Costco Anywhere Visa® Card Review
We’ll talk about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card, which is the card for Costco regulars.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card is designed by Citi® for Costco members. It offers generous rewards in several everyday spending categories. These include 4% on gas stations everywhere, up to an annual spending limit, 3% on restaurants and travel, 2% on Costco purchases, in physical stores and online, and 1% on all other purchases. To get your hands on these attractive rewards you’ll need a Costco membership. So, although the card has no annual fee, it’s not free since the Costco annual membership fee costs $60 or $120.
Costco Anywhere Visa®: pros and cons
|Excellent rewards rate for gas. The highlight of the rewards system is the 4% cash back rate on gas purchases worldwide, up to the first $7,000 spent for the year. If you commute daily, you can easily accumulate a considerable cash back amount.
||Costco membership required. Without membership you cannot apply for this card. If you cancel your membership, you’ll lose your card and rewards.
|Great rewards for dining and travel. The 3% cash back rate on purchases in those two categories is at least as good as those on similar retail cards or regular cash back cards without annual fees.
||Limiting redemption policy. You can get your cash back once a year as an annual reward certificate that is redeemable only at Costco Warehouses. You can redeem it for cash or merchandise at Costco.
|No foreign transaction fee. You won’t get charged a fee for international purchases.
||No sign-up bonus. This card doesn’t have a welcome offer for new cardholders. That usually serves as a way to start off your rewards during the period following account opening.
|Decent APR rate. The APR rate for purchases and balance transfers is 20.49%, which compared to other credit cards is pretty good.
Rewards system in a nutshell
The rewards system of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card has the following rates:
- 4% rewards rate for eligible gas purchases worldwide, which include those at Costco, for the first $7,000 spend on gas annually. After reaching the threshold amount, a 1% rewards rate is applied to gas purchases. A 1% rate is also applied to gas purchases made at supermarkets, superstores, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs (that are not Costco).
- 3% rewards rate for restaurant and travel purchases worldwide. Cafes, bars, lounges, and fast-food restaurants fall under the restaurant category. While the following qualify for travel: flights, hotels, travel agencies, car rentals, cruise lines, and purchases with Costco Travel.
- 2% rewards rate for all purchases made at a Costco physical store, or online at Costco.com.
- 1% rewards rate on all other purchases.
As you can see this card offers high rewards rates in several bonus categories and it’s a great plus that you can earn rewards really anywhere. Let’s talk numbers to give you a sense of the potential rewards you can earn.
We’ll take an average U.S. household’s annual expenses for our example. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics around 90% of American households spend on average $3,000 on gas annually, or $250 a month. This amounts to $120 cash back.
The average amount spent on dining out is around $3,000 a year. With the 3% rewards rate applied on restaurant purchases, that’s $90 in cash back.
The average cost of a vacation for a family of four is somewhere between $4,100 and $5,100. So, at least one vacation in a year that costs $4,600, will earn you $138 in cash back.
Furthermore, if you spend $400 a month on groceries, and you do your grocery shopping at Costco, you’ll earn $96 in cash back.
Although the rewards rates are high, what might be a drawback for some people is the restricted redemption program. You receive your rewards only once a year. In February, after your billing statement closes, you’ll get an annual credit card rewards certificate.
To sum up, the rewards are really great, but they can be a bit of a hassle. You’ll have to wait for months to redeem them and you’ll be limited with time to do so. Still, the nice check you’ll get after a year will make this easier.
Who can benefit from getting the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card?
Clearly, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card is best for people who frequently shop at Costco Warehouses. It’s also great for those who spend a lot on gas and dining out.
However, keep in mind the way rewards are redeemed. If you are someone who prefers having more choice and freedom about when and how you redeem your rewards, you might want to look into other cash back rewards cards.
As for your approval odds, apart from a Costco membership, a good credit score will probably be needed to get accepted for this card. This usually means a FICO score of at least 740.
Are there any other benefits?
Yes, some of them are:
- Purchase protection – this covers theft and damage. You can get repairs or a refund if the purchase was made with a Citi® card and you reported within 120 days.
- Extended warranty – your manufacturer’s warranty will be extended. This goes for purchases made with a Citi® card.
- Citi Entertainment® – this perk means you get free access to numerous entertainment experiences, including concerts, sporting events, theater, dining, and others.
- Digital Wallet – this feature enables you to quickly pay for products and services online.
We are impressed by the rewards rates the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card offers, especially as they are for bonus categories in which every individual or household spends significant amounts daily. Store cards typically don’t offer high rewards rates on purchases outside the appropriate store. As we already presented, it’s easy to pile up significant rewards even with average spending habits.
Having that said, we don’t like that you get your rewards once a year and that you have a deadline. This limits the customers in several ways. However, if this represents no problem to you, we’d recommend to go for it!
What is the customer service phone number for Costco Anywhere Visa® Card?
Customer service of the Citi bank is available to you at the following number: 1-888-248-4226
. You can reach them Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
How to check my application status for Costco Anywhere Visa® Card?
You can easily check the status of your application, by calling 1-877-343-4118
. The number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will need your reference number. If you don’t have one, you’ll be asked several questions to verify your identity.