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In my wanderings with the Citi AT&T Access More card, I learned you’ll earn 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent at Costco.com – including gift cards.
It got me thinking… is the Citi AT&T Access More card the best card to use for shopping at Costco?
Buy Costco Cash Cards online
You can purchase Costco Cash Cards of up to $1,000 directly on the Costco website.
Costco stores only accept cash and AMEX cards as payment (until this summer, when they’ll switch over to Visa). But regardless of what they accept in-store, you can use any major credit card to purchase Costco Cash Cards online.
So your options are wide open.
But most cards only earn 1 mile or point, or 2% cash back back at Costco (online or in-store).
That’s why I’ve been using the Fidelity AMEX card (which will become a Fidelity Visa this summer). So either way, I’m guaranteed 2% cashback from Costco.
But the Citi AT&T Access More card ups the ante – to 3% back.
You’ll earn 3 Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent at Costco.com. Those points are worth 1 cent each on their own. And even more when you combine them with another card, like Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier – up to ~5% back.
Their value goes up even more – because you can transfer them to travel partners. Or, in the case of Citi Prestige, use each point for 1.6 cents toward American Airlines flights – my favorite way to redeem Citi ThankYou points by far.
What’re the drawbacks?
You must purchase the Costco Cash Cards online to get 3X Citi ThankYou points.
It can be hard to figure out which denomination to buy. I usually spend around $300 on my Costco runs, so I figured that would be a good amount to try. If I go over, I’ll be sure to have an AMEX handy to cover the difference.
And if not, I can just hang on the Cash Card. It sucks to have to keep up with it, but there are worse things to deal with.
For me, the biggest downside is that it takes 7 to 9 business days to get the card in the mail. Yup. Counting the weekends, you can be waiting for up to 2 weeks.
So it requires some planning/keeping up with cards. I usually make a Costco run about every 6 weeks, and I have my little routine pretty down pat. So it’s not too much of an issue to order a new Cash Card when I’m ~2 weeks away from making a run.
I was also kind of worried about not having credit card purchase protection. Or extended warranties.
But the Costco return policy is so good that I’m not worried about it. That said, if you’re making a big purchase, like an appliance, computer, wedding ring, etc., it’s worth looking into this issue more deeply.
I generally buy massive amounts of food and cleaning products, so I’m not too concerned with getting a warranty or purchase protection. But it’s worth thinking about for important big-ticket items.
Until now, I’ve been earning 1 mile or point per $1 spent at Costco – or 2% cashback. But the Citi AT&T Access More card offers 3% cash back at a minimum – and much more when you combine the points with another Citi card that earns ThankYou points (like ~5% back with Citi Prestige).
For me, this sets a new standard of earning points. It’s easy to purchase Costco Cash Cards online to trigger the 3X earning.
The biggest drawback is that it takes ~7 to ~9 business days for the cards to arrive in the mail. No instant gratification here!
But if you can manage that, and keep up with the Cash Cards, this is the best return that I know of for Costco shopping.
Oh! And Living Social has an awesome deal for Costco membership right now!
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