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FAQs related to Costco Anywhere Visa Card

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!

FAQs Costco Anywhere

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.

 

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Costco Anywhere Visa Card Review

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.

costco anywhere visa

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.