The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, October 22, 2020

9 Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco

Best Credit Cards To Use At Costco

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Updated: September 17, 2020
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.

  • 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.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

While its unlimited 1.5% cash back rate is less than that of the co-branded Costco card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card gives you access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, where you can earn one to 15 bonus points at more than 350 stores through Shop with Chase®. Furthermore, you can convert your cash back to Chase Ultimate Reward points worth an estimated 3.2% to 6% reward rate.

In addition to cash back and Shop with Chase®, the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® card lets you redeem your rewards as gift certificates, payments on Amazon.com, or travel points. Rewards don’t expire as long as the account remains open, and there are no minimum redemption amounts.

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 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 $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (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

4.7/5.0
  • 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
  • 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% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles
N/A
14.99% - 22.99% 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

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 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.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% 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 60,000 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.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases, including gas at Costco for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • Earn 3% cash back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases worldwide
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases from Costo and Costo.com, all other purchases earn 1% back
  • Cash back will be provided as an annual credit card reward certificate once your February billing statement closes, and is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco Warehouses
  • Can be used on every purchase everywhere Visa® is accepted
  • $0 annual fee with your paid Costco membership
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.24% Variable
$0 (Paid Costco Membership Required)
Good/Excellent

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is available exclusively to Costco members. While the card charges no annual fee, membership costs at least $60 per year. The card offers four certificate reward tiers, the top one being 4% on eligible gas purchases of up to $7,000 per year. You earn 3% on purchases at restaurants and on eligible travel, 2% on all Costco and Costco.com purchases, and 1% on all other purchases.

You can redeem your annual reward certificate for merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses. You’ll receive the reward certificate in March and will forfeit any rewards you don’t redeem by the end of the year or before you close the account, whichever is sooner. The card also extends the warranties on eligible purchases by two years and gives you access to member-only deals.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases worldwide, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year then 1% thereafter
  • Earn 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide
  • Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com, all other purchases earn 1% back
  • Extended warranty protection extends the manufacturer’s warranty so you can feel more confident when you make purchases with your Citi card
  • $0 annual fee with your paid Costco membership
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.24% Variable
$0 (Paid Costco Membership Required)
Good/Excellent

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi provides 2% cash back on all purchases from Costco and Costco.com. You earn 4% on up to $7,000 per year of eligible gas purchases, 3% on eligible travel and dining purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. The card is available only to Costco members who are authorized officers or controlling parties of a business.

Costco membership costs at least $60 per year, but the card charges no annual fee. You can redeem your rewards for Costco purchases. Unused rewards expire when you close the account or fail to redeem them before the end of the year. The card provides other benefits such as special deals and extended warranties.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice! 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 Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance Transfers do not earn cash back and will have a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • 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.
  • 24/7 access to customer service representatives
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

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 charges a 0% APR during the first 18 months to new cardmembers for balance transfers completed in the first four months after opening the account (fees apply). You can redeem cash rewards as low as $25 through a check, statement credit, or credit to a Citi bank account. Your cash rewards balance will expire if you close the account or do not earn any cash back for 12 months.

8. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

This card is currently not available.

Visa® Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business earns your business an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. You can redeem cash back rewards at any time, in any amount. New cardmembers can earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 purchases during the first three months. The card waives annual fees for the first year.

The card offers several business-friendly benefits. There’s no fee for foreign transactions, and you can pick the monthly due date that best suits your business. You can set up automatic monthly payments and recurring transactions. The issuer offers free employee cards and lets you track employee spending against customized spending limits. You also get $0 fraud liability, extended warranties and protection, and various travel benefits.

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $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 no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99%-20.99% 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.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

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 for Business 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.

The cash card pays 2% cash back, while the miles card lets you earn an equivalent 2X points. These rewards apply to all purchases, with no limits. Both cards offer a suite of business benefits and a generous introductory signup offer to new cardmembers. On the downside, these cards charge an annual fee after the first year.

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 cash back rates from 1% to 4% 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 pay up to $3,000 per credit card per calendar month. 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. The grace period for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi is at least 23 days.

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.

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