Who has ever left a Costco without spending at least a hundred bucks?
The answer is no one. And if you’re going to spend that much, you should be earning rewards for it!
If you live near a Costco, you probably already know how valuable your membership to this warehouse club can be. Your shopping trips can be even more rewarding when you pay with a rewards credit card. However, Costco doesn’t accept all credit cards for in-store purchases. Find out which ones they accept, and whether your current card is one of the best credit cards to use at Costco.
Table of Contents
- What Credit Cards Does Costco Accept?
- Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco
- Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature
- Capital One Venture Rewards
- Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa Credit Card
- PenFed Power Cash Rewards
- Best Business Credit Cards for Costco
- Final Thoughts
What Credit Cards Does Costco Accept?
Which credit card you can use at Costco depends largely upon the way you shop:
- In-warehouse: Visa only
- Costco Gas: Visa only
- Online: Visa, Mastercard,
Discover, Diners Club, and JCB
(Costco sent out a notice that, effective November 15th, 2023, they will no longer accept Discover card – here is the updated list of all cards accepted online)
In a nutshell, you must use a Visa credit card for in-warehouse purchases. Any Visa will work, not only their co-branded Citi card, but it has to be Visa.
When you shop online at Costco.com, you can also pay with a Mastercard or Discover credit card. Unfortunately, the warehouse club doesn’t accept American Express credit cards. This exclusion is surprising as Amex was the only credit card issuer that Costco accepted for many years until the warehouse club switched to Citi and Visa to offer its co-branded credit cards.
Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco
A Visa credit card gives you the assurance that you can pay for any Costco purchase. Thankfully, most rewards credit cards in the United States use the Visa payment network.
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
You can earn up to 4% back on purchases:
- 4% at gas stations worldwide (on the first $7,000 per year then 1%)
- 3% on dining and travel purchases
- 2% back at Costco and Costco.com
- 1% back on all remaining purchases
This card doesn’t have an annual fee (outside of your Costco Membership fees) or foreign transaction fees.
While this card has exciting rewards categories, you must be patient with redeeming your rewards. Each February, you receive a yearly reward certificate to redeem for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses. If your check is more than $300, you can get it direct deposited into a bank account.
If you prefer the flexibility of redeeming your rewards more frequently, consider another card that lets you redeem cash back or travel rewards on-demand.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Visa card earns 1.5% back on purchases, including Costco.
You can also earn bonus cash back on these purchases:
- 5% on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% on dining and drugstore purchases
You can redeem your rewards for cash back, award travel, and gift cards. There isn’t a redemption minimum for cash redemptions. This card has a $0 annual fee but has a 3% foreign transaction fee. As a new cardmember, you can earn a welcome bonus of Additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spend in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back .
The Freedom Unlimited can be the best cashback credit card for Costco purchases because of its easy redemption policy. However, if you have opened multiple credit cards in the past two years, make sure you satisfy the Chase 5/24 guidelines before you apply to avoid a rejected application.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best travel credit cards as you have bountiful rewards at a reasonable $95 annual fee.
First, you earn up to 10 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on purchases:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.
- 2x on all other travel purchases
- 3x on dining and select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs)
- 1x on everything else
Second, your points are worth 25% more (1.25 cents vs. 1 cent) when you redeem them for award travel, and you can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to participating airlines and hotels (i.e., Southwest, United, and Hyatt). Third, some ongoing benefits include an annual $50 hotel savings credit, 10% anniversary points for the points you earn each year, and valuable travel insurance coverages.
The current welcome bonus is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
If you’re a frequent flyer, you can benefit from a premium travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Featured benefits include:
- Earn up to 10x Ultimate Rewards on purchases
- 50% point redemption bonus for award travel (1.5 cents each)
- 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
- Annual $300 travel statement credit
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Priority Pass Select airport lounge access
The annual fee is a $550.
But, if you can use the additional travel perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve can be worth the upgrade (read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve for more details). The welcome bonus is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months.
If you’re wondering which Chase Sapphire card is best suited for you, check out our comparison: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature
The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card makes it easy to estimate your earning potential as you earn an unlimited 2% back – it doesn’t matter where you shop. You can deposit your cashback rewards into these Fidelity accounts:
- Brokerage accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Fidelity Go automated investment portfolios
- Cash management account
- 529 College Savings plan
- Charitable giving accounts
- Health savings accounts (HSAs)
The annual fee is $0, but there is a foreign transaction fee of1%. Check out our full review of the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card for more information.
Capital One Venture Rewards
The Capital One Venture Rewards is a Visa Signature product that earns unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. Each point is worth 1 cent for travel statement credits on booking you made in the last 90 days. You can also book upcoming trips through Capital One Travel and transfer at a 1:1 ratio to over a dozen airlines and hotels.
It also offers a 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account, equal to $750 in travel.
This card is a good fit for frequent flyers as you get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit ($100 every four years) and two free Capital One Lounge visits per year. The annual fee is $95 and it does not charge a foreign transaction fee.
Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa Credit Card
The vast majority of the cards on this list require a good or excellent credit score in the high 600s or more to qualify. However, if you’re building credit or repairing your score, a secured credit card can be a better fit. The Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa doesn’t require a credit check, and each monthly payment reports to the three credit bureaus. Unfortunately, this card doesn’t earn purchase rewards. The annual fee is $0, and you’re eligible after opening a free Chime Spending Account and receiving $200 in monthly direct deposits.
If you live near a Costco, you already know how valuable your membership to this warehouse club can be. Your shopping trips can be more rewarding when you pay with a rewards credit card. However, not just any credit card will pay your tab for in-store purchases. See if you have one of the best credit cards to use at Costco to earn the most rewards.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.
PenFed Power Cash Rewards
The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card earns 2% back on all purchases when you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage Member. Otherwise, you only make 1.5% back. It’s relatively easy to have this status. You only need to open an Access America Checking Account (it’s a free checking account) or be a military member (active duty, reserve, honorably discharged, or retired). You can redeem your rewards as a cash statement credit or a bank account deposit with no redemption minimum. The annual fee is $0, and there is no foreign transaction fee.
Related: 18+ Best Costco Money Hacks
Best Business Credit Cards for Costco
Costco can be your lifeline for workplace resources if you’re a small business owner or an independent contractor. These cards can help maximize your business spending at the warehouse club.
Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi
The Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card has similar benefits as the consumer version:
- 4% at gas stations (on the first $7,000 per year, then 1%)
- 3% on restaurants and eligible travel worldwide
- 2% at Costco and Costco.com
- 1% on all remaining purchases
Every year In February, you can redeem your rewards for cash or merchandise credit. The annual fee is $0, and the foreign transaction fee is 0%.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred lets you earn bonus Ultimate Rewards points on several business-related purchases.
Your points are also worth 25% more (1.25 cents) for award travel redemptions instead of cash or gift cards. Rewards categories include:
- 3x on the first $150,000 in combined annual spending for travel, shipping, social media/search engine advertising, and internet, cable and phone services.
- 1x on everything else
In addition to the 25% travel redemption bonus, you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to participating airlines and hotels.
You can also get 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening in the . The annual fee is and then $95 after that.
Chase Ink Business Cash
Consider the Chase Ink Business Cash if you don’t want to pay an annual fee. The card offers you 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants; 1% cash back on all other purchases.
It also has a welcome offer of $750 after you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
As this card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can also combine your balance with other cards with the same rewards currency, like the Sapphire or Chase Freedom cards.
You can only use Visa credit cards at your local warehouse or Costco gas stations. Costco.com purchases accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Diner’s Club, and JCB credit cards. Costco doesn’t accept American Express in-warehouse or online. If you don’t have a Visa credit card, additional payment methods for warehouse purchases include a pin-based debit card, check, cash, and Costco Shop Cards.
You can only buy gas with a Visa credit card at Costco Gas stations. Other accepted payment methods include a pin-based debit card and Costco Shop Cards.
Costco only accepts Visa-issued credit cards at their warehouses to keep transaction fees low and because the co-brand Costco Anywhere credit cards are a Visa product. You might be able to use non-Visa debit cards for in-store purchases. And, you can use any credit card except American Express for online shopping at Costco.com.
Yes, warehouse clubs usually let you pay with any credit card in-store or online. However, Costco has one of the strictest policies as they only accept Visa in-warehouse and exclude American Express for online purchases.
Make sure you bring a Visa credit card if you want to pay with plastic and earn rewards at your local Costco warehouse and Costco Gas location. You can either use the co-brand Costco credit card or your preferred Visa product.
While Costco only accepts Visa for local purchases, you can also break out your favorite card from any issuer for Costco.com purchases.
And don’t forget to check Costco’s monthly coupon book for maximum savings!