Costco Anywhere Visa Credit Card Review

The Costco Anywhere Visa is a credit card offered by Citi and branded with the Visa name. It is a store card that rewards cardholders when they shop at Costco and Costco.com, but it’s an open-loop card, which means it can also be used outside of Costco.

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The Costco card has a generous cash back rewards scheme, as well as traditional Visa features such as purchase protection, travel rewards, and more, but as we’ll see in this Costco credit card review, there is a fee courtesy of Costco membership and it’s not a good fit for everyone.

The Basics

  • Type: Visa Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 16.74% Variable APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: No
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Cash Advance Fee: 5%
  • Rewards: Earn up to 4% cash back at eligible gas stations
  • Sign-up Bonus: N/A

You need a Very Good or Excellent credit score to apply for the Costco, which generally means that consumers under 700 will be refused outright and those under 750 may struggle to meet the criteria. 

This is a rather strict requirement when you consider that many store cards require scores of just 580, but that’s because the Anywhere Visa is a credit card (also known as an “open-loop” card) and not just a retail card (also known as a “closed-loop” card). 

The key difference is that the former can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, while the latter is restricted to a specific store. There are also differences with regards to interest rates, rewards, fees, and credit limits, with open-loop cards offering much better rates and terms across the board.

The interest rate on the Costco is a low 16.74% Variable, and there are no foreign transaction fees or annual fees. However, there is a 5% cash advance fee, a 26.74% cash advance APR, and a 3% balance transfer fee. What’s more, the lack of an introductory balance transfer APR means there’s no point moving unpaid balances across. There’s also no interest-free 0% intro purchase APR to get excited about.

The Reward Program

The Costco Anywhere Visa rewards you with a 2% cash back rate for all Costco purchases, which includes the Costco store and Costco.com. Surprisingly, this is half the amount you can earn when you spend money at US gas stations, as you’ll get 4% cash back on all purchases up to $7,000 a year, after which the rate will drop to 1%.

You will also secure 3% on eligible travel purchases and dining, as well as 1% on everything else. All things considered, the Costco Anywhere Visa card is very generous and the fact that it offers high rewards for non-Costco purchases means it will appeal to many different users.

Every year, cardholders will be sent a rewards certificate that can be redeemed for cash or merchandise, while all other cash rewards can also be redeemed for statement credit.

Bottom Line: Is the Costco Card for Me?

Like more generic cash back credit cards, the Costco credit card offers great rewards for a host of everyday expenses, including gas purchases, airfare, car rentals, and more. As a result, you don’t need to spend a lot of money at US Costco warehouses or Costco.com to reap the rewards, although you will need to have a Costco membership, so you should be a regular shopper.

The fact that Costco sells so many different things and at good prices makes this card even more appealing. If you’re going to use it as an addition to your Costco membership, seeing it as something that can earn you a few extra bucks, then calculate how much it would have earned you based on previous years, and be sure to include any interest and fees you would have paid.

If you’re going to use it as a general cash back card, look into some more generic and inclusive options first, including the Capital One Quicksilver, Citi Double Cash Card, American Express Blue Cash Preferred, Discover It, Chase Sapphire, and Chase Freedom. 

All these cards will reward you big when you spend money at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants, and you’ll also get a flat rate for shopping at Costco, in addition to better intro APR rates and account opening bonuses.

Alternatives to the Costco Anywhere Visa

The Costco Anywhere Visa is one of the better branded credit cards that we have reviewed, and as you can see from our review above, there are many features of this card that we like and many aspects that make it unique. However, what’s good for one consumer could be terrible for another, and just because we like this card doesn’t mean you will as well.

If you’re not a big fan of Costco, have no intention of getting a Costco membership and don’t believe you’ll benefit from this card, there’s no point signing up. But if you’re still searching for a generous reward card, take a look at these three options below, all of which offer similar terms and can be used at other major US retailers.

My Best Buy Visa Credit Card

The My Best Buy credit card has an annual fee of $59 for the Gold version, but you won’t pay this if you qualify for the Platinum version, which requires a higher credit score.

There is a high APR, charged at 26.74%, but if you clear the balance in full every month, you won’t have to worry about that or the penalty fees. Elite Plus members can earn 6% cash back every time they shop at Best Buy and all other members will pick up 5%. In addition, there is 2% cash back available when the card is used at qualifying restaurants and 1% for everything else.

  • Type: Visa Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $59
  • Regular APR: 26.74% Variable
  • Rewards: Earn up to 6% in rewards
  • Sign-up Bonus: Get a 10% cash back bonus on your first day

GAP Visa Card

With the GAP Visa Card you can earn 5 points every time you spend just $1 at GAP, Athleta, Old Navy, and Banana Republic.  It’s an unlimited rate and essentially means you’ll get a constant 5% discount on every purchase that you make at these clothing stores. What’s more, when you sign up, you’ll get a 20% discount and free shipping the first time you use the card.

At 27.49%, the regular APR is a little on the high side, but there is no annual fee, so if you clear the balance in full every month you won’t need to worry about that high rate or the penalty fees.

You won’t earn many points for non-GAP purchases, as this card offers just 1 point for every $1 you spend. However, that is often the case with branded credit cards like this and providing you have a general rewards card  you use for all other purchases, you can just whip your GAP card out in GAP, Athleta, Old Navy, and Banana Republic.

  • Type: Visa Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 27.49% Variable
  • Rewards: Earn 5 points per dollar for GAP purchases and 1 point for all other purchases
  • Sign-up Bonus: Get a 20% discount and free shipping on first purchase

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is one of several Amazon cards. It’s a credit card that offers all new users a $70 Amazon.com gift card as well as 5% cash back every time they spend at Amazon.com or Whole Foods. If you spend a lot of money at either of these locations, it’s well worth it, but it also offers 2% cash back on select bonus categories and 1% on everything else.

You will need to be an Amazon Prime member to get this card, but there is a non-Prime version as well. There is no annual fee, and if you’ve ever shown an interest in Amazon Prime but haven’t made the leap of faith, this card might be a good excuse to sign up. You’ll pay upwards of $100 a year for your Prime membership, but in return, you’ll get a host of benefits, including all the aforementioned benefits associated with the Prime Visa.

Furthermore, because the Prime Rewards card is a Visa Signature Credit Card, it offers a wealth of built-in features, including travel protection, hotel upgrades and perks, and more.

  • Type: Visa Signature Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: Between 16.49% and 24.49% Variable
  • Rewards: Earn up to 5% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases
  • Sign-up Bonus: Get a $70 Amazon.com Gift Card