It’s no breaking news that American Express and Costco have ended their 16-year long partnership. In fact, the split was announced last year and the final switchover happened this June 20th, when the popular warehouse club stopped accepting the old TrueEarnings American Express cards. Majority of old Costco American Express card holders have already been sent their new Costco Anywhere Visa Cards (from Citi). If you haven’t received yours yet, don’t worry, it’s on its way!
The transition has resulted a whole lot questions from the Costco loyalists who seem unsure about what to expect next. Here’s a quick look at some of the important ones of all these queries, and their corresponding answers:
I had the old Costco Amex card, am I going to get a new one now?
As also mentioned above, yes, there’s one on its way if you haven’t received it already! The new Costco Anywhere Visa Card is already being actively dispatched to all the old TrueEarnings American Express cardholders. The dispatches started happening late May and have majorly been completed by now. The new card from Citigroup will have a new account number, but won’t be counted as a fresh line of credit in your credit report.
Many cardholders have been reporting that they aren’t able to activate their new card. The Citigroup has given a statement that they’re working on resolving such problems. On a side note, you’ll need to apply for a fresh American Express card if you’re keen on continuing association with Amex.
What’s the APR applicable to the new card?
The specific terms and conditions related to the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card have already been sent to all cardholders, along with their new cards. The payment due dates and applicable APRs remain the same as applicable to their old accounts. Please note that if your initial letter from Citi lists your standard APR as 15.49%, but the percentage applicable to your TrueEarnings card was lower than that, you’ll keep your old APR for all your purchases.
However, if you’re a new account holder who has applied for a Costco card for the first time, your APR will be 0% for the initial seven months, and 15.49% thereafter.
Is it possible to use the old TrueEarnings card elsewhere?
No, the old TrueEarnings card from American Express and Costco has become invalid from June 19th. So, you won’t be able to use it anywhere now. However, you’ll certainly be able to use your new Costco Anywhere Visa Card wherever you like!
Is my credit score going to get hit because of the new credit card?
This was a very major concern among a large number of American Express–Costco card holders. All their concerns have been addressed as the old accounts were transferred to the new ones without any credit histories getting pulled.
However, please note that if you decide to apply for a fresh credit card from American Express, the company may do a hard credit pull to create a new account for you. That is most likely to have a negative impact on your credit score. However, the procedure may vary from person to person. Some TrueEarnings American Express cardholders have gotten their accounts converted into other American Express cards even without the hard credit pull. What more, some of them were even able to keep their old account numbers!
Will the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card also function as my Costco membership card?
Just as it was in the case of TrueEarnings card (from American Express and Costco), your new Costco Anywhere Visa Card will also double up as your Costco membership card. You’ll be able to use this card for making purchases at Costco and anywhere else. Although there’s no annual fee applicable on this card, you need to be a Costco member in order to get it. The Costco membership costs a minimum of $ 55 per year.
Is the 4% cash back applicable on all gas station purchases?
One of the most highlighted benefits of the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card is that you get 4% cash back on all your ‘eligible’ gas purchases. If you read the finer details, you’d know that the 4% cash back is applicable only on gas purchases at Costco or in case of fuel used for any non-automobile purposes. The gas purchased at convenience stores, supermarkets, superstores and other warehouse clubs get you only 1% cash back.
There’s a balance on my TrueEarnings card. Whom do I pay now?
Your balance from the TrueEarnings card would be payable to the Citigroup now, as the company has taken over all the TrueEarnings card debt from all American Express-Costco accounts.
I had set up auto payments for my TrueEarnings card? What will happen to them?
Please note that any payment arrangements with the old TrueEarnings American Express card won’t travel with the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card. Your billers will need to be updated with the new information from the Costco Anywhere Visa Card now.
Does Costco Anywhere Visa Card provide purchase and travel protections?
Yes, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card comes with an international travel accident and car rental insurance, apart from purchase and damage protection lasting for 120 days after any purchase with the card. You must have already received a booklet detailing all such benefits, around the same time as the card was sent to you.
Is there any foreign transaction fee associated with the new card?
Yes, there’s a 3% fee applicable on all transactions made in currencies other than the USD. This is the regular percentage applicable on cards that charge foreign transaction fees.
I don’t want the Costco Anywhere Visa Card. Do I have any options?
Regardless of whether you want it or not, the Citigroup must have already sent you the replacement for your old TrueEarnings card. In case you’re not keen on using the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card, you’re free to use any Visa card of your choice as Costco has started accepting all Visa cards now.