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Saturday, November 26, 2022

5 Things to Know About the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Costco Business Credit Card

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 brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Reviewed by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Some shoppers divide their lives into two eras: BC (before Costco) and ACE (after the Costco experience). There’s no doubt that the first trip to Costco can transform the shopping habits of consumers. 

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi serves small business owners who want to take advantage of economical bulk buying and low prices. We’ve assembled the critical facts for Costco-curious business people who have yet to discover the wonders of warehouse shopping with this versatile card.

1. You Earn Cash Back Rewards on Every Purchase, Not Just at Costco

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi can be used wherever merchants welcome the Visa logo. Although it targets Costco shoppers, it’s also a good general-purpose rewards credit card with several advantages (and one or two disadvantages). 

The card pays cash back rewards on various Costco purchase categories. You earn the top rewards rate when you use it to pay for gas purchases (or EV charging purchases) at any service station, not just Costco’s. 

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Discover the only business credit card designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases 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
18.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

You also receive bonus rewards on travel, restaurant dining, and Costco-eligible purchases, as well as access to Costco Travel with deep discounts.

2. A Paid Costco Membership Is Required 

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi charges no annual fee, but you’ll first have to pony up the yearly Costco member fee. At the time of writing, business memberships cost $60/year and provide several features:

  • It includes a free household card (the Costco ID card)
  • You can add authorized cardholders for $60 each
  • The membership is valid at all Costco locations worldwide
  • It supports Costco purchase for business resale arrangements
  • Business members must provide Costco with the appropriate resale information

You can also choose an upgraded Executive membership for an additional $60/year. It provides an annual 2% reward on qualified Costco purchases and extra savings on Costco-eligible travel purchases and services independent of your credit card.

3. Benefits Include Extended Warranties and Concierge Service

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi competes with other business credit cards by offering valuable benefits in addition to cash back rewards. These benefits include:

  • The card doubles as your Costco Membership ID
  • You never pay a foreign transaction fee
  • You can add employees as authorized users (a $60 paid Costco membership for each new user)
  • It helps you separate business and personal expenses
  • Damage and theft protection
  • Citi Entertainment
  • Citi® Concierge
  • Extended warranties that provide an additional two years of coverage on eligible items

From the business owner’s viewpoint, the card helps stock the company shelves and refund part of the business’s dining, travel, and gas costs.

4. Excellent Credit Is Required For Approval

Citi, the credit card company issuing the card, requires an excellent credit score to get approved for this card. But you may still be able to get the card with a good credit score — credit score alone does not guarantee approval, as your ability to pay your bill also matters. 

When evaluating new applicants, the credit card company looks at debt-to-income ratios, assets, liabilities, and other factors to determine approval.

Costco checks applicants’ personal (not business) credit by accessing credit reports from one of the three major credit bureaus. Beyond the credit requirements, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a steady income, a Social Security number, and a Costco membership. 

You can apply for a Costco credit card online or at any Costco store when you become a member. 

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Discover the only business credit card designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases 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
18.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

You should get an instant decision, but sometimes it may take longer (up to a few weeks). If Citi approves your application, you’ll e-sign a cardmember agreement and receive the card within a week or two.

5. Citi Rewards Your Cash Back Annually

We mentioned earlier that Costo credit cards have a couple of disadvantages and may not be your best credit card option. You may view the redemption procedure as the most significant downside. 

You accumulate your Costco cash rewards over a year that are then paid out at one time. Once Citi distributes your February credit card statement, you’ll receive a Costo shopping certificate listing the cash back you earned over the previous 12 months. 

You can redeem your rewards at the Costco checkout line anywhere in the US and Puerto Rico or online at Costco.com. You must redeem your Costco cash rewards by the end of the year or forfeit them. You also lose any cash back you’ve accumulated if you cancel your membership.

Business owners may prefer immediate access to their cash back, especially if they could use the extra money to finance additional purchases as they grow a business. If that’s the case, you may want to consider an alternative Visa card.

Alternative Visa Business Cards For Costco Shoppers

Plenty of business credit cards are available to small business owners, but you can use only a Visa card — not American Express, Mastercard, or Discover — for Costco shopping. Chase Bank offers several varieties of its Visa Ink business card, including the following four cards:

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card Review

at Chase’ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • BEST OFFER EVER: Earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn rewards faster with employee cards at no additional cost. Set individual spending limits for greater control.
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A 12 months
16.24% – 22.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
New Business Card! Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $1,000 bonus cash back after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 2.5% total cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more and unlimited 2% cash back on all other business purchases.
  • Travel Benefits: Unlimited 5% total cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, No Foreign Transaction Fees and Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance.
  • Rich Rewards. Limitless Opportunities. With no minimum redemption amount, redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • For businesses who prefer to pay their balance in full each month, Ink Business Premier gives access to increased spending power, rich rewards, and premium benefits.
  • Pay off eligible purchases over time with interest up to assigned Flex for Business limit. All other purchases must be paid in full each month.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
Flex for Business Variable APR: 17.24% – 25.24%
$195
Good/Excellent
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card Review

at Chase’ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★

4.6

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
18.99% – 23.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Review

at Chase’ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • BEST OFFER EVER: Earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back 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.
  • No Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A 12 months
16.24% – 22.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Of these cards, the Business Unlimited and Business Cash cards charge no annual fee and are the most direct competitors to the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi. They make a lot of sense if you already have a Chase checking or savings account.

The Chase cards pay Chase Ultimate Rewards Points you can redeem for cash, travel purchases, gift cards, and other items. And, you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards as soon as you earn them. 

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi FAQs

As a business person, you want to know all the facts before making a decision. The answers to these FAQs may help you decide whether owning the Costco business credit card is a smart move.

What’s the Difference Between the Business and Consumer Costco Cards?

The only difference between the two cards is that the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi accepts employees as authorized users. Citi doesn’t charge any fees for additional cards, but each new authorized user must have a Costco membership. The membership must be in the authorized user’s name. 

If you are a business owner, the advantage of adding employees to your card is that you accumulate all the cash back rewards they earn. Of course, it may make good logistical sense for employees to have a Costco card if they are responsible for Costco purchases. 

For example, you may have a kitchen staff that buys meat and produce from the local Costco warehouse store. Costco also sells paper, ink, and many other business supplies. Employees can use the same card for business trips, dining with clients, and refueling a company car.

Citi allows you to set spending limits on authorized users of Costco credit cards. This feature is unique to Costco, as Citi doesn’t provide it for its other cards, such as the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi. Therefore, business owners can keep a tight rein on spending, setting the appropriate limit for each employee.

How Do I Request a Credit Limit Increase With Citi?

You can request a higher credit limit on your Costco business credit card by contacting Citibank via the online webpage, mobile app, or phone. The customer service number is (855) 378-6467. 

To increase the odds of success, you should:

  • Pay your bill on time, every time, for at least six months before requesting the increase. FICO assigns 35% of your credit score to your payment history. You should see steady score improvement after six months or so. Missing a credit card payment by more than 30 days will cause your score to drop and create a derogatory item on your credit report that will persist for seven years.
  • Reduce your credit card balances. FICO assigns another 30% of your score to the amount of money you owe, measured by your credit utilization rate (i.e., credit spent / credit available) on your credit cards. Keeping your CUR below 30% helps your credit score, and the effect is immediate.
  • Check your credit reports. Inaccurate, unfair, or untimely data can damage your credit score. You can get free copies of your credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com and dispute any derogatory items you find. The DIY method requires you to communicate directly with the credit bureaus, but you can save time and energy by hiring a credit repair service to lodge disputes on your behalf. The credit bureau has 30 days to respond, and if it sustains your challenge, it will remove the offending item and recalculate your credit score.
  • Keep Citi informed about pay raises. The bank considers your debt-to-income ratio and assets when you request a larger credit line. Higher compensation suggests you can afford more debt and a higher credit limit.

Certain conventions exist regarding the right way to ask for a credit limit increase. These include a polite attitude and speaking about your on-time credit card payment record. A good time to request a higher credit limit is right after receiving a raise or promotion.

Which Businesses Will Get the Most Benefit From the Costco Business Card?

The ideal business for a Costco credit card needs the products and services available from a warehouse store. Costco discounts many of its products, and owning a Costco rewards credit card increases your savings through cash back and special deals. Costco sells a wide variety of business products, from office furniture to supplies. 

Businesses that like to buy in bulk will benefit from lower unit costs and the ability to stock up with fewer trips to the store. Costco offers many items (including gasoline) under its house brand, offering even more savings. 

The card will also benefit companies that book travel and dining expenses. The card pays bonus rewards on these specific purchase categories and conveniently segregates these expenses from personal ones. 

Is the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi Worth It?

On the plus side, there is no annual fee, and the reward rates reach as high as 4%. 

On the downside, you must be a Costco member to get the card, and you can redeem your cash back only once per year at a store in the US or Puerto Rico (or online). The cash back rate is only 2% on Costco-eligible purchases, lower than the rate some cards pay on grocery shopping.

Before signing up for the card, check out the competing Ink cards from Chase. They may provide you with better perks, and two of them charge no annual fee.

Consider Hiring the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Costco remains a wildly popular shopping solution to millions of Americans, including business owners looking for every possible advantage. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi provides key benefits to business owners who regularly buy products and services from the warehouse store. Its high gas rebate is also a strong factor in the card’s favor. 

Whether it is the best credit card for you depends on your business expenses, but it is deserving of your careful consideration.

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.