Which credit cards does Costco accept?

This warehouse club accepts only one credit card network: Visa.

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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 Visa.

Credit cards accepted at Costco

Credit card typeAccepted at Costco
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
Discover

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 Costco shoppers.

Best credit cards to use at Costco

While your Costco credit card payment options are limited, you can still find strong options. One of them is the Visa from Costco, which the warehouse club distributes through Citi.

Chase Freedom® credit card

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 3 months of card membership.
  • No annual fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card

If you’d rather not keep track of rotating categories, consider this card. You’ll receive solid cashback on all purchases.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Earn a $150 signup bonus after you make $500 in purchases on your card within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • No annual fee.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

This Visa from Costco — the warehouse club’s flagship 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

Consider this card if you’re a big Costco shopper 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® CardU.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.

How we chose our best cards

We looked for products that offered strong rewards for Costco credit card payments, and that fit with the warehouse club’s Visa-only policy.

What’s changed in 2019

For several months, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card offered accelerated cash back for the first card year. In October 2019, Chase reverted the welcome offer to a more traditional bonus after you spend a certain amount on your card.

Our pick for use at Costco

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

  • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
  • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
  • 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 15.49% - 24.99%
  • 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
1.5% cash back on all purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 signup bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
$0
Earn $150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
18.74% to 25.74% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
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
15.49% to 24.99% variable
$0
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Costco credit card payment options

As a Costco shopper, you can use multiple payment methods. These include:

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

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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