Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco (If You Want to Maximize Rewards)

Find out which cards can earn you the most rewards when shopping at the wholesale club.

Using credit card at costco for earning reward points
Updated July 3, 2024
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Certain cards, such as the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, can help you earn valuable rewards when shopping at your favorite warehouse club. But, buyer beware, Costco doesn't accept all types of credit cards.

U.S. Costco warehouse locations and U.S. Costco gas stations don't accept American Express, Discover, or Mastercard (including the Apple Card) credit cards. You can, however, use Mastercard credit cards on Costco.com. 

Let's explore the best credit cards to use at Costco so you can up your shopping game.

In this article

What credit cards does Costco accept?

Costco warehouses and gas stations only accept Visa credit cards, cash, debit cards, and Costco Shop Cards (gift cards). They do not accept Mastercard, American Express, or Discover cards.

Credit card type Accepted at Costco?
Visa Yes
Mastercard No
American Express No
Discover No

History: For 16 years, Costco accepted only American Express credit cards due to an exclusive partnership. But a few years ago, the retailer made the switch to Citi Visa. The branded cards also switched over at that time, and cardholders received the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.

Fortunately, cardholders enjoyed more perks with this card than were previously provided with Costco’s Amex cards.

These days, non-Visa cards no longer work at Costco, so you’ll need a Visa card to pay and earn rewards.

Best credit cards to use at Costco

Card Welcome offer Rewards rate Annual fee
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
4.5
Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter; 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; and 1% on all other purchases $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Chase Freedom Unlimited®
4.7
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases $0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
4.9
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases $95
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
4.9
Earn 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25 $395

Here are some of the top contenders that can help you earn generous rewards on Costco purchases:

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

  • Rewards: Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter; 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; and 1% on all other purchases.
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Annual fee: $0 with your paid Costco membership

While there’s no sign-up bonus on the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, the 3% back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases and 4% back for eligible gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter are impressive benefits for a card with no annual fee. 

You’ll also earn the best cashback rewards for Costco purchases of any of the cards on our list. However, in terms of a rewards card, you may get more value from one of the best cash back credit cards, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited - especially when paired with a Chase premium card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If you don’t have a Chase premium card, this card can be an excellent choice for your Costco purchases. Take advantage of member savings on big-ticket items like furniture and appliances since the more you spend with your card, the more you’ll earn. You should also make a point of purchasing your gas from Costco in order to maximize the rewards.

Apply now or check out our Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi(Rates and fees) review.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Rewards: 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)
  • Annual fee: $0

If you're looking to rack up your cashback with one of the best rewards credit cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be a great way to earn up to 6.5% cash back. The opportunity to earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) is an added bonus, especially since this card has no annual fee.

This is a great card to use for Costco purchases, and the savings you’ll receive at the wholesale club are a great way to maximize the value of your membership.

Apply now or check out our Chase Freedom Unlimited® Review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Rewards: Earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases (including Costco purchases)
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Annual fee: $95

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an impressive welcome bonus that gets you $750 toward travel if you redeem your points through Chase Travel℠. The generous bonus points on travel and dining make this card a great choice if you enjoy traveling and could take advantage of the extra perks, as it's a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

Since you’ll need to spend a fair amount within the first few months of having the card to earn the bonus, you may want to funnel all your Costco purchases (and other purchases, especially Lyft, travel, and dining purchases) onto your new card to help you get there faster.

That said, you could potentially earn more points by using a card with a higher cashback value, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and then moving the points to your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Then, once you’ve racked up enough points, you can redeem them for travel or other rewards instead of cash back, since your points could stretch further that way.

Apply now or read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review for more details.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Annual fee: $395

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers a generous early spend bonus after qualifying for the card. The miles earned from this bonus can be used in the Capital One travel portal for flights, hotel stays, and more. Or you can transfer them to over a dozen travel partners. 

To help fulfill the requirements of the welcome offer, it might make sense to start using your Venture X for all eligible purchases (including at Costco) once you receive it. This card has no rotating bonus categories, which means you'll earn at least 2 miles per dollar miles on all your non-travel-related spending. 

For rewards credit cards, this is one of the highest general rates out there. This equates to being able to earn a large number of rewards at all times without any specific categories to worry about. Not many premium travel cards offer this same type of convenience.

Methodology

When selecting the best credit cards to use at Costco, we first began by identifying which cards this big box store accepts. We then analyzed credit card terms, including bonus rewards offered for Costco purchases as well as annual fees, cardholder perks, and spending bonuses for new card members. Our goal was to find affordable cards that offered both ample perks for cardholders as well as extra rewards for those who tend to spend a lot at Costco stores.

Alternative ways to pay at Costco

While a Visa credit card is the best payment method to use if you want to earn rewards on purchases you would make anyway, there’s no need to fret if you leave your card at home or are still waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

Costco also accepts cash, checks, debit/ATM, EBT, and Costco Shop Cards. Note that you’ll need a valid government-issued ID to pay by check.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Costco gas stations and car washes don’t accept cash, checks, or EBT, so you’ll need to pay with your Visa card, debit/ATM card, or Costco Shop Card to complete a transaction.

“Tip”
There’s an indirect way to use a Mastercard for in-store Costco purchases. You can use Mastercard credit cards at Costco.com. That means you can use a Mastercard to buy a Costco Shop Card and then use the Shop Card to make in-warehouse and Costco gas station purchases.

Frequently asked questions

Does Costco accept the Apple Card?

Costco doesn't accept the Apple Card at U.S. Costco warehouses or gas stations because it's on the Mastercard network. You can, however, use the Apple Card and other Mastercard credit cards on Costco.com.

Does Costco gas take American Express?

U.S. Costco gas stations and warehouse clubs don't accept American Express cards, and you can't use American Express to make purchases on Costco.com. U.K. Costco locations accept American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro cards.

Does Costco gas take Mastercard?

U.S. Costco warehouse clubs and gas stations don't accept non-Visa cards. That means no American Express, Mastercard, or Discover cards for in-store purchases. However, you can still use Mastercard cards to make purchases on Costco.com.

What debit cards are accepted at Costco?

Costco indicates that it accepts most PIN-based debit cards, so you shouldn't have a problem using your card as long as you know your personal identification number (PIN). If you want to use your debit card as credit in store, you will first need to check that your card has a Visa logo on it and then you will know this is possible.

Can I use Samsung Pay at Costco?

You can use Samsung Pay at Costco, as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

What credit cards does Costco accept online?

When shopping online with Costco, you will have more payment options than when you are shopping in the store. Costco online accepts all Visa Cards, Mastercard, Costco Shop cards, the majority of PIN-based debit or ATM cards, and Visa checkout.

One of the best cards for online shopping is the Citi Double Cash® Card where you can earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24. Other cards you can use online at Costco.com include the Chase Freedom Flex® and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Does Costco accept credit cards?

Yes, Costco warehouses and gas stations accept Visa credit cards. They do not accept Mastercard, American Express, or Discover cards. Costco.com accepts both Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

Unlimited Cash Back

4.7

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Current Offer

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 Travel℠, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Lindsay Frankel

Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based freelance writer who specializes in credit cards, travel, budgeting/saving, and shopping. She has been featured in several finance publications, including LendingTree. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors, playing music, or cuddling with her rescue pup.