Costco is one of the most convenient retailers in North America, bringing unique products, value and low prices.
However, they’ve always been a bit picky when it comes to the credit cards they accept, leaving shoppers in a perpetual dilemma about what credit cards are accepted at Costco Canada.
Luckily, we’re here to answer all of your questions and to suggest some of the best credit cards that are currently accepted by Costco.
Let’s jump right in!
Why Does Costco Only Accept Mastercard?
To get a better idea of Costco Canada and their accepted credit cards, we need to understand fees first.
Whenever you use a credit or debit card to pay at any retail company, the company is obliged to pay a certain interchange fee, which commonly varies from 2% to 3%.
Given how the main aim of any company is profit, naturally, they put effort into minimizing all types of fees.
Hence, Costco took part in a 15-year-long contract with American Express and for a long time, AmEx cards were the only ones that Costco accepted.
The contract guaranteed lower interchange fees for Costco provided that American Express was the only card issuer accepted by the retailer.
However, when Costco asked for even lower fees, AmEx left the deal, due to inefficient conditions. Fortunately, Mastercard stepped in, officially marking the beginning of a Mastercard-only era in Costco Canada, where Visa cards or any other type of card is not accepted.
Up until recently, the Mastercards accepted in Costco were issued by Capital One, however, according to data as recent as November 1st, the bank and the retail giant are parting their ways and the bank that will take Capital One’s place is the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, commonly known as CIBC.
The new CIBC Costco Mastercard is already in the making and will be launched on 4th March 2022, with all current users being redirected to it.
The card will bring 3% cashback on restaurants and Costco gas, 2% at other gas stations and Costco.ca and 1% on all other purchases, including Costco.
But until then, let’s take a look at other cards that are accepted by Costco and bring decent rewards.
Costco Payment Options in Canada
Not to be confused with payment methods, this does not mean that you can only pay via Mastercard in Costco, since credit cards are also one of the many methods of payment at Costco.
For instance, if you’re not a Mastercard user, you can always pay by cash, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or use a Costco gift card.
Note that currently, the Capital One credit card is the official Costco Mastercard, however, we do not recommend applying for it at the moment since the card will be discontinued by the end of this year.
Current Costco members can still use it and will be redirected to the new one as soon as it comes out.
Now let’s take a look at some of the best Mastercard credit cards, to find the best Mastercard for Costco.
- Annual fee: $0
- APR: 19.95%
- Required credit score: Good
A great thing about this specific card is that it lets you personalize your rewards in a way where you get to choose which categories to receive 2% cashback in.
The Tangerine World Mastercard does not specifically have a Costco category, but it’s a Costco accepted payment method that allows you full customization. You can set your cashback to retail purchases to get the most out of your Costco shopping.
Apart from the main category that brings you 2% cashback, you get 0.5% back on any other purchases, including:
- Hotels and motels
- Recurring bill payments
- Home improvement
- Public transportation and parking
A neat little arrangement, right?
- Annual fee: $0
- APR: 19.99% – 22.99%
- Required credit score: Fair
The BMO CashBack Mastercard will reward for any type of everyday purchases, including Costco visits.
Paying for groceries at Costco will bring you a 3% cashback, whereas the rates for recurring on recurring bill payments and all other eligible purchases are 1% and 0.5%.
What is more, their three-month-long welcome bonus gives you 5% cashback on all eligible purchases up to a maximum expenditure of $2,000.
What is more, the card lets you enjoy purchase protection everywhere you go, as well as extended warranty coverage on most products bought with the card.
- Annual fee: $0
- Required credit score:
The Brim World Elite Mastercard is one of the credit cards accepted at Costco. It brings a 2% return for purchases, provided that you spend up to $25,000 per year. This means that as soon as you pass the threshold, the rate goes drops to 1%.
However, it carries up to $500 in first-time bonuses when you shop at selected retailers, as well as 15 types of insurance.
Brim also has online partners, allowing you to collect rewards when shopping at online stores as well.
As far as convenience is concerned, you can pay with the Brim card via 5 different mobile wallets, including Google, Samsung, Apple, FitBit and Garmin Pay.
Tips for Visa Users
As previously mentioned, Costco’s collaboration with Mastercard does not mean that paying at a Costco warehouse can only be done with a Mastercard.
Having said that, you always resolve to cash and gift cards.
However, the loophole states that you can use a Visa card to shop at the Costco website. What you can do is go to Costco.ca, buy yourself some Costco Shop cards using your Visa card and when you visit the warehouse, you can use the Shop cards to pay for your purchases.
Costco can also ship an online order, however, note that the prices are a bit higher on the website compared to their land-based warehouses, so Shop cards are definitely a better idea.
The best thing about these cards is that you don’t have to be a Costco member to purchase one, in contrast to their official Costco Mastercard, which requires a membership that will cost you $60 per year.
Costco’s Shop cards come in various nominations, ranging from $50 to $2,000 and you can also use Costco Shop cards to purchase gas from Costco gas stations.
A Word Before We Go Shopping
Being one of the largest retailers definitely has some perks: you get to be picky when it comes to accepted cards. However, we hope to have given you a bit more insight regarding the issue as well as useful information to help you make the most out of your Costco visits!
Unfortunately, Costco warehouses do not accept Visa cards. However, you can use Visa cards to shop at the Costco website or to buy Shop cards which are accepted at all Costco stores and gas stations.
Yes, Mastercard is the only accepted type of card in Costco warehouses and gas stations.
If you’re wondering about what credit cards are accepted at Costco warehouses in Canada, the only accepted cards are Mastercard cards.
Not anymore. The company had a year-long deal with AmEx but it was broken off due to the companies not being able to find a middle ground.