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Which credit cards does Costco accept?

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

Updated

Fact checked

Our pick for use at Costco: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi logo

Up to 4%

Cash back

  • One of the most well-rounded cashback cards
  • 4% on gas on up to $7,000, then 1%
  • 3% on restaurants and travel
  • 2% at Costco
Apply now
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
checkmark
Mastercard
x
American Express
x
Discover
x

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.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi logo
Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 4%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
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.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 15.24% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.24% variable
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards 4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited® logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
If you'd rather not keep track of rotating categories, consider this card. You'll receive solid cashback on all purchases.
  • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022, 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery, and 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • No annual fee.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
Rewards 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠ logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
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 $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year.
  • No annual fee.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
Rewards 5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$99 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to 2.5%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
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 2.5% 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.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Purchase APR 12.24% to 22.24% variable
Balance transfer APR 12.24% to 22.24% variable
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards 2.5% cash back with no categories to track

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$400
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Points
40,000
Points welcome offer
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.
Annual Fee $400
Purchase APR 16.24% variable
Balance transfer APR 16.24% variable
Welcome offer
Rewards 3x points on travel and mobile wallet purchases and 1x points on all other purchases

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 2020

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® got a boost to their signup bonus. Now you earn $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year. If you clear the signup bonus and you max out the grocery stores, you’d earn a total of $800 back.

Compare cards accepted at Costco

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
Earn a huge signup bonus for a no annual fee card with rewards of up to 5% cash back on popular everyday categories.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
This popular travel card's signup bonus is worth up to $1,000. Get even more value out of your travel, dining, and Lyft rewards by transferring them to miles.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases
15.24% variable
$0
Earn valuable cash back on everyday purchases at gas stations, restaurants and Costco as well as eligible travel with no foreign fees.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
16.99% to 23.99% variable
$550
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
TD Cash Credit Card
3% on dining, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other eligible purchases
0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99% variable)
$0
3% on dining and 2% on groceries make this a valuable card for food purchases. Use it while traveling, too, with no foreign transaction fees. Available in: CT, DC, DE, FL, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT
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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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