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Costco Citi Card Review
15 May 2018

Costco Citi Card Review

Do you like to shop at Costco? You’re not alone. In fact, recent research shows that a whopping 75 million (and growing) Americans belong to this wholesale club. Three million members enter Costco’s store every single day.

If you’re in the market for a new credit card and like shopping at Costco, there’s a good chance you’ve seen their kiosks or banners advertising their card offer.

We’re here to break down what the Costco Citi Card provides and how to determine if it’s right for you. Let’s get to it!

Costco Citi Card: The Basics

The point breakdown is relatively simple:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (up to $7000 each year)
  • After the $7000 threshold, you’ll receive 1$ cash back
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and travel-related purchases
  • 2% cash back on purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% back on all other eligible purchases

In general, the Costco Citi Card acts as a mixture of a store credit card and a general rewards card. You’ll be incentivized for shopping through Costco, but you can also receive awards elsewhere.

The APR is 16.74% with variable APR, and the penalty APR is up to 29.99% variable, with the cash advance APR standing at 26.74% variable.

In the store, Costco may offer certain bonus offers, like a cooler or a bag, but there are no monetary bonuses for receiving the card. Furthermore, there are no annual fees.

The Pros

This card comes with numerous advantages.

If you commute a lot, it might make sense to take advantage of the 4% cash back that comes from gas purchases.

Furthermore, if you travel or dine out frequently, the 3% cash back could definitely be an incentive. And, unlike the gas purchases, there is no maximum threshold for those categories.

Other Benefits

For a no-fee card, there are actually quite amazing benefits.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection

Life happens, and it can certainly impede your travel plans. However, the Costco Citi card can help reimburse you for non-refundable trip expenses if you paid for them using your card.

Car Rental Insurance

You can now freely skip the overpriced rental insurance next time you’re traveling. With your Costco Citi card, you’ll be covered against damage or theft when you pay for your rental with this card.

Just make sure that you decline any damage insurance or collision loss fees.

Travel Accident Insurance

Many people have to pay additional fees for travel insurance to protect them in case of a major emergency. And, usually, it’s worth its weight in providing a peace of mind.

However, with that said, this credit card provides worldwide travel accident insurance. You’ll want to review the benefits closely to determine if you need additional coverage.

Travel & Emergency Assistance

If you need support before, during, or after a trip, Citi offers a 24/7 concierge for emergency arrangements, legal or medical referrals.

You won’t have to worry about getting directions when you don’t speak the language or walking into medical offices where you aren’t sure if you’re going to get what you need.

Citi Private Pass

Interested in presale tickets to special events, sporting games, and concerts? This card offers you access to Citi Private Pass, which allows you insider access to some of the hottest deals on the market.

The Cons

First things first, it’s only eligible for Costco members. If you do not currently belong to their warehouse, you are not eligible for requesting this card. Costco has two forms of memberships: the Gold Star and Executive.

Even though this card doesn’t have an outright annual fee, you are paying for that Costco membership, so keep that in mind.

Also, if you do consider requesting this card, it’s important to reevaluate your own Costco spending habits. If you’re the type of person who’s looking for another reason to shop, you may end up spending way more than you should (for that 2% cash back!).

It’s important to be careful of the extra spending phenomenon that comes with credit cards. After all, these companies are banking on you spending more money than you can actually afford!

Finally, if you decide to use this card as your “everyday” card, there may be some opportunity cost. For example, other cards may offer higher percentages off in certain categories (like department stores or office stores), and you might be missing out on those incentives.

Other Considerations

As mentioned, you can earn Costco cash rewards everywhere the Visa card is accepted.

However, cash back is provided as an annual credit card reward certificate once your February billing statement closes each year. It is redeemable for cash or merchandise at any Costco warehouse.

This is different than the model most credit cards take. Usually, you can redeem statement credits at any time (or after meeting a certain spending threshold).

With the Citi Costco card, you can only do it annually- and you can only do it in a physical Costco location.

Finally, unlike most other credit cards, you do not have any other options beyond cash redemption. You cannot redeem for air miles, hotel stays, or even gift cards.

Some people prefer having different redemption options, so keep this in mind when you’re considering this card.

The Verdict on the Costco Citi Card

If you’re an avid shopper at Costco and want to save more money on your everyday purchases, this might be the card for you!

Are you interested in learning more helpful financial tips to improve your money management? Are you looking for a bad credit loan to help consolidate a higher interest rate debt? Be sure to check out our learning center today!