The Citi Costco Anywhere Card is Citi and Costco’s co-branded card. A new co-branded card was needed after Costco switched their network acceptance from American Express to Visa in 2016. Costco partnered with Citibank to create the Anywhere Card after the partnership was forged.
The Costco Anywhere Card earns straight cash back, which can be useful for miscellaneous travel expenses as well as for investments. For cash back lovers, this card is one of the best in the industry for various purchases. But those who prefer transferrable points and miles should look elsewhere.
Costco Membership Fees
The Costco Anywhere Card also has no annual fee. However, all Costco members must pay the store’s annual membership fee. Personal and Business Gold Star (basic) memberships cost $60 per year while Executive membership costs $120 per year.
Executive membership nets customers 2% cash back on all in-store purchases. This 2% is separate from credit card rewards earned with the Anywhere Card. In other words, having an Anywhere Card is not required to earn the 2%. Costco gas station purchases do not count towards the 2% cash back for Executive members.
The break-even point between Gold Star and Executive membership is $3,000 per year. $3,000 is 2% of $60 (the annual fee for Gold Star membership). This break-even point says that those who spend less than $3,000 per year at Costco should opt for Gold Star membership. Similarly, those who spend more should opt for Executive membership.
However, having the Costco Anywhere Card can lower the break-even point significantly. This is because Gold Star members can earn cash back outside of Costco that can be used to pay for their annual membership fees.
The Citi Costco Anywhere Card is a fantastic earner. 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.
The sign-up bonus for this card is quite humorous. New cardholders will receive a free Costco-branded item if they apply in-store and are approved. Past Costco-branded items include buckets, totes, and coolers. There is no cash back bonus or required minimum spend to earn this bonus. Prospective cardholders just need to be approved. Costco’s wacky “sign-up bonuses” Gary (H/T) from View From The Wing’s favorite humorous topics.
The Costco Anywhere Card is limited in the way of redemptions. Cash back is provided as an annual credit card reward certificate after your February billing statement closes. It’s only redeemable for cash or merchandise at Costco locations within the US. This restrictive policy is in place to keep Costco members coming back to their stores.
Executive members receive their 2% cash back reward within two months of membership renewal. They receive a check in the mail from Costco, which is redeemable for either cash or merchandise.
The Citi Costco Anywhere Card does not offer much in the way of benefits:
Use Your Card as Your Costco Membership Card
This perk lets you keep your Costco membership card home and use your credit card in its place. Like a membership card, the Costco Anywhere Card has your picture on the back of the card next to the card number. This is not a monetary perk, but it makes your Costco experience more convenient.
Damage & Theft Protection
You can receive up to $10,000 if an item you bought is stolen or damaged. Each cardholder is eligible for up to $50,000 per calendar year.
2+2 Extended Warranty
Another major perk of having the Costco Anywhere Card is the 2+2 Extended Warranty. This perk adds an extra two years of extended warranty onto the normal two-year warranty that comes with Costco Concierge Technical Support. The 2+2 Extended Warranty applies to TV, computer, major appliances, and water heater purchases made with the Anywhere Card.
Rules & Regulations
Citi has several rules to consider before applying for one of their cards. While these rules are annoying, they serve as a reminder to be certain before applying. However, their main purpose is to dissuade “churners” from getting sign-up bonuses.
The 1/24 Rule states that cardholders cannot receive a sign-up bonus if they opened or closed a card within the same family in 24 months.
Also, the 6 Inquiries Rule states that those with more than five hard inquiries in six months will be automatically denied.
The 1/8 Rule states that only one credit card can be approved within a rolling 8-day period. Its corollary, the 2/65 Rule, states that only two credit cards can be approved within a rolling 65-day period.
When Costco began accepting Visa cards, they began accepting all Visa cards and not just their co-branded card. Most of Chase’s card lineup falls under the Visa network, which makes them accepted at Costco.
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.
Chase Ink Business Cash
Costco members who spend heavily at their gas station will love the Chase Ink Business Cash. The Ink Business Cash is also better than the Costco Anywhere Card for travelers. As with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, cash back rewards earned with the Ink Business Cash can be converted into Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. Ink Business Cash cardholders must also have a premium Chase credit card to convert the points.
I use this card at the Costco gas station, where I earn 2% cash back (or 2x UR points). But it also earns 2% at all gas stations. Plus, the Ink Business Cash earns 5% (or 5x UR points) at office supply stores and for phone, TV, cable, and internet services. It also earns 2% (or 2x UR points) for dining.
Furthermore, Chase is offering a huge sign-up bonus worth $750 (or 75,000 UR points) on the Ink Business Cash. This promotional bonus can be earned by spending $7,500 within the first three months. Normally, Chase offers $500 (or 50,000 UR points) for a minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months.
The Ink Business Cash is a great credit card for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and individuals with a side gig. It’s also a fantastic complement or alternative to the Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Costco Anywhere Card.
The Citi Costco Anywhere Card is a great credit card for cash back lovers and Costco members. Its primary strength is its earning structure.
However, it has several flaws in its limited redemption options, a lack of benefits, and a pathetic sign-up bonus. Plus, travelers who shop at Costco will be better off using a Chase Ultimate Rewards point-earning credit card.
Apply Today: Citi Costco Anywhere Card