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Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Review

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Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Review

This no-annual-fee card is a perfect for Costco shoppers! Earn amazing cash back rewards, including gas and EV charging, restaurants, and all Costco purchases – Apply now!

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Review

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Review

Learn More

This no-annual-fee card is a perfect for Costco shoppers! Earn amazing cash back rewards, including gas and EV charging, restaurants, and all Costco purchases – Apply now!

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Introduction

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a credit card with a focus on rewarding Costco members for their loyalty. Perfect for dedicated shoppers of the Costco ecosystem, this card not only offers cash back on purchases made in Costco warehouses and on Costco.com but also extends its rewards to gas stations, restaurants, and travel.

Tailored to those with excellent credit, the Costco Anywhere Visa® card is a compelling choice for consumers looking to maximize their savings on everyday expenses. With its exclusive benefits and cash-back opportunities, this card has become a popular option among Costco enthusiasts.

Welcome Bonus

The landscape of credit card welcome bonuses is dotted with tantalizing offers designed to entice new cardholders. However, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi takes a more reserved approach in this arena. As of the latest information, the card does not feature a traditional welcome bonus that rewards new cardholders with a lump sum of cash back or points after meeting a spending threshold.

Contrastingly, there has been mention of an introductory boost in the cash-back rate for a limited period or on specific spend categories. For example, a past promotion included earning an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases up to a certain cap within the first year. However, these offers are not a standing feature and may change or vary from time to time.

Instead of a conventional welcome bonus, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi offers its long-term value through its robust rewards program, redeemable annually. Cardholders can anticipate a yearly accumulation of cash back that eventually culminates in a reward certificate issued after the February billing statement closes. This certificate is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses.

The absence of a sign-up bonus may initially appear lackluster compared with other credit cards in the market that boast significant upfront benefits. Nevertheless, the true merit of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card lies in the sustained cash-back earnings across various spending categories. This feature, combined with the lack of an annual fee (with a paid Costco membership), presents a compelling value proposition that extends beyond a one-time bonus, appealing to those who prioritize long-term rewards over immediate incentives.

In summary, while the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi forgoes the alluring lure of a welcome bonus, it solidifies its position as a valuable tool for cost-conscious consumers with its continuous rewards rate and potential for steady, year-over-year cash-back earnings.

Earning Rewards

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers an attractive rewards structure that can accumulate significant cash back for its users, particularly those who frequently shop at Costco and various other spending categories.

Cardholders earn rewards at the following rates:

  • 4% Cash Back on Gas and EV Charging Purchases: This reward is applicable for the first $7,000 per year, after which the cashback rate drops to 1%. It’s important to note that the 4% cash back is not limited to Costco gas stations but includes most gas stations worldwide.
  • 3% Cash Back on Restaurants and Eligible Travel Purchases: Dining out or hitting the road (or skies) can earn cardholders significant rewards. This rate applies to a wide array of travel expenses, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruises, and more.
  • 2% Cash Back on All Costco and Costco.com Purchases: Every trip to Costco or online shopping session at Costco.com adds more cash back into cardholders’ pockets.
  • 1% Cash Back on All Other Purchases: All other purchases outside the bonus categories also earn rewards, ensuring cardholders get cash back on every swipe or tap of their card.

The earning potential of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card is especially notable in its higher-tier categories such as gas and travel, which can match or even surpass the rates offered by many other credit cards that specialize in these areas.

For the cash back to start accumulating, one simply has to use the card for everyday purchases. There’s no need to activate categories or sign up for special promotions. This simplicity makes it an easy card to use for Costco loyalists and individuals who spend regularly in the bonus categories.

However, unlike other cash back cards, the rewards earned on the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi are not immediately accessible. As per the card’s rewards program, cash back is distributed annually in the form of a reward certificate, which cardholders receive with their February billing statement. This certificate can then be redeemed for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses.

This structure is both a pro and a con depending on the cardholder’s preference. For those who appreciate a big annual cash back payout, it can be a pleasant bonus that comes once a year. For others, having to wait to access the earned cash back might be a drawback compared to cards that allow for more immediate redemption.

In conclusion, the reward-earning potential of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi makes it a robust card for frequent spenders in the highlighted categories. Its straightforward, no-fuss cash back earning structure is especially favorable for regular Costco shoppers and consumers who spend heavily on gas and travel.

Redeeming Rewards

The rewards program for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is structured to provide a substantial annual reward that cardholders can look forward to redeeming. Here’s how the redemption process works:

  • Annual Reward Certificate: Rather than offering immediate cash back, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card accumulates the cash back earned throughout the year and delivers it to the cardholder in the form of an annual reward certificate. This certificate is issued after the February billing statement each year.
  • Redemption at Costco Warehouses: To redeem the reward certificate, cardholders must visit a U.S. Costco warehouse (including Puerto Rico). They can present a printed version of the certificate or show it on their mobile device.
  • Versatile Use: Upon redemption, the certificate can be used toward merchandise or cash back at the checkout. If cardholders prefer not to spend it all at once, they may exchange the certificate for a Costco Shop Card, which does not expire and can be used by any Costco member.
  • Partially Redeemable for Cash: If cardholders do not wish to spend the entire amount of the reward certificate on goods, they have the option to receive the remaining balance in cash from a Costco warehouse.
  • Expiration Date: It’s important to be aware that the reward certificate does come with an expiration date, usually December 31 of the year in which it is issued. Cardholders must ensure they redeem the certificate before it expires, as any unused balance will not be carried forward or reissued.
  • No Redemption for Online Purchases: Currently, the reward certificate cannot be directly used for online purchases at Costco.com. However, if cardholders acquire a Costco Shop Card using their certificate, they can use that for online shopping.

The redemption process for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card’s rewards is atypical in that it doesn’t provide the immediate gratification of monthly cash back. Instead, the rewards system is akin to an annual bonus. For cardholders who enjoy the excitement of receiving a significant sum once a year, this could be a gratifying experience. Alternatively, those who prefer flexibility and immediate access to their earned cash back may find this annual system restrictive.

In short, the redemption process for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi rewards is unique and requires cardholders to exercise some patience. However, the once-a-year payoff can be a considerable perk for those who maximize their cash back earning potential throughout the year.

Perks and Benefits

Besides its robust cash-back rewards program, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi provides an array of benefits that can enhance the cardholder’s shopping and travel experiences. Below is a rundown of some notable perks:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: When traveling abroad, cardholders can use their Costco Anywhere Visa card without incurring the usual 3% fee that many other cards charge on purchases made outside the United States.
  • Travel Protection: The card includes travel benefits such as Worldwide Car Rental Insurance that provides coverage against theft or damage to rental vehicles, and Travel Accident Insurance, providing coverage in case of accidental death or dismemberment.
  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection: This benefit provides coverage on purchases made with the card that are damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents).
  • Extended Warranty: For eligible items purchased with the card, the card extends the manufacturer’s warranty, giving cardholders extra peace of mind on their purchases.
  • Citi Entertainment®: Cardholders gain special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events annually, including presale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, sporting events, and dining experiences, among others.
  • Costco Membership Advantage: Since the card can double as your Costco membership ID, it streamlines the shopping process, allowing cardholders to present just one card at checkout.
  • EMV Chip Technology: With the card’s embedded chip, cardholders enjoy enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at chip terminals domestically and abroad.
  • Contactless Payment: The card is equipped with contactless pay technology, enabling fast and secure payments with a simple tap on compatible terminals.
  • App Management: Through the Citi Mobile app, cardholders can manage their account on-the-go, receive alerts, and view their cash back rewards balance.
  • Zero Liability for Unauthorized Charges: Cardholders have protection against unauthorized charges on their accounts, ensuring that they are not responsible for unauthorized purchases.
  • Costco Shop Card Eligibility: Cardholders are eligible to purchase and reload Costco Shop Cards, which can be used by non-members as well, making it a convenient gifting option or a way to share the Costco experience with friends and family.

These additional perks, particularly the travel protections and the absence of foreign transaction fees, make the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi a strong candidate for a primary card to use while traveling. The safety of extended warranties and purchase protection adds another layer of value for everyday purchases. Additionally, the convenience of contactless payments and digital app management align with the needs of modern consumers looking for a seamless shopping and account management experience.

With the combination of cash back rewards and these extensive benefits, the card stands out as a multifaceted financial tool, especially for Costco members who can take full advantage of its offerings.

Pros and Cons

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers a range of features that constitute its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a look at the prominent pros and cons to consider.

Pros:

  • High Cash-Back Rates: With a 4% cash back reward on gas and EV charging (on up to $7,000 per year), and strong returns on dining out and travel purchases, cardholders can accrue substantial savings.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: This benefit makes the card particularly suitable for international travelers, allowing them to make purchases abroad without incurring extra charges.
  • Travel and Purchase Protections: Cardholders enjoy peace of mind with Worldwide Car Rental Insurance, Travel Accident Insurance, Damage & Theft Purchase Protection, and Extended Warranties on purchases.
  • Streamlined Costco Experience: The card doubles as a Costco membership card, offering a convenient single-card solution for both payment and membership identification.
  • Added Benefits: Access to Citi Entertainment®, Zero Liability Protection, and adoption of EMV chip and contactless payment technologies enhance the user experience.

Cons:

  • Costco Membership Required: The card is only available to Costco members, which requires an annual fee that starts at $60.
  • Annual Reward Redemption Cycle: Unlike most cash-back cards that offer continuous redemption opportunities, cardholders must wait until their annual February billing statement to receive a rewards certificate.
  • In-Store Redemption Limitations: The annual reward can only be redeemed at Costco warehouses, limiting flexibility; although the certificate can be exchanged for a Costco Shop Card to use later, including online.
  • No Welcome Bonus: The card does not offer a sign-up bonus, which is a common perk among many other credit cards.
  • High Regular APR: The card’s APR is above the average for cards requiring excellent credit, making it potentially costly for those who tend to carry a balance.

In essence, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is an excellent option for frequent Costco shoppers and those who regularly spend on categories like gas, dining, and travel. However, for those who prefer more frequent access to rewards or do not shop exclusively at Costco, there may be other cards that better suit their needs.

Comparison to Other Cards

When evaluating the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi against other credit cards in the market, several factors stand out that help to gauge its competitive edge:

  • Cash-Back Rates: The Costco card shines with its gas cash-back rate of 4% on eligible gas and EV charging purchases on up to $7,000 per year (then 1%). This rate is notably high compared to many other cards, making it a standout choice for individuals who spend significantly at gas stations.
  • Annual Reward Distribution: Unlike many other cash-back cards that allow cardholders to redeem their rewards at any time, the Costco Anywhere Visa doles out rewards once per year. This could be a point of contention for users who prefer more frequent access to their earnings.
  • Membership Requirement: The card requires a paid Costco membership, starting at $60 annually. This is a unique aspect in comparison to many other credit cards that don’t require membership at a specific retailer, potentially limiting its appeal to non-Costco members.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: The absence of foreign transaction fees provides a strong benefit compared to other credit cards that typically charge around 3% on international purchases.
  • Extended Warranty and Protection: The extended warranty and damage & theft purchase protection align with offerings from other high-tier credit cards, enhancing the value for consumers who make large purchases or invest in electronics and appliances.
  • Travel Protections: The travel accident insurance and car rental insurance are valuable benefits that are common among travel cards but not always found in the credit card offerings from warehouse clubs or retail cooperatives.
  • Lack of Sign-Up Bonus: Most competing cards offer a welcome bonus to new cardholders, a feature missing from the Costco Anywhere Visa. This could sway potential applicants towards other cards that provide an immediate return upon opening the account.
  • Reward Redemption Method: The reward redemption via an annual certificate redeemable only at Costco warehouses may be seen as less flexible compared to other credit cards that offer statement credits, bank account transfers, or direct purchases with points.
  • Comparison with Other Warehouse Club Cards: When compared to cards from competitors like the Sam’s Club Mastercard, the Costco Anywhere Visa generally offers higher cash-back rewards for gas, but both cards offer strong rewards for dining and travel.

In conclusion, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is potentially very rewarding for Costco members who can make the most of the higher-tier cash-back categories. However, those who are not regular Costco shoppers or who value immediate and flexible reward redemption may find better options elsewhere. It’s also worth noting that an excellent credit score is necessary for approval, which may not be the case for some other competitive retail or cash-back cards.

Conclusion

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a prime credit card for Costco members who can capitalize on high cash-back rates, especially on gas purchases. With no foreign transaction fees and an array of protective benefits, it is also a strong card for travel. Despite the lack of a welcome bonus and the requirement for Costco membership, the long-term value it offers makes it a compelling choice for those loyal to Costco’s extensive products and services. For individuals who frequent Costco warehouses and fill their tanks often, this card may very well be the perfect financial companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I maximize my rewards with a cash-back credit card?

  • Choose a card that aligns with your spending habits to earn more in high-reward categories.
  • Use your cash-back card for routine purchases to accumulate rewards over time.
  • Pay attention to any bonus categories or specific merchant partnerships that offer additional cash back.
  • Always pay off your balance in full to avoid interest charges negating your rewards.

What should I consider when looking for a credit card with travel benefits?

  • Look for cards that offer high rewards on travel purchases, such as hotels and flights.
  • Check for additional perks, such as travel insurance, no foreign transaction fees, and airport lounge access.
  • Consider the redemption options for your travel rewards.
  • Factor in the annual fee and assess whether the travel benefits justify the cost.

Is it better to get a credit card through a retailer or a major bank?

  • Retailer credit cards are great if you frequently shop with that retailer and they offer high rewards for purchases.
  • Major bank credit cards offer more flexibility, wider acceptance, and may have inclusive rewards programs that are not tied to a single retailer.
  • Compare the benefits, rewards, and costs of both options to determine which fits your needs.

How can I avoid common credit card fees?

  • Pay your statement balance in full every month to avoid interest charges.
  • Use cards with no foreign transaction fees when traveling or making purchases in a foreign currency.
  • Stay within your credit limit to avoid over-limit fees.
  • Set up automatic payments or reminders to avoid late payment fees.

What are some safety features to look for in a credit card?

  • Zero liability protection to safeguard against unauthorized transactions.
  • EMV chip technology for enhanced security and reduced fraud risk.
  • Account alerts for suspicious activity or transactions.
  • Ability to freeze your account instantly through a mobile app or online banking if your card is lost or stolen.
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