Costco Credit Card Review (2018)

Costco Credit Card Review

Store Credit Card

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: May 18, 2018
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

Costo's history traces back to 1983 when the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle. In 1993, Costco merged with the original warehouse retailer, Price Club, to form PriceCostco, later rebranded as Costco Wholesale Corporation. Costco's over 740 warehouse clubs can be found in more than 10 countries around the world, with over 500 locations in the US alone.

Over the years, Costco has been known to sign exclusive deals with particular credit card companies, and currently only accepts credit cards operated on the Visa credit card network in its stores. Of course, this begs the question, of all the Visa cards you could use for your Costco purchases, is the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi the best option for your Costco purchases?

Costco Card Overall Rating: 3.2/5.0

The biggest impediment for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card is that it requires a Costco membership to apply — and to keep. So, while the card has no annual fee itself, you'll need to pay for an annual membership, which runs around $60 a year. Worse, if you cancel your Costco membership at any time, you'll automatically lose your credit card rewards.

On the plus side, those rewards are somewhat competitive compared to other Visa card options, with gas, dining, and travel bonus categories on top of the Costco bonus rewards. That being said, the rewards you earn are only redeemable for cash or merchandise at US Costco stores, which can limit their value.

Costco Credit Card

  • APR: 16.74% as of May 2018
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on Costco purchases
★★★ 3.2/5.0

To start, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card only earns 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases (excluding gas), which is fairly low for a branded store card. At the same time, given that only Visa cards are eligible to make Costco purchases, few alternatives will provide a better rate of return on Costco purchases, though some will offer the same 2% cash back without the rewards redemption limitations.

Outside of Costco, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card is actually one of the better options for year-round gas rewards, offering 4% cash back on gas purchases, but there are several limitations of which to be aware. First, you'll only earn bonus rewards on up to $7,000 in gas purchases each year. And forget earning rewards on gas purchases made at warehouse stores other than Costco.

For restaurant and travel purchases, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card's 3% cash back is moderately competitive, but definitely not the best on the block, especially considering any rewards you earn can only be used for Costco purchases.

Approval Requirements & Application

Applying for a Costco Anywhere Visa® Card is fairly easy, provided you're already a Costco member. You can simply head to your local Costco store or apply online through the link below. If you're not already a member, you'll need to join before you are eligible to apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card.

Better Cards to Use at Costco

While it's fair to say there aren't that many better cards for rewards on Costco purchases than the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card — that says more about Costco's limitations than it does the rewards you earn with the store's branded credit card.

The 2% back on Costco purchases is actually low for a store card, and those rewards can only be used for more Costco purchases, which limits their usefulness. Several non-branded open-loop rewards credit cards can not only give you the same 2% rewards on Costco purchases, but they'll give you those rewards on all purchases. And almost any intro-APR credit card on the market will offer a better interest rate than the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card.

Cash Back

The world of cash back credit cards is loaded with great options for cash back rewards for just about any kind of purchase, with unlimited and bonus category structures to suit nearly all spending styles. Even better, they'll be rewards you can redeem for savings on any type of card purchase.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

0% APR

Even though the APR charged by the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card isn't as high as other store cards, it isn't particularly low for a credit card in general. And with so many great 0% intro-APR offers on the market, paying interest at any rate is a cost that can be avoided.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 16.90%-26.74% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card
  • Free access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
  • $0 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
16.90%-26.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

Travel Rewards

If you've ever daydreamed of your next vacation while putting away your latest purchase of bulk-bought supplies, then you should consider using a good travel rewards credit card the next time you stalk the Costco shelves. That's because your big-box buys could be earning you points or miles toward free flights and hotel stays, getting you that much closer to your dream vacation.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Unlike most wholesale or warehouse clubs, Costco has strict limitations on the types of credit cards they'll accept. This narrows the playing field quite a bit, leaving the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card in a good position near the front of the pack. But other card options are still out there to earn more flexible rewards on your Costco purchases or avoid interest fees on those bulk-buys.

What Others Say About the Costco Credit Card

For many reviewers, the customer service for the Costco Anywhere Visa® seems to leave a lot to be desired. Others report being unhappy about the limitations to the card's rewards, particularly that you need to remain a Costco member to redeem your earned rewards.

CreditKarma.com
A review from CreditKarma.com says:

This was the first credit card I applied for, received a $5,000 credit limit too, which was a surprise to me. I like the card, standard rewards system of various percentages, gas, restaurants, Costco, and other purchases from 4% to 1%. The cashback is sent as a certificate yearly that can only be redeemed at Costco, the only real drawback of the card. But if you do a lot of shopping at Costco, the cashback reward can be beneficial. May even pay for the membership fee, which is now at $120/year for the executive, but any level of membership can get you this card. So there is a fee technically, your membership to Costco is the fee to apply for the card, but I am not sure if you keep the card if you cancel that membership. If you end up cancelling there are no rewards available since they are only redeemable at Costco. — CreditKarma.com

★★★ 3.0/5.0
WalletHub.com
A review from WalletHub.com says:

TERRIBLE SERVICE. I used the card to charge a computer. When the computer was ready to ship, Apple put through the charge. Citi turned down the charge, because they said it was too large and they considered me a "new customer." This is in spite of an excellent credit rating, a large line of credit and several charges that were also large although not as large. I also had the Costco card since the time it was introduced with AMEX. When I called, I was told that they would remove the large charge block for 3 days. When I asked what the amount is, so I could call in the future, I was told it was a secret. Nowhere, when they were advertising the card, did they mention that they would turn down "large charges." Perhaps they are trying to avoid the 2 year extension of the warranty. — WalletHub.com

1.0/5.0
CreditDonkey.com
A review from CreditDonkey.com says:

So if you're already a Costco member and you don't mind having multiple credit cards, obtaining this card to use primarily at the warehouse is a smart idea. As an added bonus, the Costco Citi credit card can also serve as your membership card, meaning you won't have to carry an extra card. The Costco Citi credit card certainly isn't perfect, but it's a card that'll work well for the right person. — CreditDonkey.com

★★★★ 4.0/5.0

Is the Costco Card Right for You?

If you're already a loyal Costco member — and plan to stay one for the foreseeable future — then the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card can be a good choice for Costco purchases, as well as gas and/or dining if you don't already have a higher-value card for those purchases (and you don't buy your gas at another big-box retailer).

For those who don't shop at Costco enough to make the limited rewards worthwhile, just about any other unlimited 2% cash back card will give the same return on Costco purchases, and the rewards will be more flexible. Plus, you won't have to worry about losing your rewards if you decide you'd rather shop at BJ's, instead.