Credit cards provide a number of benefits, but they can also...
If you were already an Amex Costco cardmember, you have likely heard of the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi. This card provides shoppers the rewards and perks of the old card plus a little bit more. In fact, even if you aren’t a hardcore Costco shopper, you may find the new card to be one of the best everyday rewards credit card available. Here is a summary of what the new card offers and how its features stack up against similar credit cards.
The old Costco credit card was primarily used by those who very frequently shopped at Costco. At that time, Costco stores only accepted American Express brand credit cards, which for some consumers was a bit limiting. For example, if you wanted to combine cards and double up on rewards, you could only use Amex cards which limited your rewards potential.
the card was discontinued on March 2016
no annual fee with paid Costco membership
up to 3% back
Now, however, Costco stores have opened up Visa cards with the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, which means you can choose among your other Visa credit cards when you shop at Costco. Depending on the card you use, this could mean you end up with quite a bit more in rewards.
Another advantage of the new Costco credit card is the rewards program that offers even more than the previous version. As a cardholder, you get 4% cash back on gas purchases up to the first $7,000 per year and then 1% after that. You also get 3% cash back on restaurants and travel, 2% on Costco and Costco.com purchases, and 1% on all other purchases.
As you have probably already guessed, this card awards some of the highest rates of rewards among any credit card that awards everyday purchases like gas and restaurants. You can read more about the terms of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi here.
When compared to other cash back rewards cards that award similar categories, like grocery shopping and gas, the new Costco card comes out ahead in a few different areas. Here’s a brief look at how it stacks up against its competition.
The Discover it chrome card awards 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover currently matches all the cash back you earn in your first year, at the end of the year. New cardholders also get a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the APR is 11.24% - 23.24%. There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
The Costco card offers almost double the rewards that you get with the Discover it chrome card when it comes to gas purchases. Plus, you also get 3% cash back at restaurants and on travel purchases and 2% at Costco. The chrome card, however, has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee, which is a bit better than the Costco card’s terms. Although there isn’t an annual fee, you do have to pay for a Costco membership each year, which is at least $55 per year. Further, Discover cards are not accepted by Costco stores.
$95 annual fee
up to 3-6% cash back
$150 intro bonus
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is one of the most popular cards when it comes to earning cash back on everyday shopping. This card awards 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, which does not include Costco, up to $6,000 in purchases per year, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. New cardholders can earn a bonus worth $150 cash if you spend $1,000 with your card in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $75 if you apply by 8/3/16. After that, it is $95 per year.
Even with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, the Costco card wins in the gas category, awarding 4% for those purchases. Further, the Amex card doesn’t award restaurants or travel, which can add up if you frequently travel. The annual fee for the card is almost double the Costco membership fee, which is another area in which the Costco card wins against the Blue Cash Preferred Card. Also, Costco shoppers will find that American Express cards are no longer accepted at Costco stores so you wouldn’t be able to use it when you shop at Costco.
no annual fee
2-3% cash back on gas and groceries
This card is a Visa card, which you could potentially use when you shop at Costco. It currently awards 3% cash back on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (including Costco) up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery and gas purchases each quarter, plus 1% cash back on other purchases. Bank of America customers can earn a 10% bonus when you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account. New cardholders can earn a $10 online cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days. There is also a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, the APR will be 13.24% - 23.24%. There is no annual fee.
When compared to the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa, it’s a little bit trickier because you can actually earn grocery rewards at wholesale clubs including Costco with this card. Further, because of the new change, Costco accepts Visa cards. However, with the new Costco card, you get 4% for gas purchases up to $7,000 per year, and then 3% for travel and restaurants and 2% at Costco, without any caps.
This allows you more room to earn the bonus cash rewards when you use the Costco card rather than the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa. However, the BankAmericard credit card has no annual fee at all, and if you already bank with Bank of America, you can earn a bonus of 10% of your cash back, which can add up to quite a bit more. You should consider the rewards limits and the bonuses if you are debating between the two credit cards.
Overall, whether you shop at Costco regularly or just once in a while, the new Costco card offers a number of advantages that will make it worth carrying. Some of the advantages include the following: