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A Mixed Bag – Unpacking the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card

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Wells Fargo Autograph Journey

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey

Wells Fargo just announced details of their new Autograph Journey card during a fairly quiet late winter week.  After multiple delays, perhaps I was more intrigued that news actually arrived than the content of it.  Many can simply justify a card such as this with a 60k transferrable point signup bonus.  But like many out there, I’m excited to dig into the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey and their new transferrable point currency.  Today, I’m getting into what I like about the card, a few concerns, my personal plan, and suggestions to others.

What’s To Like


I’ll start with what many have been waiting for – the options for transfer to travel programs.  Autograph Journey cardholders are able to move points to the following partners:   Choice Privileges, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Avianca Lifemiles, British Airways Executive Club, Aer Lingus AerClub, and Iberia Plus.  Wells Fargo has advised more partners will be added throughout the year.  The Wells Fargo to Choice transfer rate is outstanding at 1:2; all others transfer 1:1.

From my perspective and travel needs, the Choice Hotels ratio is huge.  This mirrors Citi’s 1:2 rate, and I’m glad other banks are getting into that game.  For many out there, taking advantage of that Citi angle simply isn’t an option.  Second place for me is Flying Blue being added to yet another bank point program as a transfer partner.  As a big fan of this airline mile currency, I love having more options to fund my Air France account.

While I’m a fan of these two partners, this overall news alone doesn’t move the needle much, and probably not at all for some.  But couple that with earn rates, and things get interesting.

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

Earn Rates

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey cardholders earn unlimited 5x points on hotels, 4x points on airlines, 3x points on other travel and dining, and 1x everywhere else.  One can earn these rates by booking directly with hotels, airlines, and other travel entities, providing cardholders more flexibility to efficiently stack up points.  Earning 6x Choice Hotels (and higher) sounds great to me.

 A Square Deal

In return for the above, Wells Fargo Autograph Journey cardholders pay a $95 annual fee.  And they can further subsidize/rationalize that fee with the card’s annual $50 statement credit on airline charges.  I’m interested to see how flexible that credit is in practice, but I’m staying optimistic for now.

And given that the Wells Fargo transferrable currency will play nicely with some of their other cards, like the Active Cash, they’re starting to compete with Amex, Citi, and Chase.  Without too much skin in the game at $95, consumers can easily benefit from another transferrable bank point option.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey

Questions and Concerns

As I said upfront, I’m happy for any news on this card, as Wells Fargo has kicked the can on several new cards for what seems to be years.  While I’m a big fan of two of their partners, the rest of the list is a bit underwhelming.  The other specific partners and the fairly short amount of them are forgettable.  I thought all the delays would lead to a bigger list come announcement time.  Wells Fargo has promised more partners are on the way, but the past brings concern.  With how long it’s taken them to bring the Autograph Journey to market, I have little to no confidence in their abilities to punctually add more transfer partners, if at all.  Perhaps others will come, but I’m managing my expectations that way.

Again, due to Wells Fargo’s deliberate pace, potential cardholders are a bit flat-footed on other options.  Many may prefer to see the bank’s full suite of new cards prior to deciding on which best suits them.  Add in some of Wells Fargo’s application rules (below), and some will be paralyzed even more:

  • Only 1 new card every 6 months.
  • Minimum 15 months since your last welcome offer to be eligible for any others.
  • Business and personal cards operate on separate timelines.

Finally, I’d like a bit more clarity on true cash back redemptions with the Autograph Journey.  Wells Fargo hasn’t explicitly made the exact rates and rules known even in the card’s terms and conditions, from what I can tell.  I’m hoping for the best but can’t necessarily expect it.

Moving Forward

So what am I doing?  I need to get a few ducks in a row, but I plan to apply for the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey in the near future.  I’ll obtain enough value out of the Choice Hotels partnership alone, and another Flying Blue currency option is something I always love.  I don’t feel a need to wait around for other card developments, as I’m too impatient for Wells Fargo’s timeline.  Regardless, given their application rules, I want to start the 6- and 15-month clocks sooner rather than later.

But who else should apply at this point?  Primarily, individuals who value the current partners.  Don’t pursue a card based on what a bank suggests will happen in the future, especially one as slow as Wells Fargo.  Still, I can squint and understand why certain active hobbyists will apply now even if they don’t have an immediate use for these points, as they want to start the rule clocks.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey – Conclusion

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey is a bit of a mixed bag right now, but there’s enough in there for me to apply.  I want to think more good stuff is coming, but I can’t rely on that.  Nonetheless, it’s a net-win at this point in our situation, and I imagine many out there will come to the same assessment.  On the flip side, I can see many shrugging this one off, passively challenging Wells Fargo to do more.  I suspect that’s the majority of consumers, and let’s hope Wells Fargo is up for that challenge!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses 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.


  1. The card is probably not worth burning a 5/24 slots. If they were somehow able to nab AA or Alaska as transfer partners, this assessment could change, but the chances of that happening are near zero.

  2. For someone who consistently uses points redemption and free night certificate for rewards night, 5x on Hotel is a bit niche.


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