We have known since early last year that Costco has ended their partnership with American Express and soon credit accounts will be transferring over to Citi in the upcoming weeks. It was tentatively supposed to start in April, but was delayed due to true Costco fashion, knowing what is best for its customers and making it as easy and as seamless as possible during the transition. In the billion dollar deal, Citi is buying the entire Costco American Express portfolio and converting to a new Citi account without the need to reapply for a new card or a credit pull, with new cards arriving in mid-to-late June to use. If you are not currently a member, now is the time to take advantage of the no-annual fee, actually very generous Costco Citi credit card.
The current Costco American Express credit card that will be discontinued on June 19th, offers the following rewards
- 3% cash back at US stand-alone gas stations and on gasoline at Costco (up to $4,000 per year), then 1%
- 2% cash back at US restaurants and on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco
- 1% cash back on other purchases, including at Costco
The new Citi Costco Visa to begin use on June 20, 2016 will offer even better rewards:
- 4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide, including at Costco (up to $7,000 per year), then 1%
- 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide
- 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
So the following improvements with the new Citi card will be:
- Cash back on Costco spending increasing from 1% to 2%
- Cash back on gas will be increasing from 3% to 4%, and the spending cap increased from $4,000 to $7,000
- Cash back on restaurants and travel purchases increasing from 2% to 3%
What This Means
Pretty impressive that the transition process is as simple to the customer as possible, does not take any extra work and can begin using the new after June 20th. The rewards are even better than the previous American Express card, which I thought were pretty good as they were, but this actually blows it out of the water, so it is nice that Citi is now the partner, and I certainly look forward to early additional cash back.