Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
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.
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
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.
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.
2. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Link: 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
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.
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.
4. Chase Freedom Unlimited
Link: Chase 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.
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 Preferred, Chase 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.
Cards That Earn Cash Back
1. Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa
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
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!
3. Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature 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
- Fidelity brokerage accounts
- Fidelity Cash Management Account
- Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings plan
- Fidelity retirement accounts
So it might not make sense for everyone.
4. Citi Costco Visa Card
Link: 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.
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?