Costco switched its credit card providers on June 20, 2016. The changeover caused the popular bulk retailer to end a 16-year relationship with American Express. The new credit card provider is now Citi Visa, whose Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi will now be used by members of the wholesale club – a club whose membership is comprised of approximately 81 million people. In turn, Costco’s TrueEarnings American Express card is now considered invalid.
According to the report, Costco is currently in the process of mailing out the new Visa cards. Also, members’ cash-back credits will be included on the new Citi cards. No annual fee is charged to use the new Visa card, other than the yearly $55 Costco membership fee.
The switch makes Visa the exclusive credit card for the wholesale buying company, which means other non-Visa credit cards cannot be used. However, customers do not need to use a Costco-branded Visa card. Other Visa cards will also be accepted. Buyers can still pay with checks, cash, debit cards, electronic benefit transfer (EBT) and their Costco cash cards.
The new Costco Visa care will double as a membership card as well. However, you do not have to own a Costco Visa. Customers can still use their Costco identification too. The company says they felt that the switch to the Visa brand card offers exemplary benefits when compared to those provided by American Express.
For example, customers receive 4% cash back on gas purchases up to $7,000 per year. After $7,000 is spent, customers still receive 1% cash back. The company adds that those amounts represent an increase from the 3% customers received on the first $4,000 on the old American Express Costco card.
Not only that, eligible travel and dining purchases also offer more in the way of a cash back. The new Visa card gives customers 3% back on their purchases compared to 2% on the American Express Costco Card. In addition, customers will receive 2% back for shopping at Costco or Costco.com, versus getting 1% back on the American Express card.