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Now that all Mastercards are accepted at Costco, Capital One Costco Mastercard isn’t the only game in town.
In fact, there’s a lot of choice out there.
…And having the right credit card in your wallet can have a huge impact on your overall rewards.
People sign up in droves for whatever credit card Costco is currently promoting at the checkout because they think the official Costco credit card must be the best one to use at their stores – when that is not necessarily the case.
The truth is, you can often get more cash back or travel rewards with a top Mastercard than you can with the official Costco Mastercard.
With so many people spending so much money there, figuring out the best Costco credit card a big deal…a really big deal.
That’s why we’re filling you in on:
- the top 5 credit cards to use at Costco,
- what the Capital One Costco Mastercard has to offer,
- which Canadian credit cards are accepted at Costco, and even
- some Costco credit card frequently asked questions.
Top 5 Mastercards You Can Use At Costco
Here are the top 5 Mastercards for using at Costco that will earn you between 1% to 2% cash or travel rewards on ALL your purchases – in any store:
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Earn Rate %||Annual Fee||Apply for Card|
|BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard||2,000 AIR MILES (terms)||2.12%||$120 (first year free)||Apply|
|Brim World Elite Mastercard||Up to $500 cash back after first purchases with select retailers (terms)||2%||$199 (first year free)||Apply|
|BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard||Up to 10% cash back for the first 3 months (terms)||1.5%||$120 (first year free)||Apply|
|HSBC World Elite Mastercard||Up to 60,000 points (terms)||1.58%||$149, (first year fee rebate)||Apply|
|Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard||20,000 miles (terms)||2.5%||$75||Apply|
|MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard||10,000 points, 4 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and restaurants in the first 3 months (terms)||1.35%||$0||Apply|
Related: Best Canadian Credit Cards of 2020
What Does The Capital One Costco Mastercard Get You?
The Capital One Platinum Mastercard for Costco members is basically a 3, 2, 1 credit card in that it gives you:
- 3% cash back on restaurant purchases,
- 2% cash back on gas purchases, and
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
There is a catch though. You’ll only get 0.5% on the first $3,000 in regular spending every year instead of the usual 1%. When you think about it, that’s basically a hidden $15 annual fee over credit cards that would give you 1% on all purchases.
The other big advantage to this card is that it doubles as your Costco membership card so you have one less card to manage in your wallet.
As a cherry on top, the card also has quite a bit more included credit card insurance coverage than most other no fee cards. You’ll get:
- Extended warranty (up to 2 years instead of the usual 1).
- Purchase protection (120 days instead of the usual 90).
- Price protection (rare coverage that few cards have).
- Travel accident (up to $250,000).
- Baggage delay (up to $300).
- Rental car theft & damage
What’s surprising is that the card comes with no real benefits for actually shopping at Costco and that your “cash” reward is a rebate coupon that can only be redeemed once a year at their warehouses. You can use the coupon to buy Costco merchandise or request an actual cash payment at the checkout which isn’t quite as convenient as some other cards.
There have also been a few complaints from cardholders about difficulty getting increased credit among others.
The Best Costco Mastercards in Canada
If you want to use a credit card at a Costco Canada store, then you’re stuck using a Mastercard.
Fortunately, Canadian Mastercards are known for their above average rewards and great perks and benefits.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a credit card for Costco is that it doesn’t count as a grocery store. That means any credit card that has increased rewards on grocery purchases won’t apply at Costco.
Best Travel Credit Card for Costco
There are surprisingly few travel-focused Mastercards as Visa has most of them locked down. Thankfully, the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard comes to the rescue by combining Canada’s most popular rewards program with Costco acceptance.
This card is, by far, the strongest AIR MILES Mastercard on the market giving you the highest earn rate of 1 mile per $10 spent on every purchase you make, including Costco.
It also comes with a great 2,000 mile sign up bonus worth about $404 when redeemed for flights and a BMO exclusive 15% discount on the miles required to book an economy class flight with AIR MILES.
And you’ll get the first year free.
Packaged in there is one of the top travel insurance packages of any travel credit card in Canada giving you 14 of
Finally, you get a complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey and 2 free lounge passes that gives you access to some of the best airport lounges worldwide.
To get maximum value for your AIR MILES you’ll need to redeem them for flights which do have highly variable value. If you choose AIR MILES Cash as your reward choice, you’ll get a value of 10.5 cents for each mile. But, if you look for reasonably high value flights you should be able to score a higher value in the range of 17.2 cents.
Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Costco
The best cash back card for Costco right now is the
You’ll earn 2% back on your first $25,000 in annual purchases with this card (earn 1% after that). And after your first purchase at participating retailers, you can earn a $500 bonus.
Beyond that, it also comes with some great perks. Shop at any of Brim’s 150+ retail partners, and you can earn some serious rewards on your purchases – anywhere from 3% to 30%.
You’ll also enjoy no foreign exchange fees on all purchases, saving you 2.5% every time you use the card in a foreign currency.
As for insurance? One of the best packages out there. The card comes with 15 types of insurance, including rare mobile device insurance and even rarer event ticket coverage.
The card isn’t without its drawbacks. The annual fee is quite high at $199, and it has steep income requirements of either $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.
However, many of these perks are also available on all of Brim’s cards should they interest you.
If you want a lower annual fee, or prefer a big bank to issue your card the
Upon approval, this card will give you 10% cash back on all your purchases for the first 3 months, up to $200 in cash back earned. After that, you will earn 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases.
With this card, you will also get a great set of insurance features – some of the best credit card insurance in Canada.
Plus, this card comes with free BMO roadside assistance.
To top it off, you can start redeeming your cash back when your balance hits $50. There’s no waiting once a year to get your rewards paid out to you.
This card does have a few drawbacks, however. It comes with an annual fee of $120, and it requires either a personal income of $80,000 or a household income of $150,000 to qualify.
However, if all you care about is cash back rewards with no annual fee, then the
You’ll earn a cool 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases.
Added bonus – if you find yourself spending a lot in U.S. Dollars, you’ll get 3% cash back on those purchases.
It also comes with its own set of insurance features, though not quite as good as the BMO card.
All of this for no annual fee.
This card does have its own set of downsides:
- The welcome bonus is pared back, and you’ll only earn $25 on your first purchase.
- Similar to the other cards above, this card will require a personal income of $80,000 or a household income of $150,000 to qualify.
- You need to spend a minimum of $15,000 annually on the card or Rogers reserves the right to downgrade your account.
That last point is a rare requirement for a credit card, and a major negative if you don’t think you’ll be spending that much per year on it.
Best Flexible Rewards Mastercard For Costco
Want to earn flexible rewards that can be used not only for travel, but also for cash, merchandise, and gift cards? Then the
You’ll earn 3 points for every $1 spent, including Costco. This gets doubled to 6 points per $1 spent on eligible travel bookings. When redeemed for travel, an HSBC Rewards point is worth 0.5 cents, giving your Costco purchases a return of 1.5%.
It doesn’t end there. This card also charges no foreign exchange fees, saving you 2.5% on all your foreign currency purchases.
There are also some unique perks to help save while travelling:
- $100 annual travel enhancement credit,
- 10% off select hotels booked through HSBC’s Agoda and Expedia sites, and
- complimentary Mastercard Airport Experiences membership (each visit costs US$32).
And the insurance is also stellar – with 11 types included:
It’s all for an annual fee of $149, and that’s currently rebated for the first year.
More Travel Rewards, Less Flexibility
If you want to earn real airline miles when shopping at Costco, there is really only one Mastercard that stands out – the Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard.
This card checks almost all the boxes when it comes to an amazing travel rewards credit card:
- Generous 20,000 mile sign-up bonus worth about $500 when redeemed for flights.
- Amazing annual Companion Fare voucher for 2nd reduced cost ticket when traveling starting at $99 USD.
- Standard earn rate of 1 mile on every $1 (increases to 3 miles for Alaska Airlines purchases).
- $35,000 minimum income instead of the typical $60,000 – $80,000.
- A wide range of partner airlines to redeem your miles with.
- Lower than typical annual fee of $75.
The big problem here is that Alaska Airlines is an American airline that mostly flies on the west coast of North America. That means that according to Canadian regulations you can’t take a flight that both takes off and lands on Canadian soil.
There are also no Canadian airline partners where Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles can been redeemed or transferred into their program. They do have many other airline partners though including British Airways, Icelandair and Cathay Pacific.
So, if you’re looking for a true high-value airline rewards program for international travel, this card is worth having in your wallet.
Best No Fee Credit Card for Costco
The all-around no fee Mastercard on the market is the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard because it gives you complete reward flexibility in addition to great insurance coverage for a no-fee card.
It allows you to earn 2 points for every dollar spent on gas, groceries, and at restaurants (up to $5,000 spent annually in each category) and 1 point for every other $1 spent. You can then redeem those rewards for any type of cash (direct deposit, cheque, or statement credit) or travel where you want without restrictions or blackout dates – although you do get a much better return on spending when redeemed for travel.
It even has a great welcome bonus as well. Earn 5,000 bonus points when you spend $500 in the first 3 months, and another 5,000 bonus points when you enroll for e-statements in the first 90 days. Plus, you also earn 4 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and restaurants in the first 90 days.
The Capital One Costco Mastercard will likely net you slightly more in rewards if you spend alot in restaurants (3% cash back), but you’re stuck with a once-a-year coupon you need to take to the store to redeem.
Costco Credit Card FAQ
What credit cards does Costco Canada accept in store?
Costco exclusively accepts Mastercard branded credit cards at their warehouses in Canada. Surprisingly, in the USA, they exclusively take Visa and not Mastercard.
What credit cards does Costco Canada accept online?
Shopping online at Costco.ca is not the same as shopping in-store. For online purchases Costco accepts both Mastercard and Visa branded credit cards. But, as of the end of their partnership with American Express, they longer accept Amex – even online.
Is the Capital One Costco credit card a good deal?
The Capital One Platinum Mastercard exclusively for Costco members isn’t a bad deal because it gives you decent rewards for a no fee credit card and doubles as your Costco membership card reducing the clutter in your wallet.
On the flip side, you’ll only earn 1% on your purchases actually made at Costco with the card while there are other fee-based and no fee that can earn you between 1-2% cash back on all your purchases anywhere including Costco. With the Costco Mastercard, you’re also locked into redeeming your “cash” rewards in-store, whereas other cards let you get your cash as a statement credit or even a cheque or direct deposit.
Can you use the Costco credit card anywhere?
Yes, you can use your Costco credit card anywhere Mastercard is accepted, which is most places worldwide. You’ll also earn the same rewards (or more) as you would at Costco itself because there is surprisingly no increase in rewards for using the card at their warehouses.
Does Costco count as a grocery store?
Many credit cards offer more rewards on grocery store purchases and many Canadians consider Costco to be a grocery store. Unfortunately, Costco is not categorized as a grocery store by the Mastercard network and therefore purchases made there are not eligible for grocery bonuses. In fact, there is no credit card bonus spending category that Costco qualifies for at all.
Does Costco take Visa?
No, they do not take Visa in their Canadian warehouse stores. However, they do take Visa online at Costco.ca (as well as at all of their stores in the United States). As a workaround, you can use your Visa card to buy Costco Cash Cards online to get points and rewards ‒ and then use your cash cards at the store to make your actual purchases.
Does Costco take Mastercard?
Yes, Costco exclusively accepts Mastercard as their credit card of choice at all of their Canadian warehouse locations. They will also accept it online at Costco.ca.
Does Costco take American Express?
No, after Costco and American Express dissolved their relationship both in Canada and the USA they are no longer accepted, either in-store at their warehouses or online at Costco.ca.
Does Costco take debit?
Yes, they accept debit cards at all their warehouses in addition to Mastercard credit cards.
How can I get to my Costco credit card login?
You can go to the Capital One website to login to your credit card account.
While there you will be able to get your credit card balance and see your accumulated rewards.