Credit cards costco

Costco True Earnings Card Review

Costco is a US based, low-price wholesale retailer who specialize in providing consumers with discounts thanks to bulk purchasing. They are one of the largest membership retailers in the world with outlets all in many different countries such as the UK and Australia, and they are also the largest retailer of wine in the world. This article provides information on the Costco credit card with details on rewards and card terms, with information on how to pay outstanding credit balances at the bottom.

The TrueEarnings Costco Credit Card

The TrueEarnings Costco Credit Card is a credit card from Costco and American Express. It is a very popular card, receiving a very high satisfaction rating, which gives you great cashback rewards for purchases made at Costco and many other places. This card acts as both an American Express credit card and a Costco membership card, giving you all the benefits of Costco membership while giving you the spending power of Amex. Here are the cashback rewards:

  • 3% cashback for gasoline spending
  • 2% cashback for restaurant spending
  • 2% cashback on all travel spending
  • 1% cashback everywhere else (Costco included)

You get extremely good travel protection with this card, with 24/7 access to emergency assistance all over the world. Car rental loss and damage insurance is included at no extra cost, and the Global assist hotline means you’re never alone when you need help. Get exclusive tickets through the Amex Ticket Savings Center for things like concerts and sporting events. Amex also gives you access to a wealth of savings and exclusives with many high-end retailers.

This card has a 0% introductory APR for 6 months. Normal APR is 15.24% for purchases and balance transfers. APR for cash advances is 25.24%. These rates of interest may vary depending on the Prime Rate. If you pay off the outstanding balance in full before the 25 day cut-off after the last billing cycle, then you pay no interest for the amount you spend in the next month. Penalty fees for late payments or returned payments are up to $35. No over-limit fee. Full terms and conditions for this card can be found on their website.


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The Costco Effect On Earning Credit Card Rewards

My wife and I do a lot of our grocery shopping at Costco and a few years ago signed up to become Executive Members, which means we get 2% cash back on nearly every purchase made at Costco. Last year the warehouse giant sent us a reward coupon in the mail for $176.61 and if you do the math that means we spent $8,825.50 – or $735 per month – at Costco in 2015.

I included the rebate in my budget under “rewards earned” even though it has no cash value and can only be redeemed at Costco locations. It also got me thinking about how shopping at Costco can throw a wrench into your calculations when determining which rewards credit card is best.

You see, most online calculators use general categories such as groceries, gas, and dining to help identify the credit card that gives you the best bang for your buck based on your personal spending habits.

Rewards cards that pay higher earning rates on grocery purchases, like the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite or Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, come out ahead for individuals and families who spend a lot of their household budget on food.

The Costco effect on rewards calculations

But if your household is anything like mine and you do the majority of your grocery shopping at Costco, you can throw that calculation out the window because:

  1. Costco does not accept Visa or American Express cards, and;
  2. Costco is not categorized as a “grocery” merchant – it falls under “department store” or “other”

When I post our typical grocery-heavy monthly spend in the GreedyRates calculator it recommends the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card as the best option for earning credit card rewards:

Credit cards costco

Note the monthly spending breakdown on the left. I entered $1,000 under ‘groceries’ to reflect our overall household spend in that category. But remember that Costco purchases aren’t eligible for the 4% category bonus that the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite offers on grocery purchases because a) Costco doesn’t take Visa, and b) Costco stores have a different merchant code than other grocery stores.

Now watch what happens when I move our $735 monthly Costco spend from the grocery category to ‘other’:

Credit cards costco

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card tumbles all the way down to sixth place – losing $265 cash back per year in the process. But the actual cash back number is even worse for the Momentum Visa Infinite because – again – Costco doesn’t accept Visa cards! We have to take out our $735 per month spend completely, which drops the Scotia card to just $380 cash back per year.

The cash back rewards king for a Costco shopping household like mine is the mbna rewards World Elite MasterCard. That’s because it pays 2% back on every purchase, regardless of the category, and including Costco purchases.

Also in the conversation is Capital One’s Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard; the rewards credit card that we use for our everyday spending, including Costco. This card also pays 2% back on every purchase and its new redemption system lets you use rewards points to erase whole or partial travel purchases off your credit card statement

While the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card reigns supreme for cash back rewards fans due to its 4% / 2% / 1% category bonus rewards structure, a good argument can be made for Costco shoppers to ditch the Visa altogether in favour of a MasterCard that pays 2% on every purchase.

In fact, I cancelled our Momentum Visa Infinite card earlier this year before the annual fee came due. As our family shifts more-and-more of our grocery spending to Costco, it made little sense to carry two everyday annual fee cards.

Readers: Does the Costco effect influence your choice of rewards credit cards?


TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express – Review

Credit cards costco

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express –

Many credit cards provide rewards for purchases made at supermarkets, but specifically exclude those made at shopping warehouses and superstores.

The TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express (a Money Crashers partner) is an exception. It provides minimal rewards for such purchases, and if you shop frequently at Costco or want to earn cash back on gasoline purchases, you may want to give it serious consideration.

  • Fees. There is no annual fee for this card, but you do have to pay for your annual Costco membership. There is a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% and a balance transfer fee of $5 or 4%, whichever is greater. There are three types of Costco memberships: Business, Gold Star for individuals, and Executive. The membership fees are $55 per year for individuals and Business-level members, and these include a household card. Business members may also purchase up to six additional cards at $55 each for partners or associates. Executive memberships are $110 per year and also include a household card.
  • APR. There is an introductory APR of 0% for the first 6 months on purchases.
  • TrueEarnings Rewards. Your annual reward is based on 12 billing periods beginning in February. You earn 3% on your first $4,000 spent on gasoline at Costco and American gas stations (excluding gas purchases at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores, or warehouse clubs other than Costco). You also earn 2% at restaurants located in the U.S.; 2% for travel purchases such as airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, Costco Travel purchases, and cruises; and 1% on all other purchases. You receive your cash back annually in the form of a coupon that can be redeemed at any U.S.-based Costco (including Puerto Rico) for either cash or merchandise by August 31st of the year in which the coupon is issued.
  • Additional Cardholders. You can add cardholders to your account to earn more rewards. However, each person must have a Costco membership in his or her own name.
  1. No Annual Fee. Although you do have to pay for your Costco membership, there is no annual fee for the card. Even if you consider the Costco membership fee of $55 essentially an annual fee for the credit card, it would still be lower than many other rewards credit cards currently available. In addition, if you use your card for all gasoline purchases up to $4,000, you receive 3% cash back, or $120, which would pay for the Costco membership for a couple of years.
  2. 3% Cash Back on Gasoline. The opportunity to earn 3% cash back on gasoline purchases all year long is one of the best reward rates available. Keep in mind that this applies to other gas stations and not just Costco gasoline, so even if you don’t frequent Costco gas stations or live near one, you can earn bonus cash back at fuel stations that may be more conveniently located.
  3. Not Limited to Shopping at Costco. Although only 1%, the American Express Costco card is one of the only cards with which you can earn rewards from Costco purchases. With other cards, these purchases would likely fall into the “other9rdquo; category because of the warehouse and superstore clause. However, you are not limited to earning rewards at Costco. You can earn cash back from other retailers in categories such as gas, restaurant, and travel purchases.
  4. High Rewards on Restaurants. There are very few credit cards that reward restaurant purchases year-round without any limits. The American Express Costco TrueEarnings card offers unlimited 2% cash back rewards on restaurant purchases throughout the year. This includes fast food as well as any establishment considered a “restaurant,9rdquo; or coded as such by the retailer. Merchants not eligible include nightclubs, convenience stores, grocery stores, supermarkets, or restaurants outside of the U.S. that are owned by a U.S. company (for example, Hard Rock Cafe in Paris). Restaurants located inside other establishments such as hotels and casinos also may not be recognized as restaurants.
  5. American Express Benefits. Although the Costco card could be considered a store card or even a grocery card, you are able to receive the travel benefits and insurance available on other generalized credit cards. This is handy when traveling and making large purchases that require extra protection.
  1. $4,000 Cap on Gas. While you do earn 3% on gasoline purchases at Costco gas stations, there is a cap of $4,000 on purchases that are eligible to earn 3%. After that cap is reached, rewards are cut back to 1% on gasoline purchases. If you have a bigger vehicle or multiple vehicles, it isn’t going to take long to reach the $4,000 limit on gas.
  2. No Special Sign-up Bonus. Many cash-back cards offer extra bonuses, points, or cash back in the first 3 months when you reach a certain dollar amount in purchases. Although this card provides an introductory APR of 0% for the first 6 months, it is not a bonus cash back reward. Additionally, cards such as Chase Freedom offer an introductory rate of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, making the Costco card’s introductory offer of 0% for 6 months less attractive.
  3. Actual Groceries Only Earn 1%. The 3% cash-back rate only applies to gasoline purchases at Costco, and 2% applies to restaurants and travel. If you planned on using the card to rack up cash back from your regular grocery purchases, you’re only going to earn 1% with the American Express Costco card. Most cash back cards that reward grocery purchases specifically exclude discount stores and wholesale stores such as Costco anyway, but if you want to earn cash back on groceries at regular stores, you may earn more on your purchases with a different card. For example, the BankAmericard Privileges With Cash Rewards card awards 2% cash back at grocery merchants and 3% on gasoline purchases with a cap of $1,500 per quarter in each category.
  4. Cash Back Is Paid Annually. Instead of allowing the opportunity for a statement credit or the purchase of gift cards or merchandise, cash back is paid annually in the form of a coupon. Your card account must be in good standing in order to get your coupon, which you then take to the store to redeem before August 31st of the year it was issued. This can be a hindrance if you are unable to get to the store in time to redeem the coupon.
  5. You Need a Costco Membership. In order to keep the American Express Costco card, you have to maintain a Costco membership. This is only a problem if you decide at some point you no longer want one, however. There is no option to keep the credit card without a membership, which means you would be forced to keep paying membership dues for a store you don’t want to be a member of. If you cancel your Costco membership, your credit card is canceled and you lose any cash back that had accrued.
  6. Foreign Transaction Fee. 2.7% can be a significant fee if you travel frequently outside of the United States and plan to use your card for purchases.

If you already happen to be a Costco member, the American Express Costco TrueEarnings card allows you to earn bonus cash back on restaurants and travel purchases without paying an annual fee, except for the Costco membership fee. You also have the benefit of earning 3% on your gasoline purchases. However, if you travel outside of the United States frequently, you’re going to want a card that charges no foreign transaction fees. This is also not a great card if you are specifically looking for cash back rewards on actual grocery store purchases, or would like to redeem rewards in some way other than taking a coupon to a Costco store.

The TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express is great if you’re a Costco shopper and also want to earn cash back on your gasoline purchases. However, other credit cards, such as the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card, offer bigger bonus opportunities on generalized purchases and groceries, as well as better introductory offers and easier methods of redeeming rewards.

4.0 out of 5 stars: Great opportunities for earning cash back on gasoline and restaurants that may be considered everyday purchases, but not great if you don’t shop at Costco, or if you want to earn rewards on grocery purchases.


Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Reviews

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From Cardholders in the last year

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ADDITIONAL RATINGS YOU MIGHT FIND HELPFUL

4 out of 5 stars

3 out of 5 stars

  • Balance Transfer Intro APR Not Applicable
  • Balance Transfer Regular APR 16.24%* Variable
  • Annual Fee $0*
  • Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 7 Months
  • Purchase Regular APR 16.24%* Variable

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers impressive rewards for Costco members.

The rewards here are pretty great, highlighted by 4% cash back on gas purchases (up to $7,000 in purchases each year). Cardholders also get 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2% on other Costco purchases and 1% on all other purchases. To top it off, there’s no annual fee besides the cost of your Costco membership.

To get this card, you have to be a Costco member, which of course comes with an annual fee. There’s also a foreign transaction fee and a high penalty APR that could apply if you miss a payment.

It is just as advertised.

0% first seven months.

Received my cash back voucher and was able to make a small purchase and Costco gave me back the remainder in cash.

No complaints. Nothing shady or sneaky.

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I have credit with all major banks but this Citi Costco card customer service is the worst nightmare. I am very patiently using the card for more than a year now. I think a year is enough time for me to post rating. I had a fraud transaction from eBay and the merchant is in Russia. I have been on the dispute for 6 weeks. The credit card company just resolved in favor of the merchant and said that because I didn't provide requested by the dispute group. What a joke it is. I sent the information via email with case # as directed. I called the credit card dispute department in the last 3 three weeks after I received that decision favored the fraud seller but still no decision. Every time I called to dispute customer service department, I get the same answer "we are still working on it". I provided all of the information included the fraud tracking number that sent to a state cross country from state I'm living in.

Very BAD customer service. I want American Express back from Costco!

I'm a 12 years veteran of Costco membership ever since Costco operated from my state.

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These reviews were written by current and former cardholders in the last year.

I just bought a house and a new car in March. Because of that I literally have 54 inquires on my credit. I applied and was put into a pending state. I called after a week to see what the hold up was. They says I had to have the letter they sent in hand. I cashed back and was approved. I was shocked Citibank gave me this card. It is possible to get approved.

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What is your credit score if you dont mind me asking I had 658 then it dropped to 548 after opening a card with Chase and I've been wanting to get this one, but hesitant.

That if you don't pay it off one month and pay it off the next two months they still charge you interest. Watch your statement an challenge them. How can they get AWAY with charging you on something you payed off. Another reason to get rid off this card an another failure for COSTCO. I destroyed an got rid of my card.

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I think you don't understand how interest works.

Citi may forfeit all your cashback

Citi is horrible! I just received a letter yesterday from Office of the President, stating my credit card account was closed "we frequently review cardmember accounts- a recent review shows that shows that we've previously had to close one of more Citi account in your name". All my $330 cash reward will be forfeited! I had Costco executive membership under American Express for 5 years, never had such problem.

I have always pay my balance on time. Really can't think why they want to close my account! I lost my costco credit card recently, had to call customer service to replace it. After I received the new card and activated it, I found that they didn't replace old card with the new one. Instead, both of them are appeared in my citi online account. They never fixed the problem since then. But now they are closing both.

It's no doubt a horrible and terrible mistake that Costco made to choose Citi as partnership.

I may stop renewing my costco membership next year due to this bad experience.

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Great rewards and customer service

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Exp 707 Eq 707 TU 678

I spent the last year working on my credit from low 515 to what it is today. I paid off about $40k in credit card debt. I've been a member of Costco for 20 years and I finally have a Costco credit card. I'm so happy and grateful to be approved. The new rate is 15.99. I learned my lesson and no longer keep a bal on my cards, although my report is showing a 14% utilization right now. Income $150k. Low debt to income. I applied in the store with an instant approval.

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No notice sent when payment is due.

Not only is a fee added, but it may affect your credit rating.

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Customer service system terrible.

Don't expect to receive the card in a timely manner especially if product changing from another Citi card. First I was told 7-10 business days from the day o called and product changed at the end of March. It hadn't shown up in 3 weeks so I called. Customer care kept asking for a card number but I didn't have one yet. I got transferred 3 times and each time had to verify my identity because they do cold transfers. Finally after 20+ minutes on the phone I was told if get the card within 7-10 business days of my old closing date, may 28th. It's been 14 days past that so I called Customer service again to get an ETA. WS transferred twice again and same thing as before. Kept having to reconfirm my identity because I didn't have a card number to input in the automated system and it has to time out twice just to get to a person who will let you provide alternative ID.

That 4% back on gas and 2%back on Costco purchases better be worth it. We never had these issues when it was Amex!

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It is just as advertised.

0% first seven months.

Received my cash back voucher and was able to make a small purchase and Costco gave me back the remainder in cash.

No complaints. Nothing shady or sneaky.

Was this review helpful?

I have credit with all major banks but this Citi Costco card customer service is the worst nightmare. I am very patiently using the card for more than a year now. I think a year is enough time for me to post rating. I had a fraud transaction from eBay and the merchant is in Russia. I have been on the dispute for 6 weeks. The credit card company just resolved in favor of the merchant and said that because I didn't provide requested by the dispute group. What a joke it is. I sent the information via email with case # as directed. I called the credit card dispute department in the last 3 three weeks after I received that decision favored the fraud seller but still no decision. Every time I called to dispute customer service department, I get the same answer "we are still working on it". I provided all of the information included the fraud tracking number that sent to a state cross country from state I'm living in.

Very BAD customer service. I want American Express back from Costco!

I'm a 12 years veteran of Costco membership ever since Costco operated from my state.

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Terrible online features or lack thereof

1 ) Cannot use a single user login and have both a business and personal account !

22) You cannot go back beyond a two week period with a running balance next to your debits and credits . One cannot see running balance beside your debits and credits , “Not even to the last statement” . GOTTA BE KIDDING! Every bank today does it

I have numerous banking accounts and everyone has debits credits and RUINNING Balance to the right or left going back multiple statement periods!!

Without a running balance ( or running total to the right of all debits an credits ) Your literally have to print out statements to see and add and subtract your debits and credits or simply trust the bank ….Archaic at best!

I talked with Costco who agreed but then just got me in contact with the bank whom said they have no plans to add as they don’t get enough complaints ( though even the staff that took the complaint agreed it is a better way to GO!

So please call Costco if you are frustrated and voice your opinion 859-283-8923 and maybe we can force them for a better user expierence. OR GET A BETTER BANK! :-))

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