The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, May 25, 2022

8 Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco

Best Credit Cards To Use At Costco

credit card advice

Eric Bank

Written by: Eric Bank

Eric Bank

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. In addition to his work on CardRates.com, Eric has appeared regularly on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian is a Content Editor who brings her journalism experience in business and consumer finance to ensure CardRates news articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. Her primary goal is to assure editorial content meets the highest level of quality and precision.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of the more than 94 million people who are Costco members. I love shopping for huge packages of paper towels and seedless grapes, and the prices are great.

Our experts took a look at the best credit cards to use at Costco and identified 10 strong candidates. And while you may think you can use any credit card you want to pay for Costco purchases, that’s not correct, because Costco only accepts cards on the Visa payment network.

Read on to see which Visa cards can help you maximize your Costco purchases.

The Best Visa Cards to Use at Costco

Since you can use any credit card at Costco that operates on the Visa network, you do not have to settle on the co-branded Costco credit cards, which offer 2% cash back on Costco purchases.

The other cards reviewed below all meet or exceed the cash back amount of the Costco-branded cards, and the reward redemptions are not confined to Costco.

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.24% - 23.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
15.24% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

While its baseline cash back rewards rate is less than that of the co-branded Costco card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card gives you access to Chase Ultimate Rewards. Rewards don’t expire and have a multitude of redemption options such as cash back, gift certificates, payments on Amazon.com, and travel points.

Furthermore, this no-annual-fee card offers friendly introductory terms as well as top-notch security features.

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card lets you earn unlimited 2X miles (that’s two miles per dollar) on every purchase. You can redeem your miles to pay for hotels, rental cars, travel, and more. The card also offers an impressive signup bonus if you meet the requirements.

You can also get cash, gift cards, or an account credit for your miles. The redemption rates of these options can vary over time. In addition, you can transfer your miles to select external travel loyalty programs. Another card perk is a $100 credit toward the TSA Preè or Global Entry application fee when you pay with the card.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time, and no expiration on points
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees while earning points to use for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Introductory 0% APR offer on purchases, then a variable APR applies
  • Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend, everywhere, every time.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% APR for 15 billing cycles
N/A
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card earns 1.5X points for ever $1 you spent on all purchases. This is a perfect no muss, no fuss option for those who prefer flat-rate rewards.

This card charges no annual fee. You can increase your cash rewards by 25% to 75% if you participate in the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program. You’ll need to open an eligible checking account and keep a specified minimum balance in your banking accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts.

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card earns you 2X points on travel and restaurant dining around the world and 1X points on all other purchases. Your points go 25% further when you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards for airfare, car rentals, hotels, and cruises.

If you prefer, you can transfer your points 1:1 to more than a dozen airline and hotel loyalty programs. The card offers signup bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchase in the first three months. In addition, you can earn up to 75,000 bonus points per year for recommending friends who get the card.

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • 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 15.99%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is available exclusively to Costco members. While the card charges no annual fee, it does require you to have a Costco membership. The card offers multiple reward tiers, including elevated cash back rates on Costco and Costco.com purchases.

Though it does not currently offer any introductory APR offers, the regular APR rate is competitively low for purchases. For the Costco frequent shopper who is looking for cash back reward, this may be the card for you.

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Discover the only business credit card 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
  • Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi provides the same multi-tiered cash back rewards structure as its personal counterpart listed above.  The card is available only to Costco members who are authorized officers or controlling parties of a business.

The card charges no annual fee with an annual Costco membership, and you can redeem your rewards for Costco purchases. The card provides other benefits such as special deals and extended warranties.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% Intro APR Period 18 months on Balance Transfers
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

The Citi® Double Cash Card lets you earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. Your cash back comes in two installments: 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay. This is a boon to consumers who like simple rewards with no categories or caps. In addition, this card charges no annual fee.

This card also appeals to folks looking to consolidate credit card debt. It offers a competitive 0% introductory APR period to new cardmembers for balance transfers completed in the first four months after opening the account (fees apply). There are multiple ways to redeem your cash rewards, and with the 2% rate, you can earn some serious rewards.

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.24% - 21.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card from Chase comes with all the bells and whistles a Visa Signature® has to offer. All earned points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

The card offers several business-friendly benefits. You can set up automatic monthly payments and recurring transactions. The issuer offers free employee cards with $0 fraud liability, $0 foreign transaction fees, and various travel benefits.

What is the Best Credit Card to Use at Costco?

If you don’t want your rewards limited to purchases at Costco, then we think you’ll prefer our top pick, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The card offers unlimited cash back rewards on all purchases, but in reality, you can earn even more if you take full advantage of the card’s rewards.

That’s because Chase Ultimate Rewards enhances the value of your cash rewards when you convert them to points. You can then redeem those points for select merchant purchases, gift certificates, or travel. The card has no annual fee and you can redeem rewards in any amount, any time.

If you run a business, you may want to consider the Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. Whether you prefer your rewards as cash back or miles, these business cards offer rewards on par with those of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi.

Both cards above have rewards structures that apply to all purchases, with no limits, and both cards offer a suite of business benefits as well as a generous introductory signup offer to new cardmembers.

Is it Worth Getting a Costco Credit Card?

There are certainly several compelling reasons to get a Costco co-branded credit card. The first consideration is how often you shop at Costco since these cards offer rewards that can only be redeemed through Costco purchases.

With the multiple cash back rates on different categories of purchases, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi can offer rich rewards to dedicated Costco shoppers.

However, if you’re interested in applying rewards elsewhere, the Costco co-branded cards will hem you in. Many folks redeem credit card rewards for travel and/or like to earn rewards in the form of points or miles. The Costco co-branded cards offer none of these options.

Furthermore, your unredeemed rewards are hostage to your Costco membership, which will set you back at least $60 a year. If you decide to relinquish your membership, you’ll lose your accumulated awards.

Screenshot of Costco's Membership Prices

A Costco membership is required to apply for the Costco-branded credit cards.

You are awarded your Costco rewards once a year as a statement credit in March. You must use those rewards before the end of the year, or they’ll be forfeited. These constraints make it difficult to avoid either losing some rewards or paying for a membership longer than you want.

Nonetheless, millions of Americans count on Costco to stretch their paychecks through bulk purchases. If you live the Costco lifestyle, then the Costco co-branded cards can make a lot of sense.

Can I Pay My Costco Credit Card Bill at Costco?

No, you must pay your Costco credit card bill to Citi, and unless your Costco location houses a Citi ATM, you’ll have to find a different way to pay. You have several payment options:

  1. Citibank® Online: You can go to the Citibank site to make a one-time payment or set up recurring payments through the AutoPay feature. You must first link your bank account, which sources the payment. The bank account can be at any bank acceptable to Citi. Naturally, you must supply your user ID and password to access your account.
  2. Mail: You can mail a check to Citi to pay your credit card bill. You do so by detaching the top portion of your monthly bill and enclose it with a check in the return envelope included with the bill. The address for payments is Citibank, P.O. Box 9001037, Louisville, KY 40290-1037. Be sure to write your credit card account number on your check. You can also use a money order to pay by mail.
  3. Citi Mobile: You can use the Citi Mobile app to make payments and transfer money among different Citi accounts, including credit cards, that you manage at Citibank online.
  4. Phone: The phone number is 1 (855) 473-4583. It connects you to the automated payment service, but you can request to speak to a customer service representative if you prefer. You’ll have to provide identifying information, such as the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  5. ATM: You can make a cash payment on a Citi credit card at a Citibank ATM. You can no longer pay the card at a Citi branch.

You must pay the minimum amount by the due date to avoid penalties. If you pay your balance within the grace period, you’ll avoid interest on your charges.

Maximize the Savings on Your Next Wholesale Purchase

Costco is one of America’s top wholesale merchants, known for its huge stores with huge packages of many types of wares, wines, and foods. To shop there, you must become a member, which costs at least $60 a year. If you’d like to pay with a credit card, it must be one that works on the Visa network.

You can use the Costco co-branded cards, but as we point out in this review, you have other choices that are more flexible and at least as rewarding. Consider how much shopping you do at Costco and how you want to use your rewards. One of the cards in this review should perfectly match your preferences.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.