Warehouse clubs are a great place to purchase loads of goods for yourself, your family, or your business. Fortunately, there are a plethora of credit cards that earns big rewards for warehouse clubs. Therefore, this post presents the best credit cards for warehouse club purchases.
The two biggest warehouse clubs in the United States are Costco and Sam’s Club. Both stores have different policies for credit card network acceptance. Sam’s Club accepts all four networks. But Costco’s policy is more complicated. Costco only accepts Visa cards at their brick-and-mortar stores. However, they accept all networks except American Express on their website.
All cards featured in this post have no annual fee, which makes them great keeper cards for many. However, both Sam’s Club and Costco have annual membership fees, which are different from credit card annual fees. For example, I have a Costco Gold Star membership that costs me $60 per year. But I do not have the Citi Costco Anywhere credit card, which has no annual fee.
Special thanks to reader Christian who commented on a recent post and gave me the inspiration for this post.
The following cards can be used at both Sam’s Club and Costco because they are Visa cards.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is my card of choice when shopping at Costco. This is because wholesale clubs does not often fall into a bonus category.
Travelers would like this card (and the Chase “ecosystem”) more than the Costco Anywhere Card. That’s because cash back rewards earned with the Freedom Unlimited can be converted into Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. Freedom Unlimited cardholders must also have a premium Chase credit card to convert the points.
The Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It also earns 5% on travel booked via the Chase Travel Portal; as well as 3% on dining and pharmacy purchases.
Furthermore, Chase is offering an excellent sign-up bonus worth $200 (or 20,000 UR Points) for this card. The bonus can be earned by spending just $500 within the first three months. This is one of the better sign-up bonus among no annual fee credit cards. It also is much more valuable than a random Costco-branded item.
Citi Costco Anywhere Card
The Citi Costco Anywhere Card is a great option for Costco lovers who want to earn cash back. It earns 4% cash back at gas stations worldwide, including at Costco’s own gas stations. This is a great way for Executive members to compensate for not earning 2% at the Costco gas pump. The 4% cash back is limited to the first $7,000 per year in gas purchases. That is a high spending limit for many consumers, making this a non-factor.
But that’s not all. The Costco Anywhere Card earns 3% on dining and travel purchases worldwide. That’s great news for travelers who want to earn cash back on common expenses and at Costco. It also earns 2% on all Costco purchases (in-store and online) and 1% on all other purchases.
All cash back multipliers do not include the 2% for Executive members. Therefore, Executive members can earn a total of 5% cash back on dining and travel purchases worldwide, 4% on Costco purchases, and 3% on non-bonus spend.
Unfortunately, this card does not have a sign-up bonus (unless you want a random Costco-branded item). There are no significant benefits either because it’s a Citi card.
Citi Costco Anywhere Business Card
The Citi Costco Business Card is the business counterpart to the Costco Anywhere Card. It has the same earning structure as the personal Anywhere Card. However, its intended for entrepreneurs and business owners.
Credit cards in this section can only be used at Sam’s Club because they are either MasterCard, Discover, or American Express cards. Costco’s website does not accept American Express credit cards. But it does accept Discover and MasterCard.
American Express Blue Business Plus
The American Express Blue Business Plus is one of the best credit cards for business owners and entrepreneurs who shop at Sam’s Club often. That’s because it earns 2x Membership Rewards (MR) points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent on the card annually. Thereafter, it earns just one point per dollar.
Unfortunately, Amex does not offer a sign-up bonus for this card. Nor does it have any significant benefits. The most notable “benefit” featured on this card is that cardholders can transfer points directly to Amex’s transfer partners. That’s a huge perk for a no annual fee card.
Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash is one of the best personal credit cards for Sam’s Club. It has a similar earning structure to the Amex Blue Business Plus, but with a twist. Cardholders earn one Thank You (TY) point per dollar (or 1% cash back) upon making a purchase. Then they earn a second TY point per dollar (or 1% cash back) upon paying their bill. That’s a total of 2x TY points per dollar (or 2% cash back) for all purchases.
Unfortunately, Citi does not offer a sign-up bonus for this card. Nor does it have any significant benefits. But its high flat rate earning structure makes up for this lack of bonus, especially for high spenders.
The Discover It earns 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories. This makes it a fantastic option when wholesale clubs are a 5% category. Wholesale Clubs have been a category once per year over the last several years. The Discover It also earns 1% cash back on non-bonus expenses.
Furthermore, the Discover It comes with an unusual sign-up bonus. Discover will double the cash back you earn during your first year of holding the card. That makes the Discover It a 2% cash back card for non-bonus spend for the first year. Plus, category purchases will earn 10% cash back for the first year.
Fortunately, there are a lot of credit cards for warehouse clubs, such as Costco and Sam’s Club. All cards featured in this post have no annual fee, which makes them great keeper cards. Plus, they are all great earners, which means more points, miles, and/or cash back for you.
What’s even nicer is that earning cash back and all three major transferrable points currencies is possible, depending on where you shop. This is great for both travelers and cash back lovers.
Not sure why you are restricting to no annual fee. But I love using my chase world of Hyatt visa at Costco. The card comes with an annual fee but also a free night certificate which I would consider a wash. 1 Hyatt point per dollar which is worth between 1.5-1.8 cents depending on who you ask. Plus spend counts toward additional elite nights and toward a 15k spend bonus which is even better. It’s hard to get bonus points at warehouse stores. Spend for status is a good use. And with Visa only at Costco in store you cut… Read more »
Hi Eric, Thanks for reading and bringing up these points about the Chase World of Hyatt Card! I limited my selection to no annual fee cards because warehouse club memberships themselves have annual fees. Plus, many annual fee cards do not earn more than 1 point per dollar at warehouse clubs However, spending for hotel status and free nights is a different matter entirely. Plus, you are right about earning 1.5 – 1.8 CPP in value when using the Hyatt Card. This is why I included the two Chase UR cards. But with the Hyatt Card, there is no need… Read more »
Coctco does not accept Amex even on its website.
Thanks for reading and pointing out that error. I have fixed the post as necessary.
Costco pays you cash when you cash out your Citi Costco reward certificate.
Thanks for reading PYCR and pointing out that error! I have removed that line as necessary.