Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi review: a Superstore Card Like No Other
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Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card Overview
As one of the few credit cards to offer cash back at wholesale clubs, plus impressive cash back rates on other bonus categories, the Costco business card is 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.
What are the pros and cons?
- No sign-up bonus.
- Requires a Costco membership to apply (at least $60 per year).
- Limited benefits and the once-per-year in-store reward redemption could be deal breakers.
- Requires an excellent credit score
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 (not including a Costco membership)
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 16.74 percent variable
Current welcome offer
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 its $100 Amazon gift card upon approval.
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).
How to redeem
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.
Other cardholder perks
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. Depending on your business needs, the membership could be worth it, especially for items bought frequently. Even if your business doesn’t shop at Costco often, 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 16.74 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. However, certain limitations like the required Costco membership can be a turn off. If you don’t often shop at Costco or need office supplies regularly, there may be other cards better suited for you.
Costco Anywhere Business vs Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards
A close rival to the Costco Anywhere Business card is the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card. It 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—capped at up to the first $50,000 in combined purchases per year, then 1 percent afterward.
Bank of America’s consumer-friendly sibling, Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, is also a good choice as it 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). While the Costco Anywhere Business card’s spending caps can seem initially lower than either Bank of America card, the lack of spending caps on categories like restaurants and travel leave room for higher earning potential.
Costco Anywhere Business vs Ink Business Unlimited
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. Not only that, Ink Business Unlimited also offers other generous perks. There’s a welcome bonus of $750 cash back when you spend $7500 (within the first three months of opening the account) and 0 percent intro APR on new purchases for the first 12 months (then 13.99% – 19.99% variable APR).
However, what the Costco Anywhere Business card lacks in offers, it makes up for in higher rewards rates like 4% cash back on gas and 3% cash back on travel. The Ink Business card is great for businesses just getting started and exploring their needs. However, for businesses who know exactly what they need and where their budget is going, the Costco Business card may be a better fit.
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.
“If you’re already a Costco member, getting a no-annual-fee business credit card with great cash back rewards makes sense,” says finance expert Sally Herigstad. “If you’re not a Costco member, check out their prices on items you use in your business, consider the cash back rewards with this card, and decide if the membership and card would benefit you.”
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