Amex Gold Card vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card [2024]


You may be familiar with some of the popular rewards-earning cards issued by American Express, especially the American Express® Gold Card. It’s known for rewarding everyday purchases such as those at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide. Cardholders also appreciate earning flexible Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to airline and hotel partners.

You may not be as familiar with some of Wells Fargo‘s rewards cards, perhaps because they used to lack flexible redemption options. But that’s changed.

Now that Wells Fargo has added transfer partners, it’s time to discuss how the new Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card measures up to the Amex Gold card. We’ll break down all the important card attributes while comparing earning potential, redemptions, and travel and shopping protections and benefits.

Amex Gold Card vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card — Overview

Reviewing a quick overall comparison of the cards could be helpful before diving deep into the details of the Amex Gold card and Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card.

Here’s how the cards compare side by side:

The Value of a Welcome Offer

Once approved for the Amex Gold card or Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card, you have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the card’s welcome bonus offer.

A welcome bonus offer can be earned by meeting minimum spending requirements within the specified period immediately following card approval. This offer can be worth hundreds of dollars, making it a benefit worth pursuing. Remember that offers may change, so review the most current offer before applying.

Here is the latest information for each of our featured cards:

American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex’s secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you’re approved with no credit score impact

If you’re approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

$1,320

Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

A powerful point earning card with access to transfer partners.

$900

21.24%, 26.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR

Good to Excellent (670-850)

  • Select “Learn More” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s $600 toward your next trip.
  • Earn unlimited 5X points on hotels, 4X points on airlines, 3X points on other travel and restaurants, and 1X points on other purchases.
  • $95 Annual Fee.
  • Book your travel with the Autograph Journey Card and enjoy Travel Accident Insurance, Lost Baggage Reimbursement, Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection and Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver.
  • Earn a $50 annual statement credit with $50 minimum airline purchase.
  • Up to $1,000 of cell phone protection against damage or theft. Subject to a $25 deductible.
  • Find tickets to top sports and entertainment events, book travel, make dinner reservations and more with your complimentary 24/7 Visa Signature® Concierge.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24%, 26.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None


Bottom Line:

The Amex Gold card and Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card come with generous welcome bonus offers that can be earned by meeting minimum spending requirements within the stated period following card approval.

Earning Potential

Delta One A350 900 Seat
Both of our featured cards earn well on flight purchases, such as Delta One. Image Credit: Christine Krzyszton

Earning potential is key to finding value with any rewards card and can be a primary reason for selecting a specific card. Rewards accumulate quickly when spending aligns with a card’s bonus earning categories.

The Amex Gold card and the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card fare well when earning rewards, as both include several bonus spending categories, including travel and everyday expenses.

Here’s how you’d earn rewards on each of our featured cards:

SCROLL FOR MORE

Earning Category

Amex Gold Card

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card

Flights

3x points on flights purchased directly with the airline and from AmexTravel.com

4x points

Hotels

  • 1x points
  • 2x points for prepaid hotels with AmexTravel.com

5x points

All Other Travel

  • 1x points
  • 2x points for eligible travel with AmexTravel.com

3x points

Restaurants

4x points on restaurants worldwide

3x points

Supermarkets

4x points at U.S. supermarkets up to $25,000 in purchases each year, then 1x points

1x points

All Other Purchases

1x points

1x points

If you spend heavily at U.S. supermarkets and at restaurants, the Amex Gold card has the edge for earning rewards. Maxing out the 4x supermarket category alone each year would generate 100,000 Membership Rewards points, potentially worth $2,200 in travel!

The Amex Gold card also earns well on flights purchased with the airline and via AmexTravel.com.

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card earns well on flights, hotels, travel, and restaurants. Since cardholders are not required to purchase travel via the Wells Fargo Rewards portal, all travel purchases receive elevated earnings that help accumulate rewards quickly.

The better card for you is the one whose bonus earning categories more closely match your spending mix.


Bottom Line:

The Amex Gold card earns well at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. supermarkets, and for flights purchased directly with the airline and via AmexTravel.com. The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card earns the best on flights, hotels, travel, and restaurants.

Redemptions

Air France Business Class Paris CDG Airbus A350
Our featured cards allow you to transfer points to airline partners, such as Air France-KLM Flying Blue, for greater potential value. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

The Amex Gold card earns Membership Rewards points, while the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card earns Wells Fargo Rewards points.

We value Membership Rewards points at approximately 2.2 cents each and Wells Fargo Rewards points at around 1.5 cents each. These valuations are a reflection of your options at redemption time.

Here are your choices when it’s time to redeem rewards earned on either card:

Membership Rewards Points

The strength of Membership Rewards points is their flexibility at redemption time. Rewards can be redeemed for 1 cent each for select travel via AmexTravel.com.

Points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners for greater potential value. There are currently 18 airline transfer partners and 3 hotel transfer partners. Most allow transfers at a ratio of 1:1. Once the points have transferred, you can use them to purchase award flights or hotel loyalty points for free hotel nights.

Taking advantage of transfer partners can open up a new world of travel experiences. For example, you can transfer points to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program and redeem KrisFlyer miles to fly one-way on United within the U.S. for 26,000 miles in business class or 39,000 miles in first class.

Wells Fargo Rewards Points

Wells Fargo Rewards points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to any of its airline partners. Current partners include Aer Lingus AerClub, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles, British Airways Executive Club, and Iberia Plus.

There is just 1 hotel transfer partner, although more could be added. Choice Privileges is excellent for securing free hotel nights, as Wells Fargo Rewards points transfer at the rate of 1:2 for Choice Privileges points.

One Choice Privileges sweet spot is Nordic countries such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland. You can secure the exceptional Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateretn in Oslo, Norway, for 16,000 Choice Privileges points (with breakfast!), which translates to just 8,000 transferred Wells Fargo Rewards points. The hotel is conveniently near the railway station in the city center.


Bottom Line:

The Amex Gold card offers access to more airline and hotel transfer partners than the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card. The Wells Fargo transfer partners include those that provide access to all 3 airline alliances and a desirable hotel partner. Either rewards program can potentially provide value at redemption time, but the Amex Gold card has the edge.

Travel Protections and Benefits

Aruba Resort
Use your card benefits for safer travel. Image Credit: Christine Krzyszton

Travel protections can provide economic relief should a covered event occur during your travels. Benefits can add comfort to your trip and save you money.

Here are the travel protections and benefits the Amex Gold card and Wells Fargo Autograph card have in common, as well as the unique benefits of each card.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Pay for the entire rental with your card and decline the rental agency’s CDW/LDW coverage to receive protection for damage and theft.
    • Amex Gold Card: The card offers car rental loss and damage insurance of up to $50,000 for theft or damage. Coverage is secondary and does not include liability coverage. You can buy Premium Protection, which includes primary coverage and can be purchased for 1 low fee ($12.25 to $24.95) to cover the entire rental period, up to 42 consecutive days.
    • Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card: Coverage is secondary in the U.S., so you must first file a claim with any other applicable insurance before card coverage applies. Outside of the U.S., coverage is primary, even if you have other insurance. Terms apply.
  • Baggage Insurance: Receive coverage for repairing or replacing lost, damaged, or stolen baggage.
    • Amex Gold Card: Receive up to $1,250 per covered person. Coverage is secondary, and additional limits apply to checked luggage and high-risk items.
    • Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card: Get lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per covered person. Coverage is secondary to other coverage, including airline coverage.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Foreign transaction fees can add 3% to your foreign purchases! Save when you use either card for these transactions, as neither card charges these fees.

The Amex Gold card and Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card also include access to dedicated emergency travel assistance and concierge service phone lines.

Amex Gold Card

  • Trip Delay Insurance: If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours, you could receive up to $300 reimbursement for additional expenses. The limit is 2 claims per 12-consecutive-month period.
  • The Hotel Collection Benefits: Use your card to book a stay of 2 nights or longer and receive an upgraded room on arrival, when available, and a $100 on-site experience credit that varies by property. You’ll also earn 2x points on your prepaid stay.
  • American Express Experiences: Receive priority access to Broadway shows, concerts, sporting events, and more.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card

  • $50 Hotel Credit: Book your stay of $50 or more via Wells Fargo Travel and receive a $50 statement credit each year.
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection: If your trip needs to be canceled or is disrupted for a covered reason, you could receive up to $15,000 for qualifying trip expenses that aren’t reimbursable, up to $20,000 in 12 months. The trip must be paid for entirely with your card.
  • Roadside Dispatch: Receive assistance when stranded on the roadside with a phone call 24/7. For a prenegotiated fee, you receive limited towing, standard winching, tire change, lockout or jump-start services, and emergency fuel delivery.
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: Receive elite benefits with every stay, including an upgraded room on arrival (when available), complimentary breakfast for 2, in-room Wi-Fi, a $25 food and beverage credit, late checkout on request (when available), and VIP status.


Bottom Line:

The top travel protections and benefits of the Amex Gold card and Wells Fargo Autograph card include car rental insurance/auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage insurance, and no foreign transaction fees. The Amex Gold card offers trip delay coverage and benefits at The Hotel Collection. The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card has the key features of a $50 hotel credit, trip cancellation and interruption, and Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection benefits.

Four Seasons Tamarindo shopping boutique
Both of our featured cards offer several shopping protections and benefits. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Shopping protections can provide economic relief should something happen to an eligible item purchased with your card.

Cardholders can also enjoy shopping benefits that save money or provide additional ways to earn extra reward points.

Amex Gold Card

  • Purchase Protection: Purchase an eligible item with your card and receive coverage for damage or theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. You could receive up to $10,000 per covered purchase and up to $50,000 per card account per year. Limits apply for natural disasters.
  • Extended Warranty: Eligible items with manufacturer’s warranties of 5 years or less could receive 1 additional year of coverage. Coverage limits are up to $10,000 per covered item and up to $50,000 per account, per year.
  • Uber Cash: Receive up to $120 annually when you add your card as a payment method to your Uber account. A $10 monthly Uber Cash credit is applied to your account and can be used only during that month.
  • Dining Credit: Receive up to $10 in statement credits each month, up to $120 each year, for purchases made with Grubhub (including Seamless), the Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment is required.
  • Amex Offers: Log in to your online card account and select from 100 offers from merchants and service providers. You could receive statement credits or additional rewards points after adding the offers to your card and making the required purchase.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card

  • Cell Phone Protection: Pay your monthly bill with your card and receive coverage for damage or theft. You could receive up to $1,000 per claim, up to 2 claims per 12-month period. There is a $25 deductible per claim.
  • My Wells Fargo Deals: Link the merchant and service provider offers to your card, make the required purchase, and earn cash rewards.
  • Autograph Card Exclusives: Gain access to entertainment events exclusively for cardholders.


Bottom Line:

The Amex Gold card’s top shopping protections and benefits include purchase protection, extended warranty, Uber Cash credits, and dining statement credits. The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card’s top shopping protection is its valuable cell phone protection.

Annual Fee and Authorized Users

The cost of card membership can affect the bottom-line value you receive. Consider annual fees and any fees for adding authorized users when selecting a card.

The Amex Gold card charges an annual fee of $250, while the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card has an annual fee of $95.

Additional users can help you accumulate rewards faster. The Amex Gold card allows you to add up to 5 additional users at no charge. Each additional user adds $35 to the annual fee.

There is no fee to add authorized users to the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card.

Final Thoughts

The Amex Gold card is a good option if you spend heavily at U.S. supermarkets. It’s difficult to argue with the potential to maximize spending in this category to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points each year, just in that category alone. Add elevated earnings for restaurant and flight purchases, and the card makes even more sense.

While the annual fee on the Amex Gold card is higher than the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card, Uber Cash credits and dining statement credits, when utilized, help offset that fee.

Consider the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card if you spend more on travel and not so much at the grocery store or if you have an additional everyday spending card that provides bonus earnings on those purchases. The card can also add value if the offered cell phone protection is important to you.


For the car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, baggage insurance plan coverage can be in effect for eligible persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage during their travel on a common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a common carrier vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For the trip delay insurance benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, up to $300 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

For the purchase protection benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For the extended warranty benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, when an American Express® card member charges a covered purchase to an eligible card, extended warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.



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