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If you are looking for an excellent return on a wide range of spending categories, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is definitely worth a closer look. The card delivers a solid set of features and carries no annual fee. In short, this makes the card a great option if you want to keep costs down while earning rewards broadly.
This is also the card that replaced the now-defunct Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. If you were converted to the Wells Fargo Autograph, you may be wondering about your new card.
Although Wells Fargo Rewards are often overlooked in favor of the other big market players, they do have their space. If your spending patterns and redemption preferences align, the program has some excellent value. So is the Wells Fargo Autograph the right card for you? Let's take a closer look to find out.
Wells Fargo Autograph Pros
- Great earning rates with multiple bonus categories.
- $0 annual fee.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Unlimited earnings on bonus categories.
- Cell phone protection against theft or damage.
Wells Fargo Autograph Cons
- No recurring annual perks, such as bonuses for meeting spending thresholds.
- Only 1X earnings on non-bonus category purchases.
- Points are not transferable to airline or hotel partners.
Wells Fargo Autograph Welcome Offer
The Wells Fargo Autograph comes with a generous welcome bonus of 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.
You can redeem your Wells Fargo Rewards points at a fixed rate of 1¢ apiece. However, the minimum redemption amounts vary by type. Therefore, your welcome bonus is essentially worth $200. A quick trip to the calculator and you can see that is excellent value: a return of 20% on the spending required to earn the bonus.
The bonus points will post to your account within one to two billing cycles after they are earned.
Wells Fargo Autograph Benefits
The Wells Fargo Autograph is a no-annual-fee card. Despite this, it comes fully loaded with features and benefits you would normally expect from a card with an annual fee.
Uncapped earning potential
Many credit cards have a cap on the earning potential of their bonus categories. For instance, the Citi Custom Cash® Card only allows you to earn 5% back in your top spending category each month, and that only applies to $500 of spending in that category. Outside this, you'll earn just 1% back on purchases.
In contrast, the Wells Fargo Autograph has no limits to earnings in its bonus categories. That means rewards can pile up quickly if you spend regularly in the 3x categories. More about this in the earnings section below.
Cell phone coverage
Pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo Autograph and receive up to $600 in phone protection. The coverage covers your cell against theft or damage if it's listed on a plan you paid with the card in the previous month. However, it is subject to a $25 deductible.
Also, you should know that this is supplementary coverage, meaning it kicks in after other policies like renter's or homeowner's insurance. There is a limit of two claims in a 12-month period, as well.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
Use your Wells Fargo Autograph to pay for your next car rental and decline the rental company's coverage to get auto rental collision damage waiver coverage. This covers a variety of incidents, including theft, damage, valid loss of use charges, as well as reasonable towing charges. This is secondary coverage, however.
Travel and emergency services assistance
Receive emergency assistance and referral services while traveling. These services can help you find legal, medical, or other services you need while traveling away from home. But they're referrals only, so you'll pay for any services you use.
Zero liability protection
You are not responsible for any unauthorized transactions on your account. As long as you promptly report any fraudulent transactions, take comfort in knowing you won't have to pay for purchases you didn't make.
Wells Fargo Autograph Earning Rates
The earnings from the Wells Fargo Autograph are excellent across a variety of bonus categories. You earn Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Plus earn 1X points on other purchases.
The Wells Fargo Autograph earns 1X points on other purchases.
Redeeming Points With the Wells Fargo Autograph
The Wells Fargo redemption options are slightly less developed than big shots like American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards. That said, you still have plenty of options to use your points, including travel, account credits, and merchandise.
You can redeem your earnings as cash at a rate of 1¢ per point. These redemptions are processed in any of the following ways:
- Cash withdrawal from a Wells Fargo ATM (in $20 increments).
- Credit or deposit into a qualifying account.
- Paper check.
- Donations to eligible charities.
Redemption for previous purchases
Redeem your points online against recent purchases. You'll redeem points at 1¢ apiece with a minimum redemption of 100 points ($1).
You can redeem points for travel, excluding taxes and fees, including:
- Airline tickets
- Car rentals
- Custom getaways
- Hotel room rentals
- Sporting and special events
- Vacation packages
Taxes and fees that are excluded include items such as value-added and sales taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, and more.
One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot redeem points for travel online. Instead, you need to contact Wells Fargo Rewards Customer Service at 1-877-517-1358 in the U.S. Again, these are fixed-value redemptions.
Merchandise, gift cards, and donation redemption options
You can redeem your points for merchandise from participating retailers or for gift card purchases. However, if you are feeling generous, you can gift or donate your points. The full details and eligible charities are in the Well Fargo Rewards terms and conditions.
Like every U.S. financial institution, Wells Fargo has its own set of credit card application restrictions related to the maximum number of cards you can have, your application frequency, and sign-up bonus restrictions. However, Wells Fargo does consider your overall banking relationship as well.
On the one hand, Wells Fargo states that it may limit the number of cards you have. On the other hand, it does not specify a number. Data points suggest the bank also limits each customer's total line of credit.
You also can't open more than one Wells Fargo credit card every six months. The rule is even stricter for welcome bonuses, however. Wells Fargo is known to restrict customers to earning one new welcome bonus every 15 months. If you want to build up a stable of Wells Fargo cards and receive the sign-up bonus on multiple cards, you will have to spread out your applications over an appropriate period.
Cards that Compete with the Wells Fargo Autograph
While the Wells Fargo Autograph could be a great addition to many wallets, it might not be right for yours. If that's the case, consider these cards:
- If you want a Wells Fargo card with cash back, consider the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases with this card with $0 in annual fees. For more details, check out our full review of the Active Cash Card.
- If you want bonus categories with up to 5% back but no annual fee, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great option. You earn 5% on rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 per quarter), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Full details are in our review of the Freedom Flex.
- If you want similar 3x categories with transferable points, consider the Citi Premier® Card. You'll pay a $95 annual fee with this card, but you'll get 3x earnings on travel, restaurants, and supermarkets, then you can transfer these points to hotel and airline partners for valuable travel redemptions. You can learn more in our Citi Premier review.
The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is a great option for a $0-annual-fee rewards card, offering excellent earning rates on a wide range of spending categories. Couple that with a variety of redemption options and the card becomes an even more attractive proposition. Ultimately, the card is ideal for those wanting to earn rewards without paying fees while redeeming points at a fixed value.
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