Do you belong to Costco, the warehouse club? If yes, then you’ve probably heard of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card from Citi. If you haven’t looked at credit cards before, you may want to because of the attractive cash-back rewards offered by some of them.
The Costco Anywhere Visa is a card created solely for Costco customers. You need a valid, paid Costco membership to access it, and it’s not open to the public. Costco memberships for households (Gold Star) or businesses (with no discounts) are $60 per year, plus whatever tax is required in your area.
The yearly fee for an Executive Membership at Costco is $120 (plus tax), and it provides its holders with access to exclusive benefits and savings on a variety of items. No matter what type of membership you have, your Anywhere Visa can also be used as your Costco ID.
Costco Anywhere Visa appears to have a very lucrative rebate scheme on paper. For instance, it provides unlimited 3% cash back on travel and restaurant purchases and 4% cash back on the first $7,000 spent on qualified petrol purchases, which includes purchases made at Costco gas stations but excludes many other types of gas stations.
In contrast to many other cash-back credit cards, this one does not offer a welcome bonus or a promotional period of zero percent interest.
Cash Back Rewards Earning
At Any Costco Visa’s cash-back rewards system consists of four tiers:
- The first $7,000 spent annually qualifies for 4% cash back on gas purchases and EV charging transactions made at eligible gas stations, including Costco pumps and merchants designated as gas stations. Gas and electric vehicle charging purchases over $7,00 per year earn an unlimited 1% cash back. One percent cash back is awarded for gas purchases made at non-participating gas stations, such as those located within supermarkets, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs other than Costco.
- At the 3% tier, you can earn limitless 3% cash back on dining out and travel expenses, such as airfare, hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages (including those sold through Costco Travel). With this level of service, the Costco Anywhere Visa is an excellent way to save money at restaurants and on overseas trips.
- Spending at Costco and Costco.com for anything other than gas will earn you 2% back, forever.
- In the 1% tier, you get 1% cash back on anything else you buy, forever.
Cash Back Reward Redeeming
When you receive your February payment, you’ll find a voucher for the entire year’s worth of cash-back rewards. This coupon can be used as store credit, exchanged for cash, or cashed in for a paper check at any Costco warehouse site.
If your redemption transaction costs less than the value of your coupon, the difference will be paid to you in cash or by check, whichever you desire. The cheapest value of a coupon is $1. If you don’t earn $1 in rewards in a particular year, you won’t get anything in February of the following year.
The card itself does not have an annual fee, but the issuing company does require a valid Costco membership with a yearly price of at least $60 plus any applicable taxes. At international Costco stores, the 3% fee that is typically applied to foreign transactions is omitted.
Additional advantages are available to cardholders with this card. Some of the most notable are:
- For up to a year after a purchase, you’re covered in case of loss or damage.
- Car rental insurance is free when you pay in full with your card.
- Universal medical evacuation coverage is a stripped-down kind of travel insurance that is not a replacement for a full policy
- For every traveler in need, help is always available.
Your credit must be stellar to get approved for this card. Your application is unlikely to be accepted if you have any major credit difficulties.
- Fantastic Reward Programs for Food and Vacations. With this card, you may get an infinite 3% back on dining and travel, which is nearly impossible to find with other rewards cards. You won’t find a better return, even from the finest travel rewards cards. Also, it’s important to remember that the American Express credit card that Costco used to offer is no longer an option because it only gave 2% cash back on dining and travel expenses and didn’t apply to restaurants outside the United States.
- Exceptional Gas and Electric Vehicle Charging Cash Back Rewards At Any Costco. Visa provides excellent incentives for both gas purchases and electric vehicle charging. Even though the 4% gas advantage and $7,000 annual spending cap don’t apply to gas and charging purchases made at retailers other than Costco grocery stores, superstores, and warehouse clubs, they’re still better than most rival cards. Further, it’s likely that Costco members will purchase the majority of their gas from within the warehouses. For those who use the full allotment, the gas perk might add up to $280 annually.
- No Costco Executive Membership Necessary for Two Percent Cash Back on All Purchases. At Any Costco At Costco, Visa cardholders can receive 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limits. For an annual fee of $120 (including tax), Costco’s Executive members receive 2% cash back on most purchases, much like cardholders. Anywhere Normal Visa members can take advantage of the discount of 2% as well.
- There is no yearly charge for the card. There is no annual charge for this card, however, cardholders must pay the $60 membership fee to Costco (plus VAT) each year.
- There are no additional costs associated with making a foreign exchange. All purchases made with this card, regardless of where they were made, are exempt from additional fees imposed by some banks. Whether or whether they have the time to buy at overseas Costco locations, this is excellent news for frequent international travelers.
- Costco membership is required. In order to use this card, you must be a paid member of Costco, which costs at least $60 annually, plus any local sales tax. The annual fee significantly reduces the earnings potential of this card, even if Costco membership is still worthwhile for many bigger households due to the cost savings from buying groceries in bulk. A cash-back credit card with no annual fee is preferable if you live alone or in a two-person household and don’t make frequent purchases at petrol stations, restaurants, or on vacation.
- To Redeem Rewards, Guests Must Visit a Costco Warehouse. At Any Costco, Visa does not facilitate the redemption of incentives. In order to redeem the coupon included in your February billing statement, you must go to Costco in person. How frustrating it would be to drive 50 miles one way to your “local” Costco, only to realize you forgot your coupon at home if you live far from the nearest warehouse site or only shop at Costco on rare occasions! Unlike certain cards, most reward cards let you redeem your cash back online, usually by depositing funds into your bank account.
- Rewards are limited to a once-yearly redemption. The fact that you may only cash in your rewards once per calendar year is just one more annoyance associated with this card’s redemption rules. Your cashback rewards coupon will be included with your February statement, so you may use it on your very next visit to Costco. Most other cash-back cards don’t impose artificial deadlines for making redemptions; you can cash in whenever you like, subject to minimum redemption amounts if any.
- Benefit Cap on Gas Use Is Low. The gas station section of this card is subpar. Only petrol purchased from Costco or other merchants designated as gas stations will qualify for the 4% cash back benefit up to $7,000 annually. To put it simply, it doesn’t apply to gas bought in convenience stores, grocery stores, or big-box retailers. If you fill up at one of these stations, you’ll only get 1% cashback. It’s a major drawback if you can’t fill up at Costco or regular gas stations every time.
- Excessively Sensitive Fraud Detection System. Anecdotal data obtained from Citi cardholders using the Costco Anywhere Visa Card reveals that the card’s fraud detection technology is overly sensitive, falsely flagging ordinary purchases and spending habits as suspicious. Users have had their accounts suspended and fraud alerts issued for seemingly harmless reasons, such as making five purchases in one day within a 60-mile radius or spending more than $200 in a single Walmart transaction. The current state of Citi’s fraud detection procedures leaves much to be desired.
- Features an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Penalty. Penalty annual percentage rates (APRs) for this card currently sit at 29.99%, though this could alter based on market conditions. Once a restriction has been set, it will continue to apply indefinitely. For customers carrying amounts and experiencing occasional liquidity challenges that affect payment schedules, this might add up to a significant sum over time. There are a lot of alternative cards that don’t include penalty interest.
At Any Costco, The Citi Visa® Card is one of the most lucrative rewards credit cards available. It’s like a hybrid between a rewards credit card and a petrol credit card and a store discount card and a travel credit card, and it still lets you cash out your points for cash.
If you’re already a Costco member and want to keep your membership forever, getting this card makes sense. It’s generous, there’s no annual charge, and you can use it anyplace Visa is accepted. Similarly, if you’re on the fence about joining Costco, this card can tip the scales in your favor.
However, this card is not a sure thing for homes that do well outside of the Costco sphere. Not everyone needs a Costco membership, so don’t join just to qualify for this card if you’re content not shopping there and aren’t sure whether it will save you money or be convenient for your family.