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Credit Cards

Wells Fargo announces a new points-earning credit card with no annual fee

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card lets you earn up to 3X points per dollar, among other perks.

Source: Getty Images

The limited time offer mentioned below for the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is no longer available.

Wells Fargo has long been behind other card issuers in terms of robust credit card options and rewards for years. However, the legacy bank is stepping up its game to introduce its latest offering: The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card.

If you're in the market for an easy-to-use rewards credit card, this card is a solid option. It's worth considering for consumers who want to earn rewards that can be used for travel or cash back, and who don't want to pay a pesky annual fee.

Below, Select details the new card's benefits and features, and reviews a few things to keep in mind when you're applying for a new card.

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Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card details

For starters, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card comes with a sizeable welcome bonus and a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months after opening your account (after, it's a 19.24%, 24.24%, or 29.24% variable APR).

Once approved, new cardholders can earn a limited time offer of 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in purchases within the first three months of card membership, which represents a $300 cash redemption value. Offer ends January, 10th 2023.

As you spend with the card, you will be able to earn:

  • 3X points per dollar at restaurants
  • 3X points per dollar at gas stations
  • 3X points per dollar for travel-related purchases, including transit
  • 3X points per dollar for select streaming services and phone plans
  • 1X point per dollar for other purchases

Cardholders can then redeem their points for travel, cash back, statement credits, gift cards or other merchandise. In terms of redemption value, points are typically worth one cent per point, though some redemptions — such as using them for gift cards or to buy merchandise — can be lower, so use your points wisely.

By simply having the card, you'll also have access to these additional benefits:

  • Up to $600 worth of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you use it to pay your monthly bill (subject to a $25 deductible)
  • Complimentary access to Visa Signature Concierge services, which can be used to book tickets for travel and other sports and entertainment events or to make exclusive dining reservations
  • Rental car insurance via the auto rental collision damage waiver
  • No foreign transaction fees for using your card abroad

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card stands out because of its strong points earning potential, since it earns 3X points in wide variety of spending categories. Plus, you won't have to worry about paying an annual fee or being charged to use your card abroad.

However, this card may not be the best for travelers, since you won't be able to transfer your points to airline or hotel partners like you can with Chase points and Amex points, or receive increased value when redeeming your points through Wells Fargo's travel portal.

What to consider before applying for a new card

A new credit card welcome bonus offer may be enticing, but you should ask yourself a few questions before submitting a new application.

Is my credit score good enough?

Each credit card is designed for a specific consumer based on their spending habits and which type of rewards they desire. This also applies to credit scores, so as you're researching different cards, check your credit score to see which cards you're more likely to qualify for. You may also want to consider using a credit monitoring service such as CreditWise or Chase Credit Journey to keep a timely pulse on the status of your credit score.

How does this new credit card fit into my budget?

One of the foundations of personal finance is to have an established budget so you can understand how much money is coming in and going out of your accounts. Credit cards, however, can make that difficult, since you can spend all the way up to the credit limit. It's also advantageous to sign up for a credit card that rewards you in the areas you're spending money on the most, such as on travel or at grocery stores, so make sure the card you select fits your budget as well as your spending habits.

Can I spend enough — responsibly — to earn the welcome bonus?

Many credit cards come with an alluring welcome bonus to help get your spending started and bolster your rewards balance. Keep in mind, however, that it's never a good idea to spend more than usual just to earn extra credit card rewards.

With the new Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card, you'd need to be able to spend $1,500 within the first three months of opening your account in order to earn the limited time offer of 30,000 bonus points (offer ends 1/10/23). If you don't think you'll be able to spend that amount responsibly on your own, another way is to ask trusted friends and family if you can use the card to purchase pricey items on their behalf and have them reimburse you for it, allowing you to spend more and earn the bonus points faster.

What do I plan on using the rewards points for?

Arguably the most important question to ask is what you plan on using the rewards points for. As you're spending more with your card, having a goal in mind is always a good strategy, especially since loyalty programs regularly undergo changes or devaluations.

That said, you really shouldn't waste your hard-earned points on lower-value redemptions just to get rid of them. If you have an upcoming trip in mind, find out how many points you'll need to redeem, and enjoy your free vacation when you can. Another easy and valuable option is to redeem your points for cash back, since you can then use that money any way you like.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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