Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi: Should I Always Use It at Costco?

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Image Credit: Citi

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, 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.

Pros

Cons

  • 4% cash back on gas purchases, including at Costco, for the first $7,000 annually
  • 3% back on restaurant and travel purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership
  • No welcome bonus
  • Just 2% cash back at Costco
  • Citi no longer offers some benefits such as Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection and Citi Price Rewind
  • Rewards only come once a year in your February statement

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.

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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 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.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Citi announced in late June that effective September 22, 2019, Costco Anywhere Visa cardholders will no longer receive the Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection and Citi Price Rewind benefits. Get more information here.

Alternatives to the Costco Anywhere Visa

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card: 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. It also has many of the travel benefits that the Citi card lacks. 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% cash back on all purchases and has no annual fee. If you used this card for all of your purchases, then you might end up with more rewards each year than if you use 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.

RELATED: The best rewards credit cards right now

Final Thought

The Costco credit card is a good offer, but it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t provide more rewards for shopping at Costco itself. And ever since Citi gutted much of their credit card benefits, it’s hard to recommend this card to purchase travel, even if you do get 3% cash back. 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 and dining purchases.

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