Shop at Costco.com and Use a Credit Card Their Warehouses Won’t Accept

Updated August 10, 2020 by Kyle
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If you don’t have a Visa in your wallet, but rather a MasterCard or Discover Card that earns points or rewards, shop via Costco.com. Since Costco warehouses have an exclusive relationship with Visa, your other credit cards are ice scrapers when checking out. But alas, all hope is not lost for those who use their credit cards to earn reward points. (See also: How to Essentially Get a $60 Costco Membership for Free)

Clever Costco Credit Card Hack

Here’s how this Costco hack breaks down. Let’s start with the payments the Costco website currently accepts.

The Payment Methods Costco.com Accepts:

If you’re a credit card churner, or a smart rewards junkie, you can shop the Costco website via these methods.

  • MasterCard
  • Discover Card
  • Costco Cash Card: (Smart Tip Alert) It’s worth noting that you can buy a Costco cash card online, with your MasterCard or Discover. Then you can take the cash card into the warehouse to buy your grocery items, or items that are cheaper in the warehouse compared to the online price.
  • Visa: This is the default Costco payment method that’s accepted on their site and in their warehouse.

Let’s also take a look at a few of the pros and cons of this Costco tip.

Pros & Cons of this Costco Hack:

The Pros:

  • Earn Rewards/Points: If you only have a MasterCard or Discover card, and earn points/rewards on your card, this Costco hack is definitely worth a look. Even if you have a Visa card, you might have a different non-Visa card that earns you more points or rewards. Use it to shop on Costco.com and rack in the reward points that way.
  • Free Shipping: It’s worth noting that many of the items on Costco.com include free shipping and some are even priced cheaper than their warehouse, especially laptops.

The Cons:

  • Higher Prices Online: Some would argue that the Costco site has higher prices than their warehouse on specific items. It could be that Costco is trying to make up for free shipping by raising their online prices hoping shoppers won’t notice.

The bottom line here is don’t loose out on those credit card reward points at Costco if you don’t currently have a Visa in your wallet. This is especially true on big-ticket items where the price online is the same, or less, than the Costco warehouse.

Ask the Reader: Have you tried this Costco credit card hack before? If so, did you notice a difference in the price of online vs. warehouse?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Nicholas Eckhart.

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