Costco’s announcement basically stated that the company would no longer be carrying the co-branded American Express credit cards. Instead, its co-branded cards would be through Visa. They will also only be accepting Visa credit cards as well as Visa and Mastercard debit cards, so this is bad news for AmEx cardholders that want to use their credit card when shopping at Costco.
The wholesale retailer and American Express began their partnership in 1999. The American Express partnership, at first, offered a single card to Costco members: The American Express Costco Cash Rebate Card. This card offered tiered cash back bonuses for different amounts of spending by the customer. Each customer would get 0.25% cash back on the first $2,000 in spend, 0.50% cash back on the next $5,500 you spend and 1.5% cash back on spend over $7,500.
Later, the partnership introduced different cards with different cash back bonuses. They were also able to get cash back for certain purchases like gas, restaurants, travel purchases and, of course, offering more cash back for purchases made a Costco.
Keep Your Costco American Express
If you currently have an American Express card through Costco, have no fear! This doesn’t mean that you won’t have an American Express credit card anymore. In fact, AmEx is likely to reach out to those with Costco credit cards and offer them similar cash back credit cards through the credit card company. So, don’t cancel your card. Cancelling a credit card can impact your credit.
Switching to the Costco Visa Citibank Card
The new Costco credit cards will be offering the same rewards as the AmEx card. However, you will not be required to switch (just remember, if you get a new AmEx card, you cannot use it at Costco). You will have to apply for a Citibank card, just as you will have to reapply for an AmEx card if you choose to do so. Keep in mind that if you make both of these inquiries on your credit in a short period of time, it can negatively impact your credit score.
Other Credit Card Options
Just because you shop at Costco doesn’t mean you have to have a Costco credit card. There are many other Visa cash back credit cards that are available to the public that will work at Costco locations after the switch has been made. You can look at the different Visa credit card options online and apply from the comfort of your own home. Just be sure that when you are choosing a credit card you are choosing it wisely. Choose cash back bonuses over travel bonuses. You may want to look at cards like the Chase Freedom Card, CapitalOne Quicksilver Card, BankAmericard Credit Card or one of the many others provided by Visa.
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For more info on Costco check out these articles.
You can check out our articles for Target as well.
Photo: Flickr: DeclanTM