Capital One Costco Mastercard isn’t the only game in town. In fact, figuring out the best Costco credit card is a big deal…a really big deal. So many people spend so much money there, it can have a huge impact on their overall credit card rewards.

It wasn’t long ago when when Costco used to exclusively accept American Express cards and people would go out of their way to carry an Amex in their wallets solely for shopping there.

People also sign up in droves for whatever credit card they promote 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 Capital One Platinum Mastercard for Costco members is a decent card that doubles as your membership card, but it forces you to earn your “cash” rewards as 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.

It’s also the only no fee credit card to offer a 3% return on restaurant purchases, which is definitely nice to have.

That said, now that all Mastercards are accepted at Costco – there is a lot of choice out there and you can often get more cash back or travel rewards with a top Mastercard than you can with the official Costco Mastercard.

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

The downsides

What’s surprising is that the card comes with no real benefits for actually shopping at Costco and that your “cash” reward is a coupon you only get once a year and that you need to redeem at Costco warehouses.

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 Cash Back Credit Card for Costco

There is one clear winner when it comes to maximizing your cash back when shopping at Costco, and that’s the flat 2% cash back you get with the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard.

This is the best Costco cash back Mastercard because there’s no bonus spending categories to worry about, no spending tiers, and no limits on the amount of cash back you can earn.

Better still you can choose to redeem your rewards whenever and however you want. Choose from statement credit, cheque, direct deposit, or even travel purchased from any travel provider among other options. No waiting.

It also comes with a strong set of complimentary insurance coverage that protects you both on your purchases and on your travel.

MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard Insurance Coverage

That coverage includes rare price protection which reimburses you if you ever buy a non-consumable item and then spot it cheaper anywhere else. Just call them, provide the proof, make a claim – and they will reimburse you the price difference.

You also get started off right with a 10,000 point sign up bonus that worth $100 in cash that compensates you for the one drawback the card has – an $89 annual fee – which is still lower than most other premium credit cards.

If you spend $2,000 monthly on the card you’ll be earning $480 in rewards every year though, so I wouldn’t worry to much about that fee.

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 credit card 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 3,000 mile sign up bonus worth about $519 when redeem for flights and a BMO exclusive 15% discount on the miles required to book an economy class flight with AIR MILES.

Packaged in there is one of the top travel insurance packages of any travel credit card in Canada giving you 12 of 16 possible types of credit card insurance. This includes the super rare personal effects insurance that covers all your belongings from damage or theft for the entire duration of your trip. Most other cards cover just your checked bags only while you are actually in transit with the airline or other common carrier.

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard Insurance Coverage

Finally, you get a free Priority Pass membership 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 17.3 cents.

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 American Airlines, British Airways, 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 Mastercard because it gives you complete reward flexibility in addition to great insurance coverage for a no-fee card.

It allows you to earn 1% of all your purchases in rewards with no tiers or limits that you can redeem on demand for any type of cash (direct deposit, cheque, or statement credit) or travel you want without restrictions or blackout dates.

The Capital One Costco Mastercard will likely net you slightly more in rewards at stores other than Costco (gas and restaurants), but you’re stuck with a once-a-year coupon you need to take to the store to redeem.

More Rewards, Less Flexibility And Insurance

If you want the most rewards and are willing to trade that for reward flexibility and absolutely no extras – that means not even purchase protection or extended warranty coverage – then the Fido Mastercard is worth considering.

This is a cash back credit card that gives you 1.5% “cash” back on all your purchases with no limits. However, this card is issued by Rogers Bank and is designed to let you use your rewards for purchasing products and services through Rogers’ brand. By link your Rogers-affiliated account to the card you can easily pay for products and services like your cell phone bill.

If you want actual cash, you can call their customer service once a year in December and request a statement credit for your accumulated cash. It’s a bit of a hassle but could be worth it for the increased cash back rate.

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 Reward Type Earn Rate % Annual Fee Apply for Card
MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard Cash 2% $89 Apply
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard Travel 1.73% $120 Apply
Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard Travel 2.5% $75 Apply
MBNA Rewards Mastercard Cash 1% $0 Apply
Rogers Fido Mastercard Cash 1.5% $0 Apply

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 card 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.