I am a big fan of Costco, but I am not a huge fan of the Costco Visa credit card. There is no sign-up bonus online and the one in the store is usually pretty bad (see below). Don’t sign up until you are well past the Chase 5/24 Rule to maximize your ability to earn lots of points. Additionally, rewards are paid out once a year rather than every month like most cards.
The disadvantages are that you only get 2% at Costco and 1% everywhere else. When I shop at Costco, I use the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa for 4.5% cash back by using my Mobile Wallet (Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay work at Costco). For your spending everywhere else, you are better off with the Citi Double Cash to get 2% cash back, but the Citi card will not work at Costco since it is a Mastercard.
The advantages of the Costco Visa card are (1) the no annual fee, (2) 4% cash back on gas, and (3) 3% cash back on travel and restaurants. These cash back rates are very reasonable considering the no annual fee. I would consider the card if I spent at least $2,000 a year on gas, but for travel and dining, you are better off with the Chase Sapphire Reserve to get 3x points (equivalent to 4.5-6% cash back).
- Sign Up Bonus: There is no bonus online, but occasionally there is a small one in-store. The bonus is usually really bad such as a bucket (below), a case of water, or a rotisserie chicken.
Annual Fee: $0
Earning Cash Back
- 4% on Gas (up to $7,000 per year; 1% thereafter)
- 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases
- 2% cash back at Costco
- 1% cash back everywhere else
Redeeming Your Costco Cash Rewards
Costco Cash Rewards are paid out annually, rather than monthly like most other credit cards. You will get a cash rewards check in the mail inside your February credit card statement (or emailed separately for paperless statements) for all of your spending for January through December of the previous year.
You must redeem the certificate in person at a Costco store, so you still need to maintain a Costco membership to redeem your cash back rewards.
Costco Card Benefits
- 120-day purchase protection
- Extended warranty
- Trip cancellation and Interruption Protection
- Worldwide Accident Insurance
- Secondary Rental Car Insurance
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