The Costco Visa Card Is Eliminating Foreign Transaction Fees

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As of April 1, 2016, Citi became the exclusive credit card issuer for Costco, replacing American Express. With this change, all Visa cards are now accepted at Costcos, which is an interesting move, since there are a lot of Visa cards issued by banks other than Citi. Many would argue that Citi  overpaid for this deal, and that the real winner is Chase, given that they didn’t pay anything, but most of their cards are now accepted at Costco (since they’re Visa cards).

As part of this switchover, the new Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi was introduced. The card has no annual fee (assuming you have a Costco membership), and comes with the following return on spend:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide, including at Costco (up to $7,000 per year), then 1%
  • 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

This represented a nice improvement over American Express’ old Costco card, which didn’t offer bonus categories that were as generous. However, arguably this card still isn’t the best for the return it offers, as there are cards that offer more lucrative returns in just about all categories. Still, it’s a fairly well rounded card for Costco loyalists, especially given the lack of an annual fee.

For those who have the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, there’s some good news. As of January 25, 2018, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi will no longer have foreign transaction fees, both for purchases abroad and for purchases through international websites. This new benefit will apply to both new and existing cardmembers. Previously the cards had 3% foreign transaction fees, so that’s a nice improvement for those who previously considered using the card for purchases with foreign transaction fees.

Visa also has the benefit of having great acceptable globally, so in general you’re better off with a Visa card than an American Express card when traveling internationally.

(Featured image courtesy of Nandaro)

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Comments

  1. But will they then give you the spot rate, a lot of places don’t “charge” for foreign transactions and then gouge you on the exchange rate.

  2. This is good news as it’s one of the few US-issued contactless cards. I use my SPG Amex contactless card regularly in the UK, but there are a few places that don’t take Amex.

  3. Ben – really enjoy your context but this post is great because it shows that the website doesn’t just post content where an affiliate link is involved. Very nice work. Keep it up in 2018.

  4. @Trell , I thought the exchange rate is set by Visa/Master/Amex not the bank and they are more or less the same

  5. Still annoying that this card requires a Costco membership. So it’s more like: $60 “annual fee” gets you a free Costco membership credit card 🙂

  6. @Lucky, glad to see this card get a mention here. For those of us that drive a lot (I’m in SoCal) and live near a Costco the 4% cashback on Costco’s gas (which is already about 10% cheaper, sometimes more) is extremely worthwhile. We’ll get about close to the $300 a year max out of that benefit alone…enough to cover my net (after airline credits) on Amex Plat or Citi Prestige 🙂

  7. Extended Waranty, theft protection, trip interruption protection, rental car protection, price protection, and the list goes on,

    COST good Stock to buy also..

    Not a bad card…

  8. Thanks Lucky for the update. The only reason I never got the card is the foreign exchange fee. I can never go around the idea of having a card with GC taking up a slot in my 5/24. Now it’s time to add this into my wallet.

    @ Richard, Costco in Canada actually only accepts Mastercard, the contract with Citibank is only for stores in the US.

    @ Bill, Costco credit card is great for extended warranties for big stuff like TV purchased at their stores. You get a total of four years on the warranty. The way electronics are cheaply made without quality control nowadays, it is very useful.

    @ Bossman, I hear ya! Where I live in SoCal, the next cheapest gas within a ten mile radius other than Costco is constantly at least 30 cents more per gallon. Costco gas station saves us between $6-$8 per visit, and now with the 4% rebate, we can potentially save $10 or more per fill-up!

  9. Is there a link to points or miles that I’m just missing? What’s the reason a frequent flier would want this card?

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