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What credit cards does Costco accept?
If you're thinking of becoming a Costco member, know that its warehouses only accept credit cards issued by Visa at checkout. Costco.com and the Costco app accept cards from other issuers.
Costco is one of the largest and most beloved membership warehouse chains, and for good reason. Best known for its grocery offerings, it also offers savings on gas, electronics, clothing, electronics and more, and has one of the most generous return policies around.
One quirk about shopping at Costco: your credit card may not be accepted at checkout.
Costco limits which type of credit cards you can pay with to only Visa-backed cards. Originally, Costco shoppers were restricted to Amex-issued cards, but that changed in 2016 when Visa became the exclusive credit card network of Costco.
This may cause issues at checkout if your preferred form of payment is a credit card that happens to be backed by a different network.
Below, Select reviews what credit cards are accepted at Costco warehouses and how that compares to what's allowed at Costco.com and on the Costco app.
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Credit cards accepted at Costco
When you shop at Costco, you can use the warehouse club's co-branded card, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi (see rates and fees), as well as any other credit card backed by the Visa network.
Here are some credit cards that can be used at Costco warehouses:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
- PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
At checkout, you have the option to swipe or insert your card, as well as use contactless payment methods, such as tap-to-go and mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay).
Considering the average Costco shopper spends $114 per trip, you'll want to pay with a credit card that maximizes your spending. Select ranked these as the best credit cards for shopping at Costco because of features like their rewards rates, welcome bonuses, introductory and standard APRs and more.
The reason Costco only takes Visa ultimately boils down to a deal it negotiated with the card issuer so that it can pay lower merchant fees, and hopefully pass those savings on to customers.
Keep in mind that the Visa-only restriction only applies to credit cards — Costco accepts most PIN-based ATM/debit cards.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.
0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers
19.74% - 28.49% variable
Balance transfer fee
Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate
19.99%, 24.99%, or 29.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee
Introductory fee of 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)
Foreign transaction fee
See rates and fees, terms apply.
Credit cards not accepted at Costco
Since Costco has an exclusive contract with Visa, shoppers can't use credit cards backed by the other three main networks — American Express, Mastercard and Discover — at Costco warehouses. However, you're able to pay with Mastercard and Discover cards for purchases made at Costco.com and the Costco app.
Here are some cards that can be used online or via the Costco app:
Information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of the cards prior to publication.
For rates and fees of the Discover it® chrome, click here.
For rates and fees of the Discover it® Cash Back, click here.