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Wells Fargo Autograph Journey

Why I Applied for the New Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card

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After years of sitting on the sidelines, Wells Fargo is finally ready to get in on the travel rewards action with the debut of its new Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa® Card. After announcing the new card earlier this month, the bank made it (widely) available to new applicants last week … and I went for it.

With a 60,000-point welcome offer (worth at least $600), strong bonus categories, an annual $50 airline credit, and a modest $95 annual fee, it's a solid travel card that easily holds its own against similar tier cards from other banks.

But Wells Fargo's pending addition of travel transfer partners really sealed the deal for me. While the initial list is strong but unremarkable for anyone already earning transferable points with Chase, American Express, Capital One, or Citi, Wells Fargo has promised this is just the start. I don't expect the bank to swoop in with a new partner like Delta or Hyatt, but I am excited to see more partners get added. Either way, I'll be able to make good use of the Autograph Journey's big signup bonus and any additional points I earn by booking travel through one of the already-announced airline and hotel transfer partners.

Read on for more details about this exciting new entry in the travel rewards space and why I wanted to add this card to my own wallet.

 

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey: Card Overview

  • Welcome Offer: Earn a 60,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.
  • Earn 5x points on hotels
  • Earn 4x points on flights
  • Earn 3x points on travel
  • Earn 3x points on dining
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • $50 Flight Credit: Get an annual $50 statement credit for airfare purchases.
  • Travel protection benefits, including trip cancellation, which allows you to get reimbursed up to $15,000 for lodging, flights, and activities if the trip is canceled for a covered reason
  • Cell Phone Insurance: Get up to $1,000 of cell phone protection against damage or theft. Subject to a $25 deductible.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Annual Fee: $95

All information about the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not been reviewed by the issuer. 

 

WF Autograph Journey Card

 

Learn more about the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa® Card (for full disclosure, this is not an affiliate link).

 

Why I Want the Autograph Journey Card

While Wells Fargo's incoming transfer partners sold me on this card, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also after that big, 60,000-point signup bonus. In addition to utilizing the transfer partners to book travel and hotels, Wells Fargo points can easily be redeemed for cash, gift cards, and travel through the bank's travel portal, so it's easy to peg the bonus's value at an even $600, if not more.

Then there's the card's $50 airline credit, which can easily help offset the card's $95 annual fee. I'm all but guaranteed to spend $50 on airfare each year and unlike the airline credit that comes with *amex platinum card* or the $300 travel credit that comes with the *venture x*, this one doesn't require any tricks or jumping through hoops. After making your first purchase of the year directly with an airline, Wells Fargo will automatically credit you up to $50 back on your statement. This credit renews each year on the first of the month following your account anniversary date – it's as simple as that.

Even though the card's big bonus and manageable annual fee were big factors in getting me to apply, they aren't the only reasons. This is a card I plan to make a mainstay in my wallet thanks to its outstanding bonus categories. Here's what I mean:

  • Earn 5x points per dollar spent on hotels
  • Earn 4x points per dollar spent on flights
  • Earn 3x points per dollar spent on travel
  • Earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining
  • Earn 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases

No other card on the market can touch the Autograph Journey's 5x transferable points per dollar on hotels – in fact, that's even better than some co-branded hotel cards. The 4x point earning on flights is second only to the Amex Platinum's 5x and the 3x points you can earn in the broad travel and dining categories put it right in line with the *chase sapphire reserve* – two cards with much larger annual fees.

But as I said, it's really about the transfer partners for me. Wells Fargo's initial list of six transfer partners provides options for booking flights with all three airline alliances. Here's where I'll be able to move my Wells Fargo points come April 4:

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

I can transfer my Wells Fargo points to British Airways or Iberia Avios to book flights on Oneworld partners like American Airlines. Air France/KLM Flying Blue is a great option for SkyTeam airlines like Delta, and Avianca LifeMiles opens up a path to booking Star Alliance partners like United.

 

air france klm flying blue award rates

 

On the hotel side of things, there's only one choice … Choice Privileges, that is. Wells Fargo points transfer 1:2 to Choice Privileges and since hotels can be booked for as few as 8,000 Choice points per night, the Autograph Journey's current welcome offer would be enough for 15 nights in Choice hotels. While Choice lacks many of the aspirational properties you'll find with hotel chains like Hyatt and Hilton, Choice Privileges points can be extremely valuable for stays in Scandinavia and Japan, amongst other destinations.

 

Autopgrah Journey Card Application Process

So what's it like applying for the Autograph Journey card? After all, Wells Fargo isn't a bank many travelers gravitate towards if they're looking to earn points and miles redeemable for travel.

I'm happy to report that it was a surprisingly painless application process, with relatively few questions – and if you're an existing Wells Fargo customer you even can sign into your account and have much of your personal information pre-filled for you.

In the first section, you'll start with the usual personal info needed for a new line of credit such as your name, date of birth, and social security number.

 

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey application

 

Next, you'll be asked for your contact info, including address, phone number, and email address.

 

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey application

 

The last section is where you put in your employment status and income information. Additionally, there's a security question that asks for your mother's maiden name – this isn't something you'll find on every credit application but shouldn't be too tough to answer, either.

 
Wells Fargo Autograph Journey application 

After completing the application and checking the boxes that I consented to have my credit pulled, the next page took an uncomfortably long time to load. In reality, it was probably only 30 seconds to a minute but when waiting to find out if you're approved or not, it felt a lot longer. Don't be alarmed if there's a significant pause in submitting your application and getting a decision from the bank.

 

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey application

 

After getting approved, I was able to add my new card to my digital wallet (Apple Pay or Google Pay) for immediate use. The approval confirmation page says that the physical card will be mailed within seven business days – but mine arrived four days after applying.

One thing to note: Even though I could add it to my digital wallet, I wasn't issued a virtual card number to use instantly. This means that until I got the physical card, I could only use it with merchants that accept digital wallets and that won't include every online retailer.

After adding the card to your digital wallet, you can also set up your online account access, if you don't already have a banking relationship with Wells Fargo. My new card showed up online instantly and I could see the purchases I've made so far and conveniently track my progress to earning the new card welcome offer bonus.

 

Autograph Journey Bonus Tracker

 

If you have other credit cards that earn Wells Fargo Rewards like a cashback card or the Autograph card, you can combine all points online. That feature will be useful when the bank's new transfer partners go live, making it easy to pile up points and redeem them.

 

Bottom Line

Wells Fargo's looking to make a splash with its entry into the travel rewards credit card market and the debut of the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa® Card. With a solid 60,000-point welcome bonus, annual $50 airline credit, excellent point earning, and more, I couldn't wait to pick up this card and make it a fixture in my wallet.

 

WF Autograph Journey Card

 

Learn more about the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa® Card (for full disclosure, this is not an affiliate link).

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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