Citi is an advertising partner
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is easily one of the best reward credit cards for loyal Costco shoppers. Since there's a $0 annual fee, we highly recommend this card to anyone who’s already a Costco member. On top of the already low prices at Costco, you can score even greater savings by owning this card, with excellent returns on purchases such as gas.
Although the card offers great long-term gains, it does not, however, offer a sign-up bonus. Its other drawback is that you can only redeem your rewards once per year, unlike other rewards cards that can deposit to your account every monthly statement. For non-Costco members, or those who don't visit the warehouse club often, you might be better off with a generic cashback card whose rewards aren’t limited to just one store.
Review: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi benefits and features
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- Discover one of Citi's best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
- 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
- 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
- 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
- Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Since you're already paying an annual membership fee to be a Costco member, you instantly gain the ability to apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. With a $0 annual fee, Costco shoppers will be able to enjoy even greater returns on their already-low-priced merchandise.
Earn with a lucrative rewards rate
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi comes with a remarkable rewards rate: 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases.
In the categories where it earns more than 1%, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi produces far better returns than many other credit cards. The 4% rewards rate on gas alone makes this card one of the best credit cards for gas purchases. The 3% rewards rate on travel outperforms some of the top travel credit cards — although you're not earning miles, giving you fewer opportunities to maximize your rewards.
We've compared the estimated annual savings based on an average household budget between the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which lets you Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Citi® Double Cash Card
*For the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, we assumed all gas and groceries were purchased at Costco.
By our estimates, the average shopper will come out $80 ahead on their everyday purchases with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, compared to the Citi® Double Cash Card . In general, you'll earn more cash back on gas, dining and grocery purchases with this card than with most other cards.
No sign-up bonus
One small drawback to note about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is the lack of a sign-up bonus. While this won't matter in the long run, welcome bonuses attract many consumers to reward credit cards — boosting the short-term value tremendously. For example, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ lets you Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
Redeem your Costco Cash Rewards for cash or Costco purchases
Another major downside of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is that it restricts reward redemption to just once per year. All the cash back you earn is provided in the form of an annual certificate in February, and you have until Dec. 31 of each year to complete the redemption before your certificate expires.
If you decide to close your account, the rewards will be forfeited and not mailed to you. However, despite this hurdle in redemption, we believe that the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is still highly valuable for frequent Costco shoppers.
Cover your items with purchase protection
An underrated perk of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi are its purchase protection benefits. If your item is damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents), you can submit a claim with Citi to cover the cost of repair or a refund. This benefit applies to all purchases — not just at Costco.
Finally, enjoy extended warranty coverage with this card. For any purchases that come with a manufacturer's warranty, this benefit offers an additional 24 months of coverage. These benefits offer top-notch purchase security for eligible products.
Enjoy Citi exclusive benefits
One of the added benefits is access to Citi Entertainment, a feature that comes with most Citi cards. Citi Entertainment offers exclusive access to thousands of events, including presale tickets to concerts and sporting events and special dining experiences in.
Is it worth signing up for a Costco membership just for the credit card?
If the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi appeals to you, but you aren't a member of the wholesale store, it may be worthwhile to sign up to get the card. The most basic Costco membership costs $60 per year, providing you with unlimited shopping privileges at Costco locations and Costco.com. If we treat that as the credit card's annual fee, the issue boils down to whether this card will get you enough cashback rewards to still come out ahead. If you spend $2,000 on restaurants and dining alone, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi will earn you rewards that will compensate for the basic membership fee.
But you'll need to be certain that you won't charge more to the card than you can afford each month. The card's standard APR is 15.24% (Variable) and applies to balance transfers. If you don't pay your statement in full, the savings you enjoy from this card could end up being meaningless.
How does the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi compare against other credit cards?
If you're seeking flexibility on receiving and redeeming cash back, there are many other highly rewarding cashback cards. Below we compare how the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi performs against other top cashback credit cards.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great new cashback credit card from Chase. The card lets you Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Gas stations and grocery stores are typically included in Chase's rotating categories throughout the year, though this card's 5% quarterly bonus category is limited to $1,500 in purchases per quarter. Ultimate Rewards points are credited to your account each month.
One major drawback for Costco shoppers: the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a Mastercard, which currently isn't accepted at Costco stores (though you can use it for purchases online). However, you're best off using it for its 5% categories, which generally won't apply to Costco.
As mentioned above, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ comes with an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. We like that you can accumulate and redeem rewards on this card in a variety of ways.
This card also comes with purchase protection against damage or theft and extended warranty protection. But for consumers looking to optimize their rewards, our recommendation is to get both cards. Use the Chase Freedom Flex℠ whenever you can get 5% cash back on rotating categories and 3% on drugstores, and the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi in all other circumstances.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi vs. Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
The Citi® Double Cash Card is a prime example of a fixed-rate cashback card. Those who use it will Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. The purchasing power of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer comes through on categories beyond gas, restaurants and travel. If you significantly spend outside of these categories — such as on entertainment or retail purchases — the Citi® Double Cash Card is the better option.
Like the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the Citi® Double Cash Card is Mastercard and so won't work within Costco stores. However, you might consider using it as your go-to card for purchases that don't fall under the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi's categories. Since neither card comes with an annual fee, you always have the option of signing up for both cards and using the card that offers a better rate on a particular purchase.
Like the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, there's no sign-up bonus with the Citi® Double Cash Card . However, for long-term cardholders, the card's rewards could exceed the value of a card with a sign-up bonus.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi vs. Discover it® Cash Back Card
Similar to the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the Discover it® Cash Back Card offers 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. And, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠, this bonus is limited to $1,500 in purchases per quarter (all other purchases get 1% cash back).
Some consumers may prefer the Discover it® Cash Back Card over the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, as it typically includes wholesale clubs in Q2. Other categories that may be enticing include grocery stores, gas stations and Amazon.com. You can also redeem your rewards each month, rather than waiting on a certificate to be mailed out at the end of the year.
Another reason to consider the Discover it® Cash Back Card over the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is the introductory offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300. If you're a high spender, this could significantly boost your short-term savings.
Like the other cards above, you won't be able to use the Discover it® Cash Back Card for in-store purchases at Costco. However, you can use it everywhere else to earn a large amount of cash back through the Cashback Match in your first year.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers some of the highest returns for life's most common purchase categories. Although there's a $0 annual fee, this card is only reserved for Costco members. If you've been thinking about purchasing a Costco membership, then the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi could help you maximize your savings each year.
The information related to Discover it® Cash Back has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.