Citi has announced that the Costco Anywhere Visa card will no longer charge foreign transaction fees for purchases made when shopping abroad or on an international retailer’s website.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is probably not at the top of your list of credit cards to bring along on a foreign vacation – but that all may be changing soon thanks to an upcoming card improvement. Beginning Jan. 26, 2018, the Costco Anywhere Visa card will no longer charge foreign transaction fees for purchases made when shopping abroad or on an international retailer’s website. Purchases made prior to that date will continue to incur a 3 percent fee per transaction.
Not just for Costco
With a name like the “Costco Anywhere Visa,” you may be inclined to think the card is geared strictly toward Costco purchases: Not true at all. On the contrary, the Costco Anywhere Visa offers cash back on every purchase you make – including a generous rate of 4 percent back on gas (on the first $7,000 annually, then 1 percent) and 3 percent back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases.
|Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi|
Why use it? Along with offering cash back on Costco purchases, the Costco Anywhere Visa is a great go-to-card for anyone who wants to earn a high rewards rate on gas, restaurant and travel purchases. Additionally, anyone planning to travel outside of the U.S. after Jan. 25, 2018 will benefit from paying no foreign transaction fees. Read Review
|Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($15,900 spend)|
$0 (requires $60 annual Costco membership)
Best ways to use the Costco Anywhere Visa
Once you factor in the benefit of not being charged foreign transaction fees, the Costco Anywhere Visa card seems ideal to use when traveling outside of the U.S. – especially if you plan to rent a car or eat out frequently during your trip. Not only will you earn 4 percent cash back on gas purchases and 3 percent cash back at restaurants, but you will also avoid the 3-percent fee normally charged for each of these transactions. Not to mention – you’ll earn 3 percent cash back when you use your Costco card to make your travel arrangements.
To maximize your rewards earnings with this card, we recommend the following:
- Use the card for all your gas purchases, both foreign and domestic, to earn 4 percent cash back on the first $7,000 in gas each year and 1 percent thereafter. Avoid purchasing gas from superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco, as those do not qualify for the 4 percent rate and will only earn 1 percent cash back.
- Use the card on restaurant purchases, including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food locations, to earn 3 percent cash back. Note that purchases made at bakeries and some eateries located inside of department stores, grocery stores and warehouse clubs do not qualify for the 3 percent rate and will only earn 1 percent cash back.
- Use the card on eligible travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruise lines and Costco Travel, to earn 3 percent cash back.
- Use the card at Costco to earn 2 percent cash back on groceries, cleaning products, household items and more.
Redeeming your rewards
Despite all the opportunities to earn cash with the Citi Costco Visa, there is one major downside to the card: You can only receive your cash back one time per year.
Cash back rewards are mailed as a certificate each year with your February billing statement. To redeem your rewards, you must take the certificate to a Costco location through Dec. 31 and redeem it for purchases or cash back at the register.
To ensure that you don’t forfeit your rewards, be sure to keep your Costco membership valid through February and redeem your rewards certificate by Jan. 1 of the following year.