Costco, the popular members-only warehouse club has strict policies when it comes to using credit cards at its warehouse locations. In the past, Costco had an exclusive partnership with American Express, but that contract, unfortunately ended in 2016.
If you're a seasoned Costco shopper, its exclusive contract with Visa shouldn't have passed you unnoticed. Only Visa credit cards are accepted for in-store purchases. However, there are some exceptions for online and mobile app purchases.
Let's explore the details of Costco's credit card acceptance policy.
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Credit Card Brands And Compatibility With Costco
Below is a list of the 4 top credit card brands and whether or not they are accepted at Costco.
- Visa: Costco accepts Visa-branded credit cards in its warehouses. Visa is also accepted at Costco Gas Stations and online at Costco.com.
- Mastercard: While Costco does not accept Mastercard credit cards in its warehouses, you can use them for online purchases at Costco.com or through the Costco app.
- Discover: Costco stopped accepting Discover cards on November 15, 2016. So Costco does not accept Discover cards at the moment.
- American Express: Unfortunately, Costco does not accept American Express credit cards in its warehouses.
Credit Cards Accepted at Costco Warehouses
Costco warehouses only accept Visa-branded credit cards for all purchases made at its warehouse store locations. Yeah, this means that if you want to pay with a credit card at a Costco store, it must be a Visa-branded card.
This is kind of an unfortunate partnership for other brand users, personally, I'd have preferred a Mastercard exclusive deal, what do you think?
Well, the deal has been signed and we only need to accept it while hoping for a modification as it was once done with the American Express deal back in 2016.
However, if you got you're a Visa enthusiast, then the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is a popular choice among Costco members, as it offers cashback rewards on various categories, including gas, restaurants, travel, Costco purchases, and more.
Credit Cards Accepted at Costco Gas Stations
If you plan to fill up your tank at a Costco gas station, you can only pay with a Visa credit card. The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is particularly advantageous for gas purchases, as it offers a high cashback rate on fuel expenses.
Credit Cards Accepted Online at Costco.com
When shopping online at Costco.com or using the Costco app, you have more options for credit card payment. In addition to Visa-branded cards, Costco.com and the Costco app also accept Mastercard credit cards for payments. This means you can use these cards to make purchases on Costco's website or through their mobile app.
Costco.com once accepted Discover cards for payments but since November 15, 2023, it stopped accepting Discover-branded cards for payments.
Will Costco stop accepting Mastercards online someday? I don't know and I can't tell, let's just be focused on a brighter future with our favorite retailer.
Does Costco Accept Visa Credit Cards?
Yes, Costco's exclusive partnership with Visa has made it compatible with all Visa-branded credit cards, regardless of the issuer or financial institution that issued the card.
Costco has an exclusive contract with Visa, which means that only Visa credit cards are accepted for in-store purchases at Costco warehouses. However, for online and mobile app purchases, Costco also accepts Discover and Mastercard credit cards.
So if you've always wanted to shop with your credit card at Costco but wondering if the retailer will accept the card issued by your financial institution, you now have your answer.