Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Which Offers More Value?

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
The Wells Fargo Autograph and Chase Sapphire Preferred offer valuable earning potential and benefits. See which one might make the most sense for you.
Updated June 20, 2024
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Overall, we prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because it earns valuable Chase points that you can transfer to multiple transfer partners, such as United and Hyatt. It also provides a 25% bonus to travel redemptions made through Chase Travel℠.

But if you want a $0 annual fee, everyday earning potential, and an intro APR offer, go for the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card(Rates and fees)

In this article

Key takeaways

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred is simply one of the best travel credit cards available and one of our top credit cards of all time. As frequent travelers, we love how it has excellent purchase and travel coverages, as well as access to 14 transfer partners. You have to pay a $95 annual fee, but the benefits are more than worth the cost.
  • While we prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Wells Fargo Autograph has plenty going for it. Namely, it has a $0 annual fee and better earning potential in everyday categories. But there aren’t any transfer partners or much else in the way of travel benefits.

Wells Fargo Autograph vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred comparison

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card 

4.7

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 

4.9

Card type Travel/Cash back Travel
Credit card issuer Wells Fargo Chase
Credit card network Visa Visa
Annual fee $0 $95
Welcome bonus Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (that’s a $200 cash redemption value) Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Earning rate Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans; plus earn 1X points on other purchases Earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases
Redemption methods
  • Account deposits or statement credits
  • Mailed check
  • Cash by withdrawal from a Wells Fargo ATM
  • Travel
  • Gift cards
  • Charitable donations
  • Merchandise
  • Pay with Rewards
  • Transfers to a Rewards Pool or another Wells Fargo Rewards account
  • Travel
  • Cash back
  • Transfer partners
  • Dining
  • Merchandise
  • Experiences
  • Pay with Points
  • Gift cards
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening, and then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable None
Annual credits None
  • $50 annual hotel credit through Chase Travel℠
Travel perks
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Visa Signature Concierge service
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
  • 25% bonus to Chase travel redemptions
  • Trip cancellation or interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Visa Signature Concierge service
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
Other benefits
  • Cell phone protection
  • Complimentary DashPass from DoorDash
  • 6 months free of Instacart+
  • 10% anniversary point bonus
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
Foreign transaction fee None None
Credit needed Excellent, Good Excellent, Good
Apply now or learn more Apply now or learn more

Our verdict

We recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred for travelers because it has more travel-related benefits and protections. But if you want a $0-annual-fee travel card, you can’t go wrong with the Wells Fargo Autograph.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card benefits and drawbacks

Pros
  • $0 annual fee
  • Elevated earning on everyday purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • No premium travel benefits

The Wells Fargo Autograph makes sense if you don’t want to worry about an annual fee and want to use everyday expenses to fuel your earning potential.

It has a $0 annual fee and you can earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans; plus earn 1X points on other purchases.

You can also take advantage of 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable). This is unique because most travel cards don’t provide intro APR offers.

Apply now

… or read our Wells Fargo Autograph Card review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card benefits and drawbacks

Pros
  • Up to $50 in statement credits each anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 25% travel redemption bonus through Chase Travel℠
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • $95 annual fee

The Chase Sapphire Preferred makes sense if you want an all-around balanced travel credit card with a low $95 annual fee and loads of travel benefits.

The Sapphire Preferred provides 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases.

Some of our favorite Sapphire Preferred benefits include:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • Point transfers to over 12 travel partners
  • Up to $50 in statement credits each anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 25% travel redemption bonus through Chase Travel℠

We don’t think there’s any other travel card in this annual fee range that can provide the same level of benefits and rewards value.

Apply now

… or read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

What both cards excel at

The Wells Fargo Autograph and Chase Sapphire Preferred are different cards, but they share a few overlapping features and benefits.

  • Valuable welcome offers: The terms are different for the welcome bonuses on each card, but the end result of providing value is the same. With the Autograph, you can earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (that’s a $200 cash redemption value). The Sapphire Preferred offers 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, worth $750 toward travel with Chase Travel℠.
  • Everyday earning: Both cards offer multiple categories for earning bonus points. Even better, many of these categories align with common expenses such as gas or dining — making it easier to earn points on purchases you’re likely already making.
  • Multiple redemption options: Shared redemption options between both cards include travel, cash redemptions, gift cards, pay with points or rewards, and merchandise.
  • Travel benefits: Similar travel benefits include auto rental collision damage waivers, access to travel and emergency assistance services, and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Visa Signature benefits: Both cards provide Visa Signature benefits in the form of 24/7 access to Visa Signature Concierge services and access to exclusive Luxury Hotel Collection benefits.
  • Visa payment network: Both cards work on the Visa payment network, which functions in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. This is useful for travelers who visit international destinations.

8 important differences between Wells Fargo Autograph and Chase Sapphire Preferred

Compare the differences between the Wells Fargo Autograph and Chase Sapphire Preferred to learn which option might make the most sense for you.

1. Annual fee

Many rewards cards have annual fees to help offset the costs associated with providing certain benefits. But it’s also possible to have a rewards card that offers helpful benefits and doesn’t charge an annual fee.

The Wells Fargo Autograph has a $0 annual fee while the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

In terms of which card costs less to keep year after year, the Autograph is the clear winner. This doesn’t necessarily mean it offers more benefits than the Sapphire Preferred, but you won’t have to worry about an annual cost.

Check out our Wells Fargo Autograph Card review to learn more.

2. Bonus categories

Whether you get value out of a card’s bonus categories is highly dependent on your typical spending habits.

The Wells Fargo Autograph allows you to earn 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans; plus earn 1X points on other purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases.

Both cards offer points for eligible purchases in multiple categories that align with everyday purchases. But the Autograph may be the better option in most cases since it offers bonus points for commonly used spending categories.

3. Redemption value

Earning points could be helpful if you’re able to redeem your rewards how you want. Fortunately, both of these products offer a variety of redemption options, though the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a perk that could offer you more value.

The Wells Fargo Autograph typically offers the same redemption value (1 cent per point) regardless of which option you choose. You could choose a cash or travel redemption and the actual value would be the same.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred generally follows the same guidelines of offering around 1 cent per point for its redemptions. But travel redemptions made through the Chase Travel℠ portal receive a 25% boost, resulting in a value of 1.25 cents per point.

Receiving 25% more value from your points is a significant increase if the redemption options align with your preferences.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review for more details.

4. Transfer partners

Many travel credit cards offer opportunities to transfer your points or miles to hotel or airline loyalty programs that partner with the card issuer. This type of redemption option could open up creative ways to redeem your rewards directly with a hotel chain or major airline.

The Wells Fargo Autograph participates in the Wells Fargo Rewards program, which doesn’t offer transfers to travel partners. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is part of Chase Travel℠ and offers transfers to over a dozen transfer partners. This includes programs such as United MileagePlus, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, and World of Hyatt.

For flexible travel redemptions, the Chase Sapphire Preferred might make more sense than the Wells Fargo Autograph.

5. Intro APR offer

Introductory APR offers aren’t commonly found on travel credit cards, which is the case with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. But the Wells Fargo Autograph offers 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening, and then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable.

This could be useful if you have upcoming large purchases and want to avoid paying interest on your balance for a while. Since the Sapphire Preferred has no intro APR offers, the Autograph comes out on top.

6. Travel insurance

Travel insurance could come in handy for different scenarios that are typically out of your control. This could include having to cancel or interrupt your planned trip or having your baggage delayed.

Both the Wells Fargo Autograph and Chase Sapphire Preferred offer car rental insurance, but that’s about where the travel insurance benefits end on the Autograph.

The Sapphire Preferred also offers trip cancellation or interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and trip delay reimbursement. For frequent travelers, having a card such as the Sapphire Preferred could prove invaluable.

7. Purchase and warranty protections

What happens if you drop and break your new cell phone or other expensive electronic device? What if it happens right after the manufacturer’s warranty runs out? Many credit cards offer different types of protections to help keep money in your pocket in these and similar situations as long as you purchased the item with your credit card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers purchase protection and extended warranty protection that typically covers many types of purchases. The Wells Fargo Autograph card doesn’t have these coverage options, but it does offer cell phone protection.

The better card in this scenario depends on your preferences. Having either of these cards and the protections they provide could be useful.

8. Additional benefits

Apart from the benefits we’ve already discussed, the Wells Fargo Autograph doesn’t offer many additional perks. But with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can take advantage of these benefits:

  • $50 annual hotel credit through Chase Travel℠
  • Complimentary DashPass from DoorDash
  • 6 months free of Instacart+
  • 10% anniversary point bonus

The value of these benefits depends on whether you use them. But in terms of overall benefits, the Sapphire Preferred likely rises above the Autograph.

Which card should you choose?

You should typically choose the card that most aligns with your spending habits, personal finance goals, and preferences. For this Wells Fargo Autograph vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred comparison, consider these scenarios where one card might prove more useful than the other:

Choose the Wells Fargo Autograph if:

  • You want to avoid an annual fee.
  • Your everyday expenses align with its bonus categories.
  • You want an intro APR offer.
  • You want cell phone protection.

Choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred if:

  • You want flexible and potentially more valuable travel rewards.
  • You want increased travel coverage.
  • You want additional benefits such as credits and free memberships.
  • You want purchase and extended warranty protections.

FAQ

Which is better, the Wells Fargo Autograph or the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

The better credit card between the Wells Fargo Autograph and Chase Sapphire Preferred depends on your spending habits and preferences. The Wells Fargo Autograph has a $0 annual fee and offers excellent earning potential on many everyday expenses. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee, but it offers flexible travel redemptions, including transfers to over a dozen travel partners.

What credit score do you need to get the Wells Fargo Autograph?

You typically need a good or excellent credit score to get the Wells Fargo Autograph Card. This is at least a 670 according to the FICO scoring model, though a score of 700 or higher would likely improve your approval odds.

Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred get you lounge access?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t get you lounge access. For airport lounge access, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. This card provides complimentary access to the Priority Pass network of over 1,300 airport lounges, restaurants, and experiences. Lounge benefits often include free food, drinks, and Wi-Fi.

Wells Fargo Autograph vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred: bottom line

Our overall winner is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. For frequent travelers, the flexibility of its redemption options and the value of its travel benefits can’t be overstated. That includes its 25% bonus to travel redemptions booked through the Chase Travel℠ portal, which is something you can’t really find on other travel cards.

But if you want a card for everyday earning potential, the Wells Fargo Autograph is an excellent choice. Its rewards rate is top-notch, especially when you factor in its $0 annual fee.

If these don’t seem like the right cards for you, use our dedicated page to compare credit cards and find your best option.

Great for Flexible Travel Rewards

4.9

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Awesome Rewards Rates + Intro APR

4.7

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Current Offer

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

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

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.