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What credit cards does Costco Canada accept?

Costco warehouses only accept Mastercard but there are many more payment options, including ways to use Visa, Amex and in-store financing.

It’s easy to rack up big bills at Costco. For that reason, the wholesale club seems like the perfect place to use a credit card that collects loyalty points. However, Mastercard credit cards are the only credit cards accepted at Costco Canada warehouses.

Learn what loyalty and reward Mastercard credit cards will help you rack up points quickly, plus how to use any point card — including Visa and American Express — to make Costco Canada purchases.

Why is Mastercard the only credit card Costco accepts?

It all comes down to fees. Whenever you swipe your card at a store, the merchant pays an interchange fee of 2% to 3% to the relevant credit card payment network — such as Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

Up until the end of 2014, the only credit card network you could use to pay in Costco warehouses was American Express. This was because Costco had a deal in place with Amex for reduced interchange fees. But when that deal ended and Costco and American Express couldn’t reach a new agreement, Costco Canada struck a deal with Mastercard.

Costco’s Mastercard-exclusive policy is about cost savings. By working exclusively with one payment network, the company can negotiate lower fees and pass on the savings to Costco shoppers.

What does this mean for Costco shoppers? It means you can use a Mastercard credit card, including a prepaid Mastercard credit card, to make in-store purchases at Costco.

However, there are other options for Visa and Amex cardholders.

Learn more: Prepaid credit cards in Canada

To help you choose which Mastercard to use at Costco, we’ve put together a list of popular credit cards that vary in offerings from earning cash back to rewards points.

Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine World Mastercard logo
Credit recommended (600-)
Apply now
on Tangerine's secure site
600
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
6 months
1.95% intro transfer APR
Up to 2%
Cash back
If you're looking for a $0 annual fee credit card with unlimited cash back rewards and a competitive balance transfer offer, then the Tangerine World Mastercard could be right for you. Earn unlimited 2% cash back in two Tangerine credit card categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and unlimited 0.5% cash back on everything else. Conditions apply.
  • Annual fee. This card has a $0 annual fee.
  • Additional cardholders. Add up to 5 additional cardholders for $0.
  • Earn rewards. Earn unlimited 2% cash back in two Tangerine credit card categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and unlimited 0.5% cash back on everything else. Conditions apply.
  • Travel perks. You'll get a Mastercard Travel Pass Provided by DragonPass. This complimentary membership gives you exclusive dining, retail and spa offers in over 650 airports worldwide, along with access to over 1,300 airport lounges at $32 USD per visit. Plus, never be without internet since your card gives you access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world with Boingo Wi-Fi.
  • Minimum income requirement. You need a minimum personal income of $60,000 or a combined household income of at least $100,000 to apply for this card.
  • Foreign transaction fee. You'll face a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% every time you use your card overseas or online with international retailers.
  • Limited travel benefits. Though this card offers some nice travel perks, it doesn't come with many of the travel benefits offered by more premium credit cards such as complimentary travel insurance, free flight and hotel upgrades and discounted car rentals.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 19.95%
Balance transfer APR 1.95% intro for the first 6 months (then 19.95% )
Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Rewards Earn unlimited 2% cash back in two Tangerine credit card categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and unlimited 0.5% cash back on everything else. Conditions apply.

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard logo
Credit recommended (760-)
Apply now
on BMO's secure site
760
Min. credit score
$120 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Miles
2,000
Miles welcome offer
Earn accelerated AIR MILES that can be redeemed for travel perks and merchandise. Get 3 Miles for every $12 spent at participating AIR MILES Reward Partners, 2 Miles for every $12 spent at any eligible grocery store and 1 AIR MILE for every $12 spent on eligible purchases. Earn a bonus of up to 2,000 AIR MILES. Terms apply. Plus, get the annual fee of $120 waived by your first anniversary.
  • Get bonus Miles. Earn a bonus of up to 2,000 AIR MILES. Terms apply. Plus, get the annual fee of $120 waived by your first anniversary.
  • Travel coverage. Get peace of mind with a wide range of travel insurance benefits including up to $2,000,000 Out-of-Province/Out-of-Country Emergency Medical Protection as well as coverage for delayed flights, trip cancellations, interruptions and delays, rental car collision damage and baggage loss, theft or damage.
  • Car rental. Get up to a 25% discount at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations with complimentary Collision Damage Waiver benefits (MSRP of up to $65,000).
  • Airport lounge access. Use less Miles with an exclusive 25% discount on one worldwide AIR MILES flight redemption during the calendar year. Plus, get complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass..
  • Annual fee. This card has an annual fee of $0 in the first year and $120 thereafter.
  • Currency conversion. This card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%. This will apply on any overseas purchases or any purchases made online with an international retailer.
  • Minimum income requirement. You'll need to earn a personal income of at least $80,000, or a combined household income of at least $150,000 annually.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Purchase APR 20.99%
Cash Advance Rate 23.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents)
Balance transfer APR 23.99%
Welcome offer Earn a bonus of up to 2,000 AIR MILES. Terms apply. Plus, get the annual fee of $120 waived by your first anniversary.
Rewards Get 3 Miles for every $12 spent at participating AIR MILES Reward Partners, 2 Miles for every $12 spent at any eligible grocery store and 1 AIR MILE for every $12 spent on eligible purchases.

CIBC Costco Mastercard

CIBC Costco Mastercard logo
Credit recommended (N/A-)
N/A
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 3%
Cash back
$20
Welcome offer
The CIBC Costco Mastercard is a cash back card and a Costco Membership card all rolled into one. When you pay at Costco, you only have to present your credit card. Earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases and Costco gas, 2% on gas purchases and Costco.ca, and 1% on all other purchases. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. With an annual fee of $0, you'll also get travel benefits, price protection on eligible purchases and other perks.
  • Earn cash back. Earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases and Costco gas, 2% on gas purchases and Costco.ca, and 1% on all other purchases. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
  • No annual fee. This card comes with no annual fee.
  • Travel coverage. Get up to $250,000.00 Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance for you, your spouse and any dependent children plus access to complimentary baggage delay insurance.
  • Costco Membership. This credit card doubles as your Costco Membership.
  • Must be a Costco member. In order to apply for the card, you must be a Costco member.
  • Lower cash back rate for many purchases. Earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases and Costco gas, 2% on gas purchases and Costco.ca, and 1% on all other purchases. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 19.75%
Cash Advance Rate 21.49%
Balance transfer APR 19.75%
Welcome offer Get a $20 welcome bonus when you make a purchase with your card and register with the CIBC mobile or online banking app. Valid until December 31, 2022.
Rewards Earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases and Costco gas, 2% on gas purchases and Costco.ca, and 1% on all other purchases. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
Please note: All information about CIBC Costco Mastercard has been collected independently by Finder and this card is not available through this site.

Who is most likely to be researching credit cards accepted at Costco?

Finder data suggests that men aged 25-34 are most likely to be researching this topic.

ResponseMale (%)Female (%)
65+4.14%4.20%
55-645.69%5.77%
45-548.39%7.26%
35-4412.05%9.23%
25-3414.94%12.47%
18-248.29%7.58%
Source: Finder sample of 5,028 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics

How to use Visa credit card at Costco Canada

If you have a Visa credit card, you can’t use it in-store at Costco in Canada. That can be an annoying setback for Visa credit card holders who want to maximize their points. But frequent Costco shoppers know there is a decent hack that allows you to earn points on your Visa credit card, while shopping in the Costco warehouse.

The solution is to buy a Costco Shop Card — a gift card specifically used for warehouse or online Costco purchases — using your preferred Visa card. You can then use the Shop Card to make your Costco warehouse purchases. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Go online to Costco.ca

Visit Costco’s online store and log in to your account. Have your non-Mastercard credit card handy. For this example, we’ll use the RBC Avion Visa credit card.

Step 2: Get a Costco Shop Card

Type “Costco Shop Card” into the search bar. Select either a physical card — a gift card that is mailed out to your home address — or a digital card, which is emailed to the email address Costco has on file. Select the amount you like to purchase — options range from $50 up to $2,000 — and hit check out.

Step 3: Check out

At check out, you can pay for your purchase using your RBC Avion credit card. For instance, if you choose to purchase a Costco Shop Card with a face value of $1,000 and pay for that purchase using your RBC Avion credit card, you could then earn 1,000 Avion points — worth approximately $100 in travel costs.

Step 4: Use the Costco Shop Card at a Costco warehouse

If you selected a physical gift card, the Costco Shop Card will be delivered for free within a week or two. If you selected a digital card, the digital Costco Shop Card will be delivered within 48 hours. Take either version to the Costco warehouse the next time you go shopping, or use it at Costco gas stations or online at Costco.ca.

The purchase and use of a Costco Shop Card effectively allows you to use your Visa credit card to shop in-store — using the Costco Shop Card — or online, using any credit card.

An extra benefit is that you don’t have to be a Costco member to purchase and use a Costco Shop Card.

Does Costco Canada accept American Express?

No. While Amex was previously the only credit card network accepted at Costco Canada, that arrangement came to an end in 2014. Mastercard credit cards are the only credit cards you can use to pay for in-store purchases at Costco Canada warehouses.

American Express isn’t accepted online at costco.ca either, where you’ll need to use a Mastercard or Visa if paying by credit card.

But there is a possible way around this problem. If you place a Costco grocery order through Instacart, you can use American Express to pay for your purchase. You don’t need to be a Costco member to shop on Instacart, and if you have a high-end Amex card with a high earn rate, you’ll quickly be able to earn plenty of points or cash back.

What payment methods does Costco Canada accept?

You can use the following payment methods at Costco Canada warehouses:

  • Mastercard credit card
  • Debit card (including Visa debit cards)
  • Cash
  • Costco Shop Card (physical gift card or digital gift card)
  • Personal cheque

You can also use your smartphone to pay for in-store purchases via Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

If you’re shopping online at Costco.ca, the supported payment methods are:

  • Mastercard credit card
  • Visa credit card
  • Debit card
  • Costco Shop Card

Finally, you can use the following payment methods at Costco Canada gas stations:

  • Mastercard credit card
  • Debit card
  • Costco Shop Card (physical card only)

Compare credit cards accepted at Costco

1 - 7 of 18
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
Neo Credit Mastercard
Get $25.00 + up to 15% cash back
Up to 5% cash back
19.99% - 29.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Get $25 when you sign up for the Neo Financial Mastercard. Plus, earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at partner stores and at least 1% cashback guaranteed.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until October 31, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until October 31, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
N/A
Up to 2% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
0.99% rate on balance transfers for 9 months
N/A
13.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived by your first anniversary.
Neo Secured Mastercard
15% cash back
4% cash back
19.99% - 29.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 4% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 0.5% cashback guaranteed.
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CIBC Costco Mastercard and CIBC Costco Business Mastercard

Costco also offers two branded credit cards: the CIBC Costco Mastercard and the CIBC Costco Business Mastercard.

The CIBC Costco Mastercard is a credit card exclusively for Costco members. This card has no annual fee, provides access to special Installment Plan interest rates on eligible Costco purchases, and allows you to earn cash back on a wide range of purchases. You can earn:

  • 3% cash back at restaurants and Costco gas stations
  • 2% cash back at costco.ca and other gas stations
  • 1% cash back when you shop at Costco and on all other purchases

The CIBC Costco Business Mastercard also has no annual fee, special Installment Plan rates, and cash back on eligible purchases. You can earn:

  • 3% cash back at restaurants and Costco gas stations
  • 2% cash back at costcobusinesscentre.ca, at costco.ca, on shipping, on insurance services and when you shop at other gas stations
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases, including in-store at Costco

Does Costco offer financing?

Yes. Costco financing is available through the CIBC Pace It Installment Plan. Here’s how it works.

Make a purchase with your CIBC Costco Mastercard. Once the purchase has been added to your account, you can convert it to an Installment Plan to access lower rates. While there’s no introductory interest-free period, interest rates range from 5.99% to 7.99% depending on the term.

To take advantage of the Installment Plan for Costco, you can sign up through CIBC online or mobile banking.

For more information, read Finder’s guide on in-store financing.

Can I earn Aeroplan points at Costco?

While Aeroplan used to let you earn Aeroplan points for shopping at Costco, this is no longer the case. However, if you have a credit card that lets you earn Aeroplan points, you could use it to purchase a Costco Cash Card. For instance, if you wanted to maximize the Aeroplan points on your TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card, you can buy a Costco Cash Card using this credit card and then use this Cash Card either at a Costco warehouse or online at Costco.ca.
For more information, read the Finder guide on Aeroplan credit cards.

Costco services for car owners

Whether you’re shopping for a new car or looking for auto insurance coverage, Costco can help.

Costco Auto Program

The Costco Auto Program is designed to help you save money when buying a new car. The program offers limited-time discounts on new vehicles to Costco members. For example, at the time of writing, members could access a $750 discount on selected Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.

Check out our guide to car buying services for more info on how membership car buying programs like the Costco Auto Program work.

Costco car insurance

Costco doesn’t sell car insurance directly, but it can connect you with an insurance broker to help you compare auto insurance policies and find one that suits your needs. Its brokerage company works with insurers such as Aviva, Intact and Zenith to help you find a policy in line with your coverage needs and budget.

You’ll need to be a member to use Costco’s car insurance service, and it’s only available in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Find out more in our Costco car insurance guide.

Costco Tires

You can also shop for new tires, batteries and wheels at Costco. You can search for and select the tires you want online, schedule a time to have them installed at your nearest Costco Tire Centre, and then the tires will be delivered to your chosen Tire Centre for free. Lifetime maintenance tasks such as inflation pressure checks, tire balancing and tire rotations are also included.

Can Costco members access roadside assistance?

No. Costco discontinued its roadside assistance plan in 2021. If you’d like to find cover from other providers, check out our guide to roadside assistance and towing coverage.

Costco services for business owners

Every dollar counts when you run your own business, and Costco offers a range of low-cost services for businesses to help boost your bottom line. Just like regular Costco warehouses, Costco Business Centers are members-only warehouses where you can access discounted prices by buying in bulk.

Whether you shop online or at a Costco Business Center, you can access a wide range of products including:

  • Office supplies
  • Stationery
  • Cleaning products
  • Groceries
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Shipping and packing supplies
  • Printer ink and toner cartridges

Costco also offers the following business services:

  • Cell phones and plans
  • Payment processing
  • Payroll services
  • Logo design
  • Cheque printing
  • Business phone bundles
  • Express courier shipping

You can also use a CIBC Costco Business Mastercard to earn cash back on your business spending, including 2% cash back when you shop at costcobusinesscentre.ca.

Learn more: Best business credit cards for start-ups

Investing in Costco

Costco is publicly traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol COST. If you’re thinking of buying Costco stocks, there are a few factors to consider first.

As a grocery stock and a company that sells consumer staples, Costco can potentially offer a stable, low-risk investment opportunity. When other areas of the economy are struggling, investing in consumer staples provides exposure to companies that sell goods that are constantly in high demand.

As inflation soars and food prices continue to rise, grocery stocks offer the potential to deliver steady growth. At the same time, they often don’t offer the possibility of high returns associated with other higher-risk investments.

To find out more, check out our guide to investing in food stocks.

Bottom line on Costco credit cards

If you want to use a credit card at Costco, you’ll need to bring a Mastercard. Compare Mastercard credit cards to find the right card for your spending needs, or if you have a Visa credit card, you can buy a Costco Shop Card online with your Visa and then use the Shop Card to make in-store purchases at Costco warehouses.

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