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Best Credit Cards for Costco

Best Credit Cards for Costco

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Nov 12, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you frequently shop at Costco, you know that a simple trip to the wholesale club can easily result in a high bill at checkout. In addition to purchasing groceries, household items and toiletries in bulk, you can also buy electronics, jewelry, furniture, major appliances and much more at the warehouse club. With the right credit card, you can earn cash back on those purchases — which can help offset your monthly Costco charges.

We’ll break down our top five picks for the best credit card to use at Costco to help you determine which is the right fit for you.

In this post:

What’s the best credit card to use at Costco?

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which credit card is best to use at Costco, including the amount of cash back you can earn on Costco purchases and whether the card charges an annual fee.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Costco membership is required. Since you’re required to have a membership to shop at Costco — which costs $60 for a Gold Star membership and $120 for a Gold Star Executive membership — you may want to consider a credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee.
  • Exclusive partnership with Visa. Costco accepts all Visa credit and debit cards, both in-store and online. However, other types of credit cards are limited. For example, Mastercard and Discover cards can be used to shop online at Costco.com, but they are not accepted at U.S. Costco warehouse locations. American Express is not accepted in Costco stores or online.

While the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi may seem like the obvious choice, it may not be the right fit for you. For example, the card offers a generous cash back rate on Costco purchases; however, you will be limited in how and when you can redeem your rewards. Read on to see what else we found.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases

  • 0% fee for transactions while traveling abroad

  • $0 annual fee

Highlights
  • Discover one of Citi's best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

See additional details for Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

More Info

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers a generous amount of cash back on everyday purchases, including gas, dining and Costco items. Cardholders earn 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases.

If you max out the $7,000 yearly spend on gas purchases, you’ll earn $280 back per year on gas purchases alone.

What else we like. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi comes with a $0 annual fee. But keep in mind that (as with all of these cards) you will be responsible for paying a Costco membership fee each year.

What to look out for. Unlike other cash back cards, which typically allow you to redeem rewards for statement credits or cash, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi only lets you redeem rewards for merchandise or cash back at Costco warehouses located in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). Additionally, your rewards are only distributed once a year (after your February billing statement closes) and must be redeemed by Dec. 31 of the year they are issued.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

If you prefer shopping online at Costco.com, rather than inside of the physical store, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is a great option. The card offers 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases, 1% cash back on every purchase.

If you select “online purchases” as your choice category, and max out the $2,500 quarterly spend at Costco.com each quarter, you can earn $300 cash back on those purchases in a year.

What else we like. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card offers a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Additionally, the card comes with a $0 annual fee.

What to look out for. Because the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is a Mastercard, it can only be used at Costco.com (and not in the physical store). However, since online purchases are included as a choice category, you have the opportunity to earn a high rewards rate on those purchases.

Discover it® Cash Back

  • 0% for 14 months on purchases and Balance Transfers, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable.

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. *

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

More Info

The Discover it® Cash Back card lets you Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

If you use the Discover it® Cash Back card to purchase items from Costco.com, you can come out on top during the second quarter of 2020. From April 1 through June 30, 2020, the card will offer the 5% cash back rewards rate at wholesale clubs, gas stations, Uber and Lyft on up to $1,500 in purchases, upon activation.

If you max out the quarterly spend by making $1,500 in purchases at Costco.com, you can earn $75 during the second quarter of 2020.

What else we like. The Discover it® Cash Back comes with a $0 annual fee. Additionally, for new card members, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

What to look out for. Because Discover changes its 5% categories each quarter, you will only be able to earn the higher rate at wholesale clubs during the second quarter of 2020. (See Discover’s full cashback calendar for 2020.)

Additionally, keep in mind that Costco only accepts Discover cards online.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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on Chase's secure site

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

  • 14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open

See additional details for Chase Freedom Unlimited®

More Info

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, you can earn a Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

What else we like. In addition to a $0 annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers a 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then an APR of 14.99% - 23.74% Variable applies) and a N/A on balance transfers (then an APR of 14.99 - 23.74% Variable applies).

What to look out for. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers a higher rewards rate than the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card on Costco, dining, gas and travel purchases.

That said, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers a higher rewards rate on all other purchases. Also, you can squeeze more value from your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card by transferring any rewards you earn to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card.

You’ll receive 25% more value when you transfer your rewards to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card and redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Or, you’ll get 50% more value when you transfer rewards to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card and redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

  • 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

Highlights
  • 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.

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 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®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®

More Info

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card offers earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. However, the card also offers 1.8% cash back when you use a mobile wallet — including Apple Pay and Google Pay — to make purchases during the first 12 months of card membership.

Because Costco accepts Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay at locations throughout the U.S., you can earn the higher rewards rate when you use your mobile wallet to make purchases there.

What else we like. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card offers a Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months. Plus, the $0-annual-fee card offers an intro APR on purchases of 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then an APR of 14.49%-24.99% (Variable) applies) and an intro APR on balance transfers of 0% for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers (then an APR of 14.49%-24.99% (Variable) applies).

What to look out for. Cash redemptions are only available in increments of $25 by phone or online, and in increments of $20 from a Wells Fargo ATM. You must have a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card to redeem rewards at a Wells Fargo ATM.

That said, you can also redeem cash back for merchandise, charitable donations, gift cards or travel.

The bottom line

If you frequently shop for food, cleaning supplies and other household items at Costco, using the right card to do so can allow you to earn a generous amount of cash back on those purchases.

Each card in this post is a great option to use at Costco or Costco.com; however, the right fit for you depends on how you plan to use the card. For example, if you want to earn a generous rewards rate on gas purchases — in addition to Costco purchases — the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi will be the best choice. But if you prefer more options in how you redeem your rewards, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card will be a better fit.


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