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Bulk shopping at stores like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s can help you save time and money—but wholesale club credit cards can take your savings to another level. After all, credit cards geared toward wholesale club purchases can help consumers earn cash back and other benefits for every dollar they spend.
The top rewards credit cards in this space don’t even charge an annual fee, provided you already have a paid membership with the club. Still, you should take the time to compare all rewards credit cards before you settle on a wholesale club credit card.
What are wholesale club credit cards?
Wholesale club credit cards are credit cards that are co-branded with a specific store such as Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s. You should note, however, that some club credit cards are store cards that can be used only in specific brands of stores, while others are traditional credit cards that carry the Visa or Mastercard logo, meaning you can use them anywhere.
Is a wholesale club credit card right for you?
Of course, not all credit cards for wholesale clubs are co-branded with a specific store, and in fact, many cash back credit cards are perfect for wholesale clubs and other regular purchases you make.
Whether or not you should get a wholesale club credit card depends on several factors, such as:
- Whether you want a credit card you can only use in one store or else a credit card you can use everywhere you shop
- Other spending categories you’re interested in earning rewards in
- Cardholder benefits you want to have
At the end of the day, it’s best to compare wholesale credit cards with all of the top rewards credit cards on the market. Just remember that some wholesale clubs don’t accept every type of credit card. For example, Costco doesn’t accept credit cards with the Mastercard logo.
Best credit cards for wholesale clubs of 2022
Here are Bankrate’s best credit cards for wholesale clubs in 2022:
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: Best card for Costco shoppers
- BJ’s Perks Plus® Mastercard® Credit Card: Best for BJ’s shoppers
- Sam’s Club® Mastercard®: Best for Sam’s Club shoppers
- Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for several wholesale club brands
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi: Best card for Costco shoppers
- Rewards rate: Earn 4 percent back at eligible gas stations, including gas at Costco (on up to $7,000 per year, then 1 percent back; 3 percent back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases; 2 percent back on Costco and Costco.com purchases; 1 percent back on everything else
- Annual fee: No annual fee with a paid Costco membership ($60)
The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is an excellent choice for Costco shoppers who already pay for a membership. Not only does this card offer an exceptionally high rate on gas purchases (4 percent back on up to $7,000 per year spent at eligible gas stations, including gas at Costco, then 1 percent back) but you’ll earn 3 percent back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases, 2 percent back on Costco and Costco.com purchases and 1 percent back on everything else.
There’s no annual fee if you’re already a Costco member, and you’ll get perks like no foreign transaction fees. Just be aware that you can only redeem rewards once per year after your February billing statement closes. Rewards will be in the form of a “credit card rewards certificate” that must be redeemed for cash back in-store before the end of the year or the rewards will expire.
Pro tip: If you’re a business owner, you should also look into the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi.
BJ’s Perks Mastercard Credit Card: Best for BJ’s shoppers
- Rewards rate: The BJ’s Perks Plus® Mastercard® Credit Card provides 3 percent cash back on eligible BJ’s purchases, while the BJ’s Perks Elite® Mastercard® Credit Card offers 5 percent cash back on eligible BJ’s purchases. Rewards rates for both cards include: 10 cents off each gallon of gas at BJ’s, 2 percent back on dining out and non-BJ’s gas station purchases and 1 percent back on all other purchases
- Annual fee: No annual fee with paid Costco membership
If you’re a major BJ’s enthusiast, you should know this wholesale club offers two different co-branded credit cards in conjunction with Comenity Bank.
The BJ’s Perks Plus is geared toward shoppers who have a BJ’s Inner Circle membership, and it lets you earn 3 percent back on most in-club and BJs.com purchases, as well as 10 cents off each gallon of BJ’s gas. You’ll also earn 2 percent back on dining and non-BJ’s gas purchases and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Meanwhile, the BJ’s Perks Elite is geared to BJ’s shoppers with a higher tier BJ’s Rewards membership. This card lets you earn 5 percent back on in-club and online BJ’s purchases, plus the same 2 percent back on dining and non-BJ’s gas purchases, and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Neither BJ’s credit card charges an annual fee, although you do have to pay for a club membership to qualify, which ranges from $55 to $110 per year. However, two downsides to consider are that your rewards are only good for BJ’s merchandise and they expire six months after their issue date.
Sam’s Club Mastercard: Best for Sam’s Club shoppers
- Welcome offer: Get a $30 statement credit when you open an account and make $30 in Sam’s Club purchases within 30 days
- Rewards rate: Earn 5 percent back on gas (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent back); 3 percent back on dining (maximum of $5,000 cash rewards back per year); 1 percent back on all other eligible purchases
- Annual fee: No annual fee
- Other perks: No foreign transaction fees
While Sam’s Club does offer a store credit card that’s only good for purchases in Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, the Sam’s Club Mastercard really stands out. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee (provided you have a paid club membership), and you’ll earn 5 percent back on up to $6,000 spent on gas each year (then 1 percent back), 3 percent back on dining and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
This card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees and you can also earn a small bonus of $30 when you open an account and spend at least $30 at Sam’s Club within the first 30 days. Also, for additional convenience, your new credit card will double as your membership card.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for several wholesale club brands
- Welcome offer: Earn $200 in online cash rewards after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
- Rewards rate: 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs; 3 percent cash back on purchases in one category of your choice, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug store or home improvement purchases (up to $2,500 of combined 2 and 3 percent category purchases each quarter, then 1 percent); 1 percent on all other purchases
- Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers made within the first 60 days; a 3 percent fee (minimum $10) applies
- Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for 18 billing cycles
- Regular APR: 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent (variable)
- Annual fee: $0
If you’re looking for a cash back card that rewards spending across a variety of wholesale clubs and bonus categories, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a uniquely flexible option. Not only will you earn 2 percent cash back at multiple wholesale club and grocery store chains, but you can earn 3 percent back on one of six categories that you can choose each month. One drawback is that your 2 percent and 3 percent bonus categories share a $2,500 quarterly spending limit in combined purchases. After that, you’ll earn 1 percent back on everything.
This level of flexibility can be fantastic if you don’t shop at one particular wholesale club or if you don’t buy in bulk often. The Customized Cash Rewards card is an even better deal if you’re already a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member since you can pocket up to 75 percent more cash back on each purchase depending on your preferred reward tier.
The Bank of America content in this post was last updated on August 23, 2022.
The bottom line
Wholesale clubs not only help people save money on bulk items, but they also save consumers time and stress. Some wholesale clubs even offer in-store dining and additional perks for members. Better yet, you can get even more with your wholesale club membership when you pay with the right credit card. Take a look at the above credit cards to see which one works best for your needs and you’ll be racking up more cash back in no time.
All information about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, BJ’s Perks Elite® Mastercard® Credit Card, BJ’s Perks Plus® Mastercard® Credit Card and the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.