Reviews Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi review

Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi review

Published: May 18, 2017
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Business Rating:
2.7 rating
2.7 rating
2.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.5
Rewards Flexibility: 2.8
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

Business owners who frequently buy in bulk will love the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card’s substantial rewards, but those who’d rather shop around or want lots of options for redeeming their rewards are probably better off with a more flexible card.

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Rewards Rate

  • 4% cash back eligible gas purchases
  • 3% cash back restaurant and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back Costco purchases
  • 1% cash back general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
No annual fee for the card, but $55 for Costco membership

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$741

APR
15.99%

Pros

  • No limit on the amount of cash you can earn
  • Redeem certificate for Costco merchandise or cash
  • Redeem any amount above $1

Cons

  • Cash rewards issued only once per year as a certificate in your February billing statement
  • Certificate expires Dec. 31 in the same year
  • Certificate only redeemable at Costco
  • Rewards are forfeited if you close your account prior to receiving the certificate

Other Notable Features: Purchase protection, extended warranty, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance

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The Costco Anywhere Visa Business card is a no-brainer for existing Costco members looking to capitalize on a hefty cash back rate that outdoes most other business credit cards. Further, the card’s additional protections and 0 percent introductory APR offer peace of mind to business owners with lots of travel on the books or a list of large purchases that needs crossing off. With Costco expanding the number of its business-focused locations, it’s clear the warehouse chain is committed to serving business customers in addition to everyday consumers.

On the other hand, being unable to redeem rewards more than once a year – or for anything other than Costco merchandise and cash – could be a major turnoff. While there’s something to be said for a transparent redemption policy, cardholders who prefer versatility over simplicity are likely to be disappointed with this card.

Generous earnings scheme
A great rewards rate is where the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card really stands out. If you or your employees do a lot of driving, you’ll especially love the card’s 4-percent cash back rate on gas purchases for the first $7,000 per year. Including 3 percent back on travel and restaurants; 2 percent on all Costco and Costco.com merchandise; and 1 percent on general purchases, the card offers one of the highest cash back rates around.

However, keep in mind there are exceptions to the rewards program in the way of non-qualifying purchases. For example, the 4 percent rate doesn’t apply to gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco. So, if you tend to fill up at the same chain of gas stations, you’ll need to switch to Costco to maximize your earnings.

Limited redemption options
Excellent rewards are even better when you can cash them in on an ongoing basis, but unfortunately, the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card’s rigid redemption rules eliminate that ability. Cash rewards are issued just once per year, in the form of a certificate included with your February billing statement. The certificate itself is only redeemable at Costco and also comes with a short shelf life – if you don’t use it by Dec. 31 in the same year, your rewards will be forfeited.

One bright spot? Should you only use a portion of the certificate to pay for merchandise, you’ll get the rest in cash at the register upon checkout. But if you want the option to redeem cash back for a statement credit or to make purchases anywhere other than Costco, this may not be the card for you.

Nonexistent sign-up bonus
Despite a strong earnings rate, the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card lacks any kind of sign-up bonus, which is especially disappointing when compared to other business rewards cards. For example, the Chase Ink Business Preferred card bestows a whopping 80,000 bonus points on new cardholders who spend $5,000 in the first three months, while the American Express Business Gold Rewards card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points with the same spending requirements.

Of course, both of those cards come with annual fees and have different rewards rates/categories. It all depends on your business needs and where you spend the most money, so be sure to weigh your long-term earnings potential against the instant gratification of a sign-up bonus.

Valuable benefits for business owners
Entrepreneurs will appreciate the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card’s fringe benefits, which include car rental insurance, travel accident insurance and travel and emergency assistance. With purchase protection and an extended warranty, the card is also great for charging bigger purchases. Also, when you take advantage of the card’s introductory APR of 0 percent for the first seven months, said purchases become an even smarter move.

Reasons to get it:

  • You already have a Costco membership and use it frequently for business-related needs.
  • You’re located near a Costco Business Center that caters to companies over consumers.
  • You need easy access to affordable short-term financing and don’t want to apply for a separate business loan.
  • You want to buy high-quality products for your business in bulk versus making several smaller shopping trips.

How to use it:

  • Have your road warriors use the card to pay for gas when traveling for business.
  • Use the card to pay for business dinners and other related meetings held at restaurants – the same goes for catered meals and events.
  • Keep your account open through February so you don’t forfeit your rewards.
  • Redeem your rewards certificate before it expires on Dec. 31.
  • Need to buy something big for the office? Put it on the card to reap the benefits of purchase protection and an extended warranty.
  • If your business takes you overseas, leave the card at home to avoid a 3 percent foreign transaction fee.

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