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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Review

Zina Kumok

By: Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok
Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a personal finance writer, certified financial health counselor, and certified student loan counselor. She works as a money coach helping people one on one at ConsciousCoins.com. Her advice has been featured in Lifehacker, FoxBusiness, Time Magazine, Investopedia, Forbes, and several other major financial brands. She paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years. She's a three-time Plutus Awards finalist for Best Personal Finance Contributor and a three-time speaker at FinCon, the premier financial media conference.

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Editor: Jon McDonald

Jon McDonald
Jon McDonald

Jon leverages 15-plus years of journalism expertise to inform financial consumers about emerging trends and companies making an impact in the industry. He is most knowledgeable in the areas of budgeting, credit card rewards, and responsible credit use. Jon has a passion for writing and editing, and his articles have appeared in publications produced by The New York Times.

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Reviewer: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. 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. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Review

Rated 4.6 /5.0 ★★★★★

Everyone loves a good deal, and with food prices near record highs, consumers are looking for extra ways to stretch their budgets. That’s why warehouse clubs like Costco are so popular with families trying to save a few bucks.

And if you want to maximize those dollars, you can apply for a Costco-specific cash back rewards card that offers points when you shop at the warehouse club. But is the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi a good match for budget-minded consumers? Keep reading as I cover all the ins and outs of this card — and whether it belongs in your wallet.

Highlights of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

  • This card offers cash back on all purchases, with some categories earning between 2% and 4%, including gas and EV charging, restaurants, travel, and of course, Costco purchases, both online and in store.
  • Its rewards are only paid out annually, which may be inconvenient to some cardholders.
  • Its APR is 20.49% (Variable).
  • It has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
  • It requires excellent credit for approval, meaning it may be harder to get than other cards.
  • If you’re a frequent Costco customer, this card may be worth a spot in your wallet.

How to Qualify & Apply for the Card

Citi says that you need an excellent credit score to qualify for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. That generally translates to a FICO Score of 740 or above. The issuer does not offer a way to prequalify for this credit card without a hard credit inquiry.

You can access the application on Citi’s website by clicking the Apply Now button below:

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Discover one of Citi's best cash back rewards cards 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
  • 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
20.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

You must also meet basic eligibility criteria set by the bank, such as being at least 18 years old, having a Social Security number, and a minimum income to repay your card debt.

Citi doesn’t impose limits on how many of its cards you can have at one time, as some other banks like Discover® and Capital One do, but it does limit how many you can apply for within a certain period. Sources say you cannot apply for more than one Citi card every eight days and no more than two within a 65-day period.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Before you apply for this credit card, you should understand all of its different facets. This credit card offers a variety of benefits for the typical consumer who wants to save money and earn rewards. However, it also has some crucial downsides that you should be aware of before signing up. Here’s what you should know about this card:

Benefits

    • No foreign transaction fees. If you love traveling abroad, then you can feel free to bring this card in your suitcase. This card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, so you won’t pay anything extra if you buy something in a foreign currency while you’re away.

    • Annual fee. This card has a $0 annual fee. Many high-level rewards cards charge a hefty annual fee, so this is a positive sign.

    • No limit on the amount of cash back. Many credit cards only let you earn cash rewards until you reach a certain dollar amount. That’s not the case with this card. It has no limits to how much cash back you can earn.

    • Cash back on all purchases. While you can earn extra cash back on some categories, you always receive a baseline cash back percentage on all purchases. This ensures you still get cash back no matter your spending habits.

Drawbacks

    • Limit on cash back for gas and EV charging. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi limits how much you can earn in these two categories. However, the amount still seems to be fairly generous and is more than what the typical American might spend on gas or EV charging. Plus, even if you do hit the limit, you’ll still earn a basic cash back percentage.

    • Can only get cash back once a year. While most cards allow you to earn and redeem cash back throughout the year, you’ll only receive your rewards once a year with this credit card. This can be a huge drawback for cardholders who are used to redeeming rewards whenever they want.

    • Complicated cash back rewards structure. Like other cash back cards, this credit card includes a cash back hierarchy that can be difficult to figure out. And if you have other cash back cards, it can be tricky to determine which credit card is better for which category.

    • Must already be a Costco member to apply for this card. Before you apply for this credit card, you’ll have to pay for a Costco membership. If you are not approved for this card, you can choose to get your Costco membership refunded.

Best Alternatives Worth a Look

Before submitting an application for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, make sure you learn about all of your available options. Other cards may provide more cash back when shopping at warehouse clubs. Here are a few of our top picks:

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
  • Choose 3% cash back on gas and EV charging station, online shopping/cable/internet/phone plan/streaming, dining, travel, drug store/pharmacy or home improvement/furnishings purchases.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 3.75%-5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • No annual fee and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (Balance Transfer Fee 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%)
19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
$0
Excellent/Good

Additional Disclosure: Bank of America is a CardRates advertiser.

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers similar cash back as wholesale clubs as you can earn with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. However, you can earn that extra cash back at all wholesale clubs, not just Costco. Also, this card lets you choose which category you want to earn extra cash back in, and it does not come with an annual fee.

One significant difference is that this card does have a sign-up bonus for new users.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – 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. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

The Discover it® Cash Back card is a popular cash back card for users who want to earn extra points when shopping in certain categories.

This card also comes with a one-time cash back bonus that is equal to how much cash back you earn in the first year — with no limit. It also has no annual fee and comes with a special introductory APR offer on new purchases and balance transfers.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 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. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%, 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).
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% Intro APR Period 18 months on Balance Transfers
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good, Fair

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

The Citi Double Cash® Card offers a similar cash back percentage for warehouse clubs as the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. Unlike other credit cards, you earn half of your cash back when you make the purchase and the other half when you pay your bill. This card also does not charge an annual fee.

Cardholder Reviews Around the Web

Before Citi took control of the Costco credit card program, users had access to extended warranties if they used the card while shopping at Costco. Now, Citi has discontinued that benefit for cardholders. Some cardholders noticed that change and wrote about it in their reviews of the card.

Editor’s note: Some reviews have been edited for grammar and clarity.

“It is a decent card. Unfortunately, they recently removed a perk some of us really liked in that they no longer extend warranties. It was pretty great to get a large electronic purchase (like TV, Computer, etc.) and get one year added by Costco and then Citi would double that to make it 4 years. It was always a no-brainer for me to make these types of purchases at Costco, now not so much,” wrote one user on Reddit.

Others say that without that benefit, there’s not much reason to choose the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi over one of the many other cash back credit cards on the market.

“Without any purchase protection and once-a-YEAR reward redemption, there’s really no reason to get this card. I guess the 4% gas and 3% dining/travel makes an okayish one-card setup if you really really want that, but even then there are plenty of other choices and I personally can’t stand the annual reward redemption,” wrote BucsLegend_TomBrady.

However, other users praise the card’s versatility and claim that it provides more cash back benefits than other cards.

“Yes, it’s worth it. Restaurants/Fast Food…3%, travel 3% (Airbnb, airline tickets, car rental, etc.) … no other card really offers those things, at least in one card. Plus 4% on gas (and usually purchases inside non-Costco gas station mini-marts will count as gas). For anything else that doesn’t fit those categories, I use my 2% back Citi DoubleCash card (it’s a Mastercard® though, so not good for Costco use),” reads one positive review from mbz321.

FAQs: Is It Hard to Get the Card?

While other card issuers may provide a general credit score range, Citi does not do so for this card. The issuer does confirm that you need an excellent credit score, which usually means 740 or higher. However, posts on Reddit show that some consumers who received the credit card had a score in the 600s or 700s.

In general, you need a decent credit score to receive any kind of cash back rewards card. You also likely need a stable source of income. And remember that you need an active Costco membership to be eligible for this card.

What is the Credit Limit for the Card?

Citi does not specify the maximum credit limit for this credit card, but it will likely depend on a variety of factors including your annual income, credit score, and more. Some Reddit users say they received a relatively low credit limit, around $1,200, while others say they received a $15,000 limit. Many also claim that they received a higher credit limit after calling Citi directly.

The minimum credit limit may be as low as $500. Once you receive this card, you can always call and request a higher credit limit. It’s not guaranteed that your request will be granted.

Are There Any Special APR Offers With This Card?

While many Citi credit cards provide special 0% APR on purchases, balance transfers, or both, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi currently does not offer that promotion. If you have a major purchase coming up soon or have a high existing balance on another card, you may be better off applying for another credit card.

Plenty of credit cards include 0% introductory APR promotions as one of their key features, so it shouldn’t be hard to find. However, just make sure you compare the other costs, such as annual fees or balance transfer fees, before applying.

Do I Have to Be a Costco Member to Receive This Card?

According to Citi, you must already be a Costco member to qualify for this card. You can purchase a membership in store or online, but you can’t apply for this card before you apply for a membership.

If you aren’t approved for this card, Costco could allow you to cancel your membership, but you may not receive a refund on your membership fee. Even if you were a Costco member in the past, you need to have a current, active membership to apply.

Can I Earn Extra Cash Back at Other Warehouse Clubs?

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is specifically designed to offer extra cash back at Costco, not other warehouse clubs such as Sam’s Club or BJ’s. If you don’t have strong brand loyalty to Costco, you may want to pick a card that gives you more cash back for multiple warehouse clubs.

Also, you can choose a card that provides more cash back in other areas. These may include travel, restaurants, and general grocery stores, among others.

Who Issues the Card?

This card is issued by Citi, one of the largest credit card issuers in the country. It also offers a variety of other cards that provide cash back rewards, 0% intro APR promotions, retail rewards, and balance transfer offers.

Costco usually only partners with one card issuer to provide an official card, and before Citi, American Express® was its official card issuer. You can also open a checking or savings account with Citi, take out a mortgage or personal loan or even rely on it for help with your investments.

What Can I Use the Rewards For?

You can redeem your annual rewards check as cash at Costco (some Costco locations may also provide a check or electronic transfer). You can also spend it at Costco, but not at Costco.com. A $1 minimum amount is needed to receive the certificate. The certificate will expire on December 31, and you do not have to spend the entire amount at once.

Costco example reward certificate
Reward certificates expire on December 31 of the year issued.

Other credit cards may have a broader variety of ways you can redeem rewards, including booking travel reservations or buying gift cards. For example, if you have a Chase credit card, you can use its Ultimate Rewards to pay for a flight abroad or hotel reservation, among many other options.

Can This Credit Card Be Used as My Membership Card?

When you shop at Costco, you must show your membership card before entering the store. Fortunately, if you own the card, you can use it in place of the regular Costco membership ID card.

This can help you save some space in your wallet because you won’t have to also carry your regular ID card. This is another benefit to using this card when shopping at Costco.

Can You Withdraw Cash With the Card?

If you need to withdraw money from an ATM and can’t use your debit card, you can rely on your Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. You can take out a predetermined cash advance with this card.

However, you will have to pay a cash advance fee, which is either a set dollar amount or a percentage of the amount you withdraw, depending on your balance. Also, you will have to pay interest on your cash advance. The interest rate for cash advances may be higher than the interest rate for purchases.

Can I use This Card for Small Business Purchases?

If you’re running a small business, you may find shopping at Costco to be an easy cost-saving measure. You can use this card if you’re stocking up for your small business.

While there are no special cash back rewards for small business purchases, you can still buy items at Costco or Costco.com and get extra cash back. Plus, this card does not charge an annual fee.

If you want a dedicated small business card, you can also try the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi. You’ll still earn cash back rewards at Costco, as well as cash back on gas stations, restaurants, travel, and most other purchases. Like the regular Costco card, it has no annual fee, and you must have a Costco membership to be eligible. 

This Card May Be For You If…

    • You want a card that offers more cash back for Costco purchases

    • You want to maximize your rewards on gas station or electronic car charging purchases

    • You don’t mind waiting to get a rewards check

While this card does offer generous cash back rewards, the annual reward redemption policy may turn off potential cardholders as it is unusual for most cash back cards. However, the low fees and the extra cash back opportunities can make up for the inconvenience.

It all depends on whether or not you prefer a steady stream of cash back rewards — or if you are loyal to Costco and don’t mind being patient.

About the Author

Zina Kumok
Zina Kumok Finance Expert

Zina Kumok is a personal finance writer, certified financial health counselor, and certified student loan counselor. She works as a money coach helping people one on one at ConsciousCoins.com. Her advice has been featured in Lifehacker, FoxBusiness, Time Magazine, Investopedia, Forbes, and several other major financial brands. She paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years. She's a three-time Plutus Awards finalist for Best Personal Finance Contributor and a three-time speaker at FinCon, the premier financial media conference.

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Zina Kumok