Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi review
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card Overview
As one of the few credit cards to offer cash back at wholesale clubs, the impressive cash back rates on other bonus categories make the Costco business card one of the best cards for shopping altogether.
But once you read into the fine print and consider the required Costco membership fee along with limited redemption options and benefits, you’ll have to judge whether getting a store credit card is worth it.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 4 percent cash back at eligible gas stations including Costco gas stations (for the first $7,000 per year, then 1 percent), 3 percent cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2 percent cash back on all Costco and Costco.com purchases and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $0 (with a Costco membership)
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 15.24 percent variable
Current sign-up bonus
Disappointingly, the Costco business credit card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus.
This is surprising since many other cash back business cards extend bonuses worth $300 to $500. Even other retail credit cards may offer store credit, like the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and it’s $100 Amazon gift card upon approval.
Cash back details
The Costco business card offers bonus category cash back, and it may help earn rewards on other business expenses. Since it’s co-branded, you can use this card with other merchants that accept Visa credit cards.
Earning cash back
Although you may have initially looked into this card for its 2 percent cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, the Costco Anywhere Business card also holds one of the highest cash back rates on gas. You can earn 4 percent cash back around the world at gas stations and Costco gas stations (up to $7,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent), except for other store-branded gas stations like Walmart. Another strange restriction worth noting—you won’t earn 4 percent back on fuel for non-vehicle purposes either.
In case your business needs call for travel and dining, you’ll also earn unlimited 3 percent back on restaurant and travel purchases, plus 1 percent back on all other purchases. The travel category covers airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruise lines and Costco Travel purchases.
These are fantastic reward rates even compared to non-branded cash back cards. Ironically, the Costco cash back is actually a bit lower than other store cards typically offer.
For instance, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature earns unlimited 5 percent cash back on Amazon purchases. The Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Card earns unlimited 5 percent cash back on Walmart.com purchases (cash back at their brick and mortar stores is limited to 2 percent).
Redeeming cash back
Here’s the kicker to the high rewards rate: Cash back is only redeemed once per year after your February billing statement as one “credit card reward certificate.” You must then redeem your certificate at a physical U.S. or Puerto Rico Costco store before December 31 of that year, or you lose those rewards.
How much are the rewards worth?
Like other cash back cards, each percentage back earns you 1 cent in rewards. For example, $100 worth of gas at Costco will earn you $4 of cash back.
The Costco credit cards are remarkably light on benefits outside the stellar rewards structure. In fact, there is hardly any difference between the consumer and business card. Both allow you to use your credit card as your membership card, and both offer standard Citi credit card purchase protection.
By purchasing an item with your card, you could receive purchase protection that covers the cost of repairs or provides a refund if your item is damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase.
Every Citi card (including debit cards) that use the Visa, Mastercard or American Express network has access to the Citi Entertainment program. This feature grants you access to exclusive “experiences” like presale concert tickets, travel activities, dining opportunities and more.
Rates and Fees
Although the Costco Business credit card advertises that there is no annual fee, you do need a Costco membership to apply, which starts at $60 per year. Even if your business doesn’t frequently shop at Costco, the membership fee can easily be offset if you at least spend $125 per month at eligible gas stations in the 4 percent cash back category.
There aren’t any zero-interest offers—like many business cards—but the ongoing APR is surprisingly low for a retail card at 15.24 percent variable. More good news—there are also no foreign transaction fees in case any business expenses pop up while you’re abroad.
How the Costco business credit card compares to other business cash back cards
The Costco business card seems to be in a class of its own, since many other business cards don’t offer cash back on wholesale club purchases. The closest rival appears to be the consumer Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, which provides 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (limited to $2,500 per quarter in combined 3 percent choice category and 2 percent category purchases, then 1 percent).
The Bank of America Cash business sibling is a close second. The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers 3 percent cash back on categories of your choice, including gas stations and travel. However, the 3 percent rate is also tied to the 2 percent dining cash back category—up to the first $50,000 in combined purchases per year, then 1 percent afterward.
Other non-branded business cards may offer more flexible cash back and better benefits as well. For example, the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card offers unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, employee cards and more travel benefits for no annual fee.
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Welcome bonus|
|Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Card||
||$0||Earn 5 percent cash back in-store at Walmart for the first 12 months upon approval by using the card with Walmart Pay.|
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card||
||$0||$300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases within first 90 days.|
|Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card||
||$0||$500 cash back after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.|
Best cards to pair with the Costco business credit card
Since the Costco business card’s reward redemption options are pretty rigid and the bonus categories are fairly broad, the best partner cards will introduce some flexibility or additional coverage. The Ink Business Unlimited’s flat-rate cash back could act as a one-size-fits-all solution in this case.
But if you have a lot of traditional business expenses, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card delivers 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 you spend in combined purchases at eligible office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each year.
Bankrate’s Take—Is the Costco business card worth it?
The Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi offers fantastic bonus category coverage and top-notch cash back rates on expenses like gas and travel.
However, the cash back rate on actual Costco purchases is relatively low, and there aren’t many travel or business benefits to round out the card’s value. You should also weigh whether the inconvenient rewards redemption method and annual Costco membership are worth it compared to more flexible non-branded business cards.
All information about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Card, Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card last updated on 05.03.21