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October 7, 2019

What Credit Cards Does Costco Accept?

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
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Does Costco take Visa, Mastercard or Amex? Read on to find out the payment methods Costco accepts (and the best cards).

Costco accepts different types of credit cards for in-store vs online payments. For in-store purchases, you are limited to Visa credit cards issued by any bank. For example, both a Chase and a Bank of America Visa credit card would work.

When shopping online at Cosco.com, you can use Visa or its online mobile payment system, Visa Checkout, Mastercard, or Discover.

Why Does Costco Only Take Visa?

By having an exclusive contract with Visa, Costco saves money on credit card transaction fees, which keeps their prices low.

The average credit card transaction fee is about 2% per transaction. Being the country's largest members-only wholesale store, Costco has some negotiating power. The retailer negotiated its credit card transaction fee to close to zero, according to Bloomberg.

Read on to learn about Costco's branded card made specifically for Costco members.

Before partnering with Visa, Costco had an exclusive deal with American Express. But Visa, with more than 3.3 billion cards open worldwide, offered greater market appeal.

In 2016, Costco ended its 17-year partnership with American Express and signed on with Visa.

Costco's Branded Visa Credit Card

Costco, along with Visa and Citibank, created the Costco Anywhere credit card with customers in mind.

Citi Costco earns 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases for the first $7,000 per year, and then 1% thereafter. This card earns 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee with your paid Costco membership.

To qualify, your credit score must be in the "Excellent" category—meaning it should fall between 740 and 850.

Keep reading about more Visa cards you can use on your next shopping trip.

Costco's branded Visa card has no foreign transaction fee, so you can use it when traveling outside the U.S. You must be a Costco member to apply.

Best Visa Credit Cards to Use at Costco

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
    Chase Freedom Unlimited lets you earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There is also a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5. The cash back rewards will not expire as long as your card account remains open. There is no annual fee.

  • Chase Freedom
    Chase Freedom lets you earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. There is a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. There is a 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.

    This is the fun part: You can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The cash back rewards do not expire as long as your card account remains open. There is no annual fee.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
    Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This card lets you earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

    Points can be transferred 1:1 to leading frequent travel programs including airline transfer partners. The card has no foreign transaction fees. The card also comes with premium travel and purchase protection benefits (including trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver). There is a $95 annual fee.

  • Bank of America Cash Rewards
    Bank of America Cash Rewards offers $200 online cash rewards bonus if you spend at least $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. This card earns 3% cash back in your choice category and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases). Earn 1% on other purchases. There is no annual fee.

How to Shop at Costco Without a Visa Credit Card

If you don't have a Visa credit card, you still have plenty of payment options. Non-Visa debit cards work are accepted in-store.

All warehouse stores also accept mobile payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, even if you have a different credit card set up on your phone.

You can also pay with:

  • Costco Cash Cards
  • Personal checks
  • Travelers' checks
  • Cash
  • EBT

You can purchase Costco Cash Cards at any Costco location or online.

The Bottom Line

Costco offers a variety of payment methods to its 90 million members. But you can only use a Visa-branded card in store.

The Costco branded credit card has some of the best rewards for Costco members. You'll save money and accumulate reward points.

To shop at Costco without a Visa credit card, using a mobile payment system like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay is a secure and easy alternative.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom, Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, and Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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