Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi review: A good value for Costco members
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- At 4% cash back, the gas rewards rate is among the highest out there. You also earn 3% at restaurants and on travel purchases, 2% at Costco and Costco.com and 1% on all other purchases.
- Combine this card with an Executive Membership at Costco to earn even more cash back.
- Feel free to take this card with you if you travel abroad – you won't be charged a foreign transaction fee.
- Rewards redemption is automatic and only occurs once a year. If you're looking for more flexibility with your rewards, check out another card, like Chase Freedom®, which also offers cash back at wholesale clubs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Bulk shopping enthusiasts rejoice; the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a cash-back credit card designed to reward you for your love of giant jars of pickles and enough paper towels to last a year as well as your everyday needs like a tank of gas. Exclusively for Costco members, Costco Visa® cardholders earn cash rewards at Costco, as you'd expect, but on other purchases as well making it a solid everday card. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.
Here's how the rewards categories break down with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi:
- Gas: Earn 4% cash back on gas purchases worldwide, including gas at Costco, for up to the first $7,000 per year in spending (1% after that).
- Restaurants and travel: Earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases and eligible travel purchases worldwide, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruise lines and Costco Travel.
- Costco: Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com.
- All other purchases: Earn 1% back on all other purchases.
There is no annual fee with your paid Costco membership, and you'll receive your cash-back reward annually in the form of a reward certificate mailed to your home with your February billing statement. The reward certificate, which will include all your eligible cash back on purchases made from January through December of the previous year, can be redeemed for purchases at Costco or Costco.com through December of the year in which it is issued. You can redeem your certificate in entirety to cover a Costco purchase (think of it almost like a gift card in this case) or you can use it for a small purchase and receive the remaining balance in cash at a Costco checkout. It's an extra step beyond simply requesting cash back, but it is possible to get cash back in your wallet with this card.
- Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi certainly lives up to its name; you really can earn cash-back rewards anywhere with this card. And those rewards aren't skimpy. Earning 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases worldwide, up to $7,000, including gas at Costco, is a great deal for families driving all over town for after-school activities or individuals who commute long distances for work. And because it covers international locations, even family members away on business trips or vacations can earn rewards when filling the tank.
This card is actually among the best rewards levels out there when it comes to gas. And with 3% cash back earned at restaurants and hotels and on airfare, car rentals, travel agencies, cruises, and Costco Travel, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card has the rest of your family vacation or business travel expenses covered as well.
Speaking of travel, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi does not charge foreign transaction fees so it's great for using both near and far.
The average foreign transaction fee for many cash-back cards is 3%, so think of things this way: If your family takes a vacation to the Caribbean and spends $5,000 with this card instead of a card that charges fees, that's $150 saved. Who knew Costco could help you save on both your groceries and your vacations?
Perhaps the greatest drawback is the lack of flexibility when it comes to redeeming your rewards. You'll need to wait until February of each year to redeem your cash rewards from the previous year's purchases and the only way to redeem that cash back is through the aforementioned rewards certificate you'll receive in the mail. Card customers looking for a speedier, more efficient way to redeem cash rewards may want to consider other cash-back cards that allow ongoing rewards redemption or redemption directly into a checking or savings account. And, while the card doesn't technically have an annual fee of its own you do need to be a Costco member to apply for the card, which means that you'll pay the warehouse membership fee annually.
CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:
|2020 Scores||2019 Scores|
|Rewards Program Satisfaction||8.6||8.5|
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use||9.2||9.0|
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague||8.6||8.6|
Citi Costco Card vs. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
This is another card that requires a membership, but the Pentagon Federal Credit Union is fairly easy to join, so don't count this card out before first reading the options for qualifying for membership.
The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers a competitive five points per dollar spent (the equivalent of 5% cash back) on gas purchases at the pump as well as three points per dollar spend on supermarket purchases, and one point on all other purchases.
The PenFed card does not charge an annual fee, or foreign transaction fees. As an added bonus, it also offers new cardholders an opportunity to earn a $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
If the majority of your spending is at Costco and in other categories such as restaurants and travel, you will likely earn more with the Costco credit card. Plus, you will need to be sure you can qualify for the Penfed card with membership.
Citi Costco Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠ is an annual-fee-free rotating-categories cash-back rewards card. It isn't specific to Costco, but that doesn't mean you can't rake in some serious rewards by using it there.
Generally, Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers cardholders 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly bonus categories that you activate. These spending categories have included everything from restaurants to Amazon.com purchases to, yes, wholesale club purchases like those at Costco. It also awards 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases, plus 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
If you primarily shop at Costco or spend disproportionately at gas stations or on travel, you'll likely earn more cash back with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card, but if you like the idea of earning 5% back in categories that rotate, Chase Freedom Flex℠ probably makes more sense.
Citi Costco Card vs. Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card features no annual fee and the opportunity to take advantage of a new offer: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishing. You can now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases. You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the mobile banking app or online banking, or do nothing and it stays the same.
Your rewards are higher on your gas purchases with the Costco card (4% on up to $7,000 spent annually) and you can be rewarded with 3% cash back for eating at restaurants or traveling, which may be a the same or a lower reward rate than you'd earn with the Bank of America card, depending on which category you prioritize. Still, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card offers flexibility when it comes to when and how to redeem your rewards and you can use the card to earn bonus rewards at other wholesale clubs as well as on your everyday grocery purchases.
This decision likely comes down to your loyalty to Costco and whether you're comfortable redeeming rewards only annually.
The best candidates for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi are people who are already familiar with wandering the aisles of Costco, munching on samples and looking for 30-pound bags of rice. Additionally, you'll need to be ready to use the card thoughtfully at gas stations, restaurants and on travel as well if you want to fully realize the rewards potential. If you're someone, however, who spends in a wide variety of categories and not necessarily all that often at Costco, you're likely better off with a flat-rate rewards card instead.
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2020 to conduct surveys among 1,746 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2020 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were added to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted.