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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.

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Many Americans continue to wait on long lines outside Costco, hoping to find toilet paper and buy food in bulk as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

When you go to Costco, you probably expect to see "out of stock" and "limited quantity" signs, but you may be caught off guard from a different issue that's not related to supply — 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, we'll review what credit cards are accepted at Costco warehouses and how that compares to what's allowed at Costco.com and on the Costco app.

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, as well as any other credit card backed by the Visa network.

Here are some cards that can be used at Costco warehouses:

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).

Credit cards not accepted at Costco

Since Costco has a contract with Visa, shoppers can't use credit cards backed by the other three main networks, American Express, Mastercard or 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:

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.