This Costco card review examines the TrueEarnings Card. Amex has offered a credit card in partnership with Costco for several years. In 2007, was announced the basic credit card would be replaced with a new TrueEarnings Card.
What sets Costco apart from other warehouse shopping venues is the lack of a warehouse appearance. From the time you enter the huge store the marketing skill of this company is apparent.
The stores have the atmosphere of well run large department stores. Before you can apply for an AmEx Costco card you must have a Costco membership and will be required to show your membership card each time you enter the store.
If you shop frequently the $50 cost of a Gold Star Costco membership will easily pay for itself in savings. Small business owners often buy a Business Members for $50 and that business card can add up to six additional cardholders on that same account.
Buying office supplies or products for resale, the business owner can also reward employees with a free Costco card for their personal use.
Products sold at Costco are often cheaper than shoppers can find elsewhere. If you shop for a large family, the Executive Membership will pay for itself quickly.
For $100 a year, the Executive Card gives users a 2% reward of up to $500 per year on most of their purchases. Executive members also have additional discounts on Costco services.
How to Apply
To apply for a Costco credit card you need only visit the membership desk at any Costco or apply online. The credit accounts from Amex are available for personal or for business use. One initial benefit of the Costco card is a 0% interest rate for the first six months. There is no annual fee.
The AmEx card in partnership with Costco offers cash back rewards. The percentages rewarded and the purchases are designed for busy families.
The personal use card offers 3% cash back when you purchase gasoline for your vehicle while the business card yields 4% cash back for gas purchases.
When combined with an Executive level Costco membership, this card provides a total of 3% off all your Costco purchases. If you are buying appliances for your home, this can add up to a significant savings.
Fees and Interest Rate
There are no hidden fees with this credit account but the penalties applied for late payments are substantial. New laws have limited the ability of lenders to increase your interest rate on the total balance of your credit debt.
However, lenders can increase your interest rate temporarily as a penalty if you fail to use your account wisely or fail to pay your bill on time. You may be charged a penalty interest rate if you:
- Make 2 late payments in a 12 month period
- Go over your credit limit 3 times in a 12 month period
- Make a payment that results in a returned check
That penalty rate will be charged for a minimum of 12 months and will remain in force until you have made 12 consecutive timely monthly payments, have no returned payments and have not gone over your credit limit for 12 consecutive billing periods.
You can save a considerable amount of money by shopping at Costco and can save even more money with the AmEx Costco card. If you can combine the cash rewards for common purchases with the ability to pay off your balance each month when the bill is due, you will gain cash rewards without high credit costs.