Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey: Battle of the mid-tier travel cards


When it comes to mid-tier travel cards, it’s hard to beat the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It comes with strong earning rates, a bunch of nifty benefits and a long list of valuable redemption options and transfer partners, all for an annual fee of $95.

But how does it compare to its newest competitor, the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card (see rates and fees), also with a $95 annual fee? Keep reading to find out.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey comparison

Card Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Chase Sapphire Preferred
Annual fee $95 $95
Sign-up bonus Earn 60,000 bonus rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening
Earning rates
  • 5 points per dollar on hotels
  • 4 points per dollar on airlines
  • 3 points per dollar on other travel and dining
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • 5 points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Travel℠
  • 5 points per dollar on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
  • 5 points per dollar on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $150 or more (through March 2025, with a limit of 25,000 bonus points)
  • 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else
Other benefits
  • $50 annual statement credit for after a minimum $50 airline purchase
  • Access to “Autograph Card Exclusives,” offering access to concerts from big-name artists in small venues
  • Cellphone protection
  • $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit
  • 10% anniversary points boost
  • DoorDash DashPass subscription (activate by Dec. 31)
  • Six-month complimentary Instacart+ membership (activate by July 31) and up to $15 in Instacart statement credits each quarter (through July)

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey welcome offer

The Sapphire Preferred is currently offering 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, a step up from its usual welcome offer. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2.05 cents each, making this bonus worth around $1,537.

THE POINTS GUY

The Autograph Journey, meanwhile, comes with an introductory offer of 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. TPG values Wells Fargo points at 1.6 cents each, making this bonus worth $960.

Winner: Sapphire Preferred. It offers 15,000 more points and more value than the Autograph Journey.

Related: This month’s best welcome offers

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey benefits

The Sapphire Preferred comes with a ton of great perks, including a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit and an account anniversary points bonus of 10% of the total purchases you made that year.

You’ll also get a complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription for at least one year (activate by Dec. 31), six months of complimentary Instacart+ membership (activate by July 31) and up to $15 in Instacart statement credits each quarter through July.

DOORDASH

The Autograph Journey, meanwhile, comes with a $50 annual statement credit for after a minimum $50 airline purchase, plus cellphone protection. There’s also a new benefit called “Autograph Card Exclusives,” which promises to offer access to concerts showing “big-name artists in small venues.”

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Winner: Sapphire Preferred. The Autograph Journey’s list of perks could keep growing, but the Sapphire has it beat for now.

Related: Why the Sapphire Preferred is worth the $95 annual fee

Earning miles on the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey

The Sapphire Preferred earns a hefty 5 points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, Lyft rides (through March 2025) and Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $150 (with a maximum earning of 25,000 total points, through March 2025).

You’ll also get 3 points per dollar on dining, online groceries and select streaming purchases, as well as 2 points per dollar on eligible travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

MOMO PRODUCTIONS/GETTY IMAGES

With the Autograph Journey, you’ll get 5 points per dollar on hotels, 4 points per dollar on airlines, 3 points per dollar on other travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

Winner: Sapphire Preferred. The earning rates on these cards are comparable, but because Chase points are more valuable (see below), the Sapphire Preferred has the edge.

Related: The best credit cards for each bonus category

Redeeming miles on the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey

Your most valuable redemption option with the Sapphire Preferred is transferring your points to any of Chase’s 14 airline and hotel partners. You can also use them to book travel through Chase Travel or use Chase’s Pay Yourself Back option.

Additionally, you can redeem your points for cash back or gift cards, but you’ll get a lower value from your points going this route, so we recommend using your points for travel when you can.

The first-class cabin on a United Airlines plane. CALLAGHAN O’HARE/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

The Autograph Journey, on the other hand, has a much smaller list of redemption options and transfer partners upon launch. It remains to be seen how these options will change, however — the issuer has promised more transfer partners will continue to be added throughout this year (more on that below).

Winner: Sapphire Preferred. This could change if the Wells Fargo program continues to expand, but for now, the Sapphire Preferred has the upper hand once again.

Related: How to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for maximum value

Transferring miles with the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey

Some of the most valuable transfer partners on the Sapphire Preferred include Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Air Canada Aeroplan and World of Hyatt.

As a budget traveler, TPG editor Emily Thompson loves transferring points to World of Hyatt and stretching them by staying at Category 1 Hyatt properties as much as possible. She also frequently transfers points to Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards and gets great value by taking advantage of its frequent sales.

BEN SMITHSON/THE POINTS GUY

The Autograph Journey currently allows cardholders to transfer points to five airline programs:

  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club, Aer Lingus AerClub and Iberia Plus (all earning Avios)

You’ll also be able to transfer to one hotel program, Choice Privileges.

Winner: Sapphire Preferred. Again, the current Wells Fargo transfer lineup isn’t quite at Chase’s level.

Related: How to use Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards points

Should I get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Wells Fargo Autograph Journey?

If you want an established card with great benefits and redemption options, your best bet will definitely be the Sapphire Preferred. It has valuable earning rates, a long list of transfer partners and great travel benefits for just a $95 annual fee. If you want more bonus categories and believe in the growing Wells Fargo travel program, however, the newly launched Autograph Journey could be a good choice.

Bottom line

Despite their differences, both the Sapphire Preferred and Autograph Journey are excellent travel rewards cards that pack great value into their mid-tier annual fees. The Sapphire Preferred is tough for any competitor to beat, but the Autograph Journey could give it a run for its money as its list of benefits and partners continues to grow.

For additional details, read more about the Sapphire Preferred and Autograph Journey.


Apply here: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Apply here: Wells Fargo Autograph Journey




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