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Costco has a reputation for being an exclusive retailer – after all, you have to have a membership to shop there in the first place.
But now it offers the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi… only it can be used anywhere, not just in Costco stores.
What gives? Is this rewards card really a great pick? Let’s find out together.
If you’re a Costco member already, you can apply for its Anywhere Visa Card from Citi.
The reward credit card features a $0 annual fee and a host of potentially beneficial savings, particularly if you use this card, as its name suggests, anywhere you, please!
As with all rewards credit cards, you have to use this card frequently to take advantage of its biggest benefits.
It’s affordable and easy to access due to the lack of an annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
However, it’s hampered by a lack of big bonuses at the retailer itself and a complicated redemption process.
You can apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi as soon as you become a Costco member.
You don’t have to pay any additional fees, although being a Costco member in the first place costs either $60 or $120 per year.
Once you apply for and qualify for the card, you’ll learn a host of excellent rewards, including:
However, you won’t be able to redeem all of your accumulated rewards once every billing cycle or so, as is the case with many other rewards credit cards.
Instead, with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, you’ll get your rewards in the form of a certificate once per year, typically included with your February billing statement from the massive retailer.
Then you have until the end of the year in which you were issued the certificate to redeem your rewards as cash or Costco store credit.
Unfortunately, you can’t redeem the certificate online. You’ll also lose the rewards if you cancel your Costco membership before redeeming the certificate.
Still, theCostco Anywhere Visa® Card is a potentially valuable card for frequent Costco shoppers who want even more benefits from their yearly membership.
It depends. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi’s primary rewards ironically come from using the card at retailers other than Costco itself. In this way, the card rewards you for spending money at different places.
Once you do so, you’ll get potentially big rewards to spend at Costco. Depending on how much money you spend each year and how often you use this card, you might be able to save up hundreds of dollars in store credit.
For example, you can earn 4% cash back on gas station spending (up to $7000 per year) for a maximum potential reward rate of $280 annually just from that aspect of the rewards program.
Bottom line: if you enjoy Costco membership already, and you don’t mind being able to take advantage of your rewards credit once per year, there’s no reason not to apply for this credit card.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a rewards credit card you can use anywhere, not just the titular retailer.
It offers rewards on gas, restaurant, travel, and practically all other purchases, regardless of whether they are at Costco or another retailer.
It does not charge an annual fee, and it doesn’t come saddled with foreign transaction fees on any purchases.
The gas reward rate is possibly the most attractive part of the card, as you’ll get 4% cash back on all gas spending for up to $7000 each year.
Even if you spend more than $7000 at gas stations with this card, you’ll still earn rewards at a rate of 1%. Again, this could lead you to save hundreds of dollars per year that you can then spend at Costco for groceries or anything else.
The card also comes with a great rewards rate for dining and travel spending: 3% in total. Fortunately, this cash back reward rate is unlimited, so you can spend as much as you want on dining and travel purchases and enjoy the same rewards rate throughout the entire year.
This could add up to hundreds of dollars when you finally get your rewards certificate.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi features an underrated perk: purchase protection benefits. In a nutshell, this applies if any item you purchased with the card is damaged or stolen within 120 days or within 90 days for New York residents.
If this occurs, simply submit a claim to Citi, and they will cover the cost for a refund or a repair. Even better, this purchase protection applies to all purchases you make, not just ones at Costco stores.
Additionally, if you make a purchase with this card and the item has a manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll get 24 months of extra warranty coverage totally free.
The Costco Anywhere Visa Card could be a good choice for buying pricier items because of these protections.
As mentioned, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi does not charge any foreign transaction fees.
This makes the card a great choice for frequent flyers who may regularly make travel purchases or eat at foreign restaurants.
You’ll get the same rewards rate of 3% without any penalties whatsoever.
Since the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card is supplied by Citi, you’ll also enjoy unlimited access to Citi Entertainment, which provides options to purchase tickets to thousands of different entertainment events, concerts, dining experiences, sporting events, and more.
Even with the above positive aspects, there are a few downsides to the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.
For one, the card doesn’t include any sign-up bonus. You only get what it says on the proverbial tin. Hence, it’s not as immediately attractive as other rewards credit cards you can find.
For another, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi requires at least a good credit score. However, an excellent credit score will net you a better chance of approval.
So, you won’t be able to take advantage of all the benefits described above if your credit needs a little bit of work.
Lastly, the redemption process is certainly restrictive. Most other rewards credit cards allow you to enjoy your cashback rewards several times per year, not just once.
Citi also restricts your rewards to a single certificate and only allows you to use the points at Costco stores.
It’s simple: just keep using the card until February and maintain your Costco subscription the entire time. When this occurs, you’ll get a credential mailed to you with your February billing statement.
You can then take the credential to a physical Costco store. You can use the certificate to pay for products at the retail location, but you won’t be able to use the certificate to make purchases at Costco.com.
What about cash? You can also head to a register at a Costco store and get your credit redeemed as cash instead.
But keep in mind that Costco reserves the right to fulfill your redemptions in alternative forms, like electronic transfers or checks, instead of cash at any time.
Not sure if the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is the right card for you? Fortunately, there are several alternatives that you can still use at Costco.
Chase offers a solid alternative in the form of the Chase Freedom Flex℠, a cash back card that lets you earn:
The card also comes with a $200 sign-up bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.
The downside? This card is a Mastercard, which can only be used for online Costco purchases.
The Citi® Double Cash Card is a fixed rate cash back card that allows you to earn 2% cash back on each purchase, though the percentages are split up between 1% cash back when you make a purchase and 1% cash back when you pay for a purchase.
Note that this rewards card is also a Mastercard, so you won’t be able to use it in retail Costco stores. It doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus, but it is a particularly good choice if you spend a lot of money in the categories that apply to the above cashback rates, namely gas, travel, and restaurant purchases.
You might also consider the Discover it® Cash Back Card, which provides 5% cash back offers on regular purchases each quarter.
Qualifying purchases can be made at grocery stores, gas stations, and even Amazon.com. You’ll also get 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.
The sign-up bonus is particularly attractive. Use this card and Discover will agree to match all the cash back you have earned over your first year, with no minimum or maximum.
Say that you earn $300 cash back with your first year with this card; you’ll get another $300 in cash back credit, no questions asked.
No. It’s totally free, although the mandatory Costco membership fee of either $60 or $120 technically acts as a kind of annual fee.
Yes! In fact, that’s the intention behind this card. You should use it in other places to maximize the cash back you earn over a year.
You’ll need a credit score of between 720 and 850, categorized as excellent by most major credit bureaus, to qualify for this cashback rewards card.
Absolutely, provided you spend a lot of money outside Costco and don’t mind spending your rewards at a local retail store. But the redemption options are a bit finicky and restrictive, so you won’t be blamed if you look elsewhere instead.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi’s rewards are as follows:
All in all, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a solid rewards card through and through, particularly for regular Costco shoppers.
It has the potential to be one of the most lucrative cashback rewards cards you can use outside this store chain but be aware of all of its restrictions before you sign on the dotted line to avoid being disappointed.