Get the details on Costco membership as well as Costco Executive Membership. Calculate how much cash back you can earn with membership and the Costco Visa.
Costco is an American membership-only warehouse club chain headquartered out of Issaquah, Washington. They have over 780 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and several other countries. Costco competes with Walmart's Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale Club.
Credit Card Rewards Calculators
The Costco Rewards Credit Card Calculators will calculate how much cash back you can earn with Costco credit cards based on your monthly and yearly spend across categories. Each calculator will also output the cash value of the card based on your spend, how much you value the card benefits, and annual fees.
You can compare the results side by side any credit cards featured on the site to find out which earns you the most rewards and the best return. All spend entered (primary/first column only) will carry over to all credit card calculators on the website.
U.S. Costco Rewards Credit Card Calculators
Costco offers a personal and business version of the Costco Anywhere Visa. Both cards are the same in terms of rewards and earns a great return on gas, restaurant, and travel purchases. The card also earns a decent return on Costco purchases which is separate from what you earn as an Costco Executive member. Your Costco membership is automatically charged to your Costco Visa Card and the card has no annual fee (outside of having a Costco membership).
Redeeming Rewards & Cash Value
Costco will mail you your reward certificate approximately 3 months prior to your renewal date along with your annual renewal notice. You will receive your rewards as long as you've earned at least $1 as an Executive member. These rewards can be used most merchandise through the front-end registers at Costco warehouses in the United States. Costco rewards certificates can not be used for:
- Cigarettes or Tobacco-related Products
- Gas Stations
- Food Courts
- Payment on Credit Card Accounts
- Services (such as Travel & Auto)
The big thing to note here is that you cannot use these on Costco.com which is a bummer. This also cancels out the ability to use them on the Costco Travel section of the website.
Costco offers a personal and business Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Card that earns cash back per $1 spent on the card. Cash back earned with Costco Visa Cards are mailed out to you in the form of an annual reward certificate once your February billing statement closes. This means you'll get paid your rewards once per year.
The annual rewards certificate that you receive will be redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco Warehouses.
Costco has two ways you can earn cash back with them. One way is by having Costco Executive membership and the other is by having a Costco Visa Card. It is possible to accrue cash back with both and I would recommend such if you tend to spend a lot at Costco.
Costco offers both a standard membership and an Executive membership. The standard Costco membership is called Gold Star and it grants you the ability to make purchases inside of Costco Wholesale Club locations as well as one free household card for anyone 18+ and living at the same address.
The Costco Gold Star Executive membership is a higher form of membership that grants the same privileges as the basic Gold Star membership along with the additional perks of 2% back on qualifying Costco purchases and extra benefits on various Costco services.
There is also a business version of both membership tiers which are called Business and Business Executive. They operate the same as the personal membership with the exception that the business versions allow you to add additional people to the membership for $60 each and allow you to purchase for resale. Members you add will have basic Business membership regardless of whether you have Business or Executive membership.
Is Costco Executive Membership Worth It?
Regardless of whether you're picking up a personal or business Costco membership, basic Costco membership will cost you $60 per year and Costco Executive membership will cost you $120 per year which is a pretty big difference of $60. Since the Executive membership earns 2% back in rewards, it would take $3,000 in annual spend at Costco to make up that $60 difference. So if you spend $3,000 per year (or $250 per month) at Costco, the Costco Executive membership is the better idea and that's based on spend alone. Other benefits offered by the card should also be taken into consideration.
Earning Costco Rewards w/ Executive Membership
As an Executive member, you'll earn 2% in rewards on qualifying pre-tax purchases at Costco minus any refunds in-store and online with the ability to earn up to $1,000 during any 12-month period. This means you can earn rewards on up to $50,000 in rolling 12-month spend. Anything over $50,000 in spend during a 12-month period will earn you 0%.
Only the primary cardholder and the primary household cardholder on the account will be eligible to earn rewards on purchases.
As with most rewards programs, there are many exclusions when it comes to earning rewards. For Costco, you'll want to note that you will not earn rewards on the following purchases (pulled from terms & conditions):
- Cigarettes or Tobacco-related Products
- Costco Shop Cards
- Postage Stamps
- Alcoholic Beverages in certain states
- Prescription Purchases in certain states
- Food Courts
- Membership Fees
- Online Photo Center
- My Publisher Website
- Miscellaneous Fees, Deposits, and Taxes
- Certain Travel Purchases
- Trip Protection
- Travel w/ Third Parties
- Rental Car Equipment
- Resort Charges
- Port Charges
- Other Categories As Determined At Costco's Discretion
It looks like a lot, but it really consists of the basics for most rewards programs. Purchases for groceries, travel, electronics, and many other categories still apply, so I wouldn't put too much worry in that list.
Costco Executive Membership Earnings Calculator
If you want to estimate how much you can earn with Executive membership based on your spend at Costco, you can use the calculator listed below. Enter how much you spend at Costco per month and the calculator will output how much you can earn in a 12-month rolling period. Remember that you can only earn up to $1,000 in Rewards per 12-month rolling period which is hit at $50,000 in 12-month spend or around $4,167 per month.
Costco Executive Cash Rewards Calculator
|Cash Rewards Earned||$0 Annually|
If you earn $60 or more annually, the Executive membership is the better option.
Costco Rewards FAQ
What are Costco cash rewards?
This is the cash back you'll earn with Costco using either a Citi Costco credit card or with Costco Executive membership.
How many family members can be on a Costco card?
A total of two people can be on a Costco Membership. One primary member and one free household member who is over 18 and lives at the same address.
How do you obtain your rewards earned with the Citi Costco credit cards?
Cash back rewards earned with a Citi Costco card will be mailed out to you in the form of an annual reward certificate once your statement closes in February.
How do you obtain your rewards earned with Costco Executive membership?
Cash back rewards earned with Costco Executive membership is mailed to you in the form of an annual reward certificate around three months prior to your membership renewal date.
What are the benefits of Costco Executive membership?
Costco Executive membership allows you to earn 2% cash back on eligible purchases made in-store and online with Costco. It also grants extra benefits on certain Costco services.
Is Costco Executive membership worth it?
If you spend more than $3,000 per year at Costco (or $250 per month), Costco Executive membership will be worth it. Don't forget it also comes with other small perks that should be taken into consideration as well.