Which credit cards does Costco accept?

The warehouse club accepts only one credit card network: Mastercard.

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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. You might be surprised to learn, then, that Costco only accepts one branded credit card: Mastercard.

Credit cards and payment methods accepted at Costco

Credit card typeAccepted at Costco
Mastercard
Visa
American Express (partnership ended in 2014)
Debit cards (including Visa debit cards)
Cash
Personal cheque
Costco cash card or gift certificate
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay

Why is Mastercard the only credit card Costco accepts?

The answer to this question comes down to one word: fees.

Whenever you swipe your card at a store, the merchant pays interchange fees to the respective payment network — Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc. Typically, this fee is 2% to 3%.

A few years ago, Costco only accepted credit cards from American Express. Costco had a deal where its interchange fee would be far lower than the typical fee.

Eventually, that deal ended when Costco asked for a lower interchange fee, and Amex wouldn’t accept. When their deal with Amex expired in 2014, Costco struck a deal with Mastercard.

In the end, 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.

Best credit cards to use at Costco

While your Costco credit card payment options are limited, you can still find rewarding options along with the Mastercard from Costco, which the warehouse club distributes through Capital One.

*Disclaimer: How we chose the best cards to use at Costco

We’ve chosen the cards on this page based on the providers available through Finder. These cards are not representative of the entire market. We’ve narrowed down our top picks by looking for products that offered strong rewards for Costco credit card payments, and that fit with the warehouse club’s Mastercard-only policy.

No single card will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before picking your new card.

Best for earning cash back: Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine World Mastercard

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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 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.

New cardholders can get a sweet bonus. Earn a $250 Bonus when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible everyday purchases in your first three months as a new cardholder. Apply online by March 31, 2020. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).

Best for earning Air Miles: BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

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The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard lets you earn accelerated AIR MILES that can be redeemed for travel perks and merchandise. Get 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on eligible purchases. To sweeten the deal, the card comes with an enticing signup bonus. Earn a bonus of up to 3,000 AIR MILES. Terms apply. Plus, get the annual fee of $120 waived in the first year.

Cardholders also get a range of complimentary travel benefits including travel insurance coverage. Get a 15% discount on all AIR MILES flights in North America with no blackout periods. Enjoy a free membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey with exclusive VIP access, plus get two annual complimentary passes. Cardholders can also access free Trip Assistance Services for travel-related information and advice.

Best for membership at Costco: Capital One Costco Mastercard, exclusively for Costco Members

Capital One Costco Mastercard, exclusively for Costco Members
The Capital One Costco Mastercard, exclusively for Costco Members 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, 2% on gas purchases, and 0.5% on the first $3,000 spent annually on all other purchases (and 1% thereafter). There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. Plus, enjoy a $0 annual fee, travel benefits, price protection on eligible purchases and other perks.

Compare cards accepted at Costco

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
11.9%
11.9%
$25
N/A
Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
Earn a Sign Up Bonus of 5,000 Points ($25 in travel rewards) when you keep your account open and active for 90 days.
BMO World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
Get 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases (up to $50,000 spend annually), and get 2 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (and once you reach the $50,000 annual spend).
Earn a bonus of up to 35,000 BMO Rewards points with a minimum spend of $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership ($250 travel value to be used towards a flight booked through bmorewards.com). Plus, get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
19.9%
22.9%
$149
$80,000
Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases (6 Points per $1 spent) and earn 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases (3 Points per $1 spent).
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Points ($100 in travel rewards).
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
12.99%
12.99%
$20
$15,000
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
Shell AIR MILES Mastercard from BMO
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
Get 2 AIR MILES for every $20 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners, and get 1 AIR MILE for every $20 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere.
Earn up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles.
Shell AIR MILES World Mastercard from BMO
19.99%
22.99%
$99
$60,000
Earn 1.25 AIR MILES reward miles at Shell stations in Canada and 1 mile per $15 spent for all other purchases.
Earn 1.25x Miles on card purchases at participating Shell stations in Canada and 1 mile per $15 spent for all other purchases.
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
Earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Get up to 5% cash back on all eligible purchases made within the first 3 months (up to a maximum spend of $4,000). Plus, get the first year annual fee of $120 waived.

Compare up to 4 providers

*The products compared on this page are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.

Bottom line

If you want to use a credit card at Costco, you’ll need to bring a Mastercard. But that shouldn’t snuff out your options, however, as there are several rewarding cards and other payment methods you can use for your Costco purchases. To compare more options, check out other Mastercard credit cards.

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