December 2, 2022

Wells Fargo Autograph Card: Earn Rewards For a Wide Range of Purchases

Wells Fargo credit cards may not be as talked-about as the offerings from Chase, American…

Wells Fargo Autograph Card: Earn Rewards For a Wide Range of Purchases

Wells Fargo credit cards may not be as talked-about as the offerings from Chase, American Express and other reward heavy-hitters, but the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card will give plenty of folks a reason to add their own autographs to an application.

There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. And during the first year, there are no interest charges, thanks to a 0% introductory APR offer on purchases for 12 months from account opening (17.99%, 22.99% or 27.99% variable APR thereafter). 

The Autograph card also earns 30,000 bonus points for spending $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of account opening — a $300 cash redemption value — which is a more generous bonus than the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, one of the best credit cards with no annual fee

The card’s biggest strength is its 3x points on a wide range of expenses: restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Other purchases qualify for a run-of-the-mill, 1x point per dollar payout. 

Despite the lack of foreign transaction fees, this isn’t one of the best travel credit cards, as there are no transfer partners and few travel perks.

However, if you’re looking for a straightforward, fixed rewards structure without an annual fee, the Autograph card can be a great fit.

In this article

Intro OfferEarn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $300 cash redemption value

APR17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% Variable APR

Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Plus earn 1X points on other purchases
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases

Annual Fee$0

Balance Transfer APR17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% Variable APR

Balance Transfer Fee 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; min: $5

Penalty APR None

  • Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Plus earn 1X points on other purchases
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases

Rewards and redemption

The Wells Fargo Autograph card’s 3x rewards structure applies to a wide range of expenses:

  • Restaurants: dining in, ordering take out, catering and delivery
  • Travel: Flights, car rentals, hotels and cruises
  • Automotive fuel and power: Gas stations and electric charging fees
  • Transit: Subways, rideshare services, parking and tolls
  • Popular streaming services
  • Phone plans: Cell phones and landlines 

For expenses that do not fall into these categories, the card earns the standard 1x point per dollar. So, for everyday expenses like groceries, this is not the card to use. You’re better off with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, which earns 3% cash back (on up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1%) at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and for U.S. online retail purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

All the points you’ll earn using the Autograph card will add up in your Wells Fargo Rewards account, and you can redeem them for cash, travel and a range of other options. 

One particularly convenient piece of the Wells Fargo Rewards program is the ability to turn your points into cash at an ATM. However, Wells Fargo Rewards has one major drawback: No travel transfer partners. 

Welcome bonus

The Autograph’s welcome bonus is easily within most cardholders’ reach: Spend $1,500 in purchases within the first three months and you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points. That’s a $300 cash redemption value. 

If you have any trips on the horizon, pay for your flight, hotel, car rental, Uber or Lyft rides and other expenses so you’ll score the 3x points on travel while speeding your way past the bonus threshold. Additionally, you’ll want to update your cell phone billing with the Autograph card as your auto-pay option. Not only will that cost help you hit the bonus number, you’ll also qualify for up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft (subject to a $25 deductible).

It’s important to note that the protection does not help if you lose your phone; it only applies to damages with a phone in your possession.

Introductory purchase APR offer

In the first year of using the Wells Fargo Autograph card, you can avoid interest charges thanks to a 0% introductory APR offer on purchases. 

If you have any large purchases to make, this means you can pay off the bill over 12 months from account opening without accruing any additional finance charges (17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR thereafter) as long as you make your minimum payments on time. It’s a nice perk, but it’s not quite as generous as the introductory APR offers attached to other rewards cards like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

There are cards with significantly longer 0% APR windows that can be better candidates for transferring a balance — especially considering the Autograph doesn’t feature an intro APR offer for balance transfers. And remember that after the introductory APR period runs out, the card will charge a variable APR of 17.99%, 22.99% or 27.99% based on your credit. The only way to make your rewards pay off is to pay your bill off every month. 

Alternative cards

The Autograph has plenty of competition, so be sure to compare a range of options. If you’re looking for a similar earning structure — or if you’re willing to hand over an annual fee in exchange for some bigger perks — these two cards should be on your list.

Citi Premier® Card

While you’ll need to pay a $95 annual fee to keep the Citi Premier in your wallet, that cost can be well worth it to cash in on a more rewarding welcome bonus. This card pays out 80,000 bonus points — a value of $800 when redeemed for gift cards at ThankYou.com — for spending $4,000 in the first three months. 

The card is great for travelers with 3x points on airfare, hotel and gas station purchases, but it’s also helpful for at-home expenses with 3x points at supermarkets. Plus, if you book a single hotel stay through ThankYou.com or 1-800-THANKYOU that costs $500 or more, you’ll get a $100 discount each calendar year.

For more details, see our Citi Premier review.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

If you’re considering the Autograph, you’ll also want to give some consideration to Wells Fargo’s flagship cash-rewards card. The Active Cash card has a simplified earning structure: 2% cash rewards on your purchases. So, instead of the 3x points on some expenses with 1x points on others, the Active Cash card balances out your rewards earning potential. 

There are two other key distinctions to consider. First, the welcome bonus is lower — $200 cash rewards bonus — but it’s also easier to reach with just $1,000 of spending in purchases required in the first three months. Second, the Active Cash Card comes with a longer 0% introductory APR period of 15 months from account opening on both purchases and qualifying balance transfers (17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR thereafter). 

So, if you’re thinking about making a balance transfer and working to pay off your debt, this is a better option. However, if you’re a regular international traveler, the Autograph beats the Active Cash, which charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

FAQs

How does cell phone protection work with a credit card?

Not all credit cards offer cell phone protection. If yours does, you need to pay your cell phone bill with the card to qualify for the coverage. It’s important to note that the protection may not cover the full cost of replacing your phone if it is damaged.

What is an introductory APR offer?

An introductory APR offer allows a cardholder to avoid paying any interest on charges for a set period of time. For example, a 12-month 0% APR offer means that you will not accrue additional charges for carrying a balance from month to month. However, after that period is over, the credit card’s standard APR kicks in.

So, if you haven’t paid off those purchases, you can be in a bad position. Credit card interest rates tend to be close to 17 percent for cardholders with the best credit — a figure that can lead to huge debt if you aren’t focused on paying your bill in full and on time each month.

How does Wells Fargo Rewards work?

Wells Fargo Rewards is the bank’s credit card rewards program, which allows cardholders to redeem points for cash, gift cards and travel purchases. In most cases, 1 point is worth 1 cent. 

Unlike rewards programs that apply to certain cards from Chase, American Express and Citi, the Wells Fargo Rewards program does not include the ability to transfer points to travel partners. You can, however, share your points with another Wells Fargo cardholder.

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