Which credit cards does Costco accept? | finder.com
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Which credit cards does Costco accept?

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

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 Visa.

Credit cards accepted at Costco

Credit card typeAccepted at Costco
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
Discover

Our pick for use at Costco

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

  • New cardmember bonus: $150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in eligible net purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose.
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
  • No limit on total cash back earned.
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 16.24% - 25.74%
  • No annual fee*
  • Great offer from U.S. Bank, a 2019 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2019
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Compare cards accepted at Costco

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases
16.24% to 25.74% variable
$0
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees
2x points on gas, groceries or airlines, whichever you spend the most on each month, 2x points on cell phone services and charities and 1x points on all other purchases
16.24% to 26.24% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($49 thereafter)
Earn 25,000 enrollment FlexPoints worth $375 in travel after spending $2,000 in the first 4 months. Rates & Fees
5x points on gas at the pump, 3x points on groceries and 1x points on all other purchases
11.99% to 17.99% variable
$0
Earn 5x points on gas at the pump and 3x points on groceries. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases
11.99% to 17.99% variable
$0
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with your card.
N/A
11.99% to 17.99% variable
$0
Earn a $100 bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

Why is Visa 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 0.6% per transaction — far lower than the typical fee.

Eventually, that deal ended when Costco asked for a lower interchange fee, and Amex couldn’t accept. Costco soon struck a deal with Visa for a 0.4% interchange fee.

In the end, Costco’s Visa-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 customers.

Best credit cards to use at Costco

While your credit card options at Costco are limited, you can still find strong options. One of them is Costco’s own cobranded card, which it distributes through Citi.

Chase Freedom® credit card

Chase Freedom®
This is a rotating-bonus-category card. Wait for the quarter when you can earn 5% cash back on wholesale-club spending, then stock up on Costco purchases.

  • Get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in rotating categories that you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on unactivated categories after you reach the spending limit and on all other purchases.
  • Earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.
  • No annual fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
If you’d rather not keep track of rotating categories, consider this card. You’ll receive solid cashback on all purchases.

  • Get 1.5% cash back on all purchases after the first year.
  • Earn a bonus 3% cash back for your first year on up to $20,000, then unlimited 1.5% after that.
  • No annual fee.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Costco’s flagship credit card offers solid rewards on more than just Costco purchases.

  • Get 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases worldwide — including at Costco — for the first $7,000 per year, then 1%.
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide, 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases and 1% cash back on everything else.
  • No annual fee with paid Costco membership.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card
Consider this card if you’re a big spender and make a lot of everyday purchases. The flat-rate cash back comes at a great rate, but you want to earn enough rewards to make the annual fee worth it.

  • Get 3% cash back on all purchases for your first card year.
  • Earn 2.5% cash back on all purchases starting your second card year.
  • $99 annual fee waived for the first year.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
This card has a hefty annual fee. But it’s a great choice at Costco, which accepts mobile-wallet payments. You’ll also receive an impressive annual statement credit for travel purchases.

  • Earn 3x points on travel purchases and mobile wallet spending, and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Get up to $325 in annual statement credit for eligible travel purchases.
  • $400 annual fee.

Payment options at Costco

  • Visa credit cards
  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Debit and ATM cards
  • EBT cards
  • Costco Cash Cards
  • Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay

Best everyday credit cards of [DATE]

Bottom line

If you want to use a credit card at Costco, you’ll need to bring a Visa. That doesn’t snuff out your options, however, as there are several strong cards you can pick for Costco purchases. To compare more options, check out other Visa cards.

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