Citi and Costco have finally released the details of their new co-branded credit card, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi. However, the new card is not available for new applicants until at least June 20, 2016. Here’s a quick overview of the card details based on their FAQ and full T&Cs.
Already have the Costco American Express? You do NOT need to apply for a new card. There will not be an additional hard credit check. This new Visa card will automatically be mailed to the user’s address on file in May 2016. You have to wait until June 20, 2016 to 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.
Do not close your Costco American Express on your own, or you won’t receive the benefits of this automatic transfer.
- 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.
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. I appreciate that this card maintains the overall simplicity of the old 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%) means that you won’t be as tempted to use another Visa card at their stores. I was hoping for 5% back on gas to match the Sam’s Club card, but I guess we’ll have to settle for 4%.
In terms 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 is available as both a Visa and Mastercard, but reports are that you can ask Citi to switch from one to the other (update: readers report that you can only go from Visa to MC, not MC to Visa). Finally, 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 (requirements apply).