Costco Wholesale Corporation, better known just as Costco is the largest warehouse chain in the world. They have over 800 warehouses in 11 countries, more than 550 of them operating in the United States of America.
You can pay in Costco with Personal checks from current Costco Members, Business checks from current Costco Business Members, and Traveler’s checks, as well as the most common types of mobile payment (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay), cash, and cards.
There are a lot of different types of cards we use in our everyday life, so which one can you use in Costco? Here is a list of them:
- All Visa Cards
- The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
- Costco Shop Cards
- Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards
- EBT cards
All Visa Cards:
Costco has a contract with VISA; because of this, they do not accept credit cards that are from the other three main financial companies: MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
Costco announced their credit card program agreement with Citi and Visa in 2015. In the contract, they had set terms about how Citi, which is the world’s largest issuer of consumer credit cards, will be the exclusive provider of Costco co-brand credit cards.
They also agreed that Visa would be the new credit card network for Costco, replacing American Express. This was a surprising change after a 16 year-long partnership between Costco and American Express.
After this agreement Costco only accepted credit cards made by Visa; they made the transitioning process as smooth as possible for everyone by providing help to their members. The new Visa credit cards offered rewards to Costco members and doubled as the company’s membership card.
The change happened simply because they were able to get a better deal for themselves with Visa; they were also able to increase the cashback percentages for their customers.
Let’s take a look at some excellent Visa credit cards that you could consider using while shopping or filling up your tank at any Costco location:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
This card gives you 60,000 Bonus Points once you made purchases totaling $4,000 or more in 3 months, starting from when your account is opened.
A statement grocery store credit of $50 will automatically be added to your account after your first year if you were regularly using your card for purchases in grocery stores.
You can also earn points on purchases you make, minus returns and refunds:
- 1 point for each $1 spent
- 2 points for each $1 spent in the travel or the dining at restaurants category
- 3 points on qualifying Lyft rides through 03/31/2022
But how can you use these points? You can use them to redeem any available reward options, which include cash, gift cards, travel, and even pay with points for some products or services.
For all these benefits, the annual fee of the card is $95. The regular variable APR moves between 15.99% and 22.99%. If you think it is a card you’s like to have, you can easily apply for one online if you have Good or Excellent credit.
Cash Wise Visa
With this card, you can get a $150 cash reward bonus after you have spent on purchases $500 in the first 3 months your account is opened.
You do not have to pay an annual fee; you also have an intro APR of 0% for the first 15 months. After that, the variable APR rises to somewhere between 14.49%-24.99%.
Like on a lot of credit cards, you can also earn cash back on this one. You get unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases, and these rewards do not expire. Anyone who is interested can easily find the terms and conditions on the website the card is offered on.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
This card comes with no annual fee, and you can earn a $200 bonus after you spent $500 in the first 3 months after your account is opened.
The APR starts with an introductory 15 months of 0%, then after that, the variable APR is between 14.99%-23.74%.
You can earn cash back on your purchases, and there is no minimum to redeem it. But which purchases earn you cash back? Here’s a list of them:
- 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% on drugstore purchases
- 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout
- 1.5% on all other purchases
You can earn an additional $100 cashback for each friend you successfully refer this card to. The cashback rewards don’t expire for as long as your account is active and you do not close it. You can find more details on the card on Chase’s website.
And if you are a regular at Costco, the next cards are offered by the company itself, in fact, it offers two different credit cards. Let’s take a look at them!
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
There are two types of this card, and anyone who is a Costco member can apply to get one or the other, the criteria for the first is just to have a membership, it can be attained by any person and the other is specifically for any controlling party of a business entity. Let’s find out more about the basic one first:
This card doubles as a membership ID at Costco to make it more convenient for people. It is also cheaper as you only pay the membership fee, which costs $60, and no additional fee on the card.
And for those who travel there is no foreign transaction fee at all, even if they are far away from the United States.
And one more perk of this card, you can earn cash rewards wherever VISA cards are accepted. There are different percentages you can get for different types of purchases:
- 4% cashback for the first $7,000 per year on any eligible gas purchase worldwide, including of course gas at Costco itself, anything after your purchases exceeded that amount earns 1%.
- 3% cashback for restaurants, including cafes, bars, lounges, and fast-food restaurants, and eligible travel purchases worldwide, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruise lines, and Costco Travel.
- 2% cashback on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com, any other purchase earns 1% back.
The standard variable APR for purchases is 15.24%, and it also applies to balance transfers. The standard variable APR for cash advances is 25.24%.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
Now let’s look at the already mentioned card, which is mostly the same, but it is only available for controllers of some businesses.
This card is on all terms the same as the one mentioned before. All the aforementioned rewards are also applicable as well, with the same rules and percentages.
As this was made for businesses, while the other is for just personal use, you would maybe expect to be able to get rewards on purchases for a higher limit than the other card offers, but this is not the case. You can only earn 4% cashback up until $7000, and any gas purchase above that will only earn 1%.
Even with the fact that it has the same rules on limits for both company owners and everyday consumers, this card is still a great choice for any controlling party of a business that drives a lot and does most of their shopping at Costco.
If you decide on a Costco Anywhere card by Citi, the process of applying for one is rather easy, you can just go on their website and fill out the application form.
After you have applied, they will check if you are applicable in all areas, including creditworthiness. You will need to have Good or Excellent credit if you are to get a Costco card.
The last three of the list of available payment options at Costco are not credit cards, they are PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards, EBT cards, and one special option that is offered by Costco Wholesale.
The company offers three types of cards for their customers, the already mentioned two Visa credit cards by Citi and a shop card option. But what does a shop card offer to regular Costco shoppers?
Costco Shop Cards
This Costco Wholesale Shop Card is a choice only available for their members. Costco added this possibility as another convenient way to pay for purchases.
It can only be used for making purchases of goods or gasoline at any Costco location in America, it can’t be used in any other shop.
It can be a good choice for businesses as a supply or gas card, or just a card for anyone that wants to limit their spending and are on a budget. The card can be reloaded at any Costco Warehouse location with no additional fee.
Choosing the right credit card can be hard as we need to compare a lot of things to make sure it is the best choice for us. But while you are in the choosing process remember that it is only Visa credit cards that Costco accepts!
Whether you choose to go with a regular Visa credit card or a special Costco offered one probably will come down to whether or not you make most of your purchases in Costco Wholesale.
For those who already have a membership at the warehouse club and are already paying the fee on that, a card from them can easily save a large amount of money.