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Wholesale clubs like BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club offer major discounts on everything from electronics to groceries. When you carry a credit card for a wholesale club and know how to maximize your rewards, the savings grow.
Top-rated cash back cards like Chase Freedom and Discover it® Cash Back do not consider warehouse clubs to be grocery stores or supermarkets. If you do the bulk of your shopping at warehouse clubs, you could miss out on 5% rewards when these bonus categories roll around. By carrying a credit card that offers 2% rewards or more on wholesale club purchases, you can earn rewards year-round.
Choosing one of these credit cards and using it every time you shop could more than make up for the club’s membership fee, which is typically required to apply for the credit card.
Best of all, if you carry the Visa or Mastercard version of a wholesale club credit card, the card is good to use wherever these major credit cards are accepted — which means virtually everywhere.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: Best card for Costco shoppers
If you feel like you’re always stopping for gas after a Costco shopping spree, you should be getting rewarded for it. The Costco Anywhere Visa® by Citi gives you 2% cash back at Costco with no spending limit, plus 4% back on gas up to $7,000 per year (then 1%). It’s also a great travel rewards card, giving you 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, plus 1% on other purchases.
You can collect your rewards in the form of a check or Costco merchandise every February at any Costco club.
The card has no annual fee, but you must be a Costco member, which costs $60 annually. If you spend $3,000 at Costco in a year and use your Costco credit card to pay, you will make back the membership fee quickly. That’s just $250 per month, which most families will do easily. And that’s not even counting rewards for gas, restaurants, travel and other purchases.
My BJ’s Perks® Mastercard®: Best cards for BJ’s shoppers
BJ’s wholesale club offers two different tiers of credit cards, both issued by Comenity Bank.
The BJ’s Perks Plus® card is available to qualified shoppers who have a standard $50 BJ’s membership. It provides 3% back on most in-club and BJs.com purchases, plus a 10-cent-per-gallon discount on BJ’s gas. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on restaurant and gas purchases (from other gas stations), and 1% on all other purchases. There are no limits to how much you can earn.
The BJ’s Perks Elite® card is available to qualified BJ’s shoppers with a $100 BJ’s Rewards® membership. This card offers 5% back on BJ’s purchases (compared with the Perks Plus card’s 3% rate) plus all the other benefits and rewards.
Unlike the Costco Anywhere Visa, which gives you the option to receive your cash rewards in the form of a check, the BJ’s card pays you back only in BJ’s vouchers you can use in the store. But you can redeem your rewards every time you reach $20, rather than waiting for that once-a-year reward.
The BJ’s Plus and Elite cards also offer sign-up bonuses — something you won’t get with the Costco credit card. The Perks Plus card gives a $25 reward after your first non-BJ’s purchase, while the Perks Elite gives you $50.
In addition, if you enroll in BJ’s Easy Renewal® program using your BJ’s credit card, you’ll get a $10 discount off your annual membership with the Perks Plus card, and $25 off with Perks Elite. It’s easy to see how much you can save throughout the year with either of these cards.
Spend more than $1,750 at BJ’s throughout the year with the Elite card and you’ll cover your membership fee, even before taking advantage of the gas discounts and additional rewards categories.
Is the Sam’s Club card worth it?
Sam’s Club also offers its own Mastercard, issued by Synchrony Bank. The Sam’s Club® Mastercard® offers only 1% cash back on purchases at Sam’s Club, though, which means it’s not the best card to use for warehouse club rewards.
However, the card offers 5% cash back on gas purchases and 3% on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees. With no annual fee, this may be a card to consider if you want to earn travel rewards.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards: Best credit card for more options at wholesale clubs
Each of the major warehouse clubs has different strengths. Some might have great prices on tires and gas, whereas others might have a large selection of organic produce and high-quality meat. If you have multiple warehouse club memberships, there is one cash back card that will reward you for all your warehouse club purchases year-round.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gives 2% cash back year-round for grocery store and wholesale club purchases (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and an unlimited 1% on all other purchases
This card also comes with no annual fee and a $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 in the first 90 days of account opening. Rewards, versatility, and simplicity make this the best cash back rewards card for warehouse club shoppers who don’t want to carry multiple cards for that single purpose.
Plus, it offers rewards you can redeem at any time for a statement credit or cash back deposited directly into your Bank of America account.
Maximize your savings at Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club
Combine your credit card rewards with other deals throughout the year to save even more.
BJ’s allows you to use manufacturer’s coupons as well as BJ’s coupons on most purchases. Take advantage of the food courts at Costco and Sam’s Club for cheap and tasty meals before you shop, so you’ll be more likely to stick to your list and less tempted to make impulse purchases.
Buying big-ticket items such as furniture or even cars and cruises will help you earn more rewards, faster. Just don’t forget to use your rewards before they expire.
Like the clubs themselves each of the warehouse club credit cards has different advantages. Choosing the best card depends on your spending habits and how you prefer to redeem your rewards.
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