2023 Wells Fargo Autograph Card Review

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card is a no-annual-fee credit card that offers robust travel and everyday spending rewards.

Wells Fargo Building

If you are in the market for a new cashback credit card, you may have stumbled across the Wells Fargo Autograph Card. With its 3x bonus categories, including popular streaming services, dining, travel, phone plans, and more, this card is highly versatile and suitable for everyday use.

Not only does it offer travel and shopping protections, but it also has a quality earning structure and fixed-rate redemptions. Plus, with no annual fee, you can enjoy all the benefits of the Autograph Card without any additional costs. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at what the Wells Fargo Autograph Card has to offer.

Wells Fargo Autograph Card Review Summary

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card is positioned as a travel credit card because of its unlimited 3x points on travel expenses. But its other reward categories are great for everyday spending as well, including restaurants, transit, gas, streaming services, and phone plans.

With a $0 annual fee, the card is a strong contender to be a primary credit card for daily use. It also comes with a generous welcome bonus and decent secondary perks, such as cell phone protection and car rental insurance.

Wells Fargo Autograph Card Review Highlights

Sign-up Bonus Offer

The Autograph card offers a generous welcome bonus of 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of opening the card. That’s roughly $333.33 per month in spending to earn a $200 cash redemption value. While this offer is quite impressive for a card with no annual fee, competing cards like the Chase Freedom Flex offer a $200 cash bonus too, but with a lower spending requirement.

It’s also worth noting that Wells Fargo has one major rule for all its credit cards – welcome offers can only get applied to 1 card per 15 months. In other words, if you open a credit card with a sign-up bonus, you won’t qualify for another card’s 0% intro APR promo until 15 months have passed. Additionally, Wells Fargo will factor in whether you have opened other cards with them in the past 6 months and how many total open cards you have with them before approving your credit card application.

Rewards Categories

With the Wells Fargo Autograph Card, you can earn 3 points per dollar with no spending limits on these 6 categories:

  • Restaurants (i.e. dining in, takeout, catering, delivery, etc.)
  • Travel (i.e. airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, timeshares, travel agencies, etc.)
  • Gas (gas stations, electric vehicle charging stations)
  • Transit (i.e. subways, ride shares, parking, toll bridges and highways, taxis, limos, ferries, etc.)
  • Popular streaming services (content at home or on the go i.e. cable TV, digital goods, books, movies, etc.)
  • Phone plans (cell phone and landline providers)

Streaming services that qualify include Apple TV+, Disney+, Pandora Plus, Peacock, Prime Video, ESPN+, Spotify Premium, YouTube TV, and more. For all other purchases, you can earn a point per dollar or a 1% return on your spending. Additionally, you can activate retail offers through My Wells Fargo Deals for everyday shopping.

No Annual Fee

Some of the best reward cards on the market can come with steep annual fees, which means you have to earn enough value from the rewards and benefits to break even. With the Wells Fargo Autograph Card, you won’t have to worry about that, as the card has no annual fee.

0% Intro APR

If you anticipate major expenses in the coming months, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card can help you save on interest with its 0% intro APR for the 1st 12 months from account opening on purchases. While this timeframe is not the best 0% APR offer available, it’s a decent deal if you need to spread your payments over time. If you decide to take advantage of this offer, make sure you put a plan in place to pay off your balance by the time the intro period ends because there is an ongoing APR of 19.49%, 24.49%, or 29.49% variable APR.

Secondary Benefits

In addition to earning rewards on purchases, cardholders have access to various secondary benefits, including cell phone protection, travel and emergency assistance services, zero liability protection, and more.

Cell Phone Protection

If your phone gets damaged or stolen, you can get up to $600 reimbursed (with a $25 deductible) to repair or replace your phone. But you must use the card to pay your monthly cell phone bill to qualify. There is also a maximum of 2 claims of up to $1,200 per 12-month period. Additionally, the coverage is secondary to other existing insurance, such as cell phone insurance programs or homeowner’s policies.

Emergency Cash Disbursement and Card Replacement

If you lose your credit card, you can contact Wells Fargo to get an emergency cash advance disbursed or replace your card within 1-3 days after issuer approval. But note that cash advances have fees and interest charges.

Auto Rental Collision Coverage

As a cardholder, you get access to the Wells Fargo Autograph Card’s auto rental collision damage coverage. So, whenever you rent a car using the card, feel free to decline the rental agency’s collision damage insurance.

If your rental car gets damaged or stolen, you are covered up to $50,000, which covers valid charges, admin fees, and towing charges. Keep in mind you need to pay for the full cost to rent the car using the card and provide a letter of coverage with the rental agency (if needed) to qualify. Also, note that this coverage is secondary in the U.S. to any personal auto insurance you have and primary if you are overseas.

Travel and Emergency Services Assistance

If you are traveling and run into an emergency, you can call a 24-hour toll-free number to get emergency assistance and referral services. A benefits administrator can help you send messages to your family, direct you to the appropriate local emergency resources, refer you to medical professionals, locate lost luggage, and more. While the assistance is free, you still have to pay for costs incurred, such as medical bills.

Zero Liability Protection

If someone steals your credit card and makes unauthorized transactions, you can report the theft and will not be held responsible for their shopping spree on your card. Make sure to report the incidents as soon as you find out.

Roadside Dispatch

If you get into an accident while driving, you can reach out to the 24/7 dispatch network to get emergency roadside assistance, including standard towing, locksmith service, fuel delivery, or a tire change. There is a cost for each service, so check beforehand.

Visa Signature Concierge Service

As a cardholder, you’ll also get access to complimentary, 24/7 access to the Visa Signature Concierge service. You can call 1 (800) 953-7392 anytime to get assistance with booking travel itineraries, event tickets, dinner reservations, hotels, and more.

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

You can also access the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, where you will be eligible for a premium collection of benefits, including automatic room upgrades (when available), food and beverage credits, complimentary breakfast for 2, best available rate guarantees, and more. However, to be eligible for the benefits, you need to book your travel through the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection website.

Wells Fargo Autograph Card Review Drawbacks

Limited Premium Benefits

Unfortunately, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card does not come with perks like Global Entry/ TSA PreCheck application reimbursement, airport lounge access, or the ability to transfer rewards earned to hotel or airline partners. If you want a card with these perks, you will likely need to pay for it.

No Airline or Hotel Transfer Partners

If you are a frequent traveler and want to maximize your travel points, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card might not be the right card for you since it does not have any airline or hotel transfer partners. With airline and hotel transfer partners, you can move your points to other loyalty programs and get more value from your points.

Instead, opt for a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which comes with bonus rewards in various categories and a sign-up bonus worth $750 toward travel when you redeem it through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Requires Good/Excellent Credit

You must have good or excellent credit to get approved for this card. Your approval odds are fairly high if your credit score is 700 or higher. But, if your credit is lower, we recommend building up your credit before applying.

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Fees and Rates

Regular Rates

After 12 months from account opening, the card has a 19.49, 24.49, or 29.49% variable APR. These rates are on par with the average credit card interest rate of 24.10%, according to Forbes (as of March 19, 2023).

Limited Balance Transfer Intro APR

Balance transfers made within 120 days from account opening are eligible for an intro fee of 3%, then a balance transfer fee of up to 5% of the transferred amount (or $5, whichever is higher). This fee is at the higher end of the standard range for credit credits, but there aren’t many cards with similar benefits and a lower balance transfer fee.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

If you plan on traveling abroad, the good news is that the card does not have foreign transaction fees. That means you will not get charged additional fees when you make purchases abroad or from international merchants.

Other Details to Consider

Rewards Redemption Details

You have several options to redeem your points. Points are worth 1 cent each, and you can cash in the rewards as a statement credit, gift cards, travel, or points at participating merchants, including PayPal.

You can also redeem your rewards directly to an eligible Wells Fargo Account or ATM, but only in $20 increments. Cash redemptions online or by phone are only available in $25 increments. Alternatively, you can transfer your points to another Wells Fargo Rewards account, share them with another Wells Fargo customer, or add them to an existing rewards pool.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Since the Wells Fargo Autograph Card’s bonus rewards have no cap, the easiest way to maximize your earnings is to make all your purchases related to restaurants, travel, gas, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans on the card. Then, pair the card with another rewards credit card that earns bonus rewards on other categories you spend the most on, such as groceries or entertainment. Alternatively, you can opt for a flat-rate credit card for expenses that do not fall into the bonus categories.

For example, the Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card gives you 4% cash back on entertainment and 3% back on groceries (though the card has a $95 annual fee). Meanwhile, a card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card or the Citi Double Cash Credit Card gives you unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.

Who This Card is For

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card is a decent card for travel and everyday spending. It’s also great for people who do not want to pay annual fees for their credit cards. However, it does not give you the higher-end perks that a card with annual fees may have, such as airport lounge access or Global Entry/ TSA PreCheck. For those, you’ll need to pay a premium price.

Additionally, if you spend a lot of money on groceries or travel frequently, there are better cards in the market that will give you more value from your purchases. For example, the Chase Rewards points are worth more when you redeem them for travel through their portal.

How Does the Wells Fargo Autograph Card Compare to Other Similar Cards?

Wells Fargo Autograph Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex Card

The Chase Freedom Flex is a no-fee credit card that comes with broad bonus categories and rotating rewards. With the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll earn:

  • 5x points in quarterly bonus categories up to $1,500
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5x points on grocery purchases of up to $12,000 in spending in the 1st year
  • 3x points on dining (including takeout and delivery) and drugstore purchases
  • 1x points on all other purchases

It also comes with a 0% intro APR for the first 15 months from account opening, plus a $200 welcome bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months. If you have the time and energy to strategize, choosing the Freedom Flex could enable you to maximize your potential earnings across a broad range of spending categories, particularly travel. But, if you do not travel frequently or want to keep track of the card’s rotating bonus categories, the Autograph card may be more manageable and easier to use.

Wells Fargo Autograph Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no-fee credit card with a robust rewards system. You can expect to earn:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5x points on grocery purchases of up to $12,000 in spending in the 1st year
  • 3x points on dining (including takeout and delivery) and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5x points on all other purchases

Like its sister card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited also comes with a $S200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months from account opening and a 0% intro APR for the first 15 months. While the bonus categories are not as robust as the Autograph card, you can earn a higher rate on all your purchases that do not fall under the bonus categories. If you do not spend as much in the bonus categories the Autograph card offers, the Freedom Unlimited may be a better fit.

Wells Fargo Autograph Card vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Similar to the Wells Fargo Autograph Card, the Active Cash Card comes with a $200 sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the 1st 3 months. But, instead of bonus categories, you will earn a flat rate of 2% cash back rewards on all purchases with no limit. That means you will not need to keep track of your spending categories or any quarterly activations.

The Active Cash also comes with similar secondary benefits as the Autograph Card, including the Visa Signature Concierge and Hotel Collection and cell phone insurance, though it has fewer travel perks. If you are deciding between the 2, ultimately, it comes down to which rewards structure makes more sense for your lifestyle and which perks are most important to you.

Wells Fargo Autograph Card vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card

With the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card, you can expect to earn:

  • 3x points in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • 2x points on groceries and wholesale clubs
  • 1x points on all other purchases

Note that there is a $2,500 cap for the 3% and 2% bonus categories per quarter. After you spend $2,500 in your choice category and groceries/wholesale club purchases, you will earn 1% for all other purchases.

While the Customized Cash Rewards has a less robust rewards structure, the card comes with a more versatile 0% intro APR for your first 18 months and balance transfers made within the first 60 days from account opening. After the intro period, you can expect a variable APR of 17.49% to 27.49% and a 3% fee on all balance transfers.

Which card you choose will depend on your spending habits and needs. Although the Customized Cash Rewards card comes with cashback rewards on groceries, the rewards rate is not unlimited. You will also miss out on some of the other bonus categories the Autograph card offers.

Editor’s Rating

With no limits on rewards and no annual fee, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card could be a great credit card to add to your wallet as a card for everyday spending and travel. In particular, if you are a heavy spender in the card’s bonus categories and want a card with a more simple reward structure, you could benefit from the Autograph card.

With that said, there are other cards in the market with lower interest rates and better travel rewards, such as a card from Chase or American Express. If you value flexibility in rewards, extensive travel perks, and/or redemption options, a more premium travel rewards credit card or a card with tiered bonus categories may be a more suitable option.

The Bottom Line

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card is great for credit card beginners and minimalists who do not want to pay annual fees. Plus, the card offers a broad range of protections, a quality welcome bonus, and practical rewards categories. As a free card, the Autograph card could have a place in your wallet long-term.

We are not financial advisors. The content on this website and our YouTube videos are for educational purposes only and merely cite our own personal opinions. In order to make the best financial decision that suits your own needs, you must conduct your own research and seek the advice of a licensed financial advisor if necessary. Know that all investments involve some form of risk and there is no guarantee that you will be successful in making, saving, or investing money; nor is there any guarantee that you won't experience any loss when investing. Always remember to make smart decisions and do your own research!

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