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Costco Credit Card Review: Should You Apply?

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Costco

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If you’re a Costco fanatic (and who isn’t?) you know the one “catch” to shopping in the wholesale club for the past few years has been the inability to use a non-American Express credit card at checkout. Costco’s long-time exclusive deal with American Express officially ended in March 2016 and, ahead of that change, the wholesaler announced it would begin accepting Visa credit cards in all of its stores. Along with this change came a new co-branded credit card as well, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as Chase, advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

The Scoop on the Costco Anywhere Visa Card

The new Costco rewards credit card has a few features Costco fans will love.

First, the Costco rewards program is easy to remember and optimize. It follows a 4-3-2-1 cash back model. Cardholders earn:

  • 4% cash back on all gas purchases (including Costco gas) on up to $7,000 each year and 1% cash back after that.
  • 3% cash back on all restaurant spending and qualified travel purchases.
  • 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com spending.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The Costco Visa card is available exclusively to Costco members and there is $0 annual fee with your paid Costco membership. Basic Gold Star Costco membership costs $60 a year, while an upgrade to executive membership, with additional benefits and discounts, will set you back $120.

One downside to the Costco Anywhere Visa Card vs. other Visa rewards cards you can use at Costco is that the Anywhere Visa rewards are dispersed once a year — with your February billing statement as a rewards certificate — and can only be used at Costco. So, essentially, you accrue rewards with your purchases from January through December, then get a certificate with that total in February. The certificate is redeemable in a single transaction through December 31 of the year it was issued. If you cancel your membership, you forfeit those rewards you have yet to redeem. If you don’t use all of the Costco rewards in one purchase, you’ll be given cash for the remainder at the Costco register.

The card has a standard APR of 16.74% (as of 12/18/2019) for purchases and balance transfers. Those rates are on-par with similar rewards cards in the category. It’s a good idea to read the finer print on this (or any) card, to make sure you know all the finer details.

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is best suited for those with excellent credit scores. You can see where your credit scores stand for free here on Credit.com.

Some Alternatives to the Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Once Costco began accepting Visa credit cards in its stores, other Visa cards upped their warehouse club and Costco rewards opportunities in an effort to snag some of that Costco spending. Here are some of the other rewards credit cards you can use at Costco.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Apply Now
on American Express's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
0% for 15 months on purchases

Ongoing Apr:
12.99%-23.99% Variable

Balance Transfer:
0% for 15 months on balance transfers

Annual Fee:
$0

Credit Needed:
Excellent-Good
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Card Details +

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now
on Chase's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
N/A

Ongoing Apr:
15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Balance Transfer:
15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Annual Fee:
$95

Credit Needed:
Excellent-Good
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

Card Details +

At publishing time, the Costco Anywhere Visa card and Chase Freedom are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.


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