The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is easily one of the best reward credit cards. It is an improvement over the old and popular Amex Costco card. We recommend this card to anyone who is already a Costco member.
Review: Is the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Worth Getting
By all measures, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is an improvement over the old American Express version—a card that was already quite good. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi provides 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 credit card produces far better returns than most credit cards. The 4% rewards rate on gas is enough to make it one of the best credit cards for gas purchases. The travel rewards it offers also allows it to outperform some of the top travel credit cards—though by not awarding you miles like some of those cards, you have less opportunities to maximize your rewards rate.
We've compared below the estimated annual savings that a family with the average household budget might see when charging everything to the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi versus a top cash back credit card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.
|Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi||Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer|
*For the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi we assumed all groceries were purchased at Costco.
One factor that may dissuade some from the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is that redeeming rewards is restricted to once per year. All of your cash back savings is provided as an annual credit card rewards certificate every February. If you are someone who likes to take advantage of the rewards you have saved up when the right moment arises, having to wait a few months can be frustrating. Most of the time, you will be locked out of your rewards.
Worse yet, if your account gets cancelled, all the rewards will be gone. You won't have a chance to cash them out.
The other thing to note about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is the fact that it has no signup bonus, just like the old Amex card. While in the long run this doesn't matter, welcome bonuses attract many consumers to reward credit cards. They have the opportunity to boost short-term value tremendously. For example, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Bottom Line: Despite not having a welcome bonus and having a very limited redemption window, we believe the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is still highly valuable -– especially on purchases of gas, travel, and dining out.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Benefits & Features
The main benefit of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is the cash back it provides on gas, travel, restaurant, and Costco purchases. Cardmembers earn 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.
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.
All the cash back you earn throughout the year is provided in the form of a certificate, every February. You have until December 31st of each year to complete the redemption before the certificate expires. Also, if your account is closed before February, for any reason, the rewards will be forfeited and not mailed to you.
Citi Private Pass
One of the added benefits of the credit card moving from American Express to Citi is the access to Citi® Private Pass, a feature that comes with most Citicards. Private Pass allows members to buy presale tickets to concerts, shows and sporting events. In some cases, tickets are also reserved for Private Pass members, and sold after a show is officially considered "sold out".
Is It Worth Signing Up For Costco Membership Just For The Credit Card?
If the rewards on the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi appeal to you, but you aren't currently a member of the wholesale store, it may be worthwhile to sign up just to get the card. The cheapest and most basic membership to Costco costs $60 per year. If we treat that as the annual fee for the credit card, the issue becomes whether or not paying that will get you enough cash back rewards to still come out ahead.
For instance, if you spend approximately $167 a month at restaurants and travel, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi rewards rate is worth paying the fee for a Costco membership.
How Does The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Compare Against Other Credit Cards?
In order to get a better understanding of the value of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, one must see it in the context of other available offers. Below you'll find our analysis of how the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi performs when compared against other top 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 offers 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.
Like its predecessor, the Chase Freedom® card, this card's 5% quarterly bonus category covers up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter. Since the Chase Freedom® card frequently included gas purchases in its 5% cashback calendar, we expect the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ card to do the same, making it a potentially good option for gas. Furthermore, travelers and foodies should enjoy the card's generous earnings on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel and restaurant purchases.
For consumers who wish to optimize their rewards, our recommendation is to get both cards. Use the Chase Freedom Flex℠ whenever you can get 5% cash back, 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 – 18 month BT offer is a prime example of a fixed rate cash back card. Those who use it 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 other than gas, restaurants, and travel. There, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi will perform better.
If you have significant spending on other things, such as groceries, entertainment, department stores, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer will be the card to use. Since neither of these come with an annual fee, you always have the option of signing up for both, and using them whenever one is best.