Costco credit card review and benefits

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There are numerous reasons to love Costco stores, and the free samples and food court pizza are really just the tip of the iceberg. The giant boxes of diapers and bulk frozen foods can also help you stock up without a significant hit to your wallet. Costco also boasts a pretty sweet return policy that lets you return merchandise any time you’re dissatisfied.

With all this in mind, what’s not to love?

You may love Costco so much that you want to sign up for their co-branded credit card, and really, this can be another good move. Not only does this card let you earn generous rewards at Costco stores without an annual fee, but it’s also one of the best gas credit cards available on the market today.

Before you sign up, you should learn about all the features and advantages this card offers, as well as potential downsides.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

  • Earn 4% back on eligible gas purchases, including gas at Costco for the first $7,000 per year (then 1%), 3% back on restaurants and eligible travel purchase worldwide and 2% back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • Earn 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your Costco membership
  • Variable APR of 15.24% for purchases

Our take on the Costco card

What we like: The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi card really knocks it out of the park when it comes to rewards rates for popular purchases. You’ll earn 4% back on up to $7,000 spent each year on gas for starters, and this category applies to gas purchases at Costco as well as other gas stations worldwide. If you max this out each year by spending around $583 per month on gas, you would earn close to $280 in rewards in this category alone. Of course, the average family only spends around $2,109 per year on gas according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but you could still earn $84.36 in rewards on gas with this level of annual spending.

Earning 3% back on eligible travel purchases and restaurants is also a major bonus, and this is especially true if you’re someone who uses Costco Travel to save big on airfare, hotels, travel packages and cruises. Costco Travel is well known for their exceptional deals and customer service, so earning 3% back on travel booked through this platform is a huge plus.

We also like the fact you earn 2% back at Costco stores, and this applies to purchases made at Costco.com. You’ll only earn 1% back on non-bonus purchases made with your card, but this is standard among cash-back credit cards. The fact this card doesn’t have an annual fee makes it a real no-brainer.

The information about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

What we don’t like: Our major beef with the Costco Anywhere Visa® by Citi card is the fact that the rewards you earn are only good for a reward certificate that is redeemable once per year when your February account statement closes. And even then, you can only redeem your certificate for merchandise within a brick and mortar Costco store. Since most rewards credit cards let you redeem your points or cash back throughout the year, this is a strange and extremely restrictive feature that might make redeeming your rewards a pain.

Not only do you have to redeem your reward certificate in person in a Costco store, but Costco says that you will not receive your rewards at all “if your account is closed at the time your credit card reward certificate is scheduled to be sent.” This means you have to keep your credit card account open until you receive your rewards certificate at the end of your February billing statement — even if you don’t want to.

Also, note that you need to be a Costco member to even apply for this card in the first place. That may be a given since you probably want this card because you shop at Costco, but it’s still worth noting that Costco membership starts at $60 per year.

Other Costco card benefits

While the Costco Anywhere Visa® by Citi card doesn’t list a slew of cardholder perks, there are a few you can benefit from. Here are the major cardholder freebies you should know about before you sign up.

Purchase protection against damage or theft

The Costco Anywhere Visa® by Citi card offers unique purchase protection coverage that can reimburse you if eligible items you pay for with your credit card are damaged or stolen. This coverage is good for up to 120 days after the purchase date (or 90 days if you live in New York), and can reimburse you for up to $10,000 per item with a cap of $50,000 per year.

Purchase protection can come in handy if, say, you buy a new laptop computer with your credit card and the item is stolen from your car the next day. In that case, you could file a purchase protection claim on your credit card and receive reimbursement for the cost of the item up to $10,000.

To make the most of purchase protection offered by this credit card, you’ll need to make sure you actually purchase items you want coverage for with your card. In other words, this coverage won’t apply if you buy your laptop or any other item with a different rewards credit card. You’ll also want to keep receipts as proof of purchase.

Extended warranty coverage

This card also comes with extended warranty coverage that increases the warranty on eligible items that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Specifically, you’ll get an additional two years of warranty coverage on eligible items.

Like other warranty coverage, this benefit will repair or replace the item, although a cap of $10,000 in benefits per item applies.

If you’re wondering how you could use this coverage, imagine you bought a new refrigerator with your Costco Anywhere Visa® by Citi card. If your new refrigerator stopped working a few days after the manufacturer’s warranty expired, you would be able to file a claim with the extended warranty coverage on your credit card and have your fridge fixed or replaced entirely.

The convenience of using your card as your membership card

Also note that, once you get the Costco Anywhere Visa® by Citi card, it also serves as your Costco membership card. This isn’t some huge benefit you should factor in your decision to sign up, but it can be convenient for you.

When you shop at Costco stores as a cardholder, you could skip bringing a separate membership card with you altogether.

Entertainment access

Finally, this card comes with special entertainment benefits that can help you get special access to purchase event tickets and exclusive experiences. You may even qualify for presale tickets to concerts, sporting events and dining experiences, and you only need to be a cardholder to qualify.