3 Costco Credit Card Benefits

April 17, 2020 - Halifax, Canada - Costco Wholesale warehouse store located in the Bayers Lake retail park.
shaunl / Getty Images

When it comes to credit cards, you’ve got a lot of choices about which one to put in your wallet. Cash-back rewards, travel rewards, interest rate, annual fee. Each deserves consideration when deciding which card to make your go-to for everyday spending.

For Costco shoppers, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi® could prove the ideal card. Cardholders can double dip on purchases at Costco, taking advantage of the warehouse chain’s deals and still get cash back on what they buy at Costco. Plus, they’ll earn cash-back rewards on purchases made everywhere, along with benefits while traveling.

But is the Costco Visa card the right one for you? You’ll need to learn about the benefits before applying.

Membership Basics

To apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, you must be a member of Costco. The basic Gold Star membership costs $60 per year and covers two household members. If you’re an Executive member, you’ll pay $120 per year, but you will earn 2% annual rewards based on your spending, up to $1,000 per year, along with some extra savings on select Costco services.

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Do you get free membership with the Costco credit card? No. The good news is that once you pay your Costco membership fee, Citi won’t tack on an annual fee for the card. If you decide not to renew your Costco membership, you’ll lose access to your Visa card, however.

Costco Credit Card Acceptance

You might have a Mastercard that offers suitable benefits, but if you want to earn rewards on your Costco purchases, that card won’t do you any good. Costco doesn’t accept Mastercard, Discover, American Express or any credit card but Visa. That applies to whether you purchase Costco goods online or in-store, as well as the gas pumps at your local warehouse.

Your Costco Visa card will serve as your membership card.

What Is the Benefit of a Costco Credit Card?

Does the Costco Citi card have rewards? You bet it does; the super-charged Costco Anywhere Visa Card has benefits other Visa cards don’t offer. Holders of the Costco credit card receive:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging stations, up to the first $7,000 of purchases you make each year. After hitting that mark, you’ll get 1% back for the year.
  • 3% cash back for restaurant and qualifying travel expenses worldwide.
  • 2% cash back on everything you buy at Costco, at Costco.com or at Costco gas stations.
  • 1% cash back on anything else you buy, wherever Visa cards are accepted.
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The Costco credit card is available to those with excellent credit.

Additional Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi Benefits

When you read the fine print on the Citi website, you’ll see some extra benefits that come with holding the Costco Visa card.

  • Purchases you make are covered by damage and theft purchase protection. You are covered for repairs or a refund if an item you bought with the card is damaged or stolen within 120 days. For New York residents, the limit is 90 days.
  • Through Citi Entertainment, you’ll get the opportunity to buy hard-to-get tickets to concerts, sporting events and other experiences.

How To Claim Your Rewards

Holders of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi can earn significant cash-back rewards over the course of a year, depending on their usage. While many credit card issuers will pay out your rewards on a monthly basis, Citi doesn’t. Instead, card users receive their rewards in the form of a certificate, annually, after the close of their February statements.

If you have a Costco Visa card, you can use that rewards certificate to shop at U.S.-based Costco stores, including in Puerto Rico, or you can redeem it for cash. While many card users might enjoy the extra boost each month, there’s no denying that a bigger payout in late winter could be attractive to pay holiday bills, winter heating expenses or even help to fund spring break.

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Costco Credit Card Facts and Figures

Unlike some credit cards, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi does not come with a welcome bonus when you open it. Several banks will offer a bonus of cash back or rewards points, for example, when you open a card and meet minimum spending requirements. Citi does have other card products that offer a welcome bonus, but the rewards are lower and the interest rate can trend higher, depending on the card.

The standard APR — the interest you’ll pay — on your Costco card is based on the prime rate and currently is for purchases and a higher APR for cash advances on your card. If you need a quick infusion of money, you may want to consider other options for cash advances that will allow you to skip the high APR — and the $10 minimum fee.

You also don’t want to make a late payment. The variable penalty APR rate could climb as high as 29.99%, plus the late fee is $41. Paying after the due date will negate the benefits of the Costco card.

On the plus side, Citi doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee if you’re traveling outside the country, and those fees can add up fast if you are a frequent traveler.

Owners of small businesses may apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi. The card carries the same rewards as the version for individuals.

Pros and Cons of the Costco Credit Card

To summarize, what are the pros and cons of the Costco Anywhere Visa card?

Pros

  • Generous cash-back rewards
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Must have a Costco membership to be eligible
  • Rewards paid just once a year
  • High late fees

Is the Costco Credit Card a Good Deal?

If you are a frequent Costco shopper and you plan to stay loyal to the warehouse giant, absolutely. It offers a generous cash-back rate on gas and offers you 2% back on your in-store purchases. If you spend $2,000 a year at Costco, which is very easy to do, that’s $40 a year in rewards just for paying with one specific card.

As a Costco member, you won’t pay extra for the store-label Visa card, so it certainly is worth exploring the benefits if you’re in the market for a new account.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Sept. 8, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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About the Author

Jami Farkas holds a communications degree from California State University, Fullerton, and has worked as a reporter or editor at daily newspapers in all four corners of the United States. She brings to GOBankingRates experience as a sports editor, business editor, religion editor, digital editor — and more. With a passion for real estate, she passed the real estate licensing exam in her state and is still weighing whether to take the plunge into selling homes — or just writing about selling homes.
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