New Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi Review

newcostvisa

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.

Card 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.

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).

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.

  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

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