airline partners offer a 1:1 transfer ratio. Choice Privileges, the only hotel partner, offers a 1:2 transfer ratio. So, if you were to transfer 1,000 Wells Fargo Rewards points to Choice Privileges, you’d receive 2,000 Choice points.

The fact that you’re now able to transfer Wells Fargo Rewards points to these partner travel programs is significant. Wells Fargo Rewards points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed through the Wells Fargo Rewards portal. However, when points are transferred to travel partners, they can be used to book award flights or hotel stays that offer outsized value far exceeding 1 cent per point.

Therefore, if you’re willing to spend time and do some searching for award flights or hotel stays, Wells Fargo Rewards points are now far more valuable.

In particular, the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program offers excellent value on Delta-operated and Copa Airlines-operated award flights between the U.S. and Latin America. You also can find great value on award flights between the U.S. and Europe on Air France or KLM through Flying Blue.

The British Airways Executive Club program also offers great value on British Airways-operated short-haul flights around Europe as well as flights between the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines.

Additionally, since the British Airways Executive Club program uses the Avios currency, once you transfer your rewards from Wells Fargo to British Airways, you’ll be able to transfer those rewards freely between any of the programs that use Avios. These programs currently include Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Finnair Plus, Iberia Plus, Qatar Airways and several other small airlines.

Another airline transfer partner to keep on your radar is Avianca LifeMiles, which offers substantial value on United Airlines flights within the U.S. as well as between the U.S. and Australia.

Finally, with the favorable 1:2 transfer ratio from Wells Fargo Rewards to Choice Privileges, you may also be able to find outsized value on hotel stays with your Wells Fargo points.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa Card Review

Can You Convert Wells Fargo Cash Back to Points?

If you’re a current holder of the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, the bank’s only cashback credit card, it may be worth signing up for either the Autograph or the Autograph Journey card as well. That’s because cash back earned with the Active Cash Card can be converted to Wells Fargo Rewards points if you have either the Autograph or Autograph Journey Card. Then, those points can be transferred to travel partners (such as British Airways Executive Club or Avianca LifeMiles) and redeemed for outsized value.

With the option to transfer points to partner programs, you can transfer any cash back that you may have earned with your Active Cash Card into either your Autograph or Autograph Journey rewards account and then transfer those points to airline or hotel partners for outsized value redemptions.

So, if you currently have a cashback balance sitting in a Wells Fargo Active Cash account, you may want to consider signing up for either the Autograph or the Autograph Journey Card so that you can convert it into Wells Fargo points and then get far more than 1 cent per point in value by transferring to partner programs.

The Bottom Line

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey is now available to the public, marking Wells Fargo’s first-ever offering of a travel-focused, points-earning credit card. It’s clear that this card, which has a $95 annual fee, was meant to compete directly with other cards in its price range, such as the Capital One Venture Reward Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

After comparing the Autograph Journey card’s welcome bonus, spending bonuses and other benefits to these other cards, it’s clear that the Autograph Journey may now be the best option on the market for some consumers.

This is especially true considering the recent announcement stating that the Wells Fargo Rewards program will allow points to be transferred to several airline and hotel loyalty programs. This is an impactful change as members will now be able to redeem their Wells Fargo Rewards for outsized value (often far exceeding 1 cent per point) through these partner programs.

Wells Fargo’s list of transfer partners is much less extensive than that of larger transferable credit card rewards like American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards.

However, some of Wells Fargo’s partners still offer exceptional value on award flights (such as Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles and British Airways Executive Club) as well as on hotel stays (Choice Privileges). Plus, Wells Fargo has stated that it will continue to improve their list of transfer partners as time goes on.

So, with this recent change, Wells Fargo Rewards points are now nearly as valuable as any other transferable credit card rewards currency out there. And with the Autograph Journey Card, you can earn a lot of them quickly. This card is currently offering a large welcome bonus, and its spending bonuses are as good as any other card in its price range, with rewards as high as 5X points in categories like flights, hotels, other travel and restaurants.