Personal Finance

Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco

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Consumers love Costco because of the money they can save — and they can get even more value by using one of the best rewards credit cards at the popular wholesale club. With the right card, you can earn cash back or points while buying a rotisserie chicken, an 8-pack of athletic socks or a 3-pound jar of Kirkland Signature peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets.

Costco Wholesale has its own co-branded credit card issued by Citi — and it’s a good one. But several other credit cards are contenders, too, and offer value outside Costco’s 500-some U.S. warehouses.

A couple of things to know:

  • Visa only. The only credit cards Costco accepts in its U.S. stores and gas stations are ones that run on the Visa network. So leave your Mastercard, American Express and Discover cards at home. Online is different, though. takes Mastercard and Discover, but not American Express. More on Costco payment methods.

  • Costco is not a supermarket. Rewards credit cards that offer bonus rewards in the category of “groceries” or “supermarkets” often exclude wholesale/warehouse clubs like Costco. If you use those cards at Costco, you’ll earn the default rewards, typically a lowly 1 cent or 1 point per $1 spent.

Here are the best personal credit cards to use at Costco.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Annual fee: $0 for the card, but you have to be a Costco member to qualify. A baseline Gold Star membership costs $60 per year, while the higher-tier Executive membership is $120 per year.

Sign-up bonus: None.

  • 4% cash back on gas purchases (both at Costco and other gas stations) on up to $7,000 of spending a year, then 1% back.

  • 3% cash back on restaurants and most travel purchases.

  • 2% cash back at Costco and

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Why we like it for Costco: The card’s best rewards rates aren’t for Costco purchases but for gas, restaurants and travel. Still, 2% back at Costco is decent, and those other bonus categories are useful. The main downside is redeeming rewards. Cardholders receive rewards once a year in the form of a certificate that must be used in store. And to get the card in the first place, you must be a Costco member.

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Rewards: Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Why we like it for Costco: You’ll actually earn the same bonus rewards as you would with Costco’s own credit card when shopping at the wholesaler. What’s more, you’ll also get 2% back everywhere else without having to think about it. And a generous sign-up bonus? Icing on the cake.

Nerdy tip: Anyone who shops at Costco knows how easy it is to spend $200, $300 or even $400 or more. If you’re trying to earn a sign-up bonus on any Visa card, a few trips to Costco could help you spend the required amount to earn the card’s bonus.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel.

Rewards: ​​Unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases. Plus, 5 miles per $1 spent on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel.

Why we like it for Costco: If you prefer to put your 2X rewards rate for Costco shopping toward travel, this card is a great way to do that. Use rewards to pay for virtually any travel expense, without restrictions on when you travel, which airline you fly or which hotel you stay at.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back! (Note: This offer is available when you apply through NerdWallet. If you apply directly with Chase or through a different website, you may not be eligible for this offer.)

  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • 3% back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.

  • 3% back on drugstore purchases.

  • 1.5% cash back on everything else.

Nerdy tip: If you already have the old Chase Freedom®, it’s probably a Visa, which works at Costco. It’s closed to new applicants but can still be used. Its replacement, the Chase Freedom Flex℠, is a Mastercard. So it’s a no-go for in-store use at Costco. But both cards share the same 5% quarterly rotating bonus categories. Wholesale clubs are often featured as one of the categories, as they were in the first quarter of 2021. That’s when the original Freedom Visa card, if you already have it, is great for Costco.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • 3% back on a category of your choice (select options) and 2% back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 of combined bonus category/grocery store/wholesale club spending per quarter; after hitting that threshold, you’ll earn 1% back on these purchases.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Why we like it for Costco: You’ll automatically get 2% back on spending at wholesale clubs like Costco until you hit the quarterly spending cap. That’s in addition to having a choice of your 3% rewards category; options include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, and home improvement and furnishings.

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Annual fee: $400.

Sign-up bonus: Earn an enrollment bonus of 50,000 points worth $750 on travel. Just spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • 5 points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on eligible travel and mobile wallet spending.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

Why we like it for Costco: This card offers triple rewards when you pay in person, in the app and online through Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or LG Pay. Fortunately, Costco does indeed accept Visa cards via Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. (No, you cannot use a Mastercard, Discover or AmEx through mobile pay to sidestep the Visa-only restriction in store.) A big catch: You must be a U.S. Bank customer to qualify for this credit card.

Payment methods accepted at Costco

Costco accepts different payment methods depending on where you’re making a purchase. Per the retailer’s website:

Costco warehouses:

  • Visa cards.

  • Most PIN-based debit/ATM cards.

  • Costco gift cards (called Shop Cards).

  • Personal checks from current Costco members.

  • Traveler’s checks.

  • EBT cards.

  • Mobile payment (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay).

Costco gas stations:

  • Visa cards.

  • Most PIN-based debit/ATM cards.

  • Costco gift cards (called Shop Cards).

  • Visa cards.

  • Mastercard.

  • Discover cards (Including JCB and Diners Club).

  • Most PIN-based debit/ATM cards.

  • Costco gift cards (called Shop Cards).

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