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How to redeem Costco credit card rewards

Here's what you need to know about the Costco Anywhere Visa Card rewards program and how to redeem Costco credit card rewards.

A customer pushes a cart of purchased items outside a Costco Wholesale Corp. store in Hackensack, New Jersey, U.S.
Ron Antonelli | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is one of the best credit cards for shopping at Costco, but there are restrictions on how you receive rewards and the redemption options. Unlike many rewards cards, cardholders don't have the option to redeem rewards at any time for any amount. Instead you have to wait until each February to redeem the rewards you've earned over the previous year.

Below, CNBC Select has everything you need to know about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card rewards program.

  • How Costco Anywhere Visa® Card rewards work
  • How to redeem Costco credit card rewards
  • Costco credit card reward certificate FAQs

Costco Anywhere Visa Card rewards

Cardholders can benefit from a tiered rewards program that's geared toward frequent commuters, travelers and foodies. Here are the rewards you earn:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Here are 5 key things to know about the Costco Anywhere Visa Card

How to redeem Costco credit card rewards

If you don't read the fine print of the Costco credit card rewards program, you may receive an unexpected surprise. The cash back you earn is provided once a year via an annual reward certificate after your February billing statement closes. This is very different from other rewards credit cards that typically provide cash back, points or miles at the end of every billing cycle.

To receive a reward certificate, you must have earned more than $1 in rewards during a calendar year, and your account must be open at the time your certificate is issued in February. In order to redeem the reward certificate, you have to visit a U.S. Costco warehouse, which may be a hassle if you don't live near a Costco and instead shop on Costco.com. Redemption options are limited to merchandise from Costco or cash. There's no option to redeem for a statement credit or travel.

Learn more: Read CNBC Select's Costco Anywhere Visa Card review

FAQs: Costco credit card reward certificate

  • How will I receive my Costco credit card reward certificate?
  • Do I need to print my reward certificate?
  • How can I use my Costco credit card reward certificate?
  • What happens if I don't use my entire reward certificate on my purchase?
  • When does my Costco credit card reward certificate expire?
  • What happens to my reward certificate if I cancel my Costco membership?

How will I receive my Costco credit card reward certificate?

Reward certificates are accessible in three ways:

  1. Mail: If you're not enrolled in paperless billing, your reward certificate will be issued on the last page of your February paper statement.
  2. Email: If you're enrolled in paperless, your reward certificate will be issued via email on, or shortly after, your February statement closing date.
  3. Mobile app: Anyone who earned a certificate can access it via the Citi app. Shortly after your February statement closes, just log in and click "Access Certificate" to view your certificate on your mobile device.

Do I need to print my reward certificate?

No, you can show the certificate on your mobile device when you are ready to redeem it.

How can I use my Costco credit card reward certificate?

Reward certificates can be redeemed for merchandise or cash (which may be fulfilled in an alternative form, such as a check or electronic transfer, at Costco's discretion). Certificates can't be redeemed at Costco.com, Costco Travel or on the Costco mobile app and can't be used as payment on your Costco Anywhere Visa® Card account.

What happens if I don't use my entire reward certificate on my purchase?

If you only use a portion of your reward certificate for merchandise in-store, the remaining balance will be given in cash at checkout.

When does my Costco credit card reward certificate expire?

Your reward certificate expires on Dec. 31 of the year it was issued. So if you receive a certificate in Feb. 2020, then it will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

What happens to my reward certificate if I cancel my Costco membership?

If you're no longer a Costco member, your Costco Anywhere Visa® Card will be canceled. Any rewards that haven't been issued as a reward certificate will be forfeited. If you cancel your Costco membership after receiving your reward certificate, you can still redeem it.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

  • Rewards

    4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year (then 1%); 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    No current offer

  • Annual fee

    $0, Costco membership required

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    16.74% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

  • See our methodology, terms apply.

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