Author Topic: Costco American Express  (Read 9986 times)

christy

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Costco American Express
« on: March 06, 2013, 01:11:06 PM »
So, I know MMM loves Costco and is a credit card guru.  Any thoughts out there on the American Express from Costco?  I've heard some good things about it

ShavenLlama

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 01:16:23 PM »
We got it when we signed up a few weeks ago.

Basically, you get the AmEx and then AmEx pays the extra fee to upgrade you to Executive Member. As an Exec, you get the 3% or whatever it is cash back on card purchases. There is no annual fee for this AmEx, jsut the Costco fees.

I wish I had the papers in front of me to verify, but this is what I understood of the deal.

I need to pull out the papers for comparison, but it sounded like this deal was better than the REI Visa card that we have been using.

ketchup

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 01:32:32 PM »
Compared to the cashback cards I have and use, this card would be pretty superfluous.

3% back on gas I can beat with my Sallie Mae Mastercard. It gets me 5% back on gas.

Both my Fidelity Amex and Priceline Visa give me 2% back on everything, so that cancels out the use for the rest of it.

August West

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 03:00:15 PM »
The big advantage of the Costco American Express card is that they only accept American Express - you can't use other rewards cards to shop there.  As an executive member you get 5% back on all costco purchases at the end of the year.  I don't think they waive the executive fee ($50 or so?) so you still need to purchase enough to make it worth while.  What the card does is give an ADDITIONAL 1% on Costco purchases (3% for gas).  It works other places too but other rewards cards may be better.

the fixer

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 05:21:56 PM »
I just signed up for an American Express Cash Everyday card with no annual fee, 3% back on groceries, 2% back on gas, and 1% on everything else. That's average for a rewards card, and it comes with a $150 bonus if you spend like $1k in 3 months (why I signed up; I'll probably dump the card after).

Interestingly, though, I was reading the rewards terms and I think it said that discount grocers like Costco were exempt from the 3% cash back. But this should mean you get 1% back at Costco using this card (I haven't tried it).

Nords

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 09:53:23 PM »
So, I know MMM loves Costco and is a credit card guru.  Any thoughts out there on the American Express from Costco?  I've heard some good things about it
I just signed up for the Costco Amex and was approved over the phone.

So far so good.  I have a fraud alert on my credit records, which they noted.  Their "Bob" from Bangalore customer service staff called me and checked with my credit union to verify my ID, and then approved the card.  It should be here next week.

The reason I'm signing up (and the reason I have a fraud alert) is because FIA Card Services has made my life miserable with my Fidelity Rewards Amex.  That card was cloned three months ago and they didn't take action for nearly a week after I notified them of the problem.  Then I had to fill out the paperwork (even though I notified them) and I had to put the fraud alert on my credit report.  Since then they've been incompetently attempting to keep an eye on the card by randomly suspending it, claiming that their query phone calls received "out of service" messages, and then sending alarmingly-worded boilerplate snail-mail notifications to call their customer service staff.  When I asked the supervisor how he was going to cheer up a very unhappy customer, he said "Well, sir, you have to understand that what we need you to do is..." and I decided that I understood I'd had enough.  I was working way too hard for 2% rewards.

So the FIA card is going in a locked drawer for a few years, my USAA rewards card is back in action (1.25% rewards), and the new Costco Amex will fill in the gap.  The new Amex has a 25% higher credit limit than the FIA Amex, even though I'm retired. 

I don't think that we spend enough at Costco to make the Exec membership worth the fee.  I'll have to track that.

Snow White

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 04:18:38 AM »
We have had the Costco Amex card for a couple of years now and it is worth it to me for the convenience alone.  Neither hubby nor I carry a checkbook as we write very few checks and I don't like to remember to get cash before shopping there.  We use the Amex card mostly at Costco and to buy gas for our cars (at any gas station).  It makes it easy to track exactly how much we spent on auto fuel.  Once a year we get back a check that is usually between $150-$300 because we will occasionally put bigger purchases on it because of the cash back reward.  We don't have any debt and always pay off the card monthly so I don't think it induces us to spend more than we would with cash.

Nords

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 09:51:11 PM »
Once a year we get back a check that is usually between $150-$300 because we will occasionally put bigger purchases on it because of the cash back reward.  We don't have any debt and always pay off the card monthly so I don't think it induces us to spend more than we would with cash.
The card's terms & conditions now say: 
"You will receive your annual reward as a reward coupon on the last page of your February billing statement.  You must redeem your coupon in person at a U.S. Costco warehouse by August 31 of the year you receive it."

Does anyone know if that's required to be redeemed in one massive purchase, or can it be used up in a series of smaller transactions?

Another Reader

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 10:21:47 PM »
You can get cash.  Since I'm old enough to remember life before ATM's spit out $20 bills like candy, I was nervous carrying the $250 cash rebate from Costco to the bank last week.

Will

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 11:22:17 PM »
Yeah, you just have to go to Membership (also known as the Returns) and tell them you'd like to cash your rebate check.  No purchase required!  Or if you are purchasing something, you can pay with the rebate and get the rest back in cash.

KimAB

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 05:46:52 PM »
Ah...  the Costco American Express...  dh maxed out one of those and I paid it off.  I have the executive member card and get enough refund with that to keep me happy.  We spend plenty at Costco, but sure haven't missed that particular card or its rewards.  We do something different for gas rewards- can't remember what.  It might work out more in your favour with the gas.  They didn't have the gas pumps when we had the card.

Nords

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Re: Costco American Express
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 11:23:02 PM »
Good, thanks guys.  I'm just hoping for an Amex card processor who won't keep suspending the card and making me participate in customer "service" drama twice a month.

Costco is rumored to be Oahu's largest gasoline seller, and they frequently underprice the military base gas stations.  It's probably a great loss leader for the rest of their business.  However we're two healthy retirees with two Priuses in our garage, and we don't drive them very much.  When I'm gassing up the car at Costco I usually joke with the attendant "See you next month..."