Earn Miles & Save Money in 2017 With These Cards at Costco

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Trying to decide which credit card you should use at Costco?  

If you like earning points you can redeem for Big Travel (like me!), then consider cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom Unlimited.  But if you’d rather earn cash back, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card might make more sense.

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I’ll Help You Decide Which Credit Card to Use at Costco. So You Can Earn Miles & Save Money on Purchases You’re Making Anyway!

Here’s a list of the travel rewards and cash back earning cards I’d suggest using at Costco.

Best Credit Card to Use at Costco

If you’re trying to meet the minimum spending requirements on a new card, that’s the best card to use on any purchase, including at Costco!

If not, choose your card wisely.  Consider whether you prefer earning cash back or transferrable points.  And whether you’re willing to pay an annual fee or want to deal with the hassle of registering for rotating bonus categories.

And don’t forget, Costco only accepts Visa cards in-store.  For online purchases, you can use travel rewards cards from MasterCard or Discover, but NOT American Express.

Cards That Earn Miles & Points

1.   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred 

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of my favorite cards.  And if I could only have one credit card in my wallet it would be this.

Even though you’ll only earn 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 spent at Costco, the value in these points is their flexibility.

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You Can Get Almost Anywhere With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, Including Hawaii!

You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel with access to most airlines and hotels through the Chase travel portal.  And, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates.

Or transfer them to airline and hotel partners for Big Travel!

2.   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll only earn 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 spent at Costco with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  

But Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite kind of points!  Because they’re flexible, have great travel partners, and are easy to earn.  And you’ll get even more value from your Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

That said, it comes with a $450 annual fee that might not be worth it for some.  So do what makes the most sense for you!

3.   Chase Freedom

Link:   Chase Freedom

Link:   My Review of the Chase Freedom

Link:   Activate Chase Freedom Bonus Categories  

With the Chase Freedom, you can earn 5X bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points on up to $1,500 per quarter in eligible bonus categories.  For a total of up to 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($75 cash back).

In the past, warehouse stores like Costco have been included in the bonus categories.  And folks have reported earning 5X bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points for gas at Costco when the bonus categories include gas stations.

The current sign-up bonus for the Chase Freedom card is 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($150 cash back) after meeting minimum spending requirements.

And you can get another 2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($25 cash back) when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the same timeframe.

Here’s my review of the card.

4.   Chase Freedom Unlimited

Link:   Chase Freedom Unlimited

Link:   My Review of the Freedom Unlimited

You could also use the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases (with no spending caps!), including warehouse clubs.  Without needing to worry about registering for rotating bonus categories.

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You’ll Need One of These 5 Chase Cards to Use the Chase Ultimate Rewards Points You Earn With the Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited Cards for Big Travel With Chase’s Transfer Partners

What I like most about the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom is that when you have one of these cards AND the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred, or Ink Plus or Ink Bold (no longer available), you can transfer your points for Big Travel with airline and hotel partners.  

Or redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for discounted travel through the Chase Travel Portal

Cards That Earn Cash Back

1.   Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa

Link:   BankAmericard Cash Rewards

Link:   My Review of the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card

You could also consider the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card, which earns 2% back at wholesale clubs including Costco, on up to $2,500 in spending each quarter.

Plus, you’ll get a 10% bonus if you deposit your cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account!  And the current sign-up bonus is $100 after spending $500+ on qualifying purchases within 90 days of account opening.

This card would certainly be a good option for folks who bank with Bank of America and want to earn cash back at Costco.

2.   Citi Double Cash

Link:   Citi Double Cash Card

Link:   My Review of the Citi Double Cash Card

Folks that like cash back might consider the Citi Double Cash Card.  It earns 1% cash back on your purchases and 1% cash back on your payments.  So you’re effectively getting 2% back on every purchase.  But there’s no sign-up bonus.

Plus, it’s a MasterCard, so you can NOT use it in-store at Costco, only online.  Although folks have reported being able to buy Costco cash cards online with their MasterCard, to use in-store later.

This card has easy-to-understand cash rewards with NO cap.  And you can redeem for a mailed check, a statement credit, or for gift cards, when you reach $25 in rewards.  Plus, there’s no annual fee!

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For Some, There’s Nothing Better Than Cash Back. If You Spend a Lot at Costco, You Can Do Well With This Card

3.   Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card

Link:   Fidelity 2% Cash Back Visa Card

Link:   My review of the Fidelity Rewards Card

The Fidelity Visa Signature is another good option if you like earning cash back, because you’ll earn 2% back on all of your Costco purchases, which can add up!

But to earn 2% cash back on every purchase, you must deposit the rewards points you earn into an eligible Fidelity account, including

So it might not make sense for everyone.

4.   Citi Costco Visa Card

Link:   Citi Costco Visa Card

Link:   My Review of the Citi Costco Visa Card

With the Citi Costco Visa card you’ll earn 2% cash back on purchases at Costco and Costco.com.

You’ll also get:

  • 4% cash back on on the 1st $7,000 of purchases each annual reward period (1% thereafter) of gasoline at Costco and gas stations worldwide (excluding superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs other than Costco)
  • 3% cash back at restaurants & bars worldwide
  • 3% cash back for eligible travel purchases including airfare, hotel stays (excluding timeshares, banquets, and events), car rentals, and purchases from Costco Travel
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

There’s NO annual fee if you have a paid Costco membership.  So this is a decent option for folks looking for a cash back card that has no spending caps on Costco purchases.  Especially if you spend a lot on gas!

But if you cancel the card for any reason, you’ll lose all the rewards you’ve earned.  Because your rewards come as a check once per year.

And don’t forget, Citi cards offer perks like Citi Price Rewind, purchase protection, and extended warranties.

Bottom Line

You can only use Visa cards at Costco in-store.  But there are lots of rewards earning Visa cards to choose from!  And you can use MasterCard and Discover cards online.

Plus, you’ll need to decide what type of rewards you want to earn (miles & points or cash back), whether you want to deal with rotating bonus categories, and if you’re willing to pay an annual fee.

These cards (and more!) are great options for Costco purchases:

I prefer earning flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards Big Travel instead of just cash back, so I’d use a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  But it’s up to you!

Do you have a favorite card you use at Costco?

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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4 responses to “Earn Miles & Save Money in 2017 With These Cards at Costco

  1. Discover offers 5x during Q2 at Costco.com, where you can buy cash cards

  2. Always leaving out the Discover It, even though it’s offered 5% back in the first two quarters this year (thru costco.com purchases). Gotta push those overrated sapphire cards I guess.

  3. Offering the CSP and CSR over the FU for Costco seems a little absurd.