Review Summary: The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a great credit card for those who want to earn the most cash back on gas, travel and dining purchases. Ironically, it doesn’t offer particularly compelling rewards at Costco and elsewhere, but since Costco only accepts credit cards that are part of the Visa payment network at its clubs — no Mastercard, American Express or Discover — it may still be the best rewards card to use at Costco.
How the Costco Anywhere Visa credit card works
This card is offered through Citi and there’s no annual fee with your paid Costco membership. You can then use this card as your Costco ID and pay for your purchases at Costco or anywhere else that Visa is accepted. While it offers large bonuses for gas purchases (at Costco and elsewhere) and for travel and dining, it offers only nominal rewards for purchases from Costco itself. Nevertheless, it comes with excellent benefits and has no foreign transaction fees.
Costco Anywhere Visa review: Table of contents
How to earn rewards
The Costco Anywhere Visa offers you rewards worth 4% of your spending at eligible gas stations worldwide, including Costco. You only earn these rewards on your first $7,000 in purchases each year, after which it drops down to 1%. You also earn 3% for travel and dining, 2% at Costco and 1% elsewhere.
How to redeem rewards
Your rewards are distributed once a year as a certificate that comes with your February statement. If your account is closed before February for any reason, you don’t receive your rewards. Your rewards certificate can be redeemed for purchases at Costco or you can visit the customer service counter and request that it be redeemed for cash. This is your smartest option, as you can earn additional cash back from purchases made with your Costco credit card.
Additional cardholder benefits
This card comes with a strong package of cardholder benefits including:
- Damage and Theft Protection: Covers you for 120 days (90 days for New York residents).
- Extended Warranty: Can add up to two additional years to your manufacturer’s warranty.
- Worldwide Rental Car Insurance: Covers your rental car in all countries, with no exclusions.
- Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection: If your travel plans are canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, you may be reimbursed for nonrefundable trip expenses like change fees, provided you paid for the trip with your Citi card.
- Citi Price Rewind: When a lower price is found on an item within 60 days of purchase, Citi may refund you the difference in price.
Alternatives to the Costco Anywhere Visa
- Venture® from Capital One®: This card offers you double miles on all purchases, and these miles are worth one cent each as statement credits toward travel reservations like airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. This means that you’ll be earning rewards worth 2% of your spending everywhere, not just at Costco. For most people, you’ll earn more valuable rewards using this card everywhere than you would with the Costco card. It also offers you 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card, but it’s waived the first year.
- Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card: This card offers you unlimited 2% cash back rewards deposited into your qualifying Fidelity investment account. And, like the Capital One Venture card, these rewards are earned on all purchases, including those at Costco or anywhere else. There’s no annual fee for this card.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®: This card offers you 1.5 cents in cash back on all purchases and has no annual fee. Also, it currently offers some new applicants up to $200 as a sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in three months (other applicants may see offers of $150 or less). If you used this card for all of your purchases, then you might end up with more rewards each year than if you used your Costco Anywhere Visa card for everything, but it still offers you fewer rewards for Costco purchases.
Advanced tip: For those who really want to get the most value from the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you can transfer your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers you 1.5 cents in value per point redeemed directly for travel reservations. This credit card combination offers 2.25 cents in value per dollar spent with your Chase Freedom Unlimited at Costco and potentially even more when you transfer these points to miles with airlines or hotel programs. There’s no annual fee for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, but pairing it with the Sapphire Reserve card will cost you an annual fee of $450.
The Costco credit card is a good offer, but it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t provide more rewards for shopping at Costco itself. But since Costco only accepts Visa at its clubs, it’s still one of the best cards to use at Costco and a great choice for earning cash back on gasoline, dining and travel purchases.