If you’re a Costco regular, you would’ve known for some time now that the Costco and American Express recently ended their 16-year long partnership. However, this separation didn’t mean that Costco was pulling out of the rewards credit card game – not at all! Instead, the company replaced its earlier co-branded American Express credit card with a new one from Citigroup. This new card is called the Costco Anywhere Visa Card. And starting June 20, 2016, Costco began accepting not just the Anywhere Visa, but all the Visa cards.
Although a large number of Costco credit card users felt slightly disheartened initially (since they had been using the American Express card for a very long time and were skeptical about the possible changes), the details of the new card have allayed all their fears. In fact, they’re celebrating as the new card seems to be far more appealing than its predecessor!
Costco Anywhere Visa card – A quick glance
- The new Visa card offers 4% cash back on the first $ 7000 spent on gas purchases per year (1% cash back thereafter), 1% higher than what used to be offered by the old American Express card.
- 3% cash back on all travel and dining expenses, including the money spent on local and international dining, airfare, cruise lines, Costco travel, hotels, travel agencies, car rentals and travel purchases. The American Express card used to provide only 2% cash back on such expenses and none on international dining.
- All purchases made at Costco and Costco.com, using the Costco anywhere Visa card earn a cash back of 2%.
- A cashback of 1% on all other purchases.
- The card comes with zero annual fee, although you may be asked to pay for yearly Costco membership (starting from $ 55 per year) in order to qualify.
- The card doubles up as the Costco membership card.
- Worldwide travel accident insurance and worldwide car rental insurance.
- Includes damage and theft purchase protection that may cover you for the refunds or repairs of items you purchase using your Costco Anywhere Visa card, if they are stolen or damaged inside the first 120 days of their purchase (90 days for the residents of New York).
- Eligibility for the Visa SavingsEdge (with the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card). It provides you automatic savings on eligible purchases at the participating merchants.
- Ideal card for people who shop frequently at Costco as they can earn unlimited 2% cash back.
- Good for already existing Costco members who spend regularly on travel, dining and gas purchases.
- Attractive cashback offers, better than its predecessor.
- Easily amongst the best cashback credit cards today, if you’re a regular Costco shopper and maintain a steady Costco membership.
- Old Costco American Express cardholders automatically become eligible for the new Costco anywhere Visa card without any credit inquiry.
- The card fares pretty well compared to its industry counterparts in categories where it earns more than 1% cash back for the card holder.
- The 4% cash back offer makes it one of the best credit cards for making gas purchases.
- Even though you’re not awarded in miles as in case of other popular reward cards, the dining and travel savings are good enough to outdo some of the popular travel credit cards out there.
- You get a whole lot of time to use your cashback rewards. The cash coupons are sent to you in February and you have till December 31st for their redemption.
- Another major benefit of the switch from American Express to Citigroup is that you get immediate access to the Citi Private Pass feature that comes with Citi cards. The Private Pass makes you eligible to purchase presale tickets to different sporting events, shows and concerts. Tickets are often reserved for the Private Pass members and can even be purchased after the show is officially declared as sold out.
- 4% cash back isn’t available on gas purchases at warehouse clubs (other than Costco), convenience stores, supermarkets and superstores.
- Not for you if you don’t have a Costco outlet nearby and don’t buy in bulk.
- The card doesn’t come with a big introductory or signup bonus like other rewards cards.
- Redemption is allowed only once per year. A cashback savings coupon will be mailed to you every February. So, no instant access to the earned rewards points. What more, you may lose all your rewards if your account gets cancelled due to some reason.
If you had the old Costco American Express card?
All holders of the old Costco American Express card aren’t required to apply for the new card. They’re most likely to have already received the new Costco Anywhere Visa card at their registered address. Any debt balance and/or cash rewards from the old card will be transferred to the new one and the old American Express account will be closed automatically.
So, should you buy the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card?
If you’re a Costco member already, there’s no way you can go wrong with this new card from Citi.
On the other hand, if you’re not a Costco member yet, but spend a lot of money on travel, restaurants and gas, this card can save you plenty every month. The only question that needs to be asked is whether you’d be interested in redeeming all those cashback rewards at Costco or not?
Costco card is quite different from the regular rewards cards in the manner that it isn’t your typical store credit card. Although you can earn rewards by purchasing from stores that accept Visa, the rewards are redeemable only at the Costco stores for cash or merchandise. In addition, you’ll need to maintain your Costco membership too.
Regardless of whether you’re a Costco member or not, you can’t possibly fault a card that provides you 4% cash back on gas purchases with this kind of high spending limit! The rewards rates on the travel and restaurants are impressive too.