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Which credit cards does Costco accept?
This warehouse club accepts only one credit card network: Visa.
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 type||Accepted at Costco|
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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® CardRead more
Compare cards accepted at Costco
Costco credit card payment options
As a Costco shopper, you can use multiple payment methods. These include:
- Visa credit cards
- Debit and ATM cards
- EBT cards
- Costco Cash Cards
- Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
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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