If you end up doing most of your shopping as Costco, the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa could be a great card for you. However, it's important to note that this card, while offering exceptionally generous cash back rewards for a small fee, does have quite a few unique quirks.
Beyond the rewards program, the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa is a credit card with very low interest for both purchases and balance transfers balanced out by a high credit score requirement for good approval odds. The Citi Costco Anywhere Visa also offers a 23 day grace period that allows you to avoid paying interest. Penalties and fees are high but completely avoidable.
Who is the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Credit Card For?
The Citi Costco Anywhere Visa is a credit card meant for anyone that is a current Costco member and plans to remain a Costco member for a very long time. If you lose your Costco membership or even just forget to renew, your Citi Costco Anywhere Visa may be canceled along as soon as your Costco membership ends.
To help combat this issue, the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa encourages using auto-pay for your Costco membership. In effect, this could be considered the annual fee you need to pay to maintain the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa.
The APR for purchases made with and balance transfers to the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa is exceptionally low for all cardmembers. There is no "range" for different credit scores and score types. The APR for the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa is a variable rate made up of a margin of 11.99% on purchases and balance transfers or 21.99% for cash advances added to the current Prime Rate. For example, at the time of this writing, the Prime Rate is 3.25% meaning the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa has a purchase APR of 15.24%.
If your account draws interest in any given billing cycle, the interest charge has a minimum of 50 cents. There is also a penalty rate. If you miss any payments or pay significantly late, then you may begin to draw a penalty APR of 29.99% for an indefinite period. Typically this penalty rate is reduced once you have made 3 to 6 consecutive payments. This rate will only apply to any transactions made after the penalty rate has been imposed on your account.
There is no stated maximum credit limit, though the implied minimum credit limit for the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa is as low as $500. The cash advance limit and credit available for balance transfers are only a portion of your given credit limit.
- Annual Fee – there is no annual fee with the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa. However, it's important to remember that this card requires an active Costco membership of any level or your Citi Costco Anywhere Visa will be subject to cancellation. The basic Costco membership costs $60 per year. For a card that offers rewards this high, this fee is more than reasonable. Plus you get all the benefits Costco offers to their members.
- Cash Advance Fee – The cash advance fee for the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa is the greater of $10 or 5% of the total cash advance granted.
- Foreign Transaction Fee – There is no foreign transaction fee for any foreign transaction made with the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa.
- Late Payment Fee – The late payment fee for any late payments made to a Citi Costco Anywhere Visa account is up to $40.
- Returned Payment Fee - The returned payment fee for any returned payments made to a Citi Costco Anywhere Visa account is up to $40. This fee will likely be waived for any un-cashed checks.
- Authorized User Fees – There is no authorized user fee for adding an authorized user to your Citi Costco Anywhere Visa account and receiving an additional card.
- Balance Transfer Fee – The balance transfer fee for any balance transferred to the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa is the greater of $5 or 3% of the balance transferred.
The Citi Costco Anywhere Visa has a rewards program with a lot of select category bonuses and redemption rules. First, you get at least 1% cash back on all purchases. You also get 2% back on all purchases at Costco or Costco.com
Beyond these basic rates, you also get 4% back on eligible gas purchases, up to $7,000 per year. After this threshold is met, you still get 1% back on gas purchases. This includes fuel sold at all transitional gas stations and Costco. It excludes gas sold at other supermarkets, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs.
There is also a bonus rate of 3% cash back at cafes, restaurants, lounges, fast food businesses, travel purchases, car rentals, and hotels with no limit on how much you can earn. This rate does not apply to train travel, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, or food purchased inside of department stores, grocery stores, or warehouse clubs.
Cash back is awarded once per year, typically in February or on the anniversary of your card opening. The certificate you will be sent can be redeemed once at a physical Costco location for merchandise or cash. That is unless you earn more than $10,000. If you happen to cross this threshold, Citi may deposit the cash back directly into your bank account via electronic transfer or check.
Pros – Advantages of the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Credit Card
- Many Cash Back Bonuses – 4% on fuel, 3% on restaurants, and 2% at Costco is a lot of extra cash back for one card.
- Very Low APR – While not the best option, the APR found on the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa makes it a decent choice for balance transfers or emergency purchases.
- Extended Warranties, Theft, and Fraud Protection – The Citi Costco Anywhere Visa offers a lot in the way of purchase security. You get extended manufacturer's warranties on most products that come with them, 120 days of theft and damage protection in most states, and $0 fraud protection.
- Low or No Annual Fee – You do have to have a Costco membership to retain the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa, but that's a small price to pay and can easily be recovered with the bonus cash back categories.
Cons – Disadvantages of the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Credit Card
- Limited Redemption Options – Cash back certificates must be redeemed at a physical Costco location.
- Must Have a Costco Membership – While you may shop at Costco a lot now, who's to say you'll still be doing that in 5 years?
The Citi Costco Anywhere Visa is in all a great card for anyone that frequently shops at Costco or just lives near enough to a Costco that the cash back redemption is quick and painless. There is a lot you can get out of this card inside and outside of Costco purchases, which is surprising for a branded card.
Outside of rewards, all necessary fees are minimal. There is no true annual fee or foreign transaction fee. You get exceptionally low APR for purchases and balance transfers, too. All of this is then backed up by the great customer service and additional purchase protections offered by Citi and Visa. If you have the credit profile to attain approval, this is a great card to have if you plan to visit a Costco at least once a year.