Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Wells Fargo Journey: Sapphire Takes the Edge

A worthy challenger to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card nevertheless lacks benefits that are present in its Chase counterpart.
Jae Bratton
By Jae Bratton 
Edited by Erin Hurd

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The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ card, Wells Fargo’s travel card launched in March 2024, is a direct competitor to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is to many the standard for what a mid-tier travel card should be. And that standard is high. For a $95 annual fee, the Sapphire Preferred delivers incredible value in the form of many benefits that can be accessed year after year.

The Autograph Journey℠ is a great card with similar perks to the Sapphire Preferred, but it falls just short of the classic travel card titan.

Improvements seem to be imminent though, as Wells Fargo has already announced that it’s adding more travel partners in 2024. Just as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card got better over time, the same could be true for the Autograph Journey℠.

For now, though, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the better card for most people.

Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is better for most people

Points are more valuable for travel

The sign-up bonuses for the Sapphire Preferred and Autograph Journey℠ seem equal, but in reality, the Sapphire Preferred’s bonus can be more valuable. That's because with the Sapphire Preferred, 1 point is worth 1.25 cents if you book travel though Chase.

Points earned with the Autograph Journey℠ are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for statement credit, shopping via PayPal and gift cards. While 1 cent per point is the industry standard, it’s still less than what you’d get by booking through Chase's travel portal.

More transfer partners

As the more established card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has more transfer partners than the Autograph Journey℠. And it’s not close. As of this writing, Chase has 14 airline and hotel travel partners while Wells Fargo has six. Transferring Ultimate Rewards® is one of the best ways to maximize the value of rewards earned with the Sapphire, and with 14 travel partners, cardholders have plenty of booking flexibility.

Wells Fargo said it will add more transfer partners as early as 2024. Until then, Chase’s network of transfer partners remains superior.


  • Aer Lingus (1:1 ratio).

  • Air Canada (1:1 ratio).

  • Air France-KLM (1:1 ratio).

  • British Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Emirates (1:1 ratio).

  • Iberia (1:1 ratio).

  • JetBlue (1:1 ratio).

  • Singapore (1:1 ratio).

  • Southwest (1:1 ratio).

  • United (1:1 ratio).

  • Virgin Atlantic (1:1 ratio).


  • Hyatt (1:1 ratio).

  • InterContinental Hotels Group (1:1 ratio).

  • Marriott (1:1 ratio).



More complimentary cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns Ultimate Rewards® on every purchase, but it’s not the only Chase card that does. Points earned on another Ultimate Rewards®-earning card may be transferred to the Sapphire Preferred, allowing cardholders to pool them together. Seven Chase cards earn Ultimate Rewards®, including Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. More of these cards in your wallet means more opportunities to earn Ultimate Rewards® and the potential to optimize the value of each card.

Only two other Wells Fargo cards earn points that may be combined with points earned from the Autograph Journey℠ — the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card. Note that those who only hold the $0-annual fee Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card can transfer points to travel partners. In the Chase ecosystem, you must have an Ultimate Rewards®-earning card that carries an annual fee to unlock the ability to transfer.

More trip protections

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Autograph Journey℠ card have car rental insurance and trip cancellation protection, but the Sapphire Preferred covers losses up to $20,000 per trip; the coverage on the Autograph Journey maxes out at $15,000.

And unlike the Autograph Journey,℠ the Sapphire Preferred also has baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement.

Who might prefer the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ card

You’re already in the Wells Fargo ecosystem

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 

If you already have another Wells Fargo credit card, it makes sense to get the Autograph Journey℠ rather than the Sapphire Preferred. As noted earlier, the Autograph Journey℠ is a nice complement to the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card because you can move rewards earned with both cards to the Autograph Journey℠.

You want more booking flexibility

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ earns:

  • 5 points per $1 on hotels.

  • 4 points per $1 on airlines.

  • 3 points per $1 on other travel and dining.

  • 1 point per $1 on other purchases.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the best rewards rate is reserved for travel booked through Chase. Not so with the Autograph Journey℠, which earns 5x on hotels and 4x on flights regardless of booking platform.

Similarly, Autograph Journey℠ cardholders get a $50 annual statement credit for flights booked with an airline or through Wells Fargo’s travel portal. You only get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s $50 annual hotel credit for bookings made through Chase.

You want cell phone insurance

As long as you pay your cell phone bill with your Autograph Journey℠ card, Wells Fargo will pay for two claims and up to $2,000 in a 12-month period. Cardholders have to pay a $25 deductible per claim.

Other Wells Fargo cards have cell phone insurance, but their maximum claim payout isn’t as high as that of Autograph Journey℠.

Which card should you get?

If you're looking for your first travel card, it’s hard to go wrong with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, especially if you already have another Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards®. However, if you’re loyal to Wells Fargo’s suite of products, or you plan to be, it makes sense to choose the Autograph Journey℠ card. It’s an excellent travel card with the potential to become even better as Wells Fargo expands its roster of transfer partners.

Chase Cards from our Partners
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

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Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.


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


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Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

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Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.


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Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

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