Retail

Bye-Bye Amex, Hello Visa: Citi's Costco Card Debuts

Costco has bid adieu to American Express with its Visa-enabled cards finally in play.

Costco has bid adieu to American Express with its Visa-enabled cards finally in play.

The wholesale retail giant said that, starting Monday (June 20), it has begun accepting Visa-branded credit cards at its warehouse and gas locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The company also announced that its new private-label Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi was now active for use.

The onset of Costco's Visa partnership marks an end to its 16-year-old relationship with Amex, thereby taking away the business of close to 81 million Costco members from the credit card company.

As part of the switcheroo, Costco has shipped out Visa-branded cards to all of its previous Costco-Amex cardholders. The transition would also apply any previously due cash-back rewards to the new Visa-powered account of Costco members, the Washington-based company said.

“We have a strong relationship with our members, and it’s important that we’re rewarding their loyalty to us,” said Craig Jelinek, CEO and president of Costco. “Our new co-brand credit card agreement with Citi on the Visa network enables us to offer significant value and benefits for our members across 494 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.”

In an announcement, Costco said it's offering its new consumer or business card members 4 percent cash back on eligible gas purchases, 3 percent on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2 percent on purchases made at its warehouse or website and 1 percent on all other purchases.

Hinting at future expansion plans of card offerings, Visa President Ryan McInerney said: “Visa acceptance and the introduction of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is just the start of us bringing new experiences and benefits to current and future Costco members.”

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