The Costco Anywhere Visa® Credit Card Review – Everything You Need To Know

Costco Wholesale Store for Costco Credit Card Review

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Wholesale clubs like Costco are a go-to for many when it comes to groceries, household items, prescriptions, electronics, and even car tires.

If you’re a Costco shopper, you’ve probably heard about their store-branded credit card. You might be wondering: Is it worth it? Can it really save me more money?

We aim to answer that question with this review as we cover the Costco Anywhere Visa Card in depth. We’ll outline its benefits, cash rewards program, fees, drawbacks, and more.

By the end of the article, you should have a good idea if this is a smart card for your wallet.

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card at a Glance

Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
Image courtesy of citi.com.
Costco Anywhere Visa
Main benefits⛽ 4% cash-back on gas (limits apply)
🍽 3% cash-back on dining
✈ 3% cash-back on travel
🛒 2% cash-back at Costco and Costco.com
🛍 1% cash-back on all other purchases
Annual fee$0 (Costco membership required)
APR16.74% (variable)
Late feeUp to $37

The Costco Anywhere Visa card is a cash-back credit card issued by Citibank. At this time, this is the only personal Costco credit card on the market.

While the annual fee is technically $0, cardholders must have a valid Costco membership to apply. A basic annual Costco membership is $60. Cardholders must keep their Costco membership open and in good standing to earn benefits and redeem rewards.

Once you receive your Costco Anywhere Visa, it can be used in place of your membership card, so you don’t have to carry around 2 different cards when you shop.

Costco Cash Rewards (Benefits In Depth)

Costco Anywhere Visa Card Benefits
Image courtesy of costco.com.

The benefits of the Costco Anywhere Visa card are great for a cash-back card. The tiered bonus categories highlight everyday purchases where some cardholders may allocate a majority of their yearly spend, including gas, restaurant, travel, and Costco purchases.

The primary cardholder may add authorized users to the card. Authorized users are eligible to earn Costco Cash Rewards, which are added to the rewards total of the primary cardholder.

Gas

Cardholders receive 4% cash-back on up to $7,000 in gas purchases for the year. After you reach the $7k threshold, cardholders earn 1% cash-back on all additional gas purchases for that year.

Hot Tip: The 4% cash-back on gas does not apply to fuel purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco. Additionally, it does not apply to fuel used for non-automobile purposes. (You’ll only receive 1% for these purchases)

Dining and Travel 

Cardholders will receive 3% cash-back on dining and travel purchases.

Dining rewards include purchases made at restaurants, cafes, lounges, fast food restaurants, and bars. Similar to the fuel exception, the 3% cash-back does not apply to dining at locations within grocery stores, department stores, supercenters, or other wholesale clubs. You’ll only get 1% at those establishments.

Travel rewards apply to all eligible travel purchases worldwide (without any foreign transaction fees!), which includes airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruise lines, travel agencies, and Costco Travel.

Costco and Costco.com Purchases

For frequent Costco shoppers, a big perk of this card is the 2% cash-back on all Costco and Costco.com purchases. This is a nice benefit compared to the Sam’s Club credit card, which doesn’t reward its cardholders with any type of bonus for spending at Sam’s or Walmart.

All Additional Purchases

Costco Anywhere Visa cardholders will receive 1% cash-back on all additional purchases where Visa is accepted.

Bonuses

At times, the rewards program may offer bonuses and special offers, such as an increased cash-back rate when you make specific purchases.

Example of a special bonus offer. Image courtesy of facebook.com/costco.

In the past, special bonuses have included offers such as the above on Samsung TVs and an offer for $100 off a set of 4 Michelin tires.

Redeeming Your Cash Rewards

Costco Cash Rewards are paid out annually, not monthly like most other credit cards.

Cardholders earn rewards from January through December each calendar year (regardless of the month in which they open the card). Rewards are then distributed in the form of a single reward certificate the following February once the billing statement closes. Rewards certificates are available for redemption through December 31 of that same year

If you’re enrolled in paperless statements, you will receive the certificate via email separately. It will not be attached to your online statement. If you’are not enrolled in paperless statements, you can find the certificate on the last page of your February billing statement when you receive it in the mail.

Example Rewards Certificate - Costco Cash Rewards
Example of a Costco Cash Rewards Certificate. Image courtesy of citi.com.

Cardholders may utilize the certificate for cash-back or Costco merchandise. Cardholders have the option of redeeming a portion for merchandise and receiving the remaining balance in cash at the register upon check-out.

You must redeem the certificate in person at a Costco store. It is not available in the form of a statement credit, available to redeem online, or open to redeem with Costco Travel.

The certificate will be issued to the primary cardholder, but you may authorize someone else to redeem the certificate if necessary.

Hot Tip: Cardholders must maintain an open Costco membership to redeem cash-back rewards. If your Costo membership closes before you redeem your certificate, you forfeit your hard earned rewards. 

See our Online Account Management section below for information on how to view your rewards online throughout the year.

Additional Costco Credit Card Features

There are several benefits of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card, most of which apply due to its connection with Citi Bank.

💱 No foreign transaction fees
🗓 Extended warranty
🕵️‍♂️ Damage and theft purchase protection
🚗 Worldwide car rental insurance
🌎 Trip cancellation and interruption protection
🆘 Travel and emergency assistance
🚧 Roadside assistance dispatch service
🎤 Citi® Private Pass®
💸 $0 liability on unauthorized charges
🔐 Citi® Quick Lock
📱 Citi® Mobile App

You can read more about the specific details of these benefits here.

Fees and Drawbacks of the Card

Fees

As with any card, the Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi Bank comes with fees.

Costco Anywhere Visa Card
Annual fee $0 (Costco membership required)
Purchase APR16.74% (variable)
Balance transfer APR16.74% (variable)
Balance transfer fee$5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer (whichever is greater)
Cash advance APR26.74% (variable)
Cash advance fee $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer (whichever is greater)
Penalty APRUp to 29.99% (variable), based on credit­worthiness
Minimum interest charge$0.50
Foreign transaction feeNone
Late feeUp to $37
Returned payment feeUp to $37

The best way to avoid unnecessary fees is to always be a responsible cardholder. 

Pay off your balance in full, each month. If you can’t pay off your balance completely, pay at least the minimum, and pay as much as you can to carry as small a balance as possible.

The purchase APR for this card is about average, likely because the card is generally issued to individuals with good-to-excellent overall credit. You’ll see much higher APR fees on other store-branded credit cards, especially those issued by Synchrony Bank. If a low-APR card is important to you, there are many 0% APR credit cards with up to 18-month introductory periods.

Hot Tip: The penalty APR for this card is extremely high: a whopping 29.99%. The penalty APR can be applied to your account if you make a late payment, or make a returned payment. The penalty APR applies on top late or returned payment fees.

Additional Drawbacks

While this card is generally a great cash-back card, there are other potential drawbacks to consider:

  • You must be a Costco member
  • Rewards can only be redeemed once per year
  • Generally requires good-to-excellent credit for approval
  • Not a points and miles-friendly card

Alternative Rewards Credit Cards

As this is a cash-back card, we recommend considering these other cards either instead of or in combination with the Costco Anywhere® Visa card.

Applying for the Costco Anywhere Visa

There are a few different ways to apply for the Costco credit card:

  • In person at a Costco Wholesale store
  • Online
  • By phone: 1-800-970-3019

In general, most credit card review sites recommend a good-to-excellent credit score for card approval.

While your credit score is important, it’s not the only factor in consideration for approval. If you have an average- to above-average score and you want this card, it may be worth applying.

Some applicants may be approved instantly for the card. However, some submissions may require further review, resulting in a 7-10 day waiting period.

Login and Online Account Management

Citi has a great PDF with instructions for activating and registering your Costco credit card. Once you’ve registered, you can use Citi’s portal to log in and manage your account online.

Citibank Portal Landing Page
Once registered, you can log in from the Citi homepage. Image courtesy of online.citi.com.

Online, cardholders can perform the following tasks:

  • View account activity
  • View billing statements
  • Set up paperless statements and e-communications
  • Make a payment

Final Thoughts

If you’re a regular Costco shopper and enjoy earning cash-back on a variety of your everyday purchases, the Costco Anywhere Visa card could be a great card to add to your wallet. This is especially true if you’re a responsible cardholder and don’t have to worry about late fees and other charges.

Remember, with this card, cash-back rewards are only available to be redeemed once per calendar year. Plus, you must keep your Costco membership open and in good standing, or your ability to earn and redeem rewards is forfeited.

Bottom Line: The Costco Anywhere Visa is a good cash-back card when compared to others on the market.

However, if you’re looking for a credit card that’s more geared towards travel and maximizing your points and miles, this isn’t the card for you.

Featured Image Editorial credit: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

FAQ

Is the Costco credit card worth it?

That depends. If you’re already a Costco member and you want a cash-back credit card that can earn rewards in a number of spending categories, then yes, it’s likely the Costco Anywhere Visa Card is worth it. It’s important to note the cash-back you earn is only available for distribution annually.

If you’re not a Costco member, don’t think you would benefit from a Costco membership, or you’re looking for a travel rewards-based credit card, this card is not worth it for your wallet.

How does the Costco credit card work?

Cardholders must first have an active Costco membership before applying for the card. Once approved for the card, users can utilize the card for purchases anywhere Visa is accepted.

The Cash Rewards Program includes the following benefits for the Costco Anywhere Visa Card: 4% cash-back on gas (up to $7,000/yr), 3% cash-back on dining and travel, 2% cash-back at Costco and Costco.com, and 1% cash-back on all other purchases.

Rewards are earned per calendar year (January through December) and are distributed once per year only at the end of the following February’s billing statement. Your Costco membership must be open and in good standing at the time of redemption, otherwise, all rewards earned are forfeited.

Is the Costco credit card hard to get?

In general, most credit card review websites recommend a good-to-excellent credit score to qualify for the card.

This means the card may be difficult to get for those individuals with average-to-poor credit.

Who issues the Costco credit card?

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card is issued by Citibank.

Can I get the Costco credit card without a Costco membership?

No, a Costco membership is required to apply for a Costco credit card. Additionally, the membership must remain open and in good standing to earn and redeem rewards.

How do I cancel my Costco credit card?

The easiest way to cancel your Costco credit card is to call the phone number listed on the back of your card.

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1 comment

  1. chris p. · August 23, 2018 · Reply

    Probably the best benefit of this card is the citi price rewind. I save more using this that all the cash back combined.

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