New Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi Review

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Updated June 2016; Now open to new applicants. Citi and Costco have released the details of their new co-branded credit cards, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi. Here’s a quick overview of the details for each card.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi highlights: (For Personal Use)

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter. You will not get 4% cash back for gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco.
  • 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance and Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance.
  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection is included, which may cover you for repairs or refunds for items you purchased with your Costco Anywhere Card that are damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents).
  • No annual fee (with paid Costco membership).
  • Will also serve as your Costco membership card.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi highlights:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter. You will not get 4% cash back for gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco.
  • 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance and Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance.
  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection is included, which may cover you for repairs or refunds for items you purchased with your Costco Anywhere Card that are damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents).
  • No annual fee (with paid Costco membership).
  • Will also serve as your Costco membership card.
  • Visa SavingsEdge eligibility. Receive automatic savings after enrollment on qualifying purchases at participating merchants.

Had the Costco American Express? You did not need to apply for a new card. You should have already received the new card in the mail to your registered address. After June 20, 2016, you can start using it. At that time, any cash rewards and/or debt balance will be transferred over to the new card, and your Costco American Express will be closed automatically. You should not have closed your Costco American Express on your own, or you wouldn’t have received the benefits of this automatic transfer.

The rewards will accrue in the form of “Costco Cash Rewards”. This means you’ll get a paper coupon snail-mailed to you once every year in February based on your previous year’s spending, which you can either (1) use as payment for goods directly at the Costco cash register or (2) convert to cash or check at a Costco customer service desk. You may also do a partial redemption at a cash register and they’ll give you the remaining balance in cash. Coupon must be redeemed in person on or prior to its expiration date of December 31 in the year in which it is issued.

Commentary. Here is an overview of the competition:

  • The new Fidelity Rewards Credit Card is another Visa card that should get you 2% back on your Costco purchases.
  • The Citi Double Cash Card exists both a Visa and Mastercard, but reports are you cannot switch to a Visa if you have a Mastercard.
  • The BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card is a Visa and has the potential to earn you up to 2.625% back at Costco in the form of statement credits towards travel (see review; additional requirements apply).
  • The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card is a Visa and has the potential to earn you at least 2% and up to 3.5% cash back at Costco on up to $2,500 in purchases per quarter (see review; additional requirements apply).
  • Through the end of 2016, the Chase Freedom Card will earn you 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter. You can even stock up on Costco gift cards bought at Costco.com if you want to max out this limited-time promotion.

This card maintains the overall simplicity of the old consumer card, while slightly improving the rewards percentages. The bonus category percentages went up (new Visa is 4/3/1, old AmEx was 3/2/1). The improved 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com (formerly only 1%) is significant, as it means that you finally won’t be as tempted to use a non-Costco-branded card at Costco! I was hoping for 5% back on gas to match the Sam’s Club card, but I suppose we’ll have to settle for 4%. I would also note that both the personal and business cards now have the same rewards percentages.

Comments

  1. Brad Ford says:

    That is a great cash back offer to pair with a grocery friendly card. I am going to have to rethink my Amex Blue Cash Preferred card.

  2. I wasn’t able to tell, but with the Amex card, you got a 2% card + 1% Costco for a total of 3% cash back for purchases at Costco. Does this card stack for in store purchases or is it a flat 2%?

    • Actually, it’s 1% Amex and 2% Costco. So, potentially 4% total in store?

    • The new Visa Costco card gets you 2% back at Costco. The AmEx Costco only got you 1% back at Costco. Executive members also get 2% cash back, which is separate and stackable with credit card rewards.

      • Jimmy Martinez says:

        I e-mailed customer service asking about it and the e-mail basically reiterated the 1-2-3-4% rewards and nothing about doubling up the 2% cashback with the exec membership.

        A friend of mine went to the Costco service desk yesterday and she said that it does double up for cash back (4% total).

        • Yup, any credit card rewards and Executive Membership are calculated and treated separately. You might not use your Costco Visa for every single Costco purchase, for example.

  3. Any idea what happens to Executive members?

  4. Sofaking Nuts says:

    What about people with the business version of the AmEx Costco card, will they be issued a business version of the new Citi card?

    I preferred the business version of the AmEx because it offered 4% on gas purchases and doesn’t appear on a credit report.

  5. Christopher Youngblood says:

    “You will not get 4% cash back for gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco.”

    Does this mean you will only get the 4% for purchasing gas at Costco? Can’t think of a place that sells gas that is not one of the above. Supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouse clubs. Who else sells gas?

    • I agree the wording is confusing in regards to convenience stores, but my *non-official* interpretation is that anywhere that is a gas station brand like ExxonMobil, Chevron, 76, Valero, BP, etc will still count as gas. I’d just try your favorite gas station and see if it counts. Looks like they will exclude Wal-Mart gas, Safeway gas, etc.

      • Is there a code that specifies BJs, Sams Club and Costco gas separately? How does Citi cards (citi visa) code gas from Safeway gas, Wal-mart gas, BP, Speedway (was Hess), WaWa or 7-11 gas?

        • Whenever you make a credit card purchase, it transmits a special merchant category code (MCC) as well as the name/identifying information of the merchant. I’m sure by using some combination of the two, they can filter the rewards accordingly.

  6. Italiangirl says:

    Can any Visa work now for Costco? I have Chase Preferred. I don’t need Costco rewards or cash as I can get 1% from Chase.

  7. Jonathan,

    what is the best Amex replacement card to replace my current Costco Amex, I love Amex for its customer service and rewards, they now offer pre-approved Blue Cash card to all their current customers, (which I have not switched yet), is that the best no fee Amex card in your opinion?

    • Well, the best card would depend on your spending patterns and travel needs, but in general I like the Starwood card (hotel and general airline rewards), Delta Platinum (only if you can use the free annual companion ticket), and the Blue Cash Preferred (6% back on groceries up to $6,000 per year, 3% back on gas and select department stores. Out of those, the Blue Cash Preferred is the closest to the current Costco card:

      Blue Cash Preferred review
      http://www.mymoneyblog.com/blue-cash-preferred-american-express-review-groceries.html

      Starwood card review
      http://www.mymoneyblog.com/multiple-uses-for-the-starwood-american-express-card.html

      • Wouldn’t it be prudent to wait until the sign on bonuses and rewards are at their highest with Amex? Given that Amex lost JetBlue, Fidelity, and Costco Amex credit card accounts, I can only imagine or hope that they will have to increase their credit card rewards and bonuses to compete with the Chases, Citis, Barclays, Elans US Banks, and even Bank of Americas. I saw Everyday Blue Cash with a $250 sign on bonus with upto $200 more with their 10%back on US wireless provider purchases; all with no annual fee. And few people on forum claim they got $300 bonus from Amex to Blue Cash Everyday.

        • How to get $300 sign on bonus? I think they are only offering $100 bonus after $1000 spending to current Costco Amex customers. I am also holding out hoping for a better offer from them.

        • You could certainly wait for a sign-up bonus, but the Costco co-branded cards have historically not offered big sign-up bonuses.

  8. Great recap, I appreciate that you always spell things out so much more clearly than the official news: Costco card, Fidelity card, even Google Photos (the “unlimited” photos option was really confusing, and your blog post about it was more accurate than even many tech blogs who just regurgitated Google’s misleading press release.)

    Glad to see that they’re upping the Costco card rewards to 2%. However, I will definitely be using the new Fidelity Visa 2% at Costco instead of Costco’s card because waiting 1 year for a snail mail paper coupon that I have to remember to redeem is silly in this day and age, and the only purpose I can see for them to do this is to count on people forgetting to redeem it. I’m sticking with Fidelity card automatic deposits.

  9. I just tried to convert my Citi Double Cash Rewards Card from Mastercard to Visa and they said they couldn’t currently do it. Is there any trick to it?

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I have only read about reported successes in the past, so it could be that they don’t do it anymore. Another reader wrote to me and said that Citi said they didn’t need to switch to Visa because Costco would take Mastercard, which I don’t think is true, my point being that not all rep have the same knowledge base. Your other alternative is to try again later with a different rep who may have better or different knowledge.

  10. Sams club card is still better choice 5% on gas including sams gas stations, 3% on travel and 1% on everything else. No annual fee as well.

  11. Percentages look good – but when the discounts are for everyone, it gets priced into the items we buy at Costco. So no real deal :)

  12. Do the executive members get anything extra on these cash backs?

    • Executive members get 2% cash back from Costco now, and it doesn’t seem to be changing, which is too bad. But in addition to the Citi 2% cash back at Costco, that’s 4% back all the time. The Executive membership is great for things like ordering checks, where you get a cheaper price. I don’t use the cash-back checks for merchandise at the store, I always get the cash. Or you can make a very small purchase, and get cash for the rest.

      • Thanks Ellis. So let me understand, being executive member, one would get 6% on gas and 4% on Costco purchases?

        • It’s 4% on Costco purchases, but I don’t know about the gas. My Costco doesn’t have a gas station, though I wish it did!

          The way the cash-back is set up is that Executive members get two separate cash-back checks: one from the credit card company in February, and one from Costco at another time (I think it may coincide with your membership anniversary). We always make enough cash back to more than cover the extra cost of the Executive membership.

        • The Executive Membership 2% cash back does not apply to gasoline. There are certain other exclusions:

          http://www.costco.com/executive-rewards.html

  13. Trying to set up this dam card. First, I set up my husbands online. Fine. BTW, I was on hold trying to do this, customer service is sleeping. Citibank has the worst or slowest response. If you call them before bedtime, you might get someone by the time you wake up for work.

    Next, I tried to set up my card. Fine until I got to my Preferred email address. The message said there was an error. I even wrote a bogus email. Still not working. I tried my husband’s email.

    I called customer service. After 35 minutes, Val picked up about 4:45 Pacific Time. Put me on hold because he couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Then he comes back and says it will work tomorrow. I asked why did this work for my husband? He doesn’t know.

    I gave him my phone number and asked for a customer service supervisor to call me. He wants to put me on hold. I said, “Absolutely not!” I am not waiting. I went over my contact info with him. I complained that I will never, never use the Citibank Visa card… and told him that I am using my BofA visa card because my rewards are better. Yes, I get 75% over the 1% of all purchases. Citibank can’t come close. Plus, the customer service was not set up to handle the new Costco members.

    I got off. I will complain at Costco. Let them know that I am not happy.

    And don’t forget, I will be using BofA Visa.

  14. Laura B. Harrah says:

    Up to now I’ve used my AMEX credit card for Costco purchases. I was supposed yo get a Citibank credit card in May. I have NOT received a card from Citi Bank. I’ve called and can’t get through to anyone because they want my Citi Bank number. Since I don’t have a card, I DO NOT have a card. HELP
    I

  15. Got email from B of A yesterday –
    “Good news!
    Your BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® credit card is now accepted at all major wholesale clubs, including Costco®, Sam’s Club® and BJ’s®.” It goes on to say 2% at Costco.
    So in my case, I will use the Cash Rewards card at Costco and get 3.5% on purchases when I put reward on checking. . Not sure how gas will work.

  16. Now through 9/30/16, the Chase Freedom Visa card gives you 5% back on all whole sale clubs purchases, including Costco and Sams Club. I went to Costco yesterday, on the first day of their transition, flashed my Citibank Costco card and used my Chase Visa to check out. No problems whatsoever.

    • I think you jumped the gun. According to the Chase Freedom rewards calendar you get 5% on Costco starting in July.

      https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/calendar

      However, that is a great point to use the Chase Freedom Visa from July to September for inside the store only. Offer does not apply to Gas purchases, so I will have to use the new Costco Visa for those.

      • Hi Kevin, 5% back on Wholesale clubs on the Chase Freedom Visa card is also in effect now, during the 2nd quarter. See Jonathan’s post above. Apparently, this promotion does not only run through 9/30, but it looks like they are extending it for thr rest of the year (per Pedro’s comment below).

  17. DollarBill says:

    Does anybody know what credit bureau they use to check my credit? I have my credit files frozen and need to know which credit file I need to un-freeze.

  18. Per View from the Wing, Chase has extended their 5x points category for wholesale clubs for all of 2016: “With the Costco credit card acceptance changing to Visa on June 20, including those issued by Chase, Chase Freedom is announcing that it will continue to offer the 5% cash back category of Wholesale Clubs through the end of the year. Chase Freedom cardholders earn 5% cash back each quarter on up to $1,500 in combined purchases from Wholesale Clubs, including Costco®, BJ’s® and Sam’s Club®, and other additional rotating quarterly categories.”
    http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2016/06/14/chase-freedom-extends-5x-costco-wholesale-clubs-end-year/#_ga=1.169002469.534521495.1466550241

  19. Leonardo says:

    Chase Freedom is better for Costco purchases until 9/30. The offer excludes Costco gasoline, however you can buy Costco Cash cards with 5% back and buy gas.

  20. Art in LA says:

    Are the following two benefits only available on the “Personal” card, not the “Business” card?

    1) Worldwide Car Rental Insurance and Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance.

    2)Damage & Theft Purchase Protection is included, which may cover you for repairs or refunds for items you purchased with your Costco Anywhere Card that are damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents).

    Looks like both cards provide these benefits according to this page:

    https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/creditcards/citi.action?ID=citi-costco-credit-card-conversion

    • Yes, both cards have the same benefits, I was just trying to save some repetitive text but it appears that may have been confusing. Biz card is eligible for Visa SavingsEdge only available to Visa business cards, but otherwise Costco is trying to make them both the same. Just pick which works best for your needs.

      • Art in LA says:

        Thanks. You might have been better off saying they both have the same rewards except the Business card gets the additional SavingsEdge benefit. We have both cards, but I noticed that the Card Agreement clearly states that the Business card should only be used for Business purchases. We added the Costco Business Amex years ago because the benefits were not synchronized, the Costco Amex Business card had slightly better benefits.

  21. I signed up for the card last week (never had the Costco Amex despite being a long time Costco Executive Business Member). I just got the rewards info in the mail on Friday and looked over it, the Rental Car Insurance is Primary for International Rentals but is SECONDARY insurance for domestic rentals.

    Any suggestions for no annual fee Cards with Primary Rental Car Coverage?

    • I think you’ll find it very hard to get primary domestic car rental insurance on a no annual fee card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase United MileagePlus Explorer cards are two consumer cards that offer primary, but both come with an annual fee.

      If you don’t rent very often, you can sign up for the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection for $24.95 flat per rental up to 42 days. That way you get off your personal car insurance policy, but it’s cheaper than paying LDW or a credit card annual fee.

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