Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Costco Anywhere Visa® Credit Card Review

overall rating
2.8

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The Costco Anywhere Visa card offers a generous 4% cash back on gas purchases, up to an annual spending limit, along with 3% cash back on eligible travel and restaurants, 2% cash back at Costco stores or Costco.com, and 1% on all other purchases. There's no annual fee; you just need to pay your yearly Costco membership to maintain your card account.

Costco Anywhere Visa®

Overall Rating
2.8
Costco Anywhere Visa®
On Citi's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.24% variable
Annual Fee $0 with your paid Costco membership
Rewards Earning Rate 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year; 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; 1% on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Costco Anywhere Visa® Credit Card

Pros
  • Outstanding rewards on gas

  • Comparable restaurant and travel rewards to top travel rewards cards

  • Rewards not limited to Costco spending

  • No annual fee with a paid Costco membership

Cons
  • Limited cash back redemption options

  • Card membership linked to a paid Costco membership

  • Cap on gas rewards

Pros Explained

  • Outstanding Rewards on Gas: The Costco Anywhere Visa card offers 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases, including the already discounted gas at Costco. This rewards rate is generous—many other cards max out gas rewards at 3%. You could quickly accumulate a significant amount of cash back if you commute to work or school or take frequent road trips.
  • Comparable Dining and Travel Rewards to Top Travel Rewards Cards: This card doesn't scrimp on dining and travel rewards. Cardholders earn 3% cash back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases worldwide and, as an added benefit, pay no foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside the U.S. These rewards are in the same league as premium travel rewards cards.  
  • Rewards not Limited to Costco Spending: Although this card is co-branded with the Costco name, you can use it to make purchases and earn rewards anywhere Visa is accepted. The rewards rate for purchases is higher at Costco and Costco.com, at 2% cash back versus 1% everywhere else, but the 4% cash back on gas is good worldwide.

Cons Explained

  • Limited Cash Back Redemption Options: This card has just one way to redeem the rewards you earn. Cash back is issued as a single reward certificate once a year that can only be redeemed for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco stores.
  • Card Membership Linked to a Paid Costco Membership: If you fail to pay your annual Costco membership fee, Citi reserves the right to cancel your Costco Anywhere Visa account.
  • Cap on Gas Rewards: This card limits how much cash back you can earn on gas purchases at the 4% rewards rate. After $7,000 in gas purchases annually, rewards on gas drop to the 1% rewards rate.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Head of Household Persona
    Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
    Head of Household
  • Avatar for Driver/Commuter Persona
    Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
    Driver/Commuter

This card is well-suited for consumers who spend at least $7,000 per year on gas and routinely charge dining, travel, and Costco purchases. If you already have a Costco membership, signing up for this card won't cost you anything extra since there's no annual fee, and the Costco Anywhere Visa doubles as your membership card. 

This card is also a good option for those who like the simplicity of rewards issued once a year and having that amount to spend at Costco. 

Rewards Earning Details

This card has four tiers of cash back rewards. Gas purchases earn 4% cash back, which includes but isn’t limited to gas at Costco. That rewards rate does max out at $7,000 in gas purchases yearly and once you reach that limit, you earn only 1% cash back. In addition, that 4% cash back rewards rate does not apply to gas purchased at supermarkets, superstores, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs other than Costco, or on gas that's purchased for non-automobile purposes. Those gas purchases earn the 1% cash back rate.

Spending on restaurants and travel earns unlimited 3% cash back. Again, there are certain limitations. You only earn 1% cash back on purchases made at bakers and certain restaurants and cafes inside department stores, grocery stores, and warehouse clubs. Travel purchases made at timeshares, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, and on train or commuter travel also earn 1% back, rather than 3%.

The 2% cash back you can earn at Costo stores and Costco.com and the 1% cash back on all other purchases is also unlimited. 

Rewards Redemption Details

Cash back rewards are issued once annually in the form of a credit card reward certificate when your February billing statement closes. You can redeem your reward certificate for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

The first and best way to maximize rewards with this card is to charge all of your gas purchases for the year, up to the $7,000 spending cap, to get the full 4% cash back rewards rate. From there, regular spending at Costco and Costco.com will further maximize how much cash back you can earn. 

Average Case

First, assume a family typically spends $40 per week on gas, which reflects the average household spending for 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On total annual gas spending of $2,109, you would earn approximately $85 in cash back at the 4% rewards rate. 

Add in spending of $372 per month on groceries, which reflects the national household average, shopping exclusively at Costco stores. At 2% cash back, those purchases would earn another $89 in cash back for the year. Charging $3,000 in eligible travel expenses for a family vacation would earn an additional $90 in cash back at the 3% rewards rate, along with $104 for dining out, on which the average family spends $3,459 per year. To round things out, $5,000 in miscellaneous purchases for the year at the 1% cash back would net another $50 in rewards. 

Altogether, these typical spending habits would yield $418 in rewards on $18,032 in purchases. That effectively works out to earning approximately 2.3% cash back on average on every dollar spent.  

Aspirational Case

More frequent spenders could really maximize rewards. Let’s assume that you max out the 4% cash back rewards on gas by charging $7,000 in eligible gas purchases for the year. That's $280 in cash back right off the bat. 

Next, let's add in $154 in weekly grocery spending, which reflects the highest average household spend by income, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At 2% back, assuming you buy groceries at Costco, you'd earn another $160 in rewards. Add in an average of $6,500 for travel purchases and $8,000 for miscellaneous spending, earning $195 and $80 back respectively.

Your total cash back for the year would total $715 on $29,700 in spending, earning a slightly higher cash back rewards rate of 2.4% on average.

Standard Benefits

  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Extended warranty 

Cardholder Experience

Citi earned a 799 rating in J.D. Power's 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. That puts it just below the national average of 806 and behind competitors such as Discover and American Express. 

In terms of user experience, cardmembers can manage their accounts online or through the Citi app. Customer service is available at 800-950-5114 or through live chat when you log in to your Citi account online. 

Security Features

Citi offers cardmembers numerous security features and protections, including: 

  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • $0 liability on unauthorized transactions
  • Fraud detection and early warning for suspected fraudulent activity
  • Online and mobile security protections
  • Virtual account numbers
  • Customizable account alerts
  • Paperless statements
  • Two-step authentication when you log into your Citi mobile app or online accounts

You can also set up Citi Quick Lock, which allows you to lock your card through the mobile app if it’s lost or stolen. This feature blocks new purchases and cash advances from being made until you recover your card and unlock it. 

Our Verdict

The Costco Anywhere Visa card is a great choice for regular Costco shoppers who want to earn competitive cash back rewards on gas, travel, and dining. With no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee, it's a cost-friendly alternative to pricier travel cards. 

Be sure to consider how rewards are redeemed. Receiving a reward certificate once a year and only being able to redeem that certificate for cash or merchandise at Costco may feel limiting to some consumers. If you prefer more choices in how you receive and use your rewards, you may want to consider a different cash back rewards cards.

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For Costco Anywhere Visa®
on Citi's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Costco Anywhere Visa®
overall rating
2.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.24% variable
Annual Fee $0 with your paid Costco membership
Rewards Earning Rate 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year; 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; 1% on all other purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.