Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
Gets joy from shopping for ingredients, making meals, and dining See more cards
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
You need to be a paid Costco member to apply for the card, but the rewards-earning rates are strong in popular categories found beyond the Costco parking lot—gas, dining, and travel. That means Costco members with excellent credit can translate a lot of regular, everyday expenses into cash back at their local Costco. You can even get some of your rewards in cash right at the Costco register. Plus there’s no annual fee.
Since your redemption options are limited, however, you should look for another credit card if you want more freedom in where you use your rewards. Many competing cards offer cash-back on similar everyday categories, and the rewards can often be redeemed straight into your bank account or credited to your card balance.
Attractive rewards-earning rates
No annual fee
No bonus for new cardholders
Limited rewards redemption
- Attractive rewards-earning rates: Earning 4% back on up to $7,000 in qualified gas purchases each year can be lucrative if you commute to work or spend a lot on gas to get around. The 3% back on dining and travel can also add up fast if you are a foodie or travel for work or leisure. These rewards rates are as good or higher than many competing cash-back credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee.
- No annual fee: You have to be a paid Costco member to qualify for this credit card, but there’s no separate annual fee. (Costco memberships start at $60 per year—and your membership fee qualifies for 2% cash back.)
- No bonus for new cardholders: Unlike some other rewards cards with no annual fee, the Costco Anywhere Visa doesn’t offer a bonus for new cardholders, which means you won’t earn extra cash just for meeting a minimum spending requirement within your first few months. Bonuses from comparable cards can be worth hundreds of dollars.
- Limited rewards redemption: Cash back earned with this card is only offered once each year when your February billing statement closes. Worse, it must be redeemed at a physical Costco store in the U.S., meaning you have to get in your car and drive. While it’s nice that you can redeem for cash as well as merchandise once you’re at the register, there are plenty of hoops to jump through before then.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Costco Anywhere Visa offers high earning rates for a card without an annual fee.
- 4% back on up to $7,000 spent at eligible gas stations worldwide each year, including Costco gas stations
- 3% back on dining and eligible travel
- 2% back on in-store and online Costco purchases
- 1% back on everything else
The gas rewards on this card can be quite lucrative if you drive a lot. If you spend the entire $7,000 per year on gas (a little over $583 per month), you would earn $280 in this category alone. Even if your spending is more in line with the average American household ($2,109—or a little less than $176 per month—in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) you would earn about $84 in rewards just on gas each year.
The BLS also tells us that the average American household spent $3,459 on dining out in 2018, so that could be worth another $104 in cash back. And that’s before you’ve even set foot on an airplane or into a Costco.
One major downside of the Costco Anywhere Visa is the fact that the rewards program is so limited.
Your rewards accumulate throughout the calendar year, January to December, and are then tallied up for distribution just once a year. The cash back comes in the form of an annual reward certificate, which arrives each year after your February account statement closes. You cannot redeem your cash back as you earn it, and you have to redeem your rewards in a single transaction at a Costco warehouse store.
If you don’t redeem all of your rewards certificate on Costco merchandise, you’ll get the difference back in cash at the register.
Be aware, too, that you won’t receive any accrued rewards if your Costco Anywhere Visa account is closed before your February billing statement closes. So wait until you receive your rewards if you’re planning to close your credit card account or end your Costco membership.
Don’t wait too long before redeeming your certificate. Rewards expire on December 31 of the year the certificate was issued.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Use this card for all your gas station purchases in order to maximize the 4% back earning category. You can also use it for all dining, travel, and Costco purchases in order to maximize those bonus categories. Keep in mind that you won’t receive the rewards you accrue until after your February billing statement closes each year.
You may want to consider pairing this card with another cash back or travel credit card that offers more redemption options throughout the year.
Costco Anywhere Visa Card’s Other Features
- Extended warranties
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
Citi ranked sixth out of 11 big credit card issuers in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. It scored 799 out of 1,000 points, which put it just below the industry average of 806 points. However, Citi does have easily accessible customer service, including 24/7 phone help and online chat.
Citi also offers a helpful mobile app that lets you track your purchases, see your balance, and pay your credit card bill using your mobile device.
Citi offers standard security features for its credit cards including online fraud monitoring and early detection. It also offers a Citi Identity Theft Solutions program, which can be useful when someone accesses your account details or you’re a victim of identity theft.
Costco Anywhere Visa Fees
There’s nothing surprising in the fine print about the Costco Anywhere Visa card’s fees—they are comparable to the fees on similar cards. Note that you won’t be charged any foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad.