With its incredibly low wholesale prices on a wide selection of products, Costco makes shopping simple and affordable.
So it comes as no surprise that Costco credit card is earning quite a bit of traction among the brand’s patrons.
Costco credit card, issued by Citibank, promises to make your Costco shopping spree even more rewarding by granting cash backs for every valid purchase. The card used to be issued by American Express, but cardholders expressed contentment with the change.
With no annual fees and no limits on the number of rewards (cash rewards and otherwise) you can accumulate, Costco credit card promises unbeatable perks for Costco’s most avid shoppers. They charge a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Now the question is — is it worthy of a slot in your wallet? Here’s what you need to know:
Costco Credit Card in a Nutshell
The Costco Anywhere Visa Credit Card comes as either a personal or business credit card. It is one of the best credit cards for small businesses that frequently get their products from Costco.
These two offer essentially the same perks and vary only by their intro and standard variable APR for cash advances, detailed later in this article.
To apply for the card and access the different bonus categories, you must be a registered Costco warehouse club member. There is no fee for opening an account, and neither does the card charge an annual fee. The interest rates are also reasonable. You can apply now if you’d like.
Minimum Credit Score Necessary
It’s also worth knowing that the Costco Anywhere Visa card (regular APR of 16.74%, intro APR N/A for balance transfers & purchases) requires good credit standing for approval. So applicants with bad credit scores — below 740 — might run into some roadblocks during application.
Accessing your credit card management dashboard can be done through the Citi Retail Services website where you’ll find the Costco credit card login.
There you’ll find options to manage your account and view your available rewards.
Costco Credit Card Benefits
Between all benefits offered by the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, one of the most valuable perks is the cashback it provides on gas station purchases, travel, restaurant, and all Costco purchases. This makes Costco cash back rewards cards one of the best cards for frequent travelers and frequent Costco shoppers. Costco credit card is a dual purpose card that also serves as your paid Costco membership card.
Unlike other branded rewards credit cards that let you rack up points, Costco credit card grants cash backs for valid purchases.
Every year at the closing of the February billing statement, cardholders receive their cash-back reward certificate. Cashback is granted on almost every transaction you make with your Costco credit card, and the amount of cashback you receive on your rewards certificate depends on the product you’re purchasing. Rates are as follows:
- 4% on eligible gas stations— including Costco — gas for the first $7,000 in a year; 1% on eligible gas purchases thereafter
- 3% on eligible travel purchases and restaurant purchases worldwide
- 2% on all purchases from Costco stores and costco.com
- 1% on all other purchases
But Costco offers more than just cash back cards. You get more perks than just its robust cashback rewards framework. With the Costco credit card, you stand the opportunity to enjoy zero overseas transaction fees.
This makes it the perfect card for travel, shaving away the added 3-5% in fees that typical credit cards charge on overseas purchases.
Keep in mind that there are certain transaction payments made on your card that will not be eligible for cash backs. These include:
- Issuance of checks against your card account
- Cash advances
- Balance transfers
- Foreign currency purchases
- Wire transfers
- Money orders
- Travelers’ checks
- Interest and account fees
- Unauthorized charges
- Items returned for credit
On the topic of earning cash backs, it’s important to mention that the card categorizes the service providers based on a merchant classification category. This may shed light on why you might not earn the expected cash backs for certain purchases.
For instance, if you purchase from a restaurant inside a grocery store, that specific restaurant may be classified as a retailer under the card’s policy. In effect, you’ll be granted a 1% cashback as opposed to the 3% rate.
Understanding how the card categorizes merchants is key to help you project how much you’ll earn in the form of cash backs.
Other Ways to Enjoy Costco Credit Card’s Rewards
Costco credit card does more than reward your purchases with cash backs. Offering a range of other perks, the card makes a suitable payment solution for anything and everything.
If you decide to use your Costco credit card to pay for a car rental, you will enjoy theft and damage insurance coverage. Just make sure to decline the issuing rental service’s in-house rental insurance/coverage to qualify for the card’s offered insurance.
If you ever find yourself in a travel emergency overseas, Costco credit card offers 24/7 emergency assistance with its dedicated hotline. The same goes for roadside assistance within the U.S. You can also earn cash back rewards on travel purchases such as airfare, hotels, cruise lines, etc. Costco travel rewards are some of the best travel rewards you will get.
The card also offers purchase protection. Any item purchased with the Costco credit card is also provided with damage and theft protection coverage. This means that any items that are damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (or 90 days in some states) will be covered by the card.
Similarly, buying products with your Costco credit card automatically extends the warranty by 24 months. So if your brand new blender comes with a 12-month warranty, paying with the Costco card extends it up to 36 months.
Eager fans waiting for highly-anticipated entertainment events can also take advantage of the card. Costco credit card gives you early access to ticket sales for countless events before they’re available to anyone else.
This is made possible through the Citi Entertainment program that gives you preferred access for music, sports, and countless other events.
And just in case you lose your Costco Citi card, the Citi Quick Lock feature lets you put a hold on all transactions until you locate it. Once you do, you can easily unlock the card and resume spending.
Redeeming Cash Backs
Costco credit card allows a one-time redemption for all cash backs earned throughout the year.
All rewards will be consolidated into a single annual credit card reward certificate at the end of your February billing period.
This can be redeemed from any US Costco warehouse (including Puerto Rico) as merchandise or as a cashback.
With this structure, the rewards program makes it easy to save up for a big-ticket item at the end of your year-long spending spree.
Annual Fees and Charges of the Costco Credit Card
The card doesn’t charge any annual fees but rides on your $60 Costco membership fee. Depending on whether you’re getting a card for personal or business use, you can expect the following fees.
|Fees, charges, and interest||Costco Anywhere Visa Credit Card||Costco Anywhere Visa Business Credit Card|
|Standard variable APR||16.74%||16.74%|
|Standard variable APR for cash advances||26.74%||23.49%|
|Variable penalty APR||29.99%||29.99%|
|Minimum interest charge||$0.50||$0.50|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5%, whichever is higher||$10 or 5%, whichever is higher|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 3%, whichever is higher||Not applicable|
Weighing the Pros and Cons
The Costco Anywhere Visa credit card lives up to its name, letting you enjoy benefits, protection, and perks anywhere you might want to bring it.
Without any foreign transaction fees, this card lets you shop and dine abroad without having to worry about the added charges that other cards impose.
Plus, with its extensive coverage and emergency assistance guarantees, the Costco card can give you peace of mind and protection as you navigate a foreign place.
But what really makes the Costco Visa credit card a runaway hit is its robust rewards system and rewards rate.
Granting cash backs up to 4% of your purchase value, the card makes it easy to rack up rewards. And because it provides cash backs in every product category, the card easily makes a practical choice for credit card shoppers.
On the downside, the rewards card only allows a one-time rewards redemption which means you won’t be able to use any of those cash backs until the end of your February billing.
Furthermore, the cashback certificate expires on December 31st of the same year it’s issued which is relatively short compared to the longer reward validity that other cards offer.
If you were hoping for a signing or an annual bonus for your loyalty, the Costco card falls short. The card doesn’t offer any incentives for opening an account and neither does it reward your long term loyalty. Signing up for paperless billing also doesn’t grant you any special rewards.
Finally, there is no such thing as elite membership with the Costco credit card. Unlike other cards that reward higher spending, this card even shaves down on rewards, reducing your 4% cashback on gas after the $7,000 mark in a single year.
Who is the Costco Credit Card For?
Avid Costco shoppers, Costco gasoline patrons, and travelers are at an advantage to maximize the Costco credit card’s benefits.
Offering relatively higher rebates for gas purchases and impressive benefits for travel-related purchases, Costco credit card makes a suitable go-to choice for shoppers on the go.
With zero foreign transaction fees and substantial rewards for purchases across a broad range of products and services, this card works well as a travel companion or as an everyday shopping solution.
On that note, the card also makes a suitable choice for young professionals who take advantage of student loan repayment benefits from their employers.
But if you’re more interested in a rewards system that lets you redeem anytime, anywhere, then the Costco card might feel limited.
Shoppers who enjoy using earned points and cash backs towards purchases made any time of the year might feel some frustration with the Costco card’s restrictive rewards redemption schedule.
Also, if you frequently use your card for dining and nothing else, there are other options that turn out to be better for restaurant transactions than Costco’s credit card. For instance, the Citi Prestige Card offers an 8.5% return on restaurant spending.
Is The Costco Credit Card Worth It – The Bottom Line?
Answering that question ultimately depends on your needs. The Costco Anywhere Visa credit card works hard to take the place of your everyday payment solution. And in many ways, it succeeds.
Granting cash backs on purchases across every category, the card promises that no transaction goes unrewarded. And because of its travel perks, Costco’s credit card also comes out as a smart way to shop and dine overseas.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect credit card. Its restrictive redemption system might have you waiting a while before you get your hands on your rewards.
But if you can manage to make it through the long wait, Costco’s credit card’s rewards can feel like a well-deserved bonus after months of shopping.
Shoppers interested in immediate gratification might find better benefits with other cards that let you use your points at any time of the year. But if you were looking for a way to maximize what you spend on gas and daily expenses, then the Costco card might just be for you.
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