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Is the Wells Fargo Autograph worth it?

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There’s no shortage of new credit card launches and refreshes, so you might wonder which credit card you should actually consider getting. The recent launch of the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is one card that may be worth exploring.

We’re going to take a look at this card’s perks and benefits to see if it might bring value based on your spending habits and financial needs. Keep reading to learn more about Wells Fargo’s latest rewards card.

Wells Fargo Autograph card details

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 3X points on restaurants, travel, transit, gas stations, popular streaming services and phone plans; 1X points on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: 30,000 bonus points, worth $300 in cash redemption, when you spend $1,500 in the first three months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for the first 12 months from account opening on purchases, followed by a 17.99 percent, 22.99 percent, or 27.99 percent variable APR

The first thing that stands out about the Wells Fargo Autograph is its generous rewards rate on common spending categories that include dining, gas stations and phone plans. Plus, if you travel often or use transit services for a commute, you can earn even more cash back.

Another notable perk of this card is its welcome bonus (worth $300) when you spend $1,500 in the first three months. And although introductory APR offers are pretty standard among mid-level rewards cards these days, a zero-interest intro period is still helpful if you have a large purchase coming up that you’d like to time with the opening of your card.

Earning rewards

Unlike rotating bonus category cards, the Autograph doesn’t require you to activate any bonus categories to start earning rewards. Simply swipe your card for purchases and see points accumulate in your Wells Fargo account (accessible online or via the mobile app).

As noted above, you’ll earn 3X points on restaurants, travel and transit, gas stations, popular streaming services (including Disney+, YouTube TV and Spotify Premium) and phone plans purchases. All other spending earns 1X points.

Redeeming rewards

Another reason to apply for this everyday rewards card is its decent array of redemption options, including:

  • Direct deposits into Wells Fargo savings or checking accounts
  • Statement credits
  • Gift cards via Wells Fargo Rewards (in $25 increments)
  • Travel (including flights, car rentals and hotel stays) via Wells Fargo Rewards
  • Pay with Rewards (via Wells Fargo Rewards)
  • Physical cash in $20 increments at Wells Fargo ATMs (using a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card)

Additional card perks

In addition to earning rewards and redeeming them in a variety of ways, there are some card perks that can make this card even more worthwhile.

Cellphone insurance

By paying your monthly cellphone bill with your Autograph card, you’ll be eligible for cellphone insurance with Wells Fargo. If your phone is damaged or stolen, you can get reimbursed for up to $600 per claim (subject to a $25 deductible). Note, there’s a $1,200 cap per 12-month period.

Rental car insurance

Your Autograph card also provides rental car insurance. As long as you charge your rental car to your Autograph card, you’ll be covered for up to $50,000. Different terms apply for the U.S. versus overseas rentals.

Visa Signature perks

The Wells Fargo Autograph card is a part of the Visa Signature program, so there’s an additional slate of perks that come with that, too:

  • Visa Signature Concierge service (complimentary 24/7 assistance in booking travel, event tickets and dinner reservations)
  • Access to the Luxury Hotel Collection properties
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Extended warranty protection and online product registration for easier claim filing

No foreign transaction fees

It’s also worth noting that the Autograph Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which typically cost up to 3 or 4 percent of your transaction. This can apply when you are traveling overseas or even purchasing something from a retailer based outside of the United States.

Is the Wells Fargo Autograph worth it?

This question will depend on the kind of spending that you do. To answer this question, we’ll compare the Autograph to a couple other credit cards with similar rewards structures.

Of course, this example simplifies some spending scenarios and makes general assumptions about your spending habits, but it can help you figure out which card could offer the most value based on your lifestyle.

Spending category Annual Spending Wells Fargo Autograph Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Online Grocery/supermarket spending $6,000 $60 $180 $180
Dining $4,800 $144 $144 $48
Gas $3,600 $108 $36 $108
Travel portal spending $1,000 $30 $50 $10
Streaming services $1,200 $36 $36 $12
Online shopping $2,400 $24 $24 $72
Cellphone bill $2,400 $72 $24 $24
Non-category spending $6,000 $60 $60 $60
Welcome bonus $300 $600 $200
Annual fee $0 -$95 $0
Total $27,400 $834 $1,059 $714

In this example, you can see that the Wells Fargo Autograph falls in between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Blue Cash Everyday in terms of first-year value — and there are a few reasons for this.

For one, the Sapphire Preferred has a much larger welcome bonus, which significantly boosts the first-year value of the card. Further, the Autograph card doesn’t offer boosted rewards on grocery spending (though its rewards on phone plan purchases is a nice perk).

The bottom line

The Wells Fargo Autograph offers a generous welcome bonus and respectable rewards structure on some common spending categories. As seen in the spending example above, you may get slightly more value from similar cards in the first year, but we think the Autograph makes a great case for ongoing value. Because there’s no annual fee, there’s not much you can lose by keeping this card around.

The only thing you might miss with this card is more options to get bonuses when redeeming for travel. For example, cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer the potential for heightened points value when transferring to travel partners as well as a 25 percent boost to points redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal — two perks that the Autograph card lacks.

If this isn’t a deal breaker for you, though, we still think the Autograph offers enough rewards, perks and benefits to make it worthwhile.

Written by
Aja McClanahan
Personal Finance Writer
Aja McClanahan is an author, blogger and speaker on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Aja is the author of "How a Mother Should Talk About Money with Her Daughter."
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Part of  Introduction to the Wells Fargo Autograph Card