Costco’s switch from American Express to Visa has been public for quite some time. On June 20th of 2016, current AMEX cardholders will get to start using their new Visa card issued by Citibank. If you’re currently a Costco cardholder, a new Visa will be mailed to you later this month, and your current AMEX will be canceled on June 20th, 2016 so you have nothing to worry about.
Folks that are looking to join will have to wait until June 20th for application details.
Citi has published information on their new Costco Visa, and the site highlights the benefits and cash back opportunities available to customers. They’re different than what’s currently offered on the Costco AmEx, so let’s take a look at how this new card stacks up.
New Costco Visa Rewards
- 4% cash back on gas (including Costco gas stations)
- 3% cash back on travel and dining
- 2% cash back on everything in Costco stores and online at Costco.com
- 1% cash back everywhere else
Old Costco AmEx Rewards
- 3% cash back on gas
- 2% cash back on travel and dining
- 1% cash back at Costco and everywhere else
As you can see, the new benefits from the Costco Visa are compelling (essentially a 1% cash back increase across the board), and it’s actually a decent everyday spending card. The 3% cash back offer on dining out matches other high-value cards like the Chase AARP card, and the 4% cash back on gas just sweetens the deal.
Costco Executive members, part of a separate Costco-related rewards system, will still benefit from their 2% cash back rewards on top of the card’s 2% cash back, effectively earning 4% cash back on any in-store Costco purchases.
There’s no annual fee for this card, though you’ll pay the Costco membership fee ($55 annually, or $110 for the Executive level). Many of you may already be paying this fee, which makes this an excellent card that will allow you to benefit even more from Costco’s already lower gas prices, as well as other Costco purchases.
Of note, Citi appears to be using the same cash back rewards system that American Express previously used, where members receive an annual Rewards Coupon that can be used for cash or merchandise. Current members’ AmEx rewards will transfer over.
The Bottom Line
I think this is a good card for folks who are current (and frequent) Costco shoppers, and worth applying for if you’re in the market for a new cash back card. If you fill up at Costco’s gas stations and spend a good amount in store each month, it’s a great option that will provide you with an average of more than 2% cash back overall, which is what most consider the benchmark for a “valuable” credit card.
It’s also a good one-size-fits-all card if you’re not interested in evaluating the different category benefits from multiple credit cards. If you’re not a Costco member or don’t find yourself shopping there often, this Visa is certainly less compelling and is probably not worth a hard credit pull, but 3% cash back at restaurants and the other overall cash back categories could still help this Citi Visa find its way into your wallet.Topics: Credit Cards